The ACLU Gets It Right

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Congressional Democrat’s attempt to repeal the First Amendment. Part of this attempt would insure that incumbent politicians would be able to stay in office indefinitely–opponents would be prevented from raising the amount of money necessary to achieve the name recognition needed to be viable candidates. A hearing on the bill was held yesterday.

The article lists some of the details of the law, which is sponsored by Tom Udall:

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates. …

Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

States would also be given similar powers.

Here are a few quotes from the ACLU‘s letter to Congress opposing the bill:

To give just a few hypotheticals of what would be possible in a world where the Udall proposal is the 28th Amendment:

    • Congress would be allowed to restrict the publication of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir “Hard Choices” were she to run for office;

    • Congress could criminalize a blog on the Huffington Post by Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, that accuses Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) of being a “climate change denier”;

    • Congress could regulate this website by reform group Public Citizen, which urges voters to contact their members of Congress in support of a constitutional amendment addressing Citizens United and the recent McCutcheon case, under the theory that it is, in effect, a sham issue communication in favor of the Democratic Party;

    • A state election agency, run by a corrupt patronage appointee, could use state law to limit speech by anti-corruption groups supporting reform;

    • A local sheriff running for reelection and facing vociferous public criticism for draconian immigration policies and prisoner abuse could use state campaign finance laws to harass and prosecute his own detractors;

    • A district attorney running for reelection could selectively prosecute political opponents using state campaign finance restrictions; and

    • Congress could pass a law regulating this letter for noting that all 41 sponsors of this amendment, which the ACLU opposes, are Democrats (or independents who caucus with Democrats).

Such examples are not only plausible, they are endless.

This proposed law is one example of the reason term limits for politicians would be a really good idea. One of the major effects of this law would be to insure that incumbents would remain in office. It is an unfortunate fact of life that any limit on campaign donations gives an advantage to incumbent office holders–they have access to the press and can stage press events. Candidates running against them have a much more difficult time getting the attention of the press–therefore they are forced to spend money on campaign ads in order to be viable candidates.

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Standing For Something

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about two contrasting speeches given in the Senate that tell a lot about politics in America. The first speech was given by Senator Tom Harkin, who recently returned from a trip to Cuba. Senator Harkin offered a rosy view of Cuba’s efforts on literacy and health care.  Senator Harkin made no mention of the oppression of the Cuban people or the poverty of the vast majority of Cuban people. Senator Marco Rubio, who parents were Cuban exiles, was not impressed.

Here are Senator Rubio’s remarks, quoted from the article at Hot Air:

A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.

I wonder if our visitors to Cuba were informed that in Cuba, any time there is any sort of problem with the child in utero they are strongly encouraged to undergo abortions, and that’s why they have an abortion rate that skyrockets, and some say, is perhaps the highest the world. I heard him also talk about these great doctors that they have in Cuba. I have no doubt they’re very talented. I’ve met a bunch of them. You know where I met them? In the United States because they defected. Because in Cuba, doctors would rather drive a taxi cab or work in a hotel than be a doctor. I wonder if they spoke to him about the outbreak of cholera that they’ve been unable to control, or about the three-tiered system of health care that exists where foreigners and government officials get health care much better than that that’s available to the general population.

I also heard him speak about baseball and I know that Cubans love baseball, since my parents were from there and I grew up in a community surrounded by it. He talked about these great baseball players that are coming from Cuba — and they are. But I wonder if they informed him — in fact, I bet you they didn’t talk about those players to him because every single one of those guys playing in the Major Leagues defected. They left Cuba to play here.

He also talked about how people would come up to him in the streets and not a single person said anything negative about America. Nobody came up to him wagging their fingers saying, ‘You Americans and your embargo is hurting us.’ I’m glad to hear that. Because everyone who wants to lift the embargo is constantly telling us that the Castros use that to turn the people against us. So obviously, that’s not true. So I’m glad to hear confirmation of what I already knew to be true. I heard about their wonderful literacy rate, how everyone in Cuba knows how to read. That’s fantastic. Here’s the problem: they can only read censored stuff. They’re not allowed access to the Internet. The only newspapers they’re allowed to read are Granma or the ones produced by the government.

