Billy Graham Makes Plea to All Americans to Support Candidates with Biblical Values

For those who are not aware, Billy Graham has been known as the spiritual adviser to many presidents beginning with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As far as I know, Billy Graham has met with every president since Eisenhower to provide spiritual counsel and to pray with and for them as they serve in the highest office in the land.

A little over a week ago, Evangelist Bill Graham hosted Governor Romney in his home with his son.

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal ran the following full-page ad on page B3 (this same ad will run in many major newspapers across America in the next several days):

Source: Full-Page Advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, Page B3

Source: Full-Page Advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, Page B3


October 11, 2012 in Graham Home (source: www.billygraham.org)



American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist – Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Pleading on Air Force One Perpetuates Perceptions of Panic

Early yesterday I heard on the radio that Mr. Obama was begging people to donate to his campaign in a rambling conference call initiated by him on Air Force One. The person reporting on it said those attending the call said he sounded “weary” and “desperate.”

Ten days ago, I posted “Why Mitt Romney will Beat Barack Obama in the Cash Race” in which it had been reported that Mr. Obama — by the end of April — had already held more fundraisers, as an incumbent president, than all five of his predecessors combined!

Every incumbent president has an enormous advantage over any challenger for all the obvious reasons; it is why no incumbent president has ever raised less campaign cash than his challenger. Never. And remember, presidential fundraising is a form of voting.

Yesterday, The Telegraph published an article titled, “US election: Barack Obama begs donors for more as Mitt Romney rakes it in” that started off:

In a phone call from Air Force One, the President reportedly told a group of top donors “I can’t do this by myself” and urged them to open their cheque books to “meet or exceed what you did in 2008″.

Noting that most had “maxed out to my campaign last time,” Mr Obama told them: “I really need you to do the same this time,” according to a leaked transcript.

Despite holding a narrow lead over his rival, the president informed the supporters that his ability to campaign and broadcast advertisements in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio directly depended on their generosity.

Details of the call emerged days after Mr Obama warned supporters that he would be “the first president in modern history to be outspent” by his opponent unless donors upped their contributions.

Following is the most interesting quote I heard on the radio this morning. Why is it that when we hear or read almost anything in which Obama is being quoted, he refers to himself? From patting himself on the back for ordering the raid on Bin Laden to his poor circumstances as noted here? Is this one a case of whining again or basic narcissism?

“In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign,” Mr Obama said, according to a recording of the call obtained by The Daily Beast, a news website. “And now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got grey hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard.”

Change is hard for the person that has never been a leader or change agent. Mr. Obama is just now discovering, after 44 months, that change is difficult? This quote just above is nothing short of pathetic. Whining — Pathetic — Self-centered. Oh, the poor man; he has grey hair.

Sheldon Adelson, a casino tycoon who last month gave Restore Our Future $10 million (£6.4 million), has pledged to spend “whatever it takes” to kill Mr Obama’s “socialist agenda”, friends have said.

As I heard about Mr. Obama’s begging for money on Air Force One, I started doing some basic calculations to try and guess how much each $1,000 of money raised cost the taxpayers in AF1 fuel, salaries and benefits of Air Force and Secret Service personnel, etc. I wish there was some way we could vote Mr. Obama out of office much sooner than November 6th. I can only dream.

In the meantime, we must all work as hard as we can to bring about a huge result that first week of November! Every person’s effort in grassroots work will have a cumulative impact that will be enormous. Never forget that. Every little bit helps. Just do it. Never quit — never.

Contrast Mr. Obama’s pathetic quote above with the fact that Mitt Romney has been a change agent and a strong leader for well over 35 years. Do you think Mitt Romney has ever complained about change being difficult? Need I say more?


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Romney’s Values (Liberty & In God We Trust) vs. The Left’s

“Election Day 2012 will not be a presidential election. It will be a plebiscite.

“Americans will not only be voting for a president (and a House and a third of the Senate). They will be participating in a plebiscite on the definition of America.

Dennis Prager / Credit: JewishJournal.com

“If Americans re-elect the Democrat, Barack Obama, they will have announced that America should be like Western European countries — governed by left-wing values. Americans will have decided that America’s value system — “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “E Pluribus Unum” — should be replaced.”

