End Of Day Report 12 30 10

Thursday, December 30, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Unions Declare War

Naturally, most media coverage of the 2010 elections focused on the congressional elections and whether Obama would move to the middle in response to the Republican-led House. But the media have largely ignored the major victories Republicans scored at the state level.

As one commentator said on election night, Democrats were wiped out from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and it happened all the way down the ballot. Come January, there will be Republican governors and GOP-controlled legislative chambers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

This dynamic has set the stage for state-level battles that will rival any on Capitol Hill: A showdown in 2011 between Republican budget cutters and the public employee unions. State budgets are a mess with bloated payrolls and pensions that are much more generous compared to those in the private sector. Cuts have to be made, but in the past few days we have gotten a glimpse of just how brutal this battle may be.

There are disturbing reports from New York City that some public employee union bosses ordered a “go slow” approach to clearing snow from the city streets in order to protest budget cuts. City plow drivers were reportedly told to keep their plows higher than normal, so that the snow would not get cleared quickly and residents would become frustrated with the lack of services and upset by the budget cuts. The high plow plan had the added benefit of requiring extra passes along the same streets — boosting timesheets and overtime paychecks.

According to a report from the New York Post, “three plow workers from the Sanitation Department and two Department of Transportation supervisors” met with a city councilman yesterday and “confessed the shameless plot.”

New York City’s union bosses are denying the report, but it deserves a thorough investigation. If the report is true, the union leaders responsible for the “go slow” order should be prosecuted. At one point during the storm, nearly a thousand people calling 911 had to be put on hold due to the volume of the calls coming in.

At least one life was lost as a result of ambulances getting stuck in the snow and being unable to reach victims. A newborn baby died in a building lobby because it took emergency workers nine hours to reach her.

Of course, natural disasters will happen, as they always have, and we should not expect public officials to be miracle workers. But we have every right to demand that our public servants, paid with our hard-earned tax dollars, do their jobs and do them well. If they can’t or won’t do their jobs, they should be fired.

The Real Winner Of 2010

I want to end the year on a positive note, and I’ve been thinking long and hard about the year that is about to end. 2010 has been an incredible year to be in Washington, D.C. It began with the improbable victory of a Republican candidate capturing the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. The momentum of that victory culminated in the historic November 2nd elections. But in my opinion the real winner of 2010 isn’t Scott Brown or John Boehner. It’s us — “We the people.”

It’s been a long time since I took much inspiration from the pages of the Washington Post, but on today’s front page is a banner story about how the Constitution is taking “a starring role in the GOP-controlled House.” According to the Post’s report, the House will make history next week by beginning the 112th Congress with a reading of the U.S. Constitution.

Moreover, a new rules change “will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.” And there’s more. Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) — both strongly supported by Campaign for Working Families — are calling on members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff to study our founding documents. Justice Antonin Scalia will reportedly teach the first class.

Friends, I’ve been in Washington long enough not to get Pollyannish at the first hint of good news. But even the most cynical skeptic would have to admit that this is good news! Of course, we will do everything we can to hold the politicians accountable, and we will need your help. (Have you signed up for MegaVote yet?)

You may recall that during the ObamaCare debate a number of congressmen were asked to defend the constitutionality of the socialized medicine scheme. Not only could they not do it, but some were even dismissive of the question.

Every day I get emails lamenting the state of our union and asking how we got here. For too long too many politicians arrogantly dismissed the Constitution and the limits it placed on their power. The current occupant of the White House has even faulted the Constitution as a “charter of negative liberties” that doesn’t say what the government must do for you. Evidently to some that includes mandating what products and services we must buy.

Our Founding Fathers understood the dangers of an overbearing government that was big enough to give us everything we wanted and big enough to take everything we have. Ronald Reagan warned us that government was not the solution to our problems, but rather too often the problem.

If there is a genuine desire among many new politicians to rediscover the wisdom of the Constitution, perhaps America may again experience a “new birth of freedom,” and we the people will be the real winners of 2010.

NOTE: Our offices will be closed tomorrow for the New Year’s holiday. The “End of Day” report will resume Monday, January 3rd. Happy New Year!

End Of Day Report 12 29 10

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Mayor Bloomberg’s Snow Job

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is getting hammered for his handling of the recent snow fall. But Bloomberg may have another “snow job” to deal with.

The Ground Zero mosque controversy is still simmering and it is not going away any time soon. In fact, the mosque’s would be imam, Feisal Rauf, is about to embark on a nationwide tour to convince Americans that a mosque at Ground Zero is a good idea, even though many other prominent Muslims, including an influential Saudi prince and King Abdullah, think it is a bad idea.