I wish that someone on that trip would have asked the average Cuban, ‘With your wonderful literacy skills, are you allowed to read The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or any blog, for that matter?’ Because the answer’s, ‘No.’ So it’s great to have literacy, but if you don’t have access to the information, what’s the point of it? So I wish somebody would have asked about that on that trip. We heard about Mr. Gross, who is not in jail. He’s not a prisoner. He is a hostage. He is a hostage. And in the speech I heard a moment ago, I heard allusions to the idea that maybe we should — he didn’t say it, but I know the language, I know the code in this — that maybe there should be a spy swap. Here’s the problem: Mr. Gross was not a spy. You know what his crime was, if that’s what you can call it? He went to Cuba to hand out satellite radios to the Jewish community. But, we’re glad to hear that the Cubans are so nice to him that they let him walk 10,000 steps a day and do pull-ups and they let him build a necklace out of bottle cap tops. Very nice of them to allow him to do those things. How generous.

I wonder if anybody asked about terrorism, because Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. I wonder if anybody asked about the fact that, just a few months ago, a North Korean ship going from Cuba to North Korea was stopped in the Panama Canal and it contained items in violation of international sanctions against a government in North Korea that, a report just came out confirming what we already knew, has death camps and prison camps. And the Cubans are allowing them to evade these sanctions. Did that come up in any of the wonderful conversations in this socialist paradise in the Caribbean? I bet you it didn’t.

Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at, because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now.

Let me show you the first slide here. This gentleman here is the former mayor of a municipality in Caracas. His name is Leopoldo Lopez. And this is the National Guard of Venezuela pulling him into an armored truck last week. You know why? Because he’s protesting against the government. He’s protesting against the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela. You know why? Because the Venezuela government is giving them cheap oil and free oil, in exchange for help during these sorts of repressions. So here he is, he’s sitting in jail right now because he’s protesting against the government. He’s sitting in jail right now.

So here’s the next slide. This is Genesis Carmona. She’s a beauty queen and a student in a city called Valencia. She’s on that motorcycle because the government in Venezuela and the thug, these so-called civilian groups that they’ve armed — another export from Cuba, a model the Cubans follow — they shot her in the head. She died last week. This is the government that the Cubans support. Not just verbally, not just emotionally, but with training and tactics. This is who they export — this is what they do. And she’s dead. And this is her being taken on a motorcycle to the hospital where they were unable to save her life because she was shot in the head by Venezuelan security forces.

Here’s another slide. Remember I showed you Mr. Lopez? These are his supporters being hit with water cannons — by water cannons in the street because they’re protesting against the government. This has been going on now for two weeks. This is the allies of Cuba, Venezuela, the puppets of Cuba. And this is what they do to their own people. Water cannons knocking people to the ground. Why? Because they’re protesting the government.

Let me show you the next slide. Here’s a demonstrator detained by police. Look how they drag him through the streets. This is in Caracas, Venezuela.

Let me show you another demonstrator. This is a student — by the way, these are all students in the street. You see this young man here? He was also shot in the head by security forces and pro-government groups in Caracas. This happened on February 11. This is what they do in Venezuela. This is what the allies of the Castro regime does, this is what they export. This is what they teach. This is what they support. And it doesn’t stop here.

Who are Cuba’s allies in the world? North Korea. Before he fell, the dictator in Libya, the dictator in Syria, the tyrant in Moscow. This is who they line up with. This is this wonderful paradise? By the way, this in and of itself deserves attention, what’s happening in Venezuela, in our own hemisphere. It is shameful that only three heads of state in this hemisphere have spoken out forcefully against what’s happening. It is shameful that many members of Congress who traveled to Venezuela and were friendly with Chavez, some even went to his funeral, sit by saying nothing while this is happening in our own hemisphere. And this wonderful Cuban paradise government that we heard about? This is what they support. Just this morning, the dictator that calls himself a president — never been elected to anything, Raul Castro — announced he is there for whatever they need to help them do this.

I listen to this stuff about Cuba and I listen to what’s happening in Venezuela, they’re very similar. Not just in the repression part, but the economics part. You know Venezuela’s an oil-rich country with hardworking people? They have a shortage — we don’t have an embargo against Venezuela. They have a shortage of toilet paper and tooth paste. Why? Because they are incompetent. Because communism doesn’t work. They look more and more like Cuba economically and politically every single day.

What’s the first thing the Venezuelan government did when these broke out? They cut off access to Twitter and Facebook and the Internet. They ran CNN out of there. They closed down the only Colombian station. Years before, they had closed down all the independent media outlets that criticized the government. Where did they learn that from? From Cuba. And yet we have to listen to what a paradise Cuba is. Well, I wonder how come I never read about boatloads of American refugees going to Cuba? Why have close to one and a half million people left Cuba to come here? But the only people that leave here to move there, are fugitives from the law and people that steal money from Medicare that go there to hide? Why? How come no American baseball players defect to Cuba? Why don’t any American doctors defect to Cuba if it’s such a paradise?

He cited a poll, ‘More Americans want normal relations with Cuba.’ So do I — a democratic and free Cuba. But you want us to reach out and develop friendly relationships with a serial violator of human rights, who supports what’s going on in Venezuela and every other atrocity on the planet? On issue after issue, they are always on the side of the tyrants. Look it up. And this is who we should be opening up to? Why don’t they change? Why doesn’t the Cuban government change? Why doesn’t the Venezuelan government change?

Throughout this week, I will be outlining proposals and ideas about what we need to do, the sanctions we should be pursuing against the individuals responsible for these atrocities. So with North Korea, we have sanctions. Why? Because they’re a terrorist government and an illegitimate one. Against Iran we have sanctions. Why? Because they support terrorism and they’re an illegitimate government. And against the Cubans we have sanctions. Why? Well, you just saw why. Sanctions are a tool in our foreign policy toolbox, and we, as the freest nation on Earth, are looked to by people in this country, and all around the world, to stand by them in their moment of need when they clamor for freedom and liberty and human rights. They look for America to be on their side, not for America to be cutting geopolitical deals or making it easier to sell tractors to the government there. We should be clear about these things.

But here’s the great news. I don’t know if they get C-SPAN in Cuba. I bet you the government people do. I hope you see that in America, we’re a free society. You’re allowed to come on the floor and you’re allowed to say and spread whatever you want. You think Cuba’s a paradise? You think it’s an example and a model that we should be following? You’re free to say that, here, in the press and anywhere you want. But we’re also free to come here and tell the truth. We’re also free to come here and denounce the violations of human rights and brutality. And I would suggest to my colleagues, the next time they go to Cuba, ask to meet with the Ladies in White. Ask to meet with the Yoani Sanchez. Ask to meet with the dissidents and the human rights activists that are jailed and repressed and exiled. Ask to meet with them. I bet you’re going to hear something very different than what you got from your hosts on your last trip to the wonderful Cuba, this extraordinary socialist paradise. Because it’s a joke. It’s a farce.

And I don’t think we should stand by here with our arms crossed, watching these things happen in our hemisphere and say nothing about them. I can close by saying this: Over the last week, I have tweeted about these issues. I get thousands of retweets from students and young people, until they shut them out, in Venezuela who are encouraged by the fact that we are on their side. What they want is what we have, the freedom and the liberty. That’s what all people want. And if America and its policy-makers are not going to be firmly on the side of freedom and liberty, who in the world is? Who on this planet will? If this nation is not firmly on the side of human rights and freedom and the dignity of all people, what nation on the Earth will? And if we’re prepared to walk away from that, then I submit to you that this century is going to be a dangerous and dark one. But I don’t believe that’s what the American people want from us. Nor the majority of my colleagues.

A man with an argument never has a chance against a man with an experience!

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I’m Convinced There Is Something In The Water In Washington, D.C.

Today the National Journal posted a story about the relationship between the Tea Party members in Congress and the Tea Party members trying to get elected to Congress.

The article cites some examples:

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won’t take sides in GOP incumbent primaries because of his own experience of running against the establishment’s pick. Neither will Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who rode tea-party support to take down a three-term incumbent. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are also unlikely to back any of the conservatives taking on Republican senators; in fact, Paul is committing heresy in the eyes of tea-party hard-liners by endorsing two Washington insiders, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi.

