Thursday, February 7, 2013

Read One and Weep - A Re-Posting! President "Withdrawal"!

Worth re-posting.  A very remarkable analysis that has much to commend it.

I have been suggesting this would come to pass now I have company.  Quite chilling when you think about it.   (See 1 below and weep!)
I was involved in getting Don Kole's remarkable collection of African Artifacts to be shown at The Georgia Museum of Art (Campus Univ. of Ga. , Athens) ,on whose board I serve.  If you have the opportunity, this is a must see exhibit and it you are so inclined I can also arrange a tour of the entire collection located here in Savannah. (See 2 below.)
This from a proud father of our grandson who just launched his "Unbucket" social net work.  ((see 3 below.)
Lately when the local paper publishes one of my letters within a short time someone rebuts. I must be getting under the skin of local progressives and liberals. If so I am delighted and willingly will continue to do so.

Since I am allowed one LTE month and thus I doubt this one on Hagel (see below) will be published because my one on Hillary becoming president was published last week.

.Should it , I am sure a rebuttal will follow in short order and I will gladly begin posting  the responses.  

My L TE:

"Former Sen. Hagel’s testimony proves the adage: “When all else fails, lower your standards.”

He will be approved because Democrats will form a circle and defend one of their own.

However,if Hagel truly cared for this nation he would remove his name from consideration because his was one of the most disgraceful acts of preparation for a major office I have witnessed in a very long time.  Even the Committee Chair had to throw him a life line.

Hagel, nevertheless, is the perfect foil for a president bent on withdrawal on the naïve assumption a weakened America will gain us friends among radical Islamists.

Submitting incompetent appointees for key positions demonstrates utter contempt and/or indifference on the part of Obama for our nation’s security.

It is one thing to sue Arizona for protecting its borders, desicable asthat may be,  it is another to nominate a man for the position of Sec. of Defense who is  so unqualified and seems not to even know the address of The Pentagon.

No kudos for Republicans either. After sticking blunt verbal  knives in Hagel's unprepared skin  they failed to twist .

Truly a sad moment for America."

My friend seems to share my own thoughts when it comes to President  ' Withdrawal.'

Spend all our GDP on transfers and entitlements and  take it out of  The Pentagon's hide as if the oath of office 'to protect an defend' did not exist or were simply empty  words to mouth. (See 4 and 4a below.)

Iran observes our temerity regarding Syria and other feckless acts on the part of President 'Withdrawal' and slams the door in our face.

Perhaps Kingston is right - Israel will be left to do the job as I have always maintained.  (See 4b below.)
Krauthammer and Kingston  seem of the same mind as Jack mused yesterday  shutting down the government would not be the horror the media and press claim because it can be done surgically.  (See 5 below.)

1)America's Future Belongs to Islam
By Paul L. Williams, PhD (author of Crescent Moon Rising) 

