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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The bell tolls for thee Liberals


Political cartoon by Jerry Holbert

Monday, October 18, 2010

The additional bureaucracy of Obamacare




Front Page Magazine and Newsmax have more...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Remember November


Amazing video from the Republican Governor's Association:


"With just four weeks remaining until Americans make their voices heard, Democratic leaders are hoping you forget about the broken promises and failed policies of the last 18 months. Remember November is a campaign to hold Democrats accountable for their record. Join us at http://www.remembernovember.com"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama inherited victory in Iraq




Political cartoon by Mike Lester
This may come as a shock to you, but the timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq was decided during the Bush administration with the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by U.S. and Iraq officials on Nov. 16, 2008. The Iraqi parliament signed SOFA on Nov. 27, 2008.

And before you look at that Nov. 16 date and think to yourself, "Well yeah... Obama had just won the 2008 election and Bush was preempting the inevitable," note that the time table agreement had been in negotiations since 2007. Further, Iraqi leaders backed the agreement only after reassurances from President-elect Obama that his administration would not try to change the accord negotiated by the Bush administration - so it's not as if Obama was simply unaware that he would be piggy backing off of President Bush's diplomatic success.

President George W. Bush said of the Iraqi parliamentary vote in a statement on Nov. 27, 2008, “Today’s vote affirms the growth of Iraq’s democracy and increasing ability to secure itself.  Two years ago this day seemed unlikely – but the success of the surge and the courage of the Iraqi people set the conditions for these two agreements to be negotiated and approved by the Iraqi Parliament.”

Naturally, Obama has since claimed credit for both the withdraw time table (he had nothing to do with setting) and the Iraq War victory (brought about by the troop surge both he and Vice President Biden opposed a few years ago - only to approve a larger surge of their own in Afghanistan).

In addition to opposing the surge that won the war in Iraq, Democrats also made a concerted effort to cite the war's cost as their primary reason for opposing our efforts there - apparently forgetting that a significant portion of their party voted to go to war in the first place. Ironically, Congressional Budget Office numbers recently showed that the total cost of the eight-year war in Iraq was less than the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic-led Congress in 2009.

Indeed, I've also noted the oft-exaggerated whining about the impact of war spending on the national debt.

Meanwhile, "Relative to the size of the economy, this year's deficit is expected to be the second largest shortfall in the past 65 years; 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), exceeded only by last year's deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP," the CBO wrote.

Yet, the number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 41.8 million in July as the jobless rate hovers near a 27-year high.

It seems quite obvious that America has very little to show for the excessive cost of Obama's "stimulus." But what did we get from the Iraq war?

Well, to answer that question, you first have to recall why we went to war in Iraq in the first place - which may be difficult given the past decade of Liberal obfuscation.

To put it succinctly, Saddam Hussein repeatedly violated 16 United Nations Security Council Resolutions designed to ensure that Iraq didn't pose a threat to international peace and security. In addition to these repeated violations, he tried, over the course of a decade, to circumvent UN economic sanctions against Iraq.  To quote the Bush White House administration's casus belli directly:
"Specifically, Saddam Hussein was required to, among other things: allow international weapons inspectors to oversee the destruction of his weapons of mass destruction; not develop new weapons of mass destruction; destroy all of his ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers; stop support for terrorism and prevent terrorist organizations from operating within Iraq; help account for missing Kuwaitis and other individuals; return stolen Kuwaiti property and bear financial liability for damage from the Gulf War; and he was required to end his repression of the Iraqi people."

Saddam Hussein repeatedly violated these resolutions and others, and there was a very real, very legitimate  international concern about the status of Iraq's WMD programs.

With very little fanfare, coalition forces have uncovered hundreds of chemical weapons (which are, for some unknown reason, no longer considered WMDs by those on the Left - but they were before the term became politicized) since the Iraq invasion began in early 2003. And that's to say nothing of the serious allegations that Iraq snuck its WMDs into Syria shortly before invasion - a fact that will undoubtedly make itself known whenever Syria destabilizes like the rest of the tyrannical governments in the area and chooses to bomb its own people...

How this has all been lost from political discourse is baffling to say the least.

In addition to the original reasons for going to war in Iraq, we must also evaluate our reasons for staying - the most obvious of which was to prevent a power vacuum through which terrorism and/or radicalism might regain a foothold in the region, thus negating the point of invading in the first place.  Indeed, even today, roughly 60% of Iraqis contend that their country is/was not ready for a U.S. withdraw.

