Thursday, September 18th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News
Readers of a certain age may be familiar with a fellow named J. Wellington Wimpy and his famous promise that “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” What you may not be aware of is that Mr. Wimpy is the senior strategic advisor to Republican Congressional leadership.
Wimpy’s appointment is the only way to explain the terrible Export Import Bank deal that leadership duped many conservatives and Republicans into accepting as part of this week’s bill to fund the federal government and our war in Syria. Wimpy’s play was a stroke of genius.
Using his time-honored strategy, he substituted an appeal for their votes for his normal request for hamburger and a promise to really totally shut down the Export Import Bank next year for his normal promise of payment on Tuesday. With this simple trick, Wimpy has executed a ruse grander than any of his previous frauds to purloin ground beef.
Some context might be helpful. Others have written lengthy and persuasive discussions of the need to shut down the Export-Import Bank. The justification doesn’t need to be rehashed here. Heck, even Representative Kevin McCarthy upon the realization of his elevation to Majority Leader commented, “I think Ex-Im Bank is … something government does not have to be involved in. The private sector can do it.”
All leadership had to do to put this terrible program to an end was – nothing. The Export Import Bank was scheduled to expire on its own.
Instead in a fit of hysterical bed-wetting when the President rolled out his well-worn strategy of linking any a noun, a verb, and “shut-down” the Republican Leadership scrambled to respond with a strategy to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Rep. Wimpy to the rescue.
The Wimpy plan was simple. He would convince conservatives that when Republicans take the House and Senate majority in the next election they’re really totally going to shut down the Export Import Bank (the Tuesday clause.) All they needed from conservatives was their votes and a commitment not to put up a fight on the Continuing Resolution (the Hamburger Clause). Without nary a peep from conservatives, the Wimpy plan was deployed.
It was of course a terrible deal. Much like Wimpy’s promised payment on Tuesday, the Republican leadership’s support for abolishing the Export Import Bank is never going to materialize. The President knows that Republican Leadership will fold like a cheap lawn chair if he even hints in the same direction as a shutdown or veto fight. There will be some must pass legislative vehicle that Ex-Im Bank supporters demand reauthorization be attached to, and since leadership actually does support the bank, it will happily acquiesce.
They’ll explain their supposedly reluctant acquiescence on needing to pass some vital piece of legislation and not wanting to tarnish the Presidential candidate and our “brand.” But believe you me, when Republicans retake the White House, Leadership’s totally going to pay for those hamburgers!
Republican Leadership squandered one of the greatest chances it likely will ever have to shut down the Export Import Bank. Had they sent the President a government and war funding bill, but did not include extension of the Export Import Bank in the bill, the President would have surely signed the bill. Does anyone really believe that the President and Harry Reid would have been so brazen as to deny funding for a war effort against terrorists just to protect cut-rate loans for Boeing’s customers? I doubt it, but maybe they would have. Regardless it is a pretty weak hand to play and Republicans could have carried the day – had they shown up to fight.
But sadly, Republican Leadership takes congressional conservatives for fools – and with good reason – every Tuesday they act surprised that J. Wellington Wimpy didn’t pay for his burgers. Until conservatives stop falling for the same lame promises, Rep. Wimpy’s behavior isn’t going to change and the nation is going to suffer.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, News
Yesterday was the 227th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, but you wouldn’t know it was being rightly celebrated within the walls of the White House.
To commemorate the day, the White House tweeted out a photo of President Obama – as usual.
Using a photo or quote from the President is standard practice in the White House social media office –from statements of remembrance to the anniversary of 9/11. It’s always about him – never the actual event or person being celebrated.
The same goes with his respect for the Constitution. His actions have consistently violated this sacred document, as he uses executive order after executive order to pass his own liberal agenda for the country.
As he famously said earlier this year, “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need…I’ve got a pen and a phone.”
There are multiple examples of when the President has done exactly that in the past six years – like when he waived work requirements in a Congressionally passed welfare program, and delayed implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate for select companies.
The latest disregard of the Constitution? Obama plans to take executive action on immigration – a policy that should definitely include the input of a bipartisan Congress to move forward. With two years left in his Presidency, there’s no limit to what he might do in order to secure his legacy.
In fact, it makes the 2014 elections more important ever. We must elect strong conservatives that will truly respect the Constitution as it was written and call out Obama’s imperial actions.
Earlier this year, the White House ironically tweeted out another photo, this time with Obama photo-shopped onto the seat of a throne (paying tribute to the show “Game of Thrones.) The photo was a posted as a joke but its representative of Obama’s increasingly lonely decision making.
The Constitution was meant to help maintain a limited government. Perhaps it should be required reading for the President on this day.
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Building off our Owning 2014 post, we give you the numbers below.
- AK-Sen: Harstad Research (D): Mark Begich (D-inc): 45, Dan Sullivan (R): 40, Mark Fish (Lib): 6 (Aug.: 41-40 Begich) (conducted for Senate Majority PAC and Put Alaska First).
- AR-Sen: Answers Unlimited: Mark Pryor (D-inc): 46, Tom Cotton (R): 42 (conducted for Southern Progress, a pro-Democratic group).
- AR-Sen: Gravis Marketing (R): Cotton (R): 47, Pryor (D-inc): 43 (July: 51-44 Cotton) (among registered voters).
- GA-Sen: Landmark Communications (R): Michelle Nunn (D): 46, David Perdue (R): 43, Amanda Swafford (Lib): 6 (Aug.: 47-40 Nunn).
- IL-Sen: APC Research: Dick Durbin (D-inc): 55, Jim Oberweis (R): 32, Sharon Hansen (Lib): 5 (among registered voters).
- MI-Sen: Mitchell Research: Gary Peters (D): 43, Terri Lynn Land (R): 41 (Aug.: 46-44 Peters).
- MN-Sen: Mason-Dixon: Al Franken (D-inc): 49, Mike McFadden (R): 36.
- NC-Sen: American Insights (R): Kay Hagan (D-inc): 43, Thom Tillis (R): 34, Sean Haugh (Lib): 5 (Feb.: 38-35 Hagan).
- NC-Sen: Elon University: Hagan 45, Tillis 41 (43-37 Hagan among registered voters).
- NH-Sen: CNN/ORC: Jeanne Shaheen (D-inc): 48, Scott Brown (R): 48 (51-44 Shaheen among registered voters).
- NH-Sen: Kiley & Company (D): Shaheen: 51, Brown: 43 (Early Sept.: 51-43) (conducted for the DSCC).
- NH-Sen: Magellan Strategies (R): Brown: 46, Shaheen: 44 (July: 46-41 Shaheen) (conducted for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire).
- NH-Sen: Rasmussen: Shaheen: 48, Brown: 42 (March: Shaheen 50, Brown 41).
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized
Recently the New York Times reported that the National Republican Senate Committee is stepping in to run Senator Pat Roberts’ failing Senate campaign in Kansas. This race should be a lay-up for the NRSC after Roberts defeated Milton Wolfe in the primary in August. However, it appears that the head of the NRSC, Kansas’ other Senator, Jerry Moran, and team are about to dribble the ball of their foot as they head towards the hoop.
Who knows, maybe they already have.
Today’s Public Policy Polling’s poll showed Roberts down 7 points with only 29% of Kansans approving of Roberts’ job performance. In other words, he is headed the wrong way with just six weeks to go.
This news comes upon the heels of Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, having to step down as his role in the Iowa Caucus scandal becomes more apparent and McConnell locked in a tight re-election campaign in a state Mitt Romney won by 23 points.
In Arkansas, Tom Cotton should be running away with the Senate race against Democrat incumbent Mark Pryor. He is not and in Louisiana, recent polls show Democrat Mary Landrieu still leading in a must win Senate race for the Republican Party. Yesterday, it became very apparent that the National Republican Senate Committee is starting to lose its stuff publicly as it whined in Politico that one of the outside groups it has tried to delegitimize all year, our friends over at the Senate Conservatives Fund, wasn’t helping them as much as they should in Iowa.
We know that in politics things change overnight, but what is currently happening is not the narrative that the NRSC was hoping for at this stage in the game.
2014 was supposed to be their election cycle. The election cycle that would make Mitch McConnell majority leader and now, post-Labor Day, their narrative is about to whisp away in a cloud of smoke as a 2016 Senate map that favors the Democrats looms.
So what is going on out there? Is it possible that the general populace of voters is ready for something new and incumbents deep into their 70s and 80s don’t excite them?
In the case of Roberts and Cochran, the NRSC clearly thought better to go with the dependable votes for Mitch McConnell, not the young, fresh faced conservative challengers in Milton Wolfe and Chris McDaniel.
As a whole, this is part of the bigger problem the GOP Establishment faces as it clings to power: nothing they have done motivates voters and on the flip side of this equation is the fact that their scorched earth tactics to win primaries in 2014 has left a disaffected conservative base (prompting stories like this one from the LA Times).
