Monday, September 26, 2011

Adam Hasner Wins CPAC Florida Straw Poll And Addresses The Issues

On Friday Republican US Senate candidate Adam Hasner won the CPAC straw poll, narrowly defeating Mike McCalister by 4%. Hasner got 34%, McCalister 30%, former-Senator George LeMieux (who was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist) got 24% and the newcomer of the group, Craig Miller received 12% of the votes. 

The straw poll followed a day and half of speeches, a debate, lots of one-on-one conversations and handshaking with GOP primary  voters and activists at the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference and the Republican Party of Florida's Presidency 5 events which took place in Orlando.

On Saturday morning I had the opportunity to ask Hasner, the former-Florida House Majority Leader, a few questions about his candidacy, his record and issues that some grassroots conservatives have expressed reservations about.

The interview covered his straw poll victory, the differences between running for state house versus statewide office, Cap and Trade, climate change, his strong support of Israel, President Obama's handling of the current Israel/Palestinian situation, the United Nations and more.

David Bossie of Citizens United Speaks

Citizens United- Fire From The Heartland
On Friday, September 23rd I had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with David Bossie, President and Chairman of the Board of Citizens United who was speaking at the American Conservative Union's first ever "regional" Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.

Bossie was also at CPACFL to screen two of Citizens United's movies: Fire From The Heartland: The Awakening Of The Conservative Woman-Starring Rep. Michele Bachmann and Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny- Hosted by Newt & Callista Gingrinch.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Years of Courage

On Sunday, September 11th – the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – far left New York Times columnist and blogger Paul Krugman posted a blog on The Opinion Pages titled “The Years of Shame”.

He posted the entry on his blog, ironically called The Conscience of a Liberal, at 8:41 AM as the remembrance and dedication of the 9/11 Memorial were getting started in downtown Manhattan. On a day when even President Obama and President Bush put politics aside, Krugman could not.

He started his entry by asking, “Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?” He then, strangely enough, answered his own questions: “Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.”

I’m not really sure why Krugman asks and answers these questions. Who would expect the commemoration and remembrance of the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil, one that resulted in more than 3,000 deaths, to be anything but “subdued” and solemn?

This is where a strange but innocuous posting takes a turn into the insulting, derisive and shameful. The liberal turd continues his poorly written entry thusly:

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”

To begin with, what happened after 9/11 was that the American people – for the most part – realized that terrorism by Al Qaeda and other Jihadist groups was not a criminal or law enforcement issue, but an act of war. President George W. Bush to his credit addressed the attacks as such. The fact is that Osama Bin Laden had declared war on the United States in 1993 when he ordered the first attack on the World Trade Center.

It was not “shameful” and at least initially was a unifying event. Did it eventually become a wedge issue? Yes, it did. But why did 9/11 become a wedge issue? For the most part because Democrats wanted to use the creation of the Department of Homeland Security as an excuse to build up the ranks of their union base.

Many Republicans, myself included, questioned whether creating another huge government bureaucracy full of union employees with collective bargaining rights would make us safer.

Democrats in turn accused Republicans of not being strong on terrorism and national security. In the end a compromise was reached and the Department of Homeland Security was created and has unfortunately lived up to GOP expectations.

Now let’s address the “fake heroes” remark. Bernie Kerik and Rudy Giuliani acted with courage and distinction on 9/11, putting themselves in danger, leading New York City’s response to the attacks and keeping both the first responders and the civilian population calm by maintaining their composure throughout the crisis.

George W. Bush likewise both calmed and rallied the American people. At the same time he was among the first to tell all Americans not to lash out at Muslim Americans.  Bush, who was in Florida when the attacks began, wanted to return to Washington, DC immediately but heeded the advice of the Secret Service and his senior advisors to stay away since the Pentagon had been attacked and there was no way to know if more attacks were on the way.

As far as using the 9/11 attacks to “justify an unrelated war” goes, perhaps Krugman should check his history. Unlike President Obama who committed US forces to attacking Libya without congressional authorization. President Bush got the authorization of Congress and multiple United Nations resolutions before attacking Saddam Hussein and his forces. The Iraq War authorization was bipartisan, with support from then Senator Clinton and Senator Schumer, just to name a few.

There was no “hijacking of the atrocity” Paul. And the memory of 9/11 has only been “poisoned”, though I hope not “irrevocably” by people like yourself who dishonor the courage of the first responders and ordinary citizens that acted to save lives that day and the members of our military who have and continue to fight to defend us with your false accusations and distortion of history.

Normally I would have ignored the rantings of one far-left New York Times columnist, blogging in his pajamas on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately Krugman chose to publish his post as the 9/11 Memorial was in the process of being dedicated. Krugman also inspired an even more despicable defense of his blog by none other than Keith Olbermann on his low-rated Current TV show.

Ignoring his own pledge to adopt a new tone, which he delivered after the shooting in Tucson, Olbermann took to his “Worst Persons of the Day” segment to defend Krugman and attack former-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney and President Bush for starting a “phony war in Iraq” and using “torture” to get “false information”.

He also accused them of “spying on Americans”, “fostering Islamophobia”, “spreading panic” and “manipulating counter-terror efforts to advance their own political power”. He then went on to say, “Between 2002 and 2009 the leading terrorist groups in the US were the Republican Party and the presidential administration of George W. Bush”.

I don’t really give a damn about the “new tone” since it’s something that liberals invented to try to stifle conservatives. Since the left can’t use facts to win arguments they want to silence their opposition. Good luck with that.

The war in Iraq isn’t phony. As I stated earlier it was authorized, in a bipartisan way, by Congress. The brave men and women of our armed forces, many of whom have been wounded or killed, deserve better than to have their service dishonored by calling the war they’re fighting “phony”.

The waterboarding that the CIA used on 3 high value detainees is not torture. It is in fact used as a training technique on our own special forces to prepare them for possible interrogation. Do we torture our own soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines?

The information we garnered using enhanced interrogation techniques wasn’t “false”. Kalid Sheik Mohamed gave his interrogators information that prevented terror attacks on the US and eventually helped our intelligence forces to find Osama Bin Laden.

There is no evidence that Americans have been spied on, none. "Islamophobia" is word that was made up by CAIR, an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, to intimidate anyone that might accuse a Muslim of being involved in terrorism and Jihad.

Rather than “spreading panic” President Bush and his administration endeavored to keep the public calm and going about their business, while keeping us safe from terrorism since 9/11.

The accusation that, “Between 2002 and 2009 the leading terrorist groups in the US were the Republican Party and the presidential administration of George W. Bush” is not based in fact and only exposes Olbermann’s blame America first attitude that is so prevalent among the far-left. It also diminishes the danger of actual terrorist groups and ignores the attacks on London, Madrid and Bali, as well as the attack on Fort Hood and the attempts by the "Shoe Bomber", the "Underwear Bomber" and the "Times Square Bomber".

Let me tell Keith Olbermann to take the advice that he so disrespectfully gave to then President Bush: Keith “SHUT THE HELL UP!”

The previous two liberal screeds were followed up by the disgusting, America-hating Michael Moore telling Elisabeth Hasselbeck that we are no longer at war with Al Qaeda and radical Islam and that the United States made a mistake by not giving Osama Bin Laden a trial. 

Anyone that doubts the United States remains at war is delusional. Unfortunately when the delusional person gets network airtime to spread his insane lies, he has to be addressed.

The United States is and will remain at war with Al Qaeda and other associated Shariah compliant Islamic groups. They declared war on us. They follow a 7th Century religious and political ideology that says anyone that is not a follower of Islam is an infidel. Infidels must be converted, subjugated or killed… Period.

Taken individually, none of these America-hating, far-left idiots are significant. But when they all come out with essentially the same message the week of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, they must be challenged.

Krugman, Olbermann, Moore and their ilk may think that the years since 9/11 have been “years of shame”. I believe that the 10 years since September 11, 2001 have been years of courage. And unlike Paul Krugman, I won’t block comments on my article.

From Ground Zero to 9/11 Memorial

This weekend I returned with my family to lower Manhattan, New York City, to the location that Americans have come to know as “Ground Zero”.  We went to honor the memory of my brother-in-law Eric M. Sand, who was working for Cantor-Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and to see his name on the new memorial at the site.

The last time I visited that hallowed ground, it was a 7 story deep hole in the ground, a subterranean graveyard on a scale that no picture or description can adequately convey. In the last 10 years the location has been transformed into something quite different.

While it will always be the place where 2,753 people lost their lives (2,606 in the WTC, 87 on American 11 and 60 on United 175 – excluding the Jihadist hijackers), the 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Museum have changed the location into a place that honors all the victims (including those at the Pentagon, American Airlines Flight 77, United Airlines Flight 93 and even those that lost their lives in the first WTC bombing in 1993) of the September 11th terrorist attacks and gives their families, friends and coworkers a place to mourn, reflect and remember them.

Where there was once desolation there now sits a beautiful and inspiring site full of meaning. The focal points of the 9/11 Memorial are the North and South reflecting pools, which are fed by waterfalls that are meant to resemble falling tears. The pools (which feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America) sit in the footprints of where the World Trade Center Towers once stood.

The bronze panels edging the two memorial pools have the names of every victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as, the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The North Pool includes the names of those that perished in Tower One, Flight 11 and the 1993 bombing. The South Pool includes the names of those that perished in Tower Two, the first responders, Flight 175, the Pentagon, Flight 77 and Flight 93.

The names of the victims are arranged “by affiliation, so that the employees of a company or the crew of flight are together.” The organizers of the 9/11 Memorial took the time and care to accommodate requests from family members to have names of people that knew each other or were affiliated in some other way to have their names adjacent to each other on the memorial. 

In addition to the pools there are the swamp white oak trees that have been painstakingly chosen from locations within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center, with additional trees being selected from Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The final element of the Memorial site is the Memorial Museum, whose mission “is to bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.”

The Memorial Museum is not yet complete, though its entry pavilion’s glass atrium is now standing. Once complete (probably by September 11, 2012) visitors will pass by the “Two Tridents” – remnants of the World Trade Center’s exterior steel skeleton that remained standing after the collapse – and down a ramp to bedrock.

I look forward to the completion of the museum, which promises to have exhibits that tell the true story of that horrific day without any “politically correct” sugarcoating.

While it is not a part of the 9/11 Memorial itself it is impossible to visit the memorial site without seeing the Freedom Tower, aka Tower One, rising to replace the Twin Towers.

The Freedom Tower is still under construction, but has now risen over 1000 feet to begin dominating the lower Manhattan skyline. Once complete the new tower will soar above the city at a patriotic 1,776 feet to reclaim the title of America’s tallest building.

Since the last time I was there, the transformation from “Ground Zero” -- a site of death, destruction and desolation -- to the 9/11 Memorial is an amazing tribute to the victims of the worst terrorist attack in American history and to American resiliency. It is also a credit to the planners, architects, managers and construction workers that have worked tirelessly to meet tight deadlines and achieve outstanding quality standards.

The location now respects the tragedy of the past while looking with optimism to the future. I for one will no longer refer to the site as Ground Zero. It is now truly the 9/11 Memorial.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Al Sharpton Uses The ‘Sauce’

On Friday’s edition of Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation on MSNBC, the man MSNBC President Phil Griffin has called an “elder statesman”, addressed the kerfuffle between House Speaker John Boehner and the White House over the scheduling of President Obama’s “much anticipated” jobs speech.

Predictably Sharpton towed the White House line and mangled the English language in the process. Al said that, “The White House is furious with John Boehner and someone on the inside is speaking out,” he continued “according to Politico a White House ‘sauce’ (source?), Boehner crossed the line when he forced President Obama to change the date of his jobs speech.”

That’s an interesting interpretation of the facts. Al failed to acknowledge that since the speech had not yet been scheduled, Boehner hadn’t “forced” the President to “change” anything. He also ignored the fact that a joint session of Congress is something that every President – even Barack Obama -- has to request from the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. That’s because the Executive and Legislative branches are equal. There’s no obligation for Congress to grant a joint session, much less accommodate a specific day and time requested.

In addition, even the Politico article Sharpton was cherry picking quotes from acknowledged that:

“The White House was well aware the president’s speech would conflict with a planned Republican debate sponsored by POLITICO and NBC to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The debate would be broadcast live by MSNBC and live-streamed by POLITICO. CNBC and Telemundo will re-air the broadcast.”

Sharpton went on to characterize John Boehner telling Obama that he could have a joint session on Thursday rather than Wednesday as “a big change in tone.” He began to layout the idea that where once the White House thought the Tea Party Caucus was the “real problem” in Washington, that now “it’s a whole new ball game” and “maybe it is him.”

Yeah, because the tone coming from the President and House Democrats has been completely apolitical, non-partisan and friendly for the past 2½ years. No false accusations of Republican obstruction while the Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House of Representatives at all. No Democrats falsely condemning Tea Party activists as “racists”, “terrorists”, “hostage takers”, or a host of other derogatory pejoratives.

Once again Al quoted Politico’s White House ‘sauce’ as saying, “what happened this week is a big deal. It shows the House Republicans will do no outreach, nothing.” All this because Boehner asked the President to make a political speech one day later.

Next, Sharpton was joined by the Washington Bureau chief of the Huffington Post, Ryan Grimm, to whom he posed the probing, and completely non-leading question, “Has John Boehner been the problem all along?”

Grimm agreed that Boehner was certainly one of many problems Obama has. But his real gripe seemed to be that the president wasn’t being tough enough with the Speaker. He suggested that if all the White House was going to do is have anonymous quotes given to the press, that Boehner “will keep rolling and rolling and rolling right over him [Obama].

I would argue that rather than “rolling over” the President, John Boehner actually did Obama a huge favor by rejecting his request to speak Wednesday, immediately before the long scheduled Republican Presidential Debate.

Had Boehner allowed Obama to give what is likely to be a highly political speech, containing few details and little of substance in terms of an actual plan to create jobs, that would have allowed the GOP candidates to instantaneously rip the President’s speech apart and attack him for using a joint session of Congress for a political stump speech.

Rather than Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP field directing their barbs at the new frontrunner Rick Perry -- which would be to the benefit of Obama -- the address preceding the debate the would have invited, no demanded, that the candidates dissect his speech.

Grimm – with the banner “Double Speaker: Details on White House Reax to Boehner’s Obstruction” on screen as he spoke – then suggested that, “maybe the best way for Obama to start dealing with Boehner is to ask for the opposite of what he wants.”

So MSNBC says it’s “obstruction” to ask the president, again, to wait one day to give his speech and at the same time they have a liberal columnist telling Al Sharpton and his audience that President Obama should use reverse psychology on the Speaker of the House to circumvent that alleged obstruction.

At this point Sharpton the master linguist (sarcasm mine) laid out what he would have done if he were President (shudder the thought), in a nonsensical diatribe:

“On Thursday night, even though I would have called Boehner’s bluff Wednesday night, let’s play out your scenario. Maybe he goes Thursday night. Lays out a plan. Let Boehner rebuff him and goes to the American public who has shown in every poll that they are more with the President and than what Boehner is saying, and take them to a mat in a way that a lot of people want to see him take him to the mat.”

Okay, where to start. What bluff is that? Boehner said no, he meant no, and there was absolutely nothing Obama could do about it. Does anyone, even Sharpton, believe that Obama is actually going to layout a plan in this speech, as opposed to the previous 9 speeches? Has the American public really shown in “every poll” that they have confidence in the President’s handling of jobs and the economy? And just how is the President going to take Boehner “to the mat”?

Remarkably Grimm seemed to follow Sharpton’s reasoning and agreed, saying that if Obama would have stood up to Boehner it would have been a “debacle” for Boehner, because making the President speak Thursday instead of Wednesday would some how make it appear that House Republicans “don’t want to hear him.”

Sharpton and Grimm continued their incoherent and illogical back and forth, with Sharpton listing some of John Boehner’s supposed slights and failures, some of which he naturally blamed on the Tea Party, and Grimm suggesting that several months ago the House Republican coalition in the House looked like it was fracturing but that Boehner brought it back together by amassing what “is probably one of the most extreme records that a House Speaker has put up in decades.”

Of course Al concurred with Grimm’s assessment, accusing Boehner of “being probably the most extreme speaker we’ve seen in a decade.” Really? John Boehner is more extreme than Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker who infamously said of the Obamacare bill, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”? He’s more extreme than a woman who accused American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights of being “extremists” and “Astroturf” among other things?

For good measure these two intellectual giants falsely accused Republicans of not wanting to extend the payroll tax cut and of being “irrational”. Of course Republicans are fine with continuing the payroll tax cut. But they also realize that a limited payroll tax “holiday” has no long-term benefits for the economy and does nothing to encourage employers to hire more people.

I’d like to humbly suggest that Al Sharpton and Ryan Grimm lay off the ‘sauce’ and try a sober analysis of Barack Obama’s failed economic policies. They might also want to consider that while the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, they failed to pass a budget (the Harry Reid led Senate still hasn’t) and the only budget Obama submitted was rejected 97-0 by the Democrat controlled Senate.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Allen West Speaks Out Against Incendiary Rhetoric of CBC Members

Congressman Allen West (R) FL-22 spoke out forcefully this evening, on The O'Reilly Factor, about the hateful, race baiting rhetoric being used by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He also repudiated many of the policies that have been inflicted upon black-Americans historically.

In particular Congressman West rejected the incendiary comments of Maxine Waters (D-CA) who said, "The Tea Party can go straight to hell. And I'm going to help them get there." And Andre Carson (D-IN) who said, "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree." 


In addition, West also spoke out against specific policies that he says have destroyed the black family. Failed policies that have led to 17% unemployment and high incarceration rates in the black community.