Sen. Rand Paul
Oct 5, 2013
It has been said that politics is the art of compromise. Try as they may, Washington leaders hardly ever get absolutely everything they want.
Polls show Americans are worried about the implementation of Obamacare — worried about keeping their current health insurance plans, the new law itself, the exchanges, potential fines, personal privacy, keeping their jobs, their work hours and a host of other issues too numerous to list here. Both the country and the Congress have much to discuss.
Right now, though, President Obama refuses to engage in any debate or discussion. The president is demanding that he get 100 percent of what he wants, and if he doesn’t, he and his Democratic allies in the Senate will keep the government shuttered.
Republicans have offered compromises that might stop or dull some of the negative effects of Obamacare but that would also pass a budget and keep the government functioning. Still, Mr. Obama refuses to budge. He will not even consider compromise.
There should be a ‘death penalty’ for government agencies that betray the American people
Aug 19, 2013
Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich slammed the Obama administration late last week, saying that the NSA should be completely abolished, and that whistleblower Edward Snowden should be celebrated with a ticker-tape parade.
Kucinich, known for his strong stance on privacy and civil liberties, urged attendees at the premiere of a documentary on government and corporate abuse of digital data that it was unacceptable to allow the government to continue to destroy constitutional rights.
“We have the CIA, the FBI, a dozen other intelligence infrastructures. Frankly — and I’m saying this with a lifetime’s experience in government here — it’s time to punch the NSA’s ticket here.” Kucinich stated at the showing of the film Terms and Conditions May Apply.
Doug Wead lauds senator for attempt to cut foreign aid to belligerent nations
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has become the first public figure to openly declare what Christians have been bemoaning for the last generation – that there is a war against Christianity.
Speaking Thursday before a gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C., Sen. Paul said, “There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.”
Said Paul, “It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.”
April 22, 2013
A row has broken out over whether the Obama Administration is violating the legal due process of Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by not reading him his Miranda rights before questioning. The more relevant question for the safety of the U.S. homeland is why the Administration has declined to designate him as a terrorist enemy combatant.
Lest one thinks that the WSJ is claiming this is an exceptional situation, think again:
The Boston bombing also ought to chasten Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee and other libertarians who keep insisting that the U.S. homeland is not part of the terror battlefield.
“It’s different overseas than it will be here. It’s different in the battlefield than it will be here,” Mr. Paul told Fox News earlier this year. “Which gets precisely to the argument I have with some other Republicans who say, well, ‘the battlefield is everywhere, there is no limitation.’ President Obama says this. Some members of my party say the battle has no geographic limitations and the laws of war apply. It’s important to know that the law of war that they’re talking about means no due process.”
Boylston Street sure looked like a battlefield on Monday, and so did Watertown on Thursday night. The artificial distinction is Mr. Paul’s focus on geography. The vital distinction for public safety is between common criminals, who deserve due process protections, and enemy combatants at war with the U.S., wherever they are.
We need to understand what these people are saying. Federal law must assume that every inch of continental U.S. soil is a battlefield in which the rules of battle apply and that due process of law goes out the window. A permanent battlefield is not a place where people can enjoy any freedoms at all except for those temporary refuges that come about when government lifts an order for a short time.
As for anything like a free economy, forget it. A nation under permanent martial law — and that is what the WSJ really is advocating — is a nation of drones serving a governmental master.
Militarized Police Force San Bernardino, California
Commentary By Gordon King
We need to be aware of what is really taking place here. We need to be able to see the forest through the trees. This is merely a diversionary tactic by Obama. His reason for gun control has nothing to do with protecting American lives. Do you really believe that it does? Do really believe that he gives a darn about you? The real reason is to disarm the American public, so that when the government attempts to take total control over us, they do not want us to be able to fight back. How much more effective would you be shooting an assault rifle with 100 rounds versus 10 rounds?
It would not even surprise me if we were to find out that the federal government was behind the Newtown Massacre. It is already a proven fact, areas of cities that have armed residents have much lower crime rates than areas that do not have armed citizens. How is taking away guns from law abiding citizens going to make it any safer? Criminals don’t care about gun control, in fact just the opposite. If more law abiding citizens do not own guns, it makes their job that much easier. Gun control is not about protecting anyone, it is about controlling the masses. Making it easier for the government to take control.
April 9, 2013
President Barack Obama traveled to Hartford, Connecticut on Monday and delivered a speech calling for a vote on the Second Amendment. He lashed out at Republicans who plan to resist attempts by Congress to destroy the right to bear firearms.
“Some folks in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms,” Obama said. “They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions.”
