End Of Day Report

Thursday, December 27, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Too Late To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff?

President Obama cut short his Hawaiian Christmas vacation and returned to Washington, D.C., this afternoon in order to jumpstart negotiations aimed at avoiding massive across-the-board tax increases on January 1st. While so much of the focus has been on Speaker John Boehner, Barack Obama is president and his party controls the Senate.

Yesterday the GOP House leadership issued a joint statement noting that the House of Representatives has already passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, and is now waiting for the Senate to act on that legislation.

At this late stage, timing alone could prevent a deal from coming together before December 31st. Nevertheless, news broke this afternoon that Speaker Boehner has reportedly called for the House to reconvene Sunday evening.

In addition to haggling over tax rates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner threw a monkey wrench into the works yesterday. He sent a letter to Congress warning that the government would hit the debt limit on Monday — not February or March as was previously reported.

Obama has repeatedly demanded that increasing the debt limit be part of any fiscal cliff deal, even going so far as to suggest that Congress completely surrender its authority over the debt ceiling. That has been a non-starter for congressional conservatives, who have insisted on addressing the debt ceiling separately.

Geithner’s letter is an obvious attempt by the administration to ratchet up the pressure on House Republicans to cut a deal. The Wall Street Journal reported that “Treasury has known for months that the debt ceiling could be reached in December.” It’s these kinds of hardball tactics and moving goal posts that have made negotiations with the Obama White House virtually impossible.

Hagel Nomination In Jeopardy

There is growing speculation that former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense may never happen. Lost in the headlines over the Christmas holiday was a report from National Journal that the White House is “considering other candidates” for the key cabinet post.

When Hagel emerged as a serious contender, conservative organizations and pro-Israel groups wasted no time in speaking out. Christians United for Israel, under the leadership of Pastor John Hagee, began organizing online opposition to Hagel’s nomination. Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel launched a TV ad campaign in Washington, D.C.

Many Washington observers have been surprised by the White House’s lack of defense for Hagel, who was widely reported to be Obama’s top choice for the job. But at least with Susan Rice’s failed bid for Secretary of State, Obama displayed a “show of insulted loyalty,” as one Huffington Post blogger put it. There has been none of that for Hagel, lending credibility to the report that others are being considered.

Obama Administration Still Misleading On Benghazi

After a scathing report on the September 11th terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, we were told that four top State Department officials resigned. Then a clarification was issued — one official had resigned and three were disciplined.

But according to the New York Post, even that story — just like the Obama Administration’s original claims about the attack itself — is not accurate.

The three “disciplined” officials were placed on administrative leave. In other words, they got a vacation and they are expected to return to their jobs soon.

The one official who reportedly resigned still remains on the State Department payroll. Evidently he only “resigned” a presidential appointment, and will continue to serve in another position. As the Post put it, he is essentially “switching desks.” The statement that he resigned was technically accurate, but grossly misleading.

Of course none of this is news to the left-wing “mainstream media,” but some members of Congress are furious. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the Obama Administration for continuing to mislead the American people. Here is an excerpt of her comments:


“If these reports are correct, they’re pathetic examples of yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi. State Department officials proclaimed to the world that heads would roll after the deception related to the deceitful video excuse and the non-existent spontaneous protest outside the consulate. Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs.”
Meanwhile, it’s been nearly two weeks since anyone has seen Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We were told she could not testify about Benghazi because of a concussion. She has missed several high profile events, including a press conference announcing John Kerry, her former Senate colleague, to be her successor as Secretary of State. Yet as The Weekly Standard notes, statements have gone out in her name recently, so just how serious is her condition?

Senate Republicans are keeping up the pressure on Clinton. Several GOP senators have said they would block a vote on Kerry’s nomination until Clinton testifies about the Benghazi attack. Stay tuned.

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End Of Day Report

Monday, December 24, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Hope And Blessings

Christmas is a time of hope and blessings, a celebration of life and salvation. The Scriptures teach us that children are a blessing from God. It has also been said that the birth of each new child is a sign that God has not yet given up on this world.

That was never more true than the night two thousand years ago when the Son of Man was born in Bethlehem; born to bring the hope of salvation and the blessing of eternal life. No headline, no sorrow of life should turn our hearts from the love of God and the greatest gift ever given!

