Stories by Nicole Glass

GOP Goes Green for Huntsman

July 29th, 2011 at 8:14 am 7 Comments

FrumForum attended the Republicans for Environmental Protection’s Theodore Roosevelt Banquet on July 28, featuring a keynote address by presidential candidate, The Honorable Jon Huntsman, Jr., and a speech by Congressman Dave Reichert – who left the event early to join Congress in attempting to work out a debt ceiling solution. Some of the other organizations in attendance were the Exelon Corporation, the College Republicans National Committee, the American Action Forum, the Heartland Institute, and the Wilderness Society.

States Will Be Slammed by Default

July 27th, 2011 at 4:22 pm 40 Comments

A federal default could cascade through state governments, cialis sale forcing tax increases and budget cuts on local taxpayers. Medicaid budgets could be slashed. Federal money for unemployment benefits could halt. State colleges could lose federal grants.

The Pew Center on the States reports that the municipal market would get swept along in the wreckage, severely constricting state budgets.

Different states would experience different kinds of shock.

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Norwegian Bomber Strived to be a White Supremacist Martyr

July 25th, 2011 at 2:28 pm 7 Comments

In the National Post, Jon Kay claims that Anders Behring Breivick, the 32-year-old Norwegian bomber, copied much of his manifesto from the provocative 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries, which was written by a white supremacist promoting the extermination of Jews and non-whites. Breivik’s approach is also described as resembling that of Islamic terrorists:

“To read The Turner Diaries is to understand that the worldly beliefs of right-wing terrorists such as Breivick are not nearly so different from Islamic terrorists as some might believe. Members of both groups imagine themselves to be “martyrs” fulfilling some ordained and holy purpose, for which civilization will one day thank them. (In his manifesto, Breivick repeatedly references his upcoming “martyrdom.”)

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Hoover Event Draws Crowd Amid Debt Crisis

July 23rd, 2011 at 12:24 pm 14 Comments

Despite the  apocalyptic debt crisis, Friday’s launch of Margaret Hoover’s book American Individualism drew a large crowd from the D.C. political scene. The event, held at the Hotel Monaco, was co-sponsored by GOProud.

What Scott D’Amboise Told FrumForum

July 20th, 2011 at 4:01 pm 34 Comments

A number of people have requested to know the context of the quotes from Scott D’Amboise. Originally, physician we were asking him about some endorsements he received – but he said something interesting about Obama’s religion, physician so we conducted a follow-up interview to focus on that comment.

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Snowe’s Challenger: Obama is Not a Christian

July 19th, 2011 at 12:30 pm 78 Comments

The most prominent Republican challenging Olympia Snowe in the Senate GOP primary in Maine says President Obama is “exercising a lot of Muslim faith” and doesn’t believe he is a Christian.

Scott D’Amboise, one of two Republicans challenging Snowe, has been endorsed by several organizations whose Tea-Party-supported stances have been subjects of controversy, including one that still suggests that Obama’s birth certificate is fake and another which has accused Obama of making peace with terrorists and of “returning to his Muslim roots.”

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Meet the Man Looking for bin Laden’s Body

July 16th, 2011 at 12:00 am 20 Comments

Treasure hunter Bill Warren wants to launch an expedition at sea to find Osama bin Laden’s body.

“Yeah, he was a bad man, but I have a compassionate heart,” says the author of Shipwrecks and Discoveries. “It might have been better if we had cremated him and given the ashes to the Arabs.

However, in Islam it is “haram” – meaning, forbidden by religious law, to burn anything endowed with a “soul” – so doing so may have unnecessarily enraged practicing Muslims.

Warren said he has received an e-mail from the bin Laden family wishing him luck on the trip and that they are interested in giving the body a proper ground burial if he retrieves it.

Warren’s compassion for the terrorist leader’s family may also be fueled by hopes for a profitable documentary based on his search. And if you want to join the search as a tourist, you can – for $5,000 per person, meals included. Yet even beyond the documentary and the tour business, Warren has an even larger ambition expedition, one  many might consider explosive: Warren expresses some doubt that it truly was Osama bin Laden who was killed on April 29 by U.S. Navy Seals. If Warren, a Christian conservative, discovers that bin Laden’s was not the body that was thrown into the sea, he hopes that Obama would be removed from office immediately.

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Romney Goes for Expatriate Gold

July 6th, 2011 at 4:13 pm 3 Comments

Mitt Romney is following in the footsteps of previous GOP presidential candidates, cialis sale holding a $2, diagnosis 500-per plate fundraising dinner tonight in London. The event is expected to bring in more cash than similar UK fundraisers by Giuliani, tadalafil McCain and Obama.

