Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Republican

Senate Republican Dreaming after November

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 13, 2014:

English: Official photo cropped of United Stat...

Possible Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 114th Congress?

Some Republicans are beginning to lick their chops in anticipation of a takeover of the Senate in November. New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised to rein in Obamacare, pass a real budget, and hold hearings on the EPA’s onerous greenhouse gas regulations – which would resonate positively with his coal-fired constituents in Kentucky.

The Republican Wish List also includes

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California Governor Being Challenged by Republican Upstart in November

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

English: Photo of California Attorney General ...

California Governor Jerry Brown

In response to a challenge posed by his Republican opponent for the governorship in November, California Governor Jerry Brown said:

A lot of people forget the mess that California was in just four years ago. There were 1 million jobs that had been lost. Our budget deficit was astronomical: 27 billion. We hadn’t had a budget on time in probably 10 years.

Brown’s challenger is Republican Neel Kashkari, a practicing Hindu born of Indian parents with a background as a Bush appointee and a former executive with Goldman Sachs. While his political positions on key issues qualify him as a RINO — Republican in Name Only — he is already closing the gap on the once-invincible California governor.

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The Kansas Referendum on Reagan’s Tax Cut Policies

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 24, 2014:

Big government liberals and high spending politicians have converged on Kansas, seeing an opportunity to discredit not only Ronald Reagan’s tax policies but to get even with the Tea Party, which took out a number of “moderate” Republicans in the state Senate over the last two election cycles.

Gov. Sam Brownback (pictured above), a supporter of less government and lower taxes, was able to ride the conservative wave that resulted in tax reform that not only increased an individual taxpayer’s standard deduction from $4,500 to $5,500 but also

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Will Tax Cuts Rescue Kansas Governor Brownback in November?

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 22, 2014:

Sam Brownback, member of the United States Senate

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Rarely has a governor’s race had such a clear-cut focus. In Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Paul Davis, who is concentrating on Brownback’s tax policies, which were designed to stimulate Kansas’ moribund economy. They’re not working, says Davis, and the tax cuts passed by Brownback 20 months ago need to be repealed to save the Kansas economy and protect government services.

Davis is getting a lot of help from liberals and from moderate Republicans who

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Former Virginia Governor and Wife Guilty of Fraud, Conspiracy

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 5, 2014:

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Claiming through their attorneys that their marriage was so dysfunctional that any conspiracy charges simply wouldn’t hold water, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were nevertheless convicted of 11 out of 14 charges of fraud and conspiracy in federal court on Thursday. Sentencing is scheduled for early January 2015, and will likely result in years if not decades behind bars for the couple.

Former Virginia Commonwealth University professor Bob Holsworth, who followed the case from its inception, expressed surprise at the defense attorneys’ odd strategy: 

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Pro-gun Sheriff Reelected Despite Bloomberg Funding Opponent

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke won his primary election on Tuesday over Bloomberg-supported Chris Moews, a Milwaukee police lieutenant, 52 percent to 48 percent. Because there is no Republican candidate running for the position, Clarke’s win virtually assures him of another four-year term in November.

Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association, which had been helping Clarke’s campaign, offered his congratulations:

On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to congratulate Sheriff David A. Clarke on his hard-fought victory in yesterday’s Primary election for Milwaukee County Sheriff. Sheriff Clarke’s outspoken commitment to the Second Amendment earned him the admiration of NRA members and gun owners nationwide.

Cox then noted one of the main reasons that Clarke won and Moews lost:

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Celebrating James Brady’s Monumental Infringement

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 6, 2014:

Brady Campaign

When James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s former press secretary, passed away on Monday at age 73, the media predictably crowed about the success of the Brady Bill, giving him credit for pushing it through a reluctant congress back in 1993. Brady was shot during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, resulting in massive brain damage and putting him into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The New York Times called him

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James Brady’s Legacy: More Guns, Less Crime

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:

James Brady in August 2006

James Brady in August 2006

On Monday the national media and the president noted the passing at age 73 of James Brady, the man who served briefly as President Reagan’s press secretary before being grievously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president nearly 33 years ago.

The New York Times called Brady “a symbol of the fight for gun control,” while President Obama declared, “An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, agreed, saying that the law named to honor the former press secretary, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, has blocked about two million sales of firearms “to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people.” Echoing the president, Gross added that there are

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Leahy Offers Weak Bill to Curb NSA Eavesdropping on Americans

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 30, 2014:

English: Official photo of Senator Patrick Lea...

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (shown, D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced his version of the USA Freedom Act intended to strengthen a similar bill passed by the House last May. It’s scarcely an improvement and likely won’t be taken up before November, if at all in this congress.

But Leahy was optimistic nonetheless, saying that his bill, if enacted, “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since … the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” That was easy for this hard-left Democrat to say, as there has been no reform of the unconstitutional Patriot Act since it was passed. In fact, without revelations provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, even these modest “reforms” would never have been presented. Without Snowden, the NSA would have continued collecting every last piece of communications data it could and storing it for future reference at one or more of its vast collection facilities around the country. Since the bill was presented so late in this Congress, it is virtually certain no action will be taken on it.

The House bill that was passed back in May was so full of loopholes and modifications by last minute amendments as to make the effort essentially ludicrous. Although offered jointly in October 2013 by Leahy and his House counterpart, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin (the author of the Patriot Act), only the House bill ever saw the light of day. At the time, Sensenbrenner expressed great hopes for his bill:

Following 9/11, the USA Patriot Act … has helped keep Americans safe by ensuring information is shared among those responsible for defending our country and by enhancing the tools the intelligence community needs to identify and track terrorists.

But somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost…. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government. The USA Freedom Act [I am offering] is an essential first step.

That first step was more like a stumble. Under the bill, according to The Guardian, “the government will still be able to collect phone data on Americans, pending a judge’s individualized order based on ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ — the standard preferred by the NSA (National Security Agency) — of wrongdoing.” This is a far cry from the “probable cause” requirement demanded in the Fourth Amendment, but that’s only the beginning.

The bill purports to modify Section 715 of the Patriot Act while saying nothing about Section 702, which allows worldwide surveillance by the NSA. The bill allows for the continuous collection of Americans’ telephone records, according to the Open Technology Institute. Most grievously, the bill extended the Patriot Act until December of 2017.

Once the House passed its USA Freedom Act, 303 to 121, those opposed, including Republicans Darrell Issa, Ted Poe, and Raul Labrador and Democrat Zoe Lofgren expressed their disappointment with it. Said Lofgren, “[This] bill will actually not end bulk collection, regrettably.” It shifts collection responsibilities from the NSA to the telephone companies to which the NSA has virtually unlimited access, so it’s a cosmetic change only. The bill requires the NSA to get permission from the FISA Court, but FISA is not known for having a high regard for the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) saw what the House had wrought, he said he was “gravely concerned that the changes that have been made to the House version of this bill have watered it down so far that it fails to protect Americans from suspicionless mass surveillance.”

Not surprisingly, the White House endorsed the watered-down version of the bill:

The Administration strongly supports … the USA Freedom Act…. The Administration applauds and appreciates the strong bipartisan effort that led to the formulation of this bill, which heeds the President’s call on this important issue.

The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected.

Especially grievous is the power that continues to be granted to the so-called FISA “court.” This is the secret court that first came to light when Edward Snowden in 2013 leaked a top-secret order issued by the court requiring a subsidiary of Verizon to provide a daily, on-going feed of all call detail records — including those for domestic calls — to the NSA. As Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School, explained,

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long as they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.

Leahy’s bill allegedly will tighten up the House bill somewhat, creating a “special advocate” for liberty at the FISA courts, and limiting the NSA from vacuuming up data from an entire zip code or all the records from a communications service provider. It also declassifies some of those FISA court orders which have remained sealed and protected from public view. In its tentative support for Leahy’s new offering, Nadia Kayyall of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said,

The legislation may not completely end suspicionless surveillance … it allows the NSA to get a second set of records (a second “hop”) with an undefined “direct connection” to the first specific selection term.

Because the “direct connection” standard is vague, the government may seek to construe that phrase to mean less than reasonable suspicion.

Translation: The NSA, under Leahy’s new stronger, tighter, more restrictive language, may continue to do whatever it pleases in collecting and storing for later use all private communications from Americans.

Leahy’s bill will probably never see the light of day in this congress and will have to be reintroduced in the next session if anything is to be done to rein in the NSA’s collection of data. In the meantime, the NSA’s vacuuming of innocent Americans’ private communication continues unabated.

 

 

As Georgia’s Gun Freedoms Expand, So Do Others

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

Jack Hilliard, Deer Hunter, Wears His Handgun ...

When Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” law became effective on Tuesday, July 1, the governor was ecstatic:

[This is] a great day to reaffirm our liberties….

The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds.

The new law allows gun owners with carry licenses to do so in churches, schools, bars, and some government buildings that were previously off-limits. It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” laws to cover those previously convicted of felonies. And it prevents police from demanding without cause a person carrying to produce a license permitting him to do so.

Without saying so specifically, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expressed a point often missed in the gun debate:

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Obama: A Law unto Himself

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Events of recent months have clearly revealed Barack Obama for what he is: a revolutionary progressive determined to change the United States into a fascist system of controls over every aspect of a citizen’s life. In spite of a recent series of events that would have humiliated and shamed a less committed totalitarian into silence and withdrawal, Obama instead has pressed on with his agenda.

On Saturday, in his weekly press conference, Obama announced that he was taking things into his own hands:

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Study: All Jobs Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 30, 2014: 

 

Immigrants just arrived from Foreign Countries...

Immigrants just arrived from Foreign Countries–Immigrant Building, Ellis Island, New York Harbor.

With the release of the report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) last week, Director of Research Steven Camarota drove the final nail into the coffin of immigration reform for this year, saying:

Government data show that since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).

This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.… There were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.

All of the net increase in employment went to immigrants in the last 14 years.

