Thursday, December 27, 2012

@AndrewBreitbart: @GlennBeck tried to take away @BreitbartNews editors, writers

The late Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch [Image Credit: Illinois Review]

 Guest blogger: Becca J. Lower

Could it be that these portions of Stephen Bannon's interview in December 2011 with the late Andrew Breitbart relate to the lawsuit that Big Journalism editor-in-chief Dana Loesch has filed against LLC? Since I'm not a lawyer, I won't speculate. You can make up your own mind. [emphasis mine]

 Andrew Breitbart:

There are people in the movement I’ve had rifts with, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to heal those rifts. But I was warned about Glenn Beck by my intellectual betters, people who have a lot more power than me in the conservative movement, and I didn’t heed their advice. And I had exactly happen to me what they warned would happen, and it’s happened so many times.

I think he’s a clever guy. He’s a clever guy, and I know that while he was throwing me under the bus he was simultaneously using his guys that work for him to go try and take away editors and writers that worked for me and to demean me in the process. While he was doing this, he was weirdly– on the air– say, “Oh, Breitbart, he’s valiant. Breitbart, he’s heroic,” making it so that the audience would say, “Well, Glenn only says nice things about Andrew on the air,” while simultaneously was sending his radio agents, you know, people in his radio network and trying to get my editors in order to create a competitor website over at The Blaze and GBTV.

So, he’s a snake. Everybody in the business knows that he’s a snake, and he won’t confront me on that. He can’t rectify the situation with me. He’s going to have to figure out a way to rectify things with anyone who takes my word, and finds themselves a supporter of him as well....
Later, he continues:
This guy is a huckster, he’s always been a huckster.

It’s only a few years ago that he was a shock jock, and that he was a “Morning Zoo” guy. He’s been taking people’s content for years and not crediting it. He tripped into the vast right-wing conspiracy, and that’s where he had his greatest successes. So he said, “Okay I’m a radio show host, and now I’m a popular television show host. I’m gonna become a book author, I’m gonna become everything. Now I’m going to become a web impresario.”

How do you do that? How do you create the New York Times from scratch? How do you– well, in his mind, it was take Breitbart stuff and don’t credit it and simultaneously try to destroy him and his reputation by throwing him under the bus on Sherrod. And then a month later, create a replica website using people that he’s hired away from Breitbart’s site. And then not let Andrew Breitbart defend himself when you are throwing him under the bus.... 
Again, a special hat tip to R. Stacy McCain for sharing the audio of the interview, and for daring to ask the hard questions.

-Becca Lower

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Trading Freedom for "Safety"

The tragedy in Connecticut was devastating, there is no getting around that.  However, the response that many have had is appalling.  Why is it that our first response is always to give up our freedoms in search of "safety"? Taking guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens is not only unconstitutional and wrong, but dangerous. If we take the guns away from the good guys, the only ones left with guns will be the bad guys. The people who are committing crimes don't care if you make it against the law to possess a gun, they are already breaking the lawAs NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said during the NRA press conference earlier this week, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."  Gun regulation is just a way to make you feel safer, without actually addressing any of the problems. 

Not only is our Second Amendment right to bear arms up for debate, but now we are discussing if we should ban violent video games: an assault on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Enough is enough. We do not need the government coming into our homes and telling us what we are and are not allowed to do. It is time for parents to step up and start being parents. One of my friends has a twelve year old son who is autistic; because of this, she is very careful about what she exposes him to. That is what being a parent is all about! President Obama doesn't know what is best for your child, you do. 

Despite the fact this is an issue that should be dealt with in the home, people have yet again sought government intervention. Which got me thinking: what makes Americans so apt to trade in their freedoms? I realized it may be because people don't recognize the precedent these bans would set. For example, many Christians support banning violent video games. But what does this line of thinking lead to?  Do we really want the government telling us what games we can play, or what we are allowed to say? 

It is pretty ironic though. Christians, who are being demonized for saying Merry Christmas, are the very ones in favor of giving the government the power to push political correctness. I guess everyone is willing to give up their freedom, until it starts to affect them.  

When I was in 5th grade I was bullied by a classmate to the point that my parents almost pulled me out of school. When my mom tried to talk to his mother about it, she replied, "He just has a lot of anger issues. He gets it from his dad" and then did nothing to address the situation. A few years later, this classmate raped and murdered a two-year old girl, a tragedy which easily could have been prevented if his mother had chosen chose to take to take action sooner.

Of course we need to make sure that parents have resources available to them to help their children. Ultimately, parents need to be responsible for their children. 
What society needs isn’t more government regulations, it’s strong families that raise up young men and women of moral integrity. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Role of Guns in America

Talking about the role of guns in our society is a discussion that is filled with emotions and fear. We all want something to be done, but everyone seems to fundamentally disagree about what. This is a conversation that we need to begin having on every level of government. However, the important thing to remember is compassion. We need to show compassion to the families that were involved in all of the latest tragedies. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and loss they are feeling. 

We cannot continue to react to these tragedies. It is time for America to pro-actively address these acts of violence. I know that many of you think that advocating to remove the gun-free zones and promote carry and conceal licenses is a direct insult to the families of the victims. However, which of these two is less sensitive: letting innocent citizens sit there unable to defend themselves, praying the police get to them before the shooter does, or empowering good people to defend not only themselves in these situations but everyone around them?

Here are some examples of times where citizens were able to prevent mass shootings:

  • A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school's vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.
  • A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun.
  • A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard.
  • A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.
  • A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
  • A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns.
  • A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.
  • At the recent mall shooting in Portland, Ore., the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon.
We cannot continue to blame the guns or even society for the actions of these sick and evil individuals. As Ronald Reagan said, "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." 

People have been killing people since before guns were ever even thought of. It is time to stop blaming the gun, and start blaming the individuals. Last week in China a man stabbed 22 children and an elderly woman

These are sick and evil people and we need to call them out for what they are. If we take away guns, criminals will just use another means to cause harm. We need to make sure that we are arming good men and women to rise up and defend their community when the time comes. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Elections Have Consequences...

Since the election last Tuesday, many companies have begun to take pro-active steps to avoid the coming cost of Obamacare. While some companies are pushing the costs to their employees, other companies, like Denny's, are putting the cost on consumers through an Obamacare surcharge. 

Now many of my liberal minded friends will probably think these CEO's are heartless "one-percenters" and should absorb the cost themselves. But why should these CEO's  be forced to pay to provide a service to their employees if they don't want to? When did it become our right to force them to pay for it? You enter into an employment contract willingly. No one forces you to take the job. As such, if you do not like the benefits you are being provided with, quit. 

Instead, we as a country have conceded to the entitlement mentality, and it is already beginning to destroy our country. Jobless claims have risen 78k since the election pushing unemployment to 439k, the highest level since April 2011.

Here is a list of some, not all, of the companies that have announced layoffs in the last week:
Bombay - closing remaining stores
Brake Parts – laid off 75 workers
Bristol-Meyers – laid off 480 employees
Cache - will close all stores
Center for Hospice New York – temporarily laid off as many as 40 employees
CVPH Medical Center - handed pink slips to 17 employees
Darden Restaurants – will reduce workers to 28 hours per week to avoid paying for Obamacare
Dillard's - to close some stores
Disney - closing 98 stores and will close more after January
Eddie Bauer - to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Energizer - expects to shed about 1,500 employees  
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
Exide Technologies - laying off 150 workers, effective no later than March 31
GAP - closing 85 stores
Hawker Beechcraft – Laid off 240 employees 
Home Depot-  closing 15 stores 1 in NJ
Hostess - closes 3 bakeries
Husqvarna – laid off 600 employees
JC Penney - closing a number of stores after January
J. Jill - closing all stores 
K B Toys - closing 356 stores
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's - to close 150 stores nationwide
Levitz - closing down remaining stores
Lightyear Network Solutions – Laid off more than one dozen employees 
Linens and Things - closing all stores
Lowes  - to close down 30 stores
Macy's - to close 9 stores after January
Momentive Performance Materials – laid off about 150 workers
Movie Galley Closing all stores
OCE North America – laid off 135 workers

Piercing Pagoda - closing all stores
Providence Journal - Laid off 23 full-time workers
Research in Motion Limited - laid off about 200 people at its U.S. headquarters 
Rocketdyne – laid off about 100 employees 
Sharper Image-  closing down all stores
Sprint/Nextel - closing 133 stores
Talbots & Pacific Sunwear - closing down specialty stores
Texas Instruments - will lay off 1,700 employees (H/T to @Repub9989)

United Blood Services Gulf – will lay off 10% of it’s workforce
US Cellular – laid off 980 employees  
Vestas Wind Systems – laid off  3,000 staff
Whitehall - closing all stores
West Ridge Mine - Will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″
Westinghouse – laid off another 50 employees
Wickes Furniture - closing down all stores
Zales - closing down 82 stores and 105 after January

Monday, November 12, 2012

Moving #Forward

There is no getting around the fact that our loss last Tuesday was heartbreaking.  I won't get into why we lost, but I want to talk about where we go from here.  How do we as a party move forward? 

I have seen so many conservatives call it quits on the Republican Party and mourn the defeat of America.  This attitude is simply unacceptable.  Now is NOT the time to give up, now is the time to fight harder than ever before!  If we give up on America, who will fight for freedom?  If we give up, we have already lost.  There is nothing left to do BUT fight!

This election has shown us exactly where we need to go moving forward, the culture.  Conservatives have conceded the culture to the liberals for far too long.  We refuse to become teachers because the classroom is liberal.  We refuse to become filmmakers because Hollywood is liberal.  The list goes on and on, and we have lost my generation because of it.  

We need to start engaging in the culture wars!  We need to begin training young conservatives and teaching them why we believe what we believe.  Throughout my time working as the Youth Coordinator for George Allen for U.S. Senate this fall, I met way too many students who only voted for Romney because their parents told them to.  This is not sustainable for us as a party.  We need to mentor young men and women that are philosophically sound and then send them back to their classrooms and workplaces.

I have heard far to many conservative leaders blow off students because they think we are a lost cause.   Students are constantly being told that Republicans hate higher education, and being a Republican means they are fighting against their own interests.  And since there are no conservatives in higher education to fight against this narrative, students fall for the lies, never being questioned for their beliefs.  Many students are just naive and simply need to be shown why moral absolutes are necessary to have a successful society.  Winning elections means nothing if the culture is not on our side, and until we learn this, we will just keep losing.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day 2012

Today we honor all of the men and women who have given their lives to defend our country.  However, Veteran's Day is so much more than just a yearly obligation to say thank you to our troops.  These brave individuals have chosen to follow the highest calling there is.  The sacrifices they willingly make so that you and I will be safe at night deserves our respect every single day of the year.  We should never stop praying for their safety and for the families they leave behind.  You don't have to wait for a certain day of the year to show them your appreciation.  So the next time you see a soldier, thank them! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

5 Lessons I Have Learned From Being An Intern

Having an internship can be a great opportunity to launch your professional career if you know how to make the most of it.  You can either get stuck doing database entry all semester, or you can learn real skills and be a part of the team. 

Here are some tips for anyone looking to maximize their internship:
1. Dress for Success
You do not need to wear brand new designer clothes to look professional.   A quick trip to a local thrift store is a great option for those of us who do not have tons of money to spend on clothes.  The most important part is to actively think about the message your clothes are sending. Girls, please avoid wearing mini-skirts and low-cut blouses.  This is not the message you want to send to your co-workers. If you want to be respected at work, dress like you are at work and not a dance club.

2. Show Initiative
I know way too many interns who get stuck entering data.  Do yourself a favor, don't let this happen to you.  When I got to the Leadership Institute this summer, my supervisor told me that what I would get out of my internship was up to me.  I had the choice to either be a part of the team or to sit on the sidelines.  I chose to engage with my supervisor and create projects that addressed needs we saw within our department.  At the end of the internship, I was able to walk away with practical skills and an experience I could be proud of.  You get to define your internship.  You can talk to your supervisor and create projects that highlight your passions and skills, or you can sit around all semester doing menial tasks.

3. Get Out of the House
Five years from now you won't remember all those nights you stayed at home.  However, you will remember the contacts you made and the events you went to. Networking is a skill like any other.  It takes a lifetime to perfect it.  If you don't have a lot of experience networking, I recommend that you read Dig Your Well Before You are Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need.  As rule #22 of Morton Blackwell's Laws of The Public Policy says, "Never miss a political meeting if you think there is the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there."

4. People Are Always Watching You
In today's digital world, everything you do is on display. Don't do anything that you would be embarrassed to see printed in the paper tomorrow. I know this seems unfair, but this is a really easy way for you stand out in our generation. When you apply for a job, you don't want your potential employer to find pictures of you wasted last Friday night, especially if you are under 21. Your reputation is the most important thing you have. Rule #11 of Morton Blackwell's Laws of The Public Policy offers us some wisdom here, "In politics, you have your word and your friends; go back on either and you're dead."

5. Remember to Follow-Up
You can talk to everyone in the room at an event; but at the end of the day if you forget to follow-up with them, you haven't gained anything. When you get someone's business card, write where you met them and what you talked about on the back. Send them a follow-up e-mail within 48 hours of meeting them and start building a lasting relationship. Remember, "it's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference."

Working as an intern can be a valuable asset to you and develop you professionally, or it can be a boring “go-fer” job. The choice is up to you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

#IStandWith... Well I don't really know.

Standing up for what you believe in never seems like it would be hard to do, until you get in the situation where you need to defend yourself. After all, the VeggieTales characters always made it seem so easy! (For those of you who don't remember the song you can watch the video here!)

However, what happens when your friends are the ones condemning you? What happens when you are standing alone? Many of us would be quick to cave.

As followers of Jesus Christ, I believe that as hard as it might be, we are called to stand firm. If you don't defend what you believe in who will? I would just like to give some encouragement to any of you who might be going through a situation where you are being tempted to compromise; you never know who you are impacting by standing strong.

This week I learned a very important lesson from one of my close friends. She was in a situation where it would have been easy for her to take the easy way out and compromise her values. Even though some people criticized the way she handled the situation, she refused to compromise. The situation she was dealing with is an area where I have fallen short in my own life, so watching this young woman handle herself with such grace and confidence was incredibly inspirational to me. If she would have compromised, then I would not have had the opportunity to learn what standing firm in that area looks like. When you stand your ground, even when you feel like no one agrees with you, you can have a powerful impact for Christ!

J.C. Watts says it best, "Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught."

Too many people believe that as long as you don't get caught, no harm no foul. This is not the case. People are always watching you, and the truth will come out. Those of us who are aspiring leaders should live a life beyond reproach and be grounded in a firm moral background. You never know who you might reach by standing up for yourself and your beliefs. Be loud and proud!