Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On Albert Pujols and the Cardinals.....

......If the St. Louis Cardinals don't offer the moon for Albert Pujols, the greatest baseball player in today's game, they are absolutely insane and they want to lose for some unknown reason. No fan would be able to forgive them for decades.

The Cardinals and Pujols have until noon tomorrow to reach a new contract.

UPDATE (12:53 pm): No deal. Pujols is likely to become a free agent in 2012.

Petraeus Leaving Afghanistan?

 There is a report from the Times, the London-based newspaper of record, that could have some very interesting news. According to the paper, US General David Petraeus may be leaving his post as commander of Central Command, including Afghanistan. This would be less than a year after he replaced Stanley McChrystal.
General David Petraeus, the most celebrated American soldier of his generation, is to leave his post as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan. The Times can reveal that the Pentagon aims to replace General Petraeus, who was appointed less than eight months ago, by the end of the year. Sources have confirmed that the search for a new commander in Kabul is under way.
 The Times posits that it could be the White House's way of saying that the effort in Afghanistan is beyond just one person. What???
This could be very interesting.

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Obama Tweet During 2009 Revolts in Iran: Hey, Let's all Watch Stephen Colbert Get his head Shaved

Update:  Apparently, the Twitter messages underneath have been removed from President Obama's feed, apparently in an attempt to hid his shame.  Too bad for him there are screen shots.

In 2009, the Iranian government rigged their nation-wide election, making it impossible for reform candidates to win and impossible for their choice to lose.  After the election and for months following, hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in the street, demanding justice and freedom.  In response, their government killed hundreds, incarcerated thousands, and squelched as much resistance as possible.

At the time, President Obama stayed silent.  Less than a half a year in office, the 44th President was clearly flustered by the crisis, not knowing what to do.  Should he support the freedom of the repressed and right?  Or should he support the regime that he promised to have talks with under preconditions?

In the end, Obama stayed silent, voting "absent" in a way.  Unfortunately, as the President of the United States, failing to act does not mean that everything stops.  His inaction starved much of the revolt of air and encouraged the Iranian regime that the United States would not act.

One thing that the President did do:  he touted comedian Stephen Colbert getting his head shaved.  In the middle of the chaos in Iran, amongst the dead in the street of Tehran, the leader of the free world wrote a light-hearted tweet about the liberal comedian:
He then linked to a video in which he rehearsed over and over again lines that were written for him in a comedy bit.  While much of Iran literally burned.

While this is foolish and oblivious in the first place, an even worse fact remains.  President Obama has written once, once about Iran on his Twitter page in four years.  And it was not to take a stance.  It was not even specifically about Iran, but a simple mention in passing:
To be oblivious to realities on the ground is one thing.  To make light-hearted jokes while people die in the streets is another.  To combine the two and still be oblivious is utterly disgusting.

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Haley Barbour's 2012 Problem.

I love Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

Name another individual that has cut state spending without taxation; that has passed necessary TORT reform in a state based upon the legal profession; that has proudly passed laws that have made their state the safest for the unborn in the entire United States of America.

You can't.

Barbour is the perfect GOP candidate. He can appeal to both the establishment (via his four years as Chairman of the RNC) and grassroots (via his eight years as Governor of Mississippi). No other candidate has that connection with both of the movements that constitute modern Conservatism.

However, the fact that he's from the South will hinder his campaign more than the two decades that he spent as a lobbyist in Washington. We saw this with his Weekly Standard interview/talk a couple of weeks ago - the media slaughtered him for defending Yahoo City's amazingly strong race record during the 1960's and 1970's.

And now the media is back for more.

The Mississippi branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are pushing for a commemorative license plate to recognize the service of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest*, who founded the KKK after the Civil war. The liberal media is doing every thing possible to get Haley Barbour involved in this story.

Talk about a preview to the 2012 general election.

I absolutely love Haley Barbour, but unless I know that the American electorate will actually support a Southern man for the White House, I don't know whether to jump 100% onto the Barbour bandwagon, or to play it safe with Pawlenty.

What say you?

* - Forest was head of the Confederacy's greatest Calvary unit.

Iranian Lawmakers Call for the Death of Protest Leaders

For several weeks, the higher-ups in Iran compared the protests in Egypt to their own in 1979.  Iranian clerics and officials also called it an Islamic Revolution.

That favor has clearly passed.  Inspired by the successful revolution in Egypt, tens of thousands of Iranians marched through the streets of Iran yesterday.  In response, the government and police murdered dozens of citizens and arrested hundreds more.

Even worst, the travesty that is the Iranian government literally chanted and screamed, quote, "Moussavi, Karroubi must be executed."  Of course, Mehdi Karrubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi are opposition leaders in Iran who are outspoken critics of the government's abuses.

The video can be seen below:

CNN continues:
Last week, the Iranian government rounded up activists after Karrubi and Moussavi called for supporters to gather at Azadi Square -- the site of mass protests by Iran's opposition movement after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

Despite the security crackdown, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Tehran Monday.

Patrolling security forces battled protesters with batons and tear gas for much of the day.

The massive crowd was largely cleared from the city's streets by nightfall and the main squares near Tehran University remained free of police, security forces or protesters.
As with their protests in 2009, President Obama has not voiced support for the Iranian people's right to assemble.  This comes at a time when the President did indeed support the revolution in Egypt; why he has supported one and not the other remains unclear.

This question is especially pertinent when video such as this is uncovered:

What you saw above (or not, if you did not watch), was Iranian police going into a crowd of civilians and bystanders and beating them with clubs.

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Florida's Nelson Falls Behind in Matchup Against Bush

 Florida Senator Bill Nelson appears to be in some trouble should he decide to run for re-election. The second term Democrat is up next year. This comes as a wave of retirements have hit both parties, including Jim Webb of Virginia and John Kyl of Arizona.

As of now, it's unclear if Nelson, who will be 70 next year, will run for another term. However, Mason-Dixon has put out a poll that should make the picture a bit clearer. Nelson won over 60% of the vote in 2006, a politically advantageous year for Democrats running against former State Attorney General Katherine Harris.

The first matchup pits Nelson against former governor Jeb Bush, who retired in 2007:

Bush (R): 49%
Nelson (D): 41%
Other/und: 10%

However, if Nelson ran against Flordia Senate President Mike Haridopolis, he would have a better chance:

Nelson (D): 48%
Haridopolis (R): 27%
Other/und: 25%

Still, in both cases Nelson is below the important 50% threshold. Against other Republicans he's leading but is held below 50%.

The other two names tested who are seriously considering the race are Rep. Connie Mack and former Sen. George LeMieux. While they have higher name recognition in the state and performed better against Nelson in the poll, they aren't expected to perform as well in a GOP primary.

Mack scored 40 percent to Nelson's 45 percent, and LeMieux took 35 percent to Nelson's 49 percent.

Either way, Nelson has some work to do if he wants to win re-election.

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Poll: Would you Support Donald Trump if he won the Republican Nomination?

With the 2012 Presidential election less than 24 months away, candidates for the Republican nomination are already sizing up their prospects.  One of these is businessman Donald Trump.  Though he has not stated that he is running, Trump has mentioned several times, including recently at CPAC, that he is giving it much thought.

Starting off as an upper-middle class child, Trump has been able to create a multi-billion dollar empire than spans much of the globe.  Some say that this qualifies him as a good presidential candidate, as he could help revitalize the American economy.  Others, however, believe him to be inexperienced or not conservative enough to be the Republican nomination.

Therefore, our poll today is:  Would you Support Donald Trump if he won the Republican Nomination in 2012?

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Pelosi: Not Using ObamaCare to Fund Abortions is "Egregious"

We all know that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is not the smartest person: she helped Democrats to the largest defeat they've suffered in decades, she blamed Bush for the Democrats losing the House, and stated that the U.S. government "saved $26.8 billion by spending $82 billion."

Therefore, it should come at no surprise that Pelosi would be dead-set against a Republican bill in Congress that would try to save thousands of babies' lives.  HR 358 prohibits women who want abortions from getting it paid for by ObamaCare.  It makes sense: deciding to have unnecessary or elective surgery should not be funded.

Insurance works the same way.  Cosmetic and plastic surgeries are not covered because they are by choice, similar to abortion.  While I believe abortion is inherently wrong and that it should not be allowed, even liberals should understand that elective surgery should not be covered for free.

Well, logic is simply not Nancy Pelosi's strong suit.  The disgraced Democrat leader went so far as to call HR 358 "egregious," and goes as far as calling it "unconstitutional."

Take a gander at her raving on Twitter:
Obviously, constitutionality is also not Ms. Pelosi's strong suit either.  The bill does not outlaw abortions, it simply states that ObamaCare (which was recently declared unconstitutional itself) should not fund abortions.  In other words, women can still have them, just not on the taxpayer's dime.

However, I am sure if you said this to Pelosi, you would be met with a vacant stare. You would wonder if she simply did not understand you or if the botox makes it impossible to look concerned.

But hey, this is from the woman who touted Democrats' ability to create jobs:

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Iranian MPs Call for Death of Mousavi and Karroubi

 Members of Iran’s Majlis, or Parliament, have taken a very strict tone regarding yesterday’s protests. Members of the Majlis are mostly supporters of the theocratic regime and are likely to parrot official beliefs of the Mullahs. These members are actively calling for the death of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and  Mehdi Karroubi. Both ran in 2009′s fradulent presidential election against hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is an unsettling but not altogether unexpected development:

Police blocked access to Mr Mousavi’s home in what the former prime minister’s website said was intended to prevent him attending the Tehran rally, which was lauded by the US administration.
Both he and Mr Karroubi – a former speaker of parliament and a senior cleric – disputed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, which triggered protests that drew the largest crowds in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The authorities responded by launching a brutal crackdown.
This is disturbing. If Mousavi can get out of his sem-house arrest, hopefully there will be more protests.

Cross-posted at World Threats.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

House Votes to Extend Patriot Act Provisions.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 275-144 this evening to extend three extremely vital security provisions that were originally passed during the Bush administration years - two of which are from the Patriot Act. If the U.S. Senate concurs, which is likely, these provisions will be extended through December - almost two years shorter than what the Obama administration requested.

Republicans voted 210-27 in favor of the legislation, while Democrats voted 117-65 against. The GOP opposition was led by Congressman Ron Paul, who recently won the 2011 CPAC straw poll. Rand - his son and Kentucky's junior Senator - has pledged to oppose the legislation as well. It appears that neither Paul is really concerned with America's security.

Among the Democrats to support the legislation was Dan Boren, one of the last pro-security, pro-defense Democrats left in their entire caucus. Perhaps Boren is attempting to replace Ike Skelton, who before losing last year was the lonely face of the few pro-war Democrats remaining in Washington.

The Senate is expected to easily pass the legislation onto President Obama's desk, where he will readily sign it into law. The Democrats strongest opposition was defeated last November, and the only Republican opposition should come from freshmen Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, both of whom are Libertarian Republicans.

I am glad that this important legislation was passed. We need every tool available to not only kill terrorists abroad, but to stop Jihadists at home - and that's what the Patriot Act has done for almost ten years now. And personally speaking, I believe that all the Congressmen and Senators who oppose it must receive a pink slip in November 2012.

What say you?

400 Pound Shoplifter Tasered After Cart Gets Stuck in Door

 Well, sometimes you think you've heard everything. And sometimes you have a headline that is almost beyond cognition. This is one of those cases. Apparently one woman has some explaining to do-- hopefully from outside of her motorized cart.

This comes from the Macomb Daily:

Jerrie Perkins, 30, is charged with unarmed robbery, resisting and obstructing a police officer and second-degree retail fraud.

Her bond was set at $15,000 by 52-3 District Magistrate Nick Camargo during arraignment Thursday.

Investigators said Perkins was attempting to leave the Rochester Road Meijer with more than $600 worth of stolen electronic merchandise when her cart got stuck and she was unable to drive out the door.

The door alarm was activated when Perkins passed through it around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, and Meijer employees approached her asking for a receipt for the items.

Perkins — approximately 5 foot 2 and 400 pounds — shoved a loss prevention officer and hit her in the face, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived and asked Perkins to put her hands behind her back, but she “cursed at the deputy, balled her right hand into a fist and took a fighting stance,” according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy pulled his Taser and told Perkins to put her hands behind her back, but Perkins brought her fist up over her head and looked directly at the deputy.

The deputy Tasered Perkins, who then complied with the deputy’s commands and was taken to jail.

Oh, snap.

More odd news at:


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Video of Horseman of the Apocalypse in Egypt

 Apparenly a video has been circulating that some contend may be one of the horsemen of the apocalypse in Egypt. Probably it's just camera glare. You be the judge.

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Tens of Thousands Line the Street in Iran to Protest Government

Reminiscent to the large protests in Iran in 2009, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Iran today against its theocratic, repressive government.  However, unlike 2009, the Obama Administration has voiced support for these group of protests, apparently finding its voice after the Egyptian revolution.
Large groups of riot police descended on the peaceful protesters, arresting dozens and dispersing large amounts of tear gas on the crowd.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The day of planned antigovernment rallies began largely peacefully, according to witnesses, with protesters marching silently or sitting and chanting. But as demonstrators' ranks swelled, police and antiriot forces lined the streets, ordered shops to shut down and responded at times with force, according to witnesses and opposition websites, in a repeat of the official crackdown that helped snuff out months of spirited opposition rallies a year ago.
It later continues:
"Mubarak! Ben Ali! It's now the turn for Seyed Ali!" people chanted, according to witnesses and videos, referring to the country's spiritual head.

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New Poll Out on Donald Trump after CPAC Appearance

Real estate developer Donald Trump made waves at the CPAC convention last week saying that Texas Representative Ron Paul would not get elected in 2012. That was met with boos and shouts of 'fascist' from Paul's followers. Now a new poll shows that Trump is not terribly popular within the GOP.

This poll is from Public Policy Polling, which tends to favor Democrats. The following was asked just of Republicans. Democrats and Independents were not asked in this poll. It is unclear what the figures would be if they were.

What is your opinion of Donald Trump?
Positive: 29%
Negative: 56%
Other/no opinion: 15%

This would definitely be a bad sign if Trump decided to run for President next year. It's been rumored that he has been considering a run but has not made an official announcement. Trump has been on many television programs lately, denouncing President Obama's plans. He has also stated that he is open to running for the office next year.

Trump has also been talking about competing with China. He keeps talking about "the Chinese" and how the PRC has been besting our economy. He sees the People's Republic as a rival rather than a partner.

However, it appears that supporters of Ron Paul would not be happy if Trump did decide to run.

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Arizona May Have Hospitals Check Citizenship

After Arizona passed its immigration law last year it has taken the forefront in combating illegal immigration. Now the state may have its hospitals take another step in that direction:
The National Conference of State Legislatures says it knows of no other states considering similar bills.
The proposal being heard late Monday by the Arizona Senate's judiciary committee would require hospitals to contact immigration authorities if a patient is an illegal immigrant.


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Patriot Act Extension Passes on Second Try

Just a week after an attempt to renew portions of the Patriot Act failed in the House, a new effort has succeeded. Last week over two dozen Republicans, including some freshmen, voted against the provisions. This time, in a more procedural vote, it went through:

The measure passed Monday night on a vote of 275 to 144, two fewer than it received last week. But this time, no two-thirds super-majority was required for passage, only a simple majority. Twenty-seven Republicans joined most Democrats on Monday to vote "no," while 65 Democrats joined with most Republicans to support the measure.The bill would extend three key provisions of the counterterrorism surveillance law that are set to expire Feb. 28, unless Congress moves to reauthorize them.One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access "any tangible items," such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a "lone wolf" provision that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.
It's about time.

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Source: Hosni Mubarak in Coma

According to a report in Al Arabiya, former authoritarian President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak fell into a coma shortly after he delivered his last speech Saturday night.  The paper cites "well-informed sources."
More from Al Arabiya:
Mubarak and his family moved to Sharm al-Sheikh on Thursday night following his final speech, in which he handed over executive authority to former Vice-President Omar Suleiman, Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm reported. 
The same sources said that Mubarak was currently receiving medical treatment but that no decision had yet been made on whether to transfer the 82-year-old former head-of-state to a hospital. 
Rumors had circulated earlier that Mubarak had fainted twice while recording his final speech, which was broadcast on state television on Thursday evening. 
Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq confirmed Sunday that Mubarak was in Sharm el-Sheikh and has not leave the country.

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Interview with ForAmerica

Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 23 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing David Bozell, executive director of ForAmerica. ForAmerica stands for:
ForAmerica is a non-profit 501(c)4 organized to educate Americans about traditional and contemporary American values, to relentlessly fight the growth of government, to oppose any substitute to freedom and self-government, to promote individual liberty and excellence, to promote economic opportunity, and to move America toward her founding principles.
We thank ForAmerica for taking part in our interview.

1. When and why was ForAmerica formed?

ForAmerica was formed in mid-September of 2010. We saw the need for conservatives to start mobilizing on social media and use the medium as an activist tool. It really is an untapped resource for conservatives. Frankly, the left figured this out years ago and our side is playing catch up. We're off to a great start with over 635,000 fans on our ForAmerica facebook page. And all of our efforts are geared to expand and engage the conservative base to confront this massive government.

2. What is ForAmerica's goal in the next year?

The more troops we have, the more impact we can have on the national debate. Our goal is to have at least 1.5 million members, a.k.a. "fans" in the Facebook world, by the end of this year. If we accomplish that, we will be one of the biggest and most active conservative organizations online.  Of course, we want a complete repeal of ObamaCare, period. To make that happen, we need to put as much pressure as we can on Washington. We need to pressure the Senate to vote again. We need to hold Republicans accountable and make sure none of them lose their resolve. But most of all, we need to shine a big spotlight on those in Washington. We need to force them to publicly and emphatically call for this law's repeal. The more members we can get to help us do all of that, the better.

3. Has President Obama been better or worse than you expected?

The President is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. So personally, I haven't been surprised by anything he's attempted. On the policy side of things, Obama is doing everything he can to remake this country in the image of failed European socialist countries, as we’ve seen unprecedented exponential growth of Big Government in just the past two years.  If not for the tea party movement and guys like Senator Jim DeMint making life miserable for Obama, I think these last two years would have been a lot worse. But there's one recurring image that always gets to me: the multitude of photos that show him bowing to one despot after another. I didn't think he had that in him. As a Commander-in-Chief, I think bowing to dictators is an absolute insult to America's principles and her fighting forces around the globe.

4. Do you expect the Supreme Court to declare part or all of ObamaCare unconstitutional?

If the individual mandate goes down, I think it will take the whole law down with it. Too many pieces of ObamaCare depend on the mandate. But I have no clue what the Supreme Court will do. Nobody knows for sure. That's why we're working so hard to get it repealed before it comes to that. Because if the Supreme Court does come out in favor of ObamaCare, it's the law of the land. All it takes is five of them and that is a scary proposition. 

5. How can readers help in your cause?

Go to www.Facebook.com/ForAmerica and join us. If you're not on Facebook, go to www.ForAmerica.org and sign our petition. We won't bombard you. All we ask is that you help us bombard Washington.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

There are those who will maintain that America’s best days are behind her. We cannot accept that. ForAmerica will not accept that. We owe it to our forefathers who entrusted us, often with their blood, to safeguard this treasured land. We owe it to our kids and grandkids to leave them with a future as great as was our past. We owe it to our country. And we will not succeed with a political agenda unless and until we re-embrace those principles that made America great. So please come re-embrace those principles with us over at ForAmerica and help us turn this runaway freight train called Washington around. Thanks for the opportunity to speak to you and your audience and keep up the good fight.


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rule 5 Sunday

Before the big game starts, check out these links!  And just to make sure you pay attention, here is a picture of Salma Hayek:
Salma says: Check out these links
Jammie Wearing Fool has an article about Julian Assange.

Reaganite Republican has plenty of Sunday Funnies.

The Lonely Conservative shows that Obama is ignoring his deficit commission.

Mean ol' Meany has a bunch of links.

Pirate's Cove talks about (gasp) NPR and the NYT admitting President Bush was right about something.

Libertarian Republican warns that the border between Israel and Egypt could be threatened.

Director Blue has plenty of links.

World Threats discusses future protests in Algeria. 

Innominatus wonders if you are paying attention.

American Power Blog examines left-wing hatred.

IowaHawk is awesome, as always.

And so is Manhattan Infidel.

The Wild West Coconut Show is too.

Not Another New England Sports Blog talks about Chris Lee.

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Beauty Pageant Queen Stripped of Title for Eating "Too Many Tacos"

I'm going to say right off the bat, I love tacos.

However, a beauty pageant winner loves tacos more.  17-year-old Domonique Ramirez, the reigning Miss San Antonio, has been stripped of her title for eating "too many tacos" and for being "late."

Linda Woods, a spokeswoman for the pageant, stated, "As a Miss San Antonio reigning queen, she has to live up to our rules and regulations and the standards of our contract... I said, you know, 'Get off the tacos, get off the chips and the soda.' Because she's 17, and that's what these kids eat."

KTLA has more:

Ramirez says she's 5'8, weighs 129 pounds, and is a size 2. She says the allegations are false. 
"I have shown up to every single event they have scheduled for me during my reign," Ramirez told a local newspaper. "I have been five or 10 minutes late to some, but only because I didn't have a chaperone, which they did promise me." 
A tearful Ramirez at a press conference went on to say, "If I get my crown, great. If I don't, the only thing I'm asking is to clear my name. I'm 17. I shouldn't have to be slandered like this and my future shouldn't have to be ruined over this."

More odd news:


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Allen West CPAC Speech Video

Just in case you missed it, here is Representative Allen West's speech at CPAC yesterday (Speech/introduction begins at 8:17):

Mr. West
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Angle Planning Possible Ensign Primary

Sharron Angle, the 2010 Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada may be planning another run. Angle, who was defeated by Senator Harry Reid by 5% is looking at challenging current Senator John Ensign. Ensign is facing much criticism for his extramarital affair. Ensign is significantly weaker politically than he was in his re-election bid in 2006. In this climate the Tea Party favorite Angle may challenge him.

"I've got many options and I'm not ruling out anything," she said when asked about a possible primary challenge to Ensign. "I haven't spoken to Sen. Ensign but I'm sure that we will speak."
Ensign's poll numbers have taken a hit since he admitted in June 2009 to having an affair with the wife of one of his top aides. He's currently under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee for allegedly helping the aide, Doug Hampton, land work as a lobbyist. 

Angle proved last year that she could not defeat a politically hobbled Reid. If she splits the Republican field again she will lose, even to a poor Democratic challenger. It's time for her to focus on her current office in the state legislature.

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CPAC = National Disgrace.

CPAC has become a national disgrace.

The attendance boos Dick Cheney; cheers "cut defense spending"; heckles Orrin Hatch; votes for Ron Paul. The dreadful disease that is Libertarianism has taken over the conference of Buckley and Reagan.

Conservatism need not apply anymore.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just when I thought I was out...

Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out.... they pull me back in. -The Godfather III

I really wanted to write a column about why I am opposed to my former governor Mike Huckabee being a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, but I've had a busy week this week and I don't have as much research as I would like to have on the subject. So I've had to cast around for another subject to write about, and was really despairing for a subject matter.

And then, manna drops from Heaven.

Gene Lyons is a liberal newspaper columnist (that's not redundant, by the way) who I have fisked on a near-weekly basis for the past several years. As I explained in my last post, I have gotten away from doing fiskings.

Just when I thought I was out....

I felt the need to address this because it concerns one of my personal heroes in Ronald Reagan, and one of our side's most prolific thinkers in Rush Limbaugh. So, with no further ado....

A fitting celebration
By Gene Lyons
Thursday, February 10, 2011
LITTLE ROCK — Nothing better symbolized Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration than that it should fall on Super Bowl Sunday, with Air Force jets roaring unseen over a hermetically sealed stadium, almost but not quite drowning out a tarted-up former Mouseketeer who mangled the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

It was all there: the bombast, the grandiose self-congratulation, the willful blindness, the elevation of showbiz spectacle to patriotic rite.

The Democrats held a convention? Why wasn't I notified?

After which, thankfully, a pretty good NFL football game broke out.

It’s for pseudo-events like the Super Bowl, I believe, that a merciful God gave us high-def DVRs.

This is what passes for humor in Gene's columns. In other words, this is the funniest that Gene (intentionally) gets.

How fitting that George W. Bush, the late president’s vicar on Earth, was seated in a front-row celebrity box to witness the spectacle. Reagan’s genius as a politician was that he repackaged and sold to millions of Americans the comforting daydreams of the 1950s. Not the Fifties as they were-no Korean War, no Army-McCarthy hearings, no lynchings-but as depicted in TV sitcoms like “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Leave it to Beaver.”

Playing the president, Reagan essentially recapitulated the Robert Young role in “Father Knows Best”- firm but fair and unfailingly optimistic. True, Reagan had a disconcerting habit of conflating film scripts with reality: talking feelingly, for example, of his experiences liberating Nazi death camps at the end of World War II, which never happened.

Capt. Reagan of the 1st Motion Picture Unit served in California for the duration of the war, but he got away with exaggerating, biographer Edmund Morris believes, because he’d spent weeks editing raw film footage from Buchenwald. His emotional reaction was sincere.

To an America still nursing a Woodstock, Kent State, Vietnam and Watergate hangover, Reagan’s performance was reassuring. Although his personal coolness was notorious-aides wondered if he knew their names, and even his children complained that he treated them like strangers-the character he played in the Oval Office was hard to dislike.

Here's an interesting link in which Reagan's authorized biographer touches on these two subjects. Look especially under Myth numbers 2 and 3 here.

That’s not to say that Reagan did no harm. Bush’s epic failures came about largely because, unlike Reagan, whose fealty to right-wing ideology was at best inconsistent, he put dogmatic Reaganism into action; hence, the tea party, an other-worldly faction greatly reminiscent of daffy Sixties leftists who argued that Marxism hadn’t really failed because true communism had never been tried.

I'm... I'm at a complete loss. I think Gene is comparing the Tea Partiers to Communists.

Yes, really.

Consider a telling exchange on-where else?-Rush Limbaugh’s program last week. Presumably by decoying Limbaugh’s screeners, whose job it is to prevent the host from being confronted by anybody who knows what he or she is talking about, liberal blogger Mike Stark got through.

Stark said that he couldn’t understand why conservatives idolize Reagan. He listed his reasons: “Instead of privatizing Social Security, he raised taxes. We’re all paying higher taxes today out of our paychecks every single week because he decided to save Social Security.”

Talking over Limbaugh’s constant interruptions, Stark continued: “The Greenspan commission. He signed it into law and it raised taxes on Social Security.”

What?” Limbaugh blustered. “Wait, you’re talking about Reagan or [Bill] Clinton?”

“I’m talking about Reagan. Reagan did that. He raised taxes on Social Security. He negotiated with terrorists, sending, over and over again, arms to Iran in exchange for hostages. . . .”

That would be the Iran-Contra scandal that I think probably would have ended in Reagan’s impeachment had he been a Democrat.

Let me pause here for just a second and give you a bit of background on Gene. He and Joe Conanson wrote a book asserting that President Clinton had been “hunted” by reporters in search of a scandal. It is Gene's position that the Clintons were unfairly persecuted while a feeding frenzy invented Whitewater, which ultimately resulted in President Clinton's near-impeachment.

Yes, really.

Stark went on: Reagan (humanely) gave amnesty to millions of undocumented aliens. When terrorists bombed U.S. Marine headquarters in Beirut, killing 283 Americans, he (wisely) pulled out of Lebanon’s civil war.

“He’s a tax-raiser, an amnesty-giver, a cut-and-runner, and he negotiated with terrorists,” Stark said. “Why is he a hero to conservatives?”

Limbaugh was beside himself, responding: “Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security? What websites do you read? Where did you pick that up?”

“Look up the Greenspan commission,” Stark said. “It’s not too hard to find. . . . [I]t’s a matter of history.”

He’s right. payroll taxes increased in 1983 under Reagan. History records that, alarmed by spiraling deficits, he signed tax increases during six of his eight years in office. Even so, his administration tripled the national debt to almost $3 trillion.

Consistent with the GOP’s faith based war on arithmetic, his acolyte, Dubya, then redoubled the debt to $10.4 trillion, leaving a $1.4 trillion yearly deficit.

Note to the tea party: Had Clinton’s tax policies remained in place since 2001, the national debt that GOP politicians pretend to agonize over would no longer exist

So, Dubya doubled the national debt of $3 trillion to $10.4 trillion... Hey, wait a minute! Doubling $3 trillion gets us $6 trillion, not $10.4 trillion! I don't know what kind of calculator Gene is using, but he needs to return it and get one that works!

Oh, wait a minute! Half of $10.4 trillion is $5.2 trillion, which came from the administration before Dubya. Hmmm, if only I could remember what administration that is? It's apparently a mystery administration, because my record books tell me that the administration before Dubya was Clinton.

But in order for Gene to be right about Dubya doubling the debt, Clinton would have to left a debt for Dubya to double. But if Clinton left a $5.2 trillion debt, then he must have increased the debt that Reagan left. Because the last time I checked, going from $3 trillion to $5.2 trillion is an increase.

And Gene just finished telling us that had Clinton's policies remained in effect, the debt would have been erased.

Something doesn't add up here!

But Stark never got that far because Limbaugh hit the mute button, then delivered a lengthy soliloquy about how liberals can’t be reasoned with, only defeated. Is there a bigger faker in American life?

Well, let's sum up the whole exchange here. A liberal blogger lies to a conservative talker's call screeners in order to get on the air, makes a few assertions that are somewhat questionable, and he's hailed by liberals. Meanwhile, the conservative talker is called a “faker” because he isn't able to immediately nuke these questionable assertions.

Let's reverse the positions and see what we have, shall we? A conservative blogger lies to a liberal talker's call screeners and makes some questionable assertions before the liberal talker mutes the conservative blogger and rambles on about defeating the opposition instead of reasoning with them. Is there any doubt about what would happen?

Such an exchange would be newsworthy for two reasons. The first reason is that a conservative would need to lie to get anywhere. The outrage that would follow! A conservative! Lying! Just to make a point! The outrage!

The second reason it would be noteworthy is because of the news that there is a liberal talker. Who knew?

But now? A liberal lies to get on a conservative's program, and liberals just shrug their shoulders and yawn. How often does that have to happen before you get so blasé about it?

Let's face it; if you are a liberal and you have to lie to get on Limbaugh’s program, you are pretty much sunk. It is well known that liberals used to be shuffled to the front of the line whenever they called in. It's something that Limbaugh has pointed out many times. I believe that Limbaugh has moved away from this policy in recent years, though, because of how many times liberals have lied in order to get on the air.

Look, I researched a few of these assertions and have a few links that would clarify why I say that Stark makes “questionable assertions”. But let's face it; Stark has some credibility problems. If he lied then, what makes any of his assertions anything other than questionable at best? Why should we believe anything he says if he has to lie to get on the air?

So, I ask the question that Gene asks, “Is there a bigger faker in American life?” And I'll answer, “If you have to lie to get onto a program that puts liberals at the front of the line, then you may be on the short end of the credibility stick.”

“Ronald Reagan,” ruefully observed Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., “would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”

There’s no doubt about it.

I'm not real sure what the profanity guidelines are here on Pundit Press, but if this breaks any, I'll be glad to alter it.

But my reaction to this sentence is: Horseshit. Reagan didn't work through the Republican Party, but instead communicated directly with the people. He forged a bond with not only conservatives in the Republican Party, but in the Democratic Party, as well. Or have we forgotten the term “Reagan Democrats”? The Reagan Democrats didn't vote for Reagan because he was a moderate. They voted for him because he was able to communicate to them and brought them to conservatism.

And there's no doubt about that.
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Video: Mitch Daniels at CPAC

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels speaks at CPAC:

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Interview with That Mr. G Guy

Pundit Press is proud to present its 22nd interview in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Mike, the founder of That Mr. G Guy's Blog. Make sure to head over there and check out the site!

1. When/why did you start That Mr. G Guy's Blog?

I started My blog around the middle of April,2010. Prior to that, I had been a guest commentator at Smash Mouth Politics. The proprietor of SMP, "John Doe" told me how easy it was to start my own blog and suggested I do so. I still post at SMP occasionally. I'm not a professional journalist, but have been interested in writing for years and thought this would be a good way to get my foot in the door.

2. What is your favorite part of running your site?

The ability to give my own take on the issues of the day and the interaction with the readers, plus the give and take of a spirited debate. Since my blog is still small, I don't have the problems with ad hominem attacks that are prevalent on larger blogs.

3. What is your favorite topic to write about?

Probably Economics, although I'll write about almost anything. I also like to try my hand occasionally at writing a little fiction or relate a story about the goings on around my little part of the world. I'm not an Economist, but with over half a century under my belt and having been out in the "real world", I believe I can give a layman's perspective to the Economic problems we're faced with today.

4. Has President Obama been better or worse than expected?

President Obama has been a little worse than I expected. I knew he was pretty far to the left, but didn't realize how far left until he got his massive "de-stimulus" bill passed and the ramming of the ill advised health care reform bill down our throats even though all the polls showed that a majority of Americans were against it. He has no concept of what the Constitution means or else he knows, but ignores it. His knowledge of foreign policy is non existent. In my opinion, he has surpassed Jimmy Carter as the worst President ever.

5. Any favorites for 2012 yet?

No one that has actually threw their hat in the ring impresses me. We can't throw the same old retreads up against Obama and expect to win. My candidate would be Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina if he changes his mind about running. My previous choice would have been Governor Mark Sanford, also from South Carolina until he made his big moral mistake. If I had to vote for someone other than my choice, it would probably be Sarah Palin.

6. What frustrates you the most about liberals?

Everything! Seriously, what frustrates me the most about Liberals is the fact that if there's a problem or crisis, their first inclination is to let government fix it. Their second inclination is to let government fix it. Liberals will always opt for a government solution over a free market solution. And you can't have a sensible discussion with a liberal. Even when the facts are stacked against them, you're always wrong and they're always right.

7. Anything else you'd like to add?

Just that I've been reading you blog for a long time now and appreciate the effort you and the other writers put into your articles. I also appreciate the interview. Here's hoping we can gain the House, Senate and Presidency in 2012.

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Cheney's Memoir to be Released in August.

Now that President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have released their memoirs, many are wondering when Vice-President Richard Cheney will release his own account of decades in Washington as a Congressman from rural Wyoming* for 10 years, as George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense in the early 1990's and as Vice-President of the United States in the 2000's.

Not long at all.

According to the Amazon.com listing of In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir by Dick Cheney: the memoir will be released in bookstores nationwide on August 30th, 2011. The volume will total 544 pages, which is 32 longer than Bush's Decision Points, but almost 300 shorter than Donald Rumsfeld's Known and Unknown. The Bush Administration definitely knows how to write a book!

The cover had not been finalized as of today, which is unsurprising because we would have seen it one million times in the media if it had been. I definitely will be purchasing Vice-President Cheney's memoir in August.

What about you?

* - Cheney was Wyoming's long Congressman during the Reagan years.

Muslim Brotherhood Attacks "Right-Winged" in U.S.

Remember, the Muslim Brotherhood claims that it is a moderate Islamic political affiliation.  And yet, even when they try to put on their best face, their bias and lies shine through.

In their article MB (Muslim Brotherhood) Blamed for Ongoing Trouble in the Region, the Brotherhood's propaganda website went quickly on the attack.  Their first paragraph claimed that the "right-winged" in the United States and Israel could only make "knee-jerked" judgements.  The second paragraph, in its entirety, was this:
Such conclusions come in the wake of the inability of the right-winged US and Israel to see the MB as a peaceful, pro-democratic group, seeking a civil society and voicing the will of the Egyptian people.
But I guess the MB, as they short-hand it, has a point.  How could a group with a logo of two scimitars crossed be anything but peaceful:
And how could a group responsible for the assassination of a Prime Minister of Egypt be seeking but a civil society and non-violence?

Facetiousness aside, one sentence in the MB's article should send shivers down people's spines:
As the MB continues in its firm stance against Al-Qaida-like terrorism, its much-needed moderate voice in the Islamic world is undermined by right-winged US and Israeli suspicions.
Read it again.  The sentence states, the Muslim Brotherhood is against "Al-Qaida-like terrorism."  Why the specification?  Why not just say they are against terrorism in its entirety?  The answer is clear.

On the bright side, the Muslim Brotherhood finishes off its article, telling those who can see through their lies that, in fact, anything to the contrast of what they say is ridiculous:
Suspicions that the MB is a pro-Iranian extremist group, anarchists and seeking to deprive Christians of their basic rights, are simply ludicrous. 

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Olympia Snowe to Get Primary Challenge!

From Right Wing News an exclusive interview...

First question: if a Republican in Maine says, "Andrew, why should I support you instead of Olympia Snow in the 2012 primary?" -- what would you tell him?

I would tell him that Olympia has been there too long. She routinely votes against the Republican Party line and that roughly speaking, she thinks she runs the place and, in fact, she is not a Republican and she makes basically more Democrats happy than she does Republicans.

I mean, I've been trolling through and found all these wonderful quotes from Democrats saying she's a great asset, and they love working with her, and she's the only sane Republican and everything else. And if you look at her voting record, it's not Republican. There is just no other way of putting it. The Democrats have voted with the Republicans more than she does.

Now the counter argument to that, one that you're going to hear over and over again, is that Maine is a left-of-center state and if someone like Olympia Snowe can get re-elected there, then there is no chance you can get elected. What do you say to that argument?

Well, first of all, the governor and both Houses in this state are now Republican. Secondly, there are people trying to portray me as a far right Republican when, on social issues, I'm fairly Libertarian. I'm not socially liberal; I'm socially Libertarian. The difference between the two is social liberals think you should be able to do everything you want and the state will pay for it. I believe that the state needs to meddle in personal behavior far less than it's doing now and that we should allow individuals to make personal choices; however, we need to implore people to take personal responsibility as well.

Things like socialized medicine and federal funding of abortion and all those other things are the exact opposite of what governments should be doing. Governments should not be meddling in people's lives, not telling them how much salt they should have, what they eat, what they drink, what they stick in their bodies. However, the deal they make with the individual is that you need to take personal responsibility for your life. We're not here to catch you if you become an addict like Charlie Sheen -- obviously he's an extreme version.

Now, as you mentioned, you're a Libertarian and you recently co-wrote a letter with GoProud urging Congress to, and I quote, "to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit-holes in order to appease the special interests." So in other words, in the primary neither you or Snow are really offering much to social conservatives, right? It's pretty much a lateral move between the two of you?

Well, in looking at her record she seems to be more socially liberal than a Libertarian in that she supports government meddling and/or helping to facilitate certain behaviors in individuals -- and there is a huge difference between the two. I put every single issue through a fiscal conservative filter. She doesn't. There is a huge difference between those two facts.

And, in fact, there are a lot of issues I agree with social conservatives on, but not from a religious point of view but from a fiscal conservative, limited government constitutionality point of view. I mean and unfortunately they need to realize that just because I don't come to the conclusion the same way they get there doesn't necessarily mean that I'm bad. Surely it's a good thing for people to come to the same conclusion, however they happen to get there.

Now you haven't been elected to office before...

I haven't. I'm a true outsider...

Yes, well, I was going to say, so give people an idea of what you'd be like. Can you note a politician or two, who you'd probably be most like, if you were elected?

Well, it's kind of early to ask with the 2010 influx, but I mean there are people who have been saying, which I thought was particularly flattering, that I'm almost a Goldwater type of Republican -- which I thought was interesting. Other people suggested Chris Christie, obviously lighter, Rand Paul, that sort of thing.

Yes, now one line of criticism I've already seen pop up against you was that you spent a great deal of time in England and let me quote you from a post you wrote back in 2007. "I may come from a different perspective as I am not English or even British. I'm American. I am an American who has probably spent more of his life being exposed to English and Englishness than ever I have been to Americans. This was especially true of my school years. Consequently as soon as I was an adult I'm endeavored to spend as much time in England as possible."

I'm guessing that the line of attack they're going to take is, "This guy is a want-to-be Brit. He's not a hometown Maine guy." What do you say to that?

I felt that in order to fully understand the socialist trend this country was heading on -- I wrote in my book Statism Sucks! that the left is going to be pushing for socialized medicine and they're going to be pushing for this and they're going to be pushing for that and people read it and went, "Nah. you are painting the Democrats as socialists." And I said, "but they are." I met Democrats in London who are attending socialist events. I consider Obama a social Democrat and people like Huckabee and some of the other Republicans are more like Christian Democrats in the European sense. If you look at the history of some of the Western nations in Europe, there is a direct path. Obama and his fellow socialists in the Democrat Party want to turn the U.S. into a European style social democracy.

I remember discussing this at the University of Maine and saying, "Well, wait a second, all the socialists have now turned into environmentalists, but their rhetoric hasn't changed. They still want to stop capitalism." What does all this environmental legislation do? A lot of it, it hurts the capitalist system. They can't attack it from normal ways; so what they do is via a regulation, via the EPA, is they limit the behavior of a company and achieve their goal of hurting the capitalist system.

So, having been exposed to the socialist movement in its purest form and social democracy, I would say better placed than many others to understand it and to counter it.

Last question, Andrew; Let's say you were elected to the Senate and could get anything you want passed. Give people an idea of your priorities. Pick three laws you'd most like to see passed -- and I realize these could change once you get to office.

Well, the first thing I'd do is get rid of the FCC because I think it's completely outdated. I think we should pass a law to completely restructure the EPA, probably get rid of the Department of Education, too. My priorities would be fiscal in nature obviously.

And by the way, let me note one point about Snow's attack on civil liberties. She and Rockefeller first proposed the Internet kill switch. That's similar to what was used by the Egyptians. She supports this. It's a fundamental affront to our liberties online.

Secondly, Snowe voted Obamacare out of committee. She was the first Republican to vote for Obamacare. That needs to be said. It's, "Oh, she didn't vote for it on the floor." These are fundamental affronts to our personal liberty and for any Republican to have voted that out of committee, in the form that it was and it became -- it's just mind-boggling. Even if the Supreme Court overturns it and completely throws it away, that whole process was launched by Olympia Snowe voting it out of committee.

Thank you for your time, Andrew!

More information here.

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How Long Did the Limits Last?

In 1798, a mere ten years after the ratification of the Constitution war with France seemed imminent.  In reaction to opposition regarding the policies of the government John Adams, hero of the Revolution, co–author of the Declaration of Independence, one of the Framers of the Constitution, and only the second President of the United States Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Congress eventually passed four of these laws in an effort to strengthen the Federal government against internal dissent.  The former supporters of the Constitution, now known as Federalists sponsored the legislation meant to silence political opposition which was coming mainly from the Democratic Republicans and their leader Thomas Jefferson.
First Congress passed the Naturalization Act which required people to be residents of the United States for fourteen years instead of five years before becoming eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Then they passed the Alien Act which authorized the President to deport aliens who the government determined to be dangerous or a threat to the peace and/or safety of the United States.   It must be remembered that while many believed America was under a threat of war this law was passed and enforced during peacetime.
Seeking to extend the power of the central government even further Congress next passed the Alien Enemies Act.  This third act allowed the arrest, imprisonment, and deportation of aliens who were from to an enemy country.
Finally Congress added the Sedition Act, aimed at any action deemed by the government to be treason.  This included the publication of any material judged to be false, scandalous, or malicious.   No matter what the Bill of Rights said the government declared these activities to be a severe misdemeanor that was punishable by both fine and imprisonment.
Under these bills twenty-five men, including numerous editors of newspapers, were arrested.  In addition, their newspapers were shut down.
The net of suspicion was spread so far that it included Benjamin Franklin Bache, Benjamin Franklin's grandson who was the editor of a Philadelphia newspaper.  He was charged with libeling President Adams.  This arrest elicited a mounting public reaction against all four of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Many Americans questioned the constitutionality of these laws. Indeed, public opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts was so great that they were in part responsible for the election of Thomas Jefferson, a Republican, to the presidency in 1800. Once in office, Jefferson pardoned all those convicted under the Sedition Act, while Congress restored all fines paid with interest.
The unpopularity and questionable legality of these acts led to Adams being the first one-term president.  And these actions by one of the foremost Framers and most vocal supporters during the ratification process used these oppressive laws to silence opposition.  Here at the very beginning of the Constitutional republic one of the architects of the document believed it gave him and Congress the power to silence the people when the people disagreed.
Jefferson and his Democratic Republicans defeated Adams’ bid for a second term by capitalizing on the public’s disgust at what were perceived to be unconstitutional and repressive actions by the very people who wrote and led the fight for the adoption of the constitution.    Now those who portrayed themselves as the protectors of liberty would make sure that the limits placed upon the Federal Government were strictly observed.
In 1803, during their long wars with England and in need of financial relief France offered to sell Louisiana to the United States.  This caused a novel situation and became the cause of a grave constitutional question and a major problem for President Thomas Jefferson and his ruling party.  Seeing the opportunity to double the size of the United States, President Jefferson immediately wanted to purchase the territory.
This was rather surprising in that Jefferson advocated a narrow or strict interpretation of the Constitution.  And no matter how you read the document nowhere in it does it authorize the President or even the Congress to buy additional territory.   Not debating this point, not disputing this limitation but at the same time feeling the need to act quickly, and believing there was not time for the amendment process to legally change the Constitution.
This being the case, President Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans merely passed legislation giving the President permission to sign a treaty obligating the United States to pay the money and to take possession of Louisiana.  In addition, the Democratic-Republicans also appropriated the money to pay France for the territory.   Where did Democratic-Republicans in Congress believe they acquired the authority to do this?  They claimed to act under the provision of the Constitution (Article 5, Section 3) which gave Congress the power to regulate the territories.  
The third President and a compliant Congress interpreted the Constitution to do what they wanted to do even though it violated their own previously stated position.
As a third and final example of how soon the limited government promised by the Framers of the constitution began to encroach upon the liberty it was meant to preserve let us look at the Monroe Doctrine.
During the presidency of James Monroe’s there occurred several revolutions against Spanish rule in South and Central America. The United States quickly recognized these newly established countries.  Believing there was a strong possibility that European governments would intervene and try to reassert their control over the former colonies; President Monroe declared the doctrine in 1823. This doctrine declared that from that time forward America saw itself as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere.  It also warned that European interference in the Americas would not be allowed.  The Doctrine consists of three principles:
 1.        The United States would remain neutral in European wars unless American interests were involved
 2.        Both North and South America were no longer subject to colonization by European powers.
 3.        The United States would consider any and all attempt at European colonization in the New World as an “unfriendly act.”
And although the United States did not have the military power to enforce these claims, the declaration had symbolic importance: announcing the United States’ posture as the power to be reckoned with in the New World.  
Monroe’s Doctrine aggressively asserted the position of dominance claimed by the United States in the Americas, and it has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy ever since.
An interesting point that is little mentioned or considered is that this doctrine (and every doctrine proclaimed since) is not law but merely a declaration of a presidential policy.  It is this fact that persuaded Monroe that as President he was authorized without any Constitutional authorization, to establish a foreign policy that commits the United States to military action without a declaration of war by Congress.  Thus following in the footsteps of the second and the third our fifth president moved well beyond the limits the Constitution had imposed.
How long did the limits last?  The Anti-Federalists were still active in politics as the warnings they gave were realized and the children of the Revolution took their first steps down the road to tyranny.  These earliest assaults upon limits were followed by:
Jackson used the spoils system to pack the federal bureaucracy with his supporters.  Jackson advocated the removal of all Native Americans across the Mississippi in violation of numerous treaties passing the Indian Removal Act.  When the Supreme Court ruled that Georgia’s expropriation and removal of the Cherokee was unconstitutional, referring to the Chief Justice Jackson said, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”  He then used the standing army the anti-federalists had warned against to complete the deportation acting as ruthlessly and as arrogantly as any Babylonian king.  Lincoln decided that States which had voluntarily joined could not leave though this is stated nowhere in the Constitution. 
Teddy Roosevelt ran rough shod over Latin America with his gunboat diplomacy.  He provoked a revolution in Columbia, established Panama as a near colony, seized the Canal Zone, and in many ways used his big stick like a cudgel to establish and maintain an American Empire from Asia to the Dominican Republic in contravention to the advice of Washington and the words of the Constitution. 
Wilson rounded up and interred Italians and Germans during WWI, took over mines and factories, fixed prices, took over the transportation and communications networks, and strictly managed the production and distribution of food. 
FDR stretched the Constitution in so many ways it never snapped back.  Since our first President for life established the bloated federal bureaucracy and its symbiotic military-industrial complex we have seen a succession of undeclared wars for peace, the welfare state, the Patriot Act, and preemptive war become emblems of a system that practice government of Washington, by Washington, and for Washington.
Congress has declared war on only five occasions: the War of 1812; the Mexican War; the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.   However, this has not been the extent of our involvement in armed conflict.  When American citizens have challenged the constitutionality of these wars without a declaration Federal Courts have ruled a declaration is not required.
Ask yourself: How long did the limits last?  Where did the limits go?  How many limits are left?   Which leads to the ultimate question: How can we get the limits back?  Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.