During the last presidential election, about 40 percent of campaign funds raised abroad came from the United Kingdom. London was first proven a successful town for acquiring campaign funds when Rudy Giuliani starting the fundraising trend in 2007 – charging between $1,000 and $10,000 per person for attending a luncheon  – with a photo opportunity raising the minimum price by $1,300.

In 2008, both McCain and Obama held similar fundraisers in London, charging the same price for a spot at their luncheons.

Now Romney is hosting a dinner for American expatriates in the UK – suggesting a contribution of $2,500 per person. If the Dartmouth House – the event’s venue – is filled to capacity, Romney is expected to raise $875,000.

To compare: In 2007, Giuliani raised around $30,000 from his UK luncheon and Obama raised double that amount. Romney’s event, if all 350 seats are filled, will raise much more.

Besides fundraising for his campaign, Stacy Hilliard, Vice Chair of Republicans Abroad UK, said Romney is also trying to appeal to the 250,000 Americans living in the United Kingdom.

“Right now it’s talking and reaching out to the American community,” she told FrumForum. “People find him to be an interesting candidate, especially since he ran last time and didn’t get the nomination. They see him as being a very polished candidate.”

Hilliard suspects that other GOP contenders will soon follow Romney’s fundraising path, holding their own luncheons and dinners in the British city – where many wealthy American bankers have made their homes.

It is also a trend to meet with British political figures – like the prime minister, or in Romney’s case, National Security Advisor Peter Ricketts – during this type of campaign fundraiser, said Hilliard.

However, only American citizens and green card holders are legally able to contribute to U.S. presidential campaigns. Since it is still early in Romney’s campaign, his focus is on potential GOP voters and contributors – not foreign leaders.

But in 2008, McCain was under investigation by Judicial Watch after being accused of accepting monetary contributions from Lord Rothschild and Nathanial Rothschield. The group’s suspicions were never proven.

Lynn Forester de Rothschild has offered her estate to Romney for his fundraising event – but it appears unlikely that she would even attempt to offer him any financial contribution.

“I feel sorry for Mitt Romney,” she told the Boston Globe. “I think Mitt Romney has the Al Gore problem, which is that he’s perfect on paper but he does not connect with people and I don’t think there’s anything he can do.”

“And I think his flip-flopping is not a good thing,” she said. “He’s made too many Faustian bargains and we need somebody who stands up for what they believe. I think Obama would roll him…I don’t think he can beat Obama.”

Pawlenty Can’t Afford His Foreign Policy

July 2nd, 2011 at 12:39 am 26 Comments

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty recently called for $2 trillion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses in the next decade, view as well as two to three times less federal spending – cutting a total of $8 trillion.

But on Tuesday, illness Pawlenty expressed his foreign policy plans to remain involved in the Middle East – to “seize” the opportunity “amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring” and to “help promote freedom and democracy.”

The GOP candidate said America should stop “leading from behind” and be more active in regions like Libya, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia.

However, the cost of the U.S. campaign in Libya is expected to exceed the $750 million Pentagon estimate set out in March. Taxpayers are spending $2 million a day to support the African nation – and all this while “leading from behind.” At the current expenditure, the U.S. will spend almost $1 billion on its Libya mission.

Pawlenty’s campaign spokesperson refused to comment on how the candidate plans to fund even more overseas missions while also cutting government spending.

Economics columnist Bruce Bartlett said his foreign policy corresponding to his economic policy is “possible – but it’s also possible that pigs will grow wings.”

A president has limited power in controlling the budget. Pawlenty would require Congressional approval to make such drastic cuts in both taxation and spending, which Bartlett said is “absurdly unrealistic.”

Taking stands that separate him from other candidates may appeal to some portion of the Republican electorate, which could give him the much-needed popularity he is lacking – even if it’s from Tea Partiers, Bartlett said.

However, Peter Feaver, a former National Security Council advisor to Clinton and Bush, said that ignoring problems abroad will just bring them home, so Pawlenty has the right idea by addressing the importance of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

“I wouldn’t say that he is focusing so much on the Middle East as the Middle East is focusing on us,” said Feaver, who is now a professor at Duke University. “I would say in the long run the Republicans are not going to win in the general election by running on the left of Obama on foreign policy.”