There has always been the question of who needs who more in this marriage of convenience-conservatives or the GOP Establishment.
We think this election cycle is about to provide an answer.
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy
British Prime Minister David Cameron appears to be a stronger leader than President Obama in the fight against terrorist group ISIS, who horrifically beheaded another victim this weekend.
British aid worker David Haines was killed – the third in a string of brutal murders captured on video and sent across the Internet – this time as “a message to the allies of America,” according to the video.
The UK joined the United States in a coalition against ISIS, but the terrorists are hardly backing down and are said to have at least one more American and Brit in their custody.
Haines was captured just a few days into his aid mission in Syria and his death follows those of American Journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff.
While British Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.K. must deal with ISIS, whose acts he has called “pure evil,” President Obama’s reactions have been mostly tempered talking points read with little emotion. Passionate anger against these killers from the President is absent but it’s something Americans need to see from our President in this time of crisis.
In response to Haines’ murder, Obama said, “The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines by the terrorist group ISIL (ISIS).”
The murder came on the heels of the U.S. decision to launch 160 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq – what is likely just the beginning of a longer campaign.
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the U.S. is hoping to get as many allies as possible to act against ISIS, which the CIA estimates may have as many as 32,000 fighters to date.
While it’s good we are taking action now, it took far too long for the President to present a strategy while his State Department dabbled in other, ineffective online actions. For example, the State Department released a badly made video called “Welcome to the Islamic State” and hosts a Twitter account, Think Again, Turn Away – but one wonders why these tactics were deployed before a real strategy existed.
And while the Administration has finally stopped throwing hashtags on signs from official State Department spokespeople, they don’t seem much more professional than that. Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said America is at war with ISIS, which contradicts what Kerry said last week when he refused to characterize current U.S. actions as war.
When pressed after McDonough’s statement, Kerry admitted “we are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates…yes, we are at war with ISIL [ISIS]…”
The Obama Administration needs to get their message straight and strong. The President may want to leave a golden legacy of having ended a war, but his time is running out and the world’s future may depend on the leadership we provide right now.
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 and is filed under Blog
For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2014
Madison Project Airs Radio Ad for Alex Mooney in WV-2
Fort Worth, TX –The Madison Project PAC released a new, 60-second radio ad encouraging Republicans in West Virginia to vote for conservative Alex Mooney for the U.S. House Second Congressional District:
To listen to the ad click here.
“Alex Mooney is a proven conservative who will shake up the status quo in Washington, D.C.,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “He is a principled leader who won’t be afraid to take on his own party in support for less government and more economic growth. The Madison Project was proud to support Alex during his primary and we look forward to fighting along side him in the halls of Congress.”
The ad will start airing today, district-wide through Friday.
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/
Text of the radio ad:
“The Democrat party promised us hope, change, transparency, and cheaper healthcare from the doctor of our choice.
West Virginia is hurting because the Democrat Party has lost sight of individual rights and freedoms.
But Alex Mooney hasn’t.
Committed to making America strong, Alex has a plan to secure our borders first to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking. He will fight new taxes that burden West Virginia’s workers.
Alex will fight to repeal Obamacare so healthcare can once again be a choice you make.
Alex will also work to dismantle bloated bureaucracies like the IRS, the EPA, and Federal Department of Education, so West Virginians, not D.C. bureaucrats make choices for West Virginia.
If your vision includes smaller government, greater freedom, and West Virginians making choices for West Virginia, you’ll see eye to eye with Alex Mooney.
This November, vote for Republican Alex Mooney.”
Monday, September 15th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Issues
Buried in the stopgap funding bill that House Republican Leadership cobbled together last week was a little noticed provision that tees up a vote for a multi-billion tax increase during the lame-duck session of Congress.
The funding bill would extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) – which blocks taxes on Internet access – from November 1, 2014 until December 11, 2014. Congress has known about this looming expiration for seven years. There is broad support for making the tax prohibition permanent – permanent extension has 53 sponsors in the Senate and passed the House on a voice vote.
Never letting a good (manufactured) crisis go to waste, Congress is going to use the pending expiration of the Internet access tax prohibition to shepherd through a tax increase on phone, catalog and internet purchases. This week, the chief sponsor of the Internet Tax Bill, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), said as much, “I think there will be less concern after the election. The two go together nicely. One makes sure the Internet isn’t taxed and the other makes sure that sales taxes that are avoided with the Internet will be collected.”
The Marketplace Fairness Act
The Marketplace Fairness Act – or as it’s more accurately known, the Internet Sales Tax Act – is an effort by big spenders in Washington to enable their friends in state governments across the country to collect sales taxes on purchases made outside their states. Under current law, unless a company has a physical presence – a nexus – in a state, that state cannot tax their sales. It’s a common sense approach – if a company isn’t in the state, it shouldn’t be subjected to the tax laws of the state.
Most folks who have shopped online have experienced this at checkout – if you live in one of the twenty-four states which have a sales tax, but does not have an Amazon warehouse or office, you get to check out without being forced to pay sales tax. Your state most likely requires you to pay something called a “use tax,” but it’s your job to pay that, not Amazon’s to collect it.
What Congress wants to do is force Amazon, eBay, catalog vendors, infomercials, and anyone else who sells you something from out of state (as long as their company sells over one million dollars a year – a small threshold) to collect more taxes from you. In fact, the total is $23 Billion more in taxes each year.
This is the kind of idea that is only popular with lobbyists and government officials.
Lobbyists love it because it gives their wealthy corporate clients a leg up over smaller more nimble competitors.
Compliance with this law will be a nightmare for a small businesses. There are ten thousand different taxing jurisdictions in the United States all imposing different rates on different goods at different times of the year.
To keep up with the various tax laws, small businesses are going to have to pay expensive fees to integrate tax collection software with their in house computer systems. If the software costs weren’t enough, the attorney fees and accountant bills will be astronomical when they get something wrong.
If, for example, a small business in Maryland doesn’t correctly charge sales tax for of one of Connecticut’s latest sales tax holidays for school clothes, they could see themselves getting audited by the tax collector in Connecticut. (For example, gloves and mittens are tax exempt, batting gloves for the little league baseball team are not.) And when that small businessman fails to charge Johnny’s parents tax on his batting glove, what’s going to compel that tax collector to treat him equitably? Nothing. By it’s nature that Maryland company has no presence in Connecticut and not one Connecticut Representative or Senator to complain to about an abusive tax collector. Further if they don’t comply with the dictates of the out of state tax collector they can find themselves hauled into court in a city thousands of miles away threaten with a court judgment if they don’t comply.
While this may be a nightmare for small businessmen, Amazon loves the idea. They have enormous IT, accounting and legal departments already. Complying with this is an insignificant burden in the grand scheme of issues they have to deal with. It also comes with the added benefit of sticking it to their competitors. Win-Win.
Government officials love it because they see it as free money. Every month Amazon’s going to send them a big check and all they have to do is lobby Congress to help the company stick it to the little guy. As usual the person whose ox get’s gored is the taxpayer.
So when Black Friday rolls around, remember that unless Congress hears objections, they’re going to sneak one more thing into your online shopping basket – a $23 billion tax increase.
Monday, September 8th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Economy
Even the Left can’t sugar coat America’s latest jobs numbers. Employment numbers were on the upswing for the past six months, but things took a turn for the worse with only 142,000 jobs created in August, well under the 200,000-225,000 that many experts predicted and the worst month of 2014.
And while the unemployment rate dropped .1%, most of that is due to individuals leaving the workforce, not because of employment.
Additionally, the Labor Market indicated that average weekly hours worked are still at 34.5, showing that employers haven’t found any good reasons to increase hours or offer overtime work.
Why has our nation’s economic recovery been so sluggish over the past few years? The Obama Administration’s unfriendly business policies, primarily Obamacare, have been a major problem.
Jobs are worst for lower-income workers, who are most likely to have their hours cut or lose their jobs because of these policies.
Obamacare mandates and penalties make it difficult for businesses to afford as many full-time workers. And it’s only getting worse in this regard. Starting in 2015, employers will be required to offer qualifying health benefits to all full-time employees, or they will face a $2,000 penalty tax.
It’s not just Obamacare that’s the problem. As economist Peter Morici wrote, it’s also this Administration’s “big spending stimulus policies and the Fed’s obsession with pumping money into a moribund New York financial industry.”
Another problem for businesses under Obama are needless, expensive regulations that make it extremely difficult for small businesses to stay afloat and hire as many employees as they’d like. This also discourages entrepreneurship, which is responsible for creating about 3 million new jobs every year – and business creation is on a steep decline right now.
As fast food workers strike across the country for a $15/hour minimum wage – with the support of the President — it doesn’t seem as though they understand the economic consequences that a wage change of such significance would have on the job market.
