Highlights From the RNC
"Unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner, we shall be able I hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom & harmony." --Thomas Jefferson
In a hurricane-shortened week in Tampa, the Republican National Convention featured the theme of "We Built It," a rebuttal to Barack Obama's infamous admonition that "you didn't build that." Speaker after speaker went to the heart of a matter that is hardly "petty," as some leftists have charged. Barack Obama's remarks last month in Roanoke, Virginia, were unscripted, and thus revealed the deep-seated contempt he has for America's innovators, entrepreneurs and job creators. This great nation was built from the ground up, and Republicans want voters to remember that in November.
To bolster that message, the convention hall featured a debt clock showing the shockingly fast pace at which our national debt approached and exceeded $16 trillion. Of course, this is thanks to the reckless "stimulus" spending of Democrats, but Republicans bear plenty of blame, as well. Spendthrift policies have wrought economic damage far outstripping anything done by Hurricane Isaac, or even Katrina seven years ago, which the media fondly recollected this week at every opportunity. Headline unemployment is still over 8 percent -- tens of millions of Americans are out of work or underemployed and businesses simply aren't hiring as the Left's carefully designed "fiscal cliff" approaches. Nearly half a trillion in scheduled tax increases will have that effect. Call it Hurricane Barack, if you will.
The Republican plan is to stop, limit and even roll back that government growth, as well as halt the pending tax increases -- even to lower them further -- all of which is exactly what the nation needs to enjoy an actual, Reaganesque, recovery.
With that said, here are a few of our favorite quotes from a handful of the numerous speeches.
Mitt Romney: "How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America? Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama?"
"The president has disappointed America because he hasn't led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government."
"The centerpiece of the president's entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it."
Paul Ryan: "When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That's what we do in this country. That's the American Dream. That's freedom, and I'll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners."
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life."
"Sometimes even presidents need reminding that our rights come from nature and God, and not from government."
Marco Rubio: "[The president's] new slogan for his campaign is 'Forward.' Forward? A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in. An $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs. A government intervention into health care paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare. Scores of new rules and regulations. These ideas don't move us 'Forward,' these ideas move us 'Backwards.' These are tired and old big-government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they've been tried. Ideas that people come to America to get away from. These are ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the rest of the world become more like America."
Rick Santorum: "President Obama rules like he is above the law. America take heed, when a president can simply give a speech or write a memo and change the law to do what the law says he can't, we weaken our republic."
Rand Paul: "When I heard the current president say, 'You didn't build that,' I was first insulted, then I was angered, then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around. Anyone who so fundamentally misunderstands American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation."
Condoleezza Rice: "When the world looks at us today, they see an American government that cannot live within its means. They see an American government that continues to borrow money that will mortgage the future of generations to come. The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny."
Artur Davis, a former Democrat who seconded Obama's nomination in 2008 and co-chaired his national election committee but has now changed parties: "John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don't worry about paying the bill, it's on your kids and grandkids."
Susana Martinez, likewise a former Democrat: "Before I ran for district attorney, two Republicans invited my husband and me to lunch. And I knew a party-switch was exactly what they wanted. So, I told Chuck, we'll be polite, enjoy a free lunch and then say goodbye. But we talked about issues -- they never used the words Republican, or Democrat, conservative or liberal. We talked about many issues, like welfare -- is it a way of life, or a hand-up? Talked about the size of government -- how much should it tax families and small businesses? And when we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck and said, 'I'll be damned, we're Republicans.'"
Mia Love: "[The president's] policies have failed us. We're not better off than we were four years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker or Hollywood campaign ad can change that. Mr. President, I'm here to tell you, the American people are awake, and we're not buying what you're selling in 2012."
Closing with Mitt Romney: "President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans, and heal the planet. I promise to help you and your family."
"If I am elected president of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight."
