Friday, November 27, 2009

Crist reschedules April special election

In a very smart and politically savvy move Wednesday, Governor Charlie Crist issued an executive order rescheduling the April special election for Congressional District 19 to April 13th, 2010. Originally the Governor had set the date for April 6th, which is the last day of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Shalom International and radio host Joyce Kaufman joined U.S. House candidate Edward Lynch (R) in urging the governor to change the date so that observant Jews would not be disenfranchised in this special election.

Monday evening, before the Broward Republican Executive Committee meeting, Lynch met with the Governor and a handful of others to discuss the issue. Lynch urged Crist to change the date of the special election to avoid disenfranchising any voters and to increase voter turnout. Meanwhile Lynch's primary opponents were downstairs, badmouthing Lynch and spreading foolish and disingenuous rumors about him. While they apparently had plenty to say about Mr. Lynch personally, candidates Curt Price and Joe Budd were noticeably silent on the issue of their potential future constituents being unable to vote on April 6th.

Shortly after hearing about Crist's announcement, candidate Lynch issued the following statement, "It is official, I applaud Governor Crist for changing the date of our special election to April 13, 2010. 3 days after I met with the Governor he made sure that all people will have the opportunity to vote. While our opponents were working the room slamming me, I was sitting with the Governor, taking care of the people's business... I want to also give credit where it is due and I would like to say thank you to Shalom International and, of course Joyce Kaufman for working so hard on the election date issue as well."

While this writer has his differences with Governor Crist on many issues, I give him credit for doing the right thing in this situation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Conservatives converge on Palm Beach

This weekend, at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, a veritable who's who of conservative power-players and heavy-hitters converged to discuss, debate, relax and honor three their own. From Thursday, 11/19 to Sunday, 11/22 the David Horowitz Freedom Center's 'Restoration Weekend' drew together conservative politicians, pundits, authors, analysts and icons from around the nation.

Some of the speakers and guests that attended this gala event were: the host David Horowitz, former-Speaker of the House-Newt Gingrich, author-Ann Coulter, former-presidential candidate and US Senator-Fred Thompson, Phyllis Schlafly, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, State Representative Adam Hasner, Pamela Geller-of Atlas Shrugs, House Minority Leader-John Boehner, Democratic Strategist-Pat Caddell, Scott Wheeler, Andrew Klavan, George Gilder, Jonah Goldberg, Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Steve Moore-of the Wall Street Journal, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Bawer, Congressmen Ed Royce and Thaddeus McCotter, Major General Paul Vallely, Liz Cheney, Michael Ledeen, Dave Bossie and US Senator Jim DeMint.

There was a great award ceremony where former-presidential candidate, Senator Fred Thompson was the keynote speaker. His speech though well received and insightful, wasn't very stirring. Ann Coulter, not known for gushing over anyone, gushed over recipient of the Annie Taylor Award, Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly is a conservative icon. In addition to being a brilliant strategic thinker, she also almost single-handedly defeated the E.R.A.. Ms. Coulter spoke highly of her hero for about 10 minutes in a very heartfelt introduction. It was an excellent introduction and fascinating for showing Ann Coulter in a different light. Also honored were the filmmakers that exposed ACORN, Sean O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.

Newt Gingrich gave a speech about how the Republican Party can take back control of Congress. The former speaker had some interesting tactical ideas. However, the Speaker's "moderate" streak was on full display, as he suggested that if a district was so heavily Democrat that "a Republican could never win", then rather than running a Republican we ought to support a "moderate" Democrat. His suggestion that Republicans should challenge Democrats from dogcatcher to the Senate seemed contradictory, but the crowd gave him a standing ovation for it.

The best and most well received speech was given by the fantastic Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. She made no secret of the fact she believes Al Franken stole the US Senate election from Norm Coleman. She spoke of being the left's number one target (maybe number 2 after Sarah Palin), speaking not as a victim, but pointing to the fact that the left knows it's ideas are failing and that their arguments fall short, so they attack the messenger. Bachmann got 3 standing ovations from a receptive audience that obviously would like to see her lead the conservatives back into the leadership of the House GOP. After her rousing speech Rep. Bachmann was inundated by the crowd, looking for photo-ops and the chance to shake her hand and thank her for her efforts.

Also in attendance was candidate for the US House of Representatives in Florida's 19th Congressional District, Edward Lynch. Mr. Lynch met with Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Thaddeus McCotter, Fred Thompson, Major General Paul Vallely and others to discuss issues including: defense policy, healthcare, illegal immigration and how to mount a successful GOP sweep in 2010, starting with District Nineteen's special election on April 6th.

Lynch looked every bit like our next congressman as he discussed the serious issues that confront our nation, with seasoned legislators, military experts, veterans (including 3 Congressional Medal of Honor winners) and authors. Major General Vallely was extremely impressed with Lynch's grasp of the issues and his positions. This may explain, in part, why the general recently gave Edward his endorsement.

The panel discussions and lectures included "Obama's Radical Transformation of America", "Culture Panel: Is Hollywood Changing?" and "How to Win in 2010". There was a moving tribute video celebrating the late Ron Silver and then there was the great Citizens United Film Festival, which included 'Perfect Valor' and 'Ronald Reagan Rendezvous with Destiny'. The Freedom Center's 'Restoration Weekend' was a fantastic gathering of some of the best conservative minds in America. It was a pleasure having this group of exceptional Americans in our backyard.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Political Correctness Run Amok

I want to talk about political correctness run amok and the danger it poses to us all. It used to be as harmless as referring to people and groups in the way that they preferred, like calling someone black, or African-American instead of Negro. But then they started changing what term was PC it seemed, from week-to-week. That was annoying, but not dangerous. Now we’ve entered a period in history when political correctness is endangering and costing people their lives. Case in point: It has come to light that Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s US Army colleagues reported some of his radical behavior which included proselytizing his patients about Islam and giving a presentation in which he spoke about Muslims in the military having an obligation to wage Jihad against the US. It has also been reported that while he was posted at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Hasan worshipped at the same Mosque, with the same radical Yemeni born imam as two of the 9/11 hijackers and that he attempted contact Al-Qaeda on as many as 20 occasions. The warning signs were there, but nothing was done. This terrorist attack on soldiers at the largest US military post in the world, and make no mistake about it that’s what it was, could have been prevented. But due to political correctness and the fear of reprisal from their superiors, many officers felt that they couldn’t report him for fear that they would be the ones that would be disciplined for religious intolerance. That same PC, bullshit is what has prompted the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey to be more concerned with possible “backlash” against Muslims and “diversity” in the military than they are about making sure that this never happens again. Our community organizer-in-chief, Barack Hussein Obama, has said that we don’t have all the facts and shouldn’t rush to judgement about the motivations of Hasan. This is the same man that a few months back didn’t have all the facts but rushed to say that the Cambridge Police Dept. “acted stupidly” in arresting his Harvard professor friend.

The “lamestream” media, as Bernie Goldberg calls them, have fallen all over themselves to avoid calling Hasan a terrorist. They prefer to explain away his behavior as the act of a lone lunatic, or a man that was driven to his rampage by anti-Muslim taunting or most ludicrous of all, that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he apparently caught while counseling soldiers, not that had returned from combat, but that were preparing to deploy. This is the kind of politically correct insanity that has allowed a radical Islamic-Jihadist to continue to not only be in the United States Army counseling our brave soldiers, but to be promoted, transferred and set to deploy overseas to counsel soldiers that have been in combat as well.

Now, in what is perhaps the ultimate politically correct move this administration has made to date, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that Kalid Sheikh Mohammed and 4 other 9/11 terrorist-conspirators will be tried not in military tribunals, but in federal civilian courts in New York City. I was looking for the words to express just how dangerous this decision is, but Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District said it better than I ever could, “The War for Freedom against terrorism is a martial matter, not a criminal matter. It is wrong for this administration to care more about the A.C.L.U.'S radical ideology than about Americans' national security." I couldn’t agree more. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 were acts of war and those that planned and conspired to carry out those attacks are war criminals that should be dealt with in military tribunals, not in civilian courts.

How high does the body count have to go before the American People, the United States Military and our alleged political leaders wake up and say “enough”? We are in a war with radical Muslim extremists who have made no secret about their intentions to kill us because in their eyes we are infidels and must either convert or be eradicated. They can’t be counseled to stop. They can’t be convinced to stop. And in addition, we don’t do the moderate Muslims that don’t mean us harm any favors when we try to rationalize the actions of the extremists.
Those in the military, the media, the Congress and the White House that refuse to acknowledge evil, endanger us all and must be called out. More than eight years after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, DC if we haven’t realized who and what the enemy is and that they are evil, I fear for the future of our great nation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hunting Pheasant in the "Hawkeye" State

I traveled to Iowa last weekend to go pheasant hunting with Steve Rathje, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Also slated to join us were retired Generals Tom McInerney, Paul Vallely, Jimmy Cash and Robert Sentman. Unfortunately, Fox News called General McInerney on assignment and General Vallely came down with the flu, so they weren’t able to join us. But the trip was well worth the hours of flying and waiting in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport and the flu I came down with while I was there. Iowa has received record amounts of rain this October and there has been extensive flooding. This has led to the corn and bean crops not being harvested, which made the hunting difficult at best. In fact only Steve's daughter and son-in-law bagged one pheasant each, all day and I never fired a shot.

There were three highlights to my trip that I want to mention. The first was finally meeting Steve Rathje, who is a gracious host and great man. He’s the kind of self-made businessman and conservative that we need in Congress in these troubled times to push back against the liberal agenda of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Steve, his wife Mary, Jill Petrzelka, her husband Tom and everyone else involved made me feel very welcome and I thank them for their hospitality.

The second highlight was attending an event that Steve organized, to honor WWII veterans with plaques that recognize their service to our nation. Generals Cash and Sentman presented the plaques to the vets or their family members and I felt honored to be present at this heartwarming ceremony. The recipients don’t consider themselves to be heroes and certainly didn’t go to war to receive accolades. But that’s what makes someone a hero, putting aside fear and personal safety to serve and protect freedom, whatever the personal sacrifice. Steve Rathje intends to continue to find every WWII veteran in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District and honor him or her in the same way, until he’s recognized them all. I salute him and General Sentman for continuing this truly worthy endeavor.

The third highlight of my excursion was getting to meet and talk with retired U.S.A.F. Brigadier General Jimmy Cash. It was a great and unique opportunity to speak about politics and the military with a man who has flown fighters from Vietnam up until the 1980’s. We talked about his time as the commander of an F-15 wing during the Carter Administration and how due to military spending cuts of that time, his wing had to cannibalize parts from some planes in order to keep the rest of the wing flying. He believes, as do I, that our military is about to face the same challenges today under the Obama Administration, only on a larger and much more dangerous scale, since today we’re fighting two foreign wars and we're being challenged by Iran and North Korea. We also had a great discussion about the F-22 fighter and Congress’ decision to cut the Air Force’s order down at a time when the Russians are selling their new S-300 surface to air missile system to our adversaries in Venezuela and Iran. The only fighter in the world that can defeat this new and very sophisticated missile system is the F-22, with it’s stealth capabilities. It is the upcoming deployment of this system in Iran that will determine the timetable for Israel’s anticipated strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, since Israel doesn’t possess stealth aircraft. I should also mention that my discussion with General Cash has led to his endorsement of Edward Lynch for Congress in Florida’s 19th Congressional District and his agreeing to be our guest here on Conservative Republican Forum early next year.

I want to say that everyone I met on my trip to the “Hawkeye State” was great. I’ve made a whole host of new conservative friends and I hope to visit with Steve Rathje and company again soon.