Islam, according to newly released data from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, is now the fastest growing religion in America, verifying President Barack Obama's claim that the United States is “no longer a Judeo-Christian country.”
How many Muslims now live within the country remains anyone's guess, since the U.S. Census Bureau neglects to collect data on religious identification. A 2008 study by Cornell University projected that the number of Muslims in America had climbed from 1.6 million in 1995 to 7 million.[i] A U.S. News and World Report survey, which was conducted at the same time, placed the figure at 5 million,[ii] while the Pew Research Center set the number at 2.35 million.
But Pew researchers admit that their survey was not thorough since it neglected to take into account immigrant and poor black Muslims.[iii] What's more, these researchers only contacted Americans with telephone landlines and failed to take into account the fact that nearly 50% of U.S. residents and age 18-35 and the nearly 100% of the illegal immigrants who communicate exclusively by cell phones.[iv]
Muslim organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), supported the Cornell University projection of 7 million – - based on mosque attendance.[v]
In any case, all demographers agree that throughout the coming decades, the faith of the Prophet Mohammed will continue to impact and transform all aspects of American life: social, political, and economic.  They further maintain that, save for a cataclysmic sea-change in population trends, Islam by 2050 will emerge as the nation's dominant religion.
Such an assertion may seem hyperbolic, save for these findings:
The US fertility rate is now below 2.1 per woman, meaning Americans are no longer giving birth to enough children to keep the population from dwindling.[vi] But this statistic does not hold true for the average Muslim American woman who displays a robust fertility rate of 2.8.[vii]
Muslims continue to pour into the country to occupy positions vacated by aging Americans as physicians, engineers, and scientists. Others arrive here to perform tasks that American workers are unwilling to perform in food processing plants, agricultural facilities, and telecommunications. In addition to the Muslims who come here with employment visas, thousands more arrive with student visas to enroll in colleges throughout the country. Still others arrive with “diversity” visas to enrich America's racial composition. In 1992, nearly 50,000 Muslims arrived in the US and received permanent residency status. In 2009, that number soared to 115,000.[viii]  In truth, no one knows for certain how many Muslims immigrants are presently living in the country. A GEO report released to the press released by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) show that half of the 12 million US illegal immigrants have entered the country legally but have overstayed their visas. Many of the over-stays are from Islamic countries. Five of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas, and GAO found that 36 of the roughly 400 people convicted of terrorism-related charges since September 2001 had overstayed their visas.>[ix]
In addition to the legal and illegal Muslim immigrants, 80,000 refugees enter this country under resettlement programs. Nearly, 75,000 come from Islamic countries.[x]
As the now defunct Christian Church militant, America is witnessing the mosque militant. Muslims, unlike main-line denominational Christians, are fervent in their beliefs and are eager to spread the faith. Islam, at present, is the most rapidly growing religion in the country with outreach programs on college campuses, in prisons, and within the military.[xi]
Islam provides an antithesis to secular America. It offers a return to the country's “traditional values” with a vengeance. The vast majority of US Muslims oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. They call for a curtailment of women's rights and a return to “law and order” (as mandated by sharia). They are enterprising, hard working, and deeply devoted to their families.[xii]
Unlike America's political leaders, Muslims do not recognize the legitimacy of all faiths. Their religion, according to Bernard Lewis, divides the world into two: the House of Islam (dar al-Islam), where Muslims rule and the law of Islam prevails, and the House of War (dar al Harb), comprising the rest of the world. “Between these two,” Lewis writes, “there is a morally necessary, legally and religiously obligatory state of war, until the final triumph of Islam over unbelief.”[xiii] For this reason, Muslims are unlikely to relinquish the cherished claims of their tradition before the prevailing Zeitgeist.
The belief that America could be transformed into an Islamic state was first expressed by a small group Muslim missionaries in 1922, who declared to a gathering of disgruntled city blacks in Syracuse, New York: “Our plan is: we are going to conquer America.”[xiv] The audacity of this remark provoked the following commentary in the Syracuse Sunday Herald:
To the millions of American Christians who have so long looked eagerly forward to the time the cross shall be supreme in every land and the people of the whole world shall have become the followers Christ, the plan to win this continent to the path of the “infidel Turk” will seem a thing unbelievable. But there is no doubt about its being pressed with all the fanatical zeal for which the Mohammedans are noted.[xv]
Ninety years later, the remarks made by the early Islamic missionaries no longer seem audacious but prophetic. The transformation of America into an Islamic nation, Muslim scholars say, is a matter of destiny. It is kismet (quisma). The words of the country's future, such scholars contend, have been written – - and these words no mortal man may alter or erase.
[i] “Michigan Has Largest U.S. Muslim Population,” Psychiatric News, The American Society of Psychiatrists, Vol. 40, Number 2, January 21, 2005.
[ii] Susan Headden, “Understanding Islam,” U.S. News and World Report, April 7, 2008.
[iii] Paul M. Barrett, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion (New York: Faraar, Straus and Giroux, 2008),  pp. 8-9.
[iv] Kathleen Parker, “Pew Study of U.S. Muslims Isn't ‘Largely' Reassuring,” The Scranton Times-Tribune, February 28, 2008.
[v],pdf The most rigorous estimate was from the Mosque Study Project 2000 (Bagby, Perl, and Froehle, 2001) which combined seven lists of mosques, eliminated duplicates, and attempted to verify the existence of each place. This generated a final list of 1209 mosques in 2000. The researchers then drew a sample of 631 and were successful in obtaining information about 416 of the mosques. They found that 340 adults and children regularly participated in the average mosque, and that 1629 were “associated in any way with the religious life of the mosque.” This converts to a national estimate of 1,969,000 mosque-associated Muslims nationally. The study supports the projection of 6 to 7 million Muslims in the U.S. by assuming that for every Muslim associated with a mosque, three remain without association.
[vi] Rob Stein, “U.S. Birth Rate Falls Again: A Possible Effect of Economic Downturn,” Washington Post, August 27, 2010.
[vii] “A Demographic Portrait of American Muslims,” Pew Research Center, Augu
[viii] Ibid.
[ix] Jim Kouri, “Almost Half of Illegal Aliens Entered U.S. Legally, But Overstayed Visas, Senators Say,” Family Security Matters, May 20, 2011,
[x] “Presidential Memorandum – - Refugee Admissions,” The White House, Press Release, October 8, 2010,
[xi] “The Future of the Global Muslim Population,” Pew Research Center, January 27, 2011,
[xii] “A Demographic Portrait of American Muslims.”
[xiii] Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 73.
[xiv] Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), p. 113.
[xv] Ibid. Contributing Editor Paul L. Williams is the author of The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on such national news networks as ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR.


On View

From Savanna to Savannah: African Art from the Collection of Don Kole

JANUARY 19, 2013 - APRIL 14, 2013
Drawn from an extensive private collection of African art in Savannah, Ga., this special exhibition includes sacred, meaningful objects created by numerous peoples in sub-Saharan Africa. Works of art in various media—wood, bronze, terracotta, sandstone and cloth—from regions as diverse as Cameroon, Guinea, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo present examples from the visual and material culture of Africa that demonstrate cultural concepts and religious beliefs.


Paul Manoguerra, chief curator and curator of American art, and William Darrell Moseley,  who made the selections for this exhibit
3) Many of you have asked me about Elliot's new venture which finally launched last week.  The article below which appeared in a LA newspaper better explains " Unbucke"t  than I ever could do.  Please read the article and forward this email to as many of your children, other relatives and friends as you have.  The article will also take you directly to Elliot's site. Joining "Unbucket" at this time is restricted to Facebook users.
4)America Gives Up
By Stella Paul
The other day, I learned that Obama has canceled our Mars Rover explorations, along with all other planetary missions.  NASA's science mission chief just quit in disgust, and who can blame him? Apparently, even robots' lives are too precious for us to risk these days, so America is giving up the thrill of discovering space.
While I was stewing over the news that the Russians will now take over our Mars missions (the Red Planet is turning that kind of Red), I decided to relax by watching the Super Bowl -- just in time to see the lights blow out.
It's getting humiliating to be American; don't you think? The only thing we're Number One at anymore is embarrassing ourselves in front of the world. Once upon a time, we were admired as Can-Do America; now we can't even manage to keep on the lights.
Here's a quick list of some things we're giving up these days, with little more than a shrug: Making babies (lowest birth rate since 1920). Saturday mail delivery. The Constitution. Hostess Twinkies (though there's a ray of hope for them). And the natural order of the sexes.
That last remark could refer to a thousand things, but I'm specifically thinking of the madcap decision to send women into combat.  Who's going to fight to the death to protect the home front when the hottest girls are in the next bunk?
Of course, it only makes sense to send co-eds to fight if you've already given up on the concept of victory, which, in case you haven't noticed, we most definitely have.
Remember when Obama said on TV, chuckling in an ironic-David-Letterman-kind-of-way, that he was "always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur"?
Well, once the Commander-in-Chief openly mocks the very idea of winning wars, we might as well go right ahead and turn the military into one big pajama party of girls and gays.  Why not?
In fact, I breathlessly await the inevitable appearance of Brigadier General RuPaul on the national scene.  But, hey, maybe I'm not giving Obama enough credit. Maybe Obama's secret plan is to have our enemies laugh themselves to death.
And speaking of enemies, China may have big plans for our natural resources, now that we've decided to give up on them, too. Obama has been busily locking up our oil and gas supplies, most recently 1.6 million acres of federal land in the oil-rich west.
Journalist Erik Rush reports that Obama and China have secretly brokered a deal in which we'll repay our trillions of dollars of debt by giving China the oil and gas in our federal lands. Sounds crazy, right? Well, maybe, but lots of crazy things happen to nations that spectacularly give up on fiscal sanity. And running up a $16 trillion debt that's bigger than the entire U.S. economy may sound clever to Paul Krugman, but to us regular folks without Nobel Prizes, it's obviously nuts.
Now that America is a non-stop Giving Up Festival, I guess the day will come when each one of us has to figure out if there's something in our lives that's so precious, so vital, so inalienable, that we just won't give it up, no matter what. I've thought about this question long and hard, and I hope you won't judge me as too ridiculously trivial when I tell you what I've decided: it's my hair.
Maybe I'd feel differently if I had dull, stringy locks, but the fact of the matter is I have extremely nice hair, mostly due to constant applications of cash to my stylist Sonia, and I refuse to hide it under a burqa.
And the reason I'm bringing this up is because America is also busily giving up our freedom and surrendering to Islam. We're letting Iran go nuclear. We're hoisting the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt and supplying them with F-16 fighter planes and 200 Abrams tanks. We're passively watching as our Libyan Ambassador gets murdered, raped and dragged through the streets by Al Qaeda thugs.
And here on the home front, we're surrendering like there's no tomorrow, which, practically speaking, there isn't. We're importing Muslims at record-breaking speeds, doubling their numbers since 9/11, and making Islam the fastest-growing religion in the United States.
We're pretending that jihadi attacks on our troops at Fort Hood and Little Rock, Arkansas are "workplace violence" and "street crime." And we're making believe that the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood penetration of our government is really a grand, multicultural celebration.
If things keep up, and they will, it's only a matter of time before Shariah Patrols prowl the streets of American cities, the way they're doing right this minute in London. Watch the videos of Muslim men telling British men to get rid of their alcohol and ordering British girls to cover up, and get used to what's coming.
So that's why I've decided: my bottom line is my hair. No matter how many shariah enforcers roam the streets, I'm going to keep right on publicly exposing my naked, gleaming tresses whenever and wherever I want. And, yes, I may even flounce and flaunt them, too. So there.
Oh, and here's another thing I'm not giving up: free speech. Recently, the man who's supposed to be our president proclaimed to the United Nations, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." To which I say: Speak for yourself, pal. I'll slander the prophet of Islam anytime I like. For instance, right now. Mohammed stinks.
See? I'm not giving up.
Stella Paul's new ebook is What I Miss About America: Reflections from the Golden Age of Hope and Change, available at Amazon for just $1.99.  Write Stella at

