Monthly Archives: February 2010

2010: LMFAO Track Inspired By Mitt Romney Airplane Altercation /

LMFAO Track Inspired By Mitt Romney Airplane Altercation
‘We’re gonna use this incident to actually bring the world closer together,’ Redfoo says.
By Jayson Rodriguez, with reporting by Sway Calloway
Feb 26 2010 9:08 PM EST
NEW YORK

— LMFAO couldn’t let an opportunity like getting into an altercation with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pass without putting their unique twist on things.

Redfoo and Sky Blu plan to release a new track on Friday titled “We Came to Party (The Vulcan Grip Mix)” inspired by the incident, where Romney and Sky Blu were whisked off an airplane after arguing with one another.

The song, they said, will also double as the release for the pair’s next album, Don’t Judge Me, tentatively set for a summer release.

“They call you suit and tie and you’se a politician,” Redfoo rapped the lines to MTV News. “They call me Superfly, I always got two bitches/ You go to church and tithe, I really ain’t religious/ You’re on P’s and Q’s, I sip that Jesus juice.”

Then the LMFAO guys burst into the chorus together, “Everybody wants to feel good, from up in Capitol Hill to the ‘hood.”

The song doesn’t feature Romney by name, Redfoo explained, but the song title teases at Romney for sure. Sky Blu, who got into the skirmish with the GOP figure, said Romney grabbed him by the shoulder after repeatedly requesting for the musician put his seat up on the still-grounded airplane. Sky Blu refused because of Romney’s tone, and he claimed the former Massachusetts governor then attempted to put a “Vulcan grip” on him.

Blu offered that Romney didn’t appear to be rude guy after matters cooled down between them. The guys said they’d like to do shots with the politician, playing off of their Lil Jon-assisted single “Shots.” But Romney, a devout Mormon, doesn’t drink alcohol.

So in the interim, LMFAO hope their tune, “We Came to Party (The Vulcan Grip Mix),” will serve as an olive branch.

“We’re gonna use this incident to actually bring the world closer together, ” Redfoo said.

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2010: Reinvention, Romney-style: What other pols can learn from Mitt’s inspiring in-flight scuffle / Joe Queenan, NY daily News

Years from now, when the Constitution has been amended to allow President Mitt Romney to serve a fifth term, Americans will look back fondly on the defining moment in his career. It was the moment when Romney stopped looking like a complete phony who pandered to the extreme right wing of his party and actually did something gutsy and unscripted.

You guessed it: It happened on that airplane leaving Vancouver after the Olympics opening ceremony. Until Romney grabbed the guy sitting in front of him – rapper Sky Blu – and firmly told him to move his seat upright before takeoff, he seemed like the kind of well-dressed, well-coiffed, well-rehearsed politician that only similarly inauthentic politicians could love. After, he finally seemed like one of us.

I never liked Mitt Romney. There was nothing much to like. The first of the 2008 candidates to resort to the dreaded homespun Norman Rockwell-era ski sweater, Romney always emitted an aura of contrivance. But now he has done something that even his enemies – Democrats, liberals, Bill Moyers fans – can admire. Everybody hates the guy who jams his seat back into your knees. Everyone wants to get that guy in a headlock.

I do not know all the details of the altercation. Perhaps Sky Blu did not hit Romney or deserve to be thrown off the plane. Perhaps Romney did not get him in what the rapper calls a “Vulcan grip.” None of that matters now, for the incident has passed into the realm of myth. Romney has pulled off the kind of public relations coup that Ronald Reagan accomplished with the Challenger speech, that Crazy Horse achieved when he whipped Custer, that Barack Obama did when he gave his Nobel Prize speech announcing that America would not be pulling out of Afghanistan.

In each of these cases, the men at least momentarily won the admiration of even their most bitter enemies.

El Momento del Mitt is the sort of miraculous, perception-altering achievement that all politicians, most athletes and many radio personalities dream of: To do something that impresses people who despise you.

Obviously, most of them will have to keep on dreaming. I am not sure what Tiger Woods could do to win back the esteem of nongolfing American women. Maybe go fight the female-hating Taliban. I do not seriously think that Glenn Beck can turn this thing around. No matter what he does, Jimmy Carter will always be a wuss to his detractors.

It is similarly hard to imagine what Al Gore could do to get Tea Party types to admit that yes, that was a pretty cool thing he just did. Off the top of my head, climbing into a tree to rescue a kitty is just about the only way I can see him winning grudging admiration from his critics. But it would have to be a really cute kitty.

Could Dick Cheney duplicate Romney’s feat? Sure, but only if he got himself caught on camera doing a crossover dribble and executing a reverse jam over LeBron James. That would impress Democrats. It might even impress LeBron.

Sarah Palin would have to scale a taller mountain. If she got caught on YouTube reading “War and Peace,” it would play well with NPR listeners and might win at least mild applause from the left. Unfortunately, that would infuriate her supporters on the right. Tolstoy was a Red.

This it what makes Romney versus the Rapper such a pivotal moment in American history. Is it reason enough to elect Romney President? Yes, I think it is. If Romney manned up against a guy on a plane, there’s just no telling what he would do against Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama Bin Laden. If it happened once, it could happen again.

