Archive from April, 2015
27 Apr
2015
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Talking Points – 4-27

Weekly Talking Points

Another week, another Clinton scandal. Here are your weekly talking points.

Clinton Foundation
–According to the New York Times, and as detailed in the forthcoming book Clinton Cash, the Clinton Foundation accepted a multi-million cash donation from a Russian oligarch at the same time that the State Department was deciding whether to allow that oligarch’s company to control up to 20% of America’s uranium reserves.
–The multimillion cash donation went unreported, despite the Clinton’s agreement with the Obama Administration and disclosure laws.
–At the same time the deal was under consideration, the Clinton Foundation was also receiving tens of millions of dollars from shareholders in Uranium One (the company being purchased).
–As a result of the deal, the Russian government essentially controls half of American uranium supplies. Russia sends uranium to Iran. Consequently, American uranium could end up in Iranian hands while the negotiations are ongoing to curb their nu

Ship Movement: The Iran Saga Continues
–The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and the missile cruiser U.S.S. Normandy have been moved towards Yemen increasing our naval presence to 9 ships. force in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea to 9 ships.
–The ships are designed to interdict Iranian arms shipments to Houthis rebels.
–It remains unclear, especially given the President’s longing for an Iranian nuclear deal, whether the President would stop Iranian naval vessels by force.
–Yemen has been touted by the Obama Administration as a model for fighting terrorism yet instability and radicalism have increased.–Iran lies at the heart of this problem as they have been funding and providing weapons for the insurgency.

Attorney General Loretta Holder
–Despite fierce Republican opposition (she only received 10 GOP votes), Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.
–GOP Senators expressed concerns that Lynch will be a rubber stamp on Administration policies like her predecessor Eric Holder.
–Lynch has already voiced support for Obama’s unconstitutional and illegal executive action on immigration.
–Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) stated that it’s unacceptable that the nation’s top law enforcement officer stands against the Constitution and for the evisceration of our laws.

Taxes
–This week, The National Review published findings from a public records study that revealed 4 prominent MSNBC personalities owe back taxes.
–Toure Neblett owes $59,000; Joy-Ann Reid owes $5,000; Melissa Harris-Perry owes $70,000; and the “Reverend” Sharpton’s tax bill is near $4 million.
–All are major proponents of liberal ideology. All constantly cry on air about income inequality. All have probably displayed more hostility towards America’s wealthiest 1% than ISIS. They have all stated that the wealthy in America do not pay their “fair share” in taxes. Yet, they all fail to live up to what they demand on others and pay what has been determined to be their own “fair share.”

Quote of the Week
“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

10 Apr
2015
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Weekly Talking Points

Rand Paul
–This week, Senator Rand Paul announced that he will be running for the Republican nomination for President.
–During his announcement he raised $24 per second
–Sen. Paul is now polling ahead of the likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the two major swing states of Iowa and Colorado
–After appearing on the Today Show Sen. Paul was accused of sexism for “shushing” a female NBC host as she interrupted him while he was answering a question she had asked. The media immediately brought up that he had done a similar thing to a CNBC host a few months ago. Yet they failed to mention that he has gotten in many arguments with male hosts and reporters on numerous occasions. In 2013 a NPR host accused him of being associated with a racist and asked him if he had anything better to do then lie. In June of 2013 he had a very vocal exchange with Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King of CBS about government surveillance.

California Water “Crisis”
–California Gov. Jerry Brown recently announced a crackdown on residents and businesses in an effort to reduce overall water usage by 25 percent over the next nine months.
–While California is experiencing another drought, the unnecessary water shortages are the results of bad policy pushed by liberal environmentalists.
— Environmental extremism from the far left has prevented the state from building a single new reservoir, desalination plant, or a single new water conveyance system during a time when the population has doubled.
–This incident should serve as a warning to the rest of the country about the disastrous, unintended consequences of liberalism. In 2015, with modern technology, no state in America should suffer a water crises.

Obama Should Have Mullahed The Iran Deal Over a Little More
–As revealed by Iran’s chief cleric today, the Iran “deal” President Obama announced last week wasn’t really a deal.
–Apparently, Iran thinks the “deal” was a potential framework to maybe agree to possibly come to a bilateral decision on a potential arrangement.
–Iran contends that under the framework, it won’t have to submit to inspections of its nuclear facilities, and that sanctions will be lifted immediately.

Quote of the Week
“When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing and as we sat there in the warmth of the summer afternoon on a river bank, we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I told him that I wanted to be a real major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he’d like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.”– President Dwight D. Eisenhower

9 Apr
2015
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Appomattox 150: A Nation Reunited

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By: Chris C.

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Appomattox, where General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. It was arguably most important step in ending the Civil War because it paved the way for the peace that would follow. The significance of this event as well as how the Civil War ended is little discussed today, but crucially important.

