Saturday, June 8, 2013
◼ The GOP can’t be a national party without it - By Sen. Rand Paul/WASHINGTON TIMES (image source, AP)
Being inclusive and tolerant does not mean giving up conservative principles, particularly on the fiscal front. But it does mean sounding the right tone and finding common ground. It also means becoming a party that incorporates more of the ideas of a libertarian-leaning conservatism.
What do I mean by that? National defense is the primary job of the federal government. We should do it and do it well. We should defend America and spend what we need to do so. But, we also should consider carefully our involvement in regions that do not affect our security. We should re-examine or apply cost-benefit analyses to aspects of our foreign policy that don’t make sense. We should also restore constitutional order to our foreign policy. We need more bridges built here in America and fewer built in Pakistan. It makes no sense to borrow money from China to send to Pakistan.
This brand of conservatism would also recognize the importance of local control and federalism. From education to drug policies, from health care to marriage, many issues now pushed to the federal level should be returned to the states, where they belong.
This brand of conservatism would include populist elements like opposing bailouts that move money from Main Street to Wall Street and would be deeply skeptical of the role of the Federal Reserve. The practice of big government colluding with big business to enact unnecessary regulations — the cost of which make many small businesses unable to compete — should not be tolerated by anyone who truly believes in free markets.
Republicans reaching out to new audiences doesn’t mean being less conservative, but applying libertarian and constitutional principles where they are sorely needed on multiple issues.
I learned a lot in California last week and will no doubt learn more in the coming months in my continuing efforts to broaden and sharpen Republicans’ message, everywhere across America and in every state — red, blue and Golden.
When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” Obama said. Durbin countered: Average members of Congress “don’t receive this kind of briefing.”
The New York Times, the “newspaper of record” whose record over the past five years is riddled with pure partisan cheerleading for the administration, finds itself denouncing a president it helped elect.
“The administration has now lost all credibility,” the Times editorialized Thursday afternoon. Though in a cowardly move, it later watered down that assessment, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” (Emphasis added.)
The lefties at American Prospect – normally a swamp of Obamaphilia – are shocked that “people aren’t angrier” about the NSA program – though the fact that they even think people aren’t outraged tells you more about who they hang around with than the mood of the country.
Liberals have a big “we’ve always been at war with East Asia” problem.
For almost eight years after 9/11, the liberal media and Democratic politicians cried wolf over the alleged transgressions of the Bush administration. (“John Ashcroft wants to read your library books!” they cried.)
This spring’s perfect storm of scandal over Benghazi, the IRS and the Department of Justice finally forced critical coverage of the Obama administration beyond just Fox News and conservative websites. But for the five years before that, all criticism of the White House, whether over bailouts or Obamacare, was the work of wingnuts who swapped their weekday tinfoil hats for tri-corner costumes on Saturdays....
Zhang Ming, a political scientist from China’s Renmin University, predicted Mrs Obama’s absence would “not go down very well” in Beijing.
“First lady diplomacy is also very important and the US side has failed to cooperate,” he said. “According to normal diplomatic etiquette this is very strange. It shouldn’t be like this.”
◼ First Lady Michelle Obama sent her regrets to Chinese First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan, saying she was sorry she missed meeting her during the just-completed summit between President Obama and Peng’s husband, Chinese President Xi Jinping. - whitehousedossier
◼ Chinese Not Happy Michelle Missing Meeting - whitehousedossier
From the AP report:
Disappointment over Mrs. Obama’s absence was palpable if not vehement in some Chinese mainstream and social media. Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, is a rare commodity in Chinese politics — a popular political spouse known for her style and poise who has been accompanying Xi on his diplomatic travels.
Peng holds the rank of major general in the People’s Liberation Army and was a popular singer on state television, best known for her stirring renditions of patriotic odes, often while wearing full dress uniform. Many Chinese were interested in seeing how she compares with the United States’ own glamorous, high profile first lady.
Zhang Ming, an international studies expert at Renmin University in Beijing, was quoted on social media as calling Mrs. Obama’s absence from their husbands’ meeting as “strange for normal diplomatic protocol.”
Michelle has been on a fundraising whirlwind the past two weeks, traveling last week to Boston and New York to drum up money. She recently hopscotched the country to tell kids to move their butts and eat less. But the first lady’s role of representing her country and aidingU.S. diplomacy by being present at meetings between heads of states, arguably one of her most vital tasks, will be ignored Friday.
◼ China's first lady becomes media sensation... - france24
"I just thought when Lois Lerner dropped that bomb shell, oh, it was Cincinnati's problem, she thought it would go away, but instead it exploded," she said.
She also said she had "no autonomy" and had to send extra information to superiors when dealing with Tea Party applications. Hofacre also recalled that "irate taxpayers" continued to call to ask for the status of their applications and it was "demeaning" to answer those phone calls.
REMINDER:Obama "joked" about auditing enemies in 2009.online.wsj.com/article/SB1242…— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) June 10, 2013
The administration’s problem, Ilya writes, is that its legal team keeps embracing outlandish legal theories that would grant it nearly unlimited powers. The Court keeps rejecting those theories, often in unanimous decisions.
These cases have nothing in common, other than the government’s view that federal power is virtually unlimited: Citizens must subsume their liberty to whatever the experts in a given field determine the best or most useful policy to be.
If the government can’t get even one of the liberal justices to agree with it on any of these unrelated cases, it should realize there’s something seriously wrong with its constitutional vision.
But as I’ve often said, Republicans are the last line of defense for California taxpayers. By standing together, Republicans were able to prevent some of the worst of the worst measures from passing – legislation that would hurt the economy and wallets of hard-working Californians alike.
With Republicans strongly opposed, Democrats were forced to shelve proposals to increase taxes on gas, soda and cigarettes; limit the ability of young adults to drive and weaken tough-on-crime public safety protections. Even more encouraging, just 5 of the 37 measures that the California Chamber of Commerce had labeled “job killers” were approved by either the Assembly or the Senate....
(O)n 5/29/2013 in the state senate, 4 Republican Senators voted to change the GOP principles and help the party to become even smaller. Senators Emmerson, Walters, Cannella and Huff, the leader of the Senate Republicans, voted to raise their fellow Californians' taxes by over $2.3 billion.
Who is telling these elected Republicans that over taxation by Republicans will grow our party? In fact, it will grow it smaller. Republicans stand for smaller government, less taxes, not bigger government and higher taxes. So, now do we all consider Senators Emmerson, Walters, Cannella, and Huff to be useless and untrustworthy in helping us build the Republican Party here in California? Now should they be considered liabilities in our efforts? Or, will we still laud them, tell them that they are wonderful and continue to pile on the honors. When did it become OK to be a herd of RINOs?
You need to know, yes, but you also need to contact your Assemblyman or Assemblywoman and tell him or her not to go against our Party, the California Republican Party, by raising our taxes and voting for AB 8 or SB 11. Tell them that we don't have a tax problem, but they have a spending problem. Tell them to not sell their vote to the Democrats for higher taxes on all of us. Please pass this on to your entire email list and make a difference.
Dear Members and Friends of the Federation -
This article is the first in a series of We The Women Guest Editorials.
Nancy EIsenhart, Southern Division President
California Federation of Republican Women
Friday, June 7, 2013
◼ Pat Smith, of fallen information management officer Sean Smith, who was killed during the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, was to attend a special ceremony honoring her son. However, she was never brought to the ceremony to witness the award that was to be presented in honor of her son. - Tim Brown/Freedom Outpost
Pat Smith has been one of the most outspoken family members of those who lost loved ones in Benghazi. She’s also been very critical of the Obama administration and for good reason.
Smith told Sean Hannity that the Obama Administration refused to fly her to a ceremony that was honoring her son.
Mrs. Smith appeared on Fox News and said, “When I went to the casket ceremony they told me that there was going to be an award and that they would send for me; that they would get me over there so I could witness the award. They didn’t do it. And not only did they not do it… He (Obama) lies. He lies and so do everyone who’s surrounding him. They’re not telling the truth. And I don’t know why… They told me I was not immediate family. I have that in writing. They were not going to send for me.”
“As the CEO of a mobile phone company, I’m deeply disturbed by the Obama administration’s growing record of executive power grabs at the expense of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties,” Kieschnick said in a statement to CNN Money.
◼ Scope of phone records seizure causes alarm; data collection goes beyond Verizon - Dave Boyer/Washington Times
The Obama administration on Thursday defended its secret seizure of the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens as part of counterterrorism efforts, while privacy advocates blasted the move as illegal and a debate erupted in Congress over the intended scope of a key surveillance law.
In a new development, the National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies in real time, obtaining audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails and other information, various news outlets reported. The program is code-named PRISM.
◼ NSA Phone Record Collection 'Beyond Orwellian,' ACLU Says - Huffington Post
“From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming," Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the ACLU, said in a statement. "It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents. It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”
◼ ACLU on Obama’s NSA Snooping on Verizon Customers: ‘It Is Beyond Orwellian’ - Jammie Wearing Fool
The WSJ is reporting that in addition to monitoring cell phone records, emails and web activity, the National Security Agency is monitoring credit card transactions. "NSA has established similar relationships with credit-card companies, three former officials said.
The arrangement gave the NSA records of the location of the caller, number called, time of call and call duration of Verizon customers. "It couldn't be determined if any of the Internet or credit-card arrangements are ongoing, as are the phone company efforts, or one-shot collection efforts. The credit-card firms, phone companies and NSA declined to comment for this article."