The Real Quote of the Week
"The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership in the White House and in the Congress for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. I will not stand by and watch this great country destroying itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. Back in 1976, Mr. Carter said, 'Trust me,' and a lot of people did. And now many of those people are out of work. ... 'Trust me government' asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man, that we trust him to do what's best for us. Well, my view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties." --Ronald Reagan at the 1980 Republican National Convention
Government and Politics
News From the Convention Floor: Rules Change Kerfuffle
A floor fight over delegate rules took place at the Republican National Convention this week, pitting grassroots activists against the party establishment. The argument started when a rule was proposed to allow presidential candidates the final say over whom the state parties can appoint as delegates to the convention. Currently, voters choose the number of delegates assigned to a particular candidate while state conventions determine whom the delegates will actually be.
National Committeeman Jim Boggs of Indiana led the charge against the rule change, which many delegates on the floor saw as a fundamentally flawed idea. Texas representative and member of the RNC Rules Committee Butch Davis said, "We believe in Texas as a principle that no presidential candidate nor the RNC should be able to tell Texas who can or cannot be a delegate to the national convention."
The two sides later reached a compromise that would allow state and local groups to select their delegates without interference from the national party. In exchange, delegates pledged to a candidate would remain bound to that candidate, and their votes would be pledged to that candidate regardless. It's hoped that this agreement will protect the independence of state and local parties instead of creating a centralized party structure that prevents discussion and debate among delegates.
Fact-Checking the Fact Checkers
Leftmedia "fact checkers" accused Paul Ryan of several lies in his convention speech, but Townhall's Guy Benson easily debunked those charges.
The Wall Street Journal further explains why Leftists are at such a loss to understand the basic English of Ryan's charge about the Janesville GM plant and Obama's promises to save it.
'Non Compos Mentis': The Boys Who Cried 'Racism'
The Leftmedia managed to find racism is every comment, word, look and gesture at the Republican National Convention. And while it was really quite remarkable to behold, it wasn't at all surprising. MSNBC's Chris Matthews led the verbal lynching, finding racist "dog whistles" in such topics as welfare, food stamps and Romney's joke about a birth certificate, as well as the word "Chicago." Another MSNBC commentator, simply known as Touré, accused Mitt Romney of "niggerification."
A closer look, however, shows it's MSNBC that might be guilty of racism. Whenever a black, Hispanic, or other minority Republican took the stage, the far-Left cable outlet cut away to focus on its own commentary. That list of speakers includes former Democrat Artur Davis, Senate candidate Ted Cruz, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Utah House candidate Mia Love. NBC, parent company of MSNBC, didn't bother to display those speeches on their site, either. MSNBC's entitled to its hateful bias, but fabricating code words and pretending minority Republicans don't exist doesn't make the GOP racist.
In another pathetic incident, Yahoo News fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught by an open mic saying of Romney and Republicans, "They're not concerned at all [about the hurricane hitting New Orleans]. They're happy to have a party with black people drowning." He later apologized on Facebook for his "inappropriate and thoughtless joke." A "joke"? Surely he can't be serious.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
"Governor Romney promised that sometime between takin' the oath of office and going to the inaugural ball, he'd sit right down, grab a pen, and kick seven million young people off their parents' plan by repealing health reform. Day one, that's what he says he's gonna do. Maybe we should call his plan, 'Romney Doesn't Care.' 'Cause I do care! I do care." --Barack Obama
From the Left: Deceptive Ads
The Obama re-election team's latest ad campaign promotes a group of women who are supposedly switching from Republican to Democrat in 2012 because Mitt Romney is driving them away from the GOP with his supposed "right-wing extremism" (pardon us while we suppress our laughter). Like pretty much any statement that comes out of the Obama shop, this one completely falls apart under closer scrutiny. One of the stars of the ad, Maria Ciano of Colorado, expressed dismay that Romney is pro-life and wants to reverse Roe v. Wade. How could this once-proud Republican be so surprised at Romney's stance and the pro-life position of the Republican Party? Overturning Roe v. Wade and thereby returning this issue to the 50 states has been the stated position of the GOP since long before Ciano was old enough to vote.
A closer look at Ciano's Facebook page further proves that not only is she not a Republican, she is a loud and proud left-winger. Among her "likes" on Facebook are Barack Obama, MoveOn.org, Think Progress, The Sierra Club, Denver Young Democrats, Latinos for Obama, Veterans for Obama, and I Love It When I Wake Up in the Morning and Obama is President.
Another supposed Republican who crossed the aisle for Obama, businesswoman Olive Chase, is featured in an ad from the Priorities USA super-PAC. For those keeping score, this is the same group that accused Romney of causing a woman to die of cancer. Chase used to be a Romney supporter when he was governor of Massachusetts, going so far as to vote for him and contribute to his campaign. Chase claimed in the ad that by the time Romney completed his term as governor, she was thoroughly disappointed with the lack of job growth in the state.
Yet Chase didn't seem too upset with Romney in 2007, a year after he left office. She explained at the time about how her own catering company was able to take advantage of the favorable economic climate of the previous few years and grow to a $3 million-a-year business. The year before Romney left office, Chase had enough capital to purchase a bakery. It's unlikely she would be able to realize that level of success in Obama's America, yet she supposedly thinks he's a better choice for the country.
Income Redistribution: Families Losing Ground
A study by Sentier Research shows that Americans have lost more financial ground in the 38 month so-called economic "recovery" that began in mid-2009 than in the recession that ran for 18 months before it. In fact, the average American family has now economically regressed to the same income level of the 1990s.
Naturally, this news -- devastating to the Obama campaign -- is being ignored by most media outlets. As one of the more blatant examples, CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer pestered his guests, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), about the Todd Akin controversy even as the trio tried to steer toward the economic questions.
Instead, the government counters that too few people use their services -- "only" 15 percent of Americans use government assistance during difficult times, according to a poll cited by the USA.gov website, and that's not satisfactory to them. A significant portion of the poverty problem occurs because government bean counters don't account for government assistance when calculating whether a family is below poverty level or not.
Obama's government would love to provide an ever-larger share of the typical family's income, neglecting that the money has to come from somewhere. With fewer people earning, the choices become taxing the remaining producers at an ever-steeper rate or simply creating money from thin air and deflating the value of the dollar. Between the fewer dollars coming in and the loss of value in each one, Americans are pushed to the fiscal cliff in their own lives, too.
The BIG Lie
"I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what's happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around, and over the past, you know, 27 months we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That's more jobs than in the Bush recovery, [than] in the Reagan recovery..." --Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, cherry-picking the numbers
On the contrary, beginning when each recession ended (which is the logical and traditional point from which to measure), respectively, 3.4 million jobs were created during Obama's tenure, compared to 9.1 million under Ronald Reagan.
The Substance of Real Hope & Change
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled his energy plan, and the plan promises hope and change. The difference is that this plan actually would likely deliver both if it's executed. While "energy independence" ranks right up there with "finding a unicorn" and "achieving world peace" on the realizability scale this energy plan strives to substantially reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy while tacitly acknowledging the constraints of the world in which we live.
Energy independence has been the Holy Grail of American energy policy since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. Every president since -- including His Holiness -- has promised American independence from foreign oil. None has delivered. With the promise of new technologies, such as "fracking" and other non-traditional methods of oil and natural-gas extraction and the recent discovery of massive energy resources in the U.S., while the U.S. may not become completely "energy independent," the practical impact may be the same, nonetheless. This is the change that the Romney energy plan promises.
Specifically, Romney proposes to open up more federal lands for energy development, provide states more authority over deciding how energy resources on federal lands within those states are developed and cut red tape manufactured by the current statist regime so that energy developers have ample access to energy sources. Current federal energy leases have fallen 18 percent since 2008, and permitting has slowed by an astounding 37 percent -- energy companies must wait roughly a year to obtain a drilling permit. By comparison, North Dakota pushes out a permit in about 10 days.
But what about the hope of the Obama energy plan? Apart from the fact that none exists -- notwithstanding Solyndra-type, pie-in-the-sky, windmills-in-space, unicorn-chasing, free-energy-for-the-planet proposals -- not much actual hope remains. In fact, the latest hint of an energy "plan" -- straight from our "friends" at the U.S. Department of Transportation -- comes in the form of an edict to automakers selling in the U.S. that vehicles must average 55 miles per gallon by 2025. Some plan. An energy plan based on false hope and "I-wish-for" math needs change.
Regulatory Commissars: Graphic Cigarette Box Images Struck Down
Since the surgeon general made it official nearly 50 years ago, smokers are constantly made aware that their nicotine fix comes at a cost: eventual lung cancer, emphysema and countless other tobacco-related illnesses with the potential to drastically shorten a user's lifespan. But even as they deem it a public health danger, regulators can't bring themselves to ban tobacco because all levels of government rely heavily upon tobacco taxes for a significant portion of operating budgets. Not to mention that Prohibition and the War on Drugs didn't and haven't worked too well.
Since they won't ban tobacco, regulators' most recent tactic has been to make its usage as unattractive as possible by requiring graphic images that take up a significant portion of tobacco packaging. That requirement, passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009, was set aside last week by a divided U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing for the 2-1 majority, wrote, "The First Amendment requires the government not only to state a substantial interest justifying a regulation on commercial speech, but also to show that its regulation directly advances that goal." The government evidently failed to do so.
Warfront With Jihadistan: SEALs and Obama
One of the members of the Navy SEAL Team that dispatched Osama bin Laden has written a book under the pseudonym "Mark Owen" detailing the May 2011 raid. In the book, Owen writes that the terrorist leader was not armed or resisting when the SEALs shot him. Bin Laden had peeked out of his bedroom door and after being shot in the head fell back into the room, where two women -- probably wives -- wailed over him. The SEALs pulled the women out of the way and shot bin Laden's still-twitching body several more times. This contradicts the White House version of events, which had bin Laden reaching for a weapon to defend himself. The SEALs did find weapons in the room, but they were untouched behind a door.
The Pentagon informed the SEAL author that they may take legal action for "material breach and violation" of the nondisclosure agreements he signed in 2007.
Owen adds that the SEALs also expressed little love for the commander in chief, rejecting Obama's constant attempts to take credit for the mission. Apparently, the feeling is mutual. Last August, 38 people -- including 25 U.S. special operations personnel, 17 of whom were SEALs -- were killed when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan; it was the single greatest loss of life in the war to date. This week, parents of one of those service members revealed that they and other parents received a form letter from the White House, signed by an electric pen. The White House disputes this charge. By contrast, at the November 2011 funeral for rapper Heavy D, the "Reverend" Al Sharpton delivered and read a hand-written letter of condolence from Obama. Something's terribly wrong with this president's priorities.
Department of Military Readiness: Asian Missile Defense
The U.S. announced plans to expand its missile defense system in Asia, a move obviously meant to counter growing Chinese power in the region but also to respond to threats from the rogue regime in North Korea. "The planned buildup is part of a defensive array that could cover large swaths of Asia, with a new radar in southern Japan and possibly another in Southeast Asia tied to missile-defense ships and land-based interceptors," reports The Wall Street Journal.
The new radar is known as X-Band and will most likely be installed on an undisclosed island in southern Japan within months of an agreement. Both nations have ruled out Okinawa. An X-Band station was installed in the Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan in 2006. A third station could be placed in Southeast Asia, perhaps the Philippines, to increase tracking capabilities in the entire region.
Immigration Front: Deportation Inflation
That "record number of deportations" of illegal aliens claimed by the Obama administration and widely reported by the media is, not surprisingly, hard to substantiate. It turns out that math is a subjective science to this White House. According to internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee, not only are deportation numbers nowhere near record level, they are actually 14 percent below 2008 numbers and 19 percent below 2009. As the Daily Caller reports, the administration has been "cooking the books" to inflate its numbers by counting as deportations any removals along the border through the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP), a program in which illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border are moved to another point along the border.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) explained, "It is dishonest to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the border as ICE removals. And these 'removals' from the Border Patrol program do not subject the illegal immigrant to any penalties or bars for returning to the U.S. This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year -- and counted each time as a removal." Wade through the creative math, and 2011 deportations drop from approximately 397,000 to about 360,000, and projections for 2012 fall from 400,000 to 315,000 -- far below 2008's 369,000 and 2009's 389,000. As usual, this administration is willing to do anything it takes, honest or not (usually not), to make itself look good.
Profiles of Valor: Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
A true American hero, and an icon for all humanity, left this Earth for the last time and made his final journey Home. Neil Armstrong, the first human to ever walk someplace other than the Earth, died last Saturday from complications following cardiovascular surgery. He was 82. Armstrong, of course, was the Apollo 11 astronaut who skillfully guided the lunar module Eagle to a perfect landing on the moon's Sea of Tranquility in 1969. Along with fellow lunar astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Columbia's command module pilot Michael Collins, Armstrong fulfilled man's eons-old dream of reaching the moon and President John F. Kennedy's challenge to America to make that dream come true by the end of the 1960s. A quiet, humble American who shunned the spotlight, he will be missed. We thank him for his service to America and humanity.
Interestingly, MSM eulogies pointedly left out Armstrong's recent criticism of the Obama regime's space policy, or, should we say, lack thereof. In a rare public appearance before the House of Representatives on Sept. 22, 2011, Armstrong voiced his deep concerns about America's space program and future, saying, "America cannot maintain a leadership position without human access to space. ... Our choices are to lead, to try to keep up, or to get out of the way. A lead, however earnestly and expensively won, once lost, is nearly impossible to regain."
Naturally, Obama himself paid tribute to Armstrong in the only way he knew how -- with a picture on the Obama-Biden Tumblr social networking web page not of Armstrong or any of his feats, but rather with a picture of Obama staring at the moon. Not surprising, of course, but enough about such a small man.
There are legitimate questions about the federal government's role in space exploration, but there is no question about Neil Armstrong's permanent place in American and world history. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Indeed. Thank you for taking that step for us, Neil, and Godspeed.
Second Amendment: Chicago Shootings Spike
A check on strict gun control reveals that it's not going well. Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pledge to combat escalating violence in Chicago, the "Windy City" made news once again this week as shootings continue to spike. First came news Monday morning that at least nine people were killed last weekend and 28 wounded. As if that wasn't enough, at least 10 more were injured in shootings overnight Sunday.
The statistics are staggering. At latest report, the city had registered 1,648 shootings so far this year and 52 homicides this August alone -- 17 more than last August.
Relaxing gun laws isn't to blame, either. Chicago still has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Even following the landmark victory in McDonald vs. City of Chicago, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the city's gun ban, Emanuel's administration hasn't made it much easier for law-abiding citizens to own guns, much less carry them. Taking away guns from those who can be trusted with them does nothing to take them from those who wish to do harm. Chicago is a prime example.
Village Academic Curriculum: The Sign for 'Stupid'
Sanity did prevail in a bizarre case of political correctness this week, but it took a firestorm of criticism to make it happen. When news broke that a three-year-old deaf boy would be forced to change the sign for his name -- Hunter -- because the sign, part of Signing Exact English (SEE), includes making the shape of what looks like a gun with his hand, normal people were outraged. The preschool he attends has a strict policy on "Weapons in Schools" that bans "any instrument ... that looks like a weapon." Common sense was apparently also listed in the ban.
Fortunately, after the public outcry, the school released a statement saying that it "is not requiring any current student with a hearing impairment to change his or her sign language name." That's a relief, but why was it a problem in the first place?
"Teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis are putting themselves at risk of permanently damaging their intelligence, according to a landmark study," reports The Telegraph of London. "Researchers found persistent users of the drug, who started smoking it at school, had lower IQ scores as adults. They were also significantly more likely to have attention and memory problems in later life, than their peers who abstained." Bummer, man.
Barack Obama, of course, infamously wrote that he and his teenage buddies in the "Choom Gang" smoked quite a lot of marijuana. You might say they put the "high" in high school. The president is rumored to be a skilled orator, but his constant hemming and hawing and frequent disfluencies on the stump these days might be explained by his pot-smoking past. As far as we know, however, there's still no explanation for the dope named Joe Biden.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team