There is a Fire Raging

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Here is what happens when Republicans exhibit an insouciant attitude towards the administration’s appalling and dangerous open borders policies:

36,000 murderers, rapists, and kidnappers are let out of jail in 2013.

Obama unilaterally suspends deportations and changes visa laws.  He also openly refers to immigration enforcement as “not smart.”  This, as our visa screening system has already failed to root out terror threats.

Meanwhile, the vocal bipartisan consensus to erase our borders engenders a new surge in illegal immigration from Central American countries and even from Mexico.

Many of us have our pet peeve issues that we feel are not being addressed by those who claim to represent conservatives in Washington.  But it is fairly safe to say that no issue reaches the magnitude of this one in terms of the immanency of the problem.  While Republicans negotiate with themselves over the non-sequitur and non-pressing issue of what to do with those here illegally for a long time, they are telegraphing the message to Obama that whatever he does to shred the Constitution and engender a new wave of illegals is just cool.

Put simply, the silence on the part of Republicans, and even some prominent conservatives, is appalling.

Letting out thousands of dangerous aliens and creating a new wave of illegal migration is more of an imminent and ongoing problem that will affect the security, fiscal stability, and social fabric of this country in a more deleterious way than the Benghazi scandal.  Not to diminish the importance of investigating that scandal, but if Benghazi warranted a select committee, Obama’s dangerous open borders policies and belligerent abuse of power should spawn a full-scale funding battle for those executive agencies responsible for these dastardly illegal acts.  As passionately as many of us felt about using the power of the purse vested in the House to fight Obamacare and the debt, those issues look relatively small as compared to the brush fire at our borders.

It is sickening to hear one Republican or phony conservative after another not only ignore the 10-alarm fire at our border and actually refer to Obama’s pyromania as “immigration reform.”  We are the true advocates of immigration reform; our opponents are the ones who want to exacerbate everything that is broken with the system.  It is unforgivable for Republicans to wink and nod and even give aid and comfort to those who are endangering the country and erasing our sovereignty.

Just this morning, Senator Reid and Schumer took to the Senate floor to push for amnesty.  As we’ve learned from the past, there is no better coordination in Washington than the kabuki theater choreographed by Schumer and Republican supporters of open borders.  They are timing this effort in conjunction with Obama’s new illegal acts, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue’s remarks, Grover Norquist’s announcement of a weekly open borders call with the media, and Sal Russo’s op-ed cheering on Obama’s malfeasance.

Much like any other policy debate, reasonable people can disagree over what to do with those here in the long run or the level of legal immigration and guest workers.  But for Republicans to cheer on Obama while he violates the Constitution, breaks our borders, engenders a new increase in illegal immigration, and releases criminal aliens onto the streets is beneath contempt.

Cross-posted at RedState

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Did the NRSC Vet Thad Cochran?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

The media, GOP lobbyists, and the NRSC think that as long as a senator properly executes the pay-for-play and grows government for several decades, there is nothing more to learn about them.  After all, they are members-in-good-standing of the permanent political class, there cannot be any baggage.  Conversely, every conservative challenger who threatens the foundations of the establishment is immediately tainted and fully defined by puerile oppo hits, irrespective of that individual’s solid reputation in his or her community or line of work for years.

Thad Cochran is a stealth senator from Mississippi who has done nothing for conservatives during his 42 years in Washington.  On second thought, it would have been better for him to do nothing as opposed to working with Democrat appropriators to expand the role and reach of the federal government into every aspect of state government.  But evidently, that has inoculated him from any scrutiny about how he and his campaign conduct business.

There are two stories that have surfaced that have painted a less than flattering image of  Senator Cochran’s ethics, but the rest of the media is not interested in cannibalizing one of their own in the way they do to our candidates.

The media might want to explore why Senator Cochran is travelling with his executive assistant on taxpayer dollars to 42 countries since 2002, as reported by Breitbart:

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) lives in the basement apartment in a house owned by his executive assistant, Kay Webber, which he has listed as his primary address on official forms. Now public records show Webber accompanied Cochran on dozens of taxpayer-funded trips overseas.

According to the Congressional Record, where trip details including cost are listed, Webber has traveled with Cochran at taxpayer expense to 42 countries across five continents since 2002. […]

Other documents show that in 2005 and 2007, the Wine Institute, a trade association that represents the California wine industry, paid for Cochran’s and Webber’s travel to Sonoma, California for what a disclosure form described as “a fact-finding program on issues of importance to the wine industry.” No other aides attended the trip.

This relationship is so bizarre, even McConnell has declined to defend Cochran.

Members of the media might also want to dig into this Roll Call story showing how a local Mississippi bank has given a pro-Cochran super PAC a bizarre unsecured loan:

In an unusual transaction, a financial institution has given an unsecured $230,150 loan to a Super PAC to use for making independent expenditures in the 2014 primary elections.

The Mississippi Conservatives, a Republican-oriented Super PAC supporting Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in the June 3rd Republican primary, reported it had receipts of $717,993 during the first quarter of 2014, including a $230,150 loan from Trustmark Bank in Jackson, Mississippi. Trustmark (NASDAQ:TRMK) is a publicly traded corporation.

Harry Walker, a regional President of the bank signed the agreement on January 29, 2014. The loan is due on June 3, 2014, and the interest rate (APR) is 2.86%. The forms indicate there are no other parties secondarily liable for the debt incurred, and there is no pledged collateral for the loan.

The most unusual aspect of the loan is there are no future contributions or future receipts pledged as collateral for the loan. This may be the first reported unsecured bank loan to a Super PAC, especially to one that was only two weeks old. With no committee track record, and no collateral, it is hard to understand how this loan could have been made in the normal course of business. The committee has only repaid $20,000 of the loan.

As it turns out, Walker also serves on Cochran’s fundraising committee.  And both Walker and Richard Hickson, the former CEO of Trustmark Bank, have donated to Cochran.

So what happens after the primary?  Do they just default on the loan effectively converting it to a massive contribution from a bank?

As conservatives, we strive to focus on the issues that are concerning the voters.  But I would imagine that if we hired as many professional hit men as they do for our candidates, we would find exponentially more skeletons in the closets of their candidates.  It would be nice for the media to join the vetting process.

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Madison Project Airs Radio Ad in Support of John Ratcliffe in TX-4

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

Fort Worth, TX –The Madison Project PAC released a new, 60-second radio ad encouraging Republicans in northeast Texas to vote for John Ratcliffe in the May 27 Republican runoff election primary for the U.S. House Fourth Congressional District:

To listen to the ad click here.

“While all Republicans run as conservatives in GOP primaries, few have the record to back up their rhetoric like John Ratcliffe,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “As a small-town mayor of Heath, TX, Ratcliffe was one of the few local leaders who balanced the budget during the recession without raising taxes.  He imposed term-limits on himself as mayor and he is pledging term-limits again as a Member of Congress.

“Most importantly, as GOP leadership is prepared to rubber stamp President Obama’s open borders agenda, Ratcliffe brings an impressive skill set and much-needed passion for secure borders and the rule of law to a Congress that has shirked one of its core responsibilities.  At a time when establishment Republicans are retreating from the fight against Obamacare and opting instead to push for amnesty, Ratcliffe is the right man at the right time to represent this conservative district.”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/

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The K Street Revolving Door Continues Turning

Monday, May 12th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

A few weeks ago, we noted that House GOP leadership has carefully picked which partial Obamacare bills come to the floor.  Notably, only those aspects of repeal that are fully supported by the health care lobbyists on K Street ever see the light of day for a floor vote.  The example from last month was a bailout of Cigna’s calamity with expatriate health insurance plans for American executives serving overseas.

The health care industry spent a lot of money campaigning for Obamacare, but now they don’t want to deal with the consequences of the law, at least not those aspects that affect their bottom line in the near-term.  It’s no surprise that Senator Marco Rubio’s “risk corridors” bill, which would eliminate the slush fund to bail out insurance companies from revenue losses due to the Obamacare mandates, never received a vote in the House.  It is vehemently opposed by the health industry lobbyists.

To illustrate just how strongly Republicans are controlled by K Street look no further than today’s news that Brendan Buck has accepted a position as the top spokesman for the health insurance industry.  Buck, a longtime spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, will become vice president of communications at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

As the Washington Post notes, AHIP is a supporter of Obamacare and a big force behind opposing the elimination of the “risk corridor” bailout.

Over the next few months, we will begin to see a number of stories about how repealing Obamacare is a thing of the past.  Just today, The Hill observes how “the GOP goes quiet on Obamacare,” as there is no more pending legislation going through committee or coming up for a floor vote.

Indeed it has become clear that the battle over defunding Obamacare last fall was not just a disagreement in strategy.  If we fail to get rid of leadership and elect more fresh conservative blood, passing amnesty will supplant repeal of Obamacare as the cause célèbre of the Republican Party.

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House Leaders Pass Another Bill With Democrat Support

Friday, May 9th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Debt

Evidently, the fact that Republicans “only” control the House necessitates that they pass bills with Democrats support.  Once again, House leaders passed a bill through the House with only a majority of Democrat support.

As we noted yesterday, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a corporate welfare bank to subsidize foreign investment.  106 Republicans voted for it while 116 voted against it.  This is yet another violation of the precedent to pass bills only with majority Republican support.  After all, Republicans control the House for a reason.  House leadership has passed bills with Democrat support on a number of other occasions:

  • “Fiscal Cliff” tax hikes and stimulus pork (HR 8 1/1/13)- This was the McConnell-Biden tax hike coupled $230 billion in new stimulus spending, including $40 billion in green energy pork.  It passed with only 85 Republican votes.
  • Sandy Pork Bill (HR 152, 1/15/13) – This bill contained $60 billion in extraneous pork spending, of which the majority would be appropriated long after the recovery from the Hurricane is over.  It passed with just 38 Republican votes.
  • “Violence Against Women Act (S. 47 2/28/13) – This was the Senate version of VAWA that dramatically expanded the unconstitutional program to include a number of social engineering provisions and violations of due process.  It passed with only 87 GOP votes.
  • Battlefield preservation pork (HR 1033 4/9/13) – This was a random Democrat suspension bill to give money to states for the purpose of buying up more land.  It passed with less than half of Republican members.
  • Obamacare pre-existing conditions program (HR 1549 4/25/13) – to pump $4 billion into Obamacare’s federally managed and manipulated high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions.  The bill was pulled from the floor at the last minute due to a mass revolt within the conference.
  • October CR Funding Obamacare and Raising Debt Ceiling RC#550, 10/16/13)  – Passed with only 87 Republicans supporting it.
  • February 2014 Debt ceiling increase RC# 61 (2/11/14)  – Passed under suspension with just 29 GOP votes
  • Doc Fix extension with phony spending offsets (3/28/14).  Passed by voice vote despite conservative opposition.

This end-run around the majority was perpetrated by all leaders.  This includes Cantor and McCarthy.  Cantor is openly flaunting his disenfranchisement of conservative voters.  Any effort to elect the same leadership slate for next Congress will only serve to disenfranchise the conservative voters who elected a GOP majority.  It’s time we get commitments from all members and candidates as to whether they will join the effort to replace the current leadership.

Ask yourselves this question: with hundreds of millions of dollars behind the effort to pass amnesty and comprehensive open borders legislation, will these leaders think twice about passing amnesty with Democrat support?

That’s why primaries are so important. #PrimariesMatter

Cross-posted at RedState.com

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McCain Gives Voice to the Left Again

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

As a sitting Senator, every member of the upper chamber has numerous opportunities on a daily basis to influence the debate and enhance a conservative agenda.  This goes far beyond a mere voting record; it’s about being a loud and effective voice for the cause.

We see this every day from people like Ted Cruz who shamed Democrats into supporting his bill  denying a visa to an Iranian terrorist.

We see this every day from people like Mike Lee who rail against the Chamber of crony capitalism.

We see this every day from people like Jeff Sessions who single-handedly exposes the open-borders agenda and gives voice to the American side of the amnesty debate.

And unfortunately, we see this every day from people like John McCain, who not only vote with Democrats, but give voice to their most destructive causes.

Just today, John McCain decided to storm into a committee hearing and heap garrulous praise upon Obama’s nominee for Secretary of HHS, Sylvia Burwell.

We are living through a time when Obamacare is destroying the healthcare sector and forcing millions of Americans to become dependent on a subpar delivery system. We are witnessing the end of the middle class living with self-respect and independence.  We are witnessing the creation of a part-time workforce as a result of the mandates.  Yet, John McCain, who is not a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), showed up to the confirmation hearing uninvited just to drool over Burwell:

McCain told the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee when he first heard Burwell was being nominated to replace HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, he advised his “friend” against taking the job.

He said the move would mean she would be leaving the toughest job in Washington as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the most thankless job as secretary of HHS.

“Who would recommend his friend take over as captain of the HHS titanic after it hit the iceberg?” McCain asked.

McCain touted Burwell’s resume as OMB director, chief operating officer of the Gates Foundation, and president of Walmart, and recommended his colleagues visit Bentonville, Ark., where Walmart was founded, to see what an American success story looks like.

There is one thing to say she is smart and “qualified,” but to storm into the hearing to slobber over someone who is all-in on Obamacare is destructive to any effort to fight the unconstitutional administrative power grabs.  Most appallingly, McCain predicted that Burwell will be much more responsive than Sebelius.  Really?  What message does that send to the Obama administration, which has been stonewalling on providing information with regards to the implementation?  McCain is unilaterally surrendering to the administration, even as they continue to violate Obama’s own law with administrative legislating.  Can he promise us that Burwell will be open with Congress and will not overwrite portions of the law?

I guess it sends the same message to Obama on transparency in healthcare as McCain’s fight for amnesty does in the realm of transparency on immigration.  It gives voice to the opposition.  And that is exactly what McCain relishes.

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House Rams Through Another Corporate Welfare Bill

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Economy

We already have the Ex-Im bank, which ostensibly subsidizes foreign countries – often unfriendly ones – to purchase products sold by specific domestic companies.  But even as conservatives seek to abolish it, the House is sneaking through reauthorization of its sister agency – Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – under suspension.  OPIC is in some sense the rear-view image of Ex-Im in that it subsidizes domestic companies to invest in foreign countries.

Once again, they are using a shell bill and the suspension calendar to pass an unpopular program.  The “Electrify Africa Act of 2014,” which is part of a general foreign aid package to Africa and enjoys broad support, is being used to ensconce a three-year reauthorization of OPIC.   It is not enough that the government engages in venture socialism to pick winners and losers domestically; this program subsidizes corporate interests overseas.  The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney has a great roundup on OPIC:

If you’ve ever visited Istanbul and stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, however, you’ve enjoyed the benefits of OPIC.

“This luxury hotel, set in the heart of the city and overlooking the Bosphorus, beautifully blends modern sophistication with historic Ottoman touches, found everywhere from the spa’s traditional hammam to the exceptional accommodations,” the hotel’s website reads. “[T]he graceful lobby is adorned in Turkish carpets, antique furniture and an oversized oil painting from contemporary artist Timur Kerim Incedayi.”

OPIC extended $50 million in financing in 2000 to subsidize the hotel.

More recent OPIC projects include $250 million in taxpayer-backed financing for Sun Edison to install a solar farm in South Africa, and $150 million in OPIC insurance for Citibank to open branches in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt.

Citibank is America’s third-largest bank, with total assets of $1.8 trillion, yet it can’t line up insurance without taxpayer backing?

It has become a regular occurrence for GOP leaders to use the suspension calendar, which is designed for “non-controversial votes,” to stealthily pass big government legislation.   Ironically, as part of the GOP Pledge to America in 2010, Republicans pledged to tamp down suspension votes in Congress (page 34):

The number of House legislative days devoted to action on noncontroversial and often insignificant “suspension” bills is up significantly in this Congress by comparison with the past several Congresses, wasting time and taxpayer resources.  Of the bills considered under the suspension procedure – requiring 2/3 vote for passage – so far during this Congress,
more than half were bills naming federal buildings, recognizing individuals or groups (like sports teams) for achievements, or supporting the designation of particular days, months, or weeks.

