As most Americans have done since our republic's inception, millions of us across the country this Holy Week will commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what concerns me in America is not only the growing disdain for Christian sentiment but also the increasing spread of Shariah.
There's no mystery that radical Islamists intend to use the freedoms in our Constitution to expand the influence of Shariah. But still, too many Americans don't know or understand how it threatens the very fabric of our republic. So I've decided to do a series on how Shariah is seeping into American society.
This week, the picture is finally complete. First, the Obama White House decided to leap headfirst into the gun control debate. Then came the response from Congress, which is far more interested in investigating the "Fast and Furious" scandal, in which federal agents allowed thousands of guns to be "walked" into Mexico and furnished to drug cartels. And now the final piece: President Barack Obama has filed his papers to run for re-election.
That in a nutshell is all gun owners need to know about the 2012 presidential election. After two years of avoiding the gun control debate (and violating his own campaign promises to push for additional restrictions), Obama finally is showing his true colors on this important issue. Let's not forget that this is the same candidate who once espoused a total ban on handguns and more recently supported a nationwide ban on right-to-carry laws. And if he couldn't get that done, he said he would support increasing the taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent. Now he is trying to be measured about his gun control objectives, using vague and gauzy rhetoric that his handlers hope will be difficult to hang around his neck.
Since the very first days of this president's administration, the drug-fueled cartel violence in Mexico has provided a stalking horse for the gun control agenda. Early on, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder cited Mexican violence as a reason to renew the Bill Clinton gun ban of 1994. After those trial balloons were shot down, the ball was passed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who repeatedly has blamed American gun rights for Mexican violence. And more recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cited cartel mayhem as justification for an attempt to mandate the reporting of all multiple long gun sales in border states. This regulation would force dealers to report all purchases of more than one long gun if the guns are magazine-fed and larger than .22 caliber — effectively creating a registry.
But now, shocking revelations that grow bigger every day completely undercut the argument for additional restrictions. In fact, they illuminate bureaucratic arrogance, recklessness and hypocrisy of the highest order in the hallways of the Obama administration — including the spreading stench of a massive cover-up.
Loyal readers will recall that I warned last year of the perfect storm approaching on gun control. Now, with the Tucson, Ariz., tragedy as a steppingstone and with eyes firmly focused on his re-election, President Barack Obama has opened a campaign to appease his base on the polarizing issue.
Let me completely disclose my position: I am a strong Second Amendment advocate. I believe in protecting our fundamental rights, including our Second Amendment rights, through the political process. To that end, I serve as honorary chairman of the "Trigger The Vote" voter registration campaign.
After a decade of playing one on television, I, along with my brother Aaron, was blessed a few months ago to become a real Texas Ranger in the presence of Gov. Rick Perry, fellow Texas Rangers and many others.
Perry mentioned at that induction: "As the drug cartels have turned up the heat on the other side of that border over the past few years, we have invested significant state resources to secure our border, looking to local police departments, county sheriffs, game wardens and even Texas Military Forces. However, when it was time to take the fight to the bad guys, there was only one choice to lead our efforts, so we formed our Ranger recon teams. It is reassuring to know that our Rangers are on the job, especially in light of ongoing reports of deteriorating conditions, with kidnappings, assassinations and terroristic acts just miles from Texas communities."
Last week, my main point was that liberals couldn't care less about changing anything in public schools because they are producing exactly what liberals want. And that biased programming will deepen in the minds and hearts of America's young people unless we patriots stand up in every community, resist those progressive tides and demand alternatives.
There are ways to improve national academic imbalances. In Part 2 here, I give seven ways to counter that torrent of progressivism. Among the list of correctives that have been proved to work are the following:
I love teachers. I really do. And I'm sure that most are overworked and underpaid. Certainly, no one is getting rich from teaching kids. I applaud the hardworking teachers across this land.
But, as has happened in Wisconsin, when teachers unions muscle legislators like the Mafia and Democrats abandon their voting posts because they don't like projected outcomes, haven't we abandoned the very foundational principles of our republic? Where were the "be civil" mainstream media police last Friday morning, when union demonstrators screamed at legislators on the floor of the Wisconsin Assembly while they voted?
More proof of union dominance and monopoly came out Feb. 22, when Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board released a report that disclosed the top 10 lobbying groups in the state. Look who is at the top of the list:
"The fate of our country won’t be decided on a battlefield. It will be determined in a classroom." Do you believe that?
Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called on 14 state Senate Democrats, who had fled the state instead of voting on a deficit-cutting anti-teachers-union bill, to return and do their jobs. Senate Republicans hold a 19-14 majority there but can't vote on the bill unless at least one Democrat is present.
Does that sound like democracy at work to you? Do you think it’s just a coincidence that the two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, are the largest campaign contributors in the nation -- $55 million in just the past two years, more than the Teamsters, the National Rifle Association or any other organization -- and that 90 percent of those contributions fund only Democratic candidates?
Former first lady Barbara Bush said on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record" this past week: "We've got a real problem in public schools. ... This is a national crisis. It's as bad as anything in our country."
When Van Susteren was pointing out from Bush's own op-ed piece that "Texas (is) 36th in the nation in high-school graduates (and) 3.8 million Texans don't have a high-school diploma," Bush said, "No more, you're killing us."
Bush was commendably protecting Texas pride as she told Van Susteren not to cite any further degrading statistics about the state of Lone Star education, though she herself references it in her op-ed piece:
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google services all have been disrupted by Egyptian governing authorities in pursuit of clamping down on protests. And we don't think the U.S. government would do the same?
Tell me, what's the difference between the Egyptian government's shutting down social networks to "bring order" to protests and the U.S. government's shutting down the Internet if there is an "imminent cyber threat"? Answer: nothing.
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has ramped up regulation and control of the Internet. Of course, it's packaging any bids to do so under Internet and homeland security.
Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama was adamant about freezing U.S. government domestic spending over the next five years. But why not do the same for U.S. spending abroad?
The president said: "So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. Now, this would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade."
Forget for a moment that I believe we need to cut government spending by at least 10 percent across the board (including in foreign support) and not just freeze it. Can you imagine American homes in which the primary breadwinners lost their jobs freezing their household spending but not doing the same in their financial support of almost every household in their neighborhoods?
Under the radar this past week was President Barack Obama's executive order for a review of government regulations in hope of showing that bigger government isn't bad news for economic growth and business.
Of course, the president didn't word it that way. In his op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, Obama wrote that he just wants to "make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation."
I finished Part 1 last week informing you that in just a single year, from 2008-09, Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts, a $13.6 million increase from the previous year, which resulted in 324,800 abortions.
I then left you to ponder this question, which Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked more than a year ago: "Why should people of conscience be forced to participate in any aspect of abortion?"
That is exactly where Washington is leading us unless this 112th Congress detours from forcing pro-life citizens to pay for abortions via Obamacare or the passing of some legislation like the Freedom of Choice Act.
Thank God the pro-life cavalry has come to Washington. But it needs our help to rally our representatives.
My wife, Gena, and I mourn with the rest of the nation over the murder and maiming of innocent citizens and lawmakers in Arizona this past Saturday morning. We, too, pray for the victims and survivors. It makes us even more passionate in our fight for human life and reminding the world that from the womb to the tomb, human life is precious and should be prized.
Last week, two questions dominated the political landscape regarding Obamacare. First, will the new 112th Congress repeal it? And secondly, if Obamacare didn't offer advanced directives for end-of-life planning (aka "death panels"), then why did the Obama administration just repeal a Medicare regulation and reference for it covered under the new health care law?
Those are both great questions. But the one question being overlooked by too many is this one: If the 112th Congress fails to repeal Obamacare, will it include "baby death panels" in the future? In other words, will taxpayer money be used to provide for abortions under the new universal health care law?
Incoming House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues are intensely aware of public fury over how Congress operates. But following a lame-duck Congress that continued with business as usual, will this new Congress finally get it right?
As the 112th Congress officially convenes this week, the questions most of us have on our minds are: Will it finally...
I must commend President Barack Obama for getting closer this year to conveying the true message of Christmas. But how does that saying go, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades"?
This time last year, President Obama botched his yuletide yodels. Preceding presidents took pride in America's Judeo-Christian and Christmas heritage, but President Obama — on Dec. 24, 2009, with the first lady at his side — delivered the most brief, impersonal and impotent religious admonition in the history of presidential Christmas addresses, describing the incomparable Bethlehem miracle as merely containing a benign "message of peace and brotherhood that continues to inspire more than 2,000 years after Jesus' birth."
Last week, President Barack Obama was backpedaling like a circus unicycle rider, after his compromise on extending Bush-era tax cuts for the country's top 2 percent of income earners. Because he had pledged repeatedly during his presidential campaign to raise those earners' taxes, he instantly was slammed by his political base. Even pro-Obama comedic commentators Jon Stewart and Bill Maher were left humor-speechless.
Feeling defensive and maybe even a bit insecure, Obama fired back in anger against people across the political spectrum. Wielding his verbal sword, the president poked and prodded: "Take a tally. Look at what I promised during the campaign. There's not a single thing that I've said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I haven't gotten it done yet, I'm still trying to do it."
Last week, I detailed seven occasions in the past few months at which President Barack Obama omitted the words "by their Creator" from direct quotes of the Declaration of Independence: "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
Though you can read the actual quotes in detail in Part 1, let me briefly remind readers where and when they occurred:
With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas before us, we are reminded once again of the integrated ways in which our Creator has had a role in our culture from the beginning. But will it stay that way?
As far back as the Declaration of Independence, our Founders affirmed together, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
Almost 235 years later, however, some media caught how President Barack Obama twice omitted the words "by their Creator" when reciting the declaration in speeches over the past several weeks.
But I discovered actually seven presidential "Creator" omissions in just the past few months!
—On Oct. 21 at a rally for Sen. Patty Murray in Seattle:
William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth Colony, was a remarkable leader who endured much from Europe to the coastal regions of North America.
Born in 1590 in a small farming town in England, he was only 1 year old when his father died, 4 when his grandparents took over his guardianship, 6 when his grandfather died and 7 when his mother died.
Every week, we receive more bad news about the American economy. Last week was no exception.
The Fed began monetizing the national debt, while China's gross domestic product for the third quarter expanded 8.9 percent from the previous quarter, Dagong (the Chinese quasi-government ratings agency) downgraded the credit rating of the United States, and billionaire George Soros expanded his global economic warlording by opening an office in Hong Kong — advancing his goal of making China a part of the new world order.
Now that we have new representatives, it's time to advance immediately on them and address the issue that can both rebuild our economy and relieve us of government oppression: tax reform.
As I began to point out in last week's article, Congress' plan to subsidize all its outrageous borrowing and spending will demand far more than the tax man's just collecting on expired Bush tax cuts. There are a host of other levies coming down the turnpike from Washington.
When the House voted to adjourn about a month ago by a 210-209 margin, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her cronies avoided dealing with extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which expire Dec. 31. Rather than address the tax issue, the Senate also voted to adjourn.
Instead, Congress is holding a lame-duck session beginning Nov. 15. What that means is whether or not you elect them back into office, they are poised to do what they want when they want with little election fallout.
The Congressional Budget Office just reported that in the past two years since President Barack Obama took office, federal spending is up 21.4 percent.
The national deficit was $1.29 trillion in 2010 (second to the $1.4 trillion in Obama's first year in office, 2009), which means that for every $1 the federal government spent this past year, it borrowed 37 cents of it!
The feds will tell you that their outrageous spending habits were necessary to pull our economy out of its recession. But would their same rationale justify the fact that the money Congress spends on itself has soared 89 percent over the past decade, more than three times the U.S. inflation rate?
It's true. In 2000, the feds spent $2.87 billion to run Capitol Hill. In fiscal year 2010, they almost doubled the amount, to an enormous $5.42 billion. From 2000-10, while inflation went up 26 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Capitol expenses went up 89 percent.
Were all those expenditures necessary to pull the economy out of a recession, too? Will the Obama administration again blame former President George W. Bush for its contemptible spending habits in its first two years?
According to Capitol News Connection and the congressional watchdog groups Sunlight Foundation and LegiStorm, here are just some of the itemized personnel costs of your legislative branch of government, including their comparative increases from 2000:
The White House's wish almost came true last week. It was hoping most of us and even the mainstream media would miss the release of the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary report on the 2010 federal fiscal year. And most did.
The Wall Street Journal, however, exposed why the White House was being so secretive about its results: The CBO concluded that federal government spending has skyrocketed 21.4 percent in just the past two years since President Barack Obama took office!
The White House's actions remind me of President Ronald Reagan's words: "We could say they spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors. It would be unfair because the sailors are spending their own money."
It's no new revelation that Washington has lost its way from our Founders' vision and fiscal frugality. But in the past two years, it has become a financial runaway train. And it is only we the people who can save it from completely derailing our country and all of us on board.