Friday Digest

Digest

May 20, 2011

The Foundation

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.” –Thomas Jefferson

Government & Politics

Rumble in the Swamp: Gingrich vs. Ryan

When Newt Gingrich launched his bid for the GOP presidential nomination last week, we knew there would be some Sturm und Drang added to the race. Newt’s brain is always running, but sometimes his mouth runs even faster. That became painfully obvious just four days later.

During a discussion on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday about Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan, Gingrich declared that such reforms were “too big a jump.” If he had stopped there, we may never have heard about it. Instead, he proceeded, “I’m against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.” Furthermore, “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering.”

And that’s when the fight started.

Some wondered for which party’s nomination he’s running, while others simply declared his campaign toast. Dick Armey, now the chairman of FreedomWorks, but a co-writer of the “Contract with America” made famous by Newt, said he doesn’t understand why Gingrich thought “he helps himself by attacking the one guy [Ryan] that [conservatives] see as being courageous” about getting “government spending under control.” Brendan Steinhauser, director of Federal and State Campaigns for FreedomWorks, says the Tea Partiers he’s talked to are “irate” at Gingrich, because “For them, this is the fourth or fifth time he’s done something that has made them mad.” In fact, Steinhauser concluded, “I never met a single Tea Party activist that supported Newt Gingrich for president.” Ryan himself laughed it off, saying, “With allies like that, who needs the Left?”

At first, Gingrich dug in and argued that his “establishment cocktail party” critics were taking his remarks out of context. Then he signed a pledge to repeal ObamaCare if elected. Tuesday, he cried uncle and called Ryan to apologize. But then he jumped the shark, saying, “It was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer,” and he only apologized because “it was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble which he doesn’t need or deserve.” Has he been taking lessons from John Kerry? Gingrich has spent the better part of his first week on the campaign trail mopping up a mess that he should’ve known better than to make in the first place.

Medicare is one of the biggest pieces to the federal spending puzzle. If we are ever to solve the debt crisis (more on that below), we must address Medicare. Ryan’s proposal, which includes moving future recipients (age 55 and under) to a “premium support” model for Medicare, will be debated by conservatives, savaged by liberals and ultimately modified – though it’s doubtful it will be any better for it. It isn’t gospel, and it isn’t the test by which all candidates must be measured, but criticism by fellow Republicans should at least be accompanied by better ideas. As National Review’s Jonah Goldberg put it, “Newt’s immediate policy proposals on Meet the Press were twofold: attack fraud and ‘start a conversation.’”

“Mr. Ideas” is going to have to do a lot better than assaulting Ryan’s plan and sitting on a love seat with Nancy Pelosi to win the GOP nomination. Better yet, he could just “keep up the good work” and lose the nomination.

Gingrich vs. Gingrich

“I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. And I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I’ve said consistently, where there’s some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.” –Newt Gingrich on “Meet the Press” Sunday

“I am completely opposed to the ObamaCare mandate on individuals. I fought it for two and a half years. … I am against any effort to impose a mandate on anyone because I believe it is fundamentally wrong and unconstitutional.” – Newt Gingrich in a campaign video Monday

Thanks for clearing that up, Newt.

(Hat tip: Wall Street Journal Political Diary)

Quote of the Week

“Debating the issues is perfectly fine. It’s the way Gingrich talks about things that is so awful. He is incapable of disagreeing on any matter about anything without creating a whirlpool of negativity that ends up sucking in his own confreres while leaving his partisan and ideological antagonists amazingly untouched. In the end, then, no matter the issue, Gingrich somehow manages to turn the conversation away from the topic at hand and focuses it squarely on him – what he said, what he meant, what he was doing, why he did it, what’s the matter with him. The Ryan apology just added to the psychodrama of the last few days with Gingrich. The havoc generated by his narcissism will not abate. It can’t. Alas.” –columnist John Podhoretz

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, well … you haven’t. An ad by The Agenda Project depicts what liberal minds claim Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal would do to seniors. Apparently, throwing old women off a cliff is the new Republican agenda. Just imagine if the shoe were on the other foot…

Also, no word on whether Newt Gingrich supported this message.

See the video and comment here.

News From the Swamp: Debt Limit Reached

The U.S. government officially hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling this week, and politicians in Washington are no closer to an agreement on raising that ceiling than they were weeks ago. In an attempt to delay a default and buy some time for negotiations, the Treasury Department will stop issuing and reinvesting in federal pension plans, but White House and Democrat leaders in Congress have yet to offer any tangible solutions.

Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy “Tax Cheat” Geithner insist on a “clean” bill that simply raises the debt ceiling without attaching any restrictions on federal spending or altering rapidly failing programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Their so-called plan for avoiding default relies heavily on demonizing Republican efforts to change the fiscal attitude in Washington, claiming that the GOP wants to end these popular entitlements “as we know it.” What Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) won’t admit is that, thanks to bloated federal spending and a refusal to address the problem, these entitlements are going to come to an end regardless.

In 2010, Social Security’s payments exceeded receipts by $49 billion. That shortfall will only expand in the coming years, with the boomer generation retiring and deficits growing exponentially over time. Projected shortfalls will reach $81.5 billion in 2020, $288 billion in 2030, and $343 billion by 2035, when the fund will be completely exhausted. The shortfall in Social Security is so great that in order to keep the program solvent through 2085, the government would have to immediately invest $9.1 trillion to pay all promised benefits.

Democrats refuse, however, to consider allowing younger workers to invest in secure private retirement accounts, because they believe that this will reduce the amount of money in the current fund. They counter that a modest payroll tax increase will do the trick, but any such tax increase will merely be absorbed by the ballooning deficits we’re already witnessing.

The liberal orthodoxy of taxing our way out of debt does not work. The problem of maintaining government solvency is far beyond a simple tax increase. Obama claims that Republicans are threatening to harm America’s fiscal standing in the world by not following his lead on raising the debt ceiling without conditions. He should consider what the rest of the world’s markets will think of the U.S. if we don’t make significant changes to our spending habits.

Hope ‘n’ Change: More and More Waivers

The latest round of temporary waivers for businesses looking to avoid the pain of ObamaCare includes 38 government dispensations in Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. This amounts to one in five of the 204 waivers issued in April by the Department of Health and Human Services. Posh eateries that sell $59 steaks, trendy nightclubs and hotels were among the recipients in Pelosi’s district, but her office maintains she had no influence in the matter. Who could think such a thing?

Flex-Plan Services, a California-based company that filed the waivers, also claims that Pelosi played no role in the matter, but when first asked for comment, a co-owner of Flex-Plan Services claimed that the company didn’t file any waiver requests at all. These mixed signals, along with Pelosi’s well-documented ramming of ObamaCare through the House during her tenure as speaker, don’t help her hands-off claim. Meanwhile, Harry Reid’s entire home state of Nevada also secured a partial waiver, becoming the third state to be exempted from some of the law’s requirements.

Republicans are sure to use these and other waivers on the campaign trail as one of many reasons why ObamaCare doesn’t work. Indeed, if ObamaCare is so great, why do so many businesses within the jurisdictions of two of its most vocal supporters need to be allowed to opt out of the program?

Two additional tidbits in ObamaCare news: First, a new report from consulting firm PwC’s Health Research Institute projects that medical costs will increase 8.5 percent in 2012, which is up from an 8 percent increase this year. We can’t quite put our finger on why that would be…

Second, recently revealed documents indicate that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan helped craft ObamaCare’s legal defense. We guarantee this won’t be enough to prompt her to recuse herself when the case comes before the Court.