[Incidentally, Wikipedia describes "E Pluribus Unum" as follows: "Originally suggesting that out of many colonies or states emerge a single nation, in recent years it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation—illustrating the concept of the melting pot."]

Above are the three opening paragraphs to Dennis Prager’s May 1st editorial. I have mentioned Prager a few times in this forum as my preferred conservative, nationally syndicated radio talk show host. In my opinion, Prager is the most articulate spokesman for American Judeo-Christian values in all of media today (read his columns here). Prager continues to describe the core issue of the November election:

The left knows what is at stake. And the most left-wing president in American history knows what is at stake. Candidate Obama announced shortly before the 2008 election, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

He described the left’s aim perfectly: to fundamentally transform America. It seeks to replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.

That is what “fundamentally transform” means. In fact, those words are proof that American values and leftist values are fundamentally opposed to one another.

The right, on the other hand, seeks to maintain America’s values. Conservatives want to improve America, but, as its name implies, conservatism seeks to conserve, not transform.

From this date forward and until November 6th, I will tag the end of every post I publish with a phrase that goes something like:


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

With this post, I give complete credit to Dennis Prager for my use of these three values in my published posts. Prager succinctly defines these:

“Liberty” means, first and foremost, limited government — because bigger government means less individual liberty. “In God We Trust” means that America must be rooted in Creator-based values. There are no inalienable rights if no rights derive from God. And “E Pluribus Unum” means the assumption of an American identity by all citizens regardless of their racial, ethnic or national background.

Please read Prager’s entire May 1st column for an outstanding explanation of what drives the Left in this election and how its values oppose those described above. Governor Romney gave a speech at the commencement ceremony of Liberty University as the keynote speaker. Dennis Prager described Governor Romney’s understanding of these uniquely American values in his May 15th editorial in which he quotes from the Liberty speech. Dennis Prager’s assertion of Romney’s deep understanding of core American values is unambiguous, simple, and elevating. These are but a few quotes (Romney’s quotes are followed by Prager’s editorial):

Romney: “Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.”

The death of God has not only led to moral uncertainty; the secular left actually boasts of its moral uncertainty. Unlike the religious, who have a black and white view of moral issues (so the left tells us), those on the left struggle with moral complexity. But this is self-delusion. The left is as morally certain about its positions as the most fundamentalist Christian. Where is the left’s moral uncertainty about same-sex marriage? About abolishing capital punishment? About race-based affirmative action? About higher taxes? Indeed, about anything the left believes in?

Romney: “That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world.”

Is that ever true. Those of us who adhere to Judeo-Christian values and live a religious life are mocked as fools when not dismissed as dangerous. If you believe that nature was designed by a Creator, you are regarded as an anti-science buffoon. If you get your values from the Bible, you are considered a living anachronism.

[...]

Romney: “Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition . . . .”

Exactly right. Every free country on earth was formed by Christianity or shaped by a Christian country that imposed it (India and Japan, for example). And the freest of them all, America, has been the most Judeo-based Christian country in the world.

[...]

Romney: “From the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man.”

This is why one of the mottos of this country is “In God We Trust.” This is the heart of the cultural civil war in which America is now engaged. Do human rights come from the Creator or from men?

Romney: “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology.”

A very significant statement — a major Mormon figure stating that mainstream Christians and Mormons have “different faiths.” But even more important is his truly American realization that all Americans, of every faith (including Islam, one might add), and even those who have no formal religion, “can meet in common purpose.” And that purpose is living by and promulgating the American value system: “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” ~ The Declaration of Independence — The United States of America


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Religious Liberty at Grave Risk — “We’re All Catholics Now”

How often have you heard of a church bringing a lawsuit against the President of the United States? It has happened, but certainly not often. This week it was not just any church that brought suit against the Obama administration — it was the Roman Catholic Church no less! I honestly believe that Mr. Obama couldn’t care less if his signature health plan seriously erodes religious liberty in extraordinary ways. I doubt that Mr. Obama wanted to energize religious voters against him, but he has done it.