"Every day we make choices and every choice has consequences." It is hard to believe this year is almost half over, and I look at what we have accomplished thus far. We have almost half of our Clubs submit Achievement Award Forms, a few sent in "Caring for America Applications". Some were diligent in sending in total hours for Campaigning. Our submission for the Dorothy Andrew Kabis Memorial Internship was selected. We have over 11,000 members, a bit over last years membership at this time. We have had 10 young women who sent in applications for the NFRW Pathfinder Scholarship. We have much to be proud of and we are still gaining momentum.
"And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world."
See prior post for links.
Worse yet, he says, the U.S. government is actively working to destroy privacy around the world.
"There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal," he said.
"And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world."
Greenwald wasn't finished, however.
"It's well past time that we have a debate about whether that's the kind of country and world in which we want to live," he added. "We haven't had that debate because it's all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It's well past time that that come to an end."
Late Wednesday, Greenwald reported that the NSA has been collecting phone data on millions of Verizon customers on a daily basis under a secret court order.
Later, the Washington Post reported that the NSA and the FBI have been engaged in a highly classified data collection program called "PRISM" that was established in 2007.
◼ GLENN GREENWALD: The US Wants To 'Destroy Privacy Around The World' - Business Insider
...The Obama administration and some members of Congress have defended the use of the programs. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said the NSA's collection of phone data has been going on for seven years. Feinstein said it's about "protecting America."
"People like Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss can have press conferences threatening people for bringing light to what it is they're doing, but the only people who are going to be investigated are them," Greenwald said in response.
"It's well past time that these threats start to be treated with the contempt that they deserve."
◼ U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program - Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras/Washington Post
“When you think about the last election cycle, which Republican inspired more young people than anyone else?” Cruz asked the audience. “Ron Paul.”
Cruz stressed that the reason politicians like Reagan and Paul captured the attention of youth was because they stood on principle. He dismissed the idea that Republicans needed to back young candidates in order to appeal to youth, saying instead that conviction and leadership were more important....
“I’ll go to my grave with Ronald Wilson Reagan defining what it means to be President,” Cruz said. “To stand for principle, to do the right thing and to do so in a way that brings people together.”
He said that current young leaders in the Republican party — such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — are “echoing Reagan.” These leaders, Cruz said, are the kind who reach young people with their uplifting, freed0m-centered rhetoric.
The Senator also added that utilizing social media — and doing so with strong messaging — is crucial in the modern, technologically-driven age.
“It is a tool, it is a force-multiplier, but you got to have a message to being with,” he said.
◼ Read the secret presidential directive here
◼ Obama draws up plans for cyber attacks on China as he meets leader in California - ASSOCIATED PRESS and ROSEMARIE LENTINI via Daily Mail
◼ In a countermove to Mr. Obama´s charges that Chinese hackers are targeting the U.S., Xi said Friday that his country is also a victim of cyber-attacks. But through "good faith cooperation," said Xi, the U.S. and China can make cybersecurity "a positive area of cooperation." - CBS
The story of Howard Jarvis, when it is recounted on occasions like this week's 35th anniversary of Proposition 13, is rightly remembered as the enormous political moment it was, when California and the nation were turned upside down by the largest tax cut in state history, giving momentum to Reagan's historic election as president two years later and changing politics and government in the Golden State forever....
During the Prop 13 campaign in June 1978, just about every politician, business association and labor union warned of dire consequences to the state if it was enacted. The measure had two things going for it: the support of an over-taxed electorate, and the determination of an otherwise ordinary guy named Howard Jarvis. When the votes were counted, the measure passed by 2-to-1 statewide. It lowered the property tax burden on average Californians by about 60 percent and, according to research by the economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, unleashed an unprecedented economic expansion. Overall property tax revenues came back in six years.
I am well aware that not everyone sees Prop. 13 the same way. Californians are still arguing about it 35 years later. But the polls show that ordinary Californians still side with Jarvis. I think one reason for that is that he lived among them.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
"Astroturfing: many of you are already savvy to this.But if you haven't heard the PR phrase "astroturf,"get to know it. It's all around you.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
"Astroturfing" is rampant, esp. online (blogs, Facebook, Twitter). It means a special interest pays $$ to disguise itself and write blogs..— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
...edit Wikipedia entries, have "letters to the editor" published or just post comments to online material to make you believe...— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
...that a disinterested, grassroots party is speaking. Astroturfing is designed to provide the credibility of a non-conflicted source...— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
...by masking the true source's financial interests in the subject.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
As one observer wrote of Astroturfing:— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
"Sometimes one individual operates over many personas to give the impression of widespread support for their client's agenda...— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
...astroturfing can alter public viewpoints and create enough doubt to inhibit action."— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
Hallmarks of astroturfing can include use of key words such as "crazy," "nutty" and "pseudo," intended to sway the public...— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013
... from listening to the subject the $special interest$ wishes to disparage.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) June 1, 2013