When the Christ Child came into the world, his cry pierced the night and split all of human history in half. No one can predict the headlines in the weeks and months ahead, but we can rest assured 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 am reminded of Christmas’ unique role in the birth of America. It was on Christmas night in 1776 that General George Washington crossed the Delaware River in a daring surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries. Washington’s victory at the Battle of Trenton was a turning point in the American Revolution. Surely God was there, and I believe that the God of Abraham is with us still!

My friends, I thank God for each and every one of you. Your prayers and encouragement sustain me as we continue to fight the good fight for faith, family and freedom.

Merry Christmas! And may you enjoy all of God’s richest blessings in the year ahead.

NOTE: Our office will be closed today and tomorrow. The “End of Day” will resume Wednesday, December 26th.

End Of Day Report

Friday, December 21, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Careening Toward The Cliff

Tis the season for miracles, and it may take one at this stage to prevent the country from going over the fiscal cliff. Last night, Speaker John Boehner was forced to pull his “Plan B” off the House floor after a revolt by conservative members of his caucus. All day long the GOP leadership team had expressed confidence. But on the eve of the vote it was obvious they would come up short.

Politico reports that Speaker Boehner convened a meeting of the GOP caucus last night and quoted the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Unable to change the minds of House conservatives and sell a plan that was already dead on arrival in the Senate, Boehner issued the following statement:


“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt. The Senate must now act.”
With that news, the House adjourned for the Christmas holiday. The Senate is not scheduled to come back until Thursday, December 27th.

Haggling Over Hagel

In recent days, conservative and pro-Israel groups have jumped into action on the growing rumors that President Obama plans to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense. Jewish leaders spoke up right away due to Hagel’s anti-Israel record and comments that border on anti-Semitism.

Christians United for Israel, under the leadership of Pastor John Hagee, let its views be known to key members of the Senate. The Emergency Committee for Israel, founded by Bill Kristol, launched a TV ad campaign in the Washington, D.C., media market.

Kristol’s magazine, The Weekly Standard has been exposing Hagel’s weakness on Iran and other defense issues. Republican opposition is now building all over Capitol Hill and rumors suggest that pro-Israel Democrat senators don’t want to have to vote for him either.

Senator Dan Coats of Indiana said, “There are grave concerns about this possible nomination among Republicans and among people who know and have served with Chuck Hagel. We watched Chuck take positions that are, frankly, … to the left of Barack Obama.”

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second highest ranking member of Republican leadership, declared his opposition today. And the Washington Post reports that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is threatening to block Hagel’s nomination due to his support for lifting the embargo on communist Cuba, among other issues.

Today Obama officially nominated John Kerry to be Secretary of State. The White House is defending Hagel, but its support seems weak at best. If Obama sticks with Hagel, it is clear he will have a fight on his hands.

End Of Day Report

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Benghazi Report Critical Of Clinton State Department

In the aftermath of the September 11th attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department launched an internal investigation to determine what went wrong. The findings were made public yesterday and I suspect Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got an advanced copy of the report. Perhaps that is why she fainted and suffered a concussion this weekend.

According to the Accountability Review Board, our ambassador and three other Americans died as the result of “systemic failures” and “leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” within the State Department. Fox News writes that the report also found “a pervasive realization among personnel who served in Benghazi that the Special Mission was not a high priority for Washington when it came to security-related requests.”

Furthermore, the report also rejected claims by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and others in the Obama Administration, including the president himself, that the attack was the result of a protest against an anti-Islamic film.

The Associated Press reports that three top State Department officials resigned this morning as a result of Review Board’s findings.

Hillary Clinton is also resigning next month, amid widespread speculation that she will run for president in four years. This report will not look good on her resume.

Obama Announces Commission On Gun Control

During a White House press conference today, President Obama announced that he is forming a commission, led by Vice President Joe Biden, to draft policy proposals on gun control. Obama said that the Biden-led commission will develop “concrete proposals” by January, which he “intend[s] to push without delay.”

I hope that the commission will be mindful of public opinion. An ABC/Washington Post poll released this week found that 52% of the public thinks the shooting “reflects broader problems in American society.” I would submit that the breakdown of the family and reliable standards of right and wrong should be at the top of any list of “broader problems in society,” but I doubt Biden’s commission will see it that way.