Conversely, I think the odds of Sarah Palin reading a second book would be pretty slim.

Queenan is author of “Closing Time: A Memoir.”

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2010: Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom / BYU Speech, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago

See the original of this remarkable speech in PDF Format at this link.
Love and thanks,Steve St.Clair
==============
Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. Archbishop of Chicago

President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom
Brigham Young University: February 23, 2010

I.
Thank you for your warm welcome and thank you, President Samuelson, for your very kind introduction. As you point out, I am the Catholic Archbishop of Chicago and also the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This dual role allows me to bring greetings from both the Catholic community of Chicago and from the Catholic bishops of this country to all of you: students, faculty, staff and administration of this distinguished university, now marking its 135th year of service in higher education—and also to our guests from the surrounding community, many of whom I’m told are watching on satellite TV.

 

As a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, I have a special bond with the Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, whose specific service is one of preserving unity among Catholic believers everywhere, and also of fostering peace and respect for human life and dignity among all people of good will. As a cardinal priest, that is, as a member of the clergy of Rome itself, quite apart from my being Archbishop of Chicago, I have the privilege and obligation to vote in a papal election. The Cardinals assemble at the death of one Pope in order to elect his successor because they are the clergy of Rome; but the choice of the Bishop of Rome, the one who sits in the chair of St. Peter, is, for us Catholics, we pray and hope and believe, in the hands of God, our heavenly Father. Most important of all, I am a bishop of the Catholic Church, and therefore a pastor to the people that Christ Jesus has given me to love and to care for, first of all in two civil counties of Illinois, Cook and Lake counties, that count 2.3 million baptized Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago, but also with a shared concern for all the Churches. Catholic bishops collectively oversee the Catholic Church with and under the Successor of Saint Peter, the head of the Apostolic College, the Bishop of Rome.

 

So I come before you today as a religious leader who shares with you a love for our own country but also, like many, with a growing concern about its moral health as a good society. In recent years, Catholics and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have stood more frequently side-by-side in the public square to defend human life and dignity. In addition to working together to alleviate poverty here and abroad, we have been together in combating the degradations associated with the pornography industry; in promoting respect for the right to life of those still waiting to be born in their mother’s womb; and in defending marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the sake of family against various efforts to redefine in civil law that foundational element of God’s natural plan for creation. I am personally grateful that, after 180 years of living mostly apart from one another, Catholics and Latter-day Saints have begun to see one another as trustworthy partners in the defense of shared moral principles and in the promotion of the common good of our beloved country.

 

Of course, partnerships in causes of great moral import build on friendships and gestures of respect for one another’s identity, and these too have multiplied in recent years. The late and universally esteemed LDS President, Gordon B. Hinckley, opened his door on many occasions to the past and present bishops of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, which encompasses all of Utah: Bishop George Niederauer, now Archbishop of San Francisco, and Bishop John C. Wester, who is with us today. Bishop Wester spearheads with great dedication the Catholic bishops’ national immigration reform efforts. One of the high points of the centennial celebrations of the Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City was the presence of LDS President Thomas S. Monson at a multi-faith service honoring the cathedral’s civic engagements on August 10, 2009. At the service, President Monson spoke eloquently about the enduring friendships that Catholics and Latter-day Saints have forged by serving together the needs of the poor and the most troubled of society. Through such shared dedication, he noted, we will “eliminate the weakness of one standing alone and substitute, instead, the strength of many working together.” The service was marked by the presence of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I sometimes suspect, and maybe some of you do too, that Brigham Young and the first Catholic bishop of Salt Lake City, Lawrence Scanlan, would have been rather astonished at seeing the First Presidency of the LDS and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir helping local Catholics celebrate the anniversary of their cathedral. But, good for them and good for us! I thank God for the harmony that has grown between us, and for the possibilities of deepening our friendships through common witness and dialogue.

Let me mention one personal experience that stays with me, an experience with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which I first heard when I was thirteen years old. I visited Salt Lake City then with my mother, who was a good musician and who wanted to hear that great organ and the choir. The memory of that sound has stayed with me; it was overwhelming. I had the great opportunity, through the kindness of the choir itself, to lead it once, on June 27, 2007. They were at the Ravinia Music Center in Highland Park, outside of Chicago. A few days prior to the concert I received a call from the choir’s music director, Dr. Craig Jessop, who had asked whether I would consider assuming the conductor’s podium at the end of the performance and lead the choir in an encore number. Never had I been asked to do something like that! I seized the occasion and, after a brief lesson from Craig at the dress rehearsal, I got up, and faced the assembled choir with a tremendous feeling of awe and power and great satisfaction. There was silence as this marvelous choir was looking at and waiting for me. If that doesn’t give you something of an ego trip, I don’t know what would! I paused for a moment, and then I gave the downbeat, according to Craig’s instruction. All of a sudden, that vacuum of expectant silence was filled with this magnificent, overpowering sound, all in unison, all in harmony. I thought to myself, “I’m doing better with the Mormons than I am with the Catholics!” I have a lot harder time getting them to sing together! What the choir sang was:

 

This land is your land, this land is my land
From Wrigley’s diamond, to the great Sears Tower,
From the Hancock Building, to Lake Michigan’s waters,
This land was made for you and me.

 

 

II.
What I’d like to do now, in the short time available to us, is to make three points. First of all, to share with you the Catholic understanding of religious freedom, which I think we share together: religious freedom cannot be reduced to freedom of worship or even freedom of private conscience. Religious freedom means that religious groups as well as religious individuals have a right to exercise their influence in the public square, and that any attempt to reduce that fuller sense of religious freedom, which has been part of our history in this country for more than two centuries, to a private reality of worship and individual conscience as long as you don’t make anybody else unhappy, is not in our tradition. It was the tradition of the Soviet Union, where Lenin permitted freedom of worship (it was in the constitution of the Soviet Union) but not freedom of religion. Lenin was drawing on several historical antecedents, one of whom was Napoleon Bonaparte, who made civil peace after the terror of the French Revolution by limiting the Church to the sacristy but not permitting it to have a public role. This is not the American tradition, even though it is now argued by some Americans that it should be. The second point I want to examine is the mounting threats to religious freedom in America. Thirdly and lastly, I want to show why it is that Catholics and Mormons do stand together and shall continue to do so with other defenders of conscience and the public exercise of religion.

 

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2010: Governor Romney’s Remarks to CPAC 2010

Governor Romney’s Remarks to CPAC 2010
Feb 18, 2010

Thank you to Jay and to Scott for those generous introductions. Both these men have made real contributions to our nation. It’s good to be back at CPAC. I can’t think of an audience I’d rather be addressing today.

I spent the weekend in Vancouver. As always, the Olympic Games were inspiring. But in case you didn’t hear the late-breaking news, the gold medal in the downhill was taken away from American Lindsey Vonn. It was determined that President Obama is going downhill faster than she is.

I’m not telling you something you don’t know when I say that our conservative movement took a real hit in the 2008 elections. The victors were not exactly gracious in their big win: Media legs were tingling. Time Magazine’s cover pictured the Republican elephant and declared it an endangered species. The new president himself promised change of biblical proportion. And given his filibuster-proof Senate and lopsided House, he had everything he needed to deliver it.

They won, we lost. But you know, you learn a lot about people when you see how they react to losing. We didn’t serve up excuses or blame our fellow citizens. Instead, we listened to the American people, we sharpened our thinking and our arguments, we spoke with greater persuasiveness, we took our message to more journals and airwaves, and in the American tradition, some even brought attention to our cause with rallies and Tea parties.

I know that most of you have watched intently as the conservative comeback began in Virginia and exploded onto the scene in New Jersey. But as a Massachusetts man, who, like my fellow Bay-staters, has over the years, been understandably regarded somewhat suspiciously in gatherings like this, let me take just a moment to exalt in a Scott Brown victory!

For that victory that stopped Obama–care and turned back the Reid-Pelosi liberal tide, we have something to that you’d never think you’d hear at CPAC, “Thank you Massachusetts!”

2009 was the President’s turn to suffer losses, and not just at the ballot box, but also in bill after bill in Congress, and most importantly, in his failure to reignite the economy. In how he has responded to these defeats, too, we have learned a great about him and about his team.

He began by claiming that he had not failed at all. Remember the B+ grade he gave himself for his first year? Tell that to the 4 million Americans who lost their jobs last year, and to the millions more who stopped looking. Explain that to the world’s financial markets who gaped at trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Square that with the absence of any meaningful sanctions against Iran even as it funds terror and races to become a nuclear nation. President Obama’s self-proclaimed B+ will go down in history as the biggest exaggeration since Al Gore’s invention of the internet!

Unable to convince us that his failure was a success, he turned to the second dodge of losing teams: try to pin the blame on someone else. Did you see his State of the Union address? First, he took on the one group in the room that was restrained from responding—the Supreme Court. The President found it inexplicable that the first amendment right of free speech should be guaranteed not just to labor union corporations and media corporations, but equally to all corporations, big and small. When it was all over, I think most Americans felt as I did: his noisy critique and bombast did not register as clear and convincingly as Justice Alito’s silent lips forming these words: “Not true!”

Next he blamed the Republicans in the room, condescending to lecture them on the workings of the budget process, a process many of them had in fact mastered while he was still at Harvard Law School. He blamed Republicans for the gridlock that has blocked his favorite legislation; but he knows as well as we do that he did not need one single solitary Republican vote in either house to pass his legislation. It was Democrats who blocked him, Democrats who said “no” to his liberal agenda after they had been home to their districts and heard from the American people. As Everett Dirksen used to say, “When they felt the heat, they saw the light.” God bless every American who said no!

Of course, the President accuses us of being the party of “no.” It’s as if he thinks that saying “no” is by definition a bad thing. In fact, it is right and praiseworthy to say no to bad things. It is right to say no to cap and trade, no to card check, no to government healthcare, and no to higher taxes. My party should never be a rubber stamp for rubber check spending.

But before we move away from this “no” epithet the Democrats are fond of applying to us, let’s ask the Obama folks why they say “no” –no to a balanced budget, no to reforming entitlements, no to malpractice reform, no to missile defense In Eastern Europe, no to prosecuting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal, and no to tax cuts that create new jobs. You see, we conservatives don’t have a corner on saying no; we’re just the ones who say it when that’s the right thing to do!

And that leads us to who he has most recently charged with culpability for his failures: the American people. It seems that we have failed to understand his wise plans for us. If he just slows down, he reasons, and makes a concerted effort to explain Obama-care in a way even we can understand, if we just listen better, then we will get it.

Actually, Americans have been listening quite attentively. And they have been watching. When he barred CSPAN from covering the healthcare deliberations, they saw President Obama break his promise of transparency. When the Democrat leadership was empowered to bribe Nebraska’s Senator Nelson, they saw President Obama break his promise of a new kind of politics in Washington. And when he cut a special and certainly unconstitutional healthcare deal with the unions, they saw him not just break his promise, they saw the most blatant and reprehensible manifestation of political payoff in modern memory. No, Mr. President, the American people didn’t hear and see too little, they saw too much!

Here again, with all due respect, President Obama fails to understand America. He said: “With all the lobbying and horse-trading, the process left most Americans wondering, ‘What’s in it for me?’” That’s not at all what they were asking. They were asking: “What’s in it for America?”

America will not endure government run healthcare, a new and expansive entitlement, an inexplicable and surely vanishing cut in Medicare and an even greater burden of taxes. Americans said no because Obama-care is bad care for America!

When it comes to shifting responsibility for failure, however, no one is a more frequent object of President Obama’s reproach than President Bush. It’s wearing so thin that even the late night shows make fun of it. I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly—he pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists and was not afraid to call it what it is—a war, and he kept us safe. I respect his silence even in the face of the assaults on his record that come from this administration. But at the same time, I also respect the loyalty and indefatigable defense of truth that comes from our “I don’t give a damn” Vice President Dick Cheney!

I’m afraid that after all the finger pointing is finished, it has become clear who is responsible for President Obama’s lost year, the 10% unemployment year—President Obama and his fellow Democrats. So when it comes to pinning blame, pin the tail on the donkeys.

There’s a good deal of conjecture about the cause of President Obama’s failures. As he frequently reminds us, he assumed the presidency at a difficult time. That’s the reason we argued during the campaign that these were not the times for on the job training. Had he or his advisors spent even a few years in the real economy, they would have learned that the number one cause of failure in the private sector is lack of focus, and that the first rule of turning around any troubled enterprise is focus, focus, focus. And so, when he assumed the presidency, his energy should have been focused on fixing the economy and creating jobs, and to succeeding in our fight against radical violent jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, he applied his time and political capital to his ill-conceived healthcare takeover and to building his personal popularity in foreign countries. He failed to focus, and so he failed.

But there was an even bigger problem than lack of focus. Ronald Reagan used to say this about liberals: “It’s not that they’re ignorant, it’s that what they know is wrong.” Too often, when it came to what President Obama knew, he was wrong.

He correctly acknowledged that the government doesn’t create jobs, that only the private sector can do that. He said that the government can create the conditions, the environment, which leads the private sector to add employment. But consider not what he said, but what he did last year, and ask whether it helped or hurt the environment for investment, growth, and new jobs.

Announcing 2011 tax increases for individuals and businesses and for capital gains, hurt.

Passing cap and trade, hurt.

Giving trial lawyers a free pass, hurt.

Proposing card check to eliminate secret ballots in union elections, hurt.

Holding on to GM stock and insisting on calling the shots there, hurt.

Making a grab for healthcare, almost 1/5th of our economy, hurt.

Budgeting government deficits in the trillions, hurt.

And scapegoating and demonizing businesspeople, hurt.

President Obama instituted the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we’ve seen in our lifetimes. He called his agenda ambitious. I call it reckless. He scared employers, so jobs were scarce. His nearly trillion dollar stimulus created not one net new job in the private sector, but it saved and grew jobs in the government sector– the one place we should have shed jobs. And even today, because he has been unwilling or unable to define the road ahead, uncertainty and lack of predictability permeate the private economy, and prolongs its stall. America is not better off than it was 1.8 trillion dollars ago.

Will the economy and unemployment recover? Of course. Thanks to a vibrant and innovative citizenry, they always do. But this president will not deserve the credit he will undoubtedly claim. He has prolonged the recession, expanded the pain of unemployment, and added to the burden of debt we will leave future generations. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their team have failed the American people, and that is why their majority will be out the door. Isn’t it fitting that so many of those who have contempt for the private sector will soon find themselves back in it?

The people of America are looking to conservatives for leadership, and we must not fail them.

Conservatism has had from its inception a vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda. That agenda should have three pillars: strengthen the economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen our families.

We will strengthen the economy by simplifying and lowering taxes, by replacing outmoded regulation with modern, dynamic regulation, by opening markets to American goods, by strengthening our currency and our capital markets, and by investing in research and basic science. Instead of leading the world in how much we borrow, we will make sure that we lead the world in how much we build and create and invest.

We will strengthen our security by building missile defense, restoring our military might, and standing-by and strengthening our intelligence officers. And conservatives believe in providing constitutional rights to our citizens, not to enemy combatants like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed!

On our watch, the conversation with a would-be suicide bomber will not begin with the words, “You have the right to remain silent!”

