In its efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Obama Administration has made numerous demands for Israeli concessions such as the release of Palestinian prisoners who have murdered Israelis. The only significant demand Secretary of State John Kerry has made of the Palestinian Authority is to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Of course, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said no way, no how, no chance.
The Spectacle Blog
I write a daily news round-up for my full-time job here at the Spectator as new media associate. Every day I look at the wires, the newspapers, the conservative blogs, and the liberal ones to find the most important news.
On my RSS feed, you could find a blog for anything from politics to pipe smoking. After jumping into beer blogging, I’ve followed and read a few different beer news sites, which I present to you here this week.
Feature of the Week: If you know what type of beer you enjoy, study this gorgeous kaleidoscope thoroughly.
The large and stark images, the up-to-date releases, and the simple reviews attracted me to this site. These guys are also very active on Twitter. Very excited for this beer.
I caught a bit of Rick Perry's CPAC speech today and, boy, does he have a fire in the belly.
Despite losing two presidential elections, former senator Rick Santorum delievered a powerful speech at CPAC this afternoon. Rather than setting the stage for a presidential bid, Santorum warned grassroots activists and future Republican politicians not to be concerned with winning elections if it means "losing" cultural conservatism:
'We have to win.' We know what they mean: We have to put aside what we believe is in the best interest of the country so that a Republican candidate can win...They wonder why we lose.
Sen. Rand Paul took a strong stance against the NSA at CPAC today, bringing a whole room of attendees to their feet—something which ten years ago would have been unimaginable. "Generalized warrants that don’t name an individual go against the fabric of the Fourth Amendment," he said.
Although Paul’s speech was primarily intended to sell a liberty-centered conservatism, it also served as a dress rehearsal for the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nominee, specifically between frontrunners Paul and Governor Chris Christie. Yesterday, Christie marked himself as a proponent of a tough national defense. Paul countered by railing against the NSA on moral grounds:
We will not trade our liberty for security…Our rights are inherent. They are inseparable from our person…They come from our Creator and no government can take them away from us. The Constitution merely codifies what exists before time.
Political philosophy isn’t the only area of dispute. Whereas Christie identified himself as an outsider to an inept Congress, Paul defended his accomplishments in the Senate: "I took a stand. I filibustered…I sued the president."
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee gave a standard-issue conservative speech at CPAC this morning, trashing the NSA, Obamacare, abortion, and all forms of government overreach.
He also focused heavily on his belief in God, the Christian heritage of America, and our national defense. He even quoted Billy Graham’s wife Ruth:
If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Texas Governor Rick Perry electrified the crowds with his passionate words this morning at CPAC.
Perry introduced his speech discussing the weakened state of America’s place in the world, but quickly turned to solutions and hope:
It’s time for a little rebellion on the battle field of ideas!
His battle cry? Look to the states.
He devoted a good portion of his speech to complimenting his fellow red-state governors, including Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, and Florida’s Rick Scott. Perry said that conservative governors are the “common denominator” between “flourishing” red states. He jabbed at subsidies, the nanny-state, and Obamacare, mentioning the “freedom of the individual” over and over.
His words invited hearty applause from the audience, which erupted into a Texas-sized standing ovation toward the end of his speech.
In his speech at CPAC this morning, Senator Marco Rubio worked hard to find a middle ground between neoconservatives and Rand Paul on foreign policy.
He focused on the global state of the world – bloodshed in Venezuela, China’s overreach, North Korea’s missile power, Putin’s totalitarian control – and asked Americans to remember that all of this global unrest has negative effects on the American economy:
Americans must be involved in leading the world... we cannot ignore the reality of who we are and the global importance of this nation.
He pled with younger Americans to consider what their world will look like in ten years if we do nothing.
But how will he practically influence the world without directly getting involved militarily? He didn’t quite say.