Tired of the Propaganda

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Follow the Money Trail

I need to get something off of my chest before I dig too deep into this.  And I would suspect that most of you probably share similar feelings of frustration and anger.

I am tired of being told “who” and “what” I should vote for by the media and establishment types!  I am tired of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Z7Mri5KHplaying favorites and trying to influence primary and election processes!  I am tired of listening to the supposed “fair and balanced” network praising a favored candidate in hopes that it will persuade the uninformed to vote for “their” candidate or against another!  I am tired of the establishment republican leadership on Capitol Hill!  They don’t rule over us, and it’s time we got loud and pushed back!

The first step in fighting back is to make an educated decision.  We need to take a look into who these candidates are and what they stand for.  It’s critically important that one avoids the temptation to be swept away by a wave of popularism.  Being popular and making news because you are a loudmouth is not what we are looking for in a conservative candidate.  We are looking for someone who is principled.  Someone who can not only articulate conservative values, but prove they are equipped to deliver on what they say.

Unfortunately, far too many buy into the propaganda. There are a lot of signs that voters often overlook when choosing a candidate.   It’s been said, “if you ConservativeReviewwant to know about someone, take a look at the company they keep.”  Just this afternoon I read an excellent article from ConservativeReview.com.  The article, entitled, 2016 GOP Endorsements: Quality v Quantitydoes an outstanding job of breaking down the endorsements received by the 2016 GOP candidates.  

Every smart salesperson knows, it’s far more important to have fewer customers who you can trust to pay, than to have many customer who don’t.  This article demonstrates that this same principle holds true regarding presidential endorsements.  Though I very much encourage you to read the article (as I can not do justice to how well it was composed), I have included a recap of the article in a table below.  The table identifies each of the top three GOP candidates, the number of congressional endorsements received, the average Conservative Review Liberty Score® of these endorsements, the Conservative Review Liberty Score® Rating for these endorsements, and the number of endorsements from congressmen with an “F” rating.

 Candidate      Endorsements  Avg Conservative Review Liberty Score® of Endorsement Rating   # of F ratings
Donald Trump  40  56%  F  20
Marco Rubio  56  54%  F  36
Ted Cruz  24  83%  B  1

As I mentioned above, “if you want to know about someone, take a look at the company they keep.”  The table above certainly paints a much clearer picture of these candidates.  Half of those who endorsed Donald Trump, and more than halftrump1rubio
who endorsed Marco Rubio have Liberty Score® ratings of “F”.  Rubio does not have a single endorsement from an “A-rated” congressman.  Pretty telling, don’t you think?  And these two candidates are using propaganda to discredit Cruz?  As a conservative, and based on these findings, I’m quite comfortable placing my trust in Ted Cruz over these two.  

Endorsements are part of the story, but donors also play a role in helping define the candidates.  To his credit, I’m going to take Trump out of the equation because he’s made it clear (and rightly so) that he is mostly self-funded.  However, when we compare Cruz to Rubio, another interesting bit of information comes to light.

According to opensecrets.org (a self-proclaimed leader in research of political financing),  as of January 2016 approximately 58% of the individual contributions to Ted Cruz’ campaign came from large donors.  Likewise, 70% of individual contributions to Marco Rubio came from large donors.

But the real story comes from the individuals behind these contributions.  Let’s look at the one of the top donors for each of these two candidates.  Starting with Rubio, one of his major contributors is Larry-EllisonLarry Ellison, Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation.  Why is that important?  Oracle is a major player in silicon valley and Ellison has unapologetic-ally supported amnesty and Rubio’s Gang of Eight Bill.  Even as Rubio verbally flip-flops on immigration and amnesty, knowing where the money is coming from seems to makes it quite obvious as to which side of that issue Rubio will fall.

On the other hand, one of Ted  Cruz’ major supporters is Robert Mercer, co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies  According to Bloomberg.com, Mercer has “…spent tens of millions to advance a conservative agenda, investing in think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, (and) the media outlet Breitbart.com.  Groups he funds have attacked the science of global warming,  (and) published a book critical of Hillary Clinton.”   Again, we see quite the contrast between Cruz and Rubio.

