Pivot Points in History

Plenty has changed in America in recent years. A spectacular stock market advance that began in 1982 and roared into the late 1990’s, was fueled in part by an incredible Internet boom. The stock market advance and resulting skyrocketing of federal income tax revenues came to a screeching halt when the bubble burst in early 2000. During the final year of Clinton presidency and the first two months of the Bush presidency, the stock market nose-dived in sickening fashion. And after the roaring stock market cratered, confidence killing scandals rocked corporate boardrooms resulting in jail terms for a number of scoundrels. Just over nine years ago, radical Muslims brought the world to a halt when they crashed passenger jets into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Only the heroism of American passengers on a fourth hijacked airliner prevented even greater damage and more loss of life in our nation’s capital. Eventually America regained its confidence despite the fact that ever more partisan political bickering tended to increasingly pit neighbors against neighbors and sometimes even family members against one another. In the meantime "progressives" fumed over the fact that George W. Bush acquired political strength as a direct result of 9-11.
Even when partisan politics has been set aside, the new century has brought on a new era, wherein Americans seem to be having a difficult time sorting out the new realities. Last year’s re-escalation of U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan by President Obama is the strongest of all indications that the terrorist intelligence reports received by the White House have not changed much despite the fact the presidency did in early 2009. These days new would-be murderers make it clear that radical Islamic terrorism will relentlessly continue to attempt to make its way inside of our borders. This is simply a cold hard reality. And though scary this is actually old news for people with sense. What is new news? The new news is "hope" has cascaded towards "despair" in only 22 months. In pathetic fashion newly elected officials in Washington D.C. have shown they have no clue about how they should manage the public trust. Somehow they miss the point of the 2006 elections when the nation’s voters had grown leery of George W. Bush's three and four hundred billion dollar budget deficits. Accordingly in 2006 the party in power, (the Republicans) paid the price. The GOP paid a price again in 2008. Still "progressives" cannot figure out why voters are so upset? They label the Tea Party movement extreme and "racist." Somehow they cannot seem to grasp that the "change" voters sought in 2008 was not $1.5 trillion dollar deficits along with projections of red ink and a far more powerful government for as far as the eye can see. So here we are in October of 2010. Once again the electorate is faced with trying to do problem-solving at the voting booth.
Tracing America’s problem-solving challenges, we can easily identify at least six key historical turning points since 1776. The Civil War, WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War, and 9-11 all stand out as pivot points. In 2010 there is once again a dire threat facing the nation. America must find a way to regain its fiscal sanity. America is already facing a second pivot point since the turn of the century. We see commonality. Each of these pivot points in history ushered in drastic changes in the attitudes of citizens and subsequently changes in the policies of our leaders.
Six years ago the 9-11 Commission released an ominous report to the public. And yesterday NPR News Analyst Juan Williams was fired for saying what anyone with a shred of common sense thinks. While most citizens learned the basic lessons of 9-11 long ago and began to worry deeply about the grave fiscal problems we face, some entities like National Public Radio shamelessly slurp at the taxpayer trough with the support of whacked out “progressives.” These poor souls still haven’t figured out why President Obama sees the same national security threats his predecessor saw, hence his escalation in Afghanistan. And in about eleven days these same poor souls are going to wonder what hit them just like we all did after 9-11.


Some G-20 Minister's Wise to Geithner's Snake Oil Pitch

Group of 20 finance chiefs conclude talks today with the U.S. running into resistance as it pushes targets for current account imbalances as a new way of prodding China and other Asian nations to let their currencies rise. G-20 finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Gyeongju, South Korea, after weeks of accusations that countries from the U.S. to China risk sparking a trade war by relying on weaker exchange rates to spur economic growth.
Tim Geithner
Seeking a solution, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner proposed in a letter that G-20 members pursue policies to reduce trade surpluses and deficits “below a specified share” of their economies. That suggestion yesterday split the forum of emerging and industrial economies. “Setting numerical targets would be unrealistic,” said Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, while German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle rejected a “command economy” approach. Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said caps would be hard to quantify. In interviews with Bloomberg Television, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the idea was a “step in the right direction” and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan called it “constructive.” Read more here:


NPR - A Welcome Place for Anti-Christian Rhetoric

Andrei Codrescu
National Public Radio may have fired its lone black male on-air commentator, Juan Williams, after remarks he made to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that it considered anti-Muslim. But another pundit, who once called an evangelical Christian tenet of faith "crap" -- and hoped that millions of believers would "evaporate" -- remains a regular presence at NPR nearly 15 years later. The Romanian-born writer Andrei Codrescu "has been a commentator on 'All Things Considered' since 1983," his NPR.org bio states. Codrescu's latest broadcast was on Monday, when he complained that "something called the tea party drank all the Kool-Aid in America."
In December 1995, Codrescu said of the evangelical belief of the Rapture, in which Christ's faithful would miraculously ascend from the earth before the Second Coming: "The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." Read more here:


Sowell: Is Barney Frank? Part II

Thomas Sowell
Barney Frank (D-Ma)
Among long-time politicians who are being seriously challenged for the first time this election year, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts best epitomizes the cynical ruthlessness which hides behind their lofty rhetoric.
Having been a key figure in promoting the risky mortgage lending practices imposed by the federal government on lenders, and on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy these risky mortgages from the lenders, Barney Frank blamed the resulting collapse of financial markets and the economy on everybody except Barney Frank. Read more here:


Free the Taxpayers - Defund State-Sponsored Media

Michelle Malkin
From Townhall.com by Michelle Malkin - In the wake of commentator Juan Williams' feckless firing by National Public Radio, supporters on the Internet sounded a cheeky rallying cry: "Free Juan!" But Williams has now been liberated from the government-funded media's politically correct shackles. It's taxpayers who need to be untethered from NPR and other state-sponsored public broadcasting.

Juan Williams
Public radio and public television are funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies. Supporters argue that this amounts to a tiny portion of state-sponsored media's overall budget, and an even tinier portion of the overall federal budget. Read more here:


National Guard Soldier One of Two Murdered in Juarez

From the El Paso Times - EL PASO, Texas-A Texas National Guard soldier killed in violent Ciduad Juarez crossed the border despite urgings from the Guard not to travel into Mexico. The Guard confirmed Thursday that Pfc. Jose Gil Hernandez was gunned down. Authorities say the 22-year-old and another man were killed Wednesday on a street in the bloody border city. Read more here:

Linda Chavez: Williams Isn't To Blame

Linda Chavez
National Public Radio fired its longtime news analyst Juan Williams this week for saying something that many Americans feel. Williams, who also works as a Fox News Channel contributor (as I do), told FNC host Bill O'Reilly that when he gets on an airplane and sees someone in Muslim garb, he gets "nervous." Williams prefaced his remarks by reminding viewers that he had written several books about the civil rights movement. "I'm not a bigot," he said, noting that his uneasiness has a basis in fact.
He recalled the would-be Times Square bomber's words last week when he was sentenced to life in prison for trying to detonate a bomb. "The war with Muslims is just beginning," Williams paraphrased. But Faisal Shahzad's actual statement was far more chilling. Shahzad warned those in the courtroom: "Brace yourself, because the war with Muslims has just begun. Consider me the first droplet of the blood that will follow." And Shahzad's tirade is only the latest in a long string of invectives by those who claim to speak for Islam. Read more here:


About that “predatory loan” invitation that Diane Denish produced at Thursday’s debate

Rob Nikolewski
From Capitol Report New Mexico -  So what was on that piece of paper Diane Denish produced Thursday night? At the final gubernatorial debate between the Democratic nominee and Republican Susana Martinez, at one point Denish revealed a piece of paper saying it was an invitation from a lobbyist encouraging people to attend a Martinez fundraiser in Albuquerque. Denish said: “Predatory lender lobbyists hosted my opponent yesterday and here’s what they said (unfolding the paper and reading). Diane Denish is out to end predatory lending but Susana Martinez has assured us she will not end it and she will not even limit predatory lending.”
Martinez responded by saying that ”the rules for a simple debate” forbid the candidates from bringing in any outside materials. “Obviously, the rules don’t apply to you because you brought something here to the table that wasn’t allowed,” Martinez said. But what about that invitation? Read more here: