About Author: neoavatara

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Posts by neoavatara

1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I: Movie Review

I am a Potterhead, or Pottermaniac, or whatever you want to call the illogical devotees to J.K. Rowling’s books on the magical world of Harry Potter.  And as such, we crazies have been devoted to the movies from the beginning.

But no movie in the series has been looked forward to like these last two, that will bring the Harry Potter saga to a close.

Deathly Hallows is a clear divergence from the rest of the series.  Although each iteration of the Potter storyline gets darker and darker, Deathly Hallows magnifies that darkness geometrically.  All the other movies, including the ever dark Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince still took place at Hogwarts, with school surroundings that made the entire storyline just a little less deep.  You still had the school age crushes, teenage angst, and of course, schoolwork to worry about.

No more.  As the above poster shows…this is war.  This is pure and unadulterated war, in all of its destructive elements.

The bulk of the movie (without giving away any of the true storyline; don’t worry, NO SPOILERS!!!) is largely with our three heroes surviving on their own.  There are no parents, no schoolteachers, no Dumbledore (literally) to look after them.  They have, for all practical purposes, entered the reality of adulthood…with all of its drawbacks.

As has been the case for several volumes of the movie, the three continue their goal of finding a way to destroy the evil Voldemort, while at the same time being the primary target of the forces of darkness.  As Voldemort’s power increases, the security that Harry had enjoyed through out his childhood continues to wane, to the point of nonexistence.

But the movie is remarkable in its ability to really delve deep into the thoughts and fears of the characters.  Director David Yates, with the freedom of splitting the last volume of Rowling’s saga into two movies, spends more time in the relationship between Ron, Hermione, and Harry…a friendship based on trials, survivals and blood.

Ultimately, it is the unknown future that Harry Potter faces.  And although he has his friends at his side, more or less, the weight of the world is on Harry’s shoulders.  That is what drives the movie.  He knows, ultimately, that the fate of the world lies in his less-than-qualified shoulders.  But, even knowing his fallibility, Potter shows strength, tenderness, and resolve that we look from the great leaders.  And that, ultimately, is what drives the three heroes to their goal.

Yates has woven a beautiful film, dramatically different than the other iterations of the Potter saga.  This movie is very dark…so dark, in fact, that I wonder at what age I would feel comfortable showing this to my children.  As I said at the start…this is about the harsh realities of good and evil, of adulthood, and of war.  Yes, it is still a Harry Potter story, but in its darkest realm.  And Yates does a magnificent job of blending cinematographic artistry with the elements of emotion essential to the story.  The three main actors, additionally, show that they too have grown up, and are now able to place the weight into their roles necessary to carry out the story.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in many ways is not the most enjoyable of the Potter series, because of the death and destruction and hopelessness of our heroes cause.  But it might well be the best movie of the series so far.  Watch this movie, and try not to be excited for Part 2, arriving next summer.   I dare you.

4

Obama As Hindu God Lord Shiva?

This is Newsweek cover for this up coming week.  It is a play on the Hindu God Shiva…

The irony, first of all, is that Shiva is the Hindu God that is responsible for destroying the world, as part of the triumvirate of Hindu deities.

Look, I am not offended, being a Hindu myself…and most Hindus are too laid back to care.  But if this was, say, Muhammed, could you imagine the uproar?  It seems those religions that don’t violently react to such caricatures have their deities easily misused.

0

Obama’s Terror Trial Policy? DOA.

Does it get any worse than this?

From the New York Times:

The first former Guantánamo detainee to be tried in a civilian court was acquitted on Wednesday of all but one of more than 280 charges of conspiracy and murder in the 1998 terrorist bombings of the United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The case has been seen as a test of President Obama’s goal of trying detainees in federal court whenever feasible, and the result may again fuel debate over whether civilian courts are appropriate for trying terrorists.

This is a failure of epic proportions .  Obama rode into office two years ago, promising immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by moving the terrorists to a facility within the United States, and then trying them under federal statutes.  2 years later, Gitmo remains not only open, but under no threat of closing any time during the Obama First term.

And this was Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s easy case. There are loads of evidence to show that the defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was guilty.  Although he was convicted of one count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property, that was actually the weakest charge. He was acquitted of six counts of conspiracy, including conspiring to kill Americans and use weapons of mass destruction.  That included the 280 charges of murder for the innocent civilians he killed with the bombs in Africa.

This terrorist was known to have bought the truck that was used to bomb the embassy in Tanzania.  They had a witness (who was, notably, not allowed to testify) that claimed he sold the explosives to Ghailani.  He also purchased gas tanks that were placed inside the truck to intensify the blast, the evidence showed. He stored an explosive detonator in an armoire he used, and his cellphone became the “operational phone” for the plotters in the weeks leading up to the attacks, prosecutors said.  Not to mention this man was a close confidant (self admitted) to most of the major Al Qaeda figures of the time.

And the Department of Justice could only convict him on the most menial of felony charges.

This is the final nail in the coffin to Obama’s terror trial policy.  Ghailani should have been a prosecutor’s dream.  If they failed to convict him, how do you convict Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whose crimes are largely proven not with testimony but with less tangible evidence?  Or, if we were to capture Osama Bin Laden, do you really think we could get anyone to testify against him?

Civilian trials of OBL and KSM are now only a liberal dream.  Now, we will see if Holder and Obama have the courage to admit they were wrong (fat chance…), or more likely, simply won’t prosecute the Al Qaeda suspects at all…which may be the best case scenario after this massive bungled effort.

1

KSM To Be Held Indefinitely…Without Trial

One of the now commonplace information dumps last Friday evening from the White House was quite informative of how failed the Obama policy has become on Gitmo detainees.  From the Washington Post:

The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.

The administration asserts that it can hold Mohammed and other al-Qaeda operatives under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts when Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged their detention.

Liberals will try to place the blame for this failure on Republicans and the administration of George W. Bush.  That is a blatant falsehood.  Under the 2006 agreement with Congress, KSM and others should have been tried under military tribunals by this time.  These tribunals have been declared constitutional, and thus, could have easily gone forward.  But the political realities for Obama are obvious:  his political left wing would be in an uproar if he went back on his word on this issue.

Liberals, furthermore, will try to blame the harsh interrogations on KSM and others for the inability to prosecute them in normal federal courts…another blatant lie.  The reason for them not moving forward on federal prosecution is not because of any legal issue.  In fact, they are ready to move forward today.  It is wholly a political matter.  Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have failed to convince New Yorkers of the rationale to go forward with trials just block from the World Trade Center site.  This week alone, two lead Democrats, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York reiterated their opposition to trials being held in New York City.  And the administration knows that sites in Virginia and Pennsylvania, the other targets on 9/11, would be no more accepting of these trials.

So it comes down to a purely political calculation:  Liberals don’t want military commissions, although they are legal; and New York Democrats don’t want a trial on their soil.

So instead of putting KSM and others on trial, finding them guilty in the eyes of our justice system, and moving forward, we hold them longer and longer, simply because Barack Obama doesn’t have the political and personal will to stand up and say he was wrong.

Maybe the most damning is this statement:

And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.

That is from the mouth of…then Senator Barack Obama, during the Presidential campaign of 2008.

So Obama has not only failed to put these terrorists on trial, he has also broken his pledge to close Gitmo…by December of 2009. And that does not appear to be in the foreseeable future either.  Obama is finding out that it is very easy to criticize difficult decisions when it comes to the war on terror…but a wholly different matter when you are in charge.  George W. Bush’s decisions look better and better, day by day, don’t they?

1

Obama Waves White Flag On Bush Tax Cuts…

It took only a week for Obama to raise the white flag on the Bush tax cuts.

The White House, and Obama himself, have been signalling acceptance of a broad-based extension of the 2003 Bush tax cut levels that have been at the heart of much of the acrimony in Congress for the past few months.

Of course, the White House has tried to spin it in the best possible light.

“The president has been clear that extending tax cuts for middle-class families is his top priority, and he is open to compromise to get that done,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an e-mail. “He has also expressed concern about the cost of making the highest income tax cuts permanent and is looking forward to discussing this and other issues with bipartisan congressional leaders next week.”

Well, yeah.  That was the same debate as 6 months ago.  What is different is that now, the Democrats (led by Obama) are so willing to accept extention of the tax rates for the rich, that it is almost a fait accompli.

That has progressives in an uproar.  From the Politico:

To progressives, and even some moderate Democrats in Congress, a temporary extension across-the-board would be a defeat. Renewing all of the tax cuts in tandem – without trying to separate the middle-class breaks – means that Congress would debate the issue again, likely in 2012, thrusting it into the presidential race when the stakes are higher.

“That would represent a complete cave,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about party strategy. “It has been a cardinal truism among Democrats for 10 years that this policy was folly. That is a narrative we told for years and all of sudden we’re going to go back on that and punt on this? That would be dispiriting.”

“Obama caving on the high income tax-cut issue guarantees that he will attract an intra-party opponent from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party,” Boston University law professor Cornelius Hurley wrote on POLITICO’s Arena. “The White House misreads the mood of the country. Tea partiers do not reflect that mood. Independents and Democrats disenchanted with Obama’s lack of conviction do.”

Jane Hamsher, a frequent White House critic, posted reaction last night to Axelrod’s comments under the headline, “Obama Twists Own Arm, Says ‘Uncle’ to Extending Bush Tax Cuts.”  [Hamsher went further on  her blog]:  “If he’s the ‘political genius’ guiding the Democrats these days, they should consider themselves lucky it wasn’t 100 seats” that they lost in the House.

Progressives on the left wing of the Democrat Party clearly didn’t get any type of message from the election.  In exit polls, 2/3 of Americans wanted to maintain current tax rates, even for the rich.  Obama, realizing the political reality, has adapted.  His base is as clueless as ever.

Furthermore, Obama’s own Debt Commission boxed him in further.  Their own proposals actually even further cut rates, though cancel out other tax deductions in the process.  Republicans now have the political cover they need; they can propose extending the tax cuts, accept some of the other simplification proposals in the tax code, and still appear to be budget neutral.

This was always a ‘win’ for Republicans.  The public by large margins supports maintaining current tax rates, even for the rich.  Obama himself argued in the 2008 election that raising taxes on anyone during a recession didn’t make sense…and then obviously forgot that tidbit once he got into the Oval Office.  Obama ironically has finally seen the light on the issue.  Whether he has the spine to stand up to his own progressive wing is what is in doubt.

2

The Debt Commission Strikes Out

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

President Obama’s Debt Commission sent up a trial balloon in the form of preliminary suggestions for long term reductions the ever growing American debt.  Suggestions include but are not excluded to:

  • According to the draft, the plan identifies $200 billion in discretionary-spending cuts by 2015, with half the savings from reductions to spending by the Pentagon. It would place limits on tax breaks for homeowners by removing deductions of interest on second homes, home-equity loans and mortgages worth more than $500,000.
  • For businesses, it would lower the corporate tax rate but remove a number of deductions currently available. It would make permanent the research-and-development tax credit.
  • The federal gasoline-tax rate would start to increase from 2013, increasing by 15 cents a gallon at that stage.
  • Federal subsidies to agribusinesses would begin to be slashed by $3 billion a year.
  • On Social Security, it would gradually increase the retirement age when people can start receiving benefits to 68 at around 2050 and to 69 by 2075.  It would combine a cut in benefits with an increase in taxes levied on wealthier seniors’ benefits.
  • The savings would be phased in over time and include a freeze on salaries and bonuses paid to federal employees for three years, at a savings of $15.1 billion by 2015.
  • It would propose cutting the federal work force by 10% for a further savings of $13.2 billion by 2015.
  • It would seek to rein in federal spending on health care, both by introducing further proposed changes, including reform of tort law, and by seeking to slow the growth of the Medicare program.
  • The commission highlights $100 billion in defense spending cuts, bolstered by $28 billion dollars in overhead reduction proposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

All of these moves would shrink the federal deficit to 2.2% of GDP by 2015, instead of the almost 6% it is today.

The responses, as expected, are mixed.

Democrats hate the spending cuts.

“This is really a starting point, and it’s an honest starting point,” Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) told reporters during a break in panel deliberations.

“I told them that there are things in there that inspire me, and there are things in there that I hate like the devil hates holy water. I’m not going to vote for this thing,” Durbin said.

“This is not the conclusion of the commission’s work. This is the beginning,” said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, who nevertheless commended Bowles and Simpson for putting together a “serious proposal.”

