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Thursday, Cleta Mitchell testified that the IRS scandal is real and that the investigation is a sham:

I wholeheartedly agree. During her testimony, Ms. Mitchell delivered this devastating information:

When Lois Lerner and President Obama accused line agents in Cincinnati of being responsible, ladies and gentlemen, that is a lie and I knew when Lois Lerner said that in May of 2010, when she admitted it was happening, after we knew it was happening — we knew we were being targeted — it’s just that she admitted it. But I knew it hadn’t happened in Cincinnati because the first time I became aware of this, another group I represent filed for tax exempt status in 2009. And besides cashing our check for our filing fee, we did not hear from the IRS again until June of 2010. And we didn’t hear from Cincinnati. We heard from Washington.

Ms. Mitchell was a one-woman Cat-4 hurricane yesterday. Unfortunately for Democrats, she wasn’t done with that refutation of the Democrats’ chanting points:

This group did one thing, one thing only. For all of the fall of 2009 until the spring of 2010, it lobbied against Obamacare, something that it is allowed to do 100% of the time. We did not get the tax exempt status for that organization until July of 2013.

Ms. Mitchell’s law firm is one of the top law firms in the nation. They didn’t get that reputation by being sloppy. Their record-keeping is meticulous. For the Democrats to insist that this is a sideshow and that the scandal is phony is belied by these documents. It’s real. It’s chilling political speech. That’s the Chicago Machine’s way.

The IRS is picking up where the FEC was told it couldn’t go in Citizens United v. the FEC. The IRS is using the FEC’s definitions in its rulemaking to stifle political speech.

Watch the entire video. It’s riveting TV. In fact, I’d recommend watching Catherine Engelbrecht’s opening statement, too:

I’m thankful that citizens like Cleta Mitchell and Catherine Engelbrecht have stepped forward rather than being silenced. They’re the personification of American patriots.

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It was 8 years ago today that I started blogging. Rathergate caught my attention but it was the freedom movement that inspired me. The first big subject that I wrote about was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. That’s how I first learned of a certain economics professor at St. Cloud State. I’ve been privileged to call King Banaian my friend since then.

I wrote about the massive protests that gathered in Independance Square, the Purple Thumb elections in Iraq, followed by Hezbollah’s assassination of Rafiq Harriri in Lebanon. Harriri’s assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution.

It’s been fun writing about the TEA Party movement. I’ve even helped put a couple of them together with the help of Leo Pusateri, another important conservative ally in the fight against progressives. As helpful as Leo has been in the fight for conservative principles, I appreciate his friendship the most.

I’ve learned from some outstanding bloggers along the way. Captain Ed’s (that’s what he was called in his pre-HotAir days) posts from CQ were awesome reads. When Ed published his lengthy posts, the thing that stood out for me was the depth and detail of his research.

Mitch Berg’s literary skills still continue to amaze me. Mitch isn’t just a talented writer, either. He’s a topnotch reporter, too.

Early in my blogging career, I learned about the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. Today, many MOBsters are friends of mine. If you aren’t a MOBster, you should join ASAP. The comradery is great.

Finally, I’d like to thank the people who faithfully read my blog. Over the years, I’ve been amazed at who reads my blog. Sitemeter statistics have shown lots of state legislators read LFR. That’s why I’m proud to say LFR has had a serious impact on the policy debates in St. Paul.

With the DFL now in control, temporarily, of the Legislature and with a DFL governor, I pledge to step up my reporting.

During his speech at the Democrats’ convention, Vice President Biden asked whether Osama bin Laden was better off now than he was 4 years ago. Since he set that benchmark, it’s only fair to use that criteria across North Africa and the Middle East. Charles Krauthammer’s column provides proof that life’s pretty good for some disgusting people:

Iran repeatedly defies U.S. demands on nuclear enrichment, then, as a measure of its contempt for what America thinks, openly admits that its Revolutionary Guards are deployed in Syria. Russia, after arming Assad, warns America to stay out, while the secretary of state delivers vapid lectures about Assad “meeting” his international “obligations.” The Gulf states beg America to act on Iran; Obama strains mightily to restrain…Israel. Sovereign U.S. territory is breached and U.S. interests are burned.

