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21 Feb

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Reasoned Audacity Milestone: 300,000 visitors!

February 21, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

Thank you so much for reading Reasoned Audacity!

If you think you were our 300,000th visitor — see below, please comment. The first commenter will receive a copy of Charmaine’s book Mother in the Middle: Searching for Peace in the Mommy Wars, published by HarperCollins. If your comment is not the first, but is more clever than creditable, we might send you a book anyway.

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Alert Readers will remember that Reasoned Audacity will be two years old in two days. We launched on 23 February 2005 writing about Tocqueville. And the freedom of association of blog writers and readers.

Thank you for reading at least one of our 1,197 posts.

We remain in your debt, Charmaine and Jack.

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Bill Maher with Mother in the Middle.

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Sam Brownback at NRB

February 18, 2007 | By | No Comments

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Senator Sam Brownback

For some reason, there seem to be a few politicians here at NRB this year. Sam Brownback was greeting attendees standing just outside the door as the opening General Session concluded. A friend attended a reception held in his honor earlier in the evening and she reported back that the room was full to capacity.

Mitt Romney is slated to be here this afternoon; tomorrow, John McCain.

Update 21 Feb 2007: see Randy Thomas who was also at NRB. Is he an Ex-Gay for Pay as Pam Spaulding claims?

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18 Feb

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The Diva at Disney

February 18, 2007 | By | 4 Comments

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The Diva and I are in Orlando for the annual meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters. So our first stop when we arrived Friday evening: Disney, of course. There’s a section of the Disney Empire called Downtown Disney that is just shops and restaurants where you can walk around for free, so that’s where we headed. Fortunately, our cab driver suggested dropping us off by the Lego store — outside were tables with a bin in the middle full of legos and kids building all kinds of creations!

What I found most interesting though was how amazingly upscale everything was.

What happened to Everyman Disney?

For dinner we dropped in to the Wolfgang Puck cafe. . . and had four-cheese pizza, complete with little dollops of goat cheese. The Diva looked at me skeptically and wrinkled her nose, but she did eat it. We got a side order of the best cole slaw ever. I think I tasted horseradish in the dressing.

To top it off, we headed over for hot fudge sundaes. No Hershey’s syrup, here, no sirree. Ghirardelli’s natch.

charmaine_diva_ice_cream.jpgI’m certainly not complaining. It was a lovely evening. And I was very happy to have grown-up food. But still.

And that isn’t even addressing the merchandising! What happened to cheap, overpriced Mickey ears?

Now Disney is hawking “Classic Pooh” bone china. And tastefully monogrammed golf shirts by Greg Norman. I really wanted to get the one with Grumpy breaking his golf club over his knee. . . but a quick call to your Business Blogger verified that yes, indeed, he would not wear it no matter how funny I thought it was. No fun at all.

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NRI: Terry Jeffrey

January 28, 2007 | By | One Comment

Hooray Terry Jeffrey!!

terry_jeffrey.jpgTerry just rose after Charles Murray’s talk and noted, with great passon, that47 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade in 1973. The same number as the uninsured.

Then he observed that last night Mitt Romney described his conversion to a pro-life position in his mid-50’s after reseraching the stem-cell issue.

This happened, Terry argued, because pro-lifers have never given up arguing for first principles.

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NRI: Charles Murray

January 28, 2007 | By | No Comments

If you want to know how to construct a conservative agenda, let’s look back to the last time we were successful.

Ronald Reagan. (Ah, I’m going to like this talk.)

What did the Gipper say? “Government is not the solution, it’s the problem”

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How many Presidents since then have been willing to say that?

How many of the candidates now running will be willing to say that?

I think none, says Murray.

When was the next time conservatives were successful? The Contract with America.

Many, he notes, attributed the success of that lower-government agenda to clever packaging.

But it wasn’t packaging, it was the substance.

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National Review Institute: James Woolsey

January 28, 2007 | By | No Comments

I’m not usually that interested in energy policy, and man, I haven’t had any caffeine yet this morning. So we were headed out to get some Earl Grey, when Jim Woolsey made this comment and I just had to turn the computer back on:

“If you want to know who is paying for the other side in the War on Terror, next time you are at the gas pump, filling up your tank, turn the rear-view mirror. . . and look at yourself in it. That’s who is paying for our opponents in this war. (paraphrased.)”

Hmm. We’re about to get testy this rainy morning.

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National Review Institute: Mike Huckabee

January 28, 2007 | By | One Comment

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Mike Hucakabee Speaking to National Review

Mike Huckabee is an instantly likeable speaker. As I walked in after driving through rainy, Sunday morning Washington DC streets, he was telling a story about getting a “whuppin'” from his dad when he was a kid. He made the point that when you get a whuppin’, you need to know why. . . and you need to avoid doing whatever it was that got you the whuppin’ again. Republicans, he said, need to understand why they got a whuppin’ in November.

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To my surprise, the media is back this morning. There are at least three cameras in the back covering the speech. Not as many as for Romney last night, but still, a good turnout.

Jack and I met him yesterday afternoon and talked about running marathons. He ran the New York Marathon last year while injured and we compared notes on the pain of crossing mile twenty. . . and gutting it out to mile 26.2. He might get my vote just for being a marathoner. It’s a nice analogy for a presidential race that’s for sure.

So, interesting that he is talking about health care now, from a very different perspective. Story of Starbucks (owner?) who told Huckabee that he spends more on health care each year than he does in buying coffee for the entire nationwide franchise. Amazing. Told the good joke about NFL football — 22 people on the field who need a rest, and 70,000 people who desperately need some exercise.

Catching up a little — he’s just been interrupted by the largest round of applause yet. Jack tells me he just said that Steve Forbes is right and that we need a flat tax.

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National Review Institute: Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, and Ed Whelan

January 27, 2007 | By | No Comments

Liveblogging a Conservative All-Star Lineup!

Robert George: “Truth is luminously powerful.”

Making the case that “each of us once an embryo.” Incrementalism, as a strategy, can be entirely honorable. As long as it isn’t a euphemism for surrender. Small victories can help to get public opinion moving in the right direction. The debate around “Born Alive” survivors of abortion and “partial birth abortion” have focused attention on the realities of abortion and that it truly is a child, and not a choice. Sonography, also showing the “wondrously human life of the child in the womb.”

The movement must work to make high-quality sonography more available. Pro-abortion movement, of course, is fighting this. Why? “Might hurt the fetus.”

Much appreciative laughter.

Abortion is an issue of profound moral significance. But another shadow looms: biotechnology. No one should be against the advance of technology. In the long run, the issue is not about spare embryos, the real issue is the pratice of creating human embryos for cloning. There are not nearly enough spare embryos for the uses scientists want to put them to. Hundreds of thousands will soon be needed. In vitro embryos are products of the genetic lottery. They aren’t a match of the patient in need. Cloning is a match.

Legislation in NJ considers funding fetal farming. Which is where all this leads.

Most Americans are repulsed by the idea of gestating a baby and harvesting it. At least for now.

(Editorial comment: that is an important caveat!)

We should all support stem cell research but insist that human life not be destroyed in the process.

Turning to marriage: conservatives should be clear about why it is important. Marriage is a pre-political institution. It is not created by the law; it is recognized by the law.

There is a reason all cultures recognize and regulate marriage. Governments rely on famlies to produce something they cannot produce: decent, upright citizens.

Where the family fades, the state will enter. Everyone suffers when the family fails. Someone has to pay for increased public services and that someone is the taxpayer.

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National Review Institute: Panel on Religious Conservatives

January 27, 2007 | By | No Comments

We’re spending the day at the National Review Institute gathering. Great fun — every time you turn around there’s another old friend and someone you’d like to meet as a new friend.

The panel on religious conservatives just concluded, featuring Ralph Reed debating Ryan Sager, a columnist for the New York Post who wrote a book called The Elephant in the Room Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party.

Ralph acquitted himself well, except for the cringe-worthy moment when he mentioned the role of corruption in November’s election. . . might be a topic/word he would want to avoid.

The key point in Sager’s presentation was his comment that evangelicals are “on the wrong side of the biggest civil rights issue of our time.”

This is the framing of the same-sex marriage issue that is the challenge confronting marriage defenders today. The Human Rights Campaign (there it is, right in their name!) is steadily gaining ground with their catchphrase: “writing discrimination in the Constitution.” Very disciplined message; very effective.

Jeb Bush coming up at lunch-time. Gingrich was here for breakfast. Mitt Romney tonight at dinner. Huckabee speaking tomorrow.

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Tony Perkins’ Response to State of the Union

January 24, 2007 | By | No Comments

“During his State of the Union Address on January 23, 2007, President Bush received applause for his commitment to providing healthcare and for his unwavering words about the war on terror. Unfortunately, on a number of critical issues, the same resolve was missing. . .” More here.

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