Well, in some ways it’s better to use the suspension calendar for “insignificant” bills rather than use it to sneak through bad bills.  They already passed the feminist museum bill through suspension today.

Welcome to the world of the GOP establishment – one which includes corporate welfare, amnesty, debt, and “fixing” Obamacare.  This is only the beginning.  And if we continue to let them lie their way through primaries, they won’t need to use the suspension calendar to pass bad bills anymore.

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We Must Stop Counterfeit Conservative Sid Dinsdale in Nebraska

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

Ask any GOP primary voter what he/she is looking for in a candidate, and one thing you will not hear is a desire for replicas of GOP leadership.  Indeed nobody in the party has the appetite to elect more Republicans who will support endless debt ceiling increases, amnesty for illegals, funding for Obamacare, and more government intrusion into the free market.

Unfortunately, with Ben Sasse and Shane Osborn slugging it out for the Nebraska Senate seat, a third candidate, who is literally a Republican-in-name-only, has come out of nowhere to pose a serious threat.  This is a solid Republican seat that can easily fall to the opposition if we don’t mobilize on behalf of Ben Sasse, the only candidate who has called out GOP leadership by name.

It has just been reported that Sid Dinsdale has written his campaign a $925,000 check from his personal wealth in order to pull out a last-minute upset.  Just a cursory glance of some of his recent statements and activities reveals a man who will serve as a progressive Republican at best.

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The Irony of the GOP Polling Advantage

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

As the November midterms draw near, we are beginning to see a growing wave against Democrats, much like we witnessed at this time in 2010.

A new Pew poll gives Republicans a 4-point edge on the generic ballot test, which is significant given the fact that Democrats usually have a slight advantage even in a 50-50 year.  They also found that Republicans have a crushing 16-point lead among Independents who are only down 4 among women.  Furthermore, voters are still sour on Obamacare, Obama, and the economy.

This sounds like a recipe for disaster for Democrats, right?

But there is one other polling nugget that is worth noting.  By a margin of 65%-30%, voters want the next president to pursue different policies than those of President Obama.

While it is quite arduous to sift through polling data or even real election returns in pursuit of a specific mandate from voters, it is quite clear what voters are NOT asking Republicans to do.

The reason they are abandoning Democrats and flocking to Republicans is not for the purpose of electing a Republican majority to pass amnesty and comprehensive open borders reform.  In fact, given that amnesty is the biggest outstanding priority of Obama for the remainder of his presidency, the fact that voters overwhelmingly desire a new direction is a clear indication that pursuit amnesty would fly in the face of the prospective GOP governing mandate.

Much like this time four years ago, it would be amazing if we could all celebrate the impending victory.  But we know that the biggest priority of a GOP majority would be to work with Obama to pass amnesty.  That is why the Chamber of Commerce and their allies are spending millions lying to primary voters while obfuscating their real views from the voters.

Some of you might be excited by the latest polling data, but you will be made to care if we wind up electing Republicans who surrender on Obamacare and go full-throttle on amnesty.  It’s better we be made to care while we still have a choice to elect Republicans who will pursue different policies than the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Cross-posted at RedState

Madison Project Airs Radio Ad in Support of Alex Mooney in WV-2

Monday, May 5th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Press

Fort Worth, TX –The Madison Project PAC released a new, 60-second radio ad encouraging Republicans in West Virginia to vote for proven-conservative Alex Mooney in the May 13th Republican primary election for the U.S. House Second Congressional District:

To listen to the ad click here.

“Alex Mooney is one of those rare candidates who is able to unite all of the factions of the conservative movement,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “He has coalesced the support of fiscal, social, and national defense conservatives.  And for good reason.  While most candidates talk a good game during the primaries, Mooney has fought for social and fiscal conservatives for years and has the scars to prove it.  He is the only candidate in this race who will not buckle under pressure from the establishment Republican elites in Washington.  In fact, he is committed to fighting the big government mentality in both parties.  Mooney understands that if we don’t change the failed leadership of the establishment GOP, all promises of conservative governance is just talk.”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/

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