On Cross-Examination

“[The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.” –economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor

National Security

Obama’s Big Speech

Barack Obama’s teleprompter read another big speech on the Middle East Thursday. In the speech were various prescriptions for how to achieve lasting peace in the region, including largely adopting the Bush Doctrine of spreading democratic governments as a key U.S. objective. “It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy,” Obama said. He has made a habit over the last two years of adopting – if never explicitly so – George W. Bush’s policies on this, holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, the surge in Afghanistan, etc. Being commander in chief entails making tougher decisions than being a community organizer.

The speech contained one bombshell, however. For the first time, a U.S. president took the stated position that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” This was more or less Bill Clinton’s policy, though the Israelis seemed quite surprised by Obama’s remarks. Perhaps that’s because Bush said that returning to those borders wouldn’t be possible “in light of new realities on the ground.”

Obama added, “The Palestinian must have the right to govern themselves and reach their potential in sovereign and contiguous state.” But he qualified that by saying that no peace agreement should jeopardize Israel’s security, because, “Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable.” How reassuring. Especially considering that Obama also said, “As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.” What’s that “by itself” caveat in there for?

Conservative analyst Charles Krauthammer points out two major flaws in Obama’s position. First, “Even more alarming to Israel is Obama’s omission of previous American assurances to recognize ‘realities on the ground’ in adjusting the 1967 border, meaning U.S. agreement that Israel would incorporate the thickly populated, close-in settlements in any land swap. By omitting this, Obama leaves the impression of indifference to the fate of these settlements. This would be a significant change in U.S. policy and a heavy blow to the Israeli national consensus.”

Second, “How do you get contiguity with Gaza? Does Obama’s map force Israel to give up a corridor of territory connecting the West Bank and Gaza? This is an old Palestinian demand which would cut Israel in two. Is this simply an oversight? Or a new slicing up of Israel?” Once again, Obama has some ‘splaining to do.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is Saturday, May 21. We remain the proud and the free because these Patriots – American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen – have stood bravely in harm’s way and remain on post today. For this, we, the American people, offer our heartfelt thanks and prayers for you and your families.

The Patriot Post is proud to be one of the nation’s leading advocates for our Armed Forces and their mission – not only by providing countless Americans with the right perspective on that mission and the demanding tasks our military personnel have carried out with unfailing courage and professionalism, but also through efforts such as our Support and Defend pages, Operation Shield of Strength and The Patriot Shop, which carries an extensive collection of products bearing official military insignia, the proceeds of which support our mission of service to our Armed Forces.

TSA Body-Scanner Funding Cut, but How Many Pat Downs Are There?

Last week, the Transportation Security Administration saw its plans to expand the controversial body-scanner program, or virtual strip search, slapped down by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee. The 2012 Department of Homeland Security budget that was released last week established a budget for the TSA of $7.8 billion, an increase of $125 million over current levels, but still $293 million less than the Obama regime wanted.

Notably, the committee denied the Obama regime’s request to grant the T&A, er, TSA $76 million in order to buy 275 more body scanners. Those scanners would require another 535 TSA agents to operate. And as Obama himself has noted, there is “nothing more important than working on behalf of [or was that working over?] the American people.”

Since additional scanners are not in the offing, the TSA gropings euphemistically known as pat downs will continue. But how many people actually suffer the indignity of having their TSA masters getting to know them intimately? Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says, “Well, actually, very, very, very few people get a pat down.” So what does Napolitano’s “very, very, very few” add up to in reality? The group PolitiFact Georgia took real-life TSA figures, did some math and concluded that over the course of a month, roughly 1.8 million people, the population of a large city, receive a TSA pat down. They conclude, “That doesn’t sound like 'very, very, very’ few people to us.” The good secretary must be using the same dictionary Bill Clinton used for his definition of “is.”

Iran and Venezuela Team Up on Missiles

In the latest version of a story that’s floated around for the last five years, the German journal Die Welt reports Iran and Venezuela are moving ahead with plans for a rocket base on the Paraguaná Peninsula, the northern-most point in Venezuela. Die Welt names a construction company owned by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, whose members have supposedly visited Venezuela to study the site and provide technical advice. The Guard Corps owns Iran’s ballistic missile force, much of which is hidden in tunnels carved out under dozens of meters of solid rock. Presumably it is this experience in building deep, survivable underground facilities that Venezuela wants to borrow.