If you want a quick education on who the candidates are and what they stand for, look at the people who surround them and follow the money trail.

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Federal Elections

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Federal Elections

Assume for the moment that you are a homeowner in a sub-division where you reside, and the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is about to hold their annual meeting, including the elections of homeowner-clipart-hoa-lettersHOA officers.  All of the homeowners are asked to sign in and provide identification as homeowners prior to the start of the meeting.  As the meeting gets underway and election ballots are handed out, fifteen strangers walk in on the meeting, fail to sign in, and request ballots for the election of officers.  None of the homeowners in attendance, including yourself, recognize any of the fifteen individuals.  As a homeowner, which of the following would you suggest?

a.  Assume they are homeowners and provide them with ballots 

b.  Out of fear of discriminating against them, give them ballots (no questions asked)

c.   Require them to provide identification and proof of HOA membership before giving them ballots

The answer to this question seems pretty straight forward doesn’t it?  The only reasonable answer is “c”.  I can’t imagine any homeowner granting a potential outsider the ability to cast a ballot if they are not an HOA member.  It is not only wise, but an example of due diligence to require proof of ownership before allowing them access to the meeting and election process.

Take another example.  (This is for my friends in academia, many of whom are surprisingly liberal…not.)  Imagine you are a member of the faculty in the College of Engineering and you are attending the annual faculty meeting of the college where such things as committee appointments and other policy decisions are up for a vote.  All of a sudden, faculty from the College of Business enter and sit in academicon the meeting.  Having attended many of these types of meetings over the years, I can assure you that heads will turn faster than a yellow traffic lights turns red when you’re approaching an intersection.  Faculty in the College of Engineering will be falling all over themselves in attempt to throw the infidels (College of Business faculty) out on their butts!  And quite honestly, I wouldn’t blame them.  Would you?  Again, it’s the reasonable thing to do in that situation.  Why?  Because whether it’s a faculty meeting or an HOA meeting, it’s imperative to protect the integrity of the proceedings!

Unfortunately, for matters of even greater importance to society, we are told that due diligence means otherwise.  We are also told that the right thing to do is quite the opposite of what we just proved to be the reasonable thing to do.

Under current law in the United States, non-citizens are NOT allowed to vote in federal elections. When applicants complete a federal voter registration form in brian_newbythe states of Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia, the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Brian Newby, told elections officials in these three states that they could require proof of US citizenship.  No big deal, right?  Wrong!

Apparently a coalition of activists filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia this past week requesting a restraining order blocking the requirement for proof of citizenship.  One has to wonder why?  It’s certainly not to protect the integrity of the election process.  It couldn’t be.


To make matters worse (and to no great surprise), this administration’s Department of Justice headed by Loretta Lynch consented to the injunction filed against the EAC (one of the administration’s own federal agencies)!  gavelThis is just another example of this feckless administration’s selectivity when it comes to enforcing federal law.  Again, it goes against reason to not enforce proof of eligibility in ANY form of election!  And if you believe in taking a lawful and reasonable approach, you are going to be labeled as “extreme”.

I know it is not going to bother the leftists, but if you believe in American sovereignty, you can not be in favor of this type of tyrannical behavior.  It is utterly unjust and regardless of your political affiliation, you should stand up to this.  Since when is following the law and being reasonable extreme?  This nonsense has to stop and it has to stop now!

 

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What’s at Stake

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What’s At Stake

Below is an excerpt from Ted Cruz’s book,  A Time for Truth:  Reigniting the Promise of America.

The example below underscores how important it is for us to elect a true conservative.  It is ironic, scary, and sad all in one, that we now find ourselves with a current president who will more than likely nominate that one radical justice who could turn this into reality.  And if you’re like me, I don’t trust the current republican leadership to stop it!

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“Of course, protecting gun ownership isn’t just a matter of good public policy.  It is also required as a matter of constitutional law.  So when the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun control law arrived at the Supreme Court for argument in 2008, I was optimistic that Solicitor General Paul Clement would argue for a robust interpretation of the Second Amendment. 

Sadly, the Bush Administration did not allow him to do that.  The department of Justice refused to support Dick Anthony Heller, a federal law enforcement officer and D.C. resident who was challenging the city’s prohibition of handguns.  Instead, the administration argued that “reasonable restrictions” are constitutional if they protect “important regulatory interests” – whatever that means.  The District of Columbia’s attorney general went even further, audaciously consenting that the Second Amendment offers no protection whatsoever to individual gun owners, because according to the district, it protects only the “collective right” of militias.

I was dismayed with the Bush administration’s attempt to water down the Second Amendment and incensed with D.C.’s attempt to write the Second Amendment entirely out of the Constitution.  So was Bush’s own vice president, Dick Cheney, who as president of the Senate signed on to a robustly conservative brief filed by 55 senators and 260 congressman.

Texas took the lead among the states defending the Second Amendment.  In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, I presented oral argument in the companion case to Heller. And, before the Supreme Court, we wrote an amicus brief joined by thirty other states, in support of Heller’s challenge to the district’s laws.

Texas was willing-indeed, eager-to say that those laws violated the plain language of the Constitution.  Unlike the District of Columbia, we did not believe the Second Amendment applies only to militias.  And unlike the Bush administration, we did not believe the laws infringing Americans’ rights to “keep and bear arms” become constitutional whenever a federal judge finds them “reasonable”.  That’s not what the Constitution says; instead it says, ”the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  In my view, “shall not be infringed” means exactly that.*

In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Texas.  It explained that “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily take certain policy choices off the table.”  Among those unconstitutional policy choices was D.C.’s “absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”  The merits of gun control may be debatable, “but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

The decision was 5-4, which meant that four justices had agreed with the District of Columbia’s radical position: not merely that some forms of “reasonable” gun control laws are permissible, but rather that nobody has any rights whatsoever under the Second Amendment.  In other words, four justices would  have held that the Second Amendment protects no individual right at all, that it establishes merely a “collective” right and is hence unenforceable by any American.  Under that extreme interpretation, Congress could pass legislation making it a criminal offense for any American to own a firearm, and no man or woman in the land could challenge that law.  And, ominously, we are just one vote away from the Supreme Court adopting that position, effectively erasing the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights.  If that doesn’t highlight the importance of the next president’s Supreme Court nominees, I don’t know what does.”

*That does not mean that there can never be any restriction on gun ownership.  For example, all of the amici states (and all nine justices) agreed that the long-standing prohibitions on felons owning firearms are consistent with the original understanding of the Second Amendment.   But any restriction must meet a strict standard, consistent with the Constitution.

 

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Stay Focused Conservatives

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Open Primary this Weekend

If you read some of the stories coming from some of the media, you would think that tomorrow’s primary in South Carolina is make or break for the republican candidates.  While that may be true for the likes of John Kasich, Ben Carson, and even Jeb Bush, it doesn’t hold water for the others.  Let’s be honest, John Kasich is not likely to do well with any southern AP_jeb_bush_2_jt_150218_16x9_992state, and Jeb Bush says he’s staying in the race despite reports that his campaign is running out of money.  And Ben Carson, though likable, has not had the support needed to sustain his campaign for much longer.

Donald Trump has had a commanding lead in South Carolina from the start.  But should he lose South Carolina, does that signal something bigger is brewing?  His support nationwide is still pretty solid, though recent polls suggest he has lost his lead on a national scale.  However, if anyone suggests that a loss in South Carolina could spell the end for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio,  tell them that it’s simply not the case.

What much of the nation may not realize is that South Carolina is one of many south-carolina-06states that employ an open primary process.  This means any registered voter, independent or registered with either political party, may vote in either the republican primary tomorrow (2/20) or the democratic primary next week (2/27).  What is unique about South Carolina, is that these two party primaries are held on different days, a week apart.  (A complete schedule of the primaries for 2016 can be found here.)

