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More political thoughts… March 12, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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As I have been reading news reports regarding the various issues facing our Nation I am continually amazed at the inability of people to see truth through all the rhetoric, obfuscation of facts, and to employ a bit of common sense. It seems to me that too many people are blinded by their ideology and refuse to be objective in viewing the issues, and solutions to the problems that face our country.

I am by no means perfect, or completely unbiased in my thoughts and feelings about many of the issues being discussed in the media, however, I try to be balanced, fair, and objective before forming an opinion. I actively seek out contradictory opinions, and information regarding an issue before I take sides on a particular issue and often times because of this practice, my ideas and opinions fall out of the ‘norm’ of my usual conservative viewpoint.

Looking at some of the issues I see that reasonable, and commonsense solutions are entirely possible, if one steps away from the ideology and inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal extremists.

Immigration:

Entrance into this county illegally must be ended, completely. We have laws that govern immigration and those laws must be enforced, consistently and completely, albeit, with a hand of compassion.

It is said that this nation was built on immigrants, and immigration is a cornerstone of the concept of America. To this I agree, however, we no longer ‘need’ immigrants to build the Nation so it makes perfect sense to ensure that those who do enter our country can be a benefit to our society and intend us no harm. Subsequently, the Administration’s temporary travel ban is a logical, and acceptable, precaution to take while the Government improves our vetting process to better ensure that those immigrating here in the future benefit the country and intend us no ill will.

Current illegals should be subject to current laws governing residency and deportation. Those that are productive, beneficial, members of our society need to be provided with an opportunity to attain legal status and become contributing residents (taxes, etc.). While those who are apparent drains on our society (ie; criminals, those receiving public aid, unemployed, etc.) should be sent back to whence they came.

State and City governments who refuse to cooperate with Federal Immigration rules and law must absolutely have all Federal funding withheld. Sanctuary city policies must be eliminated and those officials refusing to comply with the laws should be removed from their positions and/or prosecuted.

It is important to remember this: When the federal government abolished slavery the US economy did NOT collapse, despite the protestations of the slavery proponents. The same will be true by the elimination of the illegal alien labor force. It will require some economic adjustment, but it will not be a devastating blow to the economy as some have suggested.

Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act, implemented by the Obama administration through force and lack of proper legislative process was doomed to failure at its inception. The idea was good, I believe everyone should have access to adequate health care (preferably at little or not cost to the recipient – and yes it is possible). The problem was the law itself was flawed and unsupportable as written.

The new health care law being touted by the GOP is not much better than ‘Obamacare’. There are some improvements, but overall it is still lacking. What needs to happen is for Congress to launch into a full-scale, bipartisan, assault on the issue, partnering with the health care industry leaders and develop a system in which everyone receives coverage at low/no cost and allowing those who wish to pay for their own coverage to do so.

To do this there are a few things we all need to understand:

Businesses (drug and insurance companies specifically) will NOT be making large profits – the best they could hope for most likely would be to break even on the provided coverage and perhaps more profit on the voluntary/optional plans.

Tort reform MUST be implemented. We cannot reduce health care costs effectively if doctors, clinics, and hospitals are subject to outrageously high settlements, or are continually defending suits from claimants not happy with the care they received.

Federal, State, and City governments (specifically Congress) must have the same coverage as the average citizen. What is good for one must be good for all.

Elective procedures (including abortion) should NOT be covered under the provided policies. Of course they should be made available, but at the consumer’s cost.  If I want to have a vasectomy, or a  nose job, or a butt implant, I should be able to do so as long as I am willing to pay for it.

Individual rights:

Women’s rights, LGBT rights, Minority rights, etc. must NOT preclude anyone else’s rights. This includes religious tolerance. Above all else, this nation was founded upon the ideal of religious freedom. That freedom must remain a hallmark in our pursuits of rights and freedoms. To force a person, or business owner, to comply with a practice that violates the dictates of their religious beliefs is abhorrent. One cannot assert that a Christian baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding is discriminating unless one can show that the operation of their business is discriminatory as well (do they refuse to employ homosexuals? Do they refuse to sell cookies, or cupcakes to people based on their color, nationality, sexual orientation?)