Obama’s use of the phrase “political stunts” is a reference to the possibility of a Senate filibuster to stop legislation.
On March 22, Republican senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating their intention to oppose any legislation threatening to destroy the constitutional right to bear arms.
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would oppose on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” the letter states. “The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”
The establishment media, led by the New York Times, has launched a campaign to portray Paul and more than a dozen other senators concerned about the future of the Constitution as obstructionists.
“The gun lobby is spreading the pernicious falsehood that a background check will lead to a gun registry, and a registry will lead to a knock on the front door by a government SWAT team intent on confiscating the nation’s weapons. Mr. Paul and the other signatories who share this belief have promised to filibuster that bill. And given his newfound interest in the dramatic arts, he is probably planning to perform in another C-Span marathon in the weeks to come,” the Time editorialized as Obama gave his speech in Hartford.
Chris Matthews and Rev. Al Sharpton told MSNBC’s diminished audience that most Americans want universal background checks – and hence registration and ultimately firearm confiscation – and demanded Republicans put aside their “partisanship” and allow Democrats in Congress to vote on a bill that will strike a blow to the cornerstone of the Constitution.
Matthews admitted MSNBC has consistently waged a war against the Second Amendment. “I think MSNBC and you and I and a bunch of other people on this network have been keeping up the fight for gun safety” since the Sandy Hook massacre, “not just a few times but consistently every night,” he said.
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 7:25 am
Published March 23, 2013
WASHINGTON – An exhausted Senate approved its first budget in four years early Saturday, calling for almost $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade while sheltering safety net programs targeted by House Republicans.
While their victory was by a razor-thin 50-49, the vote let Democrats tout their priorities. Yet it doesn’t resolve the deep differences the two parties have over deficits and the size of government.
The nonbinding but politically symbolic measure caters to party stalwarts on the liberal edge of the spectrum just as the House GOP measure is crafted to appeal to more recent tea party arrivals.
Late Friday afternoon, the Senate then began a marathon session of votes on dozens of amendments to the 2014 budget proposal. Many of the proposals were offered in hopes of inflicting political damage on Democratic senators up for re-election in GOP-leaning states like Alaska and Louisiana.
The two main budget proposals produced by Senate Democrats and House Republicans are miles apart. The Senate plan does not attempt to balance the budget at all, though it does claim to reduce the deficit by imposing nearly $1 trillion in tax increases on top of more than $600 billion in higher taxes on top earners enacted in January. It also includes $875 billion in spending cuts, generated by modest cuts to federal health care programs, domestic agencies and the Pentagon and reduced government borrowing costs.
The House plan — by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., his party’s vice presidential candidate last year — claims $4 trillion more in savings over the period than Senate Democrats by imposing major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs for the needy. It would also transform the Medicare health care program for seniors into a voucher-like system for future recipients.
“We have presented very different visions for how our country should work and who it should work for,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. “But I am hopeful that we can bridge this divide.”
Congressional budgets are planning documents that leave actual changes in revenues and spending for later legislation, and this was the first the Democratic-run Senate has approved in four years. That is testament to the political and mathematical contortions needed to write fiscal plans in an era of record-breaking deficits that until this year exceeded an eye-popping $1 trillion annually, and to the parties’ profoundly conflicting views.
“I believe we’re in denial about the financial condition of our country,” Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, top Republican on the Budget panel, said of Democratic efforts to boost spending on some programs. “Trust me, we’ve got to have some spending reductions.”
Though the shortfalls have shown signs of easing slightly and temporarily, there is no easy path to the two parties finding compromise — which the first months of 2013 have amply illustrated.
Already this year, Congress has raised taxes on the rich after narrowly averting tax boosts on virtually everyone else, tolerated $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, temporarily sidestepped a federal default and prevented a potential government shutdown.
By sometime this summer, the government’s borrowing limit will have to be extended again — or a default will be at risk — and it is unclear what Republicans may demand for providing needed votes. It is also uncertain how the two parties will resolve the differences between their two budgets, something many believe simply won’t happen.
Both sides have expressed a desire to reduce federal deficits. But President Barack Obama is demanding a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to do so, while GOP leaders say they won’t consider higher revenues but want serious reductions in Medicare and other benefit programs that have rocketed deficits skyward.
Obama plans to release his own 2014 budget next month, an unveiling that will be studied for whether it signals a willingness to engage Republicans in negotiations or play political hardball.
In a long day that began Friday morning, senators plodded through scores of amendments — all of them non-binding but some delivering potent political messages.
They voted in favor of giving states more powers to collect sales taxes on online purchases their citizens make from out-of-state Internet companies, and to endorse the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that is to pump oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
They also approved amendments voicing support for eliminating the $2,500 annual cap on flexible spending account contributions imposed by Obama’s health care overhaul, and for charging regular postal rates for mailings by political parties, which currently qualify for the lower prices paid by non-profits.
In a rebuke to one of the Senate’s most conservative members, they overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to cut even deeper than the House GOP budget and eliminate deficits in just five years.
The Democratic budget envisions $975 billion in unspecified new taxes over the coming 10 years. There would be an equal amount of spending reductions coming chiefly from health programs, defense and reduced interest payments as deficits get smaller than previously anticipated.
This year’s projected deficit of nearly $900 billion would fall to around $700 billion next year and bottom out near $400 billion in 2016 before trending upward again.
Shoehorned into the package is $100 billion for public works projects and other programs aimed at creating jobs.
Ryan warns of financial collapse over debt, urges Congress to avert ‘moral failure’
“It would be a moral failure,” Ryan said. The deficit spending, he said, “has to stop.”
Ryan addressed CPAC just days after the Budget Committee chairman introduced the party’s 2014 budget which aims to close the deficit in 10 years and eventually pay down the debt.
Democrats lambasted the plan for its significant changes to Medicare and the fact that it does not include tax hikes. The Democratic plan, though, also does not propose any major overhaul to deficit-driving entitlements and does not endeavor to balance the budget in 10 years.
Ryan spoke as CPAC charged into its second day at a hotel and convention center on the outskirts of Washington.
The second-day agenda was packed by big-name speakers, including 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Romney, who spoke a few hours after Ryan, also drew attention to the debt while voicing optimism that a “conservative vision can attract a majority of Americans.” He pointed, as an example, to the recent legislative achievements by the dozens of Republican governors, many of whom were in attendance.
“Today, history and duty summon us again,” Romney told the crowd. “I am sorry I won’t be your president — but I will be your co-worker, and I’ll work shoulder to shoulder alongside you. … In the end, we’ll win.”
Romney’s primary rival Rick Santorum also spoke Friday, in an agenda that included House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as well.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the morning speakers, predicted a conservative “comeback,” as he systematically tried to knock down conservative stereotypes that Democratic campaigns have tried to perpetuate.
“Don’t tell me Republicans are the party of millionaires and billionaires when Obama’s campaign arm is charging people a half a million dollars for a meeting over near the White House,” McConnell said, referring to recent controversy over reported efforts by an Obama-tied group to give top donors special access to the president.
McConnell argued that Democratic policies only ensure “that the poor stay poor.” He said their policy “looks a lot more like flypaper than a safety net.”
McConnell repeatedly turned back to the GOP goal of trying to upend the federal health care overhaul, saying “we’re not backing down from this fight.”
He also had choice words for a liberal group that recently mocked his wife’s ethnicity in what he called “racist tweets.”
“Anybody’s who’s got the nerve to question her patriotism doesn’t know what tolerance is, do they?” the senator said.
Progress Kentucky tweeted last month: “This woman has the ear of (@McConnellPress — she’s his #wife. May explain why your job moved to #China!” The group later apologized and took down the tweet.
McConnell’s wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, was born in Taiwan.
The CPAC gathering this week also served to highlight some divisions among conservatives. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who drew national attention for his 13-hour filibuster last week against over President Obama’s drone-attack authority, needled some elements of the party in his lively speech Thursday.
“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered. I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?” Paul said. “Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom.”
Paul sparred with long-time senators last week like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called the filibuster a “stunt” meant to “fire up impressionable libertarian kinds in their college dorms.”
But even McConnell, who previously backed Paul’s primary opponent in the 2010 election, on Friday called his Kentucky colleague a “warrior.”
Speaking yesterday at a National Review breakfast, Sen. Rand Paul R-Ky. explained what he thought about the Tea Party movement vs. the Occupy Wall Street movement, as Jon Ward reports in the Huffington Post.
“The Tea Party, I always say, is more like the American Revolution, and Occupy Wall Street is more the French Revolution,” Paul said.
Paul explained that the Tea Party looked back to the rule of law.
“We hearken back to sort of rules,” Paul said, identifying with the Tea Party. “We weren’t unhappy with people just because they were rich; we weren’t happy with you if you were making money off of our taxes and we were bailing you out. If you were making $100 million, your bank goes bankrupt and all of a sudden we bail you out and you’re still making $100 million — that upset us.”
Occupy Wall Street, Paul suggested was more of an emotional protest.
“I think Occupy Wall Street was more of a generic sort of, ‘We just hate people who have any money, and why can’t they give it to us?’ kind of thing,” he said.