4a)Will Obama Let Iran Start World War III
By Noah Beck
Iran could have its first atomic bomb within four to six months of the regime's decision to assemble one, according to an assessment last Monday by Amos Yadlin, former IDF Director of Military Intelligence. About a week earlier, Tehran declared that it will now use up to three thousand IR-2M centrifuges, which can enrich uranium at about quadruple the speed of Iran's current enrichment rate. Fred Kagan, Director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), describes the IR-2M installation as "undermin[ing] one of the core assumptions of current U.S. policy": that U.S. intelligence could detect Iran crossing a key threshold and developing weapons-grade nuclear material. The much faster IR-2M centrifuges could enable Iran to produce one weapon's worth of highly-enriched uranium in about a week -  the amount of time that IAEA inspectors might be absent before their next visit.
Why is Iran boldly defying the international community now, in a way that leaves even less time to address its nuclear ambitions? A perfect storm is motivating Iran's sudden sprint to nukes.
The U.S. national security team is in its most ineffective state. Gary Samore, a WMD czar and key member of President Obama's Iran negotiating team, is leaving. John Kerry is in his first days on the job as Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel - Iran's preferred pick for Secretary of Defense for his anti-Israel and pro-Tehran views - stands a good chance of being confirmed along partisan lines despite his embarrassing display of waffling and incompetence at last week's Senate confirmation hearings.
The rest of the world is preoccupied with the Eurozone economies, the growing spat between Japan and China, the unpredictable North Korean regime, the natural disaster or mishap of the week, and the implosion of Egypt - after the "Arab Spring" turned out to be much less vernal once Egypt's Islamists hijacked it. Oh, and there's Syria and the superpower stalemate that perpetuates the obscenely high daily death toll there. Of course, even if other world powers weren't so preoccupied, they have neither the mettle nor the interest to confront Iran in a way that could actually halt its nuclear program. 
There's still tiny Israel, which can try to address the global threat from a country almost 80 times its size. But here, again, the timing - combined with all of the other circumstances mentioned - conspires to favor Iranian brinksmanship. As logistically complicated and perilous as it would be for Israeli F-15s to attempt a unilateral strike on Iran's protected and dispersed nuclear targets, doing so in winter weather conditions would make the challenge even harder. Israel could still try to neutralize the threat with its submarine and surface-launched ballistic missiles, but because such a strategy - without airstrikes - is even less likely to succeed, the aftermath could be even messier. 
But what choice has the US left one of its closest allies? Is a nation born from the ashes of the Holocaust supposed to sit idly by while terror-sponsoring Iran, which has for decades threatened to destroy Israel, acquires the means to do so?
Of course, nobody wants war: it's better to resolve conflicts peacefully, goes the platitude. So the preferred approach is to resolve the standoff with diplomatic talks. But this has been tried for about a decade without results. As Iran gets closer to the nuclear finish line, it prefers to talk about talks, adding scheduling delays, various preconditions, and venue discussions to buy even more time. And Iran's use of advanced IR-2M centrifuges now leaves even less time to "talk."
Toothless pronouncements of disappointment and condemnation by the US and EU have been as ineffective at stopping Iran's nuclear warpath as they've been at halting Assad's daily massacres. Only a truly credible threat of overwhelming force against Iran can peacefully prevent a potential apocalypse, and only the U.S. can deliver such a threat. The U.S. is also the only power that can produce a peaceful resolution by offering Iran a grand bargain of security guarantees and generous economic incentives. If the Iranian regime is peaceful (or rational), then it should readily accept such a bargain. But if Iran rejects a historic U.S. offer, then its regime clearly has bellicose nuclear intentions that must be stopped by the only power that can do so swiftly and decisively, and without producing a nuclear war that consumes the entire region and leaves many millions dead.
Obama may prefer isolationism but 9/11 provided a painful reminder that pernicious threats can easily find us in our small, interconnected world. The U.S. has failed to lead on Syria, paving the way for the next generation of anti-American jihadists to take root there. Outsourcing the world's greatest security challenge to miniscule Israel is the most reckless form of high-stakes gambling. If the Israelis must act to prevent the prospect of their atomic annihilation by a radical regional theocracy, the impact on the U.S. - from skyrocketing oil prices to regional and security consequences - will make Obama long for the days when he could have confronted the issue at a decidedly lower cost.
Indeed, isolationists must realize that there is no hiding from this problem. Obama's choice is between addressing the Iranian nuclear threat before it explodes into the unthinkable and praying that the U.S. somehow avoids being impacted after Israel is forced to forestall an existential threat as best it can.
Will Obama wait to see if Iran is foolhardy enough to force Israel's hand and start World War III? Or will he lead? Time is short as Armageddon approaches.
Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelisa submarine thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat and the doomsday scenario that it could produce.