By April 1865, the Civil War had been raging for four bloody years, and it appeared as though the end was near. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was the Confederacy’s last hope for winning independence, and it was now at its breaking point. Lee had been pinned down in the trenches surrounding Petersburg for eight months, and came to the conclusion that the only chance of saving his army and their cause was to escape the trenches and link up with Joe Johnston’s army in North Carolina. This maneuver was risky and initially unthinkable as it would cause the abandonment of the Confederate capital, Richmond.

Upon leaving the trenches, an administrative mix up caused Lee’s men to go without food for days. Grant was closing fast, and Lee’s back was against the wall. He had two options. One was to disband the army and fight a guerrilla war, and the second was to see Grant to discuss terms for surrendering. . Lee decided that enough blood had been shed, and that there was no honor in pursuing a drawn out guerrilla war. He proceeded to meet with Grant at the McLean House in Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

This meeting occurred on the heels of Lincoln’s second inaugural address, where he set the stage for a soft peace. Lincoln had been developing a plan for reunification where the South would be welcomed back with open arms. There would be no hangings or reprisals. Lincoln stated that when the war is over, “There must be no bloody work.” There had been enough bloodshed over four years. Lincoln wanted honorable terms for the South’s surrender in order to rapidly bring them back into the Union. With this in mind, Grant was prepared to offer Lee very generous terms of surrender.

When Lee and Grant met on the morning of April 9, 1865, neither man was quite sure how the proceedings would develop. They began the meeting with small talk about their days in the old army and the Mexican War, and then Lee broached the subject of surrender. Grant offered the following: “The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.” These were terms in line with the forgiveness Lincoln had preached at his second inaugural address, and they were terms Lee could not refuse.

Lee would later say he surrendered to Lincoln’s goodness as much as he did to Grant’s army. In addition to the terms presented, Grant allowed the Confederates to keep their horses and mules for the spring planting season, and provided Lee’s starving army with a good supply of food rations. Lee stated that these gestures would “have a happy effect on his men, and do much to reconcile the country.”

Following the surrender, cheers broke out along the Union lines. Grant ordered all celebrations to halt immediately. He would not allow salt to be rubbed in the wounds of his countrymen. Grant determined that a formal surrender ceremony was necessary where the rebels would lay down their arms and be paroled. This formal surrender would be supervised by Union Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Chamberlain had been the quintessential citizen soldier having left his position as a college professor to fight for the Union cause, and became a hero at Gettysburg. When Chamberlain accepted the surrender, he ordered his men to shoulder arms which was the greatest show of military respect. This gesture, though seemingly simple, helped to mend the rift between men who had just days before been mortal enemies.

With several Confederate armies still in the field, the war was not over yet. However, Lee urged speedy reunification, and told his men that if they became as good citizens as they were soldiers they would do well. Being the South’s most respected and revered leader, his example prompted the remaining armies to to follow suit, and the last elements of the rebellion surrendered by May 1865. Many in the South had wanted to take to the hills and continue the fight, but Lee’s rejection of guerrilla warfare also set an example that likely saved the reunited nation years of bloodshed.

As much as American Independence was a miracle, so was our reunification after the Civil War. Historically, civil wars don’t end peacefully. The victors punish the losers, and instability and violence reign. There would be no retribution in our civil war. Appomattox set the stage for a peaceful end to the Civil War, and the examples set by Lincoln, Grant, and Lee would save our nation.

Civil War cost over 620,000 American lives which is more than all other American wars combined. Magnanimity in victory by Lincoln and Grant forged the reunification process. They, along with help from Lee, reminded the country that enough killing and suffering had already been endured, and that we are all one people. With malice towards none and charity for all, Lincoln brought the South back into the Union. If not for Lincoln’s vision of the South being welcomed back with open arms, we would not be the country we are today. Grant made Lincoln’s vision a reality with the terms set forth at Appomattox, and the nation’s course was set for reunification.

8 Apr
2015
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Appomattox 150: Robert E. Lee

By: Chris C.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of Appomattox, we will take a look at the commanders at the surrender, and how their leadership lessons can be applied today.

“Duty is the sublimest word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never do less.”

General Robert E. Lee was the reason the Civil War lasted as long as it did, but he was also instrumental in making the reunification of the country as seamless as possible. At the war’s onset, Lee had struggled to determine what his duty was. He hailed from one of Virginia’s great families, one that had been instrumental in bringing America her independence. Two family members had been signers of the Declaration of Independence, and his father was a Revolutionary War hero. Additionally, he married into the Custis family, which united his family with that of his hero, George Washington. Lee loved the United States and had dedicated his life to serving it. He graduated second in his class at West Point in 1829 and proceeded to serve in the army until 1861. Lee became a hero during the Mexican War and was even called “the best soldier in the field.” He was instrumental in building fortifications throughout the country and went on to serve as superintendent of West Point. He even commanded the action, which took down John Brown’s attempted insurrection.

At the dawn of the Civil War, the Lincoln Administration offered Lee command of the U.S. army. He was faced with the most difficult decision of his life; whether to accept command of the army he had dedicated his life to or resign his commission and join his state of Virginia in opposition to the country he loved. Lee decided it was his duty to side with Virginia and the South. He was unable to raise his sword against his family or ancestral home. Despite being bitterly opposed to the war, once Lee was resigned to the fact that his duty was to his home state and his family, he put all his skills and abilities towards achieving the end of southern independence. Lee began the Civil War as commander of Virginia’s forces, and moved on to become chief military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In a move that changed the course of the entire war, Lee became commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in May 1862. Lee knew the war could not be won by merely holding back Union assaults on Richmond. Consequently, he employed an offensive strategy where he would strike whenever possible. Despite constantly being outnumbered and under supplied, Lee delivered crushing blows and dispatched four Union generals. When Ulysses Grant took command as general in chief of the Union armies in the spring of 1864, Lee had met his match. Although Lee continued to win battles and strike at the Army of the Potomac, Grant would not yield unlike the previous Union generals. In the spring of 1865, Lee realized that he and his army had exhausted their efforts to achieve southern independence. Out of military options aside from resorting to guerrilla warfare, Lee’s duty became the prevention of further bloodshed. Lee stated “it is our duty to live” and he would again be resolved to doing his duty, which was healing the nation after four bloody years of civil war. Lee began this service with his surrender at Appomattox, and then continued by imploring southerners to peacefully rejoin the Union. As the most revered person in the south, Lee set an example for reunification by laying down his sword, and encouraging the restoration of the United States. Just as he had given his all to try to win the Civil War, Lee would do everything in his power to reunite the nation once the war was over.

To Lee, the highest calling was doing one’s duty. Your duty is to dedicate and commit yourself totally to the tasks assigned and those you are called to. Like Lee, it’s important to determine what your duty is and pursue it vigorously. You can never do more than this, and you should never do less.

8 Apr
2015
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Appomattox 150: Ulysses S. Grant

By: Chris C.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of Appomattox, we will take a look at the commanders at the surrender, and how their leadership lessons can be applied today.

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.”

Ulysses S. Grant was perhaps the most unlikely of Civil War heroes. Though a West Point graduate, Grant’s pre-war accomplishments were lacking. He resigned from the army in 1854 clouded by suspicions of drunkenness. After his army career was over, Grant tried his hand at a variety of civilian ventures including farming and running a tannery. He failed at each pursuit. He was even rejected as a field officer at the Civil War’s onset. None of this deterred Grant however, and through dogged determination he rose to become General in Chief of the Union Armies. These failures and the ability to bounce back from them, shaped Grant into the man who could defeat the seemingly invincible Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia.

The Army of the Potomac had been beaten repeatedly by Lee, and prior to Grant becoming General in Chief could only be credited with one major victory in three years of combat. When Grant took command of all the Union Armies in spring 1864, he decided to stay with and personally supervise the Army of the Potomac whose primary objective became defeating Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Previous Union commanders were easily deterred when the slightest setback occurred. This was not the case for Grant. His first campaign as General in Chief was the bloodiest of the Civil War and despite losing almost every battle, Grant’s relentless pursuit trapped Lee. The Overland Campaign began May 5, 1864 with the Battle of the Wilderness. Grant took the initiative and was soundly defeated by Lee. Instead of regrouping, Grant pushed ahead and engaged Lee at Spotsylvania Courthouse which resulted in another defeat. Grant continued to press forward, and fought Lee to a stalemate at the Battle of North Anna. Following North Anna, Grant then engaged Lee at Cold Harbor which was a staggering defeat and what Grant termed his most regrettable decision of the war. Despite all the defeats, Grant had continued to push Lee’s smaller army until it was trapped in defensive works surrounding the strategically important city of Petersburg. The Campaign had cost Grant 55,000 men in the course of 40 days compared to Lee’s 33,000. However, Grant’s dogged resilience in the face of defeat won the campaign by continually forcing Lee to withdraw despite winning the battles.

Grant’s lesson is that even when it looks like a losing cause, it’s important to stay the course and forge ahead. Grant’s objective was Lee’s army, and despite defeats and staggering casualties he kept charging towards his objective. This determination set him up to ultimately win the Civil War. During his life, Grant was defeated personally and militarily on numerous occasions. This did not dampen his resolve to become the victor. You should never lose sight of the end goal and always push towards it despite adversity.