When asked what was the best way to reduce gun violence, only 32% said “passing stricter gun-control laws,” while 49% said “stricter enforcement of existing laws.” And 71% said they opposed a nationwide ban on handguns.

More importantly, I hope Obama and Biden are respectful of the Constitution. This administration has repeatedly circumvented the constitutional process and stretched the limits of its authority. Some on the left are urging Obama to use executive orders to limit our Second Amendment rights if he is unable to get any legislation through the divided Congress.

President Obama needs to respect the limits of his authority. If the left has a problem with the Second Amendment, then launch an effort to repeal it. But ruling by emergency degree is unacceptable. We will be watching the Biden commission very carefully.

Mandate Update

Here’s some tentative good news in the fight against Obamacare’s assault on religious liberty. Yesterday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against Obamacare’s contraception mandate filed by Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College.

A lower court had dismissed the case on the grounds that the government was reportedly revising the mandate. That wasn’t good enough for the Court of Appeals. The appellate court did not overturn the mandate, but it did demand evidence from the Department of Health and Human Services that serious revisions to accommodate religious institutions were in fact being made.

This decision is similar to an opinion two weeks ago by a federal judge in New York, who also rejected the government’s argument that cases should be dismissed because the bureaucrats were tweaking the regulations. In his opinion, Judge Brian Cogan wrote, “There is no, ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution. To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction.”

Mourning Robert Bork

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Judge Robert Bork this morning. Bork was an intellectual giant and one of America’s finest constitutional scholars. It was a great loss for America that he was denied the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court.

But while praising Bork, let me remind you why he never got that opportunity. He was smeared so badly that his vicious confirmation battle gave rise to a new term — “to Bork someone,” meaning to assassinate their character.

The man who led that lynching was Ted Kennedy, who went to the Senate floor and lied. Here’s what he said:


“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of Americans.”
At the time even many on the left thought Kennedy was over-the-top in his vitriol. But Kennedy set the template for how the left deals with its political opponents. Do you see the “war on women” theme? The “conservatives are racists” theme? And “religious conservatives are extremists and anti-science” theme? It was outrageous then, but it has become commonplace now. Sadly, some Republicans are still taken by surprise when it happens today.

Robert Bork was a good man. I will miss his leadership and wisdom. Please join Carol and me in prayer for his wife, Mary Ellen, and the Bork family.

End Of Day Report

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama Counteroffers

Tis the season for giving, and President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have been exchanging offers on the fiscal cliff, giving the rest of us headaches.

Over the weekend, Speaker Boehner conceded to raising tax rates, but only on those making more than $1 million. Yesterday Obama made a counteroffer.

Instead of raising the top two rates, which would hit small business owners earning $250,000, Obama now appears willing to accept an increase on just the top 35% bracket alone. That would essentially limit Obama’s tax increase to those making $400,000 and up.

But Obama’s counteroffer still had a lot of strings attached like an automatic two-year increase in the debt limit and more spending. In response, Speaker Boehner said, “What the White House offered yesterday — $1.3 trillion in revenue for only $850 billion in spending cuts — cannot be considered balanced. We’re going to keep the door open in hopes the president can find a way to support a balanced approach.”

Plan B

With just 13 days left until the end of the year, Speaker Boehner has decided it is time to put members of Congress on the record. His plan to allow higher taxes only on millionaires will be up for a vote on the House floor later this week.

This morning Boehner said, “Taxes are going up on everyone on Jan. 1. They’re baked into current law. And we have to stop whatever tax rate increases we can.”

It will be interesting to see whether Democrats will support Boehner’s “Plan B.” The idea was initially proposed by Nancy Pelosi in May. Back then Pelosi agreed with Speaker Boehner that “we should not be raising taxes on middle-income people at this delicate time in our recovery from the worst recession in 70 years.” We will find out soon whether she and her fellow Democrats still feel that way.

An Anti-Israel Secretary Of Defense?

As Barack Obama prepares to reshuffle his cabinet for his second term, there is growing concern about the leading candidate to replace to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. According to various reports, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is the frontrunner. Obama likes the idea of appointing Hagel because it gives him a fig leaf of bi-partisanship.

The Huffington Post described Hagel as a “moderate Republican,” who became a “fierce critic” of President Bush’s war policies. Hagel opposed sending reinforcements to Iraq, and blasted the surge as “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.” So on one of the most important military decisions in recent memory, Hagel was dead wrong.