Critics of states with open primaries are generally concerned with “crossover voting” or “party crashing”.  Since South Carolina’s primary does not coincide with primaries in any other state, these concerns are more prominent and noticeable.  In short, a strategic endeavor could occur in which a candidate or more likely a Super-Pac of a candidate, in one party influences their supporters to vote for a particular candidate in the other party for a variety of reasons.  And since South Carolina is one of the early voting states, one of these reasons could very well include sending a signal to a candidate and their supporters, that their campaign is in trouble.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign stop on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Dorchester, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)Republican candidates that would seemingly be a target of “crossover voting” would include the leaders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  Though Trump would be a formidable opponent for both Hillary and Sanders, he also has the highest unfavorability rating among the republican candidates. Therefore, it’s quite possible that Cruz may pose the greatest and most immediate threat to the democratic candidates and their Super-Pacs.  (Yes, I’m aware that Bernie claims to have no Super-Pac.)  As a result, Marco Rubio could be the beneficiary of such crossover tactics by receiving votes, that would not have otherwise gone to Trump or Cruz, but would have gone instead to a democratic candidate.

Given the heated primary environment this year, the winner of the republican primary this weekend in South Carolina may label their victory as a mandate.  Be careful not to get drawn in.  Though the winner of the republican primary in South Carolina often goes on to be the nominee, that is not always the case.  As winning this primary is clearly not a mandate for any one candidate, losing the primary in South Carolina is clearly not the end of the road either.

The real indicator will come on Super Tuesday,  March 1st.  I am asking that all of my fellow conservatives who will vote this weekend in South Carolina, and more importantly, those who will vote on March 1st, Super Tuesday Primary 2016to take stock of those things that truly matter to us as conservatives.  Don’t get caught up in the lies and the banter.  Consider what is truly at stake: liberty; Constitutional rights, Supreme Court nominations, and religious freedom among many other things.  Do not fall prey to what may or may not happen in South Carolina this weekend.  Keep your eyes, ears, voices, and hearts focused on those things that really matter, and keep up the good fight.

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Ends Do Not Justify the Means

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Ends Do Not Justify the Means

Most Americans realize there are many issues facing this country.  They include economic issues, social issues, foreign policy issues, healthcare issues, and everything in between.  I don’t believe it’s far fetched to think that many Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, would find commonality on what these issues are.  Where Americans differ, is on what the underlying problems are surrounding these issues.  As such, there will be great differences on how to address them.

Antonin_Scalia,_SCOTUS_photo_portraitIn light of the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, I think it’s important to make the case to the American people as to why this is important.  In one of his most famous quotes, Scalia said,

The Constitution is “not a living document. It’s dead, dead, dead.”  Scalia added, “The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge.”

Scalia was issuing a warning to Americans, explaining the ills of activist judges.  To issue judgement on cases based on personal or political ideology is a dangerous endeavor.  The Constitution is “dead”.  This means no one individual nor government branch, can interpret or insert something into that document that is not there.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Scalia has been labeled as an “originalist”.  The majority of Constitutional Conservatives in this country would tend to agree with Scalia’s interpretation of The Constitution.  A famed Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork said the following:

bork-obituary-ann-coulter-620x348
“If the Constitution is law, then presumably its meaning, like that of all other law,
is the meaning the lawmakers were understood to have intended.  If the Constitution is law, then presumably, like all other law, the meaning the lawmakers intended is as binding upon judges as it is upon legislatures and executives.  There is no other sense in which the Constitution can be what article VI proclaims it to be: “Law….” This means, of course, that a judge, no matter on what court he sits, may never create new constitutional rights or destroy old ones.  Any time he does so, he violates not only the limits to his own authority but, and for that reason, also violates the rights of the legislature and the people….the philosophy of original understanding is thus a necessary inference from the structure of government apparent on the face of the Constitution.”

The concern of Constitutional Conservatives everywhere is that Obama will nominate an activist as a replacement to the Supreme Court.  An activist judge could do irreparable damage to this country.  With cases such as Obamacare, immigration, and abortion set to make it to the Supreme Court, conservatives are rightfully concerned.

As Americans, we expect the justices of the Supreme Court to make decisions based on law, not politics or ideologies.  Considered an originalist, Justice Scalia based his decision on the original intent of the law.  Again, when he stated that the Constitution is “not a living document”, he was arguing against judicial activism.

The Heritage Foundation defines judicial activism this way:Heritage

Judicial activism occurs when judges write subjective policy preferences into the law rather than apply the law impartially according to its original meaning. As such, activism does not mean the mere act of striking down a law.

