A beautiful Christmas message from Ronald Reagan Reply

By Tom Quiner

Let’s turn the clock back thirty years to hear the beautiful Christmas address of a president who loved Christ.

Ronald Reagan wasn’t afraid to call Jesus the Christ. He called a Christmas tree a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree. He gave no quarter to the politically correct Thought Police who want to expunge Christianity.

Mr. Reagan’s words grow in their impact with each passing year. It is refreshing to hear a president celebrate the single, most important event in history when God became Man.

Merry Christmas.

Gingrich vs. Obama: who is more trustworthy? 4

By Tom Quiner

This is part two of a discussion of Barack Obama’s trustworthiness compared to Newt Gingrich’s.

To my many liberal friends reading this, I’d like to explain my rationale for writing this post. As you know, I am a fan of Newt Gingrich. I think he would make a great president, and I plan to caucus for him on January 3rd.

I know you gently demur.

Newt Gingrich has been hammered in the press by liberals and conservatives alike this past month for his “baggage.” Fair enough. Goes with the territory when you run for president. But when one of my liberal friends said he couldn’t trust Newt Gingrich because he had been twice-divorced, I was prompted to post a blog earlier this week: “Do you really trust President Obama more than Newt Gingrich?”

I methodically revealed one broken promise after another from Mr. Obama. Unfortunately, that post was far from exhaustive. Since Mr. Obama did not receive the same scrutiny in the press as a Newt Gingrich or a Mitt Romney, I am compelled to build on the president’s lack of integrity on a number of additional issues.

One of candidate Obama’s broken promises was his adamant support of public financing of presidential campaigns:

“I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D- WI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r- AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

When it came time to honor this campaign promise, Mr. Obama reneged, even as the McCain campaign honored their commitment to stick with public financing. The McCain campaign also denied that the Obama camp tried to discuss or even negotiate on this issue.

This is but one of countless pledges on which he brazenly reneged, and as always, with little outrage from the Mainstream Media.

Once president, Americans became alarmed at the shocking expansion of government spending and national debt implemented by the president and his party. President Obama spoke soothingly of his budget …

“What my budget does is…that by the middle of this decade our annual spending will match our annual revenues. We will not be adding more to the national debt.”

And yet, despite Mr. Obama’s point-blank denial that his budget was adding to the national debt, the budget released by the White House totally contradicted him with these projected deficits over the next decade:

  • 2010: $1.293 trillion
  • 2011: $1.645 trillion
  • 2012: $1.101 trillion
  • 2013: $768 billion
  • 2014: $645 billion
  • 2015: $607 billion
  • 2016: $649 billion
  • 2017: $627 billion
  • 2018: $619 billion
  • 2019: $681 billion
  • 2020: $735 billion
When we look at the nation’s accumulated debt burden on Mr. Obama’s watch, the shocking numbers explain why the Tea Party was born:
  • 2010: $9.019 trillion
  • 2011: $10.856 trillion
  • 2012: $11.881 trillion
  • 2013: $12.784 trillion
  • 2014: $13.562 trillion
  • 2015: $14.301 trillion
  • 2016: $15.064 trillion
  • 2017: $15.795 trillion
  • 2018: $16.513 trillion
  • 2019: $17.284 trillion
  • 2020: $18.103 trillion

To recap this and my previous post, Barack Obama promised to:

1. Provide healthcare for all.  He didn’t.  22 million will remain uninsured under his watch.

2. Close Guantanamo. He didn’t. It’s still open. He stuck with the Bush approach.

3. End military tribunals. He didn’t. He stuck with the Bush approach.

4. Revise the Patriot Act. He didn’t. He stuck with the Bush approach.

5. End the Bush-era tax cuts for “the rich.” He didn’t. He stuck with the Bush approach.

6. Never sign a new piece of legislation, known as his “sunlight before signing” vow, until 5 days had passed. He’s broken this promise repeatedly, especially on mammoth pieces of legislation like Obamacare that required lots of sunlight time to be properly scrutinized.

7. Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses. He didn’t.

8. Never hire lobbyists in his administration. He broke the vow and hired lobbyists.

9. To stick with public campaign funding for his presidential bid in 2008. He didn’t honor his pledge. But John McCain did.

10. Not add to the national debt. He has, with a mind-boggling expansion of federal spending.

In fairness, not all campaign promises can be kept. Intentions are good, but politics get in the way. But most of the promises on which he reneged above were Mr. Obama’s choice.
It is these brazen betrayals that breed such cynicism amongst voters.
In light of Mr. Obama’s choice to consistently dishonor the moral underpinnings of his campaign, I respectfully suggest that Mr. Gingrich’s two divorces should be a minor consideration to independent voters.

December 23rd, 1981 Reply

By Tom Quiner

Today, international drama rages in the Mideast. During the Reagan years, it raged in Eastern Europe.

A dozen days before Christmas in 1981, the communist government in Poland declared marshal law on their citizens. Poles were devastated.

President Reagan sprung into action. He called Pope John Paul II and offered support. Two days before Christmas, he met with the Polish ambassador and his wife in the White House. He walked the distraught Poles to their car in the freezing rain. Then he addressed the American people, as you can watch above.

The details of this encounter are worth reliving, as written by Dr. Paul Kengor.


Christmas 1981 – A Flame for Freedom in Poland

By Dr. Paul Kengor

December 2011 might not be an anniversary on the minds of American Catholics, but it is close and near and dear to the hearts of Polish Catholics. As American Catholics, we ought to pause here, today, to consider why. The reasons are historically and even spiritually inspiring.

It was 30 years ago, December 13, 1981, that martial law was imposed upon Poland by the communist government. Poles were aghast, horrified, frightened. And so was the man in Rome, a Polish native named John Paul II, and so was another man thousands of miles away in Washington, DC, President Ronald Reagan.

When word of the communists’ actions reached the White House, President Reagan was furious. He wanted to help the people of Poland in any way he could. At that very moment, Reagan committed to save and sustain the Polish Solidarity movement as the wedge that could splinter the entire Soviet bloc, as the first crack in the Iron Curtain.

One of Reagan’s first responses was to call someone he deeply respected: John Paul II. On December 14, he told the Holy Father: “Our country was inspired when you visited Poland, and to see their commitment to religion and belief in God. It was an inspiration…. All of us were very thrilled.”

At that point, Reagan had not yet met John Paul II in person. Reagan had been president only for 11 months. Both he and John Paul II had been shot earlier in the year. Reagan told the Pope that he looked forward to a time when the two men could meet in person. The imposition of martial law added a special urgency. Reagan wanted to meet with the Pope to plan ways to cooperate.

Reagan followed up with two letters to John Paul II, dated December 17 and 29, 1981, neither of which was declassified until July 2000. In the December 17 letter, he asked the Pope to urge Poland’s General Jaruzelski to hold a meeting with Lech Walesa and the Poland’s Archbishop Glemp. In the second letter, Reagan explained the counter-measures his administration was taking against the USSR; he also asked the Pope to use his influence with the Polish Church to lift martial law, to gain the release of detainees, and to resume a dialogue with Solidarity; and he requested that John Paul II press other Western countries to join the United States. “If we are to keep alive the hope for freedom in Poland,” said Reagan, “it lies in this direction.”

There is much more I could say about all of this, having written books on the subject, but one item that happened precisely 30 years ago, right now, on December 23, 1981, is especially moving and notable:

On that date, Reagan held a private meeting in the White House with the Polish ambassador, Romuald Spasowski, and his wife, both of whom had just defected to the United States. Michael Deaver, a close Reagan aide, witnessed the meeting. Deaver later recorded:

The ambassador and his wife were ushered into the Oval Office, and the two men sat next to one another in plush-leather wingback chairs. Vice President Bush, and the ambassador’s wife, sat facing them on a couch. 

The ambassador had in his hand a pocket-sized note pad with wire rings and lined paper, and he was obviously referring to notes he wanted to give to the president of the United States. Meanwhile, his wife, a tiny, delicate-looking woman, kept her head in her hands the entire time, while George Bush put an arm around her shoulders to comfort her. 

The ambassador said, “It is unbelievable to me that I am sitting in the office of the president of the United States. I wish it were under better circumstances.” 

He begged the president never to discontinue Radio Free Europe. “You have no idea,” he said, “what it meant to us to hear the chimes of Big Ben during World War Two. Please, sir, do not ever underestimate how many millions of people still listen to that channel behind the Iron Curtain.” 

Then, almost sheepishly, he said, “May I ask you a favor, Mr. President? Would you light a candle and put in the window tonight for the people of Poland?” 

And right then, Ronald Reagan got up and went to the second floor, lighted a candle, and put it in the window of the dining room. 

President Reagan escorts the Polish ambassador and his wife to their car.

Later, in what I still recall as the most human picture of the Reagan presidency, he escorted his guests through the walkway and out to the circular drive on the South Lawn of the White House. In a persistent rain, he escorted them to their car, past the C-9 Secret Service post, holding an umbrella over the head of the wife of the Polish ambassador, as she wept on his shoulder.
That candle might have brought to mind those lit after Mass by a young Karol Wojtyla. Then and now, they burned bright for Russia’s conversion.

But Reagan did more than that. That evening, with Christmas only two days away, the president gave a nationally televised speech watched by tens of millions of Americans. He connected the spirit of the Christmas season with events in Poland: “For a thousand years,” he told his fellow Americans, “Christmas has been celebrated in Poland, a land of deep religious faith, but this Christmas brings little joy to the courageous Polish people. They have been betrayed by their own government.” He made an extraordinary gesture: The president asked Americans that Christmas season to light a candle in support of freedom in Poland.