This show of decorum from senators who instigated the unpopular government shutdown is striking at a time of mounting friction between the establishment and tea-party wings of the Republican Party. So what’s behind it? The upshot of the tea-party caucus’s largely staying on the sidelines—and, in Paul’s case, endorsing two of his colleagues—is that of all the protocols the conservative insurgency has trashed on Capitol Hill, a member endorsing a colleague’s opponent remains strictly taboo.

Note to Republicans–it’s not a club–it’s a government, and right now it isn’t working very well.

The Tea Party is a grass roots movement. It was started and has been joined by people who do not like business as usual in Washington. If Congressmen who are elected by the Tea Party become part of business as usual, they will be unelected. The Tea Party will gain strength as people feel the weight of government over-reach. Since the Tea Party is responsible for what life there is in the Republican party, the Republicans in Congress need to support Tea Party candidates when they are running against business as usual candidates.

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Some Insight As To What Is Happening With The Immigration Debate

It does not take a genius to figure out that our current immigration system does not work. That is not the question. The question is, “What do we need to do to fix it?” One school of thought seems to make everyone here already legal to some extent and then close the borders at our leisure. The other extreme is to kick everyone who is here illegally out and then sort out the mess that follows. Neither approach will actually work.

It was hoped that the ‘gang of eight’ in the House of Representatives would help find a compromise position that most of us could agree on. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

On Thursday, Breitbart.com reported that Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) has left the House of Representatives version of the ‘gang of eight’ because of a change in the previously discussed bill. Initially, the House group had decided that illegal immigrants should have to pay for their own health care, but as the talks continued, Democrats insisted that illegal aliens have access to government health care.

The article reports:

“I have tremendous respect for the members of the bipartisan group who have been working with me to fix our broken immigration system,” Labrador said in a statement. “But after today’s meeting, the framework of the bill has changed in a way that I can no longer support. Like most Americans, I believe that health care is first and foremost a personal responsibility. While I will no longer be part of the bipartisan ‘Group of Eight’ House negotiators, I will not abandon my efforts to modernize our broken immigration system by securing our borders and creating a workable guest worker program. I remain hopeful that the House can pass a bill around these principles and I will keep fighting to make it happen.”

The article also reports that Senator Marco Rubio is also looking for a graceful exit from the Senate ‘gang of eight.’ Politically, I think the best outcome of this debate for the President is for nothing to get passed. In looking at what the Democrat party is insisting in including and excluding in the legislation, I suspect that President Obama may get his wish. If nothing is passed, expect to see immigration as a campaign issue in 2014, with Democrats complaining that the Republicans are causing gridlock. Understand that the Democrats are making sure that there are enough ‘poison pills’ in their immigration proposals to prevent them from being passed. It is truly a shame that we have become so political that very few Congressmen are actually considering the well being of the country.

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Understanding The Immigration Bill

First of all, I am not at all sure it is possible to understand the immigration bill–when it was introduced, it was 844 pages long; it has now grown to 867 pages.

Last night, I was able to attend a presentation explaining the Immigration Bill at the Northborough Public Library. The presentation was put on by the Northborough Tea Party. The speaker was Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

Jessica Vaughan posted an article at the Center for Immigration Studies website on May 2 which explains the problems with the current immigration bill.

The article lists several problems with the current bill, these are only a few:

  • The bill allows the legalization of aliens who have been convicted of up to three misdemeanors on separate occasions, excluding “minor” traffic offenses. This provision will allow the legalization of those with multiple offenses for drunk driving, vehicular homicide, domestic violence, certain sex offenses, theft, identity theft, and other misdemeanors.
  • It requires immigration agencies to ignore convictions under state laws on alien smuggling, human trafficking, and harboring illegal aliens altogether.
  • It waives criminal offenses for anyone under 18 (as opposed to 16 under current law), no matter the seriousness of the offense, and even if the offender was tried as an adult. This provision will be most helpful to convicted gang members aged 16-18.
  • It eliminates all enhancements and punishments for aggravated felons that allow for these individuals to be barred from re-entry or punished if they do. It permits aggravated felons to be placed in “soft” detention such as group homes and electronic monitoring.
  • The bill forces the government to justify the detention of aliens charged with being deportable — and whose detention is mandatory by law due to the severity of the offense, such as aggravated felons — and guarantees aliens a hearing on the detention every 90 days.
  • For the first time in history, the Attorney General would be required by law to provide lawyers to certain aliens in deportation proceedings at taxpayer expense.
  • The bill provides sweeping new standards of judicial review for aliens denied benefits. It expands review into the federal district courts as well as circuit courts of appeal, and encourages class action suits against DHS.

We need immigration reform. However, we need immigration reform that works and borders that prevent further illegal aliens from entering the country. Until the border is secure, there really is no point in doing immigration reform–the number of illegal aliens involved would simply overwhelm the social welfare systems of America and collapse the current safety net.

One of the things that Ms. Vaughan pointed out was the fact that the immigration bill says that the citizens legalized in the immigration bill would be ineligible for federal assistance for ten years. However, it is the states who are in charge of government assistance and would determine someone’s eligibility–so that portion of the bill is simply nice words that mean nothing.

Yesterday The Hill reported the following:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a central member of the Senate Gang of Eight, expressed disappointment Tuesday after senators rejected a proposal to strengthen the system for tracking visa holders entering and exiting the country.

The panel rejected a Republican amendment to require a biometric entry and exit system at ports of entry before granting permanent legal status to 11 million illegal immigrants.

In 1986, President Reagan and Congress promised America a bill that would solve the immigration problem once and for all. That bill would secure the border, enforce immigration laws, and wipe the slate clean so that those here illegally at that time could become citizens. At the present time, the border is not secure, the immigration laws were enforced between 2007 and 2009, but now we are back to our old ways, and many of those here illegally have no desire to become citizens so they have not.

We have two choices–we can believe Congress when they tell us that this time they really will enforce immigration laws and seal the border, or we can fight this bill with everything we have to make sure it does not become law. Frankly, I choose the latter.

We need immigration reform. That can be done slowly in sections so that Americans can read and understand the laws being considered, and so that Congress can understand both the problems we face if we continue our current immigration program and the need to pass a bill that will actually solve our current and future problems. I also strongly suggest that Congress actually take the time to read the bill. We need to find out what is in the bill before it is passed–not the other way around.

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Mr. Paul Goes To Washington

According to a Mediaite story posted this morning, Senator Rand Paul ended his filibuster in the Senate at 12:39 this morning.

YouTube posted the video of the Senator’s closing remarks:

The article reports:

During the half-day-long filibuster session, Paul was joined by fellow Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT). Despite his support for Brennan’s CIA nomination, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) joined the effort, voicing his concerns about the Obama administration’s authority to assassinate American citizens without congressional oversight.

America needs to have this discussion. I don’t even like the idea of Americans being killed based on congressional oversight. In a country where the Biblical view on gay marriage may be considered hate speech and those in the the Catholic Church are not allow to practice their religious beliefs outside of their church, who determines who or what is dangerous? When we arrested the underwear bomber after an obvious attempt at terrorism, we read him his Miranda rights and allowed him to hire a lawyer. Now the President seems to think he has the right to kill American citizens on American soil without the benefit of either a lawyer or a trial. The problem here is very simple, “Who determines who is a danger to the country?” Depending on who holds the office of the presidency, we might see Bill Ayers being called a threat or we might see Glenn Beck declared a threat. Politics could easily influence these decisions. There is a reason we have a court system. It is not perfect, but it is better than the idea of the government being able to kill American citizens at will.

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Some Suggestions For Cutting Government

Yesterday Fox News posted a story that provided some perspective on the current sequestration debate.

The article reports:

The sequester is expected to take a $85 billion bite out of the fiscal 2013 budget, though only half of that impact is expected to be felt this year.
But lawmakers say the government already has $45 billion in unspent money which could be used to offset the shortfall.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require the director of the White House budget office to rescind funds that haven’t yet been obligated.

The article further reports:

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has also identified several programs at the Pentagon he’d set aside, including a video called “grill sergeants” in which the instructors show their favorite recipes; money for a plan to send a space ship to another solar system; funds to find advancements in beef jerky from France; and $6 billion on questionable research, including what lessons about democracy and decision-making could be learned — from fish. 

I have enough input into my decisions–I have no plans to consult my local fish.