From day one, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the Ground Zero mosque and lectured opponents about tolerance, diversity and the First Amendment — or, more specifically, about the so-called separation of church and state and Rauf’s freedom to build the mosque at Ground Zero.

But thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, we now know that Mayor Bloomberg and New York City bureaucrats were aggressively promoting the project behind the scenes. Emails released from Bloomberg’s office demonstrate the incredible lengths to which he and his staff went to grease the skids for the mosque’s approval.

While Mayor Bloomberg was bending over backwards to accommodate Muslims in Manhattan, Christians and other religious minorities in Islamic countries are facing growing persecution and intolerance. It is a fact confirmed by the headlines almost every day — in Iraq, in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in Egypt, etc.

Given the city’s growing Muslim population and his support for the Ground Zero mosque, I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg has given much thought to the safety of New York’s Christians and Jews. But given that he initially tried to blame the Tea Party for the attempted Times Square bombing, it’s clear the mayor drank the “religion of peace” Kool-Aid.

Anti-Christian Discrimination

Although American Christians are treated much better than their fellow believers in the Middle East, anti-Christian discrimination exists in the U.S. In fact, in many ways, American Muslims are treated better than American Christians. That might seem like a bizarre assertion, so think about it in another way: What if Christians were treated like Muslims in America, and Muslims like Christians? That is the topic of my Human Events topic this week. You can read my piece here.

Fighting Back

Yesterday I reported on the Obama Administration’s attempt to ignore Congress and the November election results and impose its radical agenda by regulatory fiat. I’m pleased to report that some members of Congress are fighting back.

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, blasted the EPA’s recent announcement that it would begin regulating carbon emissions as an “unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs.” In a separate statement, Upton wrote:

“We will not allow the administration to regulate what they have been unable to legislate — this Christmas surprise is nothing short of a backdoor attempt to implement their failed job-killing cap-and-trade scheme. Today’s announcement marks a crescendo in the EPA’s long regulatory assault against America’s energy producers. The EPA has its foot firmly on the throat of our economic recovery.”
Upton is right, but it will take more than rhetoric to get this administration to back off its ideological agenda. How about reality?

I assume you have noticed the price of gasoline lately. According to AAA, the national average for gasoline is $3.04. That is a seasonal record and a two-year high. In fact, gas prices are up nearly $1.25 per gallon since Barack Obama took office.

But this is supposed to be a low season for gas consumption, which should translate into lower prices. If prices are this high now, they may well skyrocket to $4 a gallon in the summer. What is Obama doing about it? Putting more and more of our domestic energy resources off limits, and unleashing his EPA on America’s energy producers. It won’t take long for this misguided policy to create enormous pain at the pump.

One man who knows something about the oil industry is predicting just that. Former Shell CEO John Hofmeister is warning that in two years we could be paying $5.00 a gallon and facing Carter-era gas lines and shortages. Why? According to Hofmeister, “It’s pure politics that keeps us from drilling for more of our own resources.”

By the way, Hofmeister’s prediction of $5.00 for a gallon of gas could turn out to be a bargain. A Harvard study found that if Obama gets his way, gasoline would have to rise to $7.00 a gallon to meet his carbon emissions targets.

Here’s another reality check about the radical environmental agenda: Take a look at Fresno, California. According to a recent Investors Business Daily editorial, Fresno, California, which produces many of the fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store, is starting to resemble Zimbabwe in that Fresno has a growing hunger crisis. This madness has got to stop!

End Of Day Report 12 28 10

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama Governing By Fiat

While most Americans were celebrating Christmas, the Obama Administration was working overtime. Two reports in recent days reinforce the urgency of the new, more conservative Congress reining in the Obama socialists and restoring a government of, by and for the people.

On Christmas Day the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration is resurrecting “end-of-life” rules for Medicare that were scrapped from the ObamaCare law after intense public outrage. Consider this excerpt from the Times article:

“When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over ‘death panels,’ Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1. …Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.”
Sixty percent of likely voters want ObamaCare repealed, and with good reason as this headline from today’s Washington Post makes clear: “Health Plans For High-Risk Patients Attracting Fewer, Costing More Than Expected.” The Post reports on one of the few ObamaCare programs already up and running. Federal officials expected that nearly 400,000 people would be enrolled in the new high-risk plan by now, but only 8,000 have signed up. Yet even with so few people, the Post notes, “…it is an open question whether the $5 billion allotted by Congress to start up the plans will be sufficient.” That’s Big Government for you.

