I Mustache You a Question –
By Mona S.
Since November (Movember) is national beard month, I have decided to honor this month by naming my favorite facial haired American historical personage. Drumroll… President Teddy Roosevelt.
Teddy Roosevelt facial hairstyle is called the Walrus mustache. To describe this mustache in simple terms, it’s basically a thick bushy whisker that drops over the mouth. Walrus is added to the name because the style resembles the whiskers of a walrus.
Teddy can be best described as a moralist with an aggressive New York attitude that helped make him become the first youngest President of the U.S. by the age of 42. His trademark mustache would be one of the methods used to his advantage in getting the publicity TR wanted
In becoming the first president to utilize the power of the media, T.R. would establish a personal relationship with reporters that would help shape his agenda. Coining it the “bully pulpit,” TR explained “the power that a president can wield to mobilize and galvanize the public.”
TR would regularly hold meetings with reports during his midday shave known as “Barber’s hour.” As his barber shaved and taming his walrus mustache, reporters would watch, listen, and ask TR questions. The tag-team duo of reporters investigating and writing articles in exposing the political and economic corruption would help Teddy produce legislation and reforms of the investigated corruptions.
Today, the power of the bully pulpit has diminished all in thanks to President Obama. For the past seven years, the president has failed to educate the American public of his proposed legislation. What doesn’t help is the President doesn’t have many interactions with reporters like TR did. Instead reporters are dealt with his Press Secretary who delivers largely scripted responses that doesn’t help reporters fill in the blank. Another problem is the president speaks to a small group of opinion columnists in an off-the-record setting. His preference of having a “bull session” with his favored opinion journalists than having a bully pulpit with the public and reporters is easily seen as ways the President influence views with inside-the-Beltway opinion journalists.
But don’t worry if you don’t know what was said off-the-record, President Obama has another means to dominate the headlines … a pen and a phone. Obama new strategy of threatening to use pen and a phone to push lawlessness has transformed the meaning of bully pulpit. The adjective “bully pulpit” once defined by Teddy as “wonderful platform to advocate an agenda” has now been defined as a noun of “power to harm those who are weaker.”
Last night’s debate was the fourth for the GOP presidential candidates, and was focused on the economy, making it a virtual do-over of the botched CNBC debate. It was the first debate where the candidates engaged in discussion of substantive policy issues.
Marco Rubio was on fleek. He adapted his stump speech well to the tougher questions, and his “committed isolationist” exchange with Rand Paul was forceful without being overly strident. We also found the ads Rubio aired before the debate (the first Rubio television ads we’ve seen) to be very well done.
The Texas senator turned in another strong debate performance. Cruz’ comment about the cost of not defending the nation was well delivered. Even when Cruz stumbled – eliminating the Department of Commerce twice – it did not seem to hurt him as it did Perry in the last election cycle. Cruz also demolished Kasich in an exchange regarding government bailouts.
Carson did more than the water treading of the last two debates. After an embattled week, Carson came out strong on all fronts. His statements about not raising the minimum wage were very well received.
Paul is at his best discussing policy, and he held his own in an exchange with Marco Rubio. We liked the emergence of the old Rand Paul that has been absent in the previous debates, the Rand Paul who is orthodox and strident, but pushes his points in a likeable way. It was Paul’s previous performances.
Kasich bombed last night. For the duration of the debate, the Ohio governor was childish and petty. He was constantly making comments about airtime and repeatedly trying to interrupt other candidates and the moderators. With his answers, Kasich demonstrated that he is not much different than the Democrats in that he thinking that more government and more spending is a solution to our country’s problems. He was absolutely demolished by Ted Cruz in an exchange about bank bailouts (see more below). After this embarrassing performance, Kasich should drop out.
Bush again turned in a lackluster performance. Jeb did well for Jeb, and it was an improvement on his last debate, but it still didn’t do anything to convince viewers he’s the guy to take on Hillary in 2016.
Carly again emphasized her business background. We have heard it. We kind of like it. But it is a one note song, and it doesn’t appear to be propelling Carly much of anywhere.
The Donald was invisible most of the night. When he did speak, his responses mirrored ones we’ve heard the last three debates. The line about deporting Mexicans to the center of Mexico (an initiative the Eisenhower Administration termed “Operation Wetback”) was just a poor choice. The Hillary Clinton campaign was right to hi-five Trump’s crassness.
Cruz vs. Kasich
Cruz and Kasich faced off over bank bailouts. Cruz emphatically stated he would not bail the banks out as had happened in 2008. Kasich stumbled out of the gate by saying a situation where that would be necessary could never happen under his watch, and then Cruz was able to get Kasich to state he would give bailouts based on need. The exchange left Kasich looking inept, and reinforced his big government ideology.
Trump vs. Kasich
Kasich was absolutely right (a scary sentence, we know) about Donald Trump’s asinine plan to deport millions of Mexicans back to Mexico, apparently modeled on an initiative from the 1950s (see above). Kasich stated ““For the 11 million people, come on folks,” “We all know you can’t pick them up and ship them back across the border. It’s a silly argument.” Trump’s response, that he’d built a billion dollar company and so didn’t have to listen to Kasich, was tone deaf. If he doesn’t have to listen to Kasich, does Trump have to listen to the American body politic?
Rubio vs. Rand
We already noted their exchange regarding defense, but they had another interesting contretemps regarding the child tax credit, which Paul claimed is an unfunded expense, and against the fiscal orthodoxy of a proper conservative. Rubio’s response – that it was unfair to allow a tax write-off of equipment for a business, but not allow the write-off of child care – was well delivered, and we appreciated Rubio’s pro-family stance.
The House of Representatives is poised to elect a new Speaker. Here’s what you Knowledge Junkies should know about the position:
-The position of Speaker of the House originates from Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution. It reads, “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers…”
-There are no term limits for Speaker (the longest serving Speaker was Samuel Rayburn at 17 years).
-The Speaker serves as the leader of the House of Representatives.
-As leader of the House, the Speaker acts as the presiding officer and administrative head of the House.
-The Speaker also has the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and has the responsibility of implementing that party’s legislative agenda.
-Although almost never invoked, the Speaker is in charge of the Sergeant of Arms of the House of Representatives who has command of the Mace of the United States House of Representatives. If a Representative becomes unruly, the Speaker can order the Sergeant at Arms to lift the mace and present it before an unruly Representative, thereby restoring order.
-After the Vice President, the Speaker is second in line to succeed the President.
-The Speaker is elected at the start of each Congressional session or upon vacancy (as is the current case).
-Since 1839, the Speaker has been elected by roll call vote. This occurs after the party caucuses select their respective candidates.
-The first Speaker was Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania. But the rumors that he blocked the creation of German as our national language is false.
-James K. Polk is the only former Speaker to be elected President. The only other Speaker to be a major party’s nomination for President was James G. Blaine, who ran for President as a Republican in 1884, but lost to Democrat Grover Cleveland.
-The 1824 Presidential Election went to the House of Representatives when no candidate received a majority. Speaker Henry Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams, ensuring his election over Andrew Jackson. Adams in turn named Clay as Secretary of State, and heir apparent to the Presidency.
-The contest to choose the Speaker of the House for the 34th Congress lasted for two months, from December 3, 1855 to February 2, 1856. Nathaniel Banks, a Democrat turned Know Nothing turned Independent turned Republican, won on the 133rd ballot. Republican leaders at the time called the leadership fight one of the first national victories of the Republican Party, which was founded in 1855.
-The last Speaker replaced mid-term was Jim Wright (D-TX) in 1989.
-Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the first female Speaker of the House. She was also the first female ex-Speaker of the House.
by the NYYRC Blog Staff
***Just a reminder – nothing below constitutes an endorsement of any kind.
Last night, the top eleven Republican candidates squared off in the second debate of the 2016 presidential campaign. The found three winners in Fiorina, Rubio, and Christie; four candidates treaded water with Walker, Carson, Cruz, and Bush and four candidates were definite losers in Trump, Kasich, Huckabee, and Paul. Here’s Your recap:
As in the first “kiddie table” debate, Fiorina came out with guns blazing, and showed she was ready for primetime. A political novice, Fiorina answered every question sharply and decisively. Fiorina was able to defend her record, attack her opponents, and effectively define her positions. One of her best answers was in defense of women, asserting that they are not an interest group, but that they are the majority of America (in regards to changing the $10 bill). She also had some of our best moments of the debate (see below).
Christie, who should have been left off the debate stage based on the latest polling, showed signs of life and had a very strong performance. Although he was unable to keep himself from leaning on the lectern (let’s face it, three hours is a long debate), Christie showed the audience why he was in demand in 2012. He focused on his wheelhouse (national security) avoided his shortfalls (being able to conservatively govern a state), and demonstrated why he was an effective U.S. Attorney. Christie didn’t miss any opportunity to emphasize that he defunded Planned Parenthood even when it was irrelevant.
Senator Rubio once again gave a great debate performance. He stood out for his refusal to go negative, and his ability to stay out of personal fighting in which CNN goaded the politicians to engage. His answers on foreign policy, why the Senate did not give President Obama the ability to go into Syria, and the reason he is not against speaking Spanish, were three of the debate’s top ten moments.
Unlike the first debate, Trump’s responses were not substantive nor strong, a trend which will likely continue given the candidate’s lack of substance. There was a lot of bombast, but little content. He refused to apologize to Mrs. Bush, stuck with his story on autism, and was weirdly into giving other candidates low fives. On the plus side, his comb-over looked excellent.
Each of Kasich’s responses was bumbling and utterly unrepublican. He followed up a strong first debate performance poorly. Kasich was frequently fighting for more time with the moderators. Significantly, his position on the Iran “deal” was weak, going so far as to say he would take a “wait and see” approach as to whether Iran would comply with it.
Huckabee proved to be a social conservative candidate when the nation’s concerns are centered primarily on economic and foreign policy matters. He received the lowest amount of airtime last night, and his discussion of the Kentucky marriage clerk simply did not resonate.
From beginning to end CNN ran a bad debate. The questions were poorly framed, some were downright silly, and they failed to keep the candidates in line. Kasich was right when he said that if he was watching the debate, he would have shut it off. The event was designed more for entertainment than substance, with questions designed to goad the candidates into attacking each other. CNN did a disservice to anyone trying to glean information from the debate.
Carly Fiorina responds to Trump’s comments about her face. In a question clearly posed for dramatic purposes, Fiorina had a sharp one sentence response which was sure to resonate with female voters.
Carly Fiorina tells Republicans to stand on principles and dares Obama and Clinton to watch Planned Parenthood video.
When Jeb Bush stated “name a country that we have a better relationship now than 8 years ago,” it sparked a convo in our audience where a rapid fire succession of countries were rattled off that we now have better relations with: Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela. You’ll notice that those were and still are our enemies. Countries where our relationships are worse include all of our allies.
Marco Rubio responding to Donald Trump’s statement that the three senators are partially to blame for the Syrian crisis. Instead of attacking Donald Trump, Senator Rubio used the opportunity to talk about military strength, and the lack of leadership that The United States currently has.
Chris Christie answering Jake Tapper when he tried to use a generalized Ben Carson statement “I don’t think Ben is talking about me. He is talking about some other guy on stage.”
Jeb Bush responding to Donald Trump attacking his brother, George W Bush, saying that Abraham Lincoln could not have been elected after him because of how horrible the last 3 months of his administration was. Jeb’s statement that his brother kept the United States safe finally trumped Trump.
Walker calling out Trump for “using the talking points of the Democrats” to attack Walker’s record in Wisconsin. If more candidates will use this line, and have information to back it up, it could hurt Donald Trump’s polling numbers.
Christie breaking up the fight between Carly and Trump over who is more successful. Switching the discussion to making the American people succeed, rather than talk about how much wealth they have been able to accumulate over their careers, is an effective point that Christie has made before, and should continue to make.
By Roger S. and Chris C.
September 17, 2015 marks the 228th birthday of the U.S. Constitution. We’ve compiled 13 fun facts about the U.S. Constitution – you know, because 13 states and all:
- On September 17, 1787, only 39 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document.
- The original Constitution signed that day and ratified June 21, 1788 is only five pages long.
- Three Latin phrases appear in the Constitution: pro tempore, ex post facto, and habeas corpus.
- James Madison is viewed as the “Father of the Constitution” despite his misgivings towards some of its content.
- The 85 articles of The Federalist were instrumental in getting the Constitution ratified and were written by Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay,
- The Constitutional Convention lasted from May 25, 1787 through September 17, 1787. George Washington served as president of the Constitutional Convention, but did not speak during any of the proceedings until the Convention’s final day.
- During the Convention, George Washington sat in a chair that had a representation of a half a sun on the top, which Ben Franklin regularly gazed at during troublesome moments of the proceedings. Asked why, he said he was unable to decide if the sun was rising or setting. Only when the Constitution was signed Franklin decided the sun was rising.
- Benjamin Franklin, at age 81, was the oldest delegate, and had to be helped to sign his name.
- John Shallus, a clerk for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, physically wrote the Constitution down on parchment paper. The Convention paid him $30 for his services, which is worth about $800 today.
- Rhode Island was the only state that refused to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention and was the last state to ratify the Constitution (May 29, 1790)
- One of the Constitutional Convention’s debates was the title of the nation’s Chief Executive. One possible idea; “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.” Eventually everyone settled on “The President of the United States.”
- The U.S. Constitution is the shortest governing document of any nation today, and contains only 7 articles and 27 amendments. It is also the oldest; Norway’s comes in second and was codified in 1814.
- Giving comfort to grammar errants everywhere, the official copy of the Constitution contains an incorrect word – Article 1, Section 10 uses “it’s” when it should be “its,” even in 18th century usage. However, the word “chuse” as used in the Constitution was acceptable at the time. So was the alternative spelling of Pennsylvania – Pensylvania – the Constitution actually uses both spellings of the state.
Weekly Talking Points
–On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act again in the King v. Burwell decision.
–The case hinged on whether federal subsidies should be provided to people buying insurance on exchanges established by the federal government when the law explicitly states that subsidies are only available to persons buying insurance from exchanges established “by the states.”
–In the Court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts, stated that an exchange “established by the states” actually means an exchange established by the states OR the federal government.
–Justice Scalia pointed out the absurdity of this claim in his dissenting opinion.
–Due to Roberts’ bending over backwards to save the Affordable a Care Act in 2013’s Sebelius case (a penalty is actually a tax) and in yesterday’s decision, Scalia stated it should now be called “SCOTUScare.”
–The latest victim of liberal intolerance has been the Confederate battle flag and other symbols from the Civil War.
–In response to the hate motivated murders of nine churchgoers last week, liberals have taken up arms against symbols and monuments which had no bearing on the attack at all.
–Due to this uproar, many large retailers have banned the sale of Confederate flag items, and Apple banned its use in the AppStore for most apps. Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans has called for the removal of General Lee’s statue, and other Civil War memorials.
–The National Park Service has gone so far as to remove all Confederate flag items from battlefield gift shops where there is clearly historical and educational purpose for it. The concessionaire at Gettysburg refused the request of the park service and will continue to sell such items.
–Liberals have claimed that the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of hate and must be banned. If that is so, shouldn’t flags and shirts depicting Che Guevara also be barred?
Bobby Jindal is In
-Governor Bobby Jindal became the 13th person to announce for his intention to obtain the Republican nomination for President of the United States
-As Governor of Louisiana, Jindal became known as a major education reformer, supporting vouchers, charter schools, and scholarships.
-Last month Governor Jindal proposed legislation that would remove Common Core from all Louisiana schools.
-He is a Rhodes Scholar. Atat the age of 24 he was appointed Secretary of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in 1996 and slashed $400 million in Medicaid expenses.
-Governor Jindal also can tout having an unemployment rate under that national average for his entire tenure as governor.
Data Breach Manipulation
-In a single attack, millions of personnel files and security clearance forms were attacked.It is widely believed that the Chinese were behind the attack.
-The attack gives much valuable data to the Chinese about our undercover operations, diplomacy, and the like.
-To avoid disclosing the severity of the attack, the Obama Administration defined the attack as two separate attacks, then waited for more than a week to disclose the “second” breach.
Weekly Talking Points
Jeb Joins the Race
–On Tuesday, Jeb Bush made the long expected jump into the Republican presidential field.
–While he currently has a massive war chest, Bush faces serious problems with voter fatigue as the third Bush to run for the office.
–Bush also faces problems identifying with conservatives on issues such as common core and immigration.
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Policy
–While foreign policy concerns rank foremost on voter’s minds, Hillary continues to deliver platitudes.
–In her re-announcement speech, Clinton advised listeners that, “There are a lot of trouble spots in the world, but there’s a lot of good news out there too.”
–Clinton left her foreign policy discussion at that, then proceeded to spend the remainder of her speech castigating Republicans as evil hate mongers bent on the destruction of minorities, poor people, the environment, transgender people, and women.
Good bye Alexander
President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that in 2020, the $10 bill will be changed and will include a woman. The lucky lady will be the first historical woman to be featured on U.S. currency since Martha Washington.
–Despite demands from these groups to push Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill, they will have to settle for Hamilton because the ten was the next bill due for a redesign.
–The American people will choose the cis-gendered person who self-identified as a womyn to be included on the $10 bill.
–Advocacy groups will be hard pressed to find candidates equaling the contributions of Hamilton and the others who grace bills one through one hundred.
–Interestingly, Hamilton himself loved the ladies. Martha Washington named her tomcat “Hamilton” in honor of the suave first Secretary of the Treasury.
Quote of the Week
“There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism.” – Alexander Hamilton
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Weekly Talking Points
As Baltimore burns, the Clinton camp has been struggling to put out its own fires. Here are your weekly talking points.
–The Clinton Campaign has been unable to escape the accusations brought forth in the new book, Clinton Cash, that foreign governments bought influence in the State Department by “donations” to the Clinton Foundation.
–As reported by the New York Times, Hillary Clinton’s State Department gave the green light for the sale of twenty percent of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russia’s nuclear agency following a multi-million dollar “donation.”
–Additionally, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation failed to abide by their agreement with the Obama Administration, and have belatedly disclosed millions in unreported foreign donations.
Baltimore Riots: A Failed Response
–Much of this week’s violence could have been avoided, but lack of leadership from Baltimore’s Democratic run government failed to diffuse the situation.
–Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawling-Blake, went so far as to say that the “protesters” needed space to destroy things. It has also been reported that she even issued a stand down order to the police force.
Baltimore Riots: Failed Liberalism
–Baltimore last had a Republican mayor in 1967, and since then the city has had one party government.
–Over the past week, several liberal talking heads and politicians have mentioned that the Baltimore rioters are legitimately aggrieved and are reacting to oppressive forces.
–Liberal claims like the one above are not valid and do not give any consideration to the fact that America has a black president, that Baltimore has a black mayor, that Baltimore has a black city council, and that Baltimore has a black police commissioner. In fact, there have only been two white mayors in Baltimore over the past few decades.
–The events of this week illustrate what happens when a culture of dependency and entitlement is created by decades of liberal policies.
–These policies create an environment where the economy has failed and jobs are lacking, and where the citizenry believes the government owes them funds from more successful citizen’s largess.
–No amount of increased education spending, no amount of increased job training, no amount of tax payer funded job stimulus legislation will improve people’s livelihood in Baltimore for as long as agitators push an idea that there is no use putting forth an effort because the system is racist and, thus, hard work will not be rewarded.
–None of these policies will be worthwhile if minority children, who embrace the opportunity and work hard, are mocked by their peers as “acting white” and “not down for the struggle.”
–The difficult circumstances that many Baltimore citizens face are the result of liberal democrat policies and a culture that does not encourage discipline, hard work, and upward mobility.
–For real change and real improvement, culture norms must change. People of all races must speak up and illustrate in conversation and social media what most Americans already know deep down is wrong.
Quote of the Week
“When you live in a society you either live by the rules or by democratic process you change ‘em. You don’t break ‘em.” – Joe Friday
Weekly Talking Points
Another week, another Clinton scandal. Here are your weekly talking points.
–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.
–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