Please follow the link above to see some of the places where money is available and government spending can be cut. The upside of this discussion is that it will bring attention to government waste. Hopefully we can learn from our past overspending and cut our spending in order to reduce the credit card bill we are handing our children.

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The Response To The State of the Union Address

For those of you who are not in shock by the fact that Marco Rubio actually took a drink of water, here is the video and some highlights from his speech Tuesday night.

The speech and video are posted at the Daily Beast. The video is also on YouTube. Here is the video:

A few highlights from the speech:

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

…This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.

…This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.

More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.

More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.

…And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.

Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.

And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.

Senator Rubio concludes:

This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.

But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.

Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.

Now, let that hope bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.

Thank you for listening. May God bless all of you. May God bless our President. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

The reason that a lot of the media has focused on Senator Rubio’s drink of water is that they don’t want you to hear the wisdom in the speech.

 

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The Kickoff Question For 2016

It is too early to be talking about the election of 2016, but evidently it is not too early for the press to begin demonizing the Republican contenders.

In January 2012, George Stephanopoulos asked Mitt Romney the following question at the Republican presidential primary debate (Newsbusters):

Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”

The question really made no sense–it was not related to any current issue, and some pundits on the right wondered why Stephanopoulos asked it. It became obvious later on that part of the Democrat strategy in the 2012 election was to accuse the Republicans of waging a ‘war on women’ and saying that Republicans would take away a woman’s right to birth control. The question was a preemptive strike to begin debate on a subject that was not really important, but had possible political value when dealing with an uninformed electorate.

The preemptive strike has now been aimed at Florida Senator Marco Rubio. GQ asked the Senator, “How old do you think the earth is?” What in the world does that question have to do with anything?

Shawn Mitchell at Townhall.com points out:

First is the premeditated bad faith of an upscale publication. The random question is untethered  from public policy, from issues in the US Senate, or measures Rubio might pursue. It arose from a singular goal unrelated to reporting current events: GQ wanted to conjure a killer question, something that might damage a popular potential GOP presidential candidate.  It’s easy to imagine the query came from a group brainstorm over lunch: “Think, people…how can we trip him?!”

Second on the list is the poisonous effect of unresting, perpetual attack machinery.  Scarcely had the interview hit GQ’s website and newsstands when it ricocheted across the blogosphere and commentariat, with sneers from the left and defenses from the right. Barack Obama is two months shy of putting his hand on the Bible for a second term. Yet, already an anticipated candidate for 2016 is under manufactured attack for how he might read that book’s teachings.

This is disgusting, and until America’s electorate becomes informed enough to make attacks like this ineffective, these attacks will continue. The media will not police themselves, but when Americans begin to ignore stories like this and stop buying the newspapers and magazines that publish this trash, the trash will end. It is truly up to us.

 

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Are These People Going To Vote ?

The Hill reported today on the changes that President Obama unilaterally made to America’s immigration policies. The Daily Caller also posted the story.

The Hill reports:

The new policy will not grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants, but will remove the threat of deportation and grant them the right to work in the United States. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the policy change will apply to those who came to the United States before they were 16 and who are younger than 30 if they have lived here for five years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or served in the military. 

The Daily Caller points out:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, called the change a “decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.”

“Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true,” Smith said in a statement. “And once these illegal immigrants are granted deferred action, they can then apply for a work permit, which the administration routinely grants 90% of the time.”

However, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who sponsored the DREAM Act, welcomed the announcement that he said “will give these young immigrants their chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they’ve ever called home.”

I am sure we are going to hear more about this as the November election approaches. There are, however, a few obvious points about this policy change that need to be looked at. First of all, it is an obvious move on the part of the President to get the Hispanic vote. Second of all, it does not solve any of the immigration problem. What happens to the parents of these children–are they granted amnesty also? Third, it will not help the teenage unemployment rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates is currently 14 percent. This is, unfortunately, a political move rather than a practical move. I understand that nothing is going to get done in Washington between now and the election, but it would have made sense to put immigration on the list for the new Congress and administration (if there is a new administration) to deal with after January.

Marco Rubio posted the following on his website:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security regarding its immigration enforcement policies:

“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.

“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem. And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”

The Senator has it right.

 

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The Role Of Internet News Sites

 

English: Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florid...

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The Weekly Standard posted an article yesterday about the role of an Internet blogger in bringing to light the errors in a very negative Reuters story about Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Matt Lewis, a blogger for the Daily Caller, pointed out the errors in the story, forcing Reuters to correct five of the items listed in the story. Reuters has admitted that the story is regrettable.

The article at The Weekly Standard reports:

It was so bad, in fact, that the editors and writer involved have been asked not to talk about it. (I reached out to editors David Lindsey and Eric Walsh, but have not heard back.)

The article, by David Adams, had intended to detail why Rubio was an unlikely pick for Vice President: “Rubio may not be as coveted as Gingrich or Romney would have it appear as they press for votes in Florida, where more than 450,000 Hispanics identify themselves as Republicans,” Reuters David Adams wrote. “Despite his reputation as a watchdog over federal spending, Rubio, 40, has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice, Republican and Democratic strategists say.”

But after pressure from the Rubio staff, Reuters was forced to issue corrections that quickly became a larger talking point than the article itself.

Without the work of Matt Lewis, this story would have been allowed to go unchallenged, and a good man would have been smeared in the press. That is the reason why we need the Internet and Internet news sources!

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A Rising Star In The Republican Party

Marco Rubio, Florida Republican & former speak...

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Senator Marco Rubio was elected in 2010 to represent Florida in the Senate. He was born in Miami to parents who had fled the dictatorship of Fidel Castro after the Cuban revolution. Senator Rubio’s recent speech at the Reagan Library is an amazing mix of wisdom and common sense.

Power Line posted the following excerpt:

[W]e must begin by embracing certain principles that are absolutely true. Number one – the free enterprise system does not create poverty. The free enterprise system does not leave people behind. People are poor and people are left behind because they do not have access to the free enterprise system because something in their lives or in their community has denied them access to the free enterprise system. All over the world this truism is expressing itself every single day. Every nation on the Earth that embraces market economics and the free enterprise system is pulling millions of its people out of poverty. The free enterprise system creates prosperity, not denies it.

The second truism that we must understand is that poverty does not create our social problems, our social problems create our poverty. Let me give you an example. All across this country, at this very moment, there are children who are born into and are living with five strikes against them, already, through no fault of their own. They’re born into substandard housing in dangerous neighborhoods, to broken families, being raised by their grandmothers because they never knew their father and their mom is either working two jobs to make ends meet or just not home. These kids are going to struggle to succeed unless something dramatic happens in their life.

These truisms are important because they lead the public policies that define the proper role of government. On the prosperity side, the number one objective of our economic policy, in fact the singular objective of our economic policy from a government perspective is simple – it’s growth. It’s not distribution of wealth, it’s not picking winners and losers. The goal of our public policy should be growth. Growth in our economy, the creation of jobs, and of opportunity, of equality of opportunity through our governmental policies.

Now often when I give these speeches, members of the media and others get frustrated because there is nothing new or novel in it. We don’t have to reinvent this. It’s worked before and it will work again and they are simple things. Like a tax code that’s fair, predictable, easy to comply with. Like a regulatory framework that doesn’t exist to justify the existence of the regulators, that doesn’t exist to accomplish through regulation and rulemaking what they couldn’t accomplish through the Congress.

And it is the proper role of government to invest in infrastructure. Yes, government should build roads and bridges, but it should do so as part of economic development as part of infrastructure. Not as a jobs program.

And government should invest in our people at the state level. Education is important, critically important. We must educate and train our children to compete and succeed in the 21st century. Our kids are not going to grow up to compete with children in Alabama or Mississippi. They’re going to grow up to compete with kids in India, and China, all over the world; children who are learning to compete and succeed in the 21st century themselves.

These are proper roles of government within the framework of creating an environment where economic security and prosperity is possible.

The concepts in the speech need to be shouted during the current debate about our budget deficits. The first is the idea that free enterprise does not create poverty–it provides a vehicle for people to escape poverty, and the second is that poverty does not create our social problems–it is the result of those problems.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan understood what the war on poverty would do to America when Lyndon Johnson began the program:

The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

It’s time to examine how we spend money to fight poverty in America. Free money is not a solution to poverty. Free money destroys self-esteem and ambition–both of which are needed to overcome poverty.


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