It strains credulity to imagine that Hugo Chavez is crazy enough to fire missiles at the United States in support of his Iranian friend, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as suggested in the article. What is not hard to imagine, however, is Iranian know-how in building hardened underground missile facilities allowing Chavez one day to wield a deterrent against the U.S. by threatening Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston, et al, with missile attacks. A 1,000-mile missile would reach any of those cities, while a 1,500-mile missile could reach New York and Washington. If that sounds far-fetched, consider that Iran itself has made enormous progress in just the last two years with multi-stage, solid-fuel missiles, or that North Korea, one of the poorest nations on earth, has tested a missile with an estimated 1,500-mile range. Chavez and Ahmadinejad are birds of a feather, and this issue will bear careful watching in the coming years.

Business & Economy

Regulatory Commissars: Drill Here, Drill Now – But Not Really

The good news is that after feeling the pressure of $4-a-gallon gas at the pump, Barack Obama has decreed that we indeed should “drill here, drill now,” meaning that domestic drilling for oil should face fewer restrictions. The bad news is that his lips were moving.

Apparently, what he really meant to say is that he opposes three Republican-brokered House bills that would expand and accelerate offshore drilling. Additionally, he renewed his call to eliminate $4.4 billion in “subsidies” – a.k.a., tax relief to oil industries for exploration. White House mouthpieces also claim that the Republican bills would “undercut safety reviews” and open environmentally sensitive areas to new drilling. It’s clear that everywhere is “sensitive” to the Left, so even drilling in totally uninhabited areas rich in oil and natural gas is out.

The president’s call really only entails extending existing leases rather than allowing new drilling. He appears to be clumsily attempting to emulate his Demo predecessor by “triangulating” the mess he’s put the country in by appearing to meet Republicans “half way” on the critical issue of addressing America’s energy needs. Still, as with everything he has done, he keeps digging us deeper into a hole.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have sponsored a bill calling for investigations into gas “price-fixing” in response to the American people’s outcry against high gas prices. Fortunately, the proposed bill is very likely to go down in flames. Even Senate Democrats think the bill doesn’t pass the laugh test. Unfortunately, a Senate bill to expand offshore drilling was also defeated Wednesday.

What is really needed is a public referendum on the Demos' plans to make filling America’s energy needs ever more difficult, versus genuine attempts to protect our energy-related national interests. Unfortunately, that referendum will not occur until November 2012 – from a Patriot’s perspective, however, that date can’t come soon enough.

Around the Nation: The South Rises Again … in Business-Friendliness

Five hundred business CEOs can’t be wrong, can they? In their annual survey of the business climate presented by the several states, states in the South rose to the top once again – the top five in the Chief Executive magazine survey of corporate heads were Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.

The biggest trendsetter was Wisconsin, thanks to the policies and attitudes expressed by newly elected Governor Scott Walker and his legislative leaders. The historic home of the progressive movement and former bottom-feeder among states surged 17 spots upward to 24th place. While the Badger State’s policies haven’t changed all that much in some key areas, the biggest difference was a change in the rules “that make it hard, if not impossible, to separate from a non-productive employee [and] make companies fearful to hire or locate in a state,” as one CEO put it. In shorthand, Big Labor’s job-killing influence has waned.

On the other end of the scale, states with heavy union influence and/or regressive tax rates remained at the bottom: Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California round out the cellar dwellers. Of those, Michigan and New Jersey stand the best chance for future improvement thanks to reform-minded Republican governors, while the others will likely bring up the rear for years to come.

Trouble at the IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French Socialist, resigned Wednesday as he stands accused of a number of criminal charges stemming from his alleged rape of a housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel. All the while, members of his own French political party call him a “libertine” and fret about the “puritanical” American culture.

Plucked off a France-bound flight moments before takeoff, DSK (as he’s known in France) has been in hot water before. The revelation of an affair with a married subordinate in 2008 nearly cost him the IMF gig. In the wake of these most recent charges, a French journalist has stepped forward with allegations of a similar incident back in 2002.

Since Strauss-Kahn was in his final days as IMF head, his absence won’t necessarily affect its day-to-day operations. However, he was a leading advocate behind the Greek bailout last year and was discussing how to more involve European nations in the effort. DSK was also considering a run against Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency of France, with polls suggesting he would be the most formidable Socialist candidate. All that matters little now as Strauss-Kahn has far more important things to worry about.

Yet the whiff of scandal may be what prompts Americans to look more closely at the operations of the IMF. The U.S. owns about one-sixth of the IMF’s shares and guarantees around $100 billion of loans from the “lender of last resort” for developing nations that can receive credit nowhere else. When the headlines get lurid, people take notice, and, thanks to DSK’s debauchery, more questions will arise about the disastrous policies of the IMF as a whole.

Culture & Policy

Second Amendment: California Dreaming

U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England Jr., nominated by George W. Bush, ruled in Sacramento Monday that there is not a constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm in public. Apparently, he’s never read the Second Amendment. Oddly enough, it was the country of his surname that prompted the writing of the Second Amendment in the first place.

England ruled in favor of Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, who says that applicants for concealed carry permits must have a good reason, such as a safety threat, in order to secure said permit. Prieto was sued by plaintiffs claiming that, as long as an applicant isn’t mentally ill and doesn’t have a criminal background, a permit should be granted.

The judge didn’t buy it, countering that California law already allows gun owners to carry an unloaded weapon (otherwise known as a paper weight) that supposedly can be loaded quickly and used in self-defense if necessary. Try telling that to the mugger next time: “Hold on; I’ve got to load my gun first.”

The ruling is more laughable still because, as the Associated Press reports, “Meanwhile, the California state Assembly approved a bill Monday by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, which would ban openly carrying unloaded handguns in public. Portantino introduced the measure after some gun rights activists carried unloaded weapons in public as a political statement.”

Oh, well, never mind then.

Mississippi Rising

With the mighty Mississippi River cresting after powering through communities and threatening livelihoods and commerce, the water-weary residents of the Deep South now face the long road to recovery. This past week, The Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates in the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge – a move that alleviated the water flow into New Orleans and Baton Rouge while sending more water spilling into the Atchafalaya River Basin, home to approximately 25,000 people. The cleanup effort will far outlast the flood’s front-page shelf life, and the residents of the South now join countless others around the globe recovering from natural disasters. These floods are only the latest such calamity. Just last month, tornadoes ripped through the South, killing more than 300 people and causing billions of dollars of damage. In March, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, triggering a tsunami and leaving thousands dead. Last year’s earthquake in Haiti killed more than 220,000. And the list goes on.

The Wall Street Journal notes, “The damage done by the many, recent natural catastrophes – earthquakes, tornadoes, floods – argues for assessing the exposures of vulnerable population centers.” Indeed, this argument has merit. While it’s impossible to predict where every disaster will hit, governments will nevertheless spend billions trying. Meanwhile, others will say the disasters signal the end of the world is near. Given government’s track record of success, the latter group probably has the better chance of being right.

Village Academic Curriculum: ‘Green Ribbon Schools’

One thing we have learned in the past two years is that the Obama administration will stop at nothing to get what it wants, whether the American people like it or not. In the face of its failure to pass cap-n-tax, the administration plans to push its eco-fascist policies onto the schools to ensure that future generations might be more willing to drink the Kool-Aid.

The administration recently unveiled its plans for a “Green Ribbon Schools” program, which will encourage schools to create “healthy and sustainable learning environments” and teach “environmental literacy.” These terms, of course, are nothing but leftist buzz words, and the program is a quick and dirty way to indoctrinate our children with the eco-religionist’s dogma: most notably, that humans – by virtue of their very existence – are responsible for global climate change and the general defilement of Mother Earth.

The program, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, “will help kids connect what they’re learning in science class with the world around them, allowing them to envision solutions to tomorrow’s challenges while living healthier lives today.” Despite the inconvenient truth that climate change “science” has been shown to be as full of holes as a piece of Swiss cheese, schoolchildren will be fed this bunk and likely grow up to vote for these policies. Jackson even used the Obama slogan “win the future” when touting the program’s alleged benefit to our children and our world.

The program’s 50 winners will be announced on Earth Day 2012. The criteria for the contest – as well as the prize – remain a mystery, but they will be developed jointly by the U.S. Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council for Environmental Quality. Given these players, one can only imagine the curriculum. Needless to say, we shouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of first-graders protest the use of air conditioning or refuse to get on the gas-guzzling school bus.

There is, however, one piece of good news here, and that is the fact that parents have been put on notice. All too often, we have no idea what’s being drummed into our kids' heads at school, but at least in this instance, parents will have a chance to mitigate the damage.

And Last…

“The Bible guarantees the end of the world will begin with Judgment Day May 21, 2011.” So says an ad in Reader’s Digest placed by Harold Camping, the 89-year-old leader of Family Radio Worldwide. This isn’t the first time he’s made such a foolhardy prediction, either. He first predicted that he and his followers would be raptured to heaven on Sept. 6, 1994. But this time, he means it. According to his latest mathematical formula of biblical prophecy interpretation, “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the rapture and the day of judgment.” Color us skeptical, but all the same, we hope our readers will understand if we miss our deadline on Monday.

In related news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a zombie apocalypse. It’s all in good fun to help people “prepare for a real emergency,” but if Camping and his brain-dead legions are still here on May 22, CDC may be on to something.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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64 Comments

Robert Risko said:

Discerning Truth Series:Re: Rumble in the Swamp: Gingrich vs. Ryan “Then [Gingrich] signed a pledge to repeal ObamaCare if elected.”I expect Newt’s pledge will be as trustworthy as his “till death do us part” vow before God to his TWO ex-wives before he committed adultery while they were seriously ill?Re: News From the Swamp: Debt Limit Reached“The U.S. government officially hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling this week...”...affecting an interest/debt-paying AND balanced budget amendment all at the same time!Re: Obama's Big Speech"It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy."Discerning Truth:BS’s Assumption #1: The correct worldview is Socialism/CommunismBS’s Assumption #2: The United States citizenry shares his worldview (most do)BS’s Assumption #3: People are generally goodBS’s Assumption #4: Democracy is a sustainable form of government (reference the untruth of #2)BS’s Assumption #5: Democratic-Socialism/Communism is a “reform” that “the policy of the United States” should promoteBS’s Assumption #6: Democracy WILL degenerate into Mobocracy resulting in the socialist/communist government that Soros is paying him to create Re: Second Amendment: California DreamingU.S. District Court Judge Morrison England Jr., nominated by George W. Bush, ruled in Sacramento Monday that there is not a constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm in public. Apparently, he's never read the Second Amendment.”Oddly enough, it is a right from a higher authority, a Biblical, God-given right. (http://www.missiontoisrael.org/firearm-right.php)Re: Mississippi Rising “This past week, The Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates in the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge -- a move that alleviated the water flow into New Orleans and Baton Rouge while sending more water spilling into the Atchafalaya River Basin, home to approximately 25,000 people.”You know, there is plenty of non-flooding land in America that is unoccupied!Re: Village Academic Curriculum: 'Green Ribbon Schools' “The administration recently unveiled its plans for a "Green Ribbon Schools" program”The government, once again operating where they are not granted authority.“The program, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson”The EPA again?! Haven’t we talked about defunding them?Re: And Last..."The Bible guarantees the end of the world will begin with Judgment Day May 21, 2011."A short 150 years of pre-millennial dispensationalism being falsely trumpeted as Biblical teaching has paralyzed the church and driven many would-be Christians into fatalism.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:11 AM

popham in Boston, Ma. said:

Newt Gingrich shot himself in the foot lastweekend, not once, which was bad enough,but twice. Thank you for your patriotism,Mr. Gingrich, but now would be a good time tojust get off the political stage and go home.Fair thee well, Newt.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Scott Penn said:

I am as hard core conservative as anyone I know, but have stopped donating money to the right.....if politicians do not stop referring to Social Security as an entitlment is am going to scream.....our elders have paid into this fund their entire lives, the money was totally mismanaged by politicians and it now gone or this would not be an issue, their would be enough money generated in interest by the separated fund to pay all these problems. Not so thanks to the Democrats. Stop paying it out to illegals and there would probably be enough and then some to cover out needs.....the needs of the people who paid in....the ones who are ENTITLED to receive the money.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Alton Womack in Central Florida said:

Newt you just gave the left demogouges all of the fodder they needed and they didn't even have to work for it. Please shut up and try and help someone else pick up the pieces. You are an idea guy but your uncontrollable mouth is almost as bad as Obama's without his teleprompter. And the Democrat trash machine was ready to take advantage of it.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

theabnranger said:

What I wish to know is what businesses or organizations have submitted waiver requests for the ObamaKare monstrosity and not received them? In what Congressional districts?

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Rick said:

Nice speech in the East. Anyone remember the US Co-sponsoring a UN resolution "Limiting" free speech in Islamic Nations? We support the people rising up and demanding a more democratic leadership... as long as they shut their cake holes.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Bruce R Pierce said:

My first question to Harold Camping is if Jesus himself when asked when the end was coming said "I do not know, the Father has not told me", what makes him or anyone else think that the Father is going to tell him? If you read Revelations the timeline between the Lord coming and Judgment Day are at least 1000 years apart. I'm sure there are other discrepancies that will jump out if one was to waste time listening to Harold. So I am looking forward to reading Patriot Post this Monday.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Len,South Bend,IN said:

Someone please discuss the recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling that the police/law enforcement can now enter a home/business illegally...without a warrant. And that you cannot defend yourself or family...legally....against such an unconstitutional invasion. This is extremely disturbing in the wake of a combat Marine vet in Tucson,AZ who was murdered in his home while defending his wife and family from a SWAT raid. This story has had a lid on it...after they shot him 61 times and refused to allow medical aid for ...an hour and 15 min. I am appalled....

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Fritzie said:

Re: Scott PennThank you for your comment on S.S. My husband and I are 80 and 75. We feel we are ENTITLED, and I agree with you that if the gov't. had not totally mismanaged the fund, there would be no issue at all. The seniors I know are fearful for their future re S.S. and Medicare.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Jim Alexander said:

You people aren't doing the Republican Party any good by dissing Newt. He is right: Medicare should not be any of the issue with balancing the budget. You, here, like many others seem to jump at the chance to belittle Gingrich. What is your problem? I have been a conservative Republican since Lyndon Johnson and in my opinion, Newt is the only true conservative and the only person in the Republican Party with a chance to win and get this nation back to what it was before Bill Clinton and now, Barack Obama. You might consider posting his good points and applauding him for a change instead of doing exactly what the left want you to,-dissing a good Republican. With you at his helm, he has little chance of winning anything. Now, try to be positive for a change. Insult the left wing instead of your own people.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Fritzie said:

Re: Jim AlexanderAmen! Newt is not perfect, but who is? Republicans are becoming an army that kills its wounded.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Robert Risko said:

The Foundation"Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle." --Thomas JeffersonBut “every difference of opinion” requires an inquiry into potential “difference of principle” to establish Truth. Let us provide the full context, for how can the meaning of an author be known without the proper context.“But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world’s best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”“We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” Principles determine whether we can call ourselves by a common label. Here we see that Jefferson’s statement no longer stands. While he may have been accurate in 1800, today we are infested with progressive/socialist/communists. We are not operating upon the same principles as our “countrymen” and therefore call into question whether anyone who calls himself both an American and something else is American at all (T. Roosevelt, 1919 - http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/troosevelt.asp). The same is true for hyphenated cultural Americans as it is for social views that differ from the earliest foundation of a civil body politic in the colonies.History reflects the Truth of the Holy Scriptures to answer “Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?” Man cannot be trusted with self-government (Isaiah 64:6). This is true except in one case referenced below. Failed governments, made so by internal corruption and profaning of the name of YHWH, litter the landscape of history: Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and hundreds of others that have fallen or been recreated in different forms.Without selecting trusted men to appoint a trusted leader who meet proper standards, we cannot expect to be in the service as citizens of a trustworthy leader. Absent the True Christian Religion and the morality it institutes being supernaturally quickened, no hope exists for an honest, trustworthy, and self-governing man that leads to good government. (Romans 6:16-18) See: http://www.missiontoisrael.org/vote.php

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Lyna said:

Alton, you are correct. The Google ad attached to my Patriot Post email says "Thank Newt Gingrich for Opposing the Ryan Plan" and links to DSCC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which will send a Thank You note to Newt for every person who signs their petition/mailing list.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:52 PM

WILLIAM C. SMITH said:

As the national focus concentrates upon the obvious social economic drains--Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security--another major financial sewer is seemingly by-passed--the unionization of public workers, whose salaries, benefits, and pensions far outweigh their nominal contributions to the sustainability of our society. Eventually, these parasites are going to run out of dogs to bleed. Since there seems to be inherent collusion between the corps of elected officals and the leaders of unions who make possible their election, freedom-loving people should make it a special project to identify the most corrupt of these people in every venue and strive to deny them the public offices they pollute.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Aubrey Hagan said:

"I'm against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change." Furthermore, "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering." Newt Gingrich on Meet the PressNewt misses the point. Picture this:Medicare and Social Security are a 50 gallon vat of poison poured on top of the US Constitution. Ryan realizes that we need to pour out the 50 gallons of the poison and ship it back to Marx before we can restore the Constitution to its original condition. Newt, on the other hand, thinks he can make it palatable by mixing in 5 gallons of additional toxins that are only half as poisonous (mandatory purchase of health insurance or some other unconstitutional measure intended to render an unconstitutional scheme less unconstitutional). The problems is that instead of helping, now we've got 55 gallons of poison instead of 50 to pour out.My point is this: The Medicare program is unlawful to begin with. Ryan understands that you can fix the fact that Medicare is unconstitutional by mixing in equally unconstitutional ingredients like mandatory purchases of health insurance. Mandatory purchases might be necessary to make the unconstitutional Medicare scheme sustainable (I doubt it) , but it doesn't matter because it does nothing to address the naked fact that the Medicare scheme is unconstitutional to begin with! The vat is already poisoned, and pouring in bubble gum juice or water or rat poison won't to anything to change this.In isolation, Newt's opinion concerning the impropriety of "social engineering" seems consistent with the libertarian worldview shared by the Tea Party and our Founding Fathers. After all, those of us who subscribe to our founding principles surely think that our elected representatives have no constitutional authority to use taxes, fines, or the threat of imprisonment as a means to achieve their policy objectives --that is, their subjective ideas as to what's good or bad for "society". For example, the founders considered it unconstitutional to tax (or refrain from taxing) citizens as a means of encouraging/discouraging economic activity or social behaviors.So, I agree with Newt to the extent he thinks it is wrong to engage in social engineering. The problem, as I see it, with Newt's comments, is that he falsely characterizes Ryan's Medicare plan as "radical social engineering"--as if any attempt to slow America's slide into socialism, that is, any attempt to adopt the measures necessary to restore our lost constitutional principles are "too radical". The problem is that radical change (pouring out the poison) is what we've demanded--we're tired on on administration pouring in another gallon of water followed by another adding yet another 3 gallons of poison.

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM