Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A big thank you to Manny Montanez and all my Catholic friends for last night's wonderful Legatus event at the Pacific Club.  Great to be with you guys!

400-408 – Let's start off with the big news today...Christine O'Donnell's upset win last night in Delaware and do a little TEA (Tax Enough Already) Party 101.  Behind the TEA party movement, are the fundamental distinctions between the left and the right, or more specifically, between progressives and conservatives.

Progressives want to "fundamentally transform America" into another European secular socialist state, where "more government", "more wealth redistribution", and "more taxes" are the answers to nearly every problem. 

Conservatives want to preserve and strengthen American exceptionalism through limited government, lower taxes, freer markets, and a restrained judiciary, where God, family, and personal responsibility are the answers to nearly every problem.

(1:29) Christine O'Donnell post-election speech, after winning the Republican Senate primary in Delaware against liberal Republican Mike Castle.

413-423 –  • Mike Allen, Politico (9/15/2010) Del. winner bashes 'cannibalism'.  Karl Rove says "this is not a race we're gonna be able to win."  Would you vote for the most conservative candidate (Limbaugh), or the most electable conservative candidate (Buckley)?

(:38) Karl Rove with Fox's Sean Hannity 9/14/2010.  "It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.  And, we'll see how she can answer these questions.  She sure as heck didn't answer them thus far in the campaign.… There's just a lot of nutty things she's been saying. …"I'm for the Republican. But I gotta tell ya: We were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate [of the 10 needed for the majority]. We're now looking at seven to eight, in my opinion. This is not a race we're gonna be able to win."

• Fox News (9/15/2010) Republican Establishment Pledges Support for O'Donnell After Infighting.

• Reuters (9/15/2010) Tea Party Republican has big lead in Florida.

Six weeks before November 2 congressional elections, Marco Rubio leads state Governor Charlie Crist, an independent, by 40 percent to 26 percent among likely voters, the poll found. Democrat Kendrick Meek trails at 21 percent.

428-437 – How much are you willing to pay out of your own pocket to "fundamentally transform America?"

• ABC News (9/12/2010) A Look at Potential Tax Hikes.  The most sweeping tax cuts in a generation are due to expire at the end of the year. Congress is set to take up the issue this month. If Congress does nothing, families at every income level face tax increases next year.

2011 Income            #of tax returns                        Cum.            Avg Increase

Less than $10,000            28,681,000                        28M            $70

$10,000 to $20,000            24,383,000                        53M            $410

$20,000 to $30,000            8,523,000                        62M            $756

$30,000 to $40,000            15,679,000                        77M            $893

$40,000 to $50,000            13,001,000                        90M            $923

$50,000 to $75,000            23,972,000                        114M            $1,126

$75,000 to $100,000            15,245,000                        130M            $1,837

$100,000 to $200,000            16,885,000                        147M            $3,672

$200,000 to $500,000            3,757,000                        150M            $7,187

$500,000 to $1 million            608,000                        150.6M            $18,092

$1 million and over            315,000                        151M            $101,587

• Dennis Prager (9/7/2010) Why the Right Fears Transforming America -- and the Left Seeks It.

The giveaway regarding presidential candidate Barack Obama's plans for America was his repeated use of the words "fundamentally transform."

Some of us instinctively reacted negatively -- in fact, with horror -- at the thought of fundamentally transforming America.

The "us" are conservatives.

One unbridgeable divide between left and right is how each views alternatives to present-day America. Those on the left imagine an ideal society that has never existed, and therefore seek to "fundamentally transform" America. When liberals imagine an America fundamentally transformed, they envision it becoming a nearly utopian society in which there is no greed, no racism, no sexism, no inequality, no poverty and ultimately no unhappiness.

Conservatives, on the other hand, look around at other societies and history and are certain that if America were fundamentally transformed, it would become just like those other societies. America would become a society of far less liberty, of ethically and morally inferior citizens and of much more unhappiness. And cruelty would increase exponentially around the world.

Conservatives believe that America is an aberration in human history; that, with all the problems that a society made up of flawed human beings will inevitably have, America has been and remains a uniquely decent society. Therefore, conservatives worry that fundamentally transforming America -- making America less exceptional -- will mean that America gets much worse.

Liberals worry over the opposite possibility -- that America will remain more or less as it is.

443-452 – Calls

458-508 – Calls

512-523 – Calls

528-539 – (1:41) Reggie Bush Montage, about returning the Heisman.  Ever do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do?  Ever been done the right thing because someone else thought it was the right thing to do?  Ever return something you stole?  Ever tell someone the truth after lying to them?  Ever apologize or confess to someone about a wrong that you did from years earlier?  Ever witness someone doing the right thing and it touched you?  What's your voluntary restitution story?

• When a pig falls into the mud, they love it and don't want to get out.  When a cat falls into the mud, they can't stand it, and can't wait to get out.  Are you a Christian Cat or a Pagan Pig?  If you're not convicted about past wrongs, you're a pig.    If you want to "come clean" your a cat.  This is all about having a "pure heart." 

• ESPN (9/15/2010) Reggie Bush to forfeit Heisman.

• Pat Yasinskas , ESPN (9/15/2010) Bush says some gifts last forever.

• AP (9/15/2010) Reggie Bush statement on forfeiting Heisman.

Contrast this with the baseball steroid scandal.

• LAT (9/14/2010) Federal agents illegally seized ballplayers' drug-test records, appeals court rules.  The court's ruling is believed to put an end to the government's ability to use any of the materials seized from the BALCO labs when agents had a warrant for just 10 pro athletes' records.

• Liberty Mutual Commercial about doing the right thing (link).

544-554 – Calls

558-608 – Calls

612-623 – Calls

628-639 – Calls

644-656 – Calls

• Arthur Brooks & Paul Ryan (9/13/2010) The Size of Government and the Choice This Fall.  In polls, Americans overwhelmingly prefer small government and low taxes to the alternative. Yet they've been given big government, one program at a time.

As we move into this election season, Americans are being asked to choose between candidates and political parties. But the true decision we will be making—now and in the years to come—is this: Do we still want our traditional American free enterprise system, or do we prefer a European-style social democracy? This is a choice between free markets and managed capitalism; between limited government and an ever-expanding state; between rewarding entrepreneurs and equalizing economic rewards.

// However, finding the right level of government for Americans is simply impossible unless we decide which ideal we prefer: a free enterprise society with a solid but limited safety net, or a cradle-to-grave, redistributive welfare state. Most Americans believe in assisting those temporarily down on their luck and those who cannot help themselves, as well as a public-private system of pensions for a secure retirement. But a clear majority believes that income redistribution and government care should be the exception and not the rule.

• CNS News (9/13/2010) Feds Spent $800,000 of Economic Stimulus on African Genital-Washing Program.  Do you want your tax dollars going to this?

( – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.

• Dennis Prager (9/15/2010) Islam and Moral Nuance: In general, the Left hates the Right more than it hates bigotry.

• Fox News (9/14/2010) EXCLUSIVE: Venezuela Cancels Round-Trip 'Terror Flight' to Syria and Iran.

• George Melloan, WSJ (9/14/2010) Basel's Capital Illusions.  The 2008 meltdown was not the result of lax regulation but of abuse of the U.S. financial system by the political class in Washington.  Mr. Melloan, a former columnist and deputy editor of the Journal editorial page, is author of "The Great Money Binge: Spending Our Way to Socialism" (Simon & Schuster, 2009).

• NRO Editors (9/15/2010) Politicizing Banks, Again.