Saturday, November 20, 2010

Founding Fathers Quote

The foundation of the Constitution is laid on this ground: "All powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition

Thomas Jefferson

Friday, November 19, 2010

In Memory Of Capt. Jeff Haney

I just received the news bulletin from Alaska; the worst cast scenario seems to have happened. Capt. Jeff Haney tragically lost his life in service to his country. He is a hero for putting on the uniform and being willing to served during a time of war. Our prayers go out for him, his family, and his unit. May God bless his memory and the Air Force.

Founding Fathers Quote

The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government.

Thomas Jefferson

Paul Ryan on the foundations for growth

Paul Ryan on Monetary Policy: We're coming untethered from our sound money roots

Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania

Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.

By George Friedman

In school, many of us learned the poem Invictus. It concludes with the line, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This is a line that a Victorian gentleman might bequeath to an American businessman. It is not a line that resonates in Romania. Nothing in their history tells Romanians that they rule their fate or dominate their soul. Everything in their history is a lesson in how fate masters them or how their very soul is a captive of history. As a nation, Romanians have modest hopes and expectations tempered by their past.

This sensibility is not alien to me. My parents survived the Nazi death camps, returned to Hungary to try to rebuild their lives and then found themselves fleeing the communists. When they arrived in America, their wishes were extraordinarily modest, as I look back on it. They wanted to be safe, to get up in the morning, to go to work, to get paid — to live. They were never under the impression that they were the masters of their fate.

The problem that Romania has is that the world cares about it. More precisely, empires collide where Romania is. The last iteration was the Cold War. Today, at the moment, things seem easier, or at least less desperate, than before. Still, as I discussed in Borderlands, the great powers are sorting themselves out again and therefore Romania is becoming more important to others. It is not clear to me that the Romanians fully appreciate the shift in the geopolitical winds. They think they can hide in Europe, and perhaps they can. But I suspect that history is reaching for Romania again.


Geopolitics and Self-Mutilation

Begin with geography. The Carpathian Mountains define Romania, but in an odd way. Rather than serving as the border of the country, protecting it, the Carpathians are an arc that divides the country into three parts. To the south of the mountains is the Wallachian Plain, the heart of contemporary Romania, where its capital, Bucharest, and its old oil center, Ploesti, are located. In the east of the Carpathians is the Moldavian Plain. To the northwest of the Carpathians is Transylvania, more rugged, hilly country.


And this is the geopolitical tragedy of Romania. Romania is one nation divided by its geography. None of the three parts is easy to defend. Transylvania came under Hungarian rule in the 11th century, and Hungary came under Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian rule. Wallachia came under Ottoman rule, and Moldavia came under Ottoman and Russian rule. About the only time before the late 19th century that Romania was united was when it was completely conquered. And the only time it was completely conquered was when some empire wanted to secure the Carpathians to defend itself.(click here to enlarge image)

Some of us experience geopolitics as an opportunity. Most of humanity experiences it as a catastrophe. Romania has been a nation for a long time, but rarely has it been a united nation-state. After becoming a nation-state in the late 19th century, it had a precarious existence, balanced between Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia, with Germany a more distant but powerful reality. Romania spent the inter-war years trying to find its balance between monarchy, authoritarianism and fascism, and it never quite found it. It sought safety in an alliance with Hitler and found itself on the front lines in the German invasion of Russia. To understand Romania as an ally one must bear this in mind: When the Soviets began their great counterattack at Stalingrad, they launched it over Romanian (and Hungarian) troops. Romanians maneuvered themselves into the position of fighting and dying for the Germans, and then got their revenge on the Germans by being slaughtered by the Soviets.

All of this led to Romania’s occupation by the Soviets, toward whom the Romanians developed a unique strategy. The Hungarians rose up against the Soviets and were crushed, and the Czechoslovaks tried to create a liberal communist regime that was still loyal to the Soviets and were crushed. The Romanians actually achieved a degree of autonomy from the Soviets in foreign affairs. The way the Romanians got the Soviets to tolerate this was by building a regime more rigid and oppressive than even that of the Soviet Union at the time. The Soviets knew NATO wasn’t going to invade, let alone invade through Romania. So long as the Romanian regime kept the people in line, the Russians could tolerate their maneuvers. Romania retained its national identity and an independent foreign policy but at a stunning price in personal freedom and economic well-being.

