Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul sparred over the issue of Gingrich's $1.6 million in consulting fees for mortgage giant Freddie Mac between 1999 and 2007 in an ABC News Iowa debate December 10. Asked why his campaign released an advertisement accusing Gingrich of "serial hypocrisy," Rep. Paul stressed that Gingrich "received a lot of money from Freddie Mac. Now, Freddie Mac is essentially a government organization. While he was earning a lot of money from Freddie Mac, I was fighting over a decade to try to explain to people where the housing bubble was coming from. So Freddie Mac gets bailed out by the taxpayer, so in a way, Newt, I think you probably got some of our taxpayers' money." He added, "I think this is something that people ought to know about." Paul, whose advertisement stressed that Gingrich had switched positions on many issues, suggested that he alone had been consistent in defending the U.S. Constitution over many years in Congress: "If we're looking for a consistent position, I think there'd be a little bit of trouble of anybody competing with me for consistency."
In his interview at King World News, James Turk, founder of GoldMoney and author of The Collapse of the Dollar, noted in his travels around Europe that “there is one common trait, regardless of which country I am in: people are really frightened about the possibility of the collapse of the euro. Money continues to move out of the European banking system, which explains why central banks stepped in with some money printing last week.”
Investors are bullish on Europe yet again after a two-day summit in Brussels produced a triumphant agreement on the part of the 17 eurozone member nations to get their collective fiscal house in order. The options for Europe going into the conference were stark — at least, according to the doomsday rhetoric emanating from European leaders and media commentators on both side of the Atlantic. Failure to reach the foreordained agreement at Brussels would have been “a luxury we cannot afford” opined French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who added that “maintenance of the eurozone is our duty. We have no other choice.” Well, actually, the other choice, according to the powers that be, was continental and global financial ruin. “Merkel and Sarkozy have been clear — back the plan or face catastrophe. It is a simple as that,” wrote CNN anchor Richard Quest. “The unfortunate point, often overlooked, is that the eurozone countries really have little choice. The euro doesn't work as currently constituted (it never has). They either change it or the project will collapse.” And a collapse of the eurozone would probably reverberate worldwide, possibly leading to a financial panic that would dwarf the 2008 debacle. Cowed into submission, the eurozone countries feverishly agreed to subject their fiscal policies to international supervision, with the EU empowered to impose fines and sanctions for failure to keep budget deficits essentially at zero and other transgressions.
Senator Rand Paul, a self-described representative of the Tea Party, worries that the small progress toward the restoration of limited government may be "set back" by the upcoming Republican presidential nomination. In a letter to the Des Moines Register, the son of GOP White House hopeful Ron Paul set forth his two goals for striving to protect the "conservative movement" from being hampered by the nomination of a candidate with "a different set of ideas and values." The first of Senator Paul's two goals is to "prevent the European debt crisis from consuming America next." Although certainly a priority for the Senator, the rest of the letter is devoted to details of his second goal: electing a "constitutional[ly] conservative president in 2012." An urgent issue for the Republican Party and the United States is the election of a president who will remain faithful to his Oath of Office from the moment his hand is placed on the Bible on Inauguration Day. While Senator Paul admits that anyone on the current roster of Republican candidates would be an improvement over Barack Obama, he calls out the two men leading in the polls — Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — for not representing "the tea party, the conservative movement, or the type of change our country desperately needs...."
Nothing like politics more readily reveals man’s intellectual and moral vices. If ever we were in need of proof of the truth of this proposition, the Republican Party’s presidential primary race supplies it in spades. The Democratic Party’s penchant for duplicity has long been noted by most readers of this column. That it seeks “the fundamental transformation” of our country into something bordering on a socialist utopia will be denied only by those who choose to characterize its prime objective in other terms. The ugly truth is that the Democratic Party of which President Barack H. Obama is the titular head abhors the America conceived by our Founders, an America within which liberty is the cardinal value. The United States Constitution — the secret to this liberty — is a burden from which Democrats seek relief, for as long as it remains, it stands as a monumental impediment to their agenda, a systematic program that involves nothing more or less than the repeal of the Revolution of 1776.
In a few days, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet in Washington with the express intention of building “muscles of respect and empathy and tolerance.” The invitation to meet in Washington was extended in July, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the OIC during its meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. However, despite the trappings of talk about tolerance, implementation of the OIC’s agenda would restrict the free speech around the globe.
Opponents of the Transportation Security Administration’s invasive pat-downs of airline passengers may be on the verge of obtaining a new weapon for their fight. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering changing its definition of rape in a way that could criminalize TSA agents’ groping of passengers’ private parts. According to the New York Daily News, an FBI panel recommended that the agency change its current definition of rape — “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” — which was adopted in 1929, to a much broader definition: “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The proposed definition, which awaits approval by FBI Director Robert Mueller, was praised by both law-enforcement personnel and feminist activists. Police believe it will make it easier to report the number of rapes accurately because the FBI’s criteria will now “more closely match the ones that police departments around the country already use,” reports the Daily News. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which spearheaded the effort to have the definition changed, hailed the news as “a great victory.”
Pro-abortion groups expressed their anger over a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to keep the abortion pill Plan B from being sold over the counter to individuals under 17 years of age. Sebelius’ decision overruled an earlier decision by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was “preparing to let the pill be sold without a prescription or age limit,” reported the Associated Press. Currently the pill, which pro-life leaders say can cause an abortion in women who have conceived, is only available over-the-counter to women over 17. Wendy Wright of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute explained that Plan B is really an abortion pill because it stops the implantation of a fertilized egg. “It changes the lining of the uterus so that an embryo can’t implant — or if an embryo is implanted, it can’t survive,” she explained. “So it really should be labeled an abortion drug.” President Obama, who was behind the override, “said ... it was just common sense to keep girls under the age of 17 from being able to buy a morning-after contraceptive pill off a drugstore shelf,” reported AP. “Citing his own two daughters, Obama said: ‘I think most parents would probably feel the same way.’”
A liberal Congressman who barely managed to get reelected last time around still pursues an agenda displeasing to his district, so Republicans are already getting ready to get him thrown out next time. In 2010, the torrent of anger against statist intrusion into areas Americans still consider sacrosanct swept away scores of Democratic incumbents. So strong was the enthusiasm of the Tea Party, so energized was the Republican electorate, that even deeply entrenched House Democrats were dislodged. Long time leftist titan James Oberstar of Minnesota, Ike Skelton of Missouri, and John Spratt of South Carolina were but a few who fell. In all, Republicans gained 63 seats in the House, 6 in the Senate, a majority of governorships, and 680 additional seats in state legislatures. Despite historic success nationwide, Republicans would come up short against Congressman Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), a liberal politician in a not-so-liberal district. His margin of victory was razor thin, though — a mere 592 votes out of almost 200,000 cast. Bishop’s Houdini-esque escape act underscores the significance of a single voter’s participation. With the 2012 race on the horizon, Bishop will once again face Randy Altschuler, a successful businessman whose message of fiscal restraint, reform, and job creation should resonate with voters who’ve been straight-jacketed by the economy. The Democratic political machine in Suffolk County, as one should expect, takes a different view, dismissing Altschuler’s appeal to NY-1 voters.
President Obama and congressional Democrats vowed to cancel Christmas break and stay in Washington over the holidays if Congress refuses to pass a payroll tax cut extension that is set to expire at the end of the year. The President is slated to take his family on a 17-day Christmas vacation to Hawaii beginning December 17, but unless the extension is reached next week his vacationing plans will be canceled. "[W]e are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure that the American people's taxes don't go up on January 1st, and to make sure that folks who desperately need unemployment insurance get that help," Obama pledged. "And there's absolutely no excuse for us not getting it done." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reinforced Obama’s vow, asserting that House Democrats are prepared to stay in town for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s if that’s what it takes to get the payroll tax cut extension pushed through. "Republicans have another chance to decide whose side they're on — all Americans or the one percent," said Pelosi, recapitulating the infamous Occupy Wall Street catchphrase. "We must not leave Washington, D.C., for the holidays without extending the payroll tax cut for our working families or unemployment benefits for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own."