So, as we evaluate the cost ($709 billion for military and related activities) and benefits of the eight-year war in Iraq, it is necessary to resist the Left's attempts to revise recent history for political expediency. I won't here attempt to argue whether or not the cost (both in American lives and treasure) has been worth the benefits wrought; but I do want to note that the more than 4,420 U.S. Soldiers who have given their life in Iraq for the cause did not die in vain - as the Left would have you believe.

Yet, the question remains: have we achieved victory in Iraq?  What would victory even look like?

The nonpartisan Brookings Institution offers some of the details (via Front Page Magazine):
  • Insurgent attacks are down in every province, with some provinces reporting zero monthly attacks.
  • With 34 of its 42 leaders killed or captured, al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been eviscerated.
  • At the height of Iraq’s postwar war, 904 Americans were killed in a single year (2007). So far in 2010, 39 have died—56 percent of them in non-hostile incidents.
  • Iraqi civilian deaths are down from a ghastly monthly toll of nearly 4,000 in 2006 to 137.
  • Attacks against U.S. and Iraqi troops are down from 1,800 per week to a couple dozen per week, and mortar attacks have virtually ceased.
  • Some 83,000 Iraqis, many of them former insurgents, have joined the Sons of Iraq to become part of the solution.
  • There are now 664,000 Iraqi security forces trained and standing their posts.
  • With the troops leading the way, the U.S. has built 140 new hospitals and health care centers, a new electrical grid, an expanded water-delivery system and scores of schools free from Baathist indoctrination.
  • There were 833,000 telephone subscribers in Saddam’s Iraq; there are 20.8 million today—19.5 million of them cellular. There were 4,500 Internet users under Saddam; there are 1.6 million today.
  • Almost six in 10—58 percent—of Iraqis say things are good or quite good; 84 percent say security is good in their area; 78 percent say crime protection is good in their area; 74 percent say freedom of movement is good in their area; 59 percent feel very safe in their neighborhood; 61 percent have confidence in the Iraqi government; 64 percent want Iraq to remain a democracy.
  • Iraq rates fourth in the region in political freedom, just behind Israel, Lebanon and Morocco.
  • Iraq’s GDP has grown from $20 billion in 2002 to $60.9 billion.
  • Iraq is producing 2.41 million barrels of oil per day (almost at pre-2003 levels) and exporting 1.88 million barrels per day (above pre-2003 levels).

The cost of the Iraq war has been immense - there is no denying that.  But the world is a safer, better place for our efforts there, and anyone who contends that the results of the war have been negligible is either ignorant or disingenuous.

And if lives lost are the measure by which we evaluate the true cost of war, I should point out (for the sake of perspective) that we’ve lost more Soldiers in Afghanistan under Obama than we did during Bush’s entire two terms.

So, even as Obama announces the "end of the Iraq War" (while at the same time once again erroneously blaming war costs for his own failed economic policies' impact on the deficit), belief that our role in Iraq has concluded is unfounded - with about six brigades of 50,000 U.S. troops expected to remain, advise and assist Iraqi forces.  These remaining U.S. forces are still very much in the fight for Iraq's security and stability.

Given all this, it's not surprising that Obama's approval rating on Iraq has dropped 16 points to 41%.

What's bothersome, from a Conservative perspective, is that Republicans have run away from the Iraq war in an effort to distance themselves from President Bush's unpopularity (never mind the fact that George W. Bush's favorability rating (45%) is now higher than Obama's job approval (43%)).  Why?  Has the GOP abandoned the Iraq debate out of intellectual laziness or political expediency? The answer remains unclear.

What remains clear, however, is that President Barack Obama inherited victory in Iraq from the George W. Bush administration. So, despite Joe Biden's claims that Iraq is one of Obama's "great achievements," nothing could be further from the truth.

The war in Iraq was won in spite of Obama and Liberals of his ilk, not because of them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama's economic solution


Political Cartoon by Eric Allie




If at first you don't succeed... keep spending!

On a related note, if you haven't read Paul Ryan's Fiscal Roadmap to recovery, you should! It's great to see a policy-focused Conservative putting forward substantive yet reasonable proposals to solve our debt crisis.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mourning in America

I'll just quote the video description directly:

In 1984, the Reagan reelection campaign set the standard for modern political advertising with its fabled "Morning in America" series, which included one of the greatest political ads of all time -- "Better, Prouder, Stronger." The ad captured the zeitgeist -- America under President Reagan was coming back, full of optimism and confidence in the future.

Today, the zeitgeist is exactly the opposite. Americans are worried about their future, and about a government determined to implement policies that just don't work. But like its predecessor, "Mourning in America" offers a new hope -- if we can just get our government to return to time-tested policies that can spark a rebirth of liberty.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekly conservative stat dump: August 25


Here's your not-so-weekly conservative stat dump :)  Lots of great info - hard numbers to help you beat back the opinionated conjecture of the political Left!

Politics:
Big Government:
Economy:
World Affairs: 
Military/War: 
Health Care: 
Immigration: 
Environment: 
MSM: 
Miscellaneous:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Republicans are 'extreme?'


Here's the latest and greatest NRSC ad...

Via Hot Air:
"The meta-narrative is about Democratic contempt for American public opinion, which of course is why the mosque story has legs. You can debate whether that contempt exists or not, but assuming that it exists (and it surely does, although lefties will deny it in the interest of raw political survival), there’s no debate as to whether it’s a good thing or bad thing. If the GOP convinces independents that the left holds them in contempt — or rather, I should say, if Democrats convince independents of that — they’ll take a beating of Biblical proportions. We’re well on our way."


This is an especially interesting narrative, given recent numbers which indicate that the public thinks the Democratic Party is actually the party that's furthest from center. If you follow this blog regularly, you know how I love hard numbers. The messaging on this, for the RNC, is absolutely spot on. More hard-hitting, fact-using, gut-checking appeals to logos are exactly what Republicans will need in the Novembers of 2010 and 2012.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ant and the Grasshopper - 2010


Had this e-mailed to me from a friend... it was just too good not to share!

You all know the traditional story of the ant and the grasshopper, right? The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE OLD STORY: Be responsible for yourself!



Well, there's a modern version of this story:
The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.
CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green...'
ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome."
Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper's sake.
President Obama condems the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.
The entire nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world down with it.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

Photo by Vino Wong, vwong@ajc.com
Oh and in completely unrelated news, more than a thousand people gathered Wednesday outside a metro-Atlanta shopping mall in hopes of being placed on a waiting list for federal housing funds. 

Fights broke out, children were reportedly trampled, and police had to stop the crowd from storming a cafe being used by the East Point Housing Authority in East Point, Ga.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Abra Cadabra! A new right!


Political Cartoon by Chuck Asay
For in-depth commentary on the issue of gay marriage that involves neither the manifestation of a new right nor a reference to religious dogma, check out the Intellectual Conservative account of gay marriage.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekly conservative stat dump: August 8


Here's about two week's worth of numbers for those among you who are tired of hearing liberals contend that the Right "just doesn't know the facts." Just remember, the Conservative Brawler's here to help you win those political fights ;-)  Nothing delivers a sound K.O. to a liberal opponent like a solid dose of reality.  So here's a whole load of recently uncovered hard numbers, no spin required!


Politics:  
Big Government:
Economy:
World Affairs:
Military/ War:
Health Care:
Immigration: 
Environment:
MSM:
Miscellaneous:

Friday, August 6, 2010

The fake "conservative censorship" Digg scandal


Not even a week has passed since Mother Jones let loose its hit piece on the RNC Facebook page, and we're faced with yet another claim that Conservatives are abusing social media - this time, on the part of AlterNet followed by the Guardian.

Truly, this is the new vast right-wing conspiracy. 

It's pretty clear what this is all about. Whether it's violently protesting the mere presence of Ann Coulter, or the fairness doctrine, or trying to silence strong conservative social media voices - it's clear that America's Left will go to any lengths to silence people with whom they disagree.  They're fine with free speech... but only insofar as they like what's being said.

In their panic to justify their exceedingly fast fall from grace, liberals are looking to find scapegoats to blame for "manipulating" public opinion. Of course, what they're calling "manipulation" and "gaming" is nothing more than Conservatives actually... you know... getting involved. It isn't that Conservative's are "manipulating" public opinion, it's that they're winning it. And that, Liberals simply cannot abide.

As William F. Buckley once poignantly noted, "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."

That is all these faux "scandals" are about. Liberals are upset that the RNC Facebook page has about 10x the reach of the DNC Facebook page, so they've put out several hit pieces to try to portray the RNC page - and Republicans by proxy - as racist, because that fits the Liberal narrative. No surprise there.