Contemporary Romania cannot be understood without understanding Nicolae Ceausescu. He called himself the “Genius of the Carpathians.” He may well have been, but if so, the Carpathian definition of genius is idiosyncratic. The Romanian communist government was built around communists who had remained in Romania during World War II, in prison or in hiding. This was unique among the Soviet Union’s Eastern European satellites. Stalin didn’t trust communists who stayed home and resisted. He preferred communists who had fled to Moscow in the 1930s and had proved themselves loyal to Stalin by their betrayal of others. He sent Moscow communists to rule the rest of the newly occupied countries that buffered Russia from the West. Not so in Romania, where native communists ruled. After the death of the founder of communist Romania, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, another Romanian communist who stayed in Romania ultimately took over: Ceausescu. This was a peculiarity of Romanian communism that made it more like Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia in foreign policy, and more like a bad dream in domestic policy.

Ceausescu decided to pay off the national debt. His reason seemed to flow from his foreign policy — he didn’t want Romania to be trapped by any country because of its debt — and he repaid it by selling to other countries nearly everything that was produced in Romania. This left Romania in staggering poverty; electricity and heat were occasional things, and even food was scarce in a country that had a lot of it. The Securitate, a domestic secret police whose efficiency and brutality were impressive, suppressed unrest. Nothing in Romania worked as well as the Securitate.

Herta Muller is a Romanian author who writes in German (she is part of Romania’s ethnic German community) and who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009. One of her books, The Appointment, takes place in Romania under the communists. It gives an extraordinary sense of a place ruled by the Securitate. It is about a woman who is living her life, working at her job and dealing with an alcoholic husband while constantly preparing for and living in dread of appointments with the secret police. As in Kafka, what they are looking for and what she is hiding are unclear. But the danger is unrelenting and permeates her entire consciousness. When one reads this book, as I did in preparing for this trip, one understands the way in which the Securitate tore apart a citizen’s soul — and remembers that it was not a distant relic of the 1930s but was still in place and sustaining the Romanian regime in 1989.

It was as if the price that Romania had to pay for autonomy was to punch itself in the face continually. Even the fall of communism took a Romanian path. There was no Velvet Revolution here but a bloody one, where the Securitate resisted the anti-communist rising under circumstances and details that are still hotly debated and unclear. In the end, the Ceausescus (Nicolae’s wife Elena was also a piece of work, requiring a psychological genius to unravel) were executed and the Securitate blended into civil society as part of the organized-crime network that was mistaken for liberalization in the former Soviet empire by Western academics and reporters at the time.

Romania emerged from the previous 70 years of ongoing catastrophe by dreaming of simple things and having no illusions that these things were easy to come by or things Romanians could control. As with much of Eastern Europe but perhaps with a greater intensity, Romanians believed their redemption lay with the West’s multilateral organizations. If they were permitted to join NATO and especially the European Union, their national security needs would be taken care of along with their economic needs. Romanians yearned to become European simply because being Romanian was too dangerous.


The Redemption of Being European

In thinking of Romania, the phrase “institutionalized prisoner” comes to mind. In the United States it is said that if someone stays in prison long enough, he becomes “institutionalized,” someone who can no longer imagine functioning outside a world where someone else always tells him what to do. For Romania, national sovereignty has always been experienced as the process of accommodating itself to more powerful nations and empires. So after 1991, Romania searched for the “someone else” to which it could subordinate itself. More to the point, Romania imbued these entities with extraordinary redemptive powers. Once in NATO and the European Union, all would be well.

And until recently, all has been well, or well in terms of the modest needs of a historical victim. The problem Romania has is that these sanctuaries are in many ways illusions. It looks to NATO for defense, but NATO is a hollowed-out entity. There is a new and ambitious NATO strategy, which sets a global agenda for the organization. Long discussed, it is an exercise in meaninglessness. Countries like Germany have no military with which to fulfill the strategy, assuming that any agreement to act could be reached. NATO is a consensual organization, and a single member can block any mission. The divergent interests of an expanded NATO guarantee that someone will block everything. NATO is an illusion that comforts the Romanians, but only if they don’t look carefully. The Romanians seem to prefer the comforting illusion.

As for the European Union, there is a deep structural tension in the system. The main European economic power is Germany. It is also the world’s second-largest exporter. Its economy is built around exporting. For a country like Romania, economic development requires that it take advantage of its wage advantage. Lower wages allow developing countries to develop their economy through exports. But Europe is dominated by an export superpower. Unlike the postwar world, where the United States absorbed the imports of Germany and Japan without needing to compete with them, Germany remains an exporting country exporting into Romania and leaving precious little room for Romania to develop its economy.(click here to enlarge image)

At this stage of its development, Romania should be running a trade surplus, particularly with Germany, but it is not. In 2007, it exported about $40 billion worth of goods and imported about $70 billion. In 2009, it exported the same $40 billion but cut imports to only $54 billion (still a negative). Forty percent of its trade is with Germany, France and Italy, its major EU partners. But it is Germany where the major problem is. And this problem is compounded by the fact that a good part of Romania’s exports to Germany are from German-owned firms operating in Romania.

During the period of relative prosperity in Europe from 1991 to 2008, the structural reality of the EU was hidden under a rising tide. In 2008 the tide went out, revealing the structural reality. It is not clear when the tide of prosperity will come rolling back in. In the meantime, while the German economy is growing again, Romania’s is not. Because it exists in a system where the main engine is an exporter, and the exporter dominates the process of setting rules, it is difficult to see how Romania can take advantage of its greatest asset — a skilled workforce prepared to work for lower wages.

Add to this the regulatory question. Romania is a developing country. Europe’s regulations are drawn with a focus on the highly developed countries. The laws on employment guarantees mean that Europeans don’t hire workers, they adopt them. That means that entrepreneurship is difficult. Being an entrepreneur, as I well know, means making mistakes and recovering from them fast. Given the guarantees that every worker has in Europe, an entrepreneur cannot quickly recover from his mistakes. In Romania, the agility needed for risk-taking is not readily available under EU rules drawn up for a mature economy.

Romania should be a country of small entrepreneurs, and it is, but there is extensive evasion of Brussels’ — and Bucharest’s — regulations. It is a gray market that creates legal jeopardy and therefore corruption in the sector that Romania needs the most. Imagine if Germany had the regulations it champions today in 1955. Could it possibly have developed into what it is in 2010? There may be a time for these regulations (and that is debatable), but for Romania it is not now.

I met a Romanian entrepreneur who marketed industrial products. In talking to him, I raised the question of the various regulations governing his industry and how he handled them. There was no clear answer or, more precisely, I didn’t realize the answer he had given me until later. There are regulations and there are relationships. The latter mitigate the former. In Germany this might be called corruption. In Romania it is survival. A Romanian entrepreneur rigorously following EU regulations would rapidly go out of business. It may be that Romania is corrupt, but the regulatory structure of the EU imposed on a developing economy makes evasion the only rational strategy. And yet the entrepreneur I talked to was a champion of the European Union. He too hoped for the time when he could be a normal European. As Rousseau said, “I have seen these contradictions and they have not rebuffed me.”

It is difficult to for an outsider to see the specific benefits of NATO and EU membership for Romania. But for the Romanians, membership goes beyond the specifics.


Romania’s Choice

August and September are bad months in Europe. It is when wars and crises strike. August and September 2008 were bad months. That August, Russia struck Georgia. In September, the financial crisis burst wide open. In the first, Russia delivered a message to the region: This is what American guarantees are worth. In the European handling of the financial crisis in Eastern Europe, the Germans delivered a message on the limits of German responsibility. Both NATO and the European Union went from being guarantors of Romanian interests to being enormous question marks.

In my conversations with Romanians, at all levels and almost universally, I have found the same answer. First, there is no doubt that NATO and the European Union did not work in Romania’s favor at the moment. Second, there is no question of rethinking Romania’s commitment to either. There are those Romanians, particularly on the far right, who dislike the European Union in particular, but Romania has no strategic alternative.

As for the vast majority, they cannot and will not conceive of a Romania outside the confines of NATO and the European Union. The mere fact that neither is working well for Romania does not mean that they do not do something important: NATO and the European Union keep the anti-democratic demons of the Romanian soul at bay. Being part of Europe is not simply a matter of strategic or economic benefits. It represents a transitional point in Romanian history. With membership in the European Union and NATO, Romania has affirmed its modernity and its democratic institutions. These twin amulets have redeemed Romania’s soul. Given this, I suppose, an unfavorable trade balance and the absence of genuine security guarantees is a small price to pay. I am not Romanian, so I can’t feel their ineffable belief in Brussels.

Romanians do acknowledge, again almost universally, the return of Russia to the historical stage, and it worries them. Of particular concern is Moldova, a region to the east that was historically Romanian, taken by the Soviets in a treaty with Hitler and the rest of which was seized after World War II. Moldova became an independent country in 1991 (a country I will be visiting next). For much of the post-Cold War period it had a communist government that fell a few years ago. An election will be held on Nov. 28, and it appears that the communists might return. The feeling is that if the communists return this time, the Russians will return with them and, in the coming years, Russian troops will be on Romania’s borders.

Romanian officials are actively engaged in discussions with NATO officials about the Russians, but the Germans want a more active involvement of Russia in NATO and not tension between NATO and Russia. The Western Europeans are not about to be drawn into Eastern European paranoia fed by nostalgic American strategists wanting to relive the Cold War, as they think of it.

I raised two strategic alternatives with Romanian officials and the media. One was the Intermarium — an alliance, perhaps in NATO, perhaps not — of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. (To readers who asked why I did not go to Bulgaria on this trip, it was simply a matter of time. I will go there as soon as I can.) Very interestingly, one official pointed out substantial levels of cooperation on military planning between Hungary and Romania and discussions between Romania and Poland. How serious this is and whether it will go beyond the NATO context is unclear to me. Perhaps I can get a better sense in Warsaw.

But military planning is one thing; the wherewithal to execute military plans is quite another. The Romanians are now caught in a crisis over buying fighter planes. There are three choices: the Swedish Gripen, the Eurofighter and used American F-16s. The problem is that the Romanians don’t have the money for any of these aircraft, nor does it seem to me that these are the defense measures they really need. The Americans can provide air cover in a number of ways, and while 24 F-16s would have value, they would not solve Romania’s most pressing military problem. From where I sit, creating an effective mobile force to secure their eastern frontier is what is needed. The alternative I’ve heard was buying naval vessels to block a very real Russian naval buildup in the Black Sea. But if Romania has trouble buying 24 fighters, naval vessels are out of the question.

The Romanians are approaching defense planning from a NATO perspective — one used for planning, not implementation, and one that always leads to sophisticated systems while leaving the basics uncovered. This may seem like an unnecessary level of detail for this essay, but the Romanians are deep in this discussion, and questions like this are the critical details of strategies growing out of geopolitics. It is the difference between planning papers drawn up by think tanks and the ability to defend a nation.

The Black Sea is a critical part of Romania’s reality, and the rise of Turkey makes the system of relationships interesting. Turkey is Romania’s fourth-largest export target, and one of the few major trading partners that imports more from Romania than it exports. I pointed out to Romanians that it is the great good fortune of Turkey that it was not admitted to the European Union. Turkey’s economy grew by an annualized rate of 12 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and has been surging for years.

Turkey is becoming a regional economic engine and, unlike Germany, France and Italy, it offers compatibilities and synergies for Romania. In addition, Turkey is a serious military force and, while not seeking confrontation with Russia, it is not subservient to it. Turkey has adopted a “360 degree” strategy of engagement with all countries. And since Turkey is a NATO member, as are Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, there is no incompatibility with a dual strategy of the Intermarium and the Black Sea. For now, they fit. And the irony of Romania reaching out to the heir to the Ottomans is simply that and no more. This is the neighborhood that Romania inhabits. These are the options it has.

What doesn’t fit for Romania is the NATO/EU system alone. Perhaps this is part of a rational mix, but it cannot be all of it. For Romania, the problem is to move beyond the psychological comfort of Europe to a strategic and economic understanding that accepts that the post-Cold War world is over. More important, it would be a move toward accepting that Romania is free, responsible for its future and capable of managing it.

It is this last step that is the hardest for Romania and many of the former Soviet satellites — which were also bound up with World War I and Hitler’s disaster — to come to terms with. There is a connection between buying more expensive German cars than you can afford, and more of them than you need, and the novels of Herta Muller. The appointment can be permanently canceled, but the fear of the interrogation is always with you. In this region, the fear of the past dominates and oppresses while the confident, American-style military planning and economic restructuring I suggested is alien and frightening.

The Romanians emerged from a world of horror, some of it of their own making. They fear themselves perhaps more than they fear others. For them, becoming European is both a form of therapy and something that will restrain the demons within and without. When you live with bad memories, you live with the shadows of reality. For the Romanians, illusory solutions to haunting memories make a great deal of sense.

