Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The American Spectator: Occupiers "only one or two steps away from becoming the Brown Shirts of our era."

Busy day indeed. One of the greatest scourges of politics in American today is plain old laziness. When it be politicians being lazy to actually look up the facts about the topic they are speaking about (aka talking out of one's ass) or writers and commentators making historical references without actually READING a history book. The later is the target today and sadly I can't even name the offending author since he goes by the pen name of "The Green Lantern"..So apparently I am clashing with a superhero..

As the title of my pieces suggests, this author writing for "The American Spectator" has attempted rather stupidly to compare the Occupy Wall Street protesters to Sturmabteilung or SA of the Nazi Party that arose in the 1920's. The SA or "Brown Shirts" as they were called (for their brown uniforms, and in reference to their Italian counterparts the "Black shirts"), were formed by the early Nazi Party (at the time called the DAP or German Worker's Party) to act as "hall defenders" for the party members. In other words, when Adolf Hitler or other major party members were giving speeches it was their job to remove any hecklers or dissenters in the audience. They also served as bodyguards against the DAP/Nazi party's political enemies, the Social Democrats and Communists. They were by all definitions of the word, thugs who kept political dissenters at a distance from the Nazi Party leadership. They were by modern terms a paramilitary organization (an organisation with military-like characteristics but not active members of the armed forces).

So why exactly does the author think there are parallels to the Brown Shirts and the Occupiers?
He/she believes the Occupiers clashes with police (and occasionally clashing with the media in the case of Occupy Oakland) is equivalent to the actions of the Brown Shirts during those early years of the DAP/Nazi party. He/she also seems to think there are parallels between the message of the Occupy Wall street movement and that of the Brown Shirts.

Now as a graduate of history in college, I was appalled and greatly irritated by the author's rather pathetic and moronic attempt to compare the Occupy movement with the fascist brown shirts of Germany in the 1920's. Sadly, comparing one's political opponents of being Nazis is hardly new in American politics, but it's something that truly makes my blood boil. Such petty and pathetic tactics are reserved solely for small-minded individuals. Of course the author is welcomed to his opinion but that doesn't entitle him/her to distort facts.

The main point of comparison the author seems to make is in reference to the Occupy Iowa protesters claiming they plan to "occupy" the Iowa Caucus. Not quite. The hacker group Anonymous did sent out a video calling on Iowa protesters to occupy the Caucus but the Occupy Iowa movement denounced the video and stated that while they will be protesting that day of the caucus, they have no intention of disrupting those taking part. Based on this erroneous belief, the author is attempting to compare the intimidation tactics of the Brown shirts to people protesting outside Caucus sites here in Iowa. Now even IF the Occupiers here in Iowa decided to more actively protest the Caucus (such as blocking the entrances or conducting a sit-in), such tactics are NOTHING compared to the tactics of the Brown shirts in the 1920's. In addition to keeping political dissenters away from the party leadership, the Brown shirts also harassed and routinely attacked their political rivals with deaths often the result. They also would provoke clashes with their political rivals in hope of either having them arrested and therefore removing them from the streets allowing the Brown shirts to move about more freely.

So what exactly is the author trying to get at? The main point the author seems to be trying to make is the Occupy Wall Street movement preference for "occupying" city parks and other public areas instead of "occupying" politicians offices in D.C. is similar to the actions of the many political factions of post-WWI Germany who took to the streets with their political messages instead of solely relying on the political structure that existed at the time. However his error is the specific reference to the Brown shirts. The Brown shirts were the storm troopers of the Nazi party whose job was keeping dissenters away from the Nazi leadership and attacking its political rivals and no comparison can be made between their tactics and current tactics of the Occupy movement. While both movements choose to operate outside the traditional political system, the Occupy movement has remained large non-violent while the Brown shirt's very start was rooted in violently shutting up those who heckled Adolf Hitler.

