MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Uses Anniversary of Lincoln’s Assassination To Call GOP Racist

Today marked yet another tax day come and gone. But, it also marked the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Over at MSNBC, Hardball host Chris Matthews chose to use the anniversary as a way to slam the GOP for being a bunch of racists by supporting voter ID laws in 36 states. (Newsbusters points out that Rhode Island’s law was passed by a liberal legislature and governor, but it wasn’t worth mentioning by Matthews because it didn’t fit the narrative.)

“[Lincoln] was killed because he fought and won a war that saved the Union,” Matthews said on Hardball. “He was killed fighting still for the right of freed American slaves to vote. And now the Republican Party he helped start is out there in a systemic effort to keep the children of those freed slaves from voting.”

These ID laws require people to have either: a driver’s license, a state-issued ID card, or a military ID card. Proponents of these laws insist that they are in place to prevent voter fraud – such as voting multiple times – while critics maintain that the laws exist to suppress the minority vote.

If you do not have an ID to vote, that means you also cannot: open a bank account, apply for a job, file for unemployment (or welfare or Medicaid or food stamps or Social Security), buy a home, drive a car, get married, pick up a prescription, or even pick up a pack of smokes.

h/t: Newsbusters

What do you think? Are voter ID laws racist? Or are they a necessary precaution?

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

150 Years After America’s ‘New Birth Of Freedom': How The Civil War Changed America

This week, the nation commemorates the 150 anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The last major act on the battlefield happened on April 9, 1865, when Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces cut off and surrounded Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army at Appomattox Courthouse.

The war, which raged from 1861 to 1865, defined the second half of the 19th century in the United States, in the same way World War II defined the latter half of the 20th. Civil War author Shelby Foote perhaps captured its significant in a single observation:

Before the war, it was said “the United States are.” Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the war, it was always “the United States is,” as we say today without being self-conscious at all. And that sums up what the war accomplished. It made us an “is.”

In 1858, a few years before he became president, Abraham Lincoln gave one of the most famous speeches of his career. In it, he stated that he believed the controversy regarding the place of slavery in the United States will not cease until “a crisis is reached and passed.” Then, quoting the words of Jesus, he said, “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe that this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it to cease to be divided.”

That crisis came in April 1861, following Lincoln’s election as president. Seven of the southern states voted to secede from the Union, even before he was sworn in; and four more would join them in short order. Lincoln’s election as the first Republican president told many in the South all they needed to know. The Republican platform called for halting the growth of slavery in the western territories. Many in the party wanted to see the institution’s demise altogether. Lincoln, in his famous debates with Senator Stephen Douglas regarding the future of slavery before the war, had often quoted the Declaration of Independence.

In a fiery moment during his U.S. Senate campaign in 1858 against Senator Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said:

I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where it will stop. If one says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If the Declaration is not truth, let us get the statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold to do it? If it is not true let us tear it out!

Cries erupted from the crowd. “No! No!” When Lincoln implored, “Let us stick to it then. . . . “[L]et us stand firmly by it then,” the crowd erupted into applause.

With the first Confederate cannon shot over the federal installation at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, the Civil War began. It would not end until over 600,000 Americans laid dead on battlefields from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and North Carolina to New Mexico. For a population of just over 30 million, the toll of America’s most deadly war was devastating.

The total financial cost of the war to the federal government alone is estimated at $5.2 billion. The nation began the war with $65 million in national debt, and ended it with $2.7 billion.

President Abraham Lincoln, in his brief Second Inaugural Address in March of 1865, sought to bring meaning and perspective to the cataclysmic events through which the nation had just passed. He observed that one-eighth of the population was enslaved, and all knew that the institution’s existence in America was somehow responsible for the war. He continued:

The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Peace came a little over four weeks later. “Unconditional Surrender Grant” gave generous terms, only requiring the Confederate soldiers to surrender their arms and pledge not to re-enter the fight.

Less than a week later, Abraham Lincoln–the man who had guided the nation through one of its most tumultuous and defining times in its history–would be dead. On Good Friday, April 14, confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth stepped into the Lincolns’ box at Ford’s Theater and shot him at point blank range.

Lincoln was one more sacrifice in America’s costliest war. Nonetheless, he died knowing the nation would be forever changed by what he and thousands upon thousands of other brave souls did. First came the Emancipation Declaration in 1863 freeing some of the slaves, followed by the 13th Amendment which passed the Congress shortly after Lincoln’s re-election in 1864, freeing all the slaves.

In the years immediately following the Civil War, the nation would also adopt the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing all equal protection under the law, and the 15 Amendment granting African Americans the right to vote.

As Lincoln had envisioned when he spoke at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, the nation experienced “a new birth of freedom” rooted in the central proposition found in the heart of the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal. May we never forget what that Civil War generation did, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Lincoln’s exhortation comes down through time:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

152 Years Ago Today, President Lincoln Proclaimed A National Day Of Humiliation, Fasting, And Prayer

National Park Service

During the Civil War, on MARCH 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer:

Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation; and

Whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord;

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity.

We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request and fully concurring in the view of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.

And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 30th day of March, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh. Abraham Lincoln. By the President: William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

Lincoln’s National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer was observed April 30, 1863.

Two days later, a freak accident occurred which changed the course of the war – one of the South’s best generals was accidentally shot by his own men.

Lt. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was considered one of the greatest tactical commanders in history.

He refused to let his men give ground at the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), standing there “like a stonewall.”

Often outnumbered 7 to 3, Jackson successfully fought the Shenandoah Valley Campaign:
Battles of McDowell (May 8, 1862),
Front Royal (May 23, 1862),
Winchester (May 25, 1862), and
Port Republic (June 9, 1862); and
Seven Days Battles (June 25-July 1, 1862),
Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862),
Antietam (September 17, 1862),
Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862) and
Chancellorsville (April 30-May 2, 1863).

On May 2, 1863, being outnumbered 2 to 1, with 133,868 Union troops against 60,892 Confederates, Stonewall Jackson successfully attacked the Union flank in the Battle of Chancellorville. The Union suffered a devastating 17,197 casualties to the Confederate’s 13,303.

At the end of the day, Jackson surveyed the field and returned to camp at twilight.

Suddenly, one of his own men shouted, “Halt, who goes there,” and without waiting for a reply, a volley of shots were fired.

Two bullets hit General Jackson’s left arm and one hit his right hand.

Several men accompanying him were killed, in addition to many horses.

In the confusion that followed, Jackson was dropped from his stretcher while being evacuated. His left arm had to be amputated.

General Robert E. Lee wrote to Jackson:

Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead.

General Lee sent the message through Chaplain B.T. Lacy:

He has lost his left arm but I my right… Tell him that I wrestled in prayer for him last night…as I never prayed for myself.

Jackson’s injuries resulted in him contracting pneumonia.

Growing weaker, Jackson said, May 10, 1863:

It is the Lord’s Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.

A few moments before he died, as he was losing consciousness, he said:

Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.

Most Civil War historians hold the opinion that had General Stonewall Jackson been alive and commanded two months later at the Battle of Gettysburg, the South may have won the battle, and possibly the war.

Jackson’s death was difficult to reconcile, as he was exemplary in faith and virtue.

Loyal to Virginia, he was against slavery and freed the slaves he inherited from his wife’s estate.

Beginning in 1855, Jackson participated in civil disobedience every Sunday by teaching a colored Sunday school class at the Lexington Presbyterian Church.

Though a Virginia law forbade teaching slaves to read, Jackson taught both slaves and free blacks, adults and children, to read the Bible.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, September 17, 1937:

I came into the world 17 years after the close of the war between the States…

Today…there are still many among us who can remember it…

It serves us little to discuss again the rights and the wrongs of the long 4-years’ war…

We can but wish that the war had never been. We can and we do revere the memory of the brave men who fought on both sides…

But we know today that it was best…for the generations of Americans who have come after them, that the conflict did not end in a division of our land into two nations.

I like to think that it was the will of God that we remain one people.”

At the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery, President Coolidge said, May 25, 1924:

It was Lincoln who pointed out that both sides prayed to the same God.

When that is the case, it is only a matter of time when each will seek a common end.

We can now see clearly what that end is.

It is the maintenance of our American ideals, beneath a common flag, under the blessings of Almighty God.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Which Are More Important: Local Or National Elections?


Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” That may have been true in Tip O’Neill’s day, but some elections are decisively on national issues — and the Congressional elections this year are overwhelmingly national, just as the elections of 1860 were dominated by one national issue, namely slavery.

In 1860, some abolitionists split the anti-slavery vote by running their own candidate — who had no chance of winning — instead of supporting Abraham Lincoln, who was not pure enough for some abolitionists. Lincoln got just 40 percent of the vote, though that turned out to be enough to win in a crowded field.

But what a gamble with the fate of millions of human beings held as slaves! And for what? Symbolic political purity?

This year as well, there are third-party candidates complicating elections that can decide the fate of this nation for years to come. No candidate that irresponsible deserves any vote. With all the cross-currents of political controversies raging today, what is the overriding national issue that makes this year’s Congressional elections so crucial?

That issue is whether, despite all the lawless edicts of President Obama, threatening one-man rule, we can still salvage enough of the Constitution to remain a free, democratic nation.

Barack Obama will be on his way out in two years; but if he can appoint enough federal judges who share his contempt for the Constitution’s limits on federal government power in general, and presidential powers in particular, then the United States of America can continue on the path to becoming another banana republic, even after Obama has left the White House.

President Obama understands how high the stakes are, which is why he is out fundraising all across the country — seemingly all the time — even though he has no more elections to face himself. Obama came to power saying that he was going to fundamentally change the United States of America — and he intends to do it, even after he is gone, by giving lifetime appointments as federal judges to people who share his view that this country’s institutions and values are fundamentally wrong, and need to be scrapped and replaced by his far left vision.

If only Obama’s critics and opponents understood this momentous issue as clearly as he does!

The issue is whether “we the people,” as designated by the Constitution, continue free to live our own lives as we see fit, and to determine what laws and policies we want to live under.

President Obama’s vision is very different. In his vision, our betters in Washington shall simply order us to live as they want us to live — telling us what medical insurance we can have, what doctors we can go to, what political groups shall be favored by the Internal Revenue Service, with more of the same coming in the years ahead, long after Obama has left the White House.

Critics who deplore President Obama’s foreign policies in general, and his weak response to the ISIS threat in particular, as showing incompetence — and who see his incessant fundraising as just a weird distraction — fail to understand how different his priorities are from theirs.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Will America Survive Obama?

Photo credit: DVIDSHUB (Flickr)

From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide. – Abraham Lincoln

Barack Obama has become the instrument of that suicide.

In a manner reminiscent of a pubescent potentate, Obama appears to be both disengaged and autocratic as he recklessly attempts to implement his catastrophic domestic programs and a feckless foreign policy.

The maniacal pursuit of goals so at odds with the country’s values and traditions, or even its survival, can only be attributed to a flawed character and an uncompromising devotion to a demonstrably unworkable leftist ideology.

Obama, who often mistakes himself for a messiah, displays many of the characteristics of a narcissist: expecting constant praise and admiration; has a grandiose sense of self-importance; expecting others to go along with his ideas and plans; lacking empathy and taking advantage of others to achieve his own ends; regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes; exaggerating his achievements or talents; thin-skinned/being easily hurt and rejected.

Narcissists are frequently detached from reality, emotionally distant from others, and have a deficit of self-awareness.

It is not surprising then, that Obama, who oversees the most incompetent, unaccountable, and secretive administration in US history would have the audacity to lecture African leaders (U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, August 6, 2014) on good governance, accountability, and transparency:

“And so the good news — and we heard this in the summit — is that more and more countries are recognizing that in the absence of good governance, in the absence of accountability and transparency, that’s not only going to have an effect domestically on the legitimacy of a government, it’s going to have an effect on economic development and growth. ”

In contrast to previous presidents, virtually everyone who has played an important role in the life of Barack Obama loathes all that the United States represents: e.g. Frank Marshall Davis, Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, George Soros, and Michelle Obama.

Obama’s politics are ideologically-driven and, like all members of the far left, are not motivated by compassion for the suffering, but by hatred of the successful. He is the poster child of the “you didn’t build that” mentality, reaching high office not through his own achievements, but through Affirmative Action and the assistance of fellow travelers.

Modern liberals like Obama have “weaponized” altruism; that is, the belief that people should sacrifice themselves for others has been transformed into the belief that people should be forced to sacrifice themselves for others. Or, to state it more simply, liberals believe in doing good with other people’s money.

Because liberalism cannot appeal to human virtues like responsibility, ambition, and hard work, they must to appeal to human weaknesses like guilt and envy and must eventually resort to deceit and coercion in order to accomplish their objectives.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom