Integrity In Politics

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.

Oped: U.S. Shouldn’t Give $500 Million To Palestinian Terrorists

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy

Here is our latest op-ed advocating for suspension of all foreign aid to the Palestinians.  Read the full piece at Investor’s Business Daily.

Now that we live in a post-constitutional era, there will always be sharp political debates over the role of the federal government and what we choose to fund with taxpayer dollars.

But can’t we all agree that there is no benefit to sending $500 million to the Palestinian Authority? What national interests does it serve for us to fund ruthless terrorists?

While aid to the PA should have been cut off years ago, the recent unity pact with Hamas, which is responsible for murdering three Israeli teens, should serve as the last straw even for the most naive foreign service workers at the State Department.

Under current law, given that Hamas is designated as an official terror group, they should immediately suspend aid. However, inasmuch as this administration will never follow the law, Congress should move directly to cut off aid.

According to the Congressional Research Service, we have sent roughly $5 billion to the Palestinian government since the mid 1990s. Our annual aid has fluctuated a bit, but has hovered around $500 million per year.

Moreover, at roughly $275 million a year, the U.S. is the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a multinational group that has long harbored Palestinian terrorists under the guise of humanitarian aid.

It’s time for Congress to stop playing the Palestinian game. The notion that Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah gang are any better than Hamas has always been absurd. Just last week, Israel National News reported that Fatah has declared full solidarity with Hamas and Islamic Jihad by declaring the Palestinian Authority and Hamas share “one goal.”

A post on the official Facebook page of Abbas’ Fatah faction showed a picture of terrorists in the military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, featuring the words “brothers-in-arms: one G-d, one homeland, one enemy, one goal.”

Hence, the liberal foreign policy establishment can no longer attempt to decipher between uniformed terrorists and “suit” terrorists.

Thankfully, a number of rank-and-file Republicans have already taken the initiative to cut off aid. Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have introduced a resolution to bar all aid to the Palestinians under any circumstances.

Mitch McConnell: Ideology is Power

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Today, Politico Magazine published a featured piece on Senator Mitch McConnell and his pursuit of power.  This is a must read for anyone who needs a lesson in why the political class in both parties is broken.  It is also the definitive read on why McConnell has not ideological core and is a finger lickin’ fraud.  Here are some good snippets:

Mitch McConnell has never been a beloved politician. Over the course of his career, he has been likened to everything from a warmed-over vanilla milkshake to “a man with the natural charisma of an oyster.” But for the 71-year-old Kentucky senator, the minority leader of the United States Senate, that has long been an asset, not a failing. His glower has usually been enough to dissuade those who consider crossing him. “He doesn’t say anything. He just sits there and stares at you,” says one person who has felt McConnell’s ire. “It’s bone-chilling.” While most politicians desperately want to be liked, McConnell has relished—and cultivated—his reputation as a villain. After all, he achieved his iron-fisted grip on the politics of his home state and his fractious party on Capitol Hill through discipline, cunning and, oftentimes, fear. Which is why, at the moments that have found him happiest—winning elections, blocking bills, denying the sheen of bipartisanship to President Barack Obama—he has radiated not joy but menace. Stepping to the microphones at a Capitol press conference some years ago, he announced with the slightest trace of a smile, “Darth Vader has arrived.”

“McConnell, whose ideology was power, ”

And yet, for some in the McConnell camp, the partnership with the upstart Paul—and his supporters—is a humiliating arrangement, no matter how necessary. “These are people who tuck their shirts into their underwear,” one prominent Kentucky Republican grouses. “My God, they have Mitch out there coming out for industrial hemp! … It just goes to show you the depths he’s willing to adapt to deal with the party as it is today.” Even for a politician long hailed for his pragmatism

Also, if you want a glimpse into how McConnell lies about his opponents, look no further than his early war against Rand Paul in 2010:

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Senate Committee Votes to Arm Al-Qaeda Affiliated Syrians

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy, News

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 to arm the Syrian “rebels” in their civil war against the Assad regime.  Rand Paul was the only Republican to vote no.  James E. Risch, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Jeff Flake, John McCain, and John Barrasso all voted to arm the same people who will turn on us with our own weapons one day.

For far too long, the debate over foreign policy has been expressed though the prism of the false choice between interventionists and isolationists.  Those of us who oppose the interventions on behalf of the “Arab Spring” islamists are called isolationists.  The reality is that we are  Reagan conservatives who believe in a robust effort to repel Islamic terrorism.  We don’t oppose interventions that are in America’s best interests.  Quite the contrary, we want to kill as many Islamists before they kill us.  But in the case of Libya, Syria, and Egypt, we are actually intervening on behalf of our enemies.

Granted that Syria is more complicated than the other two examples.  Bashar Assad is a sworn enemy of the United States, the closest ally of Iran, and a prolific exporter of terror.  In a perfect world, it would be great to overthrow him and stick it to Iran.  But the reality is that the strongest elements of the insurgency are saturated with Al-Qaeda affiliated extremists, much like the insurgencies in other countries.  Why place American money and weapons in the hands of people who will be just as adversarial to our interests as the current regime?

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It’s the ‘Wacko Birds’ vs. the Wackos Again

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Elections

If I were granted one wish about the state of today’s politics it would be for the Democrats to be saddled with their own version of John McCain.  Once again, McCain is working to score points for Democrats and undermine Cruz/Paul and Lee – the “Wacko Birds” – in their attempt to prevent a free debt ceiling increase.

