Archive from January, 2015
22 Jan
2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
By    Comments Off

State of the Union Follow Up

Last night President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address. The following is the one of our blogger’s response to the President’s remarks.

“But tonight, we turn the page.”

The Blog: Unfortunately, the same words are on the next page.

“Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.”

The Blog: Unfortunately, the workforce participation rate is still the lowest it has been since President Carter was in office, and the median household income is 5.7% lower than it was in 2000.

“More of our kids are graduating than ever before”

The Blog: But they can’t find jobs. The youth jobless rate is around 48% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“More of our people are insured than ever before.”

The Blog: But insurance is more expensive and covers fewer procedures.

“We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.”

The Blog: Despite the administration denying and delaying drilling permits for domestic energy exploration.

“Our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”

The Blog: Because the president said so – not because we have defeated the bad guys.

“Today, fewer than 15,000 remain (in Iraq and Afghanistan).”

The Blog: Which is why ISIS now governs vast territory in Iraq and Syria, and beheads people with impunity.

“We’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care.”

The Blog: False. Has he forgotten the problems at the VA?

“Thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.”

The Blog: Actually thanks to Saudi Arabia’s manipulating the price of oil to below $60/barrel in an effort to bankrupt American shale oil companies.

“Our deficits cut by two-thirds.”

The Blog: Because one-time bail outs were not repeated. Actually, the national debt has increased under President Obama more than all the other presidents combined.

“Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.”

The Blog: First, the vast majority of businesses already offer paid sick leave. The ones who do not are typically service industry positions. As a practical matter, this just means that paid holidays will be reduced.

“Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.”

The Blog: That has been the law since the 1960s. This is a purely political talking point that ignores the reality that women often take time out of the workforce to raise a family. Even the White House does not pay women the same on on average for this same reason.

“If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.”

The Blog: First, people who make minimum wage make up a minuscule portion of the workforce, and at least half of those are kids working their first job where they are either seasonal, or are promoted soon after starting. We are talking about 1% of the workforce. And almost all of minimum wage workers are not the primary earner in their household. Furthermore, if someone only makes $15,000, they are also collecting public benefits the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. Finally, increasing the minimum wage will make it more expensive to hire people, and thus harder for kids entering the workforce to get that first job.

“We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions.”

The Blog: Right to work states have seen jobs arrive and wages increase – not states with strong collective bargaining laws. Eight of the top ten states for economic and employment growth are right to work states whereas the bottom ten are all non-right to work states.

“We still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need.”

The Blog: Thanks to Government subsidies, the cost of education has increased more than twice the rate of inflation, and federal loan programs have higher interest rates, thus charging students more, than private loans.

“21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.”

The Blog: Union jobs, union jobs, union jobs, and union jobs.

“Let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.”

The Blog: Why not build that pipeline, too? The Keystone Pipeline project would create 42,000 jobs.

“More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China.”

The Blog: But they are unable because American taxes and regulations are not competitive.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program”

The Blog: False. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has increased since 2009, and production has surged since 2013.

“Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.”

The Blog: This was years behind schedule because the President dismantled the existing space program and voluntarily ceded American dominance of the final frontier.

“No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”

The Blog: Nuclear war? Radical Islamic Terrorism? Bill Bellichek?

“China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions.”

The Blog:  No they did not. They agreed to consider it. If China and India do not seriously curb emissions, no real progress will be made on cleaner air, no matter how much we tie our own hands economically.

“(The shift in U.S. Cuba relations) stands up for democratic values.”
The Blog: Cuba is a communist country that exhibits the exact opposite of democratic values.

There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress.

The Blog: Just to be clear, you’re saying sanctions don’t work right?

Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.

The Blog: Ok, got it now. Sanctioning Cuba with an embargo wasn’t a good idea. Totally clear now.

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

The Blog: So, ummmm, sanctions worked? Hooray for sanctions????

“Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn’t delivered on this vision (of a united country). How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws — of which there are many — but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and naïve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it.”

The Blog: Um, yeah that’s right.

14 Jan
2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
By    Comments Off

Talking Points for the New Year

It’s a busy week! We are not lacking issues to argue over with our friends! Below is all you need to win!

Islamic Terrorism in Paris:
–Last week brought a heinous attack on free speech and western culture by radical Islamic extremists in Paris.
–Islamic terrorists attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo and murdered 12 journalists in retribution for the publication of several CARTOONS of Mohamed. In 2012, Obama scolded Charlie Hebdo for their publication of cartoons of Mohamed.
–Not surprisingly, the White House was reluctant to call the attack terrorism (after all, the Fort Hood Massacre was “workplace violence”), and also failed to mention Islamic extremism in its official statement.
–The mainstream media also failed to address the fact this attack was carried out by Islamic extremists with none of the major networks (aside from Fox) even mentioning it in their headlines. However, CNN and CBS did not fail to mention in their headlines that Charlie Hebdo had supposedly angered Muslims.
–CNN/ABC reporter Christiane Amanpour even had the gall to call the terrorists “activists.”
–Showing where the Administration’s priorities lie, they didn’t even send a representative to the anti-terrorism rally that was attended by leaders of 40 nations. Attorney General Holder was already in Paris, and declined to attend.
–This behavior by the Administration is not shocking, but no less disturbing. It has consistently apologized for our War on Terror and stance against Radical Islam.
–Until the Administration and the mainstream media are willing to say who our enemy is, we cannot win the war against Radical Islamic Terrorism.
–The French have declared war on Radical Islam. When will our leaders and media wake up and accept who our enemy is?

Keystone Pipeline:
–Some politicians have stated they only need 3-4 more democrats in the senate to override an Obama veto of a Keystone Pipeline bill
–Public support for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline is nearly 60%
–The state department estimates that up to 42,100 full time construction jobs could be created during the construction period of the Keystone Pipeline
–Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil – safer than trucks or rail shipments.
–Some experts have speculated that the Saudis are cutting the price of crude to discourage American’s public support for the pipeline and discourage increased US domestic oil production.
–A main argument against approving the Keystone Pipeline in 2008 is that the oil would not be available for 7-10 years and that it would take more than a decade to effect the price of oil.” As we can now see, the mere prospect of increased oil production and Keystone has decreased the price of oil since the Republican wins in November.

Free 13th and 14th Grade:
–Community college provides an opportunity for people who are motivated to pursue educational goals.
–Offering free enrollment for students maintaining a “C” average is not an efficient use of funds.
–With even more federal funds pumped into the higher education system, college costs will continue to increase at twice the rate of inflation.
–Obama’s real intention is to expand the education bureaucracy and give a federal handout to the community college system.
–Free community college will require the hiring of thousands of new professors and school administrators, which are largely Democratic Party supporters.
–College is not for everyone, and the Democrat elites ignore this fact. Attending college does not make anyone a better person over someone that did not. Many students who are uncertain about their future plans will enter community college without any real ambition and coast through the two year period without any appreciation for the coursework. Eventually, the curriculums will become watered down just as they have in most public high schools across the nation and community college will evolve into 13th and 14th grade instead of the freshmen and sophomore year it is supposed to be.

Right to Work Works:
–In early 2012, Indiana became a right-to-work state. By November 2014, factory payroll employment rose 9.4%. In states without right-to-work laws, factory payroll employment rose 1.2% on average. Indiana had 2.1% GDP growth in 2013, ranking #19 out of 50 states.
–In late 2013, Michigan became a right to work state. By November 2014, there had been payroll growth of 4% in manufacturing jobs. Michigan had 2% GDP growth in 2013, ranking #21 out of 50 states.
–Wisconsinites are now clamoring for right of work laws, especially after Scott Walker eliminated public sector collective bargaining after a showdown with unions last year.

GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise:
–Mainstream media is working in unison to construct what they hope will be a major race scandal involving GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
–12 years ago, Representative Scalise spoke to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, which is run by David Duke. At the time, Congressman Scalise was not aware.
–Any objective observer will quickly conclude that this was an honest mistake, and one that happened only once. The mainstream media is not concerned about the proper conclusion. They are using the incident as an opportunity to paint Representative Scalise and the entire GOP as a racist party.
–These same media outlets shrugged off President Obama’s 20 year relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and former Democratic Party Senate leader Robert Byrd’s leadership role in the KKK. In both examples, the prominent Democrat did not simply speak to the respective hate group; they were participating members.

Baseball Hall of Fame:
– The Baseball Hall of Fame announced selections for the class of 2015. Selections are made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and for the first time in over 60 years, the Association elected more than 3 players. None of these three players were PED abusers such as Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds. Not only were these players not elected, but they did not even come close to receiving the required vote to gain admittance.
–The voting is welcome news illustrating how moral standards are still relevant in a major institution like our national pastime. Critics, the “who are we to judge” types, will complain that the criteria should be based solely on on-field performance, and that character issues are for priests and pastors, not baseball writers. Cultural elites quickly mock those that take a stand; fortunately, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and the Hall of Fame have not fallen prey. Americans must follow the Association’s lead and reverse this downward trend! We need to be judgmental and speak up when our leaders and fellow citizens do not conduct themselves properly.

Quote of the Week
“To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective.  It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing.” — Theodore Roosevelt

9 Jan
2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
By    Comments Off

We Fought the Bloody British in the Town of New Orleans

By: Chris C.

 

The War of 1812 provided many low points for our young republic. We had suffered multiple defeats including the embarrassing burning of our capitol. There was doubt that we would survive as an independent nation. Morale and patriotism were low throughout the states despite moments such as our victory at Fort McHenry. On December 24, 1814, we signed the Treaty of Ghent which was to end hostilities, and restore pre-war borders with the British. However, news of this cessation in hostilities did not reach New Orleans before one final showdown.

The British had been preparing to invade and seize New Orleans for weeks as this was an area of vital strategic importance on the Mississippi River. General Andrew Jackson realized the significance of holding the city and region. Consequently, he dug in with his army comprised of volunteer militia, army regulars, freed blacks, Indians, sailors, and pirates. Jackson was in command of approximately 4,500 men and it was an outfit as diverse as the nation itself. Following two weeks of move and counter move, the British planned a massive assault on the American earthworks. On January 8, 1815, the British preceded their attack with artillery and Congreve rockets in an attempt to weaken the defenses, and instill fear in Jackson’s men.  The Americans were unperturbed, and they stopped the onslaught of 7,500 British regulars. In the battle, lasting approximately a half hour, the Americans inflicted over 2,500 casualties and only suffered 71. New Orleans thus became the greatest American land victory of the war.

 

News of the victory reached the public concurrently with the news of the Treaty of Ghent. Consequently, many Americans mistakenly believed that the victory was the impetus for the peace. The victory caused a groundswell of pride and patriotism throughout our young republic. The Battle of New Orleans was seen as winning our independence from Britain a second time.  January 8th became a celebrated date for our country. Andrew Jackson became an instant celebrity as the “Hero of New Orleans,” and this fame would eventually propel him to the White House. The victory at New Orleans solidified our identity as an independent nation, and prompted unity across the country that hadn’t been seen since the Revolution. This week marks the  200th anniversary of the battle, we should remember the sacrifices made ensure our freedom, and exhibit pride and patriotism as our countrymen did on January 8, 1815.

7 Jan
2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
By    Comments Off

What Americans Can Learn from Baseball Hall of Fame Voters

By Dwayne Madison

On Tuesday the Baseball Hall of Fame announced selections for the class of 2015. Selections are made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and for the first time in over 60 years, the Association elected more than 3 players.  None of these three players were PED abusers such as Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds. Not only were these players not elected, but did not even come close to receiving the required vote to gain admittance.

The voting is welcome news illustrating how moral standards are still relevant in a major institution like our national pastime. Critics, the “who are we to judge” types, will complain that the criteria should be based solely on on-field performance, and that character issues are for priests and pastors, not baseball writers.

Election to the Hall is the ultimate baseball achievement.  PED abusers cheated. They cheated teammates, cheated competitors, put the country’s youth in danger by creating a drug culture, and tainted decades-old records set by players that performed legitimately.  Despite the declining decency standards pushed by pop culture, there is still a “right and wrong” and those who (all ballplayers cheat –even Hershiser) illegally enhance their performance through chemical means should not be rewarded.  If members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America had also served as media and Hollywood executives the past decade, Kim Kardashian would have rightfully remained an amateur porn star.  She would not have been rewarded with reality TV shows and magazine covers.  As a result, our culture and society would be much better off today.

Sure, nobody is perfect, but declining decency standards encourage unethical behavior.  Eventually the populace will generally accept, without any penalty, notions that “all politicians lie” or “all men cheat on their wives”.  Cultural elites will quickly mock and laugh at those that take a stand; fortunately, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and the Hall of Fame have not fallen prey. Americans must follow the Association’s lead and reverse this downward trend! We need to be judgmental and speak up when our leaders and fellow citizens do not conduct themselves properly.