I'm not gonna lie, folks. We're getting better at this whole podcasting thing every week. The 14th installment of The RJ Moeller Show welcomed Matt, Joe, Brandon and fellow AEI "Two Cents" blogger Joseph Sunde. Mr. Sunde has a fantastic website of his own called Remnant Culture and we had a blast interviewing him during Segment #2 this week.
Other topics discussed include: the NBA playoffs, Obama's Israel speech, and looting in Joseph's native Minneapolis.
Here's what we need from you: listen, enjoy, and PLEASE tell your friends.
Download us on iTunes, or listen by clicking the play button below.
Segment #1 - Intro, NBA talk, and analysis of Obama's public statements regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict
- Very lame Weight Watchers for Men commercial
- NY Times summary of events surrounding Obama's "Israel" speech
- National Review editorial board responds to the speech
- Israel can't negotiate with people who want to eradicate them from the face of the earth
- What do these "1967 borders" actually look like?
Segment #2 - Interview with Jospeh Sunde, writer/blogger/father
- Joseph's website, Remnant Culture
Segment #3 - News with Matt
- 61% of Americans are against most or all abortions
- Looting in MN after tornado
- Obama visits Irish roots
- CA set to release thousands of prisoners due to "over-crowding"
By: R.J. Moeller
With each passing day we inch closer to the most dreaded stretch of months imaginable: presidential primary season. Mercifully, in 2011 and 2012 only one political party has to find itself a candidate for the highest office in the land. That means this time around we’ll only have to see debate moderator Anderson Cooper awkwardly “throwing it over to” the Nokia-sponsored jumbo-tron – where the next Twitter-submitted question from “BieberFan71 in Cincinnati, OH” awaits – half as many times.
The lead-up to the November 2008 election was arduous, tedious, and unbearably long with both Republicans and Democrats first fighting amongst each other before pivoting to conjure up a new level of cantankerousness for the real enemy.
I say all of this, and I’m a rabid fan of politics. I eat this stuff up like Michael Moore at, well, anywhere that serves food.
Alright, so I’m being a little cantankerous and crabby myself right now. I admit it. But can you blame me? For a free market conservative, it is a frustrating time to be alive.
Admittedly, we’ve seen some positive signs that the nation might be able to turn back from its decades-long obsession with spending money we don’t have on programs that don’t work (or have been outrageously mis-managed). Certainly the mid-term elections last fall were an indication that many Americans at least somewhat grasp the gravity of the situation. Whatever your opinion of the Tea Party movement may be, the basic message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and political accountability is one that needs to be embraced by anyone serious about averting economic and societal ruin.
But the gloom and cynicism begins to creep in when a few other facts are considered. First, there is no clear-cut front-runner for the GOP’s challenge of Barack Obama. I am a firm believer in the de-centralization of power in every facet of politics and government, but at a certain point we do elect a Commander-in-Chief (not “Chiefs”) and need someone who can represent conservative ideas, ideals, and values while at the same time not scare away and/or weird out the Independent voters who make or break every election.
Conservatism wins at the ballot box, but it needs clear articulation and a Happy Warrior disseminating and defending it. That person has not yet emerged among the Republican ranks.
And this speaks to a deeper, even more disappointing reality: the fact that Americans have to constantly be reminded that to maintain our current fiscal and political course would be disastrous for future generations is embarrassing. Conservatives and Republicans must rise to the occasion in making our case to the country, but we shouldn’t have so much pressure laid on finding the “perfect” candidate or spokesman.
Our basic, core platform is thoroughly rooted in the obvious.
Medicare, Social Security, and the Welfare/Entitlement programs that have ballooned more than 50% since President Obama took office all must be systematically reformed (and in many instances, dismantled). Entrepreneurial activity, lower tax rates, and the opening up of health care markets across state lines are things that must be championed. In poll after poll people say that they understand all of this, that they don’t want Obamacare, and that they don’t like the way the country is heading.
