The ulterior motive behind the global warming con 1

By Tom Quiner

The recent revelations of Climategate II reveal the scientific duplicity behind the global warming movement. An international global warming conference is taking place in Durbin, South Africa, right now, with little international fanfare.

The movement has been discredited. As Jim Inhofe, Republican Senator from Oklahoma, says above:

“The message from Washington to the U.N. delegates in South Africa this week could not be any clearer: you are being ignored. And you are being ignored by your biggest allies in the United States: President Obama and the Democratic leadership in the Senate.”

Global warming is relevant and will remain relevant for at least one more year because of liberal politics.

I sat in on a small gathering with former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty, earlier this year. He told us he embraced global warming theories for awhile before he took a closer look at the science, and learned it relied on shaky premises.

Same with Newt Gingrich. He called his initial embrace of the issue a “dumb move.” But you can’t blame a lot of folks for embracing global warming, or “climate change”, as it is now known. We were sold a bill of goods. There was a steady drumbeat of media attention and Hollywood adulation for this cause.

Mature analysts who have patiently waded through the hype have poked holes in the theory. Coupled with the latest revelations from Climategate II, we see the issue for what it is: a con job.

The global warming-related legislative priority for President Obama and his party was cap and trade. This would have foisted massive new taxation on America and dramatically lowered our standard of living (even more than Obamanomics has already done to us).

In light of the way the issue has been discredited, has Team Obama backed away from Global Warming/Climate Change?


They are pursuing it with a vengeance through regulatory decree rather than the democratic legislative process by allowing the EPA to impose onerous new regulations on businesses.

Global warming has simply been a ruse to give Big Government more control over our lives. Mr. Obama’s head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, has publicly admitted that unilateral U.S. effort to reduce CO2 emissions will have no impact on the world situation. Nonetheless, she is moving ahead with the president’s blessing to essentially impose elements of Cap & Trade by presidential fiat.

The global warming religion provides the fig leaf to mask the ulterior motive behind the con: to expand the power of the federal government over our lives.

The principle of a limited federal government as established by our Founders is on the line in the next election in many ways. The Global Warming religion is but one of the battle fronts.


Analyzing Gingrich’s “baggage” 4

By Tom Quiner

One of three men will be elected President of the United States in eleven months: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich.

Could one of the lower tier candidates like Michele Bachman or Rick Santorum experience a resurgence and win the presidency? It is possible, but unlikely at this stage in the campaign. The polls indicate it will come down to these three.

Each has serious baggage.

Mr. Obama’s baggage is profound. He has been president three years and things have gotten worse. Unemployment has gone up. Black unemployment is horrendous. The economy is running on fumes. Our debt is out of control, and the president’s only solution is to tax America’s most productive Americans, aka “the rich.”

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, the president could come up with only a single cut he’d be willing to make to the budget: block grants to community action agencies, which accounts for a little less than a billion dollars from the budget (a drop in the bucket in a sea of red ink). The irony is that community action agencies (which are not government entities), are on the front line in leading dependent people to independence in the fifty states. That’s the last place we’d want to cut.

The president has added a massive new entitlement, Obamacare, that nobody wants. And taxpayers feel conned by that boondoggle. At the time Mr. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid presented Obamacare to the American public, they sold it as a way to reduce costs. Once it was passed and we “learned what was actually in it,” to quote Ms. Pelosi, the Congressional Budget Office revealed what conservatives had been saying all along, it is going to be very, very expensive. It will not save the government money; it will add to the deficit.

Mr. Obama has serious baggage with practicing Catholics. His party crammed abortion into Obamacare over their protests. His administration is stripping conscience protection laws away from Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims who work in the medical field and want nothing to do with what they consider to be nothing short of infanticide. And now the Obama administration is pushing to make the morning-after abortion bill available over-the-counter without a prescription.

Keep in mind that Catholics all by themselves represent 27% of the electorate.

Want to talk about baggage? The president is rich with it.

What about Mitt Romney? I will preface my remarks by saying I like Mitt Romney. I could vote for him over Mr. Obama in a heartbeat. Like every politician who has been around awhile, he has had some policy flip flops. His flip flops have been on core issues such as abortion and gay marriage, a source of huge concern for social conservatives. And his embrace of Romenycare, upon which Obamacare was modeled, reveals a comfort for big-government solutions that conservatives view as major baggage. In defense of Mr. Romney, he vetoed eight of the most onerous provisions of the bill, but the liberal Massachusetts legislature overrode his veto on six of the them.

Nonetheless, Mr. Romney loses a key point of debate with the president when it comes to the critical subject of healthcare. You can hear the president’s words: “Mitt, we were just following your lead.”

Like Barack Obama, Mitt Romney carries major baggage in this campaign.

That brings me to Newt Gingrich.

I’ve heard it many times: Gingrich has too much baggage. A frequent liberal contributor to the Des Moines Register’s letter to the editor page put it this way:

“I was shocked when I read the latest Iowa Poll that has Newt Gingrich taking the lead among Republicans. How can this philandering man in the party of family values be the frontrunner?”

We will quickly acknowledge that marital fidelity is not an issue to Democrats in light of their tolerance of infidelity, and accusations of indecent exposure, sexual harassment, and even rape, by former president, Bill Clinton.

It is a bigger deal to conservatives, but not a deal killer. Here’s the question: does marital infidelity affect a person’s ability to lead?

Evidence says no.

Just look at the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. By all appearances, both have been faithful husbands. For that, I applaud them. But they were (and are) lousy presidents.

Ronald Reagan was divorced and was a great president.

Martin Luther King was known for his marital infidelities, but was a powerful civil rights leader who changed America.

One of the great leaders in biblical history is King David, a notorious adulterer who had the husband of his mistress killed.

A good conservative who had been so critical of former President Clinton’s escapades, said to me recently that he couldn’t support Mr. Gingrich. He said he’d feel hypocritical after bashing Clinton all those years.

Comparing Clinton to Gingrich is like comparing apples to oranges. Mr. Clinton took advantage of a young intern in the Oval Office. He was accused of even worse. Mr. Gingrich got divorced twice. I hate to say it, but people get divorced. Half of the country has been divorced.

I don’t see Mr. Gingrich’s divorces as an impediment to his ability to lead.

The liberal letter writer leveled another accusation at Mr. Gingrich:

“How about the fact that he faced ethics violations while serving as the speaker of the House and resigned?”

Mr. Gingrich faced 75 ethic charges while in the House. All but one were dropped. He evidently claimed tax-exempt status for a college course that was viewed as a political endeavor.

What happened?

The House had a hard time trying to figure out if Mr. Gingrich did something wrong on this issue, so they brought in outside counsel who identified two Gingrich infractions:

1. He “may” have violated tax law “by using tax-deductible contributions from nonprofit organizations to teach an allegedly partisan college course.”

2. He provided false information to the panel based on a mis-filed form. For this, Gingrich paid a $300,000 fine.

A year later, the IRS finished their review and found no improprieties in Gingrich’s tax filings.

Newt Gingrich was cleared. All the charges were bogus.

Our liberal writer continues with another bit of Gingrich baggage:

“Have you already forgotten about the luxury cruise he and his wife went on at the beginning of the campaign? “

Is it a crime to have money in this country? If it is, Barack Obama is disqualified. So is Mitt Romney. So is Ronald Reagan. So is Hillary Clinton.

Is the writer critical that Mr. Gingrich wished to take a vacation and spend some time with his wife, Callista, before the rigors of the campaign made this opportunity impossible?

Keep in mind, he took his cruise last Spring, a year and a half before the election. Is that really baggage? On the other hand, the president is in Hawaii for 17 days right now on his umpteenth vacation of the year. I don’t hear many liberals squawking about that.

Mr. Gingrich’s views are crystal clear on the subject of life:

“As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception. I believe that every unborn life is precious, no matter how conceived. I also believe that we should work for the day when there will be no abortions for any reason, and that every unborn child will be welcomed into life and protected by law. That is why I have supported, and will continue to support, pro-life legislation that not only limits, but also reduces, the total number of abortions, with a view to the eventual legal protection of all unborn human life.”

Unlike Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich offers a complete package for Independent and conservative voters. He is unequivocal on life issues. He is not only a fiscal conservative, he actually balanced the budget when he had a chance to do something about it.

He reformed welfare when he had a chance to do something about it.

He reduced capital gains taxes when he was in a position to do something about it.

He ramrodded the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 which made Congress live by the same rules that business had to live with.

Newt Gingrich has demonstrated that he is an extraordinary leader with a brilliant mind. We need his talents to help restore America.

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Postal politics 2

By Tom Quiner

I’m in the marketing business. I’ve created a ton of direct mail campaigns during my career. I communicate with customers and prospects via direct mail all the time.

I’ve certainly been critical of the post office in the past and will be in the future. I’ve called for the privatization of the post office.

Having said all of that, today I come to their defense. I read in yesterday’s Des Moines Register that on top of all the post office closings around the country, they are now going to offer slower service. First class mail will take two to three days for delivery instead of one to three days.

How did this all come about? You can thank Congress for placing an excessive burden on the Post Office in 2006. They passed a bill called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement law. The law mandates that the Post Office, unlike any other government agency or private business, prefund health benefits for their employees. As a result, the Post Office has had to pay $21 billion over the past four years to fund the health benefits of future retirees.

As the Postmaster General, Patrick R. Donahoe, explains:

“Unlike other American businesses, the Postal Service must pay cash today for health benefits that will not be paid out until a date far in the future. Other federal agencies and most private-sector companies use a “pay-as-you-go” system, paying premiums as they are billed.”

What happens to this money? It goes into a separate fund and is treated as “income” by the federal government, which makes the deficit look less horrendous than it already is. They do the same thing with the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, counting those proceeds as income.

You have read how the Post Office is losing money. It is because of this law. Could you imagine if the government forced other government agencies to abide by the same rule?

Here in Iowa, the Iowa Employees’ Retirement System is only 80 percent funded according to State Treasurer, Michael Fitzgerald.

By the way, I’m not saying that the idea of fiscally sound funding mechanisms for health care and retirement funds is a bad idea. It’s a good idea. But if the government thinks it’s a good idea for the Post Office, shouldn’t they apply it equally to other government agencies? They should have given the Post Office more time to build up their reserve fund. And when they do, don’t insult the taxpayers by counting these funds as income to mask irresponsible Congressional spending habits.

Introducing Lucille Katherine … Reply

By Tom Quiner

My wife and I adopted a baby yesterday.

To be more precise, we “spiritually adopted” a baby who was conceived this month. We named her Lucille Katherine.

We will never meet this little girl. But by committing to spiritually adopt her, we have embarked on a 9 month journey of daily prayer for this real human being. We pray that her mother makes the choice to honor the life in her womb.

Would you join us in praying for this singular soul, Lucille Katherine? Here is the prayer we are using:

“O God, our Heavenly Father,

you sent Your Son into this world

that He might bless and consecrate all

life to You.

Enlighten our minds with awareness

and to a renewed conviction

that all human life is sacred

because it is created

in your image and likeness.

In a special way we ask and pray

that you grace and protect

the unborn child, Lucille Katherine,

that I have spiritually adopted

with your ever caring love.

We pray this in the name of Jesus,

who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.”

As my wife handed out spiritual adoption cards yesterday, she was accosted by a parishioner who “challenged” her to demonstrate that she really cares about life by doing something after the baby is born.

Why do social justice types always have the word “but” after anything pertaining to abortion? You know what I mean, “Well that is fine and dandy, but your type don’t care about the child after it is born. What about about the starving kids in Darfur?”