It makes sense until war comes, and in this part of the world, the coming of war has been the one certainty since before the Romans. It is only a question of when, with whom and what your own fate will be when it arrives. The Romanians believe with religious fervor that these things will be left behind if they become part of Europe. I am more skeptical. I had thought that Romania’s problem was that it was part of Europe, a weak power surrounded by stronger ones. They seem to believe that their solution is to be part of Europe, a weak power surrounded by stronger ones.

I leave Romania confused. The Romanians hear things that I am deaf to. It is even at a pitch my Hungarian part can’t hear. I leave now for another nation, Moldova, which has been even more exposed to history, one even stranger and more brutal than Romania’s.

Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania STRATFOR

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Conservatives Come To Senator DeMint's Defense

The fact that the RINO's in our Party have declared open war on Libertarians and true Conservatives is not news. But, Conservatives are no longer willing to put up with it. I think the 2010 election should have woke up the RINO's and party establishment to the fact that we were no longer going to accept the scraps they dished out.

For some Senator Jim DeMint is absolute evil that must be destroyed. Why? Because he is a threat to them. He is a man of principle who wants to return the power that the government has stolen back to the people. His Senate Conservatives Fund helped elect strong Conservatives to the Senate like Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul and in 2012 many more conservatives will be elected to the Senate thanks to Jim DeMint.

Let's make sure we all stand behind him and respond to those who attack him. Since the NRSC has kept its RINO leadership in place I would recommend you give them no money and instead support the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Congressman Paul Discusses Federal Reserve Transparency on MSNBC

Time To End The Insanity

Ann Coulter in her latest article points out the absurdity with which our government has gone about providing so-called airline security. She calls for common sense. Well, that is something the government is short on.

I used to think that the government was just incompetent and too big to effectively accomplish its job. I no longer believe that. I am convinced they use every opportunity presented to them to steal more power for themselves with no regard for our Constitution or their oath to uphold it. I am glad people are starting to say no because it has gone on for too long.

Rep. Michele Bachmann On Obama's Tax Hikes

Jon Bruning On Healthcare

Joe Miller: Integrity of the Vote is Vital

Anchorage, Alaska. November 17, 2010 -- Joe Miller, U.S. Senate candidate, anticipates the end of the vote counting in Alaska today with the tallying of the overseas ballots. With over 255,000 votes cast, less than one percent of the vote total now separates Miller and Murkowski.

In order to ensure the integrity of the election results, the Miller campaign has requested, and the Division of Elections has now granted, the opportunity to review some precinct logs from throughout the state. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, "Our campaign has sworn affidavits identifying unsecured ballot boxes, other precincts where numerous ballots appear to be in the same handwriting, others where there is 100% voter turnout and still other precincts where the ballots were sent to the Division of Elections presorted by U.S. Senate candidate. These and other irregularities give our campaign pause. Alaskans must be able to trust the results of its elections." [read more]

Pence Calls on Congress to Narrow the Focus of the Federal Reserve

“It is time once again to demand that the Federal Reserve focus exclusively on price stability and protecting the dollar.”

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks today on the floor of the House of Representatives, after he introduced legislation that would limit the mandate of the Federal Reserve:


“Jobs should be job one in this Congress and the next. Full employment must be
the objective of policymakers in Washington, D.C. But after years of runaway
spending, borrowing and stimulus, it’s clear – and the American people know it –
we can’t borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy.

“Unfortunately, judging from the latest round of Quantitative Easing,
known as QE2, the Federal Reserve hasn’t gotten the message. Printing money is
no substitute for sound fiscal policy.

“This week I introduced
legislation to end the dual mandate of the Fed. It is time once again to demand
that the Federal Reserve focus exclusively on price stability and protecting the
dollar. And it’s also time to demand that policymakers here in Washington, D.C.,
embrace the kind of reforms that will promote real growth: tax reform, tax
relief, fiscal discipline, regulatory reform and trade. We can’t print money as
a pathway to prosperity.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in ending the
dual mandate of the Fed and let’s get back to growing this economy on principles
and policies that work.”

Sarah Palin Considering 2012 Republican Presidential Bid

by Steven Ertelt

In a new interview with the New York Times magazine, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin confirms she is considering a possible 2012 presidential bid.[
read more]

Ron Paul: Enough Is Enough!