The Associated Press reported on Christmas Eve that the EPA, otherwise known as the “Employment Prevention Agency,” issued a statement saying it was taking action to limit carbon emissions from energy producers. According to the AP, “Stymied in Congress, the Obama administration is moving unilaterally to clamp down on greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for new power plants and oil refinery emission standards over the next year.” In an unprecedented measure, the EPA has taken over permitting authority in Texas — where roughly 25% of all U.S. oil is refined. (And a state that reliably votes Republican.)

Cap and trade was a tremendously unpopular attempt by liberals to regulate and tax energy use. In fact, it was so unpopular that a successful Senate candidate ran a TV ad in which he literally shot the cap and trade bill with a rifle – and that candidate is a Democrat!

But just hours after the November 2nd election, Barack Obama said, “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” Fortunately, there are some new conservatives coming to Congress (thanks to your generous support of Campaign for Working Families!) who will be looking for ways to fight back.

Don’t believe the media’s spin about Obama moving to the center. The real “Obama machine” isn’t in Chicago, where his reelection campaign is taking shape. It’s the thousands of liberal activists he has ensconced inside the federal bureaucracy who are eagerly looking for ways to ignore the results of the elections.

It is imperative that congressional conservatives reassert the authority of Congress over federal agencies. Hearings must be held and bureaucrats must be held accountable. Ultimately, Congress controls the power of the purse and agency funds must be denied if necessary.

Obama’s “Evolving” View Of Marriage

We’ve been warning for years that the Democrat Party’s left wing has been following a plan to impose same-sex “marriage” on the American people. Liberal politicians like Obama will insist they support traditional marriage, but then pack the courts with left-wing judges who have no problem imposing their values on the rest of society, including forcing same-sex “marriage” on every state.

With the successful repeal of the 1993 law banning open homosexuality in the military, the militant homosexual rights movement has become even more emboldened. How emboldened are they? The Washington Post reported Christmas eve that “President Obama now faces pressure from his allies to move on a much tougher and divisive issue: gay marriage.” At a press conference last week, President Obama said his view on men “marrying” other men is “evolving.” Translation: Obama supports a radical redefinition of marriage — he is just trying to decide when to tell you.

And over the Christmas weekend, Vice President Joe Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that there was “an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage. I think the country’s evolving. And I think you’re going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act].”

There is nothing inevitable about same-sex “marriage.” The public continues to oppose it. Our exit poll on November 2nd found that by a whopping 18-point margin voters were more likely to oppose a candidate who supported same-sex “marriage.” Unfortunately, there are some potential Republican presidential contenders who still think we need a “truce” on values issues. But how do you have a truce when the cultural radicals have declared war on Judeo-Christian values?

The candidate who recognizes that the defense of traditional marriage is a serious issue that voters genuinely care about is the candidate who will go all the way, capturing the support of conservative voters and the GOP presidential nomination.

End Of Day Report 12 23 10

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Hope And Blessings

The battle continues in Washington as it does every day. It has been an extraordinary time in our nation’s capital with the lame duck Congress, preparations for the new Congress and headlines warning of new terror plots. But through all the debate and passion, as important as they are, no headline, no madman can turn our hearts away from the child whose birth we celebrate Saturday.

When the Christ Child came into the world, his cry pierced the night and split all of human history in half. Over 2,000 years ago a baby was born in order to die so that we could live. I can’t predict the outcome of the Washington wars, though I believe God would have me fight as best as I can. But I can predict that one day every head will bow and every knee will bend before the King of Kings. The final victory has been won. All that is required of us is that we choose life.

While the focus of Christmas is, of course, Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, each year I can’t help but think of Christmas’ unique role in the birth of America. It was on Christmas night in 1776 that George Washington crossed the Delaware River in a daring surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries. That victory and the Battle of Trenton was a turning point in the American Revolution. Surely God was there. Take comfort, my friends, that the God of Abraham is with us still!

May each of you feel the presence and warmth of the Living Lord this season. As the anticipation of Christmas reaches a crescendo, may we not forget what defines the holiday — the birth of Christ, God’s gift to man, that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Merry Christmas!

NOTE: Our office will be closed tomorrow. The “End of Day” will resume Monday, December 27th.

End Of Day Report 12 21 10

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

From Planes To Poisons?

Is Al Qaeda’s obsession with planes giving way to poisons? Multiple news reports indicate that the government is investigating a “credible” Al Qaeda threat to attack Americans using poisons such as cyanide and ricin “slipped into salad bars and buffets.” According to a CBS report, the latest plot involves “simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants at many locations over a single weekend.”

The Mayor V. The Congressman

Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday lashed out at Rep. Peter King (R-NY) for suggesting that Congress hold hearings on radical Islam. Mayor Bloomberg is hailed by some as a possible “moderate alternative” presidential candidate in 2012. But when asked by reporters yesterday about King’s planned hearings on Islamic radicalization, the mayor responded, “I think we probably part company quite severely. I don’t happen to agree with him that that’s necessary.”

Mayor Bloomberg might not think the hearings are necessary, but Islamic radicalization is keeping Attorney General Eric Holder awake at night. Holder gave a chilling interview with ABC News warning about the increasing threat we face from homegrown Islamic radicals.

Noting that 50 of 126 people indicted on terror charges in the past two years are American citizens, Holder told ABC:

“It is one of the things that keeps me up at night. You didn’t worry about this even two years ago — about individuals, about Americans, to the extent that we now do. And that is of great concern. The threat has changed from simply worrying about foreigners coming here, to worrying about people in the United States — American citizens — raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born.”
As I wrote yesterday, Rep. King’s hearings on Islamic radicalization are long overdue. Attorney General Holder should be among the first to testify so we can find out exactly what the Obama Administration is doing to prevent Islamic radicalization in America.

Speaking of things radical, our friends at the Media Research Center gave their “Ground Zeroes Award” to Christiane Amanpour for “impugning Americans as Islamophobic.” She earned this dubious distinction during an exchange with yours truly on an episode of This Week entitled, “Should Americans Fear Islam?” You can watch the exchange here.

Obama Expanding Big Government

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote today on proposed “net neutrality” rules. That may sound innocuous enough, but in reality this is another power grab by Obama bureaucrats that would lay the foundation for government regulation of the Internet. Some fear it could be the first step toward a resurrection of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”

The entire “net neutrality” issue is fairly complicated, so I won’t get into the weeds of that debate now. And I haven’t written about it because there isn’t much you can do to influence the FCC.

But here’s all you need to know about today’s vote: In April, a federal court struck down one attempt by the FCC to assert its authority over the Internet. So the FCC tried again. In May, more than 300 members of Congress, including nearly 90 Democrats, wrote a letter to the FCC telling commissioners to back off. The courts and Congress have weighed in, but the Obama Administration is pushing ahead with its own agenda. Sound familiar?

Whether it’s regulating the Internet or pursuing a cap and trade regime via regulation, House Republicans must make reining in the out-of-control bureaucracy a top priority in 2011. The ultimate solution is to reduce the size and scope of government, and it should begin with significant regulatory reform.

End Of Day Report 12 20 10

Monday, December 20, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

One Victory; One Defeat

With time running out on the lame duck Congress, Harry Reid held the Senate in session this weekend to play Santa Claus — handing out presents to the radical Left by pushing liberal legislation while he still can. The results were mixed. Conservatives won a victory when the so-called DREAM Act, or “Nightmare Act” as I call it, failed.

Democrats had pinned their immigration “reform” hopes on this amnesty-lite legislation for much of the year. But on Saturday it lost in the Senate when five Democrats broke ranks and voted to filibuster the bill. Only three Republicans — Bennett (UT), Lugar (IN) and Murkowski (AK) — voted for it. Previous immigration “reform” advocates, such as Sens. John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC), voted against the “Nightmare Act,” an encouraging sign they understand that border security must come first.

Hours later, however, conservatives suffered a crushing defeat when the Senate voted to ignore the concerns of many frontline combat troops and top military commanders by repealing the 1993 federal law against open homosexuality in the military. Pentagon personnel that I know are deeply concerned about the impact on morale and recruiting. The 65-to-31 vote was another unfortunate consequence of the 2006 and 2008 elections, which sent scores of liberals to Congress. Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the repeal bill, joined by eight RINO Republicans.

During Saturday’s debate, Democrats cloaked their rhetoric in the language of the civil rights movements. But, like much of the liberal agenda, these votes were all about political payback to powerful left-wing special interest groups that provide money and manpower to the Democrat Party. This weekend’s session is just more evidence why this Congress has earned a record low approval rating of 13%.

Votes Can Change; Not Our Values

In spite of these votes, don’t be fooled into thinking that either issue is settled. In the wake of their defeat, amnesty advocates are turning to the Obama Administration. The New York Times reported yesterday, “Mr. Obama will now face growing pressure from immigrant and Latino groups to temper the [worksite] crackdown and perhaps find ways to use executive powers to bring some illegal immigrants out of the shadows.”

As for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it will take time to implement a new policy. It is not inconceivable to me that a conservative president and a new conservative Congress could revisit this issue in 2013, along with ObamaCare, the offshore drilling ban, etc.

But today’s Washington Post reports that the militant homosexual rights movement sees the vote as a huge victory that gives them: “significant new leverage. …if the Army trusts gay men and women with rifles, why shouldn’t society trust them wedding rings?” In addition to a renewed assault on the meaning of marriage, congressional liberals will make a new push next year for the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

While votes can be changed — through education or elections — our values do not. And we will continue to defend our values as aggressively as we can. These votes highlight the importance of our work, which we could not do without your generous support. As we close the books on 2010, please stand with us as we prepare to “fight the good fight” in 2011.

Investigating Radical Islam

Here’s one positive example of the impact of last month’s elections: The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is promising to hold hearings on the “radicalization of the American Muslim community.”

When Republicans take control of the House of Representatives on January 5th, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will take control of the House Homeland Security Committee. A New York Republican, King is not perfect on all issues. But there are few in Congress who are as fearless as he is when it comes to taking on the threat we face from radical Islam.

In an op-ed today, King writes:

“Earlier this month, I was elected by the House Republican Conference to be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. I’ve made it clear that I’ll focus the committee on counterterrorism and hold hearings on a wide range of issues, including radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism. …As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I will do all I can to break down the wall of political correctness and drive the public debate on Islamic radicalization.”
Predictably, Rep. King is already being denounced by the Muslim apologists at CAIR. Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s spokesman, accused King of trying to “demonize Islam” and said the hearings will turn into “witch hunts.” King’s promised hearings are long overdue and Mr. Hooper sounds like a man with something to hide. We will stand with Rep. King and defend him from the inevitable attacks from liberals and Islamists who label him a “hater.”

Crass Warfare

Barack Obama has referred to Afghanistan as America’s “war of necessity.” But with his incessant attacks on “the rich,” Obama has made it clear that it’s the class war that he’s most interested in waging. In my Human Events column today, I argue that by stoking class resentment against financially successful individuals, Obama and other liberals may be contributing to a rise in violence by people susceptible to the Left’s divisive rhetoric. You can read my piece here.

End Of Day Report 12 17 10

Friday, December 17, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Conservatives Prevail – Massive Spending Bill Withdrawn!

There were two big developments in Congress last night. Most of the news this morning focused on one of them – the extension of the Bush tax cuts. After heated debate, it passed the House last night at midnight by a vote of 277 to 148. While some conservatives opposed other provisions in the law, if it had not passed, every tax-payer would have suffered a tax hike on January 1, 2011. The implications for our fragile economy would have been disastrous.

The second big congressional development yesterday is huge in what it may mean for the 2011 battles. For the last two days I warned you about a 2,000-page, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill that Senator Harry Reid was trying to ram through the lame duck Senate. Among the outrageous earmarks in the bill was $1 billion to fund portions of Obamacare in 2011. Yesterday a heartbroken Harry Reid pulled the legislation off the floor when it became clear that not one conservative would support it.

Yesterday morning it looked as if nothing would stop this pork-filled bill. As many as nine Republicans – Senators like Voinovich, Bennett, Murkowski and Collins – had hinted they were willing to vote with Reid. As word of this outrage spread across the conservative grassroots, from stories on conservative talk radio, FOX News and alerts like this daily report, phone calls began to pour into Capitol Hill from outraged conservatives. Wobbly Republicans got back in line, and Reid started losing confidence in his plan.

Senator Mitch McConnell deserves special credit. For the last two days he has been arm twisting the weak-kneed RINO’s and insisting the GOP stand united against this huge spending bill. The calls we generated gave him the ammunition he needed! Yesterday McConnell introduced a one-page bill, with no earmarks, that simply extends government funding until the new Congress can deal with the spending next year. You should call Senator McConnell’s office and thank him for holding the line. His phone number is 202-224-2541.

I doubt every Republican Senator fully understands the bullet they dodged. Reid and Pelosi know that if they can entice the GOP to buy into more spending, not only would the Left get its programs funded but the Republicans would alienate the millions of Americans who are demanding a change in the way Washington does business. This is a major victory for our side, and the GOP leadership deserves credit, as do the countless Americans like you who took time out of a busy Christmas season to let Washington’s establishment know you are watching.