Of course, Obama would not appoint anyone to such a critically important position unless that individual shared his policy views as well. And that has supporters of Israel on edge.

During his time in the Senate, Chuck Hagel was soft on Iran and hostile to Israel. In 2001, Hagel was just one of two senators to oppose sanctions against Iran. In 2007, he opposed legislation labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist front. In 2009, he urged President Obama to begin direct talks with Hamas, another terrorist group. Our friends at The Weekly Standard have posted a fact sheet on Hagel’s disturbing record.

Hagel briefly flirted with the idea of running for president in 2008. At the time, I led a coalition of conservative leaders that interviewed potential presidential contenders. What stood out most was that Hagel’s entire presentation to our group was an attack on Israel and a call to reorient our foreign policy toward the Muslim world.

Throughout his time in the Senate, Hagel consistently opposed the idea of striking Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. There is nothing to suggest that he has changed his mind since he left the Senate in 2008. In fact, he currently serves on the board of a bank that is being investigated for violating trade sanctions imposed on Iran.

Yet with each passing day, it becomes increasingly likely that the United States and Israel will have to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions or be confronted by a nuclear-armed Iran. That Hagel is under consideration to be the next Secretary of Defense strongly signals that Obama’s approach will be four more years of appeasement and outreach to the tyrants in Tehran.

U.N. Me On DVD

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End Of Day Report

Monday, December 17, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Connecticut Horror


“A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping
Rachel weeping for her children
And refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
–Jeremiah 31:15

When the prophet Jeremiah wrote those words he was referring to the children of Israel who were being sent by their enemies out of their country into captivity. Centuries later in the Gospel of Matthew the verse is repeated again to refer to the plan by King Herod to kill all the male children, two years old or under, in the hope that the slaughter would include the infant Jesus, whom Herod believed was a threat to his throne. Herod failed. He is dead. Christ lives.

In response to the Connecticut carnage there was no shortage of “solutions” suggested this weekend. Gun control. Regulating death-oriented video games that the shooter reportedly spent hours each day immersed in. Mental health reform. Armed guards in every school. Some of these solutions make sense and others don’t. All of them miss the real point.

What is happening in our society that spawns these young, twisted men who can kill the innocent so easily? First and foremost, as a nation, we are running from God. Our Founders put Him in the most important statement of the American founding in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “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.”

Few of our children know those words. But they have been taught that our Constitution has enshrined in it a right to destroy inconvenient life.

The Founders believed liberty came directly from God. With their knowledge of Scripture, they knew each child was made in the image of God. That is why everyone had dignity, value and worth.

Today’s children are taught by our culture that we are a cosmic accident. Something slithered out of the primal slime and over billions of years evolved into a human being. We are cousins, ten times removed, to the ape at the zoo eating his own excrement.

God is pushed out of every public place. The number of Americans professing they are atheists, agnostics or faithless grows yearly and is reported breathlessly by happy social scientists and reporters as evidence that we are putting away the old superstitions.

In early America, most believed their evil acts would have to be accounted for in front of a God of Judgment. Today increasing numbers of the young believe there is no throne, no God, no cross.

When a young man massacres innocents, we have been trained to believe that the act was due to improper levels of chemical enzymes and misfiring synapses. As we learn more about our cells, we forget more about our souls.

Were Hitler and the countless Germans who cooperated in the killing of six million Jews, and who made lamp shades out of their skin, simply the products of an inadequate German mental health system? Or should we revisit the existence of evil?

Having robbed children of any sense that their Father is in Heaven and that they are His creation, we then launched an experiment in raising them without earthly fathers too. Having neither a Father in heaven or a father in the home, young men define their manhood by spreading their seed in random couplings. Young women, searching for the love our hearts yearn for, make themselves available.

They try to fill the emptiness of their lives with a snort of cocaine or needle filled with heroin. Overstretched police departments can’t keep up with the wreckage. Kabul is safer than a warm night in Chicago.

Virtually every one of these markers of moral decline is off limits for the national conversation that we are being told we must have in the wake of the Newtown shootings. And being off limits, we are condemned to seeing more horror, more death, more broken families, more demonic acts of evil.