Photo: Associated Press

Fascinating it is to observe the Obama administration’s trampling of centuries honored religious liberty under the guise of “women’s rights.” The Wall Street Journal carried three excellent articles on this unprecedented move by the Catholic church; one was on the front page of the printed version yesterday — Catholics Sue Over Health Mandate:

The University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and 41 other Roman Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration in federal court Monday, the latest push against a requirement in the health-care-overhaul law that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans.

The lawsuits were brought in a dozen different jurisdictions in the U.S., and plaintiffs included the Catholic University of America and archdioceses serving Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

“The government…cannot justify its decision to force Notre Dame to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate access to these services in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs,” Notre Dame’s lawsuit argues. “If the government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the government’s power.”

Consider the centuries old traditions of Catholics and their families.

The plaintiffs object to a provision that requires most employers to cover all preventive health services including contraception as part of their insurance policies, without out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Sterilization was one of the methods of birth control included, as was the so-called morning-after pill.
[...]
“We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress—and we’ll keep at it—but there’s still no fix,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”
[...]
“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings,” he said.
[...]
That law says the government can “substantially burden” people in practicing their religion only if it can show that there is a “compelling governmental interest” and that its policy is “the least restrictive means of furthering” that interest.

An Op-Ed piece appeared in yesterday’s Journal as well: Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government:

Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation’s diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide “the full range of reproductive services,” including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.
[...]
Continued attempts to solve the problem by negotiation produced only an announcement by the Obama administration in February that insurance providers would pay for the contested services. Since many Catholic entities are self-insured and the others pay the premiums, the bishops’ concerns were not alleviated.
[...]
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women’s health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.

The media have implied all along that the dispute is mainly of concern to a Catholic minority with peculiar views about human sexuality. But religious leaders of all faiths have been quick to see that what is involved is a flagrant violation of religious freedom. That’s why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared, “We’re all Catholics now.”

More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.

If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. “Never before,” he said, “have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith.”

With this week’s lawsuits, the bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country, Catholic and non-Catholic, who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions.

A third article in the WSJ was published yesterday as well — Catholics in Court — The religious-liberty lawsuit against ObamaCare is historic:

[...]The nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions are saying that the same federal government they have viewed for decades as an ally in their fight for social justice is now a threat to their religious liberty.

This can’t have been an easy decision, especially because the plaintiffs are hardly founding members of the tea party. They include the Archdioceses of New York and Washington but also Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and even the University of Notre Dame.
[...]
So much for that. The lawsuit signals that far from engaging with “those who disagree,” Mr. Obama has rebuffed Catholic leaders in their attempt to work out a compromise over the Administration’s mandate that all insurance plans offer contraception and sterilization services, including abortifacients. . . .
[...]
The Department of Health and Human Services offered a fig leaf in February, foisting the mandate onto insurance companies rather than religious employers. [...] As Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York put it, this so-called “safe habor” effectively gives religious institutions “a year to figure out how to violate [their] consciences.”

The suit charges that the mandate violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, as well as the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires that the federal government meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty.
[...]
The real and startling question at issue is whether the entitlement state can pound everything, including religious belief, to its political will. Few previous Administrations would have dared such a high-stakes Constitutional battle, but Mr. Obama’s willfulness reveals the change that is taking place in liberal politics.

Once upon a time the political left viewed Catholics and especially the bishops as their allies in using government to create more equal opportunity and redistribute income. But today’s Democratic Party puts a higher cultural value on sexual politics and expanded reproductive freedom. We trust the courts will instruct the Administration that the Constitution still puts religious liberty first.

“Religious freedom is too sacred a right to be restricted or prohibited in any degree without convincing proof that a legitimate interest of the state is in grave danger.” ~ Frank Murphy

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Romney’s Message of Service vs. Obama’s of Politics

American presidential politics always pit a Republican against a Democrat, but rarely do we see true polar opposites come together to compete as we have in 2012. In my lifetime, the last presidential election I can recall that included distinctly different candidates was the Carter / Reagan election of 1980. In so many interesting ways, this election feels oddly similar to those times.

Barnard College, May 14th -- WSJ

In recent days, Governor Romney and President Obama gave commencement speeches at two different colleges. The speech given by Governor Romney was truly inspiring and one of the best he has ever given. If you have not seen it, you really need to (it really is worth the time). To watch it in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Henninger’s weekly column in The Wall Street Journal yesterday was titled, “A Tale of Two Commencements” — (For Obama, politics is life. For Romney, politics does not define us.)

Henninger perfectly contrasts Obama’s frequent victims message with Romney’s message of optimism, rooted in selfless service.

Liberty University, May 12th

Two days after Mitt Romney delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the big evangelical Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Barack Obama tutored graduates at Barnard College, the intensely liberal all-women’s school adjacent to Columbia University. As you might guess, the wisdom these two political elders imparted to the Class of 2012 was not the same.
[...]
Barack Obama, by now a master at faux self-deflation, admitted he was pandering: “Now I recognize that’s a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.” (Laughter.) He had said the women of this generation will help lead the way. (Applause.)
[...]
The world that Barack Obama conveyed to the women at Barnard is totally, overwhelmingly political. To be sure, there were references to parental joy at the success of children completing college, but virtually every thought in the Obama commencement address—on the accomplishments of the past or a graduate’s goals—was defined by political activity.

He said they are about to grapple with unique challenges, “like whether you’ll be able to earn equal pay for equal work” or “fully control decisions about your own health.”

The role of the citizen in “our democracy” began 225 years ago at the Convention in Philadelphia, which had “flaws,” to wit: “Questions of race and gender were unresolved.” Nonetheless, it “allowed for protest and movements.”

And so: “Don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. It’s up to you to right wrongs. It’s up to you to point out injustice. It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely. It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.”

Mr. Obama described his own early job as a community organizer: “I wanted to do my part to shape a better world.” He cited the accomplishments of previous generations of young people who “stood up and sat in from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” This, Mr. Obama said, is how “we achieved” women’s rights, voting rights, workers’ rights and gay rights.

Barack Obama seems to inhabit a world of history and personal experience in which good people at every turn are held back by individuals or oppressive forces that one only overcomes by personal or public resistance.

Someone in high school told Labor Secretary Hilda Solis she wasn’t college material. Mr. Obama’s grandmother worked for a bank but hit the glass ceiling. And today there are “those who oppose change, those who benefit from an unjust status quo [and] have always bet on the public’s cynicism or the public’s complacency.” He predicts they will lose “this time as well.”

Fair enough. That’s how the world works for Barack Obama, though it strikes me he is telling America’s 22-year-olds that the road ahead is a fairly grim proletarian struggle. Be ready to occupy everything. Where’s the joy in that?

There was less tooth and claw in the Romney speech at Liberty University. In a discussion of the uses of religious freedom, one passage in particular separated Mr. Romney from Barack Obama’s default to mass action. “The great drama of Christianity,” Gov. Romney said, “is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.” Out of this, he said, “Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”

Progress, he argued, emerges through “conscience in action,” for him “the nation’s greatest force for good.” Mr. Romney referred several times to the idea of personal service. “The call to service,” he said “is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.”

For Barack Obama, life is politics. For Mitt Romney, life includes politics; politics, he said, does not define us.

To wage a presidential campaign in our nonstop media age, the man who sees politics as a battering ram may have an edge. But Mitt Romney, with his politics of optimism and personal conscience, could be onto something that will serve him well.

“Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.” ~ Mitt Romney, Liberty University, May 12, 2012

Al Gore is Coaching President Obama on Business (it appears)

My cynical side tells me that Mr. Obama knowingly lies in his speeches. But then again, maybe he just does not understand business and history. By now, it is obvious to all American’s that Mr. Obama knows very little about basic business principles. Whether his errant rhetoric is dishonesty or lack of knowledge, does the distinction matter? Just below is the subtext of a brief WSJ editorial that reads:

“The Internet made Microsoft possible, and other tall tales.”

Mr. Obama runs fast and loose with business terminology all along the trail. Have you not heard him use the term “invest” or “investment” sprinkled among his other favorite words “fair” and “fairness?”

The very first thought I had when reading this piece was, “Did Al Gore coach Mr. Obama ahead of this speech?”

Today’s Journal carried an editorial called Obama’s History of Business that effectively calls into question his knowledge of business technology and his integrity:

[...] So eager is he to make this point that, well, let’s just say he sometimes wanders beyond his area of expertise, as he did last Thursday in Seattle.

“When I hear people talk about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship, I try to remind them, you know, all of us made that investment in Darpa [the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] that helped to get the Internet started,” said Mr. Obama. “So there’s no Facebook, there’s no Microsoft, there’s no Google if we hadn’t made this common investment in our future.”

Microsoft—a product of the Internet? That may surprise Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who founded the software company in 1975. The company didn’t introduce its first Internet browser for another 20 years, and in the meantime it became the dominant computer software company long before the Internet became economically important. The irony of Mr. Obama’s error is that for much of Microsoft’s history the Internet was seen as a threat to its desktop dominance.

There’s no doubt that Darpa has done many good things, but the point Mr. Obama misses is that Darpa is engaged in funding research. This is a proper role for government, especially on national defense. But Darpa does not attempt to commercialize products. Facebook and Google, like Apple and Microsoft, were founded by private investors.

The President likes to elide that distinction between government funding for basic research and commercialization, which is how his Administration lost so much money on stinkers like Solyndra.

Mr. Obama indulged in similar government hype in his January State of the Union address when he suggested that federal research spending “led to the computer chip.” Perhaps federal research made a contribution, but credit for building the first integrated circuit has generally been given to Jack Kilby at a company called Texas Instruments in 1958. Other innovations came from Bell Labs, Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, among many other private firms.

The problem here is less Mr. Obama’s historical errors than his emphasis. He really does believe that prosperity flows from government, which is why all of his policies promote more government.

Just last week Mr. Obama told Americans that what is important is not whether you are better off today but whether you will be better off in the future (presumably hoping they will press “forward” with him again).

The answer to his rhetorical question is: “Yes! The future will be much brighter and all will be far better off with President Mitt Romney as our 45th President of the United States!”

“Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Mr. Obama is no Commander in Chief — He is a Weak Man of Character for Exploiting the SEALs

Very few things in life ever make me angry. Messrs. Obama, Biden, and Clinton have crossed the line in their gloating and bragging and have gotten my attention.

The issue of President Obama and Vice President Biden boasting of the decision to kill Bin Laden is unbecoming any leader, gentleman, or certainly a President of the United States. I could not let this one go by. Back in February, I wrote this piece about how the Navy SEALs were upset that Mr. Obama would allow leaking of classified information.

Recent news exposes what I consider to be weakness of character of Mr. Obama as he continues to brag about this event while at the same time criticizing Gov. Romney by stating he would not have taken the same action. While Mr. Obama deserves credit for making the decision certainly, he and Governor Romney are miles apart in one very important way. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops! Once a President Romney were to make such a decision, he would NEVER boast about it and he would NEVER create a political television commercial about it. NEVER!

Anybody who has been around or known any person that has served in the armed forces, in any leadership position, knows that they never brag about combat missions (in part because human beings die as a result). And yet our Commander in Chief is doing exactly that! In my opinion, his language and actions this week are absolutely deplorable!

UPDATE: Outstanding WSJ article: Michael Mukasey: Obama and the bin Laden Bragging RightsIt’s hard to imagine Lincoln or Eisenhower claiming such credit for the heroic actions of others.

Consider this opinion from Breitbart. The article refers to a memo by Panetta and many have referred to Obama’s decision as a “gutsy” call — certainly that is the case in the Clinton narrated ad. The Breitbart article is worth reading in its entirety. Here is an excerpt:

Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks — no matter how minute — arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

President Obama made the right call to give the green light to the mission. But he did it in a way that he could shift the blame if things went wrong. Typical Obama. And typical of him to claim full credit for it, when he didn’t do anything but give a vague nod, while putting his top military officials at risk of taking the hit in case of a bad turn.

MailOnline obtained the opinions of Navy SEALs regarding Obama’s using their mission for political gain — consider:

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.
[...]
Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.
[...]
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

Even Arianna Huffington ripped Mr. Obama!

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’
[...]

The article continues:

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander-in-chief so his secret is safe.’
[...]
A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier — as would George W. Bush.’
[...]
It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional.
[...]
Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

[emphasis added throughout]

Frankly, I am angry. President Obama is accurately credited for the decision he made. But for him to effectively glory in the mission by exploiting the true heroes who made it happen — and to politicize the mission — is beyond the pale. His extremely poor judgment in constantly seeking political gain, using a military operation, speaks volumes of his utter lack of decency while at the same time revealing his character.

Obama, Biden, and Clinton are weak men for using our service men and women in this way.

Veepstakes Speculation is Complete Entertainment

For about a month, I have been intending to write this piece but didn’t have the courage to write it until today; not until somebody smarter than I wrote what I have been wanting to.

Credit: The Economist

I acknowledge right up front that I will likely anger some people that read this. That is not my intent at all. There is no question that the choice of a vice president by Governor Romney is very important for America as that person could become president in a heartbeat. Absolutely! However, I argue here that there is almost no value whatsoever in publicly speculating and debating who that person will be, many months ahead of when Governor Romney will make the decision. It is a well accepted truth that the selection of a veep has little to no impact in a presidential contest, except in the negative (remember unprepared Palin?).

My assertion is that all public discussion and debate of who Governor Romney’s choice in a running mate will be is a complete and utter waste of time. Especially when considering the many hours a week devoted to this one topic in radio and television talk shows. That said, I believe there are two exceptions to this assertion, both of which I consider to be of minimal value. The two exceptions are:

  1. Entertainment Value
  2. Potential Candidate Response Value

First — the entertainment value. This is the main reason we see all the public speculation and discussion. We all enjoy speculating about everything. It is fun to think about who might be catapulted from a given strata to number two! I love the speculation myself. Heck, Nate developed our site’s “Veep Madness” awhile back — It is brilliant and fun! I see all the public speculation about the veep choice much like using Instagram (I just got it on my Droid). It is fun, a novelty, and a complete waste of time, except for the entertainment value. It is much like watching Modern Family. There is no value in spending time watching Modern Family except being with those you love and to laugh, right?

Second — the potential candidate response value. Since so many possible veep candidates are asked the question, one of them might say something really stupid like, “Are you kidding me? I would love to be picked as vice president by Mitt…I think I am the best person in all of America for that position!” So, there is a little value in the public discussion on this point — very little and that value is as a negative determinant.

Do you trust Governor Romney’s judgment in this decision? I do. What person alive has better analytic skills than Governor Romney? What about judgment? Exactly. Do you think the person he ultimately chooses will be properly vetted? Okay then. What value is there in all the public debate and speculation? There is none. It is pure entertainment value. That’s it. Am I right? Am I wrong?

Look what Karl Rove wrote in the every first three paragraphs of his latest Wall Street Journal opinion piece:

We’ve entered the silly season when vast numbers of words will be expended on who Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate should be. Since the actual announcement is likely to be made shortly before the Aug. 31 GOP convention, we’ll have to endure three-and-a-half months of pundits handicapping prospects.

This exercise is largely useless. Who thought at this point in 2000 that the vice-presidential nominees would be Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, or in 2008 Sarah Palin and Joe Biden?

The person who matters most in this decision, Mr. Romney, appears to be approaching it with appropriate seriousness, appointing a longtime trusted aide, Beth Myers, to vet possible running mates.

[emphasis added]

I think Rove is wrong on one point. The exercise is not entirely “useless.” There is entertainment value, right? I mean the sitcom Modern Family makes a lot of money and Instagram is worth $1 billion — so there is value — its not entirely useless! I love to disagree with Karl Rove! Here are two of my favorite lines from Rove’s Op-Ed:

Having played a role in this process, I know that if done well this will be a political proctology exam for each individual considered. [...] This is not an activity for the squeamish or reticent.

Entertaining! And to the point of having almost no influence whether a presidential candidate will win or lose the election?

Running mates haven’t decided an election in more than a half-century. For example, research by Bernard Grofman and Reuben Kline, political scientists at the University of California, Irvine, suggests that the net impact of the vice-presidential picks in 2008 was roughly one-half of one point and is generally less than one percentage point. Presidential elections are rarely that close.

So why do we all spend hours and hours speculating on something of no value? His last sentence wraps the piece well: (more…)

Obama and Axelrod Are Losing It — Romney Driving

Prediction: Mr. Obama or Mr. Axelrod will lose their temper in public before November 6th. Axelrod came this close to blowing a gasket at minute 5:45. And this is Mr. Obama’s best guy! Watch his eyes, body language, stuttering, interrupting Wallace, talking over him, raising his voice (FOX video). Obama’s team is scared (check minute 8:20 — Classic!). Related prediction: Obama will fire Axelrod before November 6th. BTW, Axelrod was interrupting Candy Crowley on her show this morning because he did not like the nature of her questions.

Evidence abounds that Mr. Obama and team are scared. His fear, and that of his surrounding team, was described well a week ago by David Parker in his Op-Ed “Obama’s Rage!” Mr. Obama is getting good marks by voters currently for being a nice guy — “the kind of guy you could see yourself sitting down to have a beer with” as they say. Just what we need — a good ole boy that really understands the average guy!

What about decisive leadership and accomplishment? Are we not yet “over it” when it comes to Mr. Obama’s blaming others and taking credit for the successes of others? I am over it! There are lots of people like Obama in business; they never last. They are the talkers, not the doers. They can talk a good line but can rarely execute.

I strongly believe that David Parker is right; Obama is scared. Since the 2008 election cycle, the Democrat party has lost voters to independents and Republicans. Just yesterday, a U.S. Senator publicly stated he’s not sure he can vote for Mr. Obama for president (many Democrats have shifted their support to Gov. Romney as evidenced in part here). And here.

Numerous sources are reporting “anemic” fundraising by the Obama camp. To be certain, they are in a better position financially than the Romney campaign, primarily due to the fact that Mr. Obama had no primary challengers against whom to defend. However, Obama’s fundraising efforts are far behind projections of both the Democrat and Republican political leaders. The Obama campaign is now asking Pres. Clinton to help out (WSJ):

Mr. Clinton is likely to assist the super PAC, called Priorities USA Action, whose anemic fundraising total thus far has unnerved the Obama campaign and senior Democrats.
[...]
“They’re asking for him to do anything,” the Clinton friend said. “Whatever he’s willing to do—to the extent they can get people in a room with him.”

The New York Times is also reporting that the Obama campaign is scrambling to raise more money.

From Wall Street to Hollywood, from doctors and lawyers, the traditional big sources of campaign cash are not delivering for the Obama campaign as they did four years ago. The falloff has left his fund-raising totals running behind where they were at the same point in 2008 — though well ahead of Mr. Romney’s — and has induced growing concern among aides and supporters as they confront the prospect that Republicans and their “super PAC” allies will hold a substantial advantage this fall.
[...]
“They clearly are feeling the pressure,” said one major Obama fund-raiser, who asked for anonymity to characterize his conversations with campaign officials.

Two days ago, Toby Harden wrote a compelling piece titled, “Barack Obama’s re-election bid is already in deep trouble”

Obama will keep trying to talk about something, anything other than the economy — contraception and dogs being the most recent examples — but Romney has the relatively straightforward task of being disciplined enough to talk relentlessly about jobs and the economy.

Certainly, Romney will never win the “guy you’d like to have a beer with” test, as Bush did in 2000. But 2012 will not be about that — there’s more at stake than in 2000. And as Nate Silver argues, Romney has room to grow and favourability ratings at this stage are unreliable indicators for November.
[...]
Even without factoring in the likely negative political impact of, say, Obamacare being struck down by the Supreme Court in June, Obama’s re-election bid is already in deep trouble.

Only a fool would underestimate Obama’s campaign machine, his ability to raise money and the fact that he remains personally likeable to a majority of Americans despite the state of the country. Anyone who argues at this stage that Obama is doomed to defeat is deluding themselves.

But the reality of this campaign is that it is likely to be brutal, very close — and could well result in Mitt Romney becoming the 45th President of the United States next January 20th.

[emphasis added in several places above]

Obama is looking in all corners for votes. He has decided to pick up the frequency of appearance on comedy shows in the hopes of appealing to young voters. See article in the Daily News here.

One simple method to measure the progress or success of a major political campaign is to simply observe which campaign is on the defensive most often. The candidate and his team that is on defense most is failing, no matter what the polls say at the moment. Governor Romney knows this well and it is one reason he has been all over Obama’s record.

Some pundits have criticized Governor Romney lately for not communicating his plans more specifically and how he would govern as president. There is plenty of time for that. Right now, each side is in the process of defining the contest and defining the other guy. In my opinion, Governor Romney is doing a far better job of defining Mr. Obama. Governor Romney is in the process of backing Mr. Obama into a corner. He is very effective at this.

As Mr. Obama becomes more and more cornered, he becomes more and more dangerous and he will lash out. When he does, we will see the real man.

One big reason we need President Romney to take over in January 2013:

Artwork by Michael Ramirez

Mitt Romney to Address 48,000 Evangelicals at Liberty University in May

Among friends and family members, discussions will often turn to the presidential campaigns. It is well known that Governor Romney has a strong, optimistic vision and message for America, contrasted with Mr. Obama’s aversion to any discussion of his own record as president (for example, when was the last time he touted his signature legislative “victory” — ObamaSnare?). His rhetoric is mostly negative and serious.

It seems the question always arises, “What do you think the Democrats are going to do to attack Romney?” One answer I hear almost every time goes something like, “Oh, there is no question the Democrats are going to make this one of the nastiest presidential elections of all time! They are going to look for every angle they can to attack Governor Romney’s Christian faith.” Anybody who follows the writings of our friends at Evangelicals for Mitt (“EFM”) and Article VI Blog know these attacks began in earnest about five years ago and really never abated (see John Schroeder’s excellent piece yesterday).

Liberty University

Though the DNC has said, “Attacking a candidate’s religion is out of bounds,” they know such a statement is like an open invitation to the liberal mainstream media and Democrats of all stripes do exactly the opposite. The latest example is the Democrat governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer’s reference two days ago to Governor Romney’s LDS family background, generations ago. And to what end? Division: a weak attempt to divide Americans of faith. Oh, and deflection from Mr. Obama’s record of course — as always.

I was excited Thursday to read the announcement that Governor Romney would give the commencement address at Liberty University next month — the audience is expected at 48,000 (Liberty University is to Evangelicals what BYU is to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Minutes after receiving the news alert, I sent an email to Nancy French at EFM asking if she might like to write a brief guest post for MRC (little did I know that she had just brought her husband David home from the hospital with a concussion — she reports that David is recovering well). Charles Mitchell at EFM wrote this piece about the announcement.

David French is relentless in his support of Governor Romney for president; even with a concussion he was somehow lucid enough to provide these excellent thoughts for National Review Online yesterday regarding Governor Romney’s speech May 12th. In my opinion, should Governor Romney be elected POTUS, the national attention he receives at the Liberty University commencement address will be exceeded only by his Tampa and inaugural speeches.

Interesting Factoid: Mark DeMoss, a trustee of Liberty University and a nationally prominent Evangelical gave an outstanding speech at BYU January 24, 2012. Referring to the invitation to speak at BYU, he said it was, “one of the highest honors I have received.” His BYU speech is truly outstanding and worth watching in its entirety.

Unfortunately, in the next six months, there will be many enemies of religious freedom that will do everything in their power to divide people of faith in the battle tested tactics of “divide and conquer.” We saw it this week. Jayde referred to it in her “Bigot Hall of Shame” post of April 6th referring to O’Donnell’s MSNBC lies that he later admitted were wrong.

Never forget Mr. Obama’s central campaign strategy: DIVIDE — DISTORT — DISTRACT — DEFLECT… Mr. Obama will use any person, entity, and message to take voters’ minds away from his record as POTUS.

Once before, I mentioned Dennis Prager, one of my favorite radio talk show hosts; one who is nationally syndicated. He refers often to his faith — he is an orthodox Jew. In light of the Obama strategy to relentlessly divide Americans on class, gender, faith, ethnicity, etc. and with this week’s announcement of the Liberty University address, I decided to include a segment from Dennis Prager’s radio program. Prager provides excellent reasoning to illustrate that he perfectly understands what he calls “the Evangelical argument” — also included are his thoughts on Romney and the presidential election. ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT (crescendo to the end):

“Bigotry and intolerance, silenced by argument, endeavors to silence by persecution, in old days by fire and sword, in modern days by the tongue.” ~ Charles Simmons

“Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity.” ~ Jasmine Guy

“Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.” ~ Judith Light