They felt threatened by the massive growth of conservatives on Twitter through the use of hashtags like #tcot, and then relished when the website built around the moniker fell apart.

Now they've set their sights on the handful of Conservatives on Digg - and what a menacing group of Conservatives they've found...

The AlterNet article title reads "Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered" and goes on to claim that "A group of nearly one hundred conservatives have banded together on a Yahoo! Group called Digg Patriots (DP), and a companion site at coRanks to issue bury orders and discuss strategies to censor Digg and other social media websites."

Then, when listing these Conservative burying bandits, they can only name about 70 - to include yours truly. But, really, what's a 143% over-estimation amongst friends?  And never you mind where their proof is that most of these people were even in the group... you'll take them for their word and like it!

And what was their crime, these Conservative crusaders of the social media underworld?

Apparently, they committed the mortal sin of sharing links to either "digg" or "bury" through the social bookmarking service known as Digg. What is Digg? It's a place where people either digg-up or bury-down the news stories and headlines they either like or dislike respectively.

How, then, can AlterNet contend that "censorship" has taken place if the group was simply voting as the website allows it to vote?

Are they creating multiple accounts to give themselves more than one vote? No.
Are they creating script to give themselves more than one vote? No.
Are they hacking other people's accounts? No.
Are they deleting other people's accounts? No.

What they were doing... brace yourself... was sharing links in a private Yahoo! group to either Digg or Bury. *gasp* Nixon had nothing on this scandal.

That's right folks, this evil cabal of Conservatives conspired to digg and bury stories on a site where you... get this... digg and bury stories! (h/t 4verageJo3)

AlterNet appears to have listed anyone who's ever been in the link-sharing group known as "Digg Patriots"(irrespective of whether or not they were recently active in it) only to portray the scenario as if all 70 people listed are currently acting as one cohesive unit to silence anyone and everyone with whom they disagree. This simply was not the case.

The entire article centers around the premise that in sharing digg, bury and report suggestions, that these conservatives were "gaming" the system.  Really?

Check out Digg's "terms of use."  I assume the article AlterNet's "oleoleolson" thinks he's referencing is this one:
"By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree not to use the Services with the intention of artificially inflating or altering the 'digg count', comments, or any other Digg service, including by way of creating separate user accounts for the purpose of artificially altering Digg's services; giving or receiving money or other remuneration in exchange for votes; or participating in any other organized effort that in any way artificially alters the results of Digg's services."
Emphasis mine.

The rule is that you may not artificially inflate a digg count.  A group of like-minded individuals sharing links of stories with one another that they think they'd like, or sharing links to stories they think ought to be buried because they're inaccurate, or sharing links to instances where certain Digg "trolls" have unleashed some string of vitriol that deserves reporting is NOT an artificial inflation. That's what folks in the business call "grass roots social media."  It's as genuine as it gets - like minded people sharing information.  The votes cast by the "Digg Patriots" - however organized or unorganized they may have been - were authentic votes cast by authentic individuals.

Anyone in DP (or any other group for that matter) who creates multiple accounts to pose as multiple personalities or artificially inflate vote counts was very clearly violating the TOU, and Digg should strongly consider banning them. But to suggest that everyone in the group both knew about these multi-accounts and supported them is just fallacious and illogical.  Guilt by association is neither a valid nor sound argument. Certainly we don't blame all Diggers for the actions of a few people on Digg - so why, then, would it stand to reason that we should castigate all DPers for the actions of a few DPers?  It doesn't, and people shouldn't.

And, I hate to break it to the people hoping that all of Digg's prominent conservatives will get banned for sharing links, but simply being in DP and sharing links does not violate the Digg terms of use.

Beyond all that, I had hoped that I could use my membership to the Yahoo! group to grab some screen shots to dispel the disgustingly inaccurate and out-of-context portrayal that was issued of the group, but it appears the group admins have pulled the Yahoo! group down. So again I say, cui bono?  Seems like this is exactly what the author wanted - to silence conservatives (either through Digg banning them or through coercion).

There is not "massive censorship" on Digg.  If you want to whine about group think, why don't you look at the comments posted by liberal Diggers in reply to the AlterNet story.  Who's the real "bury brigade?"  Even if every single thing AlterNet said were true - and hardly any of it is - there was a grand total of 70 Conservative diggers who even had access to this Yahoo! group.  On average, most stories that make the front page need between 150-250 diggs (depending on how quickly the diggs are issued).

The story contends, "Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group," but literally provides no proof.  They also gloss over the fact that, though there were "over 40,000 posts" in the group since May 2009, a vast majority of those individual posts were just back-and-forth chatter.  Someone would share a link and various members of the group would discuss the news.  I know, appalling right?

All this story provides any proof of is that 1) there is a group of conservatives who share links in a Yahoo! group... and... well I guess that's all the story proves.  But even on that point AlterNet fails to distinguish between active and nonactive members.  I, myself, had not visited the group in about six months.

And what really gets me about all of this is that it doesn't seem like any of the several quasi-reputable news sources who are linking to/referencing the AlterNet piece are even bothering to check the credibility of the story.  I've yet to be contacted for my side of the story.  For all anyone knows, I (or anyone else listed as being in DP) could have never been in the group at all!  None of us have even been contacted to confirm or deny our participation, let alone to get our perspective.  What kind of journalists simply accept a blog post - which is clearly designed as a libelous smear - as fact and don't even bother to check the validity of the claims made?

Oh yes, it's clear.  The Left isn't looking for a conversation about this - they're simply trying to manifest a story about Conservatives that fits their narrative and, in so doing, simultaneously silence those conservatives and over-represent their influence so as to create an apologist account for the dwindling opinion of liberal talking points throughout various social media populations (namely the Digg community).

My other blog - Conservative Diggs & Buries, which the story references as if it's currently running, hasn't had a digg list posted since January 12 of this year.  And if you visit this blog you'll notice a few things things that disprove - outright - the contention of the AlterNet article that the point of these diggs lists was to "silence" or "censor" those with whom I disagree.  When it came to recommending stories to Digg - I was simply providing a Digg news aggregate for Conservatives.  Anyone who wanted could have simply gone to my Digg profile page and ascertained the exact same information.

As for buries, I'll quote myself directly:
"The task of recommending headlines to bury is a daunting one. Certainly not because there's a lack of crap worth burying on Digg, but because we try to only address inherently false or misleading headlines and stories."  
I might note to you - in case you weren't already aware - that when you click on the "bury" drop-down button, one of the options for the reasons to bury is because the story is "inaccurate."  I can't speak for the other sixty-something people in "Digg Patriots," but I know that, for my own part, I only ever buried stories because I thought they were inaccurate or misleading.  This course of action is/was in no way a violation of the Digg terms of use - otherwise, why would they provide the option?  I might also note that if Digg made a person's bury records public, none of this would even seem so cloak and dagger.

As for the matter of mass reporting, I can't speak with much personal experience.  I never really had the time to engage in the practice.  I do know, though, that from the messages I read last year (when I was active in the group) the only "report" suggestions that ever came up were when someone (usually a repeat offender) said something completely vile.  I'd provide screen shots but, again, the group was pulled down.

I think it goes without saying that those who would bury a post simply because they don't like what it says aren't being intellectually honest with themselves, but they're not breaking any rules either.  As I said, I myself only bury content that's false or misleading.  Nonetheless, insofar as the option to "bury" a story as "inaccurate" remains, there's nothing wrong with utilizing it.  And insofar as Digg is considered part of the "social" media, there's nothing wrong with people pooling together to share information.

As I also said, this fake controversy is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to silence conservatives in yet another medium - social media or otherwise.  Which reminds me, how far along is that fairness doctrine policy?  It's about time we stifled those fat-mouthed conservative talk show hosts!

I feel inclined to mention that I feel confident that most (if not all) of this is motivated by the Digger known as Novenator (i.e. the guy with the Nazi for his avatar).  He has, for as long as I've been aware of him, done nothing but harass conservatives on Digg at every turn.  His paranoid hatred for those who think differently than him was no doubt the cause of this "undercover investigation." If you look at his most recent comments and Diggs - it seems pretty clear that he's trying to facilitate an irrational fear of a handful of conservative Diggers for no other reason than to eradicate any and all conservative influence from the service. If anyone's engaged in "censorious" group think, it's this guy by promoting these absolute lies and libel.

It seems pretty clear that AlterNet's problem isn't founded in any sort of reasonable logic but, rather, in the fact that they just can't stand it that the flow of information is becoming increasingly democratized - and that's bad news for Liberals.


EDIT: Right Wing News has a nice piece which also responds to AlterNet's libel - "The Truth About Digg Patriots
And here's another post from one of the DP accused:  "Digg Patriots - A Response"

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