Back in January, Republicans and conservatives got together at Williamsburg and agreed to “suspend” the debt ceiling law until May 18 in return for the Senate passing a budget.  I never liked the idea because, among other reasons, a Senate-passed budget is not such a good thing.  Yes, they are not so excited about publicizing their blueprint for more debt, and yes, the fact that they didn’t pass a budget for over 3 years was a good talking point.  But do we really want them to have a vehicle for fast-tracking tax increases, debt ceiling increases, and other nefarious policies through reconciliation?

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How Does Rand Paul Want to Change the Moss-Covered GOP?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Elections, Issues, Obamacare

Rand Paul really struck a chord with many conservatives when he declared at CPAC that “the GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,——I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?”  But will he adhere to his own admonishment?

The imagery of stale air and moss-covered vegetation serves as the superlative metaphor for the way so many of us view the current crop of GOP leaders.  Many of them are not necessarily liberal Republicans-in-name-only at heart; they just fail to inspire a following and fail to articulate conservative principles in a way that provides voters with a bold and exciting contrast.  They are content to grow old in office, cutting backroom deals with Democrats to grow government, so long as their seat of power is protected.

At its core, the lack of fresh leaders and ideas is born out of the lack of choice and competition in primaries.  The bedrock belief of conservatism is that choice and competition lead to better outcomes in the marketplace.  The GOP – the party that is supposed to promote that belief – has been run like a country club for years.  Our presidential nominees have always been the “next in line;” our congressional nominees have always been the ones with the most money and name recognition.  Once elected to office, nobody has dared to challenge 95% of these individuals.  Such a lack of rivalry would leave even the boldest conservative a bit complacent and moss-covered after several decades of free rides with Republican voters.  Someone who was never a bold conservative to begin with is certainly rendered irredeemable after decades with no competition.

Hence, if we want to clean out the mildew within the GOP tent, we must open the door with some fresh air of healthy primary competition.

If you want a dictionary definition of the GOP establishment, it is Mitch McConnell and those who surround him.  If you want to know the paradigm of stale, moss-covered leadership, it’s Mitch McConnell.  Nobody could assert with a straight face – even those who personally admire him – that Mitch McConnell is an inspiring leader who has provided bold leadership against the big government establishment in Washington.  He has voted for all of the things Rand Paul has inveighed against for years.  He has cut backroom deals with Biden to raise taxes and the debt ceiling.  He has been running around ridiculing Obamacare while doing nothing do defund it through the budget process until Ted Cruz forced his hand – and even then, he voted for the CR which ultimately contained that funding.

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Illegal Immigration and the Pesky GOP Base

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Immigration

When Lucy kept tricking Charlie Brown with the football, at least she pretended to place the football on the ground each time he kicked it.  Obama has never even pretended to start enforcing our immigration laws, yet one Republican after another is committing to amnesty – I mean pathway to citizenship – I mean – never mind.  In fact, as Republicans are committing to legalization now in return for a promise of enforcement later, Obama is letting thousands of criminal aliens out of jail.  This is not a recipe for repeating the mistakes of 1986; this is a recipe for perpetual lawlessness.

Most conservatives would love to solve this issue once and for all and put it in the rear view mirror.  Conservatives want to put an end to the cynical use of our immigration system to import welfare recipients and Democrat voters.  But there are two fundamental flaws with every proposal – form the House and Senate Gang of Ochos to the Rand Paul Gang of Uno.

First, enforcement is not a legislative problem; it is an administrative problem, and to some extent, a judicial problem.  How can Republicans float a ‘legalization for enforcement’ deal while Obama is refusing to enforce any law, is letting criminal aliens out of jail, and is suing states for enforcing laws?  Why are they agreeing to concessions without a parallel commitment from Obama to build the physical fence, pursuant to the law passed in 2006?

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Verify Immigration Enforcement; Don’t Trust

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

In light of Rand Paul’s ‘amnesty by any other name’ proposal that he announced today, I felt it was important to repost this article from several weeks ago, which stands as a prebuttal to every assumption expressed during today’s speech.  Here are just two comments that come to mind after hearing today’s speech.

–          There is nothing new, reform-minded, or courageous about proposals that double down on Kennedy’s immigration policies and repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty.

–          We need to promote our message of limited government and rugged individualism to every voter, including those of Hispanic descent.  But I’ve got news for you: immigration policy is about more than one ethnic group.  Issues pertaining to immigration, border security, and national sovereignty are bigger than any one demographic.  They must be evaluated on their own merits, not based on some false allurement of electoral success.

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The Power of One Man’s Conviction

Thursday, March 7th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy, Issues

What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic?  The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night.  I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil.  Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.

Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.

We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat.  We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release.  We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail.  Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.

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The CR Vote Tally: Courage in the Senate; Capitulation in the House

Thursday, March 7th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt

The House voted overwhelmingly to pass the CR today which failed to cut one cent from Obamacare.  30 members signed the Bridenstine-Huelskamp letter asking leadership to defund Obamacare through the CR.  16 members voted against the rule to bring up the CR, some of which hadn’t signed the letter.  Only 14 members voted against the CR.  In other words, several members took the drastic step of opposing a rule, yet voted for the bill.  All this confusion is above my pay grade.  Nonetheless, here is the tally:

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