Our conservative agenda strengthens our families in part by putting our schools on track to be the best in the world. Because great schools start with great teachers, we will insist on hiring teachers from the top third of college graduates, and we will give better teachers better pay. School accountability, school choice and cyber schools will be priorities. We will put parents and teachers back in charge of education, not the fat cat CEO’s of the teachers unions!

Strong families will have excellent healthcare. Getting healthcare coverage for the uninsured should be accomplished at the state level, not a one-size-fits all Pelosi plan. The right way to rein-in healthcare cost is not by making it more like the Post Office, it’s by making it more like a consumer-driven market. The answer for healthcare is market incentives not healthcare by a Godzilla-size government bureaucracy!

When it comes to our role in the world, our conservative agenda hews to the principles that have defined our nation’s foreign policy for over six decades: we will promote and defend the American ideals of political freedom, free enterprise, and human rights. We will stand with our allies, and confront those who threaten peace and destroy liberty.

There’s much more on our positive, intellectually rigorous conservative agenda. Not all of it is popular. But the American people have shown that they are ready for truth to trump hope. The truth is that government is not the solution to all our problems.

This year, I have taken the time to write a book that tells the truth about the challenges our nation faces, and about the conservative solutions needed to overcome them. I have titled it: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. I’ve set up a booth outside so that you can buy a few hundred copies each. Well, maybe one or two.
Sometimes I wonder whether Washington’s liberal politicians understand the greatness of America. Let me explain why I say that.

At Christmas-time, I was in Wal-Mart to buy some toys for my grandkids. As I waited in the check-out line, I took a good look around the store. I thought to myself of the impact Sam Walton had on his company. Sam Walton was all about good value on everything the customer might want. And so is Wal-Mart: rock bottom prices and tens of thousands of items.

The impact that founders like Sam Walton have on their enterprises is actually quite remarkable. In many ways, Microsoft is a reflection of Bill Gates, just as Apple is of Steve Jobs. Disneyland is a permanent tribute to Walt Disney himself—imaginative and whimsical. Virgin Airlines is as irreverent and edgy as its founder. As you look around you, you see that people shape enterprises, sometimes for many years even after they are gone.

People shape businesses.

People shape countries.

America reflects the values of the people who first landed here, those who founded the nation, those who won our freedom, and those who made America the leader of the world.

America was discovered and settled by pioneers. Later, the founders launched an entirely new concept of nation, one where the people would be sovereign, not the king, not the state. And this would apply not just to government, but also to the American economy: the individual would pursue his or her happiness in freedom, independent from government dictate. Every American was free to be an inventor, an innovator, a founder. America became the land of opportunity and a nation of pioneers.

We attracted people of pioneering spirit from around the world. They came here for freedom and opportunity, knowing that the cost was incredibly high: leaving behind family and the familiar, learning a new language, often living at first in poverty, sometimes facing prejudice, working long and hard hours.

All of these pioneers built a nation of incomparable prosperity and unrivaled security.

After its founding, our national economy grew thanks to more pioneers—people like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, William Procter and Robert Wood Johnson, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard and Thomas Watson. These are names we know—but the less well known are just as vital American innovators, and they number in the millions.

That American pioneering spirit is what propelled us to master the industrial age just as today we marshal the information age.

This course for America, chosen by the founders, has been settled for over 200 years. Ours is the creed of the pioneers, the innovators, the strivers who expect no guarantee of success, but ask only to live and work in freedom. This creed is under assault in Washington today. Liberals are convinced that government knows better than the people how to run our businesses, how to choose winning technologies, how to manage healthcare, how to grow an economy, and how to order our very lives. They want to gain through government takeover what they could never achieve in the competitive economy—power and control over the people of America. If these liberal neo-monarchists succeed, they will kill the very spirit that has built the nation—the innovating, inventing, creating, independent current that runs from coast to coast.

This is the liberal agenda for government. It does not encourage pioneers, inventors and investors—it suffocates them.

In a world where others have lost their liberty by trading it away for the false promises of the state, we choose to hold to our founding principles. We will stop these power-seekers where they stand. We will keep America, America, by retaining its character as the land of opportunity. We welcome the entrepreneur, the inventor, the innovator. We will insist on greatness from every one of our citizens, and rather than apologizing for who we are or for what we have accomplished, we will celebrate our nation’s strength and goodness. American patriots have defeated tyrants, liberated the oppressed, and rescued the afflicted. America’s model of innovation, capitalism and free enterprise has lifted literally billons of the world’s people out of poverty. America has been a force for good like no other in this world, and for that we make no apology.

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2010: The Return Of Mitt Romney / Brett Joshpe, Forbes

Forbes.com

Commentary

The Return Of Mitt Romney
Brett Joshpe, 02.18.10, 4:00 PM ET

This week thousands of conservative activists, pundits and politicians are gathering in Washington, D.C., for the Conservative Political Action Conference. The big question is: Who will emerge as the Republican Party’s leader? Each year CPAC conducts a straw pool to take the so-called bases’ temperature, with Teams Romney, Palin, Huckabee and Paul attracting the most impassioned support in recent years.

For the past few Februarys CPAC has unofficially been the Mitt Romney Show. He has won the vote three consecutive years, even as he dramatically bowed out of contention for the Republican nomination two years ago to John McCain. That moment, while disappointing to his supporters, demonstrated the kind of man Romney is, as he insisted that the Party’s interests should come first.

Since then, Romney has been nothing but the good soldier. He selflessly campaigned for John McCain, raising money and often justifying a Republican approach to the economy–even after McCain passed over him and gave the vice-presidential nod to the ill-prepared Sarah Palin.

He continues to dedicate resources to the re-election campaigns of several high-profile Republicans, and he was instrumental in Scott Brown’s stunning upset victory last month for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, sharing his campaign infrastructure with Brown and helping him raise much-needed funds. When Romney addressed the CPAC crowd on Thursday, he even shared the stage briefly with Brown and repeatedly praised the newly minted junior senator. He then described Obama’s “self-proclaimed B+” grade as “one of the biggest exaggerations since Al Gore’s invention of the Internet.”

While much of Romney’s work the past year has been under the radar, and he has yet to announce any plans for 2012, he recently named high-profile political operative Matt Rhoades executive director of his Free and Strong America PAC, an indication that he is laying the groundwork for another run. He also has a book, No Apology, due out next month, which should raise his visibility as the spokesman for the GOP.

For Romney, the timing couldn’t be better. President Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to unthinkable lows given his popularity just a year ago. The same group of voters–independents–who represented the difference for Obama in 2008 have soured on him, and Romney is precisely the kind of Republican candidate, unlike a Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee, who could court those voters in significant numbers.

His track record as a private equity turnaround artist and experience as a highly competent administrator are exactly the kinds of credentials that many other Republican candidates lack, which is one of the reasons why more highly educated voters have felt increasingly alienated from the Party in recent years. It’s why even Wall Street, a traditional Republican stronghold, leaned Blue in the last election.

Romney could rectify that. He is the most qualified of all the major contenders, possessing an understanding of finance and the economy that no other Republican frontrunner can claim. His private sector experience demonstrates, at a time when nothing is less popular, that he isn’t a career politician.

Some conservatives still may not trust him because they don’t regard him as an ideological puritan, like, say, Sarah Palin, but that is precisely why Romney is a strong national candidate. He is conservative but also pragmatic, a quality that the conservative standard bearer, Ronald Reagan, possessed, and a characteristic that still defines the American polity. Romney may also need to develop a more coherent justification for signing health care reform in Massachusetts that was strikingly similar to Obama’s plan–which Romney opposed–but he is at least capable of debating the issue at the finer levels, rather than speaking in broad talking points.


Had the economic disaster in 2008 struck months earlier than it did, Romney very likely would have been the Republican nominee, and might even be the President today. While the timing did not work in his favor then, it could in 2012, as the economy is still likely to be the biggest issue. Romney is best positioned to capitalize on that.

Chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, who introduced Romney to the CPAC crowd, said that the country “needs a leader with a proven record who understands the economy and the global challenges America faces.”

Romney is also capable of raising the kind of money and creating the type of political machine needed to seriously challenge Obama, who, no matter what the poll numbers say, will be a formidable candidate for his fundraising and organizational skills alone.

Much can still happen before the next presidential election, but Gov. Romney is clearly the most serious Republican candidate and their best chance of making Obama a one-term President. With any luck, conservatives will prove once again this week that they already appreciate that and have learned from their mistakes of 2008.

Brett Joshpe is an attorney, author and entrepreneur in New York City.

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2010: RELEASE Mitt Romney Announces Book Tour Schedule / Mitt Romney


RELEASE Mitt Romney Announces Book Tour Schedule

BOSTON, MA – Mitt Romney’s nationwide tour in support of “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness” will take him to 19 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

Publicity for the book begins March 2 in New York City, where Governor Romney will appear on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s The View, FOX’s Sean Hannity and the David Letterman Show on CBS.

Romney’s “No Apology” is his blueprint for maintaining America’s global leadership. He argues that a strong America is essential not only for our own prosperity and security, but also for the prospects of peace and freedom throughout the world. Romney asserts that Washington politicians have put the country on the road to decline and weakness – unless a new course is taken, America will be passed by others. Romney identifies the looming challenges that face the nation, and proposes the specific actions which he believes are necessary to overcome them.

Date

State / Location

Event/ Time

Wednesday, March 3rd

Huntington, NY

Book Revue

313 New York Avenue

Book signing – 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 4th

Framingham, MA

BJ’s Wholesale Club

26 Whittier Street

Book signing – 11:00 AM

Friday, March 5th

Washington, D.C.

National Press Club

529 14th St. NW

Speech – 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 6th

Sea Island, GA

AEI World Conference

100 1st Street South

Speech – Time TBD

Sunday, March 7th

West Palm Beach, FL

Palm Beach Republican Club

Marriott West Palm Beach

Speech – 5:00 PM

Sunday, March 8th

West Palm Beach, FL

The Forum Club

Kravis Center

701 Okeechobee Blvd.

Speech—12:30 PM

Tuesday, March 9th

Naples, FL

Barnes & Noble

5377 Tamiami Trail

Book signing – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, March 10th

Birmingham, MI

Borders

34300 Woodward

Book signing – 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 11th

Grand Rapids, MI

Barnes & Noble

3195 28th St SE

Book signing – 12:00 Noon

Friday, March 12th

Sacramento, CA

Borders

2339 Fair Oaks Blvd

Book signing – 12:00 Noon

Saturday, March 13th

Salt Lake City, UT

Hinckley Institute of Politics

Salt Palace Convention Center

100 S. West Temple

Speech – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, March 16th

Phoenix, AZ

Borders
2402 E Camelback Road

Book signing – 7:00 PM

Wednesday, March 17th

Houston, TX

World Affairs Council

Westin Galleria
5060 West Alabama

Speech – 6:00 PM

Thursday, March 18th

Dallas, TX

National Center for Policy Analysis

Hilton Anatole
2201 Stemmons Freeway

Speech – 12:30 PM

Thursday, March 18th

Plano, TX

St. Andrew United Methodist Church

5801 W. Plano Parkway

Speech – 7:00 PM

Friday, March 19th

Costa Mesa, CA

Barnes & Noble

901 B South Coast Dr

Book signing – 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 20th

Camp Miramar, CA

Book signing – Time TBD

Monday, March 22nd

La Jolla, CA

Deseret Books

8657 Villa La Jolla Dr.

Book signing – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, March 24th

Chicago, IL

McCormack Freedom Project

Chase Auditorium

10 South Dearborn

Speech – 6:00 PM

Thursday, March 25th

Toronto, CANADA

Event in formation

Time TBD

Friday, March 26th

Orlando, FL

The Villages

Lake Minoa Recreation Center

1526 Buena Vista Blvd

Speech & Book signing –

7:00 PM

Monday, March 29th

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines Public Library

1000 Grand Ave.

Speech & Book Signing –

12:00 Noon

Monday, March 29th

Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University

200 Lynn Ave

Speech – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, March 30th

Atlanta, GA

Emory University

Speech – 7:00 PM

Wednesday, March 31st

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University

Speech – 7:00 PM

Thursday, April 1st

South Carolina

South Carolina Federation of Republican Women

Location/Time TBD

Monday, April 5th

Vero Beach, FL

Distinguished Lecture Series

Riverside Theater

3250 Riverside Park Dr

Speeches – 4:00 PM & 6:00 PM

Wednesday, April 6th

Philadelphia, PA

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

Lowes Hotel

1200 Market Street

Speech – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, April 7th

Manchester, NH

Barnes & Noble
1741 South Willow Street

Book signing – 2:00 PM

Thursday, April 8th

Boston, MA

Ford Hall Forum

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St.

Book signing – 6:30 PM

Friday, April 9th

Minneapolis, MN

Freedom Foundation

Location/Time TBD

Wednesday, April 14th

Los Angeles, CA

Jewish Federation of Los Angeles

Hillcrest Country Club

10000 West Pico Blvd.

Speech – 6:00 PM

Thursday, April 15th

Los Angeles, CA

Claremont McKenna College

385 E. 8th St.

Speech – 6:45 PM

Thursday, April 20th

Scottsdale, AZ

Restaurant Leadership Conference

Westin Kierland

15620 North Clubgate Dr.

Speech – 7:30 AM

Monday, April 26th

Las Vegas, NV

Financial Executives International Conference

Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino

3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Speech – 9:30 AM

Monday, April 26th

Las Vegas, NV

Nellis Air Force Base

Signing – 4:00 PM

Friday April, 30th

Ashland, OH

Ashland University

401 College Ave.

Speech – 7:00 PM

Monday, May 3rd

Champions Gate, FL

National Ski Areas Association

Omni Resort

1500 Masters Blvd.

Speech – 8:00 AM

Tuesday May 4th

Henderson, NV

Deseret Books

2651 Paseo Verde Pkwy.

Signing – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, May 5th

Las Vegas, NV

Armada Healthcare Event

3131 Las Vegas Blvd.

Signing – 10:00 AM

May 20th

Las VegaThursday s, NV

Skybridge SALT Conference

Speech – 5:00 PM

Thursday May 27th

Denver, CO

Alliance for Choice in Education

Marriott City Center

1701 California Street

Speech – 12:00 PM

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2010: Message for Lent 2010: Love the greatest justice / Pope Benedict XVI

Message for Lent 2010
Pope Benedict XVI
Love the greatest justice

In preparation for the upcoming Liturgical Season of Lent, which will begin on Ash Wednesday, 17 February, we publish Benedict XVI’s Lenten Message.

The theme of this year’s Message is “The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ” (cf. Rm 3:21-22).

Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Each year, on the occasion of Lent, the Church invites us to a sincere review of our life in light of the teachings of the Gospel. This year, I would like to offer you some reflections on the great theme of justice, beginning from the Pauline affirmation: “The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ” (cf. Rm 3, 21-22).