It’s essential now to demonstrate the connection between Obama’s penalizing policies and lack of jobs and full-time employment. Conservatives should use August jobs numbers to showcase the consequences of anti-business policies and uplift the importance of eliminating job growth barriers like Obamacare in the future.
Friday, September 5th, 2014 and is filed under Blog
When the junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, stood for over 21 hours in protest of Obamacare, many were quick to attack him as seeking personal gain. And when the government shutdown occurred, Senator Cruz, not the Democrats were blamed.
It has already been chronicled that Senator Cruz is the one really leading the Republican Party, both in popularity and in forcing the Republican and Democrat Leadership to march to the beat of a more conservative drum.
That’s why the vote to shut down the Export Import (Ex-Im) Bank is so important and why conservatives cannot settle for a temporary extension of funding.
The Ex-Im Bank is nothing more than corporate welfare. It uses taxpayer money to support massive corporations, and even foreign companies, that compete with our own businesses in the United States.
Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and President Obama’s cronies want the Export Import bank to stay alive, but the conservative caucus in the United States Senate is vocal enough to make the Senate grind to a halt on procedural grounds.
Just like with Obamacare, if we do not let efforts to fund the Ex-Im Bank progress through procedural votes, it cannot be funded. And without funding, it dies.
So why is it so important to shut down the Ex-Im Bank?
1. It shows conservative strength going into the mid-term elections. The Chamber of Commerce is already spending money supporting Democrats in the general election after dumping millions into Republican primaries in Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia. Republican’s shouldn’t trust the Chamber of Commerce, so why vote for a venture strongly supported by the Chamber?
2. While the media might try to spin it, it will not be the Republican’s fault. Right now conservatives in Congress should be illustrating why the Export Import Bank should go, and force Democrats into either a vote that can be used against them in November or a vote to kill the Export Import Bank. The ad almost writes itself: Do you want someone who shares your values making decisions in Washington, DC or K Street’s?
3. It could allow some to gain more street credibility and launch themselves into good 2016 positioning (either for running for Congress, Senate, Vice President, or even President).
If Senator Cruz and his conservative allies win on shutting down the Ex-Im Bank, we believe Cruz would then have the ability to hit Democrats below the waterline with shots to the IRS, the EPA, Foreign Aid Reform, the Federal Department of Education, Obamacare and securing our borders.
Conservatives should be about spending less, allowing free markets to decide which businesses fail or succeed, and letting local and state governments make regulations with common sense.
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
Two potential 2016 Republican Primary Presidential candidates are making decisions and surrounding themselves with advisors that should be a cause for concern amongst conservatives.
With the race baiting in the Mississippi Senate primary still bitter in conservatives’ mouths, tone deaf Texas Governor Rick Perry recently hired Henry Barbour of Mississippi to help with his 2016 Presidential bid. As the man responsible for funding the racist ads, and spreading vicious lies about tea partiers and Chris McDaniel, Henry Barbour is clearly no friend of conservatives. Yet, bubba like, he continues to proudly announce that he was happy to have been a part of “expanding the electorate” in the Mississippi race. He and his uncle, Haley Barbour, are the quintessential big government Republicans who live in a world where the end justifies the means and whose ideology is power and money. And this is who Rick Perry chooses to surround himself with?
And just as Rick Perry chooses questionable friends from amongst the Republican Establishment, Senator Rand Paul has been working overtime to curry favor there but to no avail. In the Kentucky Senate primary, he was merely McConnell’s political beard for the primary and now that his shelf life there has expired, it’s becoming more and more apparent that his time on the national stage will be short. He is a man without a political country.
Not only has he lost his political moorings, his crowd of advisors and operatives clearly leaves something to be desired. Just last week, Rand’s 2010 campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resigned from his role as the manager for Mitch McConnell’s Senate campaign for his involvement in the Iowa Caucus scandal. It appears that in 2012 Benton might have played a part in spreading money around Iowa to help get Ron Paul into the White House, a series of events that is likely to land former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson in jail.
Both Rick Perry and Rand Paul have high-level advisors with serious issues in their past that should raise red flags in the conservative movement. Why does this matter? Because when integrity is removed at the expense of all else, how can we believe that there will not be more integrity lost down the road? It is a slippery slope that once crested provides no point of return. We need to take candidates and elected officials to task for not only their votes, but their staff choices as well.
Personnel is policy and the American voters will see right through this.