Sunday, May 12th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Welcome to 1984. The government that is supposed to govern by the consent of the people is now attacking those who seek to preserve the Constitution. Even as a number of non-profit organizations that aid and abet illegal aliens or Islamic terrorists are able to operate without any fear of investigation, we now know that tea party patriot organizations have been singled out for audits by high level officials at the IRS.
On Friday, it was all about “low-level employees” and was not “politically motivated.” It must have been a random glitch in the system that forced these officials to target limited government educational groups. Now the AP is reporting that this witch hunt was approved at the highest levels and was going on for 2 years:
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week. The AP obtained part of the draft report, which has been shared with congressional aides.
Among the other revelations, on Aug. 4, 2011, staffers in the IRS’ Rulings and Agreements office “held a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”
On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,” the report says.
During an election year, it’s hard to imagine a directive like this not coming straight from the White House. Evidently, the audits were so ubiquitous that a number of tea party organizations approached Mark Levin, President of Landmark Legal Foundation, complaining of harassment from the IRS. Mark Levin then wrote a letter to the Treasury Inspector General last March demanding an investigation into improper inquiries. These improper inquiries included demands from the IRS that these organizations divulge their political positions on any given policy issue, list all of their key members and family members, and explain their relationships with media outlets.
Friday, May 10th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Last evening, I was on with Mark Levin discussing the latest developments with the gang of 8 amnesty bill. We tackle some important issues related to hypocritical voting records as it relates to border security. You can listen to the audio by clicking here and selecting the May 9th show. I come on in the second half-hour of the show.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its markup of the gang of 8 immigration deform bill (s.744). The striking thing about the markup is that any casual observer would think we were living in 1965 or 1986, when there was either relatively low legal immigration or no failed amnesty to look back upon. To most of the senators sitting around the table, the border is more secure than ever (despite the sharp rise in crossings), our record levels of immigration don’t exist, and there is no reason to implement the enforcement before the legalization.
The first vote was on the Schumer manager’s amendment, which is a substitute making technical changes to the bill. This ostensibly is the bill. Yet 4 Republicans – Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Orrin Hatch – joined all the Democrats in supporting it. I’m not sure why someone who ultimately opposes this bill would vote for that. Would they have voted for the defacto Obamacare bill in the form of a substitute? Either way, I overheard Chuck Schumer celebrating the votes of Hatch and Cornyn, noting that it was “a good sign.” If Cornyn and Hatch believe that not to be true, they ought to clarify their position.
Next, Senator Grassley proposed a commonsense amendment to delay all legalization until the enforcement measures are implemented. Dianne Feinstein said, “I have no doubt as to this nation’s commitment to enforce this border,” asserting that the border is more secure than ever! Jeff Flake argued that we shouldn’t delay amnesty for security. I wish he had said that during his primary in 2012. Schumer said that such a measure would delay amnesty forever. He’s probably right. These guys have no intention of ever enforcing the law, so it probably would never take place. Every Democrat plus Graham and Flake voted against the amendment.
Later in the markup, Senator Lee proposed a similar amendment, granting Congress the authority to pass the security measures with a simple majority. It also requires Congress to certify that the measures have been sufficiently implemented before any legalization is offered. Lindsey Graham even admitted that the border commission “is not a trigger.” Once again, Flake and Graham voted no with the Democrats.
In an effort to show how open they are to changes, they agreed beforehand to adopt a Grassley amendment (by voice vote) to audit the money given to private organizations. So they’ll audit the money the give to La Raza.
[- The Senate adopted an amendment from Dick Blumenthal that would grant the Attorney General discretion to waive the requirement that states be reimbursed for costs of detaining illegal aliens when there is an allegation of impropriety on the part of local police. You can guarantee this administration would use that "discretion" liberally.
- The Cruz amendment, which would have made a biometric US-Visit and the border fence as a precondition to legalization, was defeated. Orrin Hatch joined Flake and Graham in opposing it. Once again, Chuck Schumer could be heard saying "you heard that?" Good going, Orrin.
- They just adopted another amendment by Senator Hirono to force border agents to search out family members from those detained within "practicable" time. Yet another massive burden on border agents. The amendment passed along party lines.
- Sessions proposed an amendment to complete the 2006 double-layered fence. Every Democrat voted no plus Gramm and Flake. This bill passed in 2006 by 80-19. At the time, Schumer, Feinstein, and Graham voted for it. Jeff Flake supported it in the House. The reason they oppose it is because this is something that would actually work, but unlike in 2006, it would be used as accountability to hold up the amnesty. What a bunch of frauds.]
It’s becoming clear that Democrats will ram this though with the help of the Republican gang members who vote down all of the enforcement amendments. They will do the same thing on the floor. Marco Rubio has already made it clear that the triggers need to be strengthened. The Democrats (and Flake/Graham/McCain) have made it clear that they will not allow any structural amendments to pass. The writing is on the wall. This thing will pass if it is not blocked from the floor now.
Rubio entered the negotiations in good faith trying to come out with a somewhat decent product. Mitch McConnell tapped him to join that gang. It’s time for Rubio and McConnell to get off the fence and publicly oppose this bill. They must demand #enforcementfirst.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
With Marco Rubio appearing all over the media to talk about this disastrous immigration bill, I felt it would be worthwhile to go back and examine his comments on illegal immigration while he was running for office:
- Interviewer: “Are you pro-amnesty for illegal immigration?”
Rubio: “No, No, Never have been, in fact, I am strongly against amnesty for a number of reasons” (interview with Human Events, 2010)
- “I will never support- never have and never will support- any effort to grant blanket, legalization amnesty to folks who have entered this country illegally.”
- “Nothing will make it harder to enforce existing laws.”
- “It demoralizes the people who are going through the legal process.”
- “You’re never going to have a legal immigration system that works if you grant amnesty.”
- “I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing our border, fixing the visa and entry process, and opposing amnesty in any form.”
- Marco Rubio, 2010 campaign website quote
- “Immigration was nowhere to be found in the book of 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future he compiled as House Speaker; now it’s among the 9 issues addressed on his campaign website.”
- Miami Herald, Nov 10, 2009
- “If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.”
- Marco Rubio, Nov 2009
- “His (Marco Rubio) tone has changed on the subject (immigration), and to me it’s very obvious it’s for political reasons.”
- State Rep. Juan Zapata, Miami
“First of all, earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it. And the reality of it is this. … It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so. And all I’m saying is that if you do that … you will never have a legal immigration system that works. No one is going to follow the law if there is an easier way to do it.”
-Marco Rubio, 2010, debate with Charlie Crist
- “I would vote against anything that grants amnesty because I think it destroys your ability to enforce the existing law”
-Marco Rubio, 2009
- “I would vote against anything that has amnesty in it”
-Marco Rubio, 2009
- As far as amnesty, that’s where [Charlie Crist] and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong…if you grant amnesty…you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America. [Marco Rubio, Fox News Sunday debate with Charlie Crist, March 28, 2010]
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog
As we’ve noted over the past few weeks, there are dozens of systemic flaws in the approach of the gang’s immigration bill. But there are two overarching problems with all of these proposals: 1) the legalization (and certainly the suspension of deportations) is immediate and certain; the enforcement measures are later and tenuous 2) it is incontrovertibly clear that granting such a low-skilled population a path to citizenship, when coupled with chain migration and birthright citizenship, will constitute a demonstrative public charge.
Once those two issues are addressed, there will be a broad consensus on how to deal with those already here illegally. At tomorrow’s Judiciary Committee markup, Senator Ted Cruz plans to throw down that gauntlet to the Democrats and Republican gang members. If they truly desire a solution to this problem, which was largely created by some of the members on the committee, they would sign onto Cruz’s amendments.
Ted Cruz will introduce an amendment stipulating that no legalization can commence until the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and the biometric US-Visit exit-entry system are implemented. They can have their amnesty, but the laws already on the books must be followed before that process begins.
In order to address the welfare point, Cruz will introduce a second amendment – just one-page long – barring all amnestied illegals from ever receiving federal, state, or local means-tested benefits or Obamacare coverage.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
One of the most underappreciated sociological phenomenons of the past two decades is the precipitous, almost miraculous, drop in the level of crime nationwide. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s violent crime rose sharply. We were beginning to wonder if living with such dangerous streets would be the new norm in America. Yet, there has been a dramatic decline in crime over the past two decades. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistic, violent crimes per 1,000 people nationally has declined from roughly 51 in 1994 to 15 in 2010.
Today, two new reports – one from BJS and one from Pew Research – show a parallel drop in gun-related homicides and non-fatal shootings, reports Fox News:
A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.
Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country’s population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 percent in 1993 to 3.6 percent in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.
Both reports also found the rate of non-fatal crimes involving guns was also down by around 70 percent over that period.
As we all know, this same time period has also coincided with the most ubiquitous liberalization of gun laws. Now, there are a number of factors related to policing and the criminal justice system that have played a large role in this downward trend of violent crime. But the question liberals cannot answer is this: if the problem is guns, not the criminals, how can the period of miraculous decline in crime coincide with such expansive proliferation of gun ownership and right to carry laws?
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Imagine the biggest conservative donors in America banding together to form a group, “Progressives for Retirement Security,” for the purpose of promoting private retirement accounts. Imagine that group running ads starring Chuck Schumer promoting private Social Security accounts as examples of bold progressive reform.
Don’t worry, hell will freeze over from global warming before that happens.
If you’ve been watching Fox News or listening to talk radio this week, you’ve been subjected to the most nauseating duplicitous ads ever unleashed on conservatives. Ubber-leftist Mark Zuckerberg’s Orwellian-front group, “Americans for a Conservative Direction,” which is run by Arlen Specter Republicans, is running ads calling the 867-page immigration reform bill “the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States” and “conservative reform” designed to end “defacto amnesty.” The ad shows Marco Rubio discussing all the triggers and qualifications for amnesty, even though he has now admitted that they need to be strengthened and that he’d like to work with conservatives to do so.
What’s next? Ads from ‘Conservatives for Obamacare,’ funded by George Soros?
To buttress the lies expressed in the ad, Zuckerberg’s group put out a push-poll showing how 71% of voters, and 74% of conservative Republicans(!), support the Senate gang bill. Take a look at the wording of the question:
As you may have heard, there is a proposal facing Congress to reform the nation’s immigration laws. This proposal would establish a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants presently in the country as long as they pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and wait at least 13 years. The plan would also allow more high-skilled immigrants into the country in technology, science and engineering fields and create a guest worker program to address labor shortages in industries like agriculture and construction. Finally, the plan would require a series of increased border security measures before anyone here illegally can apply for citizenship – including greater enforcement, extended fencing along the border and a requirement that all employers verify the legal status of individuals before hiring them….Do you support or oppose this proposal?
Wow – sign me up…I’m surprised there are even 20% who would oppose such a plan when expressed that way.
Now take a look at real polling data that is as plain and innocuous as can be:
Fox News poll
Do you favor or oppose requiring completion of new border security measures first — before making other changes to immigration policies?
68 percent are in favor; 22% are opposed. Even 66% of Democrats agree support enforcement first.
Should those who are now in this country illegally be granted legal status right away or should that come only after the border is secured?
Similar to the Fox News result, 66% favor security first. Byron York has the crosstabs:
The majority in favor of security-first cut across all party and demographic lines. Seventy-one percent of men support it; 60 percent of women; 59 percent of young people; 67 percent of middle-aged people; 75 percent of older Americans; 68 percent of whites; 62 percent of blacks; 56 percent of others; 82 percent of Republicans; 53 percent of Democrats; 65 percent of independents; 81 percent of conservatives; 59 percent of moderates; 51 percent of liberals; 77 percent of people who make under $30,000 a year; 66 percent of those who make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year; 66 percent of those who make between $50,000 and $100,000; 55 percent of those who make between $100,000 and $200,000; 51 percent of those who make more than $200,000; 75 percent of veterans; and 64 percent of non-veterans.
Then, when asked “how likely is it that the federal government would secure border and prevent illegal immigration,” just 30% answered in the affirmative while 57% said it was not very or not at all likely.
The reality is that no amount of left-wing money can ameliorate this pig. The GOP base is not like the pool of low-information voters they are used to manipulating, and they will not be sucked into this sham. That is…all of them except for the few Mark Zuckerberg conservatives in the country.
Cross-posted at RedState.com
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by Drew and is filed under Blog
For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2013
Contact: Daniel Horowitz
The Madison Project Releases Updated Index Scores for 112th Congress
Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun: “Now conservatives can view the performance of their Republican representatives in the context of the districts they were elected to represent.”
Washington, DC – Today, the Madison Project PAC released its updated Madison Performance Index (MPI) for the full 112th Congress. Created in 2012, the MPI measures how closely each Republican House Member is performing against the expected conservative score for his or her district.
“It’s a simple way for us to create clarity for the American taxpayers. Either their Members are performing to the make-up of their districts or they are not,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “We believe the MPI provides a measuring stick for voters to look at when it comes time to retain or remove Members.”
To view the full scores for the 112th Congress (2011 and 2012 combined), please go to: http://www.conservativevotingrecords.com/2011-2012-scores-2/
“Last year, we started a national conversation about the need to better utilize our most conservative districts in elections when we unveiled the Madison Performance Index,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project. “We found that only a small percentage of elected Republicans were fully utilizing their districts to represent conservative free-market values. Our updated scores continue to show that there are many members from red districts that are dramatically underperforming.”
The Madison Performance Index also highlights Members who have scored above a 90 in the Hall of Fame while listing the worst performers in the Hall of Shame.
“We believe this list of liberal red state Republicans will serve as a checklist for the best opportunities to elect conservatives to the House in primary elections,” said Ryun.
Key takeaways from Madison Performance Index from the 112th Congress:
- Only 43 members, or 18% of the GOP conference, met or exceeded expectations to fully utilize their seats to promote conservatism
- 58 members have an index of -25 or worse (25 of them are from R+13 districts); 114 members score -15 or worse (42 of them are from R+13+ districts) 149 members score -10 or worse on the index.
- The worst performer was Don Young (AK) at -48. The best performer was Joe Walsh (IL-8) at +23.
The Madison Performance Index factors the average of the 2011 and 2012 legislative scores from Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth, the two most respected conservative scorecards. Each Member’s average score is pegged against the ideological orientation of his district, as defined by the Cook Partisan Voter Index. Members from the most conservative districts are expected to score an A (90 and above), while those from less conservative districts are held to a slightly lower standard in a gradual regression. Their index score represents the number of points they are scoring above or below the expected score for that 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/
# # #
If you’d like more information about ConservativeVotingRecords.com, or to schedule an interview with the Madison Project, please email Daniel at Daniel@madisonproject.com.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by Drew and is filed under Blog
For those of you not getting The Madisonian, go sign up for it at www.MadisonProject.com.
Here’s Issue #40 (giving you a glimpse of what you are missing every week Congress is in session)
The Madisonian, Issue #40
Online Sales Tax: After a number of Republicans voted to invoke cloture on the online sales tax bill (S.743), this bill is expected to pass with a simple majority vote on Monday. To make matters worse, supporters of the bill are offering a manager’s amendment which will provide a new definition for “state” that allows every tribal organization to force businesses in every state to pay sales tax too. There are 565 federally- recognized tribal organizations. This means that every business will now have to add 565 tribal tax systems to their system when collecting sales taxes for online purchases.
Conservatives must work to quickly circulate a letter in the House invoking the Hastert Rule against this massive tax increase. We must make it clear that this tax increase is opposed by the majority of the House Republican Conference, and should not be brought to the floor any time during this session.
Debt Ceiling - In January, Congress voted to suspend the debt ceiling ($16.394 trillion, at the time) until May 18. However, given that the Treasury has the ability to shift payments and employ “extraordinary measures,” that de facto debt ceiling will not be reached until the end of the summer or early fall. Meanwhile the gross debt stands at roughly $16.8 trillion. In preparation for the fight over raising the debt ceiling yet again, GOP leaders have finally caved to conservative demands to pass the Full Faith and Credit Act, H.R. 807. This bill will force the Treasury to prioritize payments for interest on the debt and social security in the event that the debt ceiling is reached. The bill will come to the floor on Wednesday.
Conservatives have long advocated that we take default off the table so we can fight for transformational change while refusing to raise the debt ceiling without concessions from the Democrats. There is more than enough revenue coming in to the Treasury to pay the vital bills.
- A shell game: Leadership is not bringing this bill to the floor because they have undergone a cathartic change and are suddenly willing to fight the debt limit increase. This is just a bone being thrown to conservatives in return for their agreement to vote for the January debt limit suspension and the CR that funded Obamacare in March.
- De facto Debt Increase: Unlike the original version of the Full Faith and Credit Act sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintcok (R-CA), this iteration was dramatically altered by the Ways and Means Committee. The original bill would have prohibited any new issuance of debt, forcing the Treasury to use only the incoming tax revenue (which covers about 65% of outlays) to prioritize interest payments. This version would allow the Treasury to issue more debt in order to cover interest payments and Social Security interest expenditures. This means that the tax revenue can be used to pay for almost all other functions of government, while using new debt to pay for the priorities. This is a debt limit increase.