Life couldn’t get much better for state sponsors of terrorism and traditional American enemies. They know that they’re on easy street. They know President Obama’s foreign policy of appeasement is good for bad guy business.

In a very real sense, Iran, Russia and Syria are much better off today than they were 4 years ago. In fact, it won’t take long before Iran’s mullahs will be insufferable and unstoppable. Just a little more enrichment and they’ll have a nuclear weapon. By any sane administration’s measure, that means Iran is the biggest winner in President Obama’s high-stakes gamble.

Meanwhile, trusted allies like Israel and Poland were thrown under the bus. President Obama sent the final unmistakable message to Israel when he accepted a meeting with Egyptian President Morsi while refusing to meet with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu or Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

President Obama’s message to the Israelis was simple: Drop dead. We don’t care.

Another unmistakable message this administration sent was during the protests of the rigged Iranian elections of 2009. This administration’s message to the protesters was equally clear: Drop dead. We’re siding with the mullahs, not with Iran’s freedom-loving people.

Things are badly wrong when the people that should fear the US are smiling and the people that trust the US are worried and fidgeting. That’s where we’re at right now.

To adapt a phrase from a legendary story, there’s no joy in Worldville tonight. The One just made the world a nastier neighborhood.

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Yesterday, I read a fascinating article by former Reagan administration member Jeffrey Lord, which he titled Why Ryan terrifies the Left. This was one of the first things that I noticed:

The admiration for Reagan has become such a part of American historical bedrock that even President Obama and likeminded professional leftists have essentially given up the ghost. When they mention Reagan at all, it is generally to play a sly game of casting Reagan as a moderate, pretending to salute him while taking a shot at some Republican for not being more like Reagan. Obama played this game four times in one speech back in April, effusively praising Reagan while casting Mitt Romney as some sort of wild-eyed extremist.

That’s a game Democrats love playing. Unfortunately for them, it’s another game they play poorly. They love arguing that President Reagan wouldn’t be welcome in today’s GOP.

That statement is so devoid of credibility, you’d think Joe Biden wrote it.

Reagan cut taxes, deregulated the oil industry, pushed a robust domestic energy production plan and frightened the former USSR into history’s dustbin of failed experiments.

More importantly, he championed the guy who started innovation. Bill Gates and Michael Dell got their starts during Reagan’s time in office, starting in humble settings before growing their businesses into the gigantic success stories that they are.

Most importantly, President Reagan trusted We The People with every fiber of his being.

What part of that agenda would this administration enact into law?

The simple answer is that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid wouldn’t consider adopting anything from President Reagan’s agenda.

Militant environmentalists would shut off the campaign contribution spigot to the Democratic Party and their politicians if they voted for a robust domestic energy production program.

The OWS wing of the Democratic Party, the dominant part of the party, would throw a hissy fit if Democrats supported tax cuts for small businesses. Their heads would explode if they voted for capital gains tax cuts.

That’s the truth about the progressives’ alleged fondness for President Reagan. The truth is that President Obama’s administration has balked at these things in President Reagan’s agenda. In fact, he fundamentally disagrees with Reagan’s agenda:

“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” said Obama.

There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Reagan’s vision for America and Paul Ryan’s vision. They’re fantastic advocates for maximum individual liberty, free market capitalism, free trade and American exceptionalism.

The Left hates Paul Ryan for the same reasons they hated President Reagan. It’s sad that American citizens don’t believe in the foundational principles of our Founding Documents.

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With Independence Day now here, it’s time to ask whether Americans know understand our Founding Documents. I’m betting that fewer than 25% could explain the concept of federalism. I’m betting that the vast majority of them know the details of the Declaration of Independence.

It’s time that ended.

The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence essentially announces that the united States of America won’t subject themselves to Great Britain’s laws.