So I would strongly suggest the anonymous author this piece to actually pick up and OPEN a history book next time he/she tries to make a historical comparison between political groups because not doing so makes it rather hard to take the article as whole seriously and not just the work of some partisan hack.


The views and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and not that of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

Herman's fall and Romney's Nightmare

The last 24 hours or so has been rather interesting in the GOP rat race, perhaps even "fluid" as the media would say (I honestly hate this word now because of how often it is used in politics). Some of the news was predictable, but some...Not so much.

First, as reported on POLITICO last night, a new accuser has come out against Herman Cain in which she claims to have had a 13 year long affair with the GOP hopeful. She broke this story with a local Atlanta, Georgia TV station who were shown cell phone records that showed a number that she claimed was Cain's private phone number. When the reporter texted this number, Herman Cain personally called right back.(1)

Now I have largely remained quiet about Herman Cain's "problems" because I didn't consider worth my time since the whole issue has nothing to do with the man's politics (which is all I am concerned about). I only detail this most recent "problem" because it may be the tipping point for Cain's campaign.

As reported by POLITICO (2), this latest incident has Herman Cain seriously considering pulling out of the race depending on how he call sell this latest "problem" as no different than the rest. Cain's departure, while foreseen by many, will nevertheless have a major impact on the GOP race for the White House. This is because Cain still polls well in many states and his supporters will have to find someone else to throw their weight behind. The question is..Who is that candidate?

As I talked about in my last piece, polls seem to so Newt Gingrich is the candidate to gain the most if Herman Cain finally implodes and by a pretty wide margin. This was reinforced today by a report released by the Public Policy Polling. This report compiled the results of 6 recent GOP polls and found that on average 37% polled would pick Newt Gingrich as their second choice if Herman Cain pulls out of the race while only 13% would pick the other "front runner" Mitt Romney. (3)

Strangely though, Mitt Romney's campaign to date has shown no interest in these polls and is instead focusing on attacking the President as if he was the nominee.(4) Now such a strategy does have benefits since it keeps Romney from attacking his fellow GOPers and giving him a "cleaner" image than earlier in the campaign when he and Rick Perry would constantly clashing. However it also risks making him look out of touch with the GOP voters who aren't so sure the GOP race is all over.

But a new poll out today may make that disconnect look even more apparent..Mainly because of where it taken: New Hampshire. Rasmussen reported today that in a new poll taken in the 1st in the nation primary that Romney's seemingly invincible lead is being wore away at an alarming rate. The breakdown of the poll was as such: Romney 34%, Gingrich 24%, Paul 14%, Huntsman 11%. (5) Now the biggest surprise of this poll isn't Gingrich's rising numbers, it's John Huntsman numbers that are surprising. At 11%, this is Huntsman's best showing yet in any state poll and while he may only be polling 4th, with every gained number he is further chipping away at Romney's lead with a little over a month until the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary.

So indeed, the last 24 hours has been quite exciting for political wonks. I have a sneaking suspension that the next 24 hours will be just as interesting..Stay tuned.



The views and opinions expressed in the above piece are solely those of the author not those of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

IowaPolitics.com: IowaPolitics.com: GOP presidential candidates eye changes to courts

IowaPolitics.com: IowaPolitics.com: GOP presidential candidates eye changes to courts

Great article detailing many of the leading GOP candidates' bizarre, idiotic, and down right unconstitutional ideas of changing the Judicial Branch of government..Our founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if ANY of these people followed through with these ideas. Shame on them!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Propagandastan - By David Trilling | Foreign Policy

Propagandastan - By David Trilling Foreign Policy

While I generally dislike cuts to the Defense Budget..This is one program I would have no problem cutting. Good to know the old Cold War policy of putting lipstick on dictators is not just alive and well, it's funded by we the taxpayers.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand WHY we are kissing Uzbekistan's butt (mainly we have a major airbase there and apparently can find no where else to put one). I fully understand that sometimes you have to make strange bedfellows to achieve a strategic goal. The problem I have is, it seems we are ALWAYS making such horrible alliances of convenience and at some point we are going to have to ask ourselves, when are we going to draw the line as to how far are willing to bend over to these people and betray our own ideals? Where does it end?

I honestly have no easy answer...And I don't fault those asked to carry out such policies as this propaganda website mentioned in the article because they are simply doing what the policy-makers in D.C. ask them to do. But one of these days I fear this "deal with the devil" will come back to haunt us..As they often do.

"Dump Obama"- Sounds Crazy...Like a Fox?

Firstly, I have to admit that when someone first suggested this idea of "dumping" President Obama by the Democratic party, I was very skeptical that such an effort would do anything but give the GOP a green light to the White House next year (seems a little unsporting to me). This was mainly because the original idea being pushed by many (prominently Senator Bernie Sanders) was getting a Democrat to run against Obama in a primary. To me, as a student of history, the idea of a incumbent being challenged by his own party just sounded a plan for disaster for Democrats.

For one, there are few if any prominent enough Democrats to even pose a real threat to the President in the first place (making such a primary challenge a real waste of time) whose only real accomplishment could be to force the President to make new promises to his liberal base...Promises he can easily break after his re-election since he will no longer need their votes (as all 'good' politicians do). So what would be the point? And what would it accomplish?

So after arguing with several people on Twitter about this (who rather rudely called me an "Obamapoligist"), I figured any talk of "dumping" President Obama was just a crazy idea cooked up by some grumpy liberals...But it appears these folks may have the last laugh after all.

Because today, not one but TWO articles were published that called for the same thing: President Obama to NOT run for re-election and put Hillary Clinton in play or at least replace Biden for Clinton on the VP ticket.

The two articles in question are "The Hillary Moment" by Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell & Douglas E. Schoen for the Wall Street Journal (1), and "The "Dump Obama' movement has begun; Guess who'd replace him?" by Andrew Malcom (2). Mr. Malcom's piece was written in response to Caddell and Schoen's so I will focus on the points they made and only note that Mr. Malcom seems to have enjoyed writing his response a little too much..

In "The Hillary Moment", the authors make a pretty fair argument for President Obama deciding not to run for re-election and instead have his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run in his place:

1. Precedent- IF Obama decided to step aside, it would hardly be the first time. Harry Truman (one of my personal favorites Presidents mind you) knew that even though he managed to win his own term in 1948, he did so just barely and come 1952 he was not likely to be able to full off that trick twice (though one does wonder if he hadn't stepped aside if Ike would have run against his former boss). LBJ too realised that his actions in the Vietnam War would make it very difficult to win another term and decided it would be best for his party if he chose instead to not run again.

2. Ready Replacement- UNLIKE Truman and LBJ, President Obama has a strong possible replacement on the Democratic ticket who has enough political experience to have a good chance of defeating the eventual GOP candidate (cough Romney cough) on her own right.

3. Clean Slate- In theory, since Clinton has been busy running the State Department (quite well according to most polls of Americans), she won't have to deal with President Obama's failures as president (especially his economic ones since she had no say in such decisions/policies), making for a "nicer" presidential campaign than the overly negative one most political wonks currently predict.

4. Doing the Honorable Thing- In theory, if President Obama decides not to run for re-election, that could give him more leverage in negotiating with Republicans over fiscal matters since his job is not longer in 'danger' and perhaps his decision could inspire Republicans to play ball.

I however have a lot of problems with this seemingly logic reasons for President Obama stepping aside for 2012.

1. While Obama wouldn't be the first to choose this path of political suicide, there is one other glaring similarity with Truman and LBJ's decisions: Their stepping aside didn't stop the GOP from coming out on top in the Presidential rat race. So is it best for the nation? Maybe, but history certainly doesn't invoke confidence if the Democrats want to win.

2. I actually have no problem with the idea that Hillary Clinton would be the ideal replacement for President Obama on the Democratic ticket, because no one else could even remotely pull off such a huge gamble.

3. I think the guys at WSJ are a bit delusional if they think the GOP won't dump all of President Obama's political baggage on Clinton's head should she decide to run in Obama's place. She may have had a good record working on the State Department but as far as the GOP is concerned, Clinton and Obama could be interchangeable (and that's exactly what they will tell prospective voters come election time).

4. Doing the honorable thing is nice and very refreshing in politics and I have no problems with that.

Personally, if President Obama decided not to run for re-election today or early next year (hint hint), I would be among the first to applaud him since overall it would probably result is at least some healing in politics. And I agree with the authors that to win, President Obama will either need a miracle, or have to run a rather nasty campaign. The later will only deepen the political divide that currently exists in Washington and while such a divide will never fully disappear..The last thing we need right now is that gridlock to get any worse (as the Super Committee's admission of failure proves). Do I think Clinton running will end that gridlock? Probably not, but I think it's possible it could be moved in the right direction regardless of who wins in the end.

So what sounded like a crazy idea to me a few weeks is starting to make some sense..I'll admit it. But will this movement to 'Dump Obama' really catch on? Only time will tell..


The views expressed in the above work are solely those of the author and not of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.


1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203611404577041950781477944.html

2. http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=592314&p=2

Support for "Occupy" Unchanged, but More Criticize Approach

Support for "Occupy" Unchanged, but More Criticize Approach

My thanks to Gallup for putting together a short & sweet report on American's views toward the "Occupy" movement.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lazy Rhetoric

Lazy Rhetoric

FactCheck's critique of Romney and Perry's attempt to claim President Obama called Americans "Lazy"...Too bad he didn't. Let the shameless peddling begin!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Newt's Rise...Too Fast?

In my second piece on the political scavenging from Herman Cain's political corpse (harsh but accurate), we turn to Newt Gingrich who has amazed many, including myself, in how fast he has risen in just a week or so.

Admittedly, I wrote off Newt's campaign some time ago like many political observers because of various reasons (money being the key one in my opinion, and Newt's lack of it). And in the end, Newt's recent rise may be for not, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

Ever since Herman Cain's "misfortunes" started, many waited very little before speculating which of the GOPers would benefit most from Herman's fall. Most of more, unoriginal thinkers, predicted that Mitt Romney would be the greatest beneficiary not because Cain's supporters liked him best but because his supporters would flock to multiple candidates, leaving Romney right where he is. However that belief seems to have been short-sighted. On the contrary, it has been the candidate everyone wrote off that has benefited the most from Herman's fall: Newt Gingrich.

What has astonished me the most is the shear distance Newt's poll numbers have covered in a very short amount of time, rising from single digits to leading in many new polls out this week. This is largely remarkable in that such rises normally only occur after a new candidate enters the race (see Rick Perry's entry into the rat race), not to a candidate that has been in it from the start.

But thanks to a poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Polling group, we can see both where Newt's new found support comes from and that his rise may not yet be complete. When supporters of Herman Cain were asked how favorable they were towards the "other three" top GOP contenders, the results were quite interesting. 73% of Cain supporters hold a favorable opinion of the Newt while his closest competitors (Perry and Romney) only garner some 30 or percent from Cain's supporters. Take in account that Cain has yet to drop out of the race and therefore should he decide to before the Iowa Caucus (or do so soon afterwards) it's quite possible Newt could see a further bump in the polls. For note, this same poll already has Newt in the lead with 28% and Herman Cain at 25% and Romney pulling in just 18%. (1)

And that is hardly the only poll showing Newt's miracle rise. According to POLITICO, Newt manages to pull in second to Romney in a new CNN/ORC poll at 22% and at 19% in the McClatchy-Marist poll released last Friday. (2) Further, in the CNN/ORC poll, Newt leads the field when it comes to support among the Tea Party movement with 29% of TP folks preferring Mr. Gingrich, and increase of 19 points from the last CNN poll in October. Further, Newt's rise amongst Tea Partiers is matched by Herman Cain's fall, which Cain falling from 39% support from the TP to now just 22%. (3)

However, with all fast rises, there is always a risk of burning out. And many are wondering what kind of staying power Newt has and whether his recently talked about ties to Freddie Mac will sabotage his rise in the polls just as the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary are just around the corner. (4)

Personally, I am not sure how long Newt's lead in the polls will last, but at the very least I have to give Newt credit for running an underdog campaign, often ridiculed by many from both parties as wasting our time and should just drop out. Whether it be dumb luck or political smarts, Newt has finally gotten the respect he probably deserves...But will it last?

1. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ppp-newt-leads-nationally_608071.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
2. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68328.html
3. http://decoded.nationaljournal.com/2011/11/why-newt-is-next-in-line.php
4. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68394.html


The views expressed the above piece are purely those of the author and not those of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

Rick Perry's Rebirth?

As my readers have noticed, I have yet to address Mr. Cain's recent "problems", largely because I don't feel I have anything to contribute to such a discussion and because I have been saying for some time that Herman Cain doesn't deserve to run for President, (for reasons that are so numerous that I could go on all day), and as such I see no need to waste my time on him. What I will address about Herman Cain is how his fall is benefiting the true contenders for the GOP nomination.

As such, I am now working on a two-part piece on the possible rise of two GOP contenders hoping to benefit from Cain's "problems": Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.

Since Rick Perry's not infamous blunder a few weeks ago at a GOP debate (in which he couldn't seem to remember the third of three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate as President), most politician commentators have officially written off Mr. Perry's chances of winning the GOP nomination. To a degree they are quite justified in this belief when one looks at any major presidential poll taken in the last few weeks in which Perry has been unable to achieve double-digit numbers. This has partially been because of the rise (and now slow fall) of Herman Cain.

Unlike Newt, Mr. Perry has yet to show any real gain from Cain's fall but that doesn't mean he will quit trying. Since his debate "oops", Perry has been doing everything to laugh off the moment and make the best of the situation (something I think was quite smart to do). And, starting today here in Iowa, Perry is hoping to relaunch his campaign with a bold new strategy.

His strategy? To propose major government reform on a scale not talked about for some time, even more rarely by a major candidate for the White House. What exactly does Rick Perry propose?

1. Judicial Terms- Rick Perry calls for the ending of life-appointments for federal court judges (though he makes no reference to the Supreme Court). This is likely meant to stir up social conservatives who often rant about so-called "activist" judges ruining our nation.
2. Taxes- Calls for a 2/3 majority threshold for raising taxes by Congress.
3. Congressional/Presidential Pay- First, he calls from Congress' and President's pay to be slashed in half.
4. Balanced Budget- Should the Congress be unable (or unwilling) to achieve a balanced budget, he calls for a further cutting of Congress/Presidential pay by half. Therefore, under his plan, it's possible Congressional and Presidential pay could be cut by 3/4. (1)

Now to be fair, Perry's proposals are definitely pretty bold and far greater than anything any other GOP contender has proposed. And for many who believe the federal government needs major reform (including myself), such a proposal sounds VERY interesting..However there is one huge problem: Congress. For ALL of these proposals the power lies not with the President but with Congress. Having a threshold for raising taxes is actually being seriously discussed in Washington as we speak so it's possible that provision could come true, but it would be the only one.

Cutting Congressional pay is something of a can of worms in Washington these days, very much in the same class as term limits for Congress in that they cause political realists and cynics (such as myself) to roll their eyes because believing Congress would actually give themselves a pay cut is about as likely as the CEO of Goldman Sachs cut his pay..It's not going to happen anytime soon. And there's nothing a president Rick Perry could do about it.

So the real question is, is Rick Perry serious with these proposals or is he just saying these things to try and win back the Tea Party's support that has recently shifted to Herman Cain? If the goal is to scoop up Herman Cain supporters, he already seems to have an uphill battle. Yesterday a poll released by the Public Policy Polling that showed only 32% of Herman Cain's supporters have a favorable opinion of Rick Perry.

Personally, it doesn't matter much to me since the reasons for his proposal are largely irrelevant since they will be DOA if they ever reach Congress. I do however believe that is a bold gamble for Perry. Should he succeed in passing the word about his proposals and convince enough folks that he honestly thinks he can achieve these reforms then it could be just the thing to buoy Perry back into the double-digits and make him a serious candidate again. However, should his proposal not be taken seriously and simply be laughed off as a poorly veiled attempt at pandering to the Tea Party, this will likely be Perry's final breath in this presidential marathon. And with less than 2 months til the Iowa Caucus, Perry's gamble maybe too little, too late...Time will tell.

1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/perry-government-overhaul-plan-would-end-lifetime-judicial-appointments-cut-congressional-pay/2011/11/15/gIQAnpYjON_story_1.html
2. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ppp-newt-leads-nationally_608071.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


The views expressed in the above work are purely those of the author and not those of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Tribute

Something of a change today, there will be no mention of partisan political bickering, political scandal, or anything of the like. Today, along with Memorial day, is one of the most important days of the year to me. Sure, they are many holidays a year, but today is one of the rare ones whose sole purpose is the honoring some of the finest among us, veterans.

I personally keep this holiday rather high on my list because of the many veterans I have met in my life and the many stories they have told me over the years, all of which instilled in me a sense of awe and respect from even a young age. These range from family members, teachers, classmates, and even perfect strangers I have met at restaurants or while at work. And while they come from very different backgrounds, these brave men/women all share one thing in common...When our nation needed them, they fought not just for themselves or their families, they fought for all Americans.

I find it strangely ironic that I recently felt the urge to re-watch the Band of Brothers mini-series, just days before Veterans Day. I personally have watched the series several times and it never gets "old" to me. And no matter what, the words of Dick Winters at the end of the series always strike me..

"I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in a war?', grandpa said 'No, but I served in a company of heroes.' "

It has always amazed me how humble the many veterans I have met over the years are about their service, often simply saying they were just doing their job or that the real heroes where the ones who never came home. To me, they are ALL heroes and are the finest of us all and as a nation we should never forget the great risks and sacrifices our veterans had to make.

As such, I would like to say Thank You and God Bless to all veterans for their service and hope that their example inspires all Americans to serve their nation in what ever function they can, whether it be in military service (as I will soon do) or helping out in your community. Today is not just a day to honor the veterans themselves, but also the ideals they fought for.

I leave you with one of my favorites quotes, courtesy President John F. Kennedy:

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Rare Moment of Bipartisanship..

I don't do this often, but I would like to give kudos the United States Senate today for this passing legislation slated to help the far too many American veterans who are unemployed in America today.

The legislation in question, which was part of President Obama's proposed Jobs bill, passing by a 94-1 vote gives tax credits to companies/employers who hire unemployed and/or disabled American veterans (1). The legislation is meant to stem the employment crisis that far too many veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have to deal with everyday. According to a recent government report, the unemployment among veterans of the Afghan/Iraqi wars is 11.5% for the year 2010 compared to 9.4% for the nation as a whole. Even worse, some 25% of so-called "Gulf War II-era" veterans have a service-related disability which further hurts their chances at finding employment after serving their country (2).

So again, I congratulate the Senate for this rare moment of bipartisanship and common sense that will no doubt benefit countless American veterans who have served their nation proudly and deserve only the best from their nation in return...And all a day before Veterans Day no less!

I also want to wish all veterans a happy (and slightly early) Veterans Day, I plan to post a dedicated post to that subject tomorrow. And of course, I wish all Marines out there a Happy Marine Corps Birthday.

1. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68095.html
2. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm