Feed on Posts or Comments 23 September 2014

Leviathan Richard Falknor on 23 Sep 2014

Can Conservatives Guide County and City Government? Not Without A Continual Source Of Presentable Facts & Figures.

A hoary maxim of conservatives is that government is most responsive to voters on the local level.

This is certainly the way it should be.  But as the Federal Leviathan expands, so typically do state and local governments.

Consider this:  in Washington, D.C., when the Congress or the Executive Branch entertains some egregious crony-capitalist scheme, conservative and libertarian think tanks will often be all over it. (Take, for example, warnings against the reauthorizing of the Export-Import Bank here and here.)

The new-media blogs will follow up on the most recent scheme.

Lobbyists will scamper, and members of the Congress will dissemble.

Even so, a bad scheme may yet prevail, but at a price in credibility to its malefactors and to its politician sponsors.

But the resultant push-back may head off even more outrageous raids on the Treasury, or stop more competition-destroying regulation.

When it comes to getting a fix on redolent county, city (and state) schemes, however, conservatives have few if any always-on-watch information sources. 

One nearby exception!

Arthur Purves, long-time leader of the Fairfax County [VA] Taxpayers Alliance, has built an invaluable information machine on county (and state) government whose graphs can be understood by voters and explained by (any willing) local politicians.

On Saturday noon, October 4, Purves will reveal to