The sphere of safety will shrink. The unthinkable will become reality. If, as our Founding believed, only a virtuous people can be free, our tombstone will remind us that the wages of sin is death.

Connecticut’s state motto is a Latin phrase, “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” meaning, “He who transplanted still sustains.” The founders of the state meant God. He had transplanted them to the new land. He would sustain them in their time of troubles. He will sustain us still today, but only if we rededicate ourselves to becoming One Nation Under God.

End Of Day Report

Friday, December 14, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

BREAKING NEWS

As we are going to press, there is breaking news of a horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Details are still unfolding, but initial reports suggest as many as 27 people, including 14 children, may be dead. The evil of such an atrocity is incomprehensible, particularly at the time of year when we celebrate the birth of the Child who was sent to save us from sin. Please be in prayer for the victims, their families and the Newtown community.

Another Vignette From Obama’s America

Putting ideological and policy concerns aside, millions of Americans hoped that the 2008 election of Barack Obama would fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King. Many saw in Obama’s victory the realization that in America an individual would be judged by the content of his or her character rather than just the color of their skin.

But instead of the reconciliation everyone hoped for, racial tensions have been accentuated in many ways. The latest example is Robert Griffin, III — the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. I’m not writing about his talents, which are exceptional. Those who know him say he is a better man than a football player. The most demonstrative thing he does on the football field is not a dance in the end zone. He makes the sign of the cross and points to the heavens.

Griffin was born in Japan, and raised by an intact family. His parents were both Army sergeants, who clearly instilled the value of character into their son. During a recent news conference, Griffin said, “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality.” Of his upbringing, he said, “My parents raised me to not ever look at race or color, so it doesn’t have a big part in my self-identity.”

While no man is free of sin, it is very apparent that we are unlikely to see him take a gun and kill a live-in girlfriend (he doesn’t have one — he is engaged) or a teammate because he is driving drunk — just two examples of other NFL players who made headlines in recent weeks. In other words, Robert Griffin, III is exactly the kind of guy that parents would love to see their kids emulate whether they are white or black.

So what does a race-baiter at ESPN see in Griffin? Rob Parker called him a “cornball brother,” a term in the black community that suggests someone is not black enough, and they don’t mean skin tone. When asked to explain what he meant, Parker elaborated, saying:


“My question, which is just a straight-up, honest question, is he a brother or a cornball brother? He’s not really — okay he’s black, he kinda does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not really one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with … I keep hearing these things ‘We all know he has a white fiancee,’ and there’s all this talk about, ‘He’s a Republican,’ which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.”
Obviously, it’s Mr. Parker who has “an issue.”

Do you get it folks? If any community in America is suffering more from the unraveling of the traditional family and the breakdown of values, it is the African-American community. Here is a man who intends to marry a woman before he fathers children with her. But he’s “not black enough” because she’s white. I suspect the fact he’s getting married makes him “not black enough” to racists like Rob Parker.

There are rumors he is a — GASP! — a Republican. This is reminiscent of the attacks on Clarence Thomas, who was not a real black because he was a conservative. Or the attacks on Stacey Dash, who was subjected to extraordinary hatred because endorsed Mitt Romney. Or Clint Tarver, who had his hot dog cart destroyed by union thugs because he dared to serve everybody, including conservatives.

The president, who has interjected himself into many racial controversies and almost always on the wrong side, should speak up now. Obama should denounce Parker’s bigotry, and ESPN should fire him.

Rice Withdraws

Yesterday, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice formally withdrew her name from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. By most accounts, that leaves Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as the most likely nominee.

I know many conservatives get concerned whenever John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins take center stage. Once again, they seem to be going down the wrong road on immigration, and I will take them to task for that at the appropriate time.

But Senators McCain, Graham and Collins, along with Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, took Susan Rice on over her role in spinning the administration’s false propaganda regarding the Benghazi attack. And, of course, they were accused of being racists and sexists.

These senators held their ground. They came out of private meetings with Rice saying they had more concerns than ever before. The White House and Senate Democrats got the message. Rice withdrew. It’s a small victory to be sure. Kerry will be easily confirmed, and is just as bad on policy.

But it is worth noting that, in part at least, it was the “centrist” reputations of McCain and Graham that gave them the ability to stop Susan Rice and undermine the efforts by Obama and the media to turn this into another issue of race.