Monday Brief: The Rise of Rick

Brief

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Foundation

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.” –George Washington

Political Futures

Rick Santorum

“There are reports the Obama campaign, long focused on Mitt Romney, is beginning to prepare for a face-off with [Rick] Santorum, just in case the former Pennsylvania senator captures the Republican nomination. The conventional wisdom among both Democrats and Republicans is that Obama would seek to tear Santorum limb-from-limb with attacks on his positions on abortion, contraception, and, now, prenatal testing. … In his first surge, in the last days of Iowa caucus campaigning, Santorum shot into the lead on the strength of a platform that featured appealing positions on jobs, on taxes, on national defense, as well as the social positions for which he is well known. Alone among Republicans, Santorum spoke at length about the decline of U.S. manufacturing and the problems of American workers who don’t have college degrees. … Those positions, along with his dogged determination on the stump, caused many Republicans to give him a serious look. Now, leading in the polls both nationally and in Michigan, which holds a key primary February 28, Santorum knows that his opponents, both in the Republican race and Democrats, will seek to provoke him into controversial statements on social issues. And yet in the last few days, he has been unable to steer the political conversation back to the topics that work best with voters. If he can’t re-take control of that conversation, he could find himself in serious trouble.” –columnist Byron York

How does Santorum’s message resonate with you?

Washington’s Birthday

In some circles, today is observed as “Presidents’ Day,” jointly recognizing Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but it is still officially recognized as the anniversary of “Washington’s Birthday” — and that is how we mark the date in our shop. Washington’s actual birthday is Feb. 22.

Read more and comment here.

For the Record

“The [birth control mandate] ‘accommodation’ … is a farce. If you’re paying for health insurance — or if you self-insure, as many institutions do — shifting responsibilities to the insurance companies doesn’t shift the costs, just the paperwork. A Catholic hospital would still pay for the services; there just wouldn’t be a line item for it in the monthly insurance bill. That’s not accommodation; that’s laundering. … Of course, if religious institutions don’t want to violate their consciences, they can simply stop offering health insurance altogether (providing yet another example of how Obama misled voters when he promised that the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t cause anyone to lose their current coverage). That would at least allow religious organizations to uphold their principles. The result, however, would be to force taxpayers to subsidize practices many find morally abhorrent. In other words, Obama’s solution is to make paying taxes a moral dilemma for many pro-lifers. … When we empower bureaucrats and politicians to make such huge personal decisions for us, it becomes impossible to avoid trampling on liberty. The Roman Catholic Church was simply the first in the leviathan’s path.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

Re: The Left

“To be blunt, the president has it exactly backwards. It is not religious institutions that wish to be held to a different set of rules, but those who would kick the First Amendment to the curb — the one that establishes the exact same religious standard for everyone — in order to accommodate the abortion-on-demand constituency. Thus, when Democrats and the president speak about finding an ‘accommodation’ to address religious peoples’ concerns, they are being both arrogant and disingenuous: no member of the government has the option of deciding whether or not to accommodate clauses contained in the Constitution. They are bound by it –all of it. Despite all their high-minded pronouncements to the contrary, Democratic agenda has long been defined by different people playing by different sets of rules. … Even more ironically, for Democrats, anything less than an equal outcome is de facto evidence that someone is playing by a different set of rules, and must be brought to heel by any means necessary — even if it means bending the rules in the process.” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

Culture

“Never mind that a vast government apparatus exists to provide poor women access to contraceptives, from Medicaid and community health centers to Title X. There are roughly 4,500 Title X-funded clinics around the country. They are required to provide free birth control to the poor and subsidized birth control to people with incomes between 100 percent and 250 percent of poverty. They serve about 5 million people a year. By any reasonable standard, we are one of the most lavishly contracepted societies in the history of the planet. … A Centers for Disease Control report this year found that among teen mothers who had unintended pregnancies, only 13 percent said they had trouble getting access to birth control. … Of all the causes of the explosion in illegitimate births, limited access to contraception can’t be high on the list. At the same time that we have seen a profusion of contraceptives that are dazzling in their variety, impressive in their efficacy, and democratic in their widespread accessibility, out-of-wedlock births have gone from 10 percent in 1970 to 42 percent today (largely among poor women with access to government-provided contraceptives).” –National Review editor Rich Lowry

Government

“President Obama said in his State of the Union speech, ‘We’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings.’ … Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell cut through the fog to get at the truth of the $2 trillion ‘cut.’ ‘We have a budget of, what, almost $4 trillion? So if we’re doing $2 trillion of cuts,’ Mitchell said, ‘we’re cutting government in half. That sounds wonderful.’ … Calling that a ‘cut’ is nonsense. Mitchell gave an analogy: ‘What if I came to you and said, “I’ve been on a diet for the last month, and I’ve gained 10 pounds. Isn’t that great?” You would say: “Wait, what are you talking about? That’s insane.” And I said: “I was going to gain 15 pounds. I’ve only gained 10 pounds, therefore my diet is successful.”‘ Democrats use this deceit when they want more social spending. … Mitchell points out that the politicians don’t even have to make actual cuts to save the future. If they just slowed the growth of government to about 2 percent per year, the U.S. economy could grow out of this mess. But the politicians won’t do even that. … Bottom line: Don’t trust the politicians’ numbers.” –columnist John Stossel

Essential Liberty

“Americans pride themselves on being a self-reliant people. … But with each passing year, that portrait flies more and more in the face of reality. The numbers plainly show that we are becoming a people dependent not on ourselves, but on government. We are evolving into a nation of takers, not givers. The numbers in question come in the form of a new Heritage Foundation report titled ‘The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government.’ You don’t have to read far before you realize that the days of Horatio Alger stories are behind us. Start with the most basic facts: Today, more than 67.3 million Americans rely on assistance from Washington for everything from food, shelter and clothing to college tuition and health care. These benefits cost federal taxpayers roughly $2.5 trillion annually. Oh, about those taxpayers: Even as the number of Americans receiving federal aid rises, the number of federal taxpayers continues to drop: Nearly half of all Americans — 49.5 percent — don’t pay any federal income taxes.” –Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner

The Gipper

“The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution.” –Ronald Reagan

Reader Comments

“The best way to fight Marxism in America is to send Obama packing! What he knows about Jesus and His teaching you could put on the head of a pin and never find it, even with the strongest magnifying glass in the world. Just look at how he handled the abortion/contraceptive thing and you know just how out of touch with Christian religion and principles he really is.” –Jiggs

“The best weapon to fight Marxism in America is political education. Especially for the young and the poor so they can know the truth about what the left is really all about. The Patriot Post is the best source for truth in politics and government.” –Fred

“Historically, the best weapon to fight Marxism has been any weapon with a caliber greater than point four. Education (what a quaint idea!) seems to be ineffective.” –GAMtns

“This temporary payroll tax cut, which makes no sense at all, is just another example of Congress ‘leading’ the country to ruin while placing at least one hand over their backside.” –Brian

“The payroll tax ‘holiday’ is another Democrat scam to fool voters into thinking it means something to their lives. All it does is accelerate the demise of Social Security or increase the debt. And the Democrats don’t care which because they’ve already positioned themselves to deflect blame completely back to the Republicans. And their constituents lap up their lies and hypocrisy like mother’s milk.” –Mike

“Please call ‘crony’ capitalism by its proper name — Corporate Socialism. I have been corrected on this and I think you will agree too. Crony capitalism allows the socialists off the hook every time. They say, ‘See, capitalism doesn’t work, it’s corrupt,’ even when their ideology is largely responsible.” –Freepeoples

“The caption under the picture of the Navy Seal has both his first and last names misspelled. How about issuing a correction?” –Robert the Bruce

Editor’s Reply: That image did not originate with us, it was a last minute addition, and our editing team just read it the way it should have been instead of fixing it. For what it’s worth, Houston’s first name was also misspelled. We deeply regret the error, which has been corrected.

Opinion in Brief

“Understand, I don’t expect liberals to turn on [Barack Obama] because he continues to promote the redistribution of wealth. … But when, during his State of the Union address, he had the gall to say that it’s not fair that Warren Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, pays more in income taxes than billionaire Buffet, I don’t recall hearing any of the Party faithful call him on it. As we all know, tax rate is not the same thing as tax obligation. Even Ms. Bossiness … knows she doesn’t write a bigger check to the IRS than her boss. We also know … that folks like Buffet and Romney already paid income taxes on the money they earned at a rate of 35% before getting to invest whatever was left and then pay an additional 15% on those capital gains. The IRS, a gang of ghouls who would cheerfully pry the gold from the teeth of the deceased, then gets a third crack at their money in the form of death taxes. The notion that rich people don’t pay their fair share of taxes is such a blatant lie that only that half of the population that pays nothing, while in some cases collecting ‘refunds,’ would be hypocritical enough to turn it into their favorite mantra.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

The Last Word

Editor’s Note: The following is satire. Obama didn’t really say these things.

“President Obama … announced that he is stepping down as president until after Election Day so he can focus all his time on campaigning. ‘Let’s just forget it,’ Obama said in an interview with Barbara Walters. ‘Nobody’s buying this. I’m already mainly campaigning. This just formalizes the arrangement.’ Obama’s decision to temporarily cede the presidency to Vice President Joseph Biden comes amid criticism that the budget he released … does more for Obama’s political prospects than the country’s economic future. … ‘The new budget I released … was produced at our campaign headquarters in Chicago by David Axelrod,’ Obama told Walters. ‘He’s is a wizard with numbers, though mostly it’s been with polls. This is the first time he’s tried writing a federal budget. I think he did just great.’ … Obama blamed Republicans for the deficit. ‘They’re making me do this. They upset me, and when I’m stressed, I spend. I’m working on it.’ … Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed satisfaction with the new leverage his country would have over the United States as China increases its lending to fund America’s spending. ‘Bark like a dog, USA! Speak! Roll over.’” –columnist Keith Koffler

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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