4b)Ali Khamenei shuts door on direct nuclear talks with US

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei turned down the US offer of one-on-one talks on its nuclear program Thursday, Feb. 7,  just 24 hours after US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that due to budgetary constraints, the US could only keep one, not two, US aircraft carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf, and had cancelled the departure of a second carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman.

The ayatollah in a speech posted on his web site accused the US of proposing talks while "pointing a gun at Iran.”

On Saturday, US Vice-President Joe Biden suggested direct talks – separate from the wider international discussions scheduled for Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. No previous negotiations in this format over the years have ever produced a breakthrough.

Biden said Washington was prepared for direct talks with Iran "when the Iranian leadership, supreme leader, is serious". "That offer stands,” he said later, “but it must be real and tangible and there has to be an agenda that they are prepared to speak to. We are not just prepared to do it for the exercise," he said.
But the ayatollah said such negotiations "would solve nothing.” He added: "You are holding a gun against Iran saying you want to talk. The Iranian nation will not be frightened by threats." 

Wednesday, the US widened sanctions on Iran for tightening the squeeze on Tehran's ability to spend oil cash.

The cancellation of the Harry Truman’s departure for the Gulf leaves a single US aircraft carrier in the vast naval region of the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean and southern part of the Indian Ocean bordering on Africa, military sources report, and no US fleet presence opposite Syria.

Khamenei’s rejection of Washington’s latest offer of direct talks followed the new US ban imposed Wednesday on the transfer of revenues from Iranian oil exports to its coffers. The money will henceforth be available only for the purchase of goods in the countries of destination for Iranian oil.
Senior American officials said that this sanction would significantly restrict Iran's freedom to use its oil income at will.