The first half of the second paragraph contains the powerful, inspirational words that echo throughout history:

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, That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Later in the paragraph, the Founding Fathers accused the King of England of being a tyrant:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

These weren’t idle accusations. The heart of the Declaration is an indictment of the government:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

I can picture the third paragraph of ‘the indictment’ as being the thing they wouldn’t tolerate. Telling the colonists that they’d suffer hardship at the hands of the government if they didn’t relinquish the right of representation was “a right inestimable to them.”

The colonists must’ve had some autonomy:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

It isn’t difficult to imagine the colonists feeling like slaves to a tyrant based on this:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

It isn’t a stretch to think that the colonists felt like rightless subjects to a tyrant king.

What’s amazing is how the colonists responded. They didn’t respond by throwing their hands up in desparation though they undoubtedly felt moments of desparation. This is how they responded:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

They responded with heroism. They responded with selflessness. They said that freedom is worth dying for. That’s why they pledged their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor.

I pray that we be willing to do the same.

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After Tuesday’s defeats, questions started popping up about whether Newt was political history. I didn’t take those questions seriously because I knew CPAC was right around the corner. I knew that, if anyone was capable of a comeback, Newt at CPAC was the right combination. This speech proved I was right:
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From the outset of the speech, Newt distanced himself from the DC GOP Establishment while aligning himself with the conservative movement’s activists. In doing so, he reminded people that he’s still the smartest man in the room on policies and solutions.

Reminding the faithful of all the things that the GOP Establishment deemed unrealistic, Newt riffed into a great set of ‘unrealistics’ but not until reminding his audience that CPAC was founded in the 1970s “to challenge the GOP Establishment.” Here’s the transcript of Newt’s ‘unrealistic’ riff:

GINGRICH: When Ronald Reagan campaigned in 1980, you could see the gap between the Establishment and the conservative movement. Reagan campaigned on supply side economics, lower taxes, less regulations, more American energy, praise for people who created jobs. The Establishment called it “VooDoo Economics.”

The GOP Establishment has a single word they use with contempt for conservative ideas. They say they’re ‘unrealistic’. So creating 16,000,000 new jobs under Reagan? Unrealistic. Ending the Soviet Union? Unrealistic. The 1994 Contract With America? Unrealistic. The 1994 House majority, which, by the way, was elected with the biggest single party increase in American history, 9,000,000 new voters? Unrealistic. Reforming welfare so that 2 out of 3 people either went back to work of went back to school? Unrealistic. Cutting taxes, including the biggest Capital Gains tax cut in American history and the first tax cut in 16 years? Unemployment drops to 4.2%, 11,000,000 new jobs? Unrealistic.

Not only was that list of things not unrealistic, they were accomplished because the ideas made too much sense to the American people. Reagan understood that the American people thirsted for inspiration. He supplied it in large doses.

The GOP Establishment doesn’t understand the American people. They can’t comprehend the power, enthusiasm, grit and determination of the TEA Party movement because it’s something happening beyond Washington’s Beltway. The DC Establishment of both parties doesn’t understand the identity of America throughout history.

The America that they don’t understand is the America President Reagan and Speaker Gingrich understand because they came from humble beginnings. That’s the America that Mitt Romney can’t tap into, not because he’s evil but because it’s totally foreign to him.

Rick Santorum is a fine man who understands America, just like John Kasich and Paul Ryan do. Of that group, only Congressman Ryan understands the greatness and genius of America like Newt Gingrich knows it.

It’s that greatness that intellectually seperates Newt Gingrich from the rest of the GOP presidential field. That Newt’s been MIA recently.

After Friday’s speech at CPAC, it’s safe to say that the special Newt is back.

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According to this article, “economic and political elites” will meet in Davos, Switzerland to talk about ending capialism:

Economic and political elites meeting this week at the Swiss resort of Davos will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as “outdated and crumbling.”

“We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations,” said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.

“Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole.

“We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual,” the 73-year-old said, adding that “capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us.”

Some 1,600 economic and political leaders, including 40 heads of states and governments, will be asked to come up with new ideas as they converge at eastern Switzerland’s chic ski station for the 42nd edition of the five-day World Economic Forum which opens Wednesday.