Whether it be justices of the Supreme Court or politicians, the law matters.  The Constitution is the foundation on which this country was built.  One can not simply justify an action or an interpretation of law based on desired outcomes!  Having a “pen and a phone” is not a justifiable approach to achieving an ideological outcome.  Nor is it justifiable for the Supreme Court to hear cases that should be decided by the states just so they can achieve a result they desire.  Doing so undermines our Constitutional Republic.

In the opening paragraph of this article, I asserted that Americans may find common ground on the types of issues that plague this country.  Differences arise among Americans in terms of how to address these issues.  At this pivotal time in our nation’s history, it is imperative that we have a Supreme Court that honors our Constitution, not as a living document, but as a rock on which our country is guided.  Regardless of any ideology, the rule of law matters.  The ends do not justify the means.

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How Do You Know It’s Broke if You Don’t Follow the Laws?

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How Do You Know It’s Broke if You Don’t Follow the Laws?

I got to thinking recently about the rhetoric that is constantly thrown about regarding immigration in this country.  We hear pundits, politicians, and other media mouthpieces go on and on about “immigration reform”.   They say things like, “The system is broken” or “we are a country of immigrants”.

I take exception to much of this rhetoric.  The political correctness crowd has made it difficult for some to speak the truth, especially politicians.  Many of these politicians, particularly those on the republican side, become so fearful of media backlash that they flounder on the issue of immigration.  If you look at record for many of these candidates, they’ve never taken a hard stand one way or the other.  rubioWe are all aware of Rubio’s flipping on this issue.  He ran for the US Senate in the State of Florida by taking a conservative approach to immigration, but almost immediately did a “180” when he arrived on Capitol Hill.

During the 2012 Presidential election, Donald Trump was criticizing Mitt Romney for being too tough on immigration.  In this election cycle, we don’t know what Trump stands for.  The only thing we can say for certain, is that he’s going to build a wall.  He’s told us this thousands of times.  Yet, he flip-flops on how to handle illegal immigration.

bw-trump.finger-1024x699He gives the impression that he will take a tough stand on the issue only to suggest that after deporting illegal immigrants, they will be invited back legally.  This practice is more commonly referred to as “touchback”.  Many of Trump’s critics have labeled this practice as a form of Amnesty.

Ted Cruz has been the only candidate who has been consistent on immigration.  He has taken a constitutional, conservative approach to illegal immigration from the very beginning.  And by “the very beginning”, I’m referring to his run for the US Senate seat in Texas.  Marco Rubio has erroneously accused Cruz of flipping on immigration.  The video below is evidence that Cruz has remained consistent on this issue.

Despite what you hear, we are not a nation of “immigrants”.  We are a nation of “citizens”.  Our citizens are made up of those natural born and those immigrants who were naturalized (followed a legal process towards citizenship).  Citizens who were naturalized, were once immigrants who later assimilated.  The United States is not a nation obligated to allowing immigrants into this country who want to impose their culture and laws on others within the United States.   Immigrants MUST assimilate and abide by the laws of this country.

The media and left-wing activists will also label conservatives as “haters”, “heartless”, “zealots”, and “racist” for opposing Amnesty.  Don’t believe any of that.  Conservatives believe in immigration.  Legal forms of immigration!  Conservatives believe in assimilation and that following the rule of law in the United States is essential to assimilation.  And herein lies the problem…our government has decided not to follow the law.

parenting (1)Parenting can teach us a lot about a common sense approach to issues.  It is one thing for a parent to define rules for their children.  It is another thing to enforce those rules.  Parents who fail to enforce rules early on will find it difficult to enforce rules later in life.  Their children will lose respect for them.

In this country, we have rules for immigration.  They’re called laws.  If we don’t enforce them, how can anyone be expected to follow them?  Do we need complete immigration reform?  Is the system broke?  How do you know it’s broke if you don’t follow the laws?  There is no respect for the current laws if they’re not being enforced. Before this country invests in immigration reform, our government needs to be effective in enforcing current law.  That is the conservative position.  And it doesn’t make you a “hater”, “heartless”, a “zealot”, nor “racist”.

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