Saturday, September 14, 2013

David Brooks warns of ‘the rise of Ted Cruz-ism,’ takeover of Republican Party [VIDEO]

On PBS’s “NewsHour” on Friday night, New York Times columnist David Brooks warned that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and similar legislators’ rise to prominence threatens the traditional Republican Party.
Brooks insists the motives of Cruz are less about legislation and policy and more about the politics of undermining the Republican establishment.
“What’s going on in the House, and a bit in the Senate, too, is what you might call the rise of Ted Cruz-ism,” Brooks said. “And Ted Cruz, the senator from Canada through Texas, is basically not a legislator in the normal sense, doesn’t have an idea that he’s going to Congress to create coalitions, make alliances, and he is going to pass a lot of legislation. He’s going in more as a media-protest person. And a lot of the House Republicans are in the same mode. They’re not normal members of Congress. They’re not legislators. They want to stop things. And so they’re just being — they just want to obstruct.”
“And the second thing they’re doing, which is alarming a lot of Republicans, is they’re running against their own party,” he continued. “Ted Cruz is running against Republicans in the Senate. The House Republican Tea Party types are running against the Republican establishment. That’s how they’re raising money. That’s where they’re spending their money on ads. And so they’re having a very obstructive role which is going on this week, and I think it’s going to make John Boehner’s life even more difficult.”

Brooks hypothesized the reason the leadership in the House and Senate is unable to control the so-called Ted Cruz-ism movement is that members of it have become uninterested in any of the perks that the leadership has to offer.


Battles for and against gun control continue to intensify in various states around the country. Although Colorado took center stage with the recall of state senator John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) days ago, gun control is or has been the recent focus in Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, New York, and Connecticut.

The good news for gun owners is that the clear majority of the battles are against gun control.
In Mississippi, House Bill 2 was passed in the last legislative session and signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant (R). This law allows Mississippians to carry a firearm in plain sight for self defense, without a permit. Supporters of this law say it "confirms...the right to keep and bear arms." This law will soon take effect.
Continuing the effort to protect the right to keep and bear arms, CNN reports that Texas refashioned their concealed permit renewal process to make licenses easier and cheaper to renew. Legislators also passed an added discount on concealed carry licenses for military veterans and peace officers. Governor Rick Perry (R) supported both measures. 
In Missouri, the GOP-controlled legislature says it will override Governor Jay Nixon's (D) veto of a law nullifying federal gun laws within Missouri's borders. House Majority Leader John Diehl (R-87th Dist.) says they will override the veto of that law and other pieces of legislation; what they fail to override they will counter with new legislation in the coming session(s).
Colorado went pro-gun control, and that did not work out so well for Morse and Giron. Additionally, 55 sheriffs in the state have filed suit to have the gun control laws overturned. 
New York and Connecticut have seen the passage of extreme gun control laws since the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary. But in NY, as in Colorado, a growing number of sheriffs say they will not enforce Governor Andrew Cuomo's (D) gun control laws.
It is also worth noting that as the clear majority of these states have been working to loosen or repeal gun control, the City of Chicago has been forced to end its 45-year-old gun registry and to stop requiring citizens to get a city permit for gun ownership. 


A Texas man’s pregnant wife made it clear she was against having a firearm in their house. However, the husband insisted she learn how to use a gun to protect herself just in case. In fact, it was just a few months ago that he took her out to teach her the basics.
On Saturday, she was extremely thankful to have the protection of a gun on her side.
The pregnant woman, identified only as “Alex,” told KGBT-TV that she was startled by the sound of a man banging loudly on her front door while another man walked around to the back of her Palmview, Texas, home. Her husband had just left 20 minutes before.
Texas Mans Pregnant Wife Shoots at Home Intruders
“I’m a young woman, I’m pregnant, I’m home alone. I’m not going to answer the door – I mean, I know better,” she recalled.

Hashing Out a Sweetheart Obamacare Deal: Obama Meeting With AFL-CIO

Guess who's at the White House today? The AFL-CIO of course. And who are they meeting with? President Obama himself. Why? They're trying to secure a sweetheart Obamacare waiver and they want you to pay for it. 
President Barack Obama is meeting with union leaders at the White House to discuss labor's growing concerns about the new health care law.

Friday's meeting comes after the AFL-CIO approved a resolution this week saying the law could drive up the cost of union-sponsored health plans, encouraging some employers to drop coverage.

White House officials and labor leaders have been trying to work out a possible resolution. Unions want members to be eligible for the same federal subsidies available to low-income workers in the new health exchanges. The White House has resisted that fix, saying the law doesn't allow it.
Earlier this week the AFL-CIO passed a resolution warning Obamacare will drive up the costs of union worker healthcare plans, forcing workers to abandon them.
Let's take a step back here. Congress has granted themselves an Obamacare waiver. Corporations and businesses have been granted an Obamacare waiveruntil 2015 and labor unions are working to secure their waivers. The average American citizen however, is still required to comply with all aspects of the law and the individual mandate. And Obama says he's for the little guy? 

Mom Urges Congress to Bestow Gold Medal on Fallen Benghazi Heroes

Image: Mom Urges Congress to Bestow Gold Medal on Fallen Benghazi Heroes A campaign is gaining momentum in Congress to honor Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, the two Navy Seals who died defending the compound in Benghazi, by granting them the Congressional Gold Medal -- the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress.

Pro-military veteran activist Debbie Lee spent the one-year anniversary of the deadly attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi meeting with members of Congress to seek their support for the awards. Lee is founder of America’s Mighty Warriors, an activist group she founded in honor of her son, Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy Seal to be killed in Iraq. The group actively supports veterans and their families. 

Lee tells Newsmax that she’s urging Congress to honor Doherty and Woods because of her unique empathy for the profound sacrifice that the two men and their families made on behalf of their country.

“I think the least we can do to honor them is award them the Congressional Gold Medal,” Lee says. “The statement that this makes to their families is that we will never forget the sacrifice that they made. 

Tyrone Snowden Woods was a Navy Seal who had served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq before he joined the State Department Diplomatic Security unit. Glen Doherty, a friend of Woods, also was a former Navy Seal. He had seen extensive action in the Middle East before retiring to become a private contractor for the State Department. 

On Sept. 11, 2012, the two men took to the rooftop of the Benghazi compound to fight off the jihadi rebels swarming into the facility. The battle in Benghazi spanned over 7-and-a-half hours, and has become the focus of congressional hearings.

Via: Newsmax

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Vitter accuses Reid, Boxer of ‘bribery’ and ‘intimidation’

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter on Friday accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of engaging in a “intimidation and payoff scheme” to “bribe” colleagues to vote a certain way on a bill, after it was reported Friday morning that Democrats were trying to rekindle Vitter’s 2007 prostitution scandal to stop him from opposing an energy bill.
Politico first reported that Democrats were drafting legislation that would deny any lawmaker government contributions to their health care, a perk of life in Congress, if there is “probably cause” that he or she solicited prostitutes.
In 2007, Vitter’s phone number was found in an investigation into the “DC Madam” prostitution ring, and he apologized for committing a “sin,” but did not elaborate.
The draft legislation is in retaliation for Vitter holding up a floor debate this week on an energy efficiency bill by trying to attach an amendment to the bill that would take away government contributions to lawmakers’ health-care coverage.
Another version of the bill would take away the benefits from anyone who voted to end such benefits, meaning Vitter, and anyone who voted for his amendment, would lose that government contribution.
Vitter said this is an attempt at “bribery” and “threatening their colleagues in the Senate with increased personal health-care costs if they do not vote a certain way on a particular amendment proposed by me concerning the 2010 Affordable Care Act.”
“Even if the proposed amendment is not actually introduced,” Vitter wrote in a letter to the Ethics Committee, “the fact that such legislation has not only been drafted, but also released to the press, has already induced the intended intimidating effect.”
He asked that the Ethics Committee launch an investigation into Reid and Boxer. He asks that Boxer, who chairs the committee, recuse herself from the investigation, and suggests she be removed from the committee if found guilty of an ethics violation.
Via: Daily Caller

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House GOP Votes to Replace Obamacare Subsidy Verification Program

As the October 1 implementation of parts of Obamacare nears, House Republicans continue to pass legislation aimed at highlighting the health care law's flaws and weaknesses. On Thursday, the House passed a bill to reform an Obamacare verification process that would better stop fraudulent claims to health insurance subsidies. Politico reports:
The bill, which passed 235-191, would mandate a verification program to make sure Americans don’t collect more insurance subsidies than they’re qualified for. HHS is already putting such a program in place, but Republicans insisted their measure is necessary in light of extra leeway the Obama administration granted states over the summer.
In contrast with previous Obamacare votes — which mostly aimed to repeal, delay or defund the Affordable Care Act—this bill would instead shift around responsibilities within the law. But Republicans’ intent is the same: to paint Obamacare as a disastrous law, the implementation of which is being hopelessly bungled by the Obama administration.
“You can’t go into a store, restaurant or gasoline station and pay on the honor system,” Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady said. “But the Obama administration has botched the law … taxpayer dollars will go out the door as individuals pinky-swear their income is accurate.”
Via: Weekly Standard

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Friday, September 13, 2013

D.C. Blows Off Obamacare Illegal Alien Insurance Ban

Though Obamacare prohibits subsidizing health insurance for those living the United States illegally local officials near the nation’s capital are offering illegal aliens coverage through a new insurance exchange created to comply with the law.

This essentially means that the District of Columbia is flipping the finger at the president, who masterminded the hostile takeover the country’s healthcare system, as well as top Democrats. It was not that long ago that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assured that taxpayers will never cover healthcare costs for illegal immigrants, even those who stay under the Obama amnesty.

In May a congressional newspaper quoted Pelosi: “It is stated very clearly in the Affordable Care Act, [and] it is our position in the immigration bill: no access to subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. Secondly, no access to Medicaid; no cost to the taxpayer,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “That has always been the Democratic position.”

D.C.’s new exchange tells a different story, however. It was created to comply with an Obamacare mandate that forces states to establish a health insurance exchange in accordance with federal rules. The feds will create an exchange in states that refuse to do it. D.C.’s exchange (D.C. Health Link) is described as an on-line marketplace created for individuals, families, and small business owners to shop, compare, and select health insurance that meets their health needs and budgets.

That seems to be in accordance with Obamacare, but scroll down on the D.C. Health Link page and there’s this: “Are there health insurance options available for residents who are not eligible for most programs due to immigration status?” Here’s the answer: “The District of Columbia operates a locally funded health insurance program known as the D.C. Healthcare Alliance for District residents. You may qualify for coverage even if you do not qualify for other health insurance programs due to your immigration status.”

As outrageous as this is, it’s hardly surprising considering who’s running this perpetually corrupt municipality. D.C. already has a sanctuary policy that was issued via executive order by its scandal-plagued mayor, Vincent Gray, in 2011. It bans police and other city agencies from asking people about their immigration status. The order also guarantees that local law enforcement officials will not detain illegal aliens, report them to federal agencies or even make them available for federal immigration interviews without a court order.

Gray, a veteran D.C. councilman who has been embroiled in a series of corruption scandals throughout his political career, claims the order ensures public safety by assuring that police resources are deployed wisely and that immigrant communities feel safe cooperating with cops.

Feds looking into Clinton's 2008 campaign for links to DC corruption case

Clinton.jpgFederal investigators reportedly are looking into Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and its ties to a corruption case against a D.C. businessman sources say bankrolled questionable political operations.  

Investigators have been looking into claims that Jeffrey Thompson allegedly shelled out more than a half million dollars to fund secret “street teams” operating in Texas, North Carolina, Indiana and Pennsylvania for Clinton’s 2008 campaign.  

The teams would canvas neighborhoods and look for strategies to target voters in predominantly black and Hispanic precincts.

The Washington Post reported Friday that investigators are now turning their attention to Minyon Moore, a senior Clinton campaign adviser, and her role in arranging the street teams. The development comes as Clinton weighs a 2016 bid for the presidency. 

The issue, according to a review of court documents, is that the creation of an off-the-books campaign with the cooperation of a senior campaign adviser could violate campaign finance rules. However, to do that, the government would have to prove that the creation and funding of the street teams violated federal campaign contribution limits.

Via: Fox News Politics

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Bloomberg's Influence Takes a Hit in Voter Rebuffs

NEW YORK -- For billionaire New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, throwing away $350,000 is equivalent to most Americans dropping loose change between the sofa cushions.
But the concern for Bloomberg is not the amount of money he personally invested in the effort to save the seats of two Colorado state senators -- an effort that failed when both were ousted from office Tuesday by voters apparently displeased with their roles in passing gun control legislation.
Instead, the overriding worry for the 71-year-old mayor is that the defeats seem to underscore his increasing inability to nationally impact the public policy issues he’s most involved with.
On the heels of his failed $12 million effort to implement stronger gun laws on the national level -- a crusade that some observers have said harmed efforts to pass background-check legislation -- Bloomberg has become a favorite punching bag for the NRA and other small-government advocates, who have singled him out as an enemy of personal freedom.
Via: Real Clear Politics

Elite Syrian Unit Scatters Chemical Arms Stockpile

[image]A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials.
The movements of chemical weapons by Syria's elite Unit 450 could complicate any U.S. bombing campaign in Syria over its alleged chemical attacks, officials said. It also raises questions about implementation of a Russian proposal that calls for the regime to surrender control of its stockpile, they said.
U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies still believe they know where most of the Syrian regime's chemical weapons are located, but with less confidence than six months ago, U.S. officials said.
Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday in Geneva with his Russian counterpart to discuss a road map for ending the weapons program. The challenges are immense, Mr. Kerry said.

Obama Pivots to Asia, Announces Trip to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines

President Barack Obama will be traveling to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, at the beginning of next, the White House announced today. 
"The President will travel to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines from October 6 – 12 as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific," reads the press secretary's announcement.
In Indonesia, he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders meeting.   APEC is the region’s leading forum for trade and investment integration.  On the margins of the APEC meeting, the President will host a meeting of Leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries. He will also meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to reaffirm our close bilateral ties and celebrate the third year of our Comprehensive Partnership.
The President will then travel to Brunei for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) and to meet with the Sultan of Brunei.  ASEAN and the EAS are key forums for regional multilateral cooperation. During those meetings the President will discuss the wide range of U.S. cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, including energy, maritime security, investment, development and trade promotion, as well as other topics of regional and global concern. 
In Malaysia, the President will meet with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to highlight our growing bilateral ties with Malaysia, and will deliver the keynote address to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.  Now in its fourth year, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is an initiative the President announced in 2009 to spur job creation through entrepreneurship by connecting young innovators to resources, ideas, and each other.
Via: Weekly Standard

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