And still every politically-aware American knows that it is going to be extremely difficult to defeat the current president. How is this possible?
This is a man who in his first 2 years spent more money and racked up more debt than all of his predecessors – combined. This is a man who rammed the largest welfare entitlement in human history –Obamacare – down the throats of a nation that didn’t want it and can’t afford it. This is a man who has kept in place nearly every defense, internment, interrogation, and intelligence policy that liberal Democrats told us for 8 years made the man before him the most hated, reviled leader in the world.
Am I missing something here?
This past Tuesday, in the state of New York, the people of the 26th congressional district elected a liberal Democrat to the House of Representatives who promised in her campaign to keep the status quo when it comes to spending in Washington D.C. How was this woman not laughed out of the room?
I understand that there are people whose ideological convictions on the issues are decidedly progressive-Left. They are pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-2nd amendment, and generally speaking, secular in their values. This group comprises at most 19% of the electorate nation-wide. Toss in another 5-6% for the people who are members of unions, and you have an un-inspiring quarter of the voters in the United States who are ideologically compelled to vote for bigger government, higher taxes, and more spending.
Where are these other voters coming from? How is anything anyone on the Left says about spending taken seriously at this point? Republicans promise not to spend, and some of them still do. Democrats promise to spend, and end up spending even more. When you are in the debt we are in, one of those options needs to be off the table if you're ever going to make any serious headway in turning things around.
Perpetual know-it-all and stick-in-the-mud Joe Klein (of TIME magazine) was on the utterly forgettable MSNBC show Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell this week and the two far-Left blowhards had a crack at analyzing the situation in NY’s 26th and what it says about American politics on the whole:
Commenting on the special election victory for Democrats, Klein stated:
It was a victory for Socialism…For the last two years, Republicans have been lambasting Barack Obama who is right in the middle of the political spectrum, a mild liberal, as being a wild-eyed socialist. Well, there ain't anything that he has proposed that is purely socialistic as our Medicare program; a single payer program run by the government. And the folks love it.
Like any rambling, incoherent collection of nouns and verbs, there is a hint of truth to what Mr. Klein says here. Obamacare is socialistic. It is this president’s attempt to move the country to a European-style, single-payer health care system. But this accurate accusation levied by conservatives for the past two years has been shouted down by the likes of Joe Klein and Lawrence O’Donnell as being racially-charged and ignorant. Now that one small congressional district in upstate-New York goes Democratic in a special election – one that took place only because the duly-elected and “happily” married Republican resigned in disgrace after he put topless photos of himself on Craig’s List to find hot dates for the lonely D.C. weekends – Larry and Joey are mockingly celebrating a victory for socialism.
What becomes abundantly clear from commentary such as this, and from the voting habits of an alarming number of people in this country, is that millions of our fellow citizens are living in a fantasy world. First, there is Joe Klein trying to tell us with a straight face that Barack Obama is a “mild liberal.” If you believe that I have a bridge I have want to sell you. The Left never wants to publicly embrace its own ideology, unless a news-story or election can be spun to validate their unpopular worldview. But then it's right back to masking their true intentions, sometimes even in the same sentence.
On one hand, Klein is attempting to make the case that progressive liberalism won the day in NY’s 26th district (and somehow by extension the entire nation is now totally on-board for Obma’s agenda). On the other, he is trying to shield Barack Obama from the legitimate charges of “far-Left liberal” that come with every new society-altering initiative he proposes. Klein calls Obama a “mild liberal,” but if liberalism is really what the masses want, Joe, why water down the sacred and beloved word?
Using Klein’s “logic” here would also lead someone actually listening to the hot air cascading from his mouth to believe that the country is in fact to the Left of the president.
This is non-sense on stilts. It is a fantasy of progressive liberals in the media and academia that the masses genuinely agree with them. I know why they are more excited than ever: they got one of their own elected leader of the free world. But I also know why they are worried and scurrying to re-write their hero’s own public track-record since taking office in 2009: the American people, when candidly presented with the implications his policies, wants very little to do with them.
The reason Democrat Patty Murray won the special election in New York is simple: a third-party candidate took 9% of the votes away from the Republican. Republicans have held this congressional seat for nearly 60 years. Both John McCain and George W.Bush (twice) won this district handily. So the Joe Klein’s of the world need to hold their horses, and concerned people everywhere should not lose hope quite yet.
It’s a long road to November 2012. No one could have predicted the Tea Party uprising of 2009 and 2010. When push comes to shove, Americans on the whole are willing to act and send the necessary messages to people in positions of power.
I am internally torn between Reagan-like optimism and Krauthammer-like pessimism about where things go from here. I have faith, but I also have eyes, ears, and a brain. I see that many are worried that the seemingly endless well of government entitlements is beginning to dry up and in turn are willing to skip work and march in the streets of towns like Madison, WI to “get theirs” before it’s too late. I also see that many are worried about the type of country they leave for their children and grandchildren and in turn are willing to rally and get out the vote in support of policies and politicians who promise to cut the gangrenous leg off in order to save the body.
I don’t know what the elections of 2012 hold in store for America, but I do know what the rallying cry for conservatives, libertarians, and small-government independents needs to be.
From the mind of author Shelby Steele: Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi believe in the government – we believe in you!
The only thing better than an episode of The RJ Moeller Show is an episode of The RJ Moeller Show that was so good/long that it requires two parts to encapsulate all its magnificence. Right?
Okay, so we're shooting for at least "average" here and we think we've achieved it.
Here's Part 1 and below is Part 2.
Don't forget you can always download the podcast on your iTunes!
This week we're joined by Matt, Joe, and special guest Jason Burkey who sits in with us to talk about the life of a struggling actor. We had so much fun (and so much glorious content) that we had to split the episode into two parts. (Here is Part 2)
Don't forget that you can download us on iTunes or stream the show live below.
- Wu-Tang Clan name generator
- Weekend fun at a lake house
- Jason Burkey: Actor Extraordinaire
- Jon Stewart on The O'Reilly Factor
- Government corruption in Lake County, IL
- Getting into college with Andrew Ferguson
- "Secularism" now a college major?
By now, you've all heard the chilling anecdotes of just how far the state of Michigan in general, and the cities of Flint and Detroit particularly, has fallen in the past half century. Fifty years ago Detroit had the highest standard of living in the United States, with a booming population, thriving workforce, and the best school systems in the country.
Today Detroit and Flint are crap-holes. The state of Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates. The auto industry has all but dissipated, and even mighty GM had to be bailed out by the federal government.
The question everyone should want to know is: Why?
Or at least: How?
For the past half century that state and those cities have been dominated by two political forces: progressive liberal Democrats and unions.
Now, certainly there are other contributing factors to this economic/cultural/industrial downfall I've described - just like there are contributing factors to why one tragically contracts skin cancer. But if the person with skin cancer has worked for 50 years out in the sun all day, and his friends tell him it's not fair to blame the sun and that he should continue to spend as much time basking in its rays as possible...well, then I would find new friends.
Are you listening, American voters?
From The Daily Caller:
AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka issued a threat to Democrats nationwide at the National Press Club on Friday, calling on them to support his and other unions or face losing their support.
“We will spend the summer holding elected leaders in Congress as well as the states accountable on one measure: Are they improving or degrading life for working families? We are looking hard at how we work in the nation’s political arena,” Trumka said, according to prepared remarks. “We have listened hard, and what workers want is an independent labor movement that builds the power of working people – in the workplace and in political life.”
Trumka went even further than just saying he’ll hold elected leaders accountable. He said Democrats may be “controlling the wrecking ball” that’s crippling unions, too, and that he plans to stand up to either party.
The story continues:
Trumka’s remarks come on the heels of what conservatives are calling a power grab by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is attacking The Boeing Company for building a plant in South Carolina after disagreements with unions in Washington State. Fred Wszolek of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) calls Trumka’s speech “nothing more than a plea for more bailouts from bureaucrats in government on the backs of American job creators.”
“Big Labor expended nearly half a billion dollars electing President Obama and they expect ‘payback,’ plain and simple,” Wszolek said in a statement.
Unions in the private sector aren't ideal, but tolerable. State and federal employee unions are disastrous. The amount of pressure that less than 6% of the nation's population is able to exert on our political and legislative decision-makers is astonishing. As I've said on this blog many times before: To allow unions to negotiate with the Democrats they just put in office is insanity. It's corrupt and morally reprehensible.
Everyone is guaranteed the right of representation and assembly, but I cannot for the life of me understand why so many Americans look the other way while union bosses make sweet-heart deals for themselves at the taxpayers (and nation's) expense. Jobs leave this country because unions make it so economically infeasible for a corporation to turn a decent profit. Meanwhile Democrats in office are over-regulating and siding with the unions in their contractual disagreements with job-creators like Boeing.
Enough is enough. Let Trumka and his people be mad. You the private citizen need to decide whether you want to live in a nation that (fiscally) looks more like Michigan or one that looks more like Texas.
If it's Michigan (or "better" yet, the city of Detroit), Trumka and Obama are your guys.
I wish I could make it simpler for you, but alas...
Disclaimer: I think Newt Gingrich is the smartest, most articulate defender of free-market conservatism in politics today.
With that out of the way, I completely recognize the many faults and flaws of the former Speaker of the House. Last week Newt threw his hat into the GOP race for the party's 2012 nomination. Much will be said of Gingrich's marital infidelity, his "eventful" time in Congress, and his outspoken positions on cultural issues. And that's just from fellow Republicans. The liberal mainstream media will have the proverbial field day in picking apart Newt's entire public (and private) career.
I read two interesting takes from conservative thinkers/writers yesterday and thought them worth sharing.
The first comes from Jonah Goldberg at The Corner blog. An excerpt from that:
One major source of Newt’s problems is that he is almost always the smartest guy in the room. Compounding this problem is an ability and compulsion to defend any position he takes. For a politician this can be an enormous problem because it creates a climate where he can’t take unwelcome advice from his staff. I don’t mean because he’s a bullying boss — I know many people who have worked for Newt, including my wife, and by all he’s a very generous and decent employer and a surprisingly good listener. The problem is that he can always “win” the arguments about whether he made a mistake. It would be interesting to know if after his Meet the Press interview anybody on Newt’s staff told him, “Uh, sir, that stuff about Paul Ryan’s budget and the individual mandate is going to create huge problems.” If no one said something like that, it’s a bad sign, either because they couldn’t see the obvious either, or because they were afraid to tell the boss the truth.
You can’t run for president of the United States with a staff of advisers who think everything you do is a homerun. Well, you can, but you can’t possibly win.
And the other comes from National Review editor Rich Lowry. An excerpt:
It’s Newt’s misfortune to want a high-pressure executive job with monarchical trappings where steadfastness and dignity matter. When he was Speaker of the House, he alienated his colleagues (some of whom roll their eyes at the mere mention of his name) and dragged himself, his family, and his party through a psychodrama. If he were to replicate that performance in the White House, it’d be a formula for a LBJ- or Nixon-style meltdown.
“One of my great weaknesses is that part of me is a teacher analyst,” Gingrich said on Meet the Press. “And part of me is a political leader.” That shows a self-awareness his campaign for president otherwise lacks.
I think a lot of Center-Right pundits are panicking prematurely over the current crop of GOP candidates. We have a long way to go and don't even yet know who all will be legitimate contenders by the time the actual primaries begin. Newt should not be counted out before the dance even commences. My advice to potential Republican voters: investigate Newt before you pass judgment. Visit his various websites. Watch some YouTube speeches. If by the time the primaries end we on the Right collectively decide he isn't the man for the job - so be it.
But don't let other people make the decision for you. And don't make the decision for yourself without looking into all of the candidates.