 This effectively obliterates the assumptions underlying the immigration reform bill SB 744, which was promoted by a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans (called by some observers the “Gang of Eight”) and passed by the Senate, 68-32, a year ago last week. That bill was based on several key assumptions: 1) that there is a labor shortage in the country, 2) that there are some jobs only immigrants want, and 3) that higher levels of immigration would stimulate the economy so that everyone, native-born or immigrant, would find more work.

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Why Are Liberals Jumping on the Teacher Tenure Reform Bandwagon?

This article was first published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisors on Friday, June 27, 2014:

English: A bandwagon in the 2009 Great Circus ...

A bandwagon in the 2009 Great Circus Parade, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

It didn’t take long for the decision in California that threw out union rules protecting teachers to galvanize similar efforts in New York. The Partnership for Educational Justice announced its plans to file a similar lawsuit against the same kind of rules extant in New York that so outraged Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu earlier this month when he ruled them unconstitutional.

The Partnership will sue next month to get rid of the same three rules that upset Treu:

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Establishment Republicans Secure Leadership roles Following Cantor’s Defeat

English: Official portrait of Congressman Kevi...

English: Official portrait of Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA22) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost immediately following the surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor the Republican Party moved quickly to fill his slot with clones of Cantor: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) who will take McCarthy’s spot. The change will take place when Cantor officially relinquishes his seat in July 31.

The media was full of references to “conservative” in describing the two new faces, including The Hill which referred to the “conservative Rep. Steve Scalise to replace McCarthy as majority whip” while noting his chairmanship of the “conservative Republican Study Committee” which he used “as a springboard to the party leadership position.” The Hill only made passing reference to the “handful of members who have long opposed Boehner and his leadership team.”

The Washington Times concluded that all is well now that the leadership of the House remains firmly in control of establishment Republican figures:

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Eric Cantor Handily Defeated by Virtually Unknown College Professor

Eric Cantor headshot

In a primary election that Paul Rothenberg, a non-partisan political analyst, called “the political version of the San Francisco earthquake,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost overwhelmingly to obscure economics professor Dave Brat. This is the first time since 1899 that a House Majority Leader has lost his reelection bid in his party’s primary. Despite being outspent by Cantor by more than 25-to-1, Brat breezed to victory on Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent.

Virtually ignored by establishment Republican groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action, Bart won by basing his campaign on

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House Passes bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

Seal of the National Crime Information Center ...

Seal of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), USA. — “Servicing Our Citizens” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last Thursday the House voted, 260-145, to increase federal grant money to states to improve their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It was a textbook case of revolutionary parliamentarianism at work.

Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to assist the states in their data collection and entry into the federal gun registry system. It was all for good reasons, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment:

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Political Expediency wins over Economic Reality in Michigan

 

Lake Michigan Storm

Lake Michigan Storm (Photo credit: Tom Gill.)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 30, 2014: 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is no fool, but he’s also a realist: It’s an election year, pressure from the left to do something (even if it’s the wrong thing) is mounting, there’s a petition drive that could make things even worse, and so he caves and calls it good. In announcing that he signed into law a bill passed overwhelmingly by the legislature to raise the state’s minimum wage law by 25 percent over the next four years, he said:

This is something that is good for Michigan. It’s good for the hard-working people of Michigan and I believe it is economically sound….

I commend my [Republican] partners in the legislature for finding common ground on a bill that will help Michigan workers and protect our state’s growing economy.

Of course the new law will do no such thing.

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Michigan joins Other States in Raising Minimum Wage

Dollars

Seemingly determined to keep the state of Michigan near the bottom in employment rates among the fifty states, Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Tuesday a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage by 25 percent. Snyder rejoiced that this was a good thing:

This is something that is good for Michigan. It’s good for the hard-working people of Michigan and I believe it is economically sound…

I commend my [Republican] partners in the legislature for finding common ground on a bill that will help Michigan workers and protect our state’s growing economy.

At present Michigan ranks 46th among the 50 states with an unemployment rate of nearly 9 percent. By preventing employers from employing those willing to work for less than the state’s new minimum wage, those willing workers won’t be employed. It’s the iron law of economics:

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NJ Gov. Christie’s Conservative Light is Dimming

Chris Christie

Chris Christie (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Less than six months into his second term New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is having an increasingly difficult time pushing the New Jersey “comeback” theme that gained him reelection in January. This is in addition to the Bridge Gate scandal that has already seen five of his top lieutenants resign or be fired, with three investigations continuing into the matter.

First of all there’s the $807 million budget shortfall in his $33 billion budget that must be filled by the end of June. Then there’s the state’s credit rating which has been downgraded three times so far this year (it’s only May!) and

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Dinesh D’Souza Pleads Guilty, Claims Selective Prosecution

 

Cover of "The Roots of Obama's Rage"

Cover of The Roots of Obama’s Rage

When Federal District Judge Richard Berman ruled that Dinesh D’Souza, co-producer of the documentary film 2016: Obama’s America, had provided no evidence that he was selectively prosecuted for arranging campaign contributions to a friend in 2012, D’Souza had no other defense. In his plea bargain with Berman on Tuesday, D’Souza pleaded guilty to one of the two counts in the indictment, saying:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.