Battle for the Soul of Conservatism

There is a battle for the soul of conservatism.  Conservatives are being drawn separate ways in today’s political world and the division risks changing one of the fundamentals of a movement grown by early torchbearers such as William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan and others who made modern conservatism the political force it is today.

Much has been made of the difference between President Trump and so-called ‘establishment’ Republicans—President Trump representing the nationalist, somewhat isolationist wing compared to the more traditional and expansive US policy.

Donald Trump was elected as a reaction to an out of control politically correct rampage by an Administration where the Secretary of State said that global warming was the greatest threat to national security while ISIS terrorist attacks struck worldwide.   Where making sure there were ‘gender neutral’ bathrooms was more important than fighting readiness on Navy ships.

But the fight for the soul of the conservative movement isn’t about whether we should follow a “US first’ policy or should be more internationalist, or whether to take a more hard line on immigration or some other policy point.  The real battle for the soul of conservatism boils down to one thing:  whether conservatives have decided that power is worth any cost? Continue reading “Battle for the Soul of Conservatism”

Friday Quick Takes

News of note from the last week, from Thinking Man’s Politics…

Palestinian ‘Days of Rage’

Yesterday, President Trump announced that the US was moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem after declaring that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Hamas and other Palestinian groups announced that they would hold “three days of rage” in protest.

Hamas has declared that their goal is the elimination of Israel as a nation and dedicated itself to the killing of Jews. Tell me how again the ‘three days of rage” are going to be different than any other day?

Penalties for Defrauding Customers–Wells Fargo

President Trump took to Twitter today to knock down rumors that US consumer finance agency was reviewing fines levied against Wells Fargo for abuse of mortgage lending laws and opening bogus accounts.

In his tweet, the President said “I will cut regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!”

Wells Fargo had been found to, among other things, reward its employees for new accounts which resulted in thousands of new accounts being opened by employees in customer’s names but without customer’s knowledge.

When large companies and their leaders have no consequence for their actions, then those actions are repeated (see bank bailouts).  Wells Fargo should not only pay but so should the leadership that knowingly defrauded their customers.

Finally, the Powerful Held Accountable

Former US Representative Corrine Brown was sentenced to five years in prison this week for multiple counts of fraud after setting up a charity to provide education for low income children and then using it as a personal slush fund.

Brown, who has faced ethics charges throughout her career, represented one of the poorest districts in Florida. Yet somehow she had no problem stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her low income constituents to fund her vacations and lavish lifestyle.

The Bible and almost every major religion comments on rich people who take from the poor. May Corrine Brown feel the weight of her actions.

We Can’t Figure Out Birth Certificates?

A judge in Arkansas today said the state could no longer issue birth certificates until the state and same sex couples worked out an agreement on how to conform to Supreme Court rulings.

I’m sure that I don’t get all the nuances of this particular case and I’m sure somehow it involves who is a ‘husband and wife’, but how have we gotten to the place that even issuing a birth certificate is controversial? It just can’t be that hard. No matter what the ‘PC police’ say, you can’t change basic biology and a birth still requires two people of opposite sex.

Sometimes Things That Sound Good Are Dangerous

Internationalists, those who think the best way to world peace is by giving up our national rights and decision-making to international organizations, had another reason to be ashamed last week.  And we all had another reason to be leery of international groups that ‘support peace and cooperation’. Continue reading “Sometimes Things That Sound Good Are Dangerous”

House Introduces Tax Reform Plan With Big Breaks for Low Income Families

The House leadership released its tax reform package last week.   The odd thing, though these days maybe it’s to be expected, is that the immediate criticisms of the plan were the same old arguments and, in this case, didn’t really apply in most cases.

The tax plan had two major goals:  simplifying the tax code and trying to get US corporations to keep and move assets back to the US.  Along the way, it doubles the tax income threshold for low income individuals and increases the child tax credit.

Immediate attacks on the plan said it was a tax cut for the rich.  However, the only tax bracket unchanged in the plan was the highest bracket for those with the highest incomes.  And it also takes away deductions for people who own more than one home and whose home is worth more than half a million dollars. So you have to immediately also question the credibility of criticisms from those people and groups.  They are against something, but not sure why they are against it so they just say anything they have used before that comes to mind. Continue reading “House Introduces Tax Reform Plan With Big Breaks for Low Income Families”

Weekend Follies

And now these (mildly) funny tidbits to end the weekend…

Let’s Fight While We Talk

Berkeley, CA has long been known as a bastion of far left liberalism and, most recently, of violence to silence speakers who do not line up with the politically correct agenda.

As a way to try to bridge the gap between left and right, organizers set up a tent which would be a place where those of the left and those of the right could come together for a dialog, to talk about differences in a non-threatening way.

Continue reading “Weekend Follies”

ISIS–Beaten Down But Not Totally Out

Author's note:  At the time of publishing, we did not know of the terrorist truck attack in New York. It shows that terrorism is still a threat.  Our thoughts and prayers for those impacted by the attack.

Last week saw the final military defeat of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).   Iraqi military forces captured the self-proclaimed capital of the caliphate, Raqqa, and drove ISIS fighters into the desert.

At its peak, ISIS had proclaimed a capital in Raqqa, Iraq and had conquered significant territory in Iraq and Syria.   Significant to Muslim imagery, ISIS declared itself a modern caliphate and its leader a successor to Muhammed.   And early in its ascendancy, ISIS seemed to threaten the very existence of the Iraqi government as Iraqi forces often simply ran in early fighting against fanatical militants.

The war against ISIS, and al Qaeda before that was different in ways we haven’t fully grasped because of the nature of the terrorists themselves.  Continue reading “ISIS–Beaten Down But Not Totally Out”