Khamenei did not say so specifically, but his rejection of dialogue with Washington was undoubtedly influenced by President Barack Obama’s forthcoming visit to Israel. By the metaphor of “holding a gun against Iran,” the Iranian leader was not just reacting to the new sanctions; he was also hitting back at the White House announcement’s stress that the president’s talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would focus on Iran and Syria..The expectation is that Obama and Netanyahu will confer on the military option both governments have reserved for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

Khamenei's rejection of face-to-face talks does not cancel the international negotiations scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan. It does, however, render them more pointless than ever.
5)Call Obama’s sequester bluff

For the first time since Election Day, President Obama is on the defensive. That’s because on March 1, automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) go into effect — $1.2 trillion over 10 years, half from domestic (discretionary) programs, half from defense.
The idea had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. The political calculation was that such draconian defense cuts would drive the GOP to offer concessions.

It backfired. The Republicans have offered no concessions. Obama’s bluff is being called and he’s the desperate party. He abhors the domestic cuts. And as commander in chief he must worry about indiscriminate Pentagon cuts that his own defense secretary calls catastrophic.
So Tuesday, Obama urgently called on Congress to head off the sequester with a short-term fix. But instead of offering an alternative $1.2 trillion in cuts, Obama demanded a “balanced approach,” coupling any cuts with new tax increases.
What should the Republicans do? Nothing.
Republicans should explain — message No. 1 — that in the fiscal-cliff deal the president already got major tax hikes with no corresponding spending cuts. Now it is time for a nation $16 trillion in debt to cut spending. That’s balance.
The Republicans finally have leverage. They should use it. Obama capitalized on the automaticity of the expiring Bush tax cuts to get what he wanted at the fiscal cliff — higher tax rates. Republicans now have automaticity on their side.
If they do nothing, the $1.2 trillion in cuts go into effect. This is the one time Republicans can get cuts under an administration that has no intent of cutting anything. Get them while you can.
Of course, the sequester is terrible policy. The domestic cuts will be crude and the Pentagon cuts damaging. This is why the Republican House has twice passed bills offering more rationally allocated cuts. (They curb, for example, entitlement spending as well.)
Naturally, the Democratic Senate, which hasn’t passed a budget since before the iPad, has done nothing. Nor has the president — until his Tuesday plea.
The GOP should reject it out of hand and plainly explain (message No. 2): We are quite prepared to cut elsewhere. But we already raised taxes last month. If the president wants to avoid the sequester — as we do — he must offer a substitute set of cuts.
Otherwise, Mr. President, there is nothing to discuss. Your sequester — Republicans need to reiterate that the sequester was the president’s idea in the first place — will go ahead.
Obama is trying to sell his “balanced” approach with a linguistic sleight of hand. He insists on calling his proposed tax hikes — through eliminating deductions and exemptions — “tax reform.”
It’s not. Tax reform, as defined even by the White House’s own Web page on the subject,begins with lowering tax rates. It then makes up the lost revenue by closing loopholes.
Real tax reform is revenue neutral. It’s a way to clean the tax code by eliminating unfair, inefficient and market-distorting loopholes on the one hand while lowering rates to stimulate economic growth on the other.
Obama has zero interest in lowering tax rates. He just got through raising them at the fiscal cliff and has made perfectly clear ever since that he fully intends to keep raising taxes. His only interest in eliminating loopholes is to raise more cash for the Treasury — not to use them to lower rates.
That’s not tax reform. That’s a naked, old-fashioned tax increase.
Hence Republican message No. 3: The sequester is one thing, real tax reform quite another. The sequester is for cutting. The only question is whether it will be done automatically and indiscriminately — or whether the president will offer an alternative set of cuts.
Then we can take up real tax reform. Reprise the landmark Reagan-Tip O’Neill-Bill Bradley tax reform of 1986, a revenue-neutral spur to economic growth and efficiency, and a blow for fairness for those not powerful enough to manipulate the tax code.
The country needs tax reform. But first it needs to rein in out-of-control spending. To succeed in doing that, Republicans must remain united under one demand: cuts with no taxes — or we will let the sequester go into effect.
The morning after, they should sit down with Obama for negotiations on real tax reform as recommended by the president’s own Simpson-Bowles commission: broaden the base, lower the rates.
Any time, any place. Geneva, perhaps? The skiing is good. Skeet shooting, too.

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