The problem isn’t capitalism. The problem is that we’ve had an overabundance of unethical CEOs. Isn’t the real solution establishing sensible laws for corporations and CEOs, including serious prison time, not time in ‘Club Fed’? Isn’t part of the solution then enforcing those laws?

In his book “Capitalism and Freedom“, the late great economist Milton Friedman argued that you couldn’t have political freedom without economic freedom.

This classic video of Milton Friedman’s interview with Phil Donahue explains why capitalism is superior to socialism:

The last 30 seconds are priceless. Here’s the transcript:

Friedman: Is it really true that political self interest is nobler somehow than personal self interest? You know, I think you’re taking alot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us. Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.

I’ll trust a single Milton Friedman over a city filled with elites when it comes to capitalism vs. socialism.

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The Houston County Minnesota Landowners Concerned About Property Rights have filed a lawsuit in federal court. In their lawsuit, the Houston County, Minnesota Landowners Concerned About Property Rights argue that their U.S. constitutional rights have been violated. Here’s their press release announcing the lawsuit:

The Houston County, Minnesota Landowners Concerned About Property Rights have endorsed new litigation toget government back in the hands of “We the People.” The Complaint, to be filed in the Minnesota Federal District Court, asserts that the Houston County Commissioners, the Board of Adjustment, and the Planning Commission, as well as Houston County Zoning Administrator Bob Scanlan and Environmental Service Director Richard (Rick) Frank are violating the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the landowners in Houston County.

The case, which will be filed during the week of October 3, 2011, argues that the County, Scanlan and Frank have violated the private property rights, the rights of due process, the rights to freedom of speech and association, the right to petition for redress of grievance and the right to equal protection of the law to similarly situated landowners in the application of the County’s Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The case is being brought under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871.

“We are not a litigious group,” said Robert Ideker, a Houston County landowner. “We have tried to work with the County; we have attended dozens of meetings and hearings; we have written dozens of letters, but no one will listen. This last year, we even tried to talk to the Commissioners individually to express our concerns about the protection of property rights, and some landowners were told that the Commissioners would not speak to them. These are our elected representatives; it boggles my mind that they won’t even hear what we have to say.”

“At some of the meetings, we are told not to talk about the Constitution and the protection it guarantees to U.S. citizens. We need to get government back in the hands of the people; we just want the use of ourproperty, our land and buildings. As we have told the County numerous times, we are not against civil law, but if our property use is not harming our neighbors or the environment, we should be able to use our property. We aren’t disrespectful to the County, but they should listen to our side as well. We are disappointed that we have to resort to the federal court to get a fair hearing on our concerns.”

The disagreements with the County came to a head when concerned citizens who had been deprived of their property rights went to the county officials, only to be rebuffed for their concerns. The landowners, often referred to as Landowners Concerned About Property Rights, then drafted a resolution, which was signed by 700 of the County’s landowners, that urged the County Commissioners to recognize the protections for private property and property use. That petition was presented to the Commission in 2007. The Commissioners never responded.

The Concerned Landowners filed litigation in state court challenging the land use plan and zoning ordinance in 2010, but during the research and discovery in the case, many landowners learned that the issues between the County and its citizens were significantly deeper than the land use plan; those issues go to the heart of the guarantees in the U.S. Constitution that are protected by the Federal Civil Rights Act. That is why the landowners are dismissing the state court case and endorsing the Federal District Court Civil Rights case. Dismissal of the state court case does not mean we agree with the County, it means we want to resolve all the claims at once and that can only be done in Federal Court.

“Civil rights are the rights belonging to an individual by virtue of his or her U.S. citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including property rights, civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination,” explained Ideker. “Specifically, section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act makes monetary and equitable relief available to those whose constitutional rights had been violated by a bureaucrat or official acting under State authority.

The Federal Civil Rights Act stands as one of the most powerful authorities under which federal courts may protect those whose constitutionally guaranteed rights are deprived. Section 1983 provides a way individuals can sue to stop past and prevent future violations of constitutionally protected rights. Section 1983 applies to both governmental employees as individuals and to state and local boards and commissions acting under state authority. It requires that the individuals or boards be responsible for the decisions they make, and not simply hide behind a claim that they are ‘following the law.’”

“It is disappointing that it has come to federal court litigation, but there is nowhere else to turn. We would still be open to talking to the County officials to try to come to a resolution,” said county land owner Tom Groeschner. “But we can’t really talk to them if they won’t listen to us. Don’t we have to put government back in the hands of ‘we the people?’”

The Houston County Minnesota Landowners Concerned About Property Rights argue that the Houston County Commissioners have stripped them of their constitutional rights by telling these landowners that they’ve changed the rules of the game after the land has been purchased. They’ve essentially said that the things they wanted to do when they purchased the land can’t be done thanks to Houston County’s oppressive regulation.

Worse, Houston County has said that the property’s use has been restricted for “the public good” without paying the landowner for the taking. What Houston County is claiming is that they can take the land without paying for the taking. If the courts let this stand, it will essentially gut private property rights. Local units of government wouldn’t need to use the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution to achieve their goals. They could just use zoning laws to tell property owners what they can or can’t do.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”. Houston County is essentially saying that they aren’t taking the property. They’re just telling private property owners that the county, not the landowner, will control the use of private property.

This is unacceptable. If Houston County wants to be the final arbiter of what land can be used for, then it should be required to purchase the land from the landowners at a fair market price. If Houston County isn’t willing to purchase the land for a fair market price, then it shouldn’t have decision-making rights, final or otherwise.

Essentially, Houston County wants everything for nothing. That sounds more like what happened in the former Soviet Union than in the United States.

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Thanks to on of Jedediah Bila’s great columns, we’re able to see that Mike Huckabee is too willing to look away from liberal policies. Here’s what I’m talking about:

On “Fox News Sunday,” Mike Huckabee declared, “What Michelle Obama is proposing is not that the government tells you that you can’t eat dessert. What Michelle Obama has proposed is that we recognize that we have a serious obesity crisis, which we do.”

Similarly, at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored event on Feb. 23, Huckabee opined that Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign has been greeted negatively by some conservatives “because she is the one presenting it.” He added, “I still think that her approach is the right one. I do not think that she’s out there advocating that the government take over our dinner plates. In fact, she’s not. She’s been criticized unfairly by a lot of my fellow conservatives. I think it’s out of a reflex rather than out of a thoughtful expression, and that’s one of the things that bug me most about the political environment of the day.”

There’s just one problem with Huckabee’s apologist approach. It isn’t rooted in reality:

As reported by The New York Times, “A team of advisers to Mrs. Obama has been holding private talks over the past year with the National Restaurant Association, a trade group, in a bid to get restaurants to adopt her goals of smaller portions and children’s meals that include healthy offerings such as carrots, apple slices, and milk instead of French fries and soda.”

The column continued, “The discussions are preliminary, and participants say they are nowhere near an agreement like the one Mrs. Obama announced recently with Walmart to lower prices on fruits and vegetables and to reduce the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in its foods. But they reveal how assertively she is working to prod the industry to sign on to her agenda.”

The Times added, “Her team has worked with beverage makers to design soda cans with calorie counts and is deeply involved in a major remake of the government’s most recognizable tool for delivering its healthy-eating message: the food pyramid. She encouraged lawmakers to require restaurants to print nutrition information on menus, a provision that wound up in President Obama’s landmark health care law.”

There’s no arguing that Gov. Huckabee is a nice guy. Unfortunately, he’s tippytoed around Democrats rather than fighting for liberty. We don’t need a wimp. We need a lion.

It’s bad enough that he won’t deal with reality. It’s worse when he says things like “She’s been criticized unfairly by a lot of my fellow conservatives. I think it’s out of a reflex rather than out of a thoughtful expression.” Gov. Huckabee isn’t dealing with reality.

In his quest to be respectful to liberals, he’s given this administration the ability to run roughshod on our liberty. Now isn’t the time to be nice just for the sake of being nice. It’s time to fight for the principles that strengthen and energize this nation.

Gov. Huckabee makes some sense some of the time but he’s too liberal or too wimpy too often for me to support him. Playing the nice guy against people that have repeatedly shown that they’re willing to jam things (like O’Care and the stimulus) down our throats is stupid. It’s ceding a battlefield without a fight.

Ceding important fights is what’s caused the jumbo-sized debt crisis. Too often, Sen. McCain, Sen. Graham and other wimps have put a higher priority on accomodating Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid than they’ve put on fighting for important policies that expand our liberties and increase our prosperity.

Gov. Huckabee thinks that he’s got a shot of winning the South Carolina primary. That’s delusional thinking. That’s Jim Demint’s state. It’s also Lindsey Graham’s state. Don’t be fooled by that latter fact. Had the SC GOP found a viable candidate, they would’ve defeated Sen. Graham in the primary.

I won’t support someone that doesn’t fight well-intentioned, intrusive government. Those types of politicians are a dime-a-dozen. However, I’ll enthusiastically support candidates that unabashedly fight for liberty. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that the vast majority of independents would flock to those types of candidates and elected officials.

Thanks to Ms. Bila, Gov. Huckabee is exposed as being timid in the name of niceness. If your opponent wants to ignore you and pound you into the pavement, your first reaction shouldn’t be to befriend your opponent. My first instinct is fight for what’s right, not what isn’t controversial.

President Obama and his union thug allies have signalled that this campaign won’t be for the faint of heart. Sending a wimp into that arena won’t cut it. It’ll take a lion, not a wimp, to defeat President Obama and his thug allies.

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Last night, I interviewed Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, (R-Mich.) Congressman McCotter has recently written a book called Seize Freedom: American Truths and Renewal in a Chaotic Age.

First off, I’d like to thank Congressman McCotter for granting me this interview. I’ve been a fan of his for several years, partially because of his keen intellect, partially because of his great love of freedom.

Before I talk about the interview, though, I’d like to make this observation: As impressive as Congressman McCotter is on TV interviews or during floor debates on C-SPAN, he’s more impressive in person. This is the third time I’ve had the privilege of interviewing him. Each time, his wisdom has been impressive.

One of the things we talked about was the great capabilities that social media gives us. Congressman McCotter said that “it would be a mistake for people to think that technology is all that’s required” to change life for the better.

Congressman McCotter was quick to emphasize the importance of people taking ownership of their society, their state, their nation. Without their involvement, their passion, this current movement will lose its legs.

It’s important to note, though, that he was just as quick to say he thought “social media is making it easier to sustain the current momentum”, saying that young people don’t know how much easier it is today than 20 years ago.

I reminded Congressman McCotter of the first interview I did with him during the O’Care debate. I said that I remembered talking to him about how employers were holding off with their hiring decisions because they didn’t know the cost O’Care would impose on them. He remembers adding to that it wasn’t just the uncertainty. He said then that it would be just as bad if entrepreneurs found out the cost and that it was prohibitive.

When I asked him about the current (self-imposed) gas crisis, Congressman McCotter said that the Republican plan was based on three things: robust domestic energy production, common sense conservation and letting free markets determine which alternatives should survive and which ones should be allowed to fail.

He also said that Democrats were so wedded to their ideology that they think we should just go cold turkey and switch to green technologies. He said that he supports “an all-of-the-above energy policy” as opposed to a ‘green-or-bust’ philosophy.

Whenever 2 conservatives talk about liberty in the context of foreign policy, one must include Ronald Reagan in the conversation. After I mentioned how President Reagan made a habit of talking to Soviet dissidents during his speeches, Congressman McCotter said that the power of Reagan’s words were proven by Natan Scharansky.

When I said that Reagan was a handler’s worst nightmare, Congressman McCotter said that’s because he knew where he wanted to take the country and because he knew they were with him. Congressman McCotter also said that Reagan understood and appreciated America’s greatness, that we’ve always been a nation of leaders.

Congressman McCotter is one of the great leaders in the House. His wisdom, his total wonkishness and his thirst for staying in touch with life outside the Beltway are great traits for a leader. If he isn’t on your radar screen, he needs to be.

I strongly encourage everyone to read Sieze Freedom. I haven’t gotten my copy of it yet but I’ve read several excerpts, which I thought were exceptional.

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