We are all equal, we all breathe the same air, bleed the same blood, and are citizens of the same country. We must all be treated equally, fairly, and without extra consideration, or less consideration.

So many out there today throw around the words ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’ and yet fail to realize that their very actions are definitive of what they accuse others. Any organization that promotes the advancement of any group above any other is by definition ‘racist’.

Of course, I do recognize that at times there are practices that do not comply with this Country’s laws and philosophy’s of equality and fairness regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, gender, etc. but those practices needs be reconciled specifically and not made to appear as a national fault.

It comes down to the same idea as immigration; we are a nation of laws, and we must comply with those laws, and enforce those laws.

Taxation, Budget and Economy:

So much of what we do, want to do, or should do, in this country revolves around cost. The issue is that we seem unable to conceive of how to pay for the things we should do (health care and education for instance). While the problem is not simple to solve, it is solvable.

Taxation: A flat tax rate on individual income is the most equitable solution. In our current taxation scheme an individual with a higher income is taxed at a higher rate than those with lower incomes. My question is this: does that individual with a higher tax rate receive a higher level of representation in the government? Does my 25% tax rate entitle my vote at the polls to carry 25% more weight than someone only taxed at 10%?  No, it does not. Consequently our tax system contravenes our nation’s founding philosophy protesting ‘taxation without representation’.

Federal grants to foreign countries: Our government sends billions of dollars to other countries. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of global stabilization and promotion of peace and cooperation, the reality must be faced that much of our internal needs can be paid for if those monies were directed inward instead of outward.

Funding of Public Assistance programs: If we discontinue providing Public Assistance to those who are in our country illegally we could saves millions of dollars in Public Aid. It makes no sense to me that our government would give someone money who is not a citizen, or legal resident. Why pay someone to violate our laws?

Tax subsidies to businesses that are profitable already.  Why should be give money to a business that makes a profit? Can they not utilize their profits to pay for whatever the subsidies are paying for?

Tax subsidies to US business moving operations out of country: While this practice is being addressed by the current Administration I must mention it here; if you move your operations out of country you should lose all government assistance, and have your products taxed upon entry into this country.

The bottom line for me comes down to this: My family budgets our money in order to pay for the things we need to live. If I do not have the money for something I want, I do without. If there is something the family needs we revise our budget in order to divert the necessary funds to that need. We do not live outside of our means and we prioritize needs and wants in order to live within our means. The government should do no less.

Political thoughts January 25, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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There is so much I want to say but usually choose to keep to myself because of the ongoing contention of the recent election and inauguration of Mr. Trump, however I will attempt to ramble about a few things here just to get them out of my head:

The election and the role of the electoral college:

5 times in our history has a Presidential Candidate won the election despite loosing, or allegedly loosing the popular vote: Donald Trump 2016, George W. Bush 2000,  Benjamin Harrison 1888, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876, and John Quincy Adams 1824.

This happens as a result of the Electoral College and its role in the Presidentia election process. I have to say that I am not necessarily a fan of the electoral college system, however I have done some thinking about it and realized a very important aspect that bears some attention. Our nation, our government is not a strict democracy; it is a republic, or more accurately to my thinking, a representational democracy. Our system works for us because portions of our populace are represented by an elected official (Congressmen and Senators). Laws are voted upon and passed by these elected officials who theoretically act in the interests of those who elected them. We vote for a Congressman and the winner of the majority of those votes is elected to serve us in Washington D.C., Senators are restricted to 2 per state.  This method of electing representatives serves a valuable purpose: in states such as California, where the population and political leanings are wide spread we are represented by Congressmen who represent the political ideas of a segment of our population. Subsequently, those areas with high populations (Bay Area and Los Angeles) do not have more say in the will of the totality of the state as most of the areas, or counties, throughout the state have different political ideals than those in the heavily populated urban areas.

All this boils down to a simple idea which is demonstrated clearly by a look at a vote by county map of the entire country:

States themselves are not monolithically blue or red. Here's the projected winner in each county in the US. At first glance, there are a handful of blue islands, mostly concentrated along the coasts, surrounded by a sea of red.

Consequently, perhaps the popular vote leaned in favor a Hillary Clinton, based solely upon the density of population of certain urban areas, but the majority of the Country, spread across the entire country went a different route. Therefore, the duly elected President, Donald J. Trump is legitimately our Nation’s leader.

Now as to those who are protesting:

Get over it. I did not vote for Mr. Obama, nor did I want him in office, but when he was elected I put on my big boy pants and supported him as the leader of our country. I prayed for him to do the right thing, expressed my approval when he did do the right thing, and questioned him when he did not do the right thing. The outrageous behavior demonstrated continuously by the liberal populace, and the media, is doing nothing helpful for this country. We are a country divided and the division is a result of the deleterious behavior of the DNC, the mainstream media, the Hollywood left and the  clueless citizenry who’s agenda seems to be directed by misinformation, ignorance of the facts, and petty grudges of a child who did not get what he wanted. A statement I saw today sums it up quite nicely: YOU SAID “LOVE TRUMPS HATE”, BURNING CARS,  SMASHING WINDOWS, AND ASSAULTING PEOPLE PROVES YOU’RE FULL OF CRAP.

Regarding disapproval, or rejection of Mr. Trump’s ‘policies’:

First of all, you cannot disapprove or reject a policy that does not exist. Marching to protest a ‘policy’ the day after the inauguration is ridiculous.

I recently had a discussion with someone about the Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act. As it was explained to me the contention was that this person thought it was distasteful and wrong for the President to issue an Executive Order repealing ‘Obama Care’ a day after the election. My difficulty here is debating an issue with someone who got their information from a news agency that clearly is not reporting the facts (left-wing mainstream media). So here is what Executive Order #1 actually does:

Section 1. Ensures that the existing law is being efficiently implemented, minimizes the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2.  Allows agencies to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

Sec. 3.  Provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.

Sec. 4.  Encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.

No repeal, no stoppage, no nothing other than allowing some flexibility in the administration of the law in regards to penalties, costs, and implementation of programs.  The worst part of this whole Executive Order is that someone who does not have, or does not acquire healthcare may not have to pay the penalty tax.  Woe is me.

His other Executive Order simple mandates a streamline of the Environmental Impact Reports for high priority projects. Perhaps a needed highway bypass could be built in our lifetime rather than waiting 13 years for an EIR to be conducted or approved.

All in all, for me it comes down to this: Mr. Trump was not my choice for President but he was selected as the Republican candidate and provided a candidate much preferred over the alternative. He DID win the election by a the majority of the country and is now the President of the United States of America. As such he deserves the prayers and support of myself, and the rest of the populace.

His success depends upon our support, and our success as a Nation depends upon his success as the leader of the free world. For those who claim ‘not my president’ I have a simple solution: pull up you panties and support the nation, or pack up your stuff and move out, maybe you can cross the border into Mexico before the wall goes up.

America, a nation of ‘makers’ no more April 14, 2016

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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America used to be known as a nation of ‘makers’. Production was the lynch pin of our economy and our place as the largest producer (of anything) in the world was the envy of the world. Sadly, this in no longer the case and our nation’s economy is built on a foundation of cards rather than stone.

No longer are we a nation of makers, we are a nation of service providers, and as a nation if we continue to base our economic future on buying and selling goods we do not produce we hand that future over as hostage to those that do produce.

At the turn of the century, factories employed more workers than education and health care combined or professional and business services. Nowadays the latter two groups of industries both employ millions more Americans than those making things.

While many positions in education, health care and professional and business services pay well, those often require a college or advanced degree or expensive specialized training beyond high school, and nowadays girls do better in school than boys. And the grimy environment of many factories was appealing to men, a lot of jobs in the abovementioned sectors are as attractive or even more appealing to women.

Hence it is no surprise that as the fortunes of women have been improving—the feminist revolution and rise in female labor force participation notwithstanding—and the nation now confronts a crisis of despondent men.

Nearly 7 million men, between the ages of 25 and 54, are neither employed nor looking for work

Manufacturing has been a victim of its own success—productivity growth in manufacturing has outstripped other sectors of the economy creating a natural migration of job opportunities from factories to service—but international and domestic policies pursued by presidents dating back to Kennedy have exacerbated the plight of men without a college degree.

Free trade agreements have been advertised as jobs creators but the facts simply belie that claim. Whereas exports create jobs, imports destroy even more of them. The United States has a trade deficit on goods and services combined exceeding $500 billion. That kills 4 million jobs directly and at least another 2 million including from lost spending of workers initially displaced.

Manufacturing accounts for the lion’s share of the trade gap—especially goods from China and elsewhere in Asia that are often subsidized by national governments and benefit from artificially undervalued currencies. Presidents Bush and Obama have talked about fixing those practices, but the trade agreements they bring home only make matters worse.

The South Korea Free Trade Agreement implemented on Obama’s watch has increased the trade deficit by more than $15 billion dollars and killed about 120,000 jobs—mostly in manufacturing.

Similarly, Washington has largely left assisting manufacturing to the states, which have fewer resources, while it has ramped up subsidies and shifted job opportunities to education and health care.

Peter Morici served as Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission from 1993 to 1995. He is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a widely published columnist. He is the five time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. Follow him on Twitter @PMorici1.

 

Cruz is the only way to stop Trump and beat Hillary. March 17, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics.
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Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared on The Resurgent website.

This is the moment of reality vs. The Land of Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda

The reality is that Donald Trump leads in delegates for the Republican nomination, but still has a difficult path forward to secure the nomination outright.

The reality is that John Kasich has no mathematical path forward to win the Republican nomination.

The reality is that if Donald Trump has the most delegates, though not 1,237, all the people saying Trump can still be stopped are fooling themselves.

The reality is that the only person now able to stop Trump from getting a majority or plurality of delegates is Ted Cruz.

In the land of shoulda-coulda-woulda, had Marco Rubio not competed in Texas, Cruz would have gotten all the delegates. Had Cruz not competed elsewhere, Rubio could have done well. Had Rubio dropped out after last Tuesday, it might have been enough to change dynamics elsewhere.

We can argue about all that stuff, but it is in the past. It is in the land of shoulda-coulda-woulda.

In reality, Donald Trump is still headed toward the Republican nomination. He must be stopped.

The past fights have to be set aside and everyone must focus on the future fight ahead. That requires, in reality, that Cruz and Rubio align and donors pressure Kasich to shut down.

It may mean that guys like me who were opposed to Kasich and even, at one point preferred Trump to Kasich, must also come to terms with reality that Kasich may have a role to play, though not be the Presidential nominee.

At this point, if we are all in this to stop Trump, we must get Cruz to win. That is reality.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor. He is host of “Erick on the Radio” and founder/editor of The Resurgent. He is the founder of RedState.com. Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.

NO Trump for President, NO WAY, NO HOW February 11, 2016

Posted by JP in Politics.
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The TRUMP phenomenon reminds me a lot of the OBAMA phenomenon. Both supporters treat their candidates like rock stars. Both supporters defend their candidate with extreme passion, attack non-supporters with extreme prejudice, make excuses for their candidate’s behavior, and follow blindly without questioning. Both overlook their candidate’s past and belief and both supporters are caught up with the movement; not the issues.

Here is something to think about: for the past 69 years Trump has NO conservative track record, Nothing, Zip, Zero… Until his first consideration for a Presidential run in 2011. Doesn’t that throw up even a little red flag?

The inconsistencies of his stated beliefs, or positions, on the issues are troubling as well.