Justice: “dare cuique suum”
First of all, I want to consider the meaning of the term “justice,” which in common usage implies “to render to every man his due,” according to the famous expression of Ulpian, a Roman jurist of the third century. In reality, however, this classical definition does not specify what “due” is to be rendered to each person. What man needs most cannot be guaranteed to him by law. In order to live life to the full, something more intimate is necessary that can be granted only as a gift: we could say that man lives by that love which only God can communicate since He created the human person in His image and likeness. Material goods are certainly useful and required — indeed Jesus Himself was concerned to heal the sick, feed the crowds that followed Him and surely condemns the indifference that even today forces hundreds of millions into death through lack of food, water and medicine — yet “distributive” justice does not render to the human being the totality of his “due.” Just as man needs bread, so does man have even more need of God. Saint Augustine notes: if “justice is that virtue which gives every one his due … where, then, is the justice of man, when he deserts the true God?” (De civitate Dei, XIX, 21).

What is the Cause of Injustice?
The Evangelist Mark reports the following words of Jesus, which are inserted within the debate at that time regarding what is pure and impure: “There is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him … What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts” (Mk 7, 14-15, 20-21). Beyond the immediate question concerning food, we can detect in the reaction of the Pharisees a permanent temptation within man: to situate the origin of evil in an exterior cause. Many modern ideologies deep down have this presupposition: since injustice comes “from outside,” in order for justice to reign, it is sufficient to remove the exterior causes that prevent it being achieved. This way of thinking — Jesus warns — is ingenuous and shortsighted. Injustice, the fruit of evil, does not have exclusively external roots; its origin lies in the human heart, where the seeds are found of a mysterious cooperation with evil. With bitterness the Psalmist recognises this: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps 51,7). Indeed, man is weakened by an intense influence, which wounds his capacity to enter into communion with the other. By nature, he is open to sharing freely, but he finds in his being a strange force of gravity that makes him turn in and affirm himself above and against others: this is egoism, the result of original sin. Adam and Eve, seduced by Satan’s lie, snatching the mysterious fruit against the divine command, replaced the logic of trusting in Love with that of suspicion and competition; the logic of receiving and trustfully expecting from the Other with anxiously seizing and doing on one’s own (cf. Gn 3, 1-6), experiencing, as a consequence, a sense of disquiet and uncertainty. How can man free himself from this selfish influence and open himself to love?

Justice and Sedaqah
At the heart of the wisdom of Israel, we find a profound link between faith in God who “lifts the needy from the ash heap” (Ps 113,7) and justice towards one’s neighbor. The Hebrew word itself that indicates the virtue of justice, sedaqah, expresses this well. Sedaqah, in fact, signifies on the one hand full acceptance of the will of the God of Israel; on the other hand, equity in relation to one’s neighbour (cf. Ex 20, 12-17), especially the poor, the stranger, the orphan and the widow (cf. Dt 10, 18-19). But the two meanings are linked because giving to the poor for the Israelite is none other than restoring what is owed to God, who had pity on the misery of His people. It was not by chance that the gift to Moses of the tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai took place after the crossing of the Red Sea. Listening to the Law presupposes faith in God who first “heard the cry” of His people and “came down to deliver them out of hand of the Egyptians” (cf. Ex 3,8). God is attentive to the cry of the poor and in return asks to be listened to: He asks for justice towards the poor (cf. Sir 4,4-5, 8-9), the stranger (cf. Ex 22,20), the slave (cf. Dt 15, 12-18). In order to enter into justice, it is thus necessary to leave that illusion of self-sufficiency, the profound state of closure, which is the very origin of injustice. In other words, what is needed is an even deeper “exodus” than that accomplished by God with Moses, a liberation of the heart, which the Law on its own is powerless to realize. Does man have any hope of justice then?

Christ, the Justice of God
The Christian Good News responds positively to man’s thirst for justice, as Saint Paul affirms in the Letter to the Romans: “But now the justice of God has been manifested apart from law … the justice of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (3, 21-25). What then is the justice of Christ? Above all, it is the justice that comes from grace, where it is not man who makes amends, heals himself and others. The fact that “expiation” flows from the “blood” of Christ signifies that it is not man’s sacrifices that free him from the weight of his faults, but the loving act of God who opens Himself in the extreme, even to the point of bearing in Himself the “curse” due to man so as to give in return the “blessing” due to God (cf. Gal 3, 13-14). But this raises an immediate objection: what kind of justice is this where the just man dies for the guilty and the guilty receives in return the blessing due to the just one? Would this not mean that each one receives the contrary of his “due”? In reality, here we discover divine justice, which is so profoundly different from its human counterpart. God has paid for us the price of the exchange in His Son, a price that is truly exorbitant. Before the justice of the Cross, man may rebel for this reveals how man is not a self-sufficient being, but in need of Another in order to realize himself fully. Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need — the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship. So we understand how faith is altogether different from a natural, good-feeling, obvious fact: humility is required to accept that I need Another to free me from “what is mine,” to give me gratuitously “what is His.” This happens especially in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Thanks to Christ’s action, we may enter into the “greatest” justice, which is that of love (cf. Rm 13, 8-10), the justice that recognises itself in every case more a debtor than a creditor, because it has received more than could ever have been expected. Strengthened by this very experience, the Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies, where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love.

Dear brothers and sisters, Lent culminates in the Paschal Triduum, in which this year, too, we shall celebrate divine justice — the fullness of charity, gift, salvation. May this penitential season be for every Christian a time of authentic conversion and intense knowledge of the mystery of Christ, who came to fulfill every justice. With these sentiments, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican
Taken from:

L’Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
10 February 2010, page 3

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