Poll: Just 26 Percent of Americans Believe Obama Will be Re-Elected

by Steven Ertelt

A new poll conducted by the political news web site Politico finds just 26 percent of Americans say they believe pro-abortion President Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012.[
read more]

Founding Fathers Quote

If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

My Review Of Sarah Palin's Alaska

I hate reality TV. That said, I tuned into Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC and loved it, as apparently many others did too. It was not so much reality show as it was an exploration of Alaska from a family perspective. I found myself absolutely riveted and could not believe when the hour was up.

I hear a lot of talking heads, Karl Rove, trashing Gov. Palin over her decision to do the show. After seeing the end result I think he is wrong, again. In some ways Palin's stardom may have made some people feel less like she is one of them. This show shed light on just how normal their family really is. How many people haven't had kids not exactly listen to them, or be as excited about the family outings as you are, or Gov. Palin's fear of heights, which most of us can probably relate to.

I can't wait for the next episode. This show is making Alaska exciting again.

No On The Food Safety Modernization Act

Please contact your senators today and encourage them to vote no on S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. If you are not familiar with S.510 just read this article. Bottom line, the feds have too much authority already; just leave our farms and produce alone.

Pence Introduces Bill to End the Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate

“It’s time to return the Federal Reserve to the singular mission of protecting the fundamental strength and integrity of the dollar.”

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement today as he introduced legislation to scale back the mandate of the Federal Reserve:

“Since 1977 the Fed has been forced to develop monetary policy that balances
concerns for employment and inflation. The bill I’m introducing today will end
that dual mandate and put the Fed back in the business of solely focusing on
price stability and preventing inflation.

“The Fed’s QE2 decision
earlier this month to print $600 billion, as an attempt to reduce unemployment,
is another example of the failure of its dual mandate. By using monetary
stimulus in this way, the central bank has actually taken steps that will prove
inflationary in the long run. Printing money is no substitute for sound fiscal
policy.

“The Federal Reserve should focus solely on controlling
inflation. Unemployment is a matter of great seriousness to the American people,
but it is the job of the Congress and the President to put forth pro-growth
policies on taxes, to rein in government spending, and to reduce the regulatory
burden in order to create an environment that is friendly to our nation’s job
creators and that sustains long-term employment. The Fed’s full employment
mandate has, too often, led to short-term fixes with long-term inflationary
consequences that will not lead to job creation. It’s time to return the Federal
Reserve to the singular mission of protecting the fundamental strength and
integrity of the dollar.”

Pardon Yourself

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Preversion Of The TSA

The stories just get more and more outlandish. Here are two stories from Alex Jones' site; big hat tip to Drudge. Why any American would subject themselves, let alone their children, to this is unimaginable. In what society does this not count as sexual assault of a child or adult? It is yet another example of the feds not respecting the rule of law. Many states have laws against sexual assault that these searches clearly violate. Here is Judge Napolitano on the TSA and your Constitutional rights.

Don't Touch My Junk!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time To Abolish The TSA?

Great article over at Forbes on why we should abolish the TSA. I say absolutely. Almost everything Homeland Security has done is unconstitutional. They have done far more damage to the Republic than anything a terrorist has ever done. It is sickening that so many Americans are so willing to go along with strip searches, pat downs, and porno machines peering at your naked body.

A great American once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Let's not just get rid of the TSA, though, let's also look at the unconstitutional parts of the Patriot Act and the out-of-control activities of Homeland Security. Ask yourself why the government is so concerned by the actions of its citizens while leaving our borders wide open. A lot of this was in the works before terrorist attacks ever occurred. American cities are installing cameras to watch our every move. The government is able to enter your home and make it look like a break-in and they can stare at your naked body if you want to fly.

Are we truly free anymore? Does the Constitution matter any more? If your answer is no, who is responsible? A terrorist from a third world country or your own out-of-control government?

End of Liberty

Update from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC)


RSC Update: Monday, November 15, 2010

From the Chairman
Congress returns to Washington this week to begin a lame duck session. Since they knew that votes for bigger deficits and job-killing tax hikes would not have been well received, Democrats intentionally delayed these debates until after the election. That decision was both irresponsible and an abdication of duty.

All across the country, Americans voted on November 2 for people who pledged to rein in reckless spending and start removing government-imposed obstacles to job creation. Unfortunately, many members of Speaker Pelosi’s outgoing majority have still not gotten the message. They intend to enact a massive omnibus spending package and make our most successful small businesses pay higher taxes.

The most responsible action at this point would be to stop all of the coming tax increases and pass a short-term measure to keep the government running until the reformers who were just elected can begin the important work of cutting Washington’s budget down to size.

Sincerely,

Congressman Tom Price
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity – Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.
· Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) discusses oversight and reform under the incoming Republican House majority.

· Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ-06): An Earmark Fight Congress Doesn’t Need; The Washington Post, November 12.

· Rep. Eric Cantor (VA-07): GOP Will Focus on Jobs, Spending; AOL News, November 15.

Outlook – Here is a preview of upcoming Democrat proposals to advance their liberal agenda.
· When House Democrats choose their leadership for the next Congress this week, soon-to-be-former Speaker Nancy Pelosi will almost certainly remain in charge as Minority Leader.

· More than ninety current House members who either lost their elections or did not even run for re-election will participate in the lame duck session of Congress that begins this week. Democrats hope to enact a massive omnibus package that encompasses all 12 spending bills they neglected to pass before the current fiscal year began on October 1.

· Unless Congress acts to prevent it, a dizzying array of tax hikes will hit Americans on January 1. Among the changes – income tax rates and taxes on saving and investment will rise, and the marriage penalty and the Death Tax will return. Twenty-three million new families will also have to fork over more money to pay for the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

RSC Reports
· Each week, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

###
House Republican Study Committee
Rep Tom Price, M.D., Chairman
Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Natalie Farr, Professional Staff
Emily Henehan Murry, Professional Staff
Bruce “Fez” Miller, Professional Staff
Jonathan Day, Director of Member Services and Business Outreach
Alex Shively, Director of Conservative Coalitions
Ryan Murphy, Communications Director
Brian Straessle, Deputy Communications Director
Curtis Rhyne, Research Assistant
424 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
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There May Be Life For The F-22 After All


One benefit of the Republicans retaking the US House of Representatives is that the F-22 program may be brought back. It is crucial that we restore funding for the F-22 that was cut by Obama in favor of big government social spending. Many critiques of the programs cite its cost. It comes down to simply, how much is too much to pay to bring our pilots home alive and safe.

The F-22 is, by far, the most advanced aircraft in the world. It would guarantee us air superiority over any battlefield and force China and Russia to spend hundreds of billions to try and catch us. The other complaint that I often hear is that the F-22 doesn't help us in Iraq and Afghanistan; I will never understand why so many people are so short sighted. The largest threat facing us in the world in an emerging China and a growing Russian/German alliance in Europe.

I would rather prepare in the hopes that we would never need to use our advanced military forces; or put much much more eloquently by one of my favorite founding fathers, "It is important also to consider, that the surest means of avoiding war is to be prepared for it in peace." - Joseph Story

Short sightedness brought us World War II and 9-11, will we never learn? Unfortunately our leaders, in Vietnam, Korea, and the War on Terrorism, have made us look weak due to their refusal to fight to win. They, instead, insist upon a politically correct approach that makes us appear weak and open to attack.

It was only our advanced weapons systems and nuclear deterrent that kept the USSR at bay. Many people want to claim that Regan wasted money on SDI (Star Wars). The truth is, however, that it first brought the Soviet empire to the negotiating table and later to its knees. It was a success and the money spent was well worth it. In a time of economic crisis the budget has to be cut, but not at the cost of leaving us vulnerable.

Jon Bruning For US Senate

I am excited to announce that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, a true Conservative, has started an exploratory committee to run for Senate against Ben Nelson in 2012. This is exactly what we need to keep happening all over the Republic. True Conservative candidates are stepping forward, it is incumbent upon us to support them in any way we can. If you would like to donate to Bruning or volunteer it would help show him he has the support to win. I have supported Bruning through his last couple of campaigns; he is a strong Constitutionalist. This is from his website:

The Constitution

It is the responsibility of every elected official to uphold and protect the constitution of the United States. We the people must fight for our constitutional rights and protect them from the federal overreach of the past few years.

We need to protect the second amendment and the rights of the unborn. We need to make sure Congress understands that it is unconstitutional for it to force Americans to purchase health care just as Congress shouldn’t be telling Americans what to eat, what to drive, or how to think. The Federal government should not decide what is best for us but instead should get out of the way and allow us to be productive American citizens that embrace concepts like individual responsibility and freedom in our daily lives.

As long as I am an elected official I will continue to fight for the principles in our Constitution and do my part to ensure that this country continues to be greatest republic in the history of mankind.