Feaver said he did not know enough about economics to analyze if Pawlenty’s plan is feasible, but he did say “a crucial part ofPawlenty’s stance is that you have to rebuild the economy and get it growing again and his plans and ambition on the foreign policy side is predicated on [that].”

Feaver said the perceived mood of the Republican party is war-weariness and a desire to retreat from the Middle East, but even though “being strong on national security doesn’t capture the way the mood seems to be recorded,” the last century of history shows that few international problems have been solved without help from the United States.

“The lesson since World War II is that American leadership is important,” he told FrumForum, “There are few problems that got better with America ignoring them, and few that got solved by others stepping up and letting America ‘lead from behind.’”

But looking at the numbers, Pawlenty’s foreign and economic policies do not seem compatible.

Federal Budget Analyst Andrew Fieldhouse said that Pawlenty’s tax plan does not compute with his spending plan because the GOP candidate has endorsed a federal balance budget amendment towards capital expenditures of 18 percent GDP. Currently, federal spending is close to 24 percent. His revenue plan would lose 7.6 trillion dollars of revenue. According to his plan, revenue would only be 14 percent of GDP, and after subtracting the three percent interest rate, there would only be 11 percent of GDP for actual government spending.

“At that point you could theoretically continue large military presence overseas and his extensive foreign policy, but it would crowd out huge areas of the federal budget,” said Fieldhouse.

The government would have to reduce the Congressional budget, eliminate Social Security, federal retirement, foreign subsidies, federal health expenditure, non-interest government spending and 10 percent of the economy over the next decade.

“It doesn’t seem feasible to me,” he told FrumForum. “He has a delusional approach to budgeting. I don’t think he’s thought any of this through.”

Budgeting 18 percent of the economy (which the Ryan plan proposes) is always difficult, but possible. However, budgeting 11 percent of the economy for federal spending, while having a large military presence overseas – is near impossible, said Fieldhouse.

A recent Gallup poll shows that Pawlenty’s name recognition among Republicans has risen to 57 percent, but his Positive Intensity Score is 8 – his lowest to date. To prevent his popularity from decreasing, he needs to increase his appeal to voters.

When asked if he thinks Pawlenty is using his foreign policy stance to stand out from other candidates, Feaver said that Tuesday’s speech truly reflects his views.

“I think this doesn’t reflect a tactical positioning of himself to appeal to the primary voters so much as this is what he actually believes is good for American national interests,” he said. “And that’s an important distinction – some candidates will take a stand because they’re trying to triangulate some primary voting blocker.”

“Since the [Tea Partiers] make no demands on their ideological leaders to be logically consistent or have numbers that add up, he doesn’t feel like he has to conform to that requirement either – so he just says whatever he thinks will be popular,” said Bartlett.

Can Students Focus on Self-Development?

July 1st, 2011 at 3:52 pm 2 Comments

This is the third part in a FrumForum series on the value of college written by FrumForum’s summer interns.

I spent my first year of college with no unique desires to learn – but simply with the goal of getting a degree and eventually a job. I was a part of the many who flock to college and routinely proceed through the requirements because it is expected – and because a degree was thought to be a first-class ticket in the “real world”. But as I approach my senior year, I’ve come to realize how little a degree will do for me.

This formerly golden document has decreased in value as it became more common. A bachelor’s degree seems to have the same value that a high school degree had 100 years ago – but it costs $200,000 more.

The past few years led me to a realization: college is not about grades or degrees – it’s about self-development. Unfortunately, few people strive towards that anymore.

Those with a will and passion to embrace their textbooks and study what they are given will receive a meaningful degree, while those who spend their undergraduate years at frat parties will leave four years later with empty pockets and a mountain of debt.

My philosophy professor advised his students to use college as a rare opportunity to “think about the great questions of life” – using resources that will only be available during that short four-year period.

I eventually acquired the desire to learn as much as possible – and actually enjoy soaking up every bit of information that comes my way. At first, I thought it would increase my value after graduation – but now, I’ve come to enjoy it, and would often much rather spend my time reading an interesting book than mindlessly attending a social event. Perhaps my degree will hold more weight when I walk off that stage next May.

College rankings don’t matter. People are given information, and whether they choose to receive it is a choice defined by character. It’s ones character that will pave the path of the future – not one’s degree.

What a degree will do is open doors to opportunities – which someone who wasted their four years will not be able to step through.

An Ivy League school may brand students with a name that will give them more chances – but it won’t make its students any more skilled.

So is college worth spending $200,000 on? Yes – but only for those who embrace the tools they are given. It can be an investment – but only for those who know how to invest.