Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reagan and Obama: A Tale of Two Visions for America

By Rick Manning

In the last State of the Union address in 1988, President Ronald Reagan used the opportunity to remind Americans and Congress of the greatness that America aspires to, not through increased government, but through increased liberty.

In 1988, he said, “I don't buy the idea that this is the last year of anything, because we're not talking here tonight about registering temporary gains but ways of making permanent our successes. And that's why our focus is the values, the principles, and ideas that made America great. Let's be clear on this point. We're for limited government, because we understand, as the Founding Fathers did, that it is the best way of ensuring personal liberty and empowering the individual so that every American of every race and region shares fully in the flowering of American prosperity and freedom.

“One other thing we Americans like — the future — like the sound of it, the idea of it, the hope of it. Where others fear trade and economic growth, we see opportunities for creating new wealth and undreamed-of opportunities for millions in our own land and beyond. Where others seek to throw up barriers, we seek to bring them down. Where others take counsel of their fears, we follow our hopes. Yes, we Americans like the future and like making the most of it.”

Just 24 years later, we will have another of the annual State of the Union addresses, this time by a President desperate for re-election trying to justify policies that have shredded liberty and economic freedom.
A President who has made class warfare the hallmark of his presidency and through his philosophical intransigence has created a debt burden on our nation unparalleled in history.
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Our Preview Of Obama's 2012 State Of The Union

Video by Frank McCaffrey
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Newt Gingrich is a member of the GOP establishment and a D.C. insider

By Adam Bitely

If I told you that I had been the Speaker of the House of Representatives, author of numerous books on public policy, paid $1.6 million by a government sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac for my “services” and a special contributor to Fox News, would you believe it if I then said I am not a part of the D.C. establishment or a Washington insider?

Probably not.

In the past week, Newt Gingrich has probably had one of the most roller coaster experiences of his entire life. He had a come-from-behind double-digit victory in South Carolina, evaded a potentially campaign-ending interview from his ex-wife, and appears to be consolidating the anyone-but-Mitt crowd behind his campaign. In other words, Newt Gingrich had the best week of the campaign cycle so far and is beginning to turn this primary season in a direction that no one thought was possible.

Newt pulled off this miraculous feat by whining and screaming at CNN’s John King for being biased against Republicans. While Newt is probably right about that, it does nothing to change the fact that Newt is biased against limiting the powers of government. Yet it appears that many voters are ready to forgive Newt for a career of compromising the principles of limited government.

I wrote back in December that I was surprised that many considered Newt Gingrich a reasonable alternative to Mitt Romney. It made sense that voters who sought real change to the Obama administration would want someone that had a different history than Mitt. But when Newt became the poster boy for opposing Obama for a brief few days a month before the Iowa caucuses I was blown away.
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IMF admits $1 trillion not enough to bail out Europe

By Bill Wilson

Sometimes, government officials tell the truth, and when they do, watch out. It might be a good idea to hold on to your wallet.

A recent example is International Monetary Fund Managing Director Chrstine Lagarde commenting on the European debt crisis in Berlin on Jan. 23. Even though the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) has already committed €440 billion, the European Central Bank (ECB) €220 billion, and the IMF €78.5 billion to propping up troubled sovereigns Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (PIIGS) — some €738.5 billion, or almost $1 trillion in total — Lagarde said, “these moves form pieces, but pieces only, of a comprehensive solution.”

If Spain and Italy enter the equation, said Lagarde, all bets are off, saying a “larger firewall” was needed. Without it, Italy and Spain “could potentially be forced into a solvency crisis by abnormal financing costs.”

“I am convinced that we must step up the Fund’s lending capacity,” Lagarde declared, adding, “The goal here is to supplement the resources Europe will be putting on the table, but also to meet the needs of ‘innocent bystanders’ infected by contagion, anywhere in the world. A global world needs global firewalls.”

Saying the world’s financing shortfall “[i]n the coming years” could be as much as $1 trillion, the IMF chief proposed a dramatic expansion of her agency. “To play its part, the IMF would aim to raise up to $500 billion in additional lending resources,” she said, alluding to a proposal already on the table to double the Fund’s $364 billion of quotas. That includes doubling the United States’ quota in the fund to $128 billion.
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Will the real anti-establishment candidate please stand up?


Newt Gingrich is now claiming to be the “anti-establishment candidate.”  That’s right, folks. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, a 20 year veteran of Congress, is claiming to be “anti-establishment.”

What a joke.

On Meet the Press on Sunday, Newt amped up his establishment rhetoric, saying “the Establishment is right to be worried about a Gingrich nomination, because a Gingrich nomination means that we’re going to change things, we’re going to make the Establishment very uncomfortable.”

I hate the establishment vs. anti-establishment argument. In most situations, it’s complete nonsense, used only by those who are trailing in the polls, as noted by my colleague Jim Hoeft in the Daily Press last week.  But for some, it seems to resonate.  Despite the apparent potency of the argument for some Republican voters, at least in this situation, it’s a hollow theme.

It makes perfect sense that Newt would adopt the establishment vs. anti-establishment rhetoric – it fits completely into his playbook. That book, which is by now dogeared and cliched, has the candidate speak in semi-memorable soundbites that sound smart as you hear them but don’t stand up to more than a few seconds of serious scrutiny.  This strategy was pointed out by the pure establishment, notorious RINO and flaming liberal Ann Coulter on Fox News this weekend.

Regardless of whether you think the establishment vs. anti-establishment argument is a good one – it isn’t, but folks are entitled to their opinions – Newt is the farthest from being an outsider of anybody left up on that stage. Does anybody honestly think Newt is the man to muck the stables of DC?

There’s really only one candidate in the race left who can honestly claim to be anti-establishment, and it’s not Ron Paul. It’s Mitt Romney. The man served one term as governor of Massachusetts, never held elective office before and has not held elective office since. He’s been out of office since 2007. He’s never served one day in Washington. He was never in the Republican leadership, never ran the Republican Governors Association or had any high ranking positions in the RNC.

Ron Paul has spent 24 years in Washington – longer than anybody else on the stage, including Gingrich. While his ideas may put him outside the mainstream, that doesn’t make him anti-establishment. It just makes him really bad at legislating.

Rick Santorum is a former two term Senator and two term Congressman, with 16 years of experience in Washington under his belt. In the Senate he was Republican Conference chairman, the number 3 leadership position, behind leader and whip.

Newt is not the anti-establishment candidate. He defines establishment. He was Speaker. He ran the NRCC. He was in the leadership for much of his career. Nobody was more inside Washington than he was. He had 20 years to clean this town up, including 4 as arguably the second most powerful person in DC and he failed miserably. In fact, if anything, he made things worse, by destroying the collegial atmosphere that had characterized Washington politics outside the glare of the TV cameras and reporters notebooks for most of the previous two centuries. He made politics in Washington an “us vs. them” phenomenon and was the true originator of the “permanent campaign” mentality (frequently attributed to Karl Rove). He has caused lasting damage to the fabric of our politics. He argues that he wants to change Washington, but he already has – making it far worse than it ever was before. But that “change Washington” theme won him the Speakership and helped propel us to a majority in the House of Representatives.So it makes sense, then, that he’d try the same routine again. It’s never failed him in the past.

But it has failed America.

For those out there who like the establishment vs. anti-establishment argument, Mitt Romney, not Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich, should be your candidate.

Washington needs reform, especially after the damage the Obama Administration has caused. And much of that reform has to be in restoring competence to government, rebuilding trust between the parties, and a renewed focus on true bipartisanship – not the Democrats get what they want while Republicans get hosed style bipartisanship that has become the new definition of the word. That will take a fresh persepective and the only fresh perspective left on that stage is coming from Mitt Romney.

Red Tails Rakes In $19.1 Million Over The Weekend, Fox Exec Says ‘George Lucas Was Right’ Read more: Red Tails Rakes In $19.1 Million Over The Weekend, Fox Exec Says ‘George Lucas Was Right’

Last week, George Lucas announced he was retiring from blockbuster films but he may want to rethink his decision seeing as though ‘Red Tails’ pulled in a hefty $19.1 million at the box office its opening weekend, The action movie based on the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, snagged the #2 spot behind ‘Underworld 4′, after George Lucas was very vocal about the various struggles of getting support and financing in Hollywood for the film. According to Lucas, even though he’s had success with films like Star Wars and Indian Jones, he had a hard time convincing Hollywood that their was a market for the film that features a majority black cast. After repeatedly being snubbed despite his track record, he finally decided to invest $60 million of his own money to get the film made and released.

The prequel and the sequel are already in the works, and Lucas had already said the only way that those will get off the ground would be if ‘Red Tails’ could have a $20 million opening weekend. The movie was just shy of what he hoped for, but better than the flop that most people expected, so he is now hoping to snag Spike Lee as the director of the prequel and possibly Lee Daniels for the sequel.
“If we can get over $20 million in our first weekend, we’re kind of in the game. We’re in The Help category. If it gets $30 (million) in the first weekend,” he continued, “then those guys [Spike Lee, Lee Daniels etc] get to make their movies without even thinking about it.”
After all the grief that Lucas went through to get this movie made, FOX, who marketed ‘Red Tails’ in America but outright refused to invest any cash into the film, now admits that Lucas taking a gamble on his “passion project” that no one else wanted to touch was the right thing to do.
“I couldn’t tell you how right he was,” Fox’s Chris Aronson said. “…This is why he’s George Lucas. He was right.”
Sidenote: According to reports, George Lucas decision to retire was provoked by the many complaints he received from Star War fans who were disappointed in the prequels as well as studio execs who wouldn’t even show up to the ‘Redtail’ screenings. He was quoted as telling the New York Times:
Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are? “I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.
Another interesting tidbit: Aaron McGruder, creator of the Boondocks, assisted in writing the script.
Did you see Redtails this weekend? What were your thoughts?

George Lucas and Tristan Wilds

Spike Lee Unleashes Expletive-Filled Tirade At Sundance Screening

Not too many directors are pleased with Hollywood executives when it comes to green-lighting films. Famed director Spike Lee let his feeling be known at Sundance Film Festival while screening his latest project ‘Red Hook‘.
In an expletive-laced Q&A, the veteran filmmaker said that Hollywood executives know nothing about black people and that he wanted the audience to spread the word that the film “is not a mother f—ing sequel to ‘Do the Right Thing.’”

And it was Rock who set Lee off on the night’s biggest fireworks. After Lee talked about how the movie had been shot in 19 days within a 10-block area of Brooklyn, the comedian and actor stood up and asked a question.

“OK, so you did it. You spent your own money, right?” he said. “What would you have done differently if you’d actually gotten a bunch of studio money? What else would have happened? Would you have blown up some shit?”

We never went to the studios with this film, Chris,” he said. “I told you, we’re gonna do this motherf—ing film ourselves! The plan was to make the film, bring it to Sundance, and … “
He stopped, looked over at Sundance chief John Cooper and quickly corrected himself. “Sorry, John, we were gonna show it to you first,” he said, backtracking from the implication that Sundance would have taken anything Lee gave them.

And then he waded back into the fray. “I didn’t want to hear no motherf—ing notes from the studio telling me … about what a young 13-year-old boy and girl would do in Red Hook. F— no.

“They know nothing about black people. Nothing!”

Spotted: The Wrap

by Rahiem Shabazz