I do not have a problem with a ‘politician’ changing his stand on an issue when circumstances or facts have caused them to rethink how they feel about something. We are human after all and intelligent people evolve in their thoughts and feelings with the benefit of experience and knowledge. However, changing one’s views randomly, or suddenly, with no reason other than to conform to the expectations of a voting block is disingenuous. Look at Trump on just two of the issues about which people are concerned:

His long-standing view on Abortion:

  • Favors abortion rights but respects opposition (1999), Pro-choice (2000)

His view when considering a 2012 Presidential run:

  • “I am now pro-life after years of being pro-choice” Wants to fight ObamaCare abortion funding (2011)
  • “Planned Parenthood is important, but abortions must stop” (Aug 2015)
  • Defund Planned Parenthood (Oct 2015)

On Drugs:

  • Legalize drugs and use tax revenue to fund drug education (2011)
  • Study legalization but don’t legalize now (2015)

The scariest part of this is that the more I researched Trump’s stand on policies and issues the less information I found dating back prior to 2011.

It seems to me that the only record Trump can offer are soundbites and bandwagon rhetoric from the first time he announced his consideration for a Presidential run (2000-2011), and the inconsistencies from then to now are appalling to me. I fear Trump is one that will do whatever seems to benefit him at the moment regardless of personal conviction, and the possibility of putting another person in office that will flop around on the issues based on personal benefit, or political convenience (can you say Clinton and Obama), rather than what is best for our nation scares me greatly.

DO NOT support Trump for President, do put this country through a replay of the Obama debacle.

Ribbons for Rescue April 16, 2015

Posted by JP in Good Sites, Churches, and Stuff, Politics, Uncategorized.
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Ribbons for Rescue is Love in the Face of Hate

Churches are coming together in solidarity to show their support for the ISIS victims and persecuted everywhere with an orange ribbon campaign and regional rallies. Ribbons for Rescue stands at the center of this effort, coordinating churches, volunteers and rescue organizations worldwide. Our Mission is threefold:

  • To raise awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide
  • To respond to hate with love, just as Christ would do
  • To provide information and resources to help you get involved – whether it is through prayer, financial donation or action

http://www.ribbonsforrescue.com/

HELP DEFEND THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT! April 3, 2015

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics.
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Passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has touched off an angry firestorm that is being fanned by both the pro-homosexual community and the liberal media — both crying the law advocates widespread discrimination against one group of people, the LGBT community.

In short, it is a gross misrepresentation.

But the truth doesn’t matter to the zealots screaming “discrimination” with vitriolic accusations. To the uneducated, one would think that the RFRA law enacts Sharia-type mandates of death, stoning, or dismemberment against homosexuals.

Listening to their rants, one could easily be led to believe that every Christian or person of faith has a personal vendetta against homosexuals. Their rhetoric is rooted in distortion.

The fact is that radical anti-Christian LGBT activists look for opportunities to portray people of faith as fear-mongering bigots. Doing so advances their cause and tears at the moral fabric of our nation.
+ + The facts belie the sordid accusations of radical pro-homosexual activists.

Here are the facts. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed overwhelmingly by the United States Congress in 1993, and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Among the lawmakers advocating the RFRA were liberal icons like the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and then-Representative Charles Schumer (D-NY).

The RFRA states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability (with certain noted exceptions).”

The reason Congress passed the bill was to acknowledge that….

(1) the framers of the American Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution;
(2) laws “neutral” toward religion may substantially burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;
(3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification.
If a citizen believes their religious rights have been violated, they have the right to go to court and make their case. That’s the simple basis of the law that is under attack.

The federal RFRA does not, nor has it ever, advocated discrimination against anyone.

In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the RFRA was constitutional concerning federal actions, but was too broad to be applied to the states. State legislatures then enacted their own versions of the law. To date, 20 states have enacted RFRA laws. And an additional twelve states are reportedly considering similar laws. In some cases, such Acts have been expanded to fit a state’s own unique citizenry.

Right now, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, reacting to the Indiana backlash, has asked his legislators to redefine the state’s newly-passed RFRA, but opposition is already brewing by misinformed organizations like retail giant Walmart.

What’s changed since the RFRA was enacted in 1993? The powerful pro-homosexual community has all but codified homosexuality and gay marriage in our nation, putting their ultra liberal culture at odds with religious liberties, rights of conscience, and God-ordained institutions.

Now, because of the Indiana law, they want us to believe that the RFRA will promote discrimination against their supporters. This is a widespread campaign of misinformation and leftist propaganda that, sadly, is working.
+ + HELP DEFEND THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT!

Liberty Counsel is calling on grassroots Americans to Stand Your Ground against the leftist bullies and the media who have used propaganda to totally distort the facts. We are urging patriots to resist the baseless attacks of the pro-homosexual community.

Friend, to counter their effort:

• Liberty Counsel will send thousands of Open Letters to the state governors who have passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, encouraging them to stand their ground.

• We will send tens of thousands of Open Letters to the governors who have vetoed similar legislation calling for a reasonable dialog over this profoundly mischaracterized law.

• We will send thens of thousands of Open Letters to the heads of the organizations which are embracing the deception that the RFRA laws are discriminatory and exclusionary, such as Angie’s List and Walmart.

By clicking on the graphic below, you will add your name to these Open Letters, showing support for the RFRA.Help us build a coalition of at least 100,000 citizen signers who won’t allow themselves to be tricked by the pro-homosexual community!

Click YES to have your name immediately included in the total number of signers:

RFRA Yes

Click here if you are undecided about the RFRA, and need additional information.

After you vote, you will be given access to a list of organizations which are maliciously demonizing state governors and legislators and threatening boycotts or similar actions against the RFRA states.

Please be sure to vote YES or UNDECIDED.

We need a massive groundswell of grassroots Americans who will help stop the malicious propaganda being advanced by radical pro-homosexual activists and their supporters.

God bless you for taking action with us,

Mat Staver, Chairman
Liberty Counsel Action

Ted Cruz for President? Preferably but very unlikely March 26, 2015

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics.
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All of us know by now, or should know if we’ve listened to any news reports, that Senator Ted Cruz has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for POTUS.

Ted Cruz is a junior Senator from Texas, an Evangelical Christian, fiscal conservative, staunch supporter of the US Constitution and a firm believer in American Exceptionalism and is simply the best example of right-leaning Presidential hopeful that we have in the mix today. Unfortunately for him, and the country, he is unlikely to garner the Republican nomination for President, and twice as unlikely to be elected.

I say this not because his isn’t qualified (he is so much better qualified to be president than the individual currently holding office). It is simply the sad truth that the Republican establishment hates Senator Cruz. Senator McCain, the perpetual presidential wanna be “hates” Senator Cruz, referring to him as a “wacko bird”.

Why do they hate him? Firstly, he is an Evangelical Christian. He holds to biblical values in his life and in his politics, something which is undeniably detested in the political world. Secondly, he stands against both sides of the aisle, democrat and republican, when it comes to anything government has not done well (which is realistically just about everything government puts its hands into).

Here’s my take: Senator Cruz has a snowball’s chance of being nominated, much less being elected. However, he has the perfect opportunity (and perhaps he knew this when putting in his bid) to frame the entire debate platform of the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the opportunity to shine a light on the utter and complete failure, and duplicitous empiricism, of the Obama administration, the realistic expectation that Hillary, or anyone else considered a democratic hopeful, will continue the same. He has the opportunity to illuminate that the majority of the republican hopefuls will perform a little better, but not nearly enough so.

He can push topics into the front of the conversations by campaigners, such as: decreasing government – across the board, reducing the reach, control, and impunity of the IRS, holding elements of the government (State Dept, DEA, FBI, et al) responsible for their failures, returning to America’s place of standing against terrorism and taking action against those engaging in terror (yeah… ISIS), and perhaps even hopefully turning back the tide of governmental oppression of Christianity and religious freedom.

House GOP budget plan gets it right. March 19, 2015

Posted by JP in Politics.
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Tom Price, the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, has just released the GOP budget blueprint for the years ahead this week. This will have a big impact on how the government spends more than 20 percent of our economy, and where the revenues will come from to fund this behemoth operation.

I got an advance copy of budget Monday night. My sneak preview finds it packs a conservative punch. It is a pro-growth, pro-fiscal discipline game plan that would put the nation on a path to a balanced budget and stay true to the Republican principles that won them majorities in the House and Senate in the first place.

Mr. Price tells me: “My budget stays faithful to the budget caps. We repeal ObamaCare. We eliminate hundreds of programs. We make room for tax reform. And we block grant many of the welfare programs back to the states.” The goal here, the Georgia Republican says, “is faster economic growth and more spending discipline. That is what our party should stand for.”

Mr. Price has it right. One of the greatest long-term threats to our nation’s security is our out-of-control economy — our massive $4 trillion budget and the $18 trillion national debt that keeps growing by nearly $1 trillion a year.

It’s pretty much the antithesis of the Obama budget that was released last month. President Obama wants to grow the government by $500 billion through 2017 and raise tax rates across the board on workers, investors and employers to pay for it. Mr. Price doesn’t run from that fight. He ‎tells the White House, in effect: Bring it on. Just three months ago voters went to the polls and flat out rejected the Obama-Pelosi-Reid vision of income redistribution and government expansionism in Washington.

But the highest hurdle Mr. Price must clear may not be the liberal Democrats – but the spenders in his own party. Appropriators want to eliminate the 2011 Budget and Control Act spending caps and sequester cuts. These caps have been an effective electric fence around the Obama spending ambitions of late. Thanks to the caps, spending is lower today than it was in 2011. This is the first time that has happened since the 1950s.

Holding the sequester is essential to keeping the budget under control. Before the sequester, federal expenditures from 2007-11 exploded by $874 billion, a one-third blowout rise in spending. But with the sequester in place, federal outlays have fallen by $168 billion – a 16 percent decline relative to inflation.

To some Republicans that’s too much of a good thing. They want to return to the days of that old hit song, “Let’s Twist again, like we did last summer.” But in their case it’s a new version, “Come on let’s spend again, like we did last summer…”

Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal that “the country cannot meet its national security responsibility within the caps on defense spending imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration.”

What he didn’t say was that during the six full remaining years subject to the BCA caps (2016-2021), baseline defense spending is permitted to rise every year, and by $68 billion over the period – a 13-percent increase.

Only inside Washington is that considered a cut.

Can it really be true that a more than half-trillion-dollar annual Pentagon budget – at least twice what any other nation spends – is not enough to keep us safe? Why not start by cutting the $7 billion of green energy programs in the DOD budget?

Mr. Obama desperately wants to repeal the spending caps and sequester as well. He calls it a “mindless” budget reduction tool because it cuts spending across the board. But this is only because the White House and Congress won’t cut spending in any other responsible way.

Here’s the worst-of-all-worlds option that Mr. Price hopes to avoid. ‎President Obama has offered Republicans as much as $70 billion more in defense spending in exchange for as much as $70 billion more for liberals to pass out on domestic programs. That’s the typical Washington insider’s deal: All the lobbyists go away happy – and taxpayers get shafted.

Mr. Price has it right. One of the greatest long-term threats to our nation’s security is our out-of-control economy — our massive $4 trillion budget and the $18 trillion national debt that keeps growing by nearly $1 trillion a year. As Ronald Reagan taught us all so well: When you’re weak at home, you’re weak abroad.”

“Every percentage point of added GDP growth reduces the budget deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade,” Mr. Price says.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports more money for the Pentagon, says this budget is “a defining moment for our party.” But if fiscal restraint, balanced budgets, growth and tax cuts don’t define the GOP, what does?

Stephen Moore is a Fox News contributor

By

Published March 17, 2015

FoxNews.com

 

Quotefest… March 6, 2015

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics.
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If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Winston Churchill

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.

Margaret Thatcher

Socialism has no moral justification whatsoever; poor people are not morally superior to rich people, nor are they owed anything by rich people simply because of their lack of success. Charity is not a socialist concept – it is a religious one, an acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty over property, a sovereignty the Left utterly rejects.

Ben Shapiro

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but are lousy in politics.

Newt Gingrich

Well, I am a Republican, and I would run as a Republican. And I have a lot of confidence in the Republican Party. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the president. I think what’s happening to this country is unbelievably bad. We’re no longer a respected country.

Donald Trump

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

John F. Kennedy

 

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