Immigration – Just two weeks after releasing the 844-page amnesty bill (S.744), which was written behind closed doors, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin a marathon markup of the bill this Thursday. The Senate Homeland Security Committee will also hold a hearing on the border security aspects (or lack thereof) of the bill. In addition to forcing this super-complex legislation down the throats of Republican members so quickly, the drafters of the bill plan to introduce a 350-page managers’ amendment. Taken as a whole, Republican members on the committee, most of whom were shut out of the entire process, are flummoxed and struggling to understand the ramification of this bill, let alone any new amendments. For a detailed critique of how this bill will break our immigration system for years to come, please read this analysis by Daniel Horowitz over at the Madison Project.
Meanwhile, conservatives are now getting a handle on how many immigrants would be brought in under this bill. According to Senator Sessions, this bill would bring in 32.7 million immigrants over the next 10 years, not including the 25 million new guest workers. This is on top of our current record levels of between 1 and 1.1 million new green cards annually. The bill will essentially bring in 2 million new immigrants every year. Also, the Heritage Foundation is published a study today pegs the price tag for amnesty at $6.3 trillion when all the welfare costs associated with such a low-skilled population are factored in.
After spending two weeks denying the flaws in the bill as laid out by conservatives, Marco Rubio is finally admitting that the bill should be changed. However, here’s how we see this playing out. Republicans will offer some good amendments –both in committee and on the floor – to strengthen the border triggers and limit the amnesties. Undoubtedly, Senator Rubio and most of the Republicans (and even some Democrats) will support those amendments, knowing that they will be voted down. Then, after feigning concern for our security with their show votes, these senators will ultimately vote for the final bill.
Ultimately, it’s hard to see how this bill, no matter how odious the final product, will fail to get 60 votes on the floor. Almost every Democrat will vote for it along with the GOP gang members. There is very little margin for error.
The real fight will commence in the House. There is a parallel Gang of 8 in the House that is working on a very similar bill. They will add in one or two shiny objects to attract more Republican votes, but from what I’ve seen of the rough draft, this bill will be very similar to the Schumer/Rubio amnesty. Conservatives must work closely with the good members on the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees in an effort to block any mass amnesty bill, while focusing on national security, enforcement, and targeted legal immigration reforms.
Ancillary issues this week
- Here is a list of some of the smaller issues that will be considered in the House under suspension, along with the daily schedule for both the House and the Senate.
Stay informed every day at www.MadisonProject.com
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog
There is nothing more odious in a free society than politicians using the boot of government to make the most basic goods and services unaffordable for the majority of the country, thereby engendering a need for subsidization. In one fell swoop, representatives who deviate from the Constitution have the ability to destroy the self-respect and quality of life for all but the top 1% – the very people who are reviled by these same politicians.
This is exactly what is transpiring with Obamacare implementation. That is exactly why Republicans must use the debt ceiling to kill Obamacare while it is extremely unpopular and before its immutable dependency takes effect.
I am one of those people who buy private health insurance and am hurt by the government’s tendentious tax treatment of employer-based insurance. I am also unlucky enough to live in Maryland, where health premiums are slated to increase as much as 150% after Obamacare is implemented. Other people who get their insurance from employers are being laid off as a result of the ubiquitous company splits in preparation from the employer mandate. Still others are being cut back to part time employment.
This is one of those moments where the American people expect Republicans in Washington to lay down in front of the metaphorical Obamacare tanks and stop this assault on freedom.
No, the bill will not collapse under its own weight; the country will collapse under the weight of the program. We must make the program collapse.
Yesterday, Congressman Jim Bridenstine drew a line in the sand on this so-called Williamsburg Accord that we’ve mentioned here several weeks ago. Pursuant to that ad hoc agreement in January, a number of good conservatives have fallen on their swords with bad votes to suspend the debt ceiling law and to fund Obamacare in the CR. The rationale behind the agreement was that we’d push off the major fight until we can formulate a 10-year balanced budget and unite behind it. Well, that’s what we did. Now is the time to stand behind it.
Later this week, the House will pass the Full Faith and Credit Act, which forces the Treasury to prioritize payment of interest on the debt and Social Security treasuries in the event that the debt ceiling is breached. It also allows the Treasury to issue more debt just for the purpose of paying that interest. This bill must not serve as a show vote for conservatives. It must serve as the foundation for fighting any further debt ceiling increase unless Congress agrees to pass a balanced budget.