Other members were more blunt.

“This is not the way to do it,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, says he has “significant concerns” with the proposal and “can’t support it now.”

Republicans love the spending cuts, but of course, are more reserved when it comes to the tax changes, some of which are good, others not so much.  Republican economic stalwart Paul Ryan, though, has endorsed it as a starting point:  “This is a serious and impressive effort.  It is a good starting point.”

Fellow commission member Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee who co-authored a bipartisan tax reform proposal cited in the draft, characterized the report as an “aggressive and comprehensive plan … I look forward to reviewing it in depth and hopefully improving on it.”

However, most predictable, is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response.:  “This proposal is simply unacceptable.”  Yup…the usual greatness of compromise from the leader of the left.

All in all…this would be a transformational package.  By no means is it all good.  Taxes may or may not increase, depending on how things panned out.  But overall, this would significantly decrease the federal deficit, and that ultimately must be the goal of conservatives.

Politically speaking, I say Republicans overall accept this and move forward, and make changes where applicable.  Why?  It would put Obama and Democrats into a serious bind.  For the last two years, we have heard how Obama is the voice of moderation and compromise.  Well, let us see it.  Compromise on health care, Social Security, and the rest of the federal deficit flies in the face of everything Democrats believe in.  Forcing the issue, and putting the onus on the left, would further weaken Obama’s coalition no matter what he does.  If he supports the left, then independents will have to accept that Obama is no moderate.  Move to the middle and compromise with Republicans, and the left will be furious with the obvious cutbacks to sacred cows of the political left.

I say bring it on.

0

Obama, the USA and India

I would argue that, politically, the timing could not be worse.  After a drubbing at the polls, for the President to leave his own party in shambles and travel overseas, to any country, is simply not smart.  Clearly, this trip was planned months ago.  But was the White House so delusional as to believe that they wouldn’t get crushed in the mid-terms?

No matter.  One way or another, Obama has begun his Asian trip in India.  India has become a fundamental and strategic ally for the United States.  “In Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging,” Mr. Obama said in his speech, echoing a line he used earlier in the day at a joint news conference with Mr. Singh. “India has emerged.”

Geopolitically, India has become the integral front line to the threat of Muslim extremism along their western border with Pakistan, as well as counter the growing power of China in the east.   Starting with Bill Clinton, the U.S. has made a concerted effort to elevate India to one of its key strategic world partners.  George W. Bush further the relationship, as he increased economic and military ties with India to a greater extent than any other American leader.  The nuclear trade pact with India forever altered the relationship of the U.S. hegemony with the Indian nuclear state.  American allegiance to India in its efforts against terrorism, after September 11th as well as before, during and after the Mumbai attacks of 2008, cemented the friendship.  And for that, Bush is one of the most beloved Americans on the subcontinent, even to this day.

To further that relationship, Obama did something no other U.S. President has done…vocally come out in favor of a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for India, something that the Indians have fought and argued in favor of for decades.

And many people don’t realize that ties with India are not only on the diplomatic front.  3 million Americans of Indian descent live in the United States, and that population is growing in number as well as economic and political power.  Additionally, the U.S. military performs more exercises with India than any other nation in the world, and is starting to sell large amounts of weapons to the dramatically growing Indian forces.

But the old rivalries remain.  Surely, Pakistan (and their geopolitical ally, China) will fight forcefully against India’s Security Council seat bid.  And although the seat makes worldwide sense (how do you exclude the voice of 1.2 Billion people from the United Nations?), the same old issues regarding Kashmir will arise.  And China, of course, has ulterior motives.  The last thing it wants is to elevate India to equal standing to itself on the world stage.

As for Pakistan, Obama, like his predecessors, walks a tightrope between supporting India or Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir.  Clearly, the war in Afghanistan has allowed Pakistan more power in this debate.  But the Indian public, which feels a close affinity to America, simply does not understand the calculation.  From the Washington Post:

During a town hall forum at St. Xavier’s College here, a student rose to ask Obama why he does not refer to Pakistan as a “terrorist state,” drawing some gasps from the rest of the audience. Obama told the crowd that he had expected the issue to come up, and he answered by challenging the several hundred students present to view a country against whom India has fought three major wars, and was the staging area for a devastating terrorist attack against this city, from a new perspective.