Life demands dignity at every stage, from conception to a natural death. There’s no “but” involved. But the ultimate indignity is abortion, which snuffs out all of life’s beautiful possibilities.

The premise that pro lifers don’t care about the baby after she is born is nonsense. From adoption services, clinics, and even post abortion counseling for women racked by the guilt of  terminating their pregnancies, the Life community works on behalf of real people before and after they are born.

All of us at our church who spiritually adopted a baby will hold a baby shower in nine months. The shower gifts we bring will go to real women and real babies.

Join me in praying for Lucille Katherine.


Cities of hope Reply

By Tom Quiner

Hope is like manna for the soul. It allows us to dream big dreams, to believe they can come true.

Hope energizes our lives and communities.

In this election cycle, we need candidates who can restore the American Dream, the belief that we can become the best version of ourselves and leave the world a better place than we found it.

How do we create cities of hope? It seems as if there are a number of key ingredients:

1. Low crime rates.

2. Good, safe schools.

3. A business-friendly environment.

4. Low property tax rates.

We need to ask what causes high crime rates? Certainly one of the key factors is fatherless homes. But bad immigration policy hurts, too. America did something wrong when it essentially looked the other way in the seventies and the eighties and let illegal immigrants flood into our country. We did it because we wanted their cheap labor.

Many conservatives want to deport illegal immigrants. On one level, that is understandable. They broke the law. But on another level, we exploited them, too. We let them come because we didn’t have to pay them the minimum wage. We didn’t have to pay them extravagant union benefits. As the years turned into decades, many of these workers became established, but not fully integrated, in our communities. How could they become fully integrated? They could be sent home. They were subject to exploitation by predators who knew they couldn’t turn to the local police for protection without fear of deportation.

As a result, communities throughout our country have large pockets of people living in a state of hopelessness. What a lousy way to run a city, a state, a country.

So what do we do? I think Newt Gingrich has this issue right. It is impractical, unaffordable, and even impossible to try round up every undocumented worker in this country and ship them home. Some politicians call for a “comprehensive” immigration reform. But that is unlikely to happen. President Bush couldn’t get it done with a Republican Congress. President Obama couldn’t get it done with a Democratic Congress. And the American people don’t trust Congress with comprehensive reform anyway.

Congress needs to do one thing at a time. That starts with securing our borders.

Mr. Gingrich has outlined a formula for dealing with undocumented workers that I believe is humane and good for America. It would create a path to an earned legal guest worker status, but not citizenship. Here is how Mr. Gingrich describes the process:

“Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.

The government will rigorously enforce a requirement that all individuals seeking this path to legality must be able to prove that they can independently pay for private health insurance. If an individual cannot prove this, they will lose the ability to stay in the United States.  Furthermore, proficiency in English within a certain number of years, similar to the requirement for naturalization, will be required for anyone who seeks continued legal status in the United States.

Once an applicant has been granted the right to obtain legal status, he or she will have to pay a penalty of at least $5,000.  Moving forward, those who receive this status will have to prove on a regular basis that they can support themselves without entitlement programs and pay for health insurance or else risk the ability to stay in the United States.”

Gingrich says we must end the “catch and release” practice where criminals are returned to society. He calls for the efficient and expeditious deportation of these criminals and gang members.

Gingrich emphasizes the need for English as the official language for America and the teaching of American Exceptionalism to prospective new citizens.

In my small business, my wife and I have had the opportunity to work with Hispanic small business owners throughout the country. Our experience with these men and women is consistent: they are humble, hard working, warm, and courteous to a fault. I’d like to have more clients like them.

Mr. Gingrich’s rivals characterize his immigration approach as amnesty. I’ve read his entire plan. It is not accurate to call it amnesty, because he is not advocating citizenship. He is allowing the best of the undocumented workers with roots in our country to redress their past crime, and move forward as productive members of society.

He wants to keep the best of the best.

I believe this is one step in building cities of hope.