This was a remarkable display, one that placed all Americans on the side of freedom for Poland—and against the communists.

I’m sure it was appreciated, too, by a Polish Catholic named Karol Wojtyla.

Thirty years ago, December 1981, the communists tried to turn out the lights in Poland. But like a candle in the White House window, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II and the people of Poland kept a flicker of hope alive.

It may seem like a long time ago, distant to the interests of Americans today. In truth, this was a crucial turning point for the world, for freedom, and for faith. It is a history lesson worth taking to heart, especially this Christmas.

Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press), God and Ronald Reagan, and The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism.

Do you know anyone Polish? Forward this post, e-mail it, send them the link, and post it on your Facebook page.

Do you really trust President Obama more than Newt Gingrich? 6

By Tom Quiner

Barack Obama

Newt Gingrich

I had lunch yesterday with my favorite liberal friend.

He voted for Barack Obama for President. He will most likely vote for him again.

I asked him about Newt Gingrich. He said he could never vote for Mr. Gingrich because he broke his marriage vows.

Quiner’s Diner has suggested in a previous post that there is no correlation between divorce and a person’s ability to lead the nation (Analyzing Gingrich’s Baggage).

However, there is a link if the candidate, in this case, Barack Obama, has lied to you, the voter.

Now I don’t like to use the word lie, because politicians oftentimes say things with good intentions but just can’t get something done because of a weakness in their ability to lead.

Take President Obama, he vowed to provide healthcare for all. Ain’t gonna happen.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 22 million Americans will lack access to basic health services after the full implementation of Obamacare in 2014.

Did President Obama lie? No, he just couldn’t deliver on his campaign hype. Happens to every candidate.

How about his campaign promise to close Guantanamo? This was a huge deal to Candidate Obama and his political base. President Obama reneged on this pledge once he got into office and discovered that President Bush was right to keep it open. President Obama even resumed the use of military tribunals with terrorists, something he formerly opposed.

Did President Obama lie? I think the term is harsh, but this is a campaign pledge he chose to break, because he realized his earlier emphatic view was emphatically incorrect.

Candidate Obama called for reform of the Patriot Act. When push came to shove, he called for renewing the law as it stands without change, tacitly acknowledging that President Bush was once again correct.

Candidate Obama vowed to end the Bush-era tax cuts for high earners. Agree or disagree with the position, Mr. Obama didn’t deliver, again tacitly acknowledging that President Bush was correct.

Candidate Obama appealed to voters on both sides of the aisle with his “sunlight before signing” vow:

“When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as the president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it.”

He hammered home the point on his website:

“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”

The president has total control over keeping this vow. No one can make the president sign a law any sooner than the president wants to. The rationale behind candidate Obama’s vow to wait for 5 days makes sense in light of the complexity of some legislation, such as the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Then-Speaker Pelosi acknowledged it had to be passed before we’d fully “find out what’s in it.”

The president reneged. He signed it into law just two days after passage.

Same thing with his mammoth $787 Billion stimulus package, the one supposedly loaded with shovel-ready jobs. He waited only a day. He didn’t allow voters enough time to see the finished bill and learn that much of it was being diverted to public union employees. There were no shovel-ready jobs.

The same thing happened with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. He chose to renege on his campaign promise and sign them into law without waiting five days.

Candidate Obama also promised to eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses. He didn’t.

Candidate Obama proudly claimed he would never hirer any lobbyists in his administration. He was adamant, as you can tell from his remarks here in Des Moines on November  10th, 2007:

“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

He doubled down on his commitment to keep lobbyists out of his administration with these comments during a campaign speech:

“When I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”

The USA Today exposed his boast as a fraud. They reveal that his campaign fund-raising team included 38 lobbyists who had been paid $138 million to lobby the federal government in 2007. President Obama proceeded to appoint two lobbyists to his administration.

No one made candidate Obama hire lobbyists to raise money for his campaign and appoint them to his administrataion. Barack Obama made the choice even though it contradicted his campaign promise.

On the other hand, let us look at Newt Gingrich. Through his leadership, Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in 1994, the first time that had happened in forty years.

Mr. Gingrich led the charge by helping develop and sell The Contract for America. He got every Republican candidate to sign on to the Contract except for two. The Contract promised a vote on 8 reforms. Speaker Gingrich delivered on his promise and got each reform to the floor for a debate. All did not pass the Senate. But through the Speaker’s leadership, he delivered a balanced budget to the American people.

So let us return to the headline of this post: whom do you trust more, President Obama or Newt Gingrich?

The never-divorced president chose to repeatedly, and cynically, renege on key campaign promises he made to his supporters and the American people.

The twice divorced Speaker delivered on his.