“We want nothing more than a stable, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan,” Obama said. “Our feeling has been to be honest and forthright with Pakistan, to say, ‘We are your friend, this is a problem and we will help you, but the problem has to be addressed.’ “

The balance between the clear, ideological issue of terrorism in Pakistan, versus the pragmatism of a stable Pakistani state, comes into play again and again.  Pakistan may be a terrorist state, depending on how you define it, but America needs Pakistan as long as Afghanistan is in chaos.  And that calculation simply irritates India.

Long term, however, these issues may all be secondary to the rise of India’s economic power.  Growing at a steady 8% even during the current world recession, India’s effect on global markets will only trail that of the United States and China over the next century.  And for all the domestic complaints of outsourcing, India still is net importing country, with large potential for exporters in the United States.  With a middle class nearing 300 million people (or approximately equivalent to the entire population of the United States), ignoring India as a trade partner would be foolish.

Obama, like every President before him during the post-WWII era, will have to decide how to balance these varied issues in dealing with the growing superpower on the subcontinent. India is as diverse as many continents, and dealing with them takes patience and tact.  But the question is, how will America best use the relationship to bolster not only India, but America as well?  That is the balancing act that will, along with our relationship with China, largely determine the geopolitical power balance of the next century.

1

Now Begins The Tough Job…

Conservatives, and to a lesser extent Republicans, did what they had to do this election year.  With the force of the Tea Party driving them, Republicans took back enough control of Washington, D.C. to, at the very least, stop Obama from enacting ridiculous liberal policies that continue to drive our economy into the ground.

But now, the road back to prosperity truly begins.

There are two keys to going forward:  one, how do we deal with Barack Obama (and vice versa); and two, how do we proceed ourselves?

We may have successfully brought the ‘Obama Revolution’ to a screeching halt…and that is a victory in and of itself.  But now, we must move the country forward.  And that process is only just beginning.

Presidents have shown a resilience to recover after crushing first term midterm defeats.  Ronald Reagan lost his hard fought Republican support in Congress in 1982.  Bill Clinton suffered historic losses that brought Republicans into the Congressional leadership for the first time in decades.  And both presidents won re-election two short year later.

That is the history that we cannot allow to repeat.

As Philip Klein of the American Spectator states, both Obama and Republicans are likely not going to allow history to repeat itself ala 1996.  First off, Republicans are wary of their mistakes from the Gingrich era.  When they worked with Clinton on passing reasonable policy initiatives, such as Welfare reform, they helped themselves.  When they took unusual steps, such as closing down the federal government during the holidays, they made themselves look extreme and Bill Clinton the face of moderation.

Additionally, unlike Barack Obama, Bill Clinton was a political pragmatist, not an idealogue.  When Republicans won the midterms, he simply moved to the center.  Liberal goals such as gays in the military and health care were put on the backburner.

No one with any experience with Barack Obama feels he will do anything of the sort.  Mr. Obama is a believer; Mr. Clinton was a follower.  Our current president views the liberal crusade as a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Bill Clinton viewed his own seat in the Oval Office as such.  And in that way, Clinton’s primary goal was to maintain power.  Obama’s primary goal is to permanently shift America to the left.

There are plenty of unknowns.  Will the economy (miraculously) recover by 2012?  Will Obama come to his senses, and become the moderate that he stated he was?  Will Republicans overplay their hand, and allow petty issues and investigations paint their time in the leadership?

But the key for Republicans, and the devotion of their base which helped them ride into power, is whether they keep to their promises and ideals.  I think the leaders of the party, most prominently John Boehner, understand that this was a provisional vote.  We conservatives were willing to give Republicans a second chance after the debacle that was the earlier part of the decade.

Republicans don’t have to tow the line on everything; that is not how Congress works.  But they do have to make significant progress.  They must show that they are cutting government spending; an across the board freeze in spending is a good place to start, and start cutting from there.  There will have to be compromise…not of our ideals, but of minor details in order to get results.  That is just a simple and frank view of reality.

But if Republicans buy into their own perception of a ‘mandate’, like Democrats did, they will ultimately lose their connection to the common man; that is ultimately where elections are won and lost.  Republicans must keep their ties to their populist wing, especially groups such as the Tea Party, in order to keep them centered, and allow them to understand where the public stands.

So there is much work ahead, in the days and weeks to come.  We will have to take a principled, rational course as we move forward.  Obama and Democrats will not make that easy, as I am sure they will try to vilify the right, as they always do.  But we must stay on the straight and narrow, and keep our goal in mind:  economic recovery, smaller and more efficient government, and of course, regaining the White House in 2012.

0

Winners and Losers, Election 2010

Of course, in any election, there are winners and losers.  Here are my picks:

WINNERS

1. Sarah Palin – Ms. Palin was the biggest and most powerful political voice of the election cycle.  Simply put, no single person had more effect on the landscape of the election.  Does that convey to the Presidential landscape?  I doubt it…but her star has never been brighter.

2.  Marco Rubio – A young, appealing Hispanic candidate from a large, critical state with a clear and concise conservative voice.  I have to believe, assuming he keeps the straight and narrow, that a spot on a presidential ticket eventually must be on the horizon.

3.  Nikki Haley – See above.  An attractive minority candidate that now has a larger stage to voice her conservative values.  She isn’t the rockstar that Rubio is, or for that matter fellow Indian American Bobby Jindal…but she could be.

4.  Harry Reid – He survived. What else needs to be said?

5.  Rush Limbaugh – 2 years ago, at the CPAC meeting in Washington, D.C. weeks after Barack Obama took office, Limbaugh laid out the path to recovery for conservatives.  Few believed him, especially in the mainstream press.  But his prophecy came true.  Who other than Limbaugh predicted this comeback?

LOSERS

1. Barack Obama – He himself stated that this was a repudiation of his entire Presidency.  Whether he can recover or not will be based solely on his political skills.

2.  Nancy Pelsoi – The shortest speakership in modern history, she now leaves the Speaker’s office as one of the most detested politicians in America.  Likely, she is heading off into the sunset of retirement.

3.  Bill Clinton – Sure, he went places that the President couldn’t.  But he didn’t really make much of a difference in any of those places, did he?

4.  Chuck Schumer – He was so close to being Majority Leader, he could taste it.

5.  Meg Whitman – You spend $140 million and lose…to Governor Moonbeam?  Why any Republican would waste money in this pothole of a state any time soon is beyond me.

2

Victory

The election returns aren’t totally in…but this will likely be the largest election swing in decades, certainly the largest in the post-World War II era.

The Senate looks like it is out of reach, as West Virginia went early to the Democrats, as did expected seats in Connecticut, California and Delaware.  Although, I continue to believe that losing the Senate will actually make it easier to oust President Barack Obama in 2012.  Only time will tell.

Governorships looks to be doing well as well, although Colorado was a little disappointing.  But in my home state, John Kasich is the new Republican Governor of Ohio.

But still…this is a victorious night.  Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House! That, in and of itself, is an enormous victory that moves America forward.  It looks like Republicans will take approximately 60 seats tonight; larger than the 1994 Republican Revolution; larger than the last two Democrat election victories in 2006 and 2008.  This is the smallest number of seats held by Democrats in the House since 1946. Big time Democrats, including many chairs of House committees and names such as Baron Hill, Paul Kanjorski, Ike Skelton, Chet Edwards and others, are heading into retirement.

And I am sure many liberals will make fun of John Boehner’s emotional acceptance speech.  But that was honest and heartfelt…and Americans in the heart of this country understood the connection with that emotion.  Boehner is a much simpler man than Pelosi or Gingrich…and that may be his biggest asset.

But remember all the insults.  Remember them calling us racists, marxists, demagogues.  The Tea Party was made of only white, ignorant people in the middle of the nation that were mad at the African American President.

But be proud.  Tonight, we took the House of Representatives.  We took many Governorships.  We didn’t take the Senate, but that was always a stretch.  We have elected several great minority candidates to the House of Representatives.  We elected the first Indian American woman as Governor in South Carolina, and the first Latina governor in New Mexico.  We elected numerous great Tea Party candidates that believe in small, constitutional government, decreased spending, and reigning in the power of the federal government.

Tomorrow, the real work begins.  But tonight is time to enjoy the fruits of victory.

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