Saturday, August 27, 2011

op ed review 8/28


THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Rick Perry's candidacy has attracted strong initial support from Republicans who identify themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement. Perry leads by 21 percentage points over the closest contenders among this group, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. Among Republicans who say they do not support the Tea Party movement, Romney and Perry are essentially tied.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/149213/Tea-Party-Supporters-Backing-Perry-GOP-Nomination.aspx

President Obama is closely matched against each of four possible Republican opponents when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today.

http://caivn.org/article/2011/08/24/survey-says-three-gop-hopefuls-outpoll-obama-among-independents

"…….if Perry ends up as the Republican nominee for president, deep-pocketed trial lawyers intend to play a central role in the campaign to defeat him……among litigators, there is no presidential candidate who inspires the same level of hatred — and fear — as Perry, an avowed opponent of the plaintiffs' bar who has presided over several rounds of tort reform..”

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/582606/201108241850/Ivy-Beleaguered-No-Longer-.htm

Governor Perry signed the Susan B. Anthony List presidential pro-life pledge, putting him at odds with fellow GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/perry-signs-pro-life-pledge-romney-refused

A critical bloc of Democratic-aligned voters has lurched away from President Obama’s campaign and won’t come back until Democrats develop a new “narrative,” warns a new survey by a Democratic polling firm.

http://thedc.com/np0Pzb

President Obama’s approval dropped to an all-time low of 44 percent among Hispanics. That is a drop of 41 points from the spring of 2009, when Obama’s approval among Hispanic Americans peaked at 85 percent.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/back-door-amnesty-backfires-obama-s-appr

The media is still showing the love for Obama. Not only does the fawning coverage continue but media executives are putting their money where their collective mouths are, by showering the Obama campaign with money. Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator and the new owner of NBC (and MSNBC) is the company that tops out the list of executives giving money to the Obama Victory Fund.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/08/the_comcast-obama_alliance.html

“Warren Buffett made $280M profit on Bank of America stake in just 24 hours.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8723524/Warren-Buffett-makes-280m-profit-on-Bank-of-America-stake-in-just-24-hours.html

Billionaire Buffett plans to hold a Sept. 30 fundraiser in New York City for President Obama’s re-election bid.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-25/warren-buffett-to-host-obama-fundraiser-in-new-york-on-sept-30.html

Republicans trail their Democratic counterparts in raising money for 2012, and the disparity is causing some Republicans to fret privately about whether their party committees could dim an otherwise bright outlook.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61955.html

“The Obamas' summer break in Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets. But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances. White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year. Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie', they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029615/Michelle-Obama-accused-spending-10m-public-money-vacations.html

With unemployment at 9.2%, the Obama Administration added over $9.5 billion in new regulations in one month. The new regulatory costs include 229 new rules and the finalization of an additional 379 rules, the majority of which came from (no surprise) the EPA, the new healthcare takeover law, and the Dodd-Frank financial takeover law.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/08/obama-added-9-5-billion-in-new-regulations-in-last-month/

The Obama administration is setting the stage for the dismantling of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, according to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.

http://thedc.com/oVd2id

The Obama administration rejected New York Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to prevent food stamp users from buying soda and other sugary drinks with their benefits.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/washington-rejects-n-y-c-ban-on-use-of-food-stamps-to-buy-sodas/?hp

There are strong signs Republican strength in Wisconsin is on the rise. Not only has the long-planned Democratic attempt to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker run out of steam, but the odds have risen dramatically on a Republican pickup of the seat of retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl in 2012.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45704

The White House issued an executive order this week to “Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce.” But a quick look at the demographic breakdown of the federal payroll shows that “diversity” goals were actually met long ago. Compared to the general U.S. population, the federal force is a bit too diverse: blacks are overrepresented by 6.9 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders by 1.2 percent, and American Indians are more than double their proportion of the population at large. White Americans are underrepresented by around 4 percent. Lost amid all the politically correct box-checking is the principle that the most qualified person should be hired for a job.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/19/obama-whites-need-not-apply/

A federal stimulus grant of nearly $500,000 to grow trees and stimulate the economy in Nevada resulted in two jobs.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/22/taxpayer-union-slams-stimulus-project-for-lack-jobs-officials-say-it-wasnt/#ixzz1VrZfDpT9

The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch, the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20095704-503544.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

Its current rate of increase is $3 million a minute.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/08/obama-national-debt.html

Federal agents raided a guitar factory. Something about illegal woods from protected forests. “Gibson CEO Hanry Juszkiewicz contributes to conservative candidates….Those contributions…..might help to explain this absurd raid: On the other hand, does this sudden interest from the Feds have more to do with the fact that Gibson is non-union and relocated to Tennessee, a right to work state?”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

California has almost $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities. That’s $27,000 for every man, woman, and child.

http://biggovernment.com/cstreet/2011/08/23/california-admits-to-almost-1-trillion-in-unfunded-pension-obligations/

A 2010 “Teacher of the Year” in Florida has been suspended for comments he made on his Facebook page that were critical of gay marriage.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/8690-florida-teacher-suspended-for-facebook-comment-opposing-gay-marriage

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Jonathan Sacks Wall Street Journal 8/20

(Britain's chief rabbi on the moral disintegration since the 1960s and how to rebuild)

Britain is the latest country to pay the price for what happened half a century ago in one of the most radical transformations in the history of the West. In virtually every Western society in the 1960s there was a moral revolution, an abandonment of its entire traditional ethic of self-restraint. All you need, sang the Beatles, is love. The Judeo-Christian moral code was jettisoned. In its place came: whatever works for you. The Ten Commandments were rewritten as the Ten Creative Suggestions. Or as Allan Bloom put it in "The Closing of the American Mind": "I am the Lord Your God: Relax!"

You do not have to be a Victorian sentimentalist to realize that something has gone badly wrong since. In Britain today, more than 40% of children are born outside marriage. This has led to new forms of child poverty that serious government spending has failed to cure. In 2007, a UNICEF report found that Britain's children are the unhappiest in the world. The 2011 riots are one result. But there are others.

Whole communities are growing up without fathers or male role models. Bringing up a family in the best of circumstances is not easy. To try to do it by placing the entire burden on women—91% of single-parent families in Britain are headed by the mother, according to census data—is practically absurd and morally indefensible. By the time boys are in their early teens they are physically stronger than their mothers. Having no fathers, they are socialized in gangs. No one can control them: not parents, teachers or even the local police. There are areas in Britain's major cities that have been no-go areas for years. Crime is rampant. So are drugs. It is a recipe for violence and despair.

That is the problem. At first it seemed as if the riots were almost random with no basis in class or race. As the perpetrators have come to court, a different picture has emerged. Of those charged, 60% had a previous criminal record, and 25% belonged to gangs.

This was the bursting of a dam of potential trouble that has been building for years. The collapse of families and communities leaves in its wake unsocialized young people, deprived of parental care, who on average—and yes, there are exceptions—do worse than their peers at school, are more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, less likely to find stable employment and more likely to land up in jail…..They are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.

What has happened morally in the West is what has happened financially as well. Good and otherwise sensible people were persuaded that you could spend more than you earn, incur debt at unprecedented levels and consume the world's resources without thinking about who will pay the bill and when……Freud was right. The precondition of civilization is the ability to defer the gratification of instinct. And even Freud, who disliked religion and called it the "obsessional neurosis" of humankind, realized that it was the Judeo-Christian ethic that trained people to control their appetites.

There are large parts of Britain, Europe and even the United States where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you're worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is "Thou shalt not be found out."

Has this happened before, and is there a way back? The answer to both questions is in the affirmative. In the 1820s, in Britain and America, a similar phenomenon occurred. People were moving from villages to cities. Families were disrupted. Young people were separated from their parents and no longer under their control. Alcohol consumption rose dramatically. So did violence. In the 1820s it was unsafe to walk the streets of London because of pickpockets by day and "unruly ruffians" by night…What happened over the next 30 years was a massive shift in public opinion. There was an unprecedented growth in charities, friendly societies, working men's institutes, temperance groups, church and synagogue associations, Sunday schools, YMCA buildings and moral campaigns of every shape and size, fighting slavery or child labor or inhuman working conditions. The common factor was their focus on the building of moral character, self-discipline, willpower and personal responsibility. It worked. Within a single generation, crime rates came down and social order was restored. What was achieved was nothing less than the re-moralization of society—much of it driven by religion.

It was this that the young French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw on his visit to America in 1831. It astonished him. Tocqueville was expecting to see, in the land that had enacted the constitutional separation of church and state, a secular society. To his amazement he found something completely different: a secular state, to be sure, but also a society in which religion was, he said, the first of its political (we would now say "civil") institutions. It did three things he saw as essential. It strengthened the family. It taught morality. And it encouraged active citizenship.……Much can and must be done by governments, but they cannot of themselves change lives. Governments cannot make marriages or turn feckless individuals into responsible citizens. That needs another kind of change agent…..It needs religion: not as doctrine but as a shaper of behavior, a tutor in morality, an ongoing seminar in self-restraint and pursuit of the common good.

One of our great British exports to America, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, has a fascinating passage in his recent book "Civilization," in which he asks whether the West can maintain its primacy on the world stage or if it is a civilization in decline.

He quotes a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tasked with finding out what gave the West its dominance. He said: At first we thought it was your guns. Then we thought it was your political system, democracy. Then we said it was your economic system, capitalism. But for the last 20 years, we have known that it was your religion.

It was the Judeo-Christian heritage that gave the West its restless pursuit of a tomorrow that would be better than today. The Chinese have learned the lesson. Fifty years after Chairman Mao declared China a religion-free zone, there are now more Chinese Christians than there are members of the Communist Party.

China has learned the lesson. The question is: Will we?

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903639404576516252066723110.html?KEYWORDS=JONATHAN+SACKS

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“Opposed by a majority of Americans and twice defeated in Congress, the federal Dream Act essentially grants amnesty to any illegal alien in America if they agree to enlist in the military or attend a U.S. college. It's called a 'path to citizenship,' a path that leads right past the U.S. Border Patrol. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a sponsor of the federal Dream Act, praised the DHS announcement. 'These students are the future doctors, lawyers, teachers and maybe senators who will make America stronger,' he said in a statement. So are the children of America's jobless. ... 'If you look at immigrants from Mexico, they register 3-to-1 Democrat, so the Democratic Party is for easy citizenship and allowing them to vote,' says Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. This is about making the Democratic Party, not America, strong."

-Investor's Business Daily

"Let us take these whiny excuses at face value and accept for the sake of argument that Obama's Recovery Summer would now be going gangbusters had not the Libyan rebels seized Benghazi and sent the economy into a tailspin. Did no one in the smartest administration in history think this might be the time for the president to share in some of the 'bad luck' and forgo an ostentatious vacation in the exclusive playground of the rich? When you're the presiding genius of the Brokest Nation in History, enjoying the lifestyle of the super-rich while allegedly in 'public service' sends a strikingly Latin American message."

-Mark Steyn

"I seem to recall a presidential candidate who told his followers back in 2008 'we are five days away from completely transforming the United States of America.' That, we were told, was the essence of 'hope and change.' More than a few Americans have figured out it was nothing more than nihilism with some media PR attached to it. ... But I am sure of one thing: you can't run a country when you're attached to the idea that it is fundamentally flawed. That is the essence of nihilism. That nihilism is virtually indistinguishable from progressivism.”

-Arnold Ahlert

“….we think it's quite symbolic that the cracks in the monument to our first and greatest president occurred just after our nation's credit rating was downgraded because of the reckless policies of his utterly unworthy successor.”

-Patriot Post

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BOOKS

Dick Cheney: “My book will have ‘heads exploding’ in D.C.”

http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/research/environment/eco-fads

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LEFTIST WATCH

Rep. Dennis Kucinich continued his campaign in Washington State, appearing at Seattle's Hempfest, where he compared efforts to legalize pot to the Civil Rights movement and the Arab Spring.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/0811/Kucinich_at_Seattle_Hempfest_Open_America.html

“Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Voting Section” All sixteen new hires to the Voting Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJM lawsuit. (This is the first in a series of articles about the Civil Rights Division’s hiring practices since President Obama took office.)”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/every-single-one-the-politicized-hiring-of-eric-holder%E2%80%99s-voting-section/

The AFL-CIO hopes to boost its clout by launching a new political action committee that could raise unlimited amounts of money, part of the federation's goal of building a year-round political organizing structure.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/08/22/general-us-labor-super-pac_8635314.html

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ISLAM

A Shi’ite cleric affiliated with the Iranian regime has warned about the “danger” of Christianity spreading in the Islamic republic. This comes amid reports of an anti-Christianity propaganda campaign and the seizure of 6,500 pocket-sized Bibles in northwestern Iran.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/troubled-growth-christianity-iranian-reg

Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to “eradicate” Israel

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/ahmadinejad-iran-is-determined-to-eradicate-israel-1.380629

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GLOBALONEY

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth. The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102296/sun-causes-climate-change-shock/

“A graphic from NASA shows sea levels have dropped 6 mm in the last 6 months, wiping out the rise over the past 2 years. Whoops! Debunking Al Gore is getting to be too easy. That big doofus who stumbled through Harvard and used daddy’s money and political connections to make it into the Senate — Al Gore — has gotten so much wrong on Global Warming that to point out another failure on his part would be interpreted by some as piling on, to which I yell, “Cowabunga!” and flop on.”

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/40889

“Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco removes electric vehicle chargers from parking lots”

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/citing-a-lack-of-usage-costco-removes-e-v-chargers/

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FLASHBACK

"The problem is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents -- number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome -- so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. [That's] $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

-Barack Obama on July 3, 2008

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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

“Rick Perry: The God-Fearing, Know-Nothing, Pistol-Packing Embodiment of Liberals’ Worst Nightmares……..what sets Perry apart and earns him his niche in the far right corner of Mount Rushmore has nothing to do with the gyrations of the 2012 campaign. Indeed, Perry is not only a presidential candidate, but also a cowboy-booted sociological experiment. It is almost as if Perry’s political persona was constructed by bundling together all the fears and phantoms in the left-wing anxiety closet. Since the hysteria of the 1950s Red Scare, no Republican figure has matched Perry in his God-given ability to give liberals the heebie-jeebies…”

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/94113/rick-perry-republican-nomination-liberal-nightmare?page=0,0

Sarah Palin's political action committee has produced a two-minute video that is stirring up quite a buzz among political commentators. Whether the video, entitled "Iowa Passion," actually proves that the former Alaska governor intends to enter the 2012 presidential contest or is instead just the latest installment in the ongoing "Palin plays the media like a fiddle" show is unclear. The video, however, does clearly demonstrate one thing: If Palin decides to run, she will be a formidable candidate, both in the primary and perhaps even the general election.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/24/sracic.palin.advantage/

Here’s the video:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SarahPalinAK

"Ten incumbent presidents have sought re-election since World War II, and none has won a second term with final pre-election job approval ratings below 48 percent.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2011/08/24/obamas-approval-rating-points-to-his-being-a-one-termer

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ARTICLES

In the past few days, Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s long-time consigliere and an erstwhile hate figure on the Left, has been welcomed back into polite society. Democrats who previously thought the only place Rove should be was in jail have been murmuring approvingly about his wisdom and moderation. At the same time, Left-wingers whose only debate about Bush over the past decade has been whether he was stupid, evil or a lethal combination of both, are suddenly citing the former president’s “compassionate conservatism”. The change of heart has been prompted by the appearance on the national scene of Governor Rick Perry. He was branded as “not presidential” by Rove.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100101641/american-way-getting-ugly-in-texas-%E2%80%93-karl-rove-and-the-democrats-desperate-to-stop-the-rick-perry-posse/

With the United States facing a national debt of more than $14 trillion, the largest since World War Two, wouldn’t it make sense for the White House itself to start trimming its own spending? A good place to begin cutting would be Michelle Obama’s rather generous vacation program……Michelle Obama spent no less than 42 days on vacation over the past year--that’s one in every nine days.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100102170/time-for-the-white-house-to-rein-in-michelle-obamas-out-of-control-spending/

You probably don’t see many tea partiers in the hallways at Harvard Law. But that will change next month when Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization of local tea party groups, holds a conference there with legal experts to talk about different ways the U.S. Constitution could be amended. The group plans to discuss this topic on Sept. 24 and 25 — specifically how feasible it would be to hold a constitutional convention.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/23/tea-party-group-to-convene-conference-at-harvard/

“Don't believe liberals claiming to be secularists. They have a god, and this is, rest assured, a God that will put all rival deities to shame. In a nutshell, this god of the Liberal Creed is all-knowing, all-powerful, and combines the best features of the vengeful God of the Old Testament with a Santa Claus on steroids. To invoke the Newspeak vocabulary, let's call this deity Fedgov. Fedgov's power is breathtaking. Among other miraculous powers, it can provide low-cost universal health care without bankrupting the nation; bestow college degrees on all youngsters regardless of intellectual ability; abolish race-related gaps in academic achievement and income, eliminate the lingering vestiges of racism, sexism and discrimination; solve the problems of poverty; provide unlimited quantities of "green" energy; end festering economic inequality; supply decent housing and healthy nutrition to all Americans; and otherwise bring a liberal heaven on earth. To be sure, Fedgov may require more than just a single day of rest after accomplishing all this, but it is possible. It just requires faith and a willingness to allow Fedgov to work its miracles free from Tea Party obstruction (perhaps Tea Party "atheists" should be burnt at the stake to please Fedgov). “

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/the_wacky_world_of_liberal_fundamentalism.html

“Gerry Ketchum says he can walk you through the Washington Department of Social and Health Services offices that look like a ghost town because of jobs cuts. For the first time anyone can recall, state government employment has shrunk for two years in a row due to budget cuts, shedding nearly 4,700 full-time jobs since 2009. That's more than 7 percent of the workforce.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015985987_stateworkers23m.html

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

“Gov. Perry Teaches Me to Shoot”

http://blog.chron.com/texassparkle/2011/08/gov-perry-teaches-me-to-shoot/

The Obama debt watch: “Offered up as a bookmark or app for portable phones and computers, it displays a running debt clock and a picture of a sandy Martha's Vineyard beach. There's even the sound of waves lapping the shore.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/08/25/gop-hits-obama-with-vacation-themed-debt-watch

“Confessions of a Car Dealership Service Manager”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/confessions-of-a-car-dealership-service-manager-6311261?click=pp

http://moneyland.time.com/2011/08/24/just-how-much-are-you-getting-ripped-off-at-the-car-dealership-service-department/

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HUMOR

After Washington DC realized that the earthquake was nothing to worry about, they took to Twitter to joke about the source of the quake. Some of the best ones below:

“Krugman says it wasn't big enough.”

“Evidently the quake occurred on a little known fault line outside of DC called "Bush's Fault"”

“Obama administration points out they "inherited" fault lines from previous administrations.

“As all of DC leaves work at the same time, the United States experiences a brief economic recovery.”

Conan O’Brien: "Obama said the housing market may not pick up again for another year or longer. On the bright side, President Obama now has nine people interested in his house."

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WISE WORDS

"Private capitalism makes a steam engine; State capitalism makes pyramids."

-Frank Chodorov

“The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources, and to a higher rate of economic growth, is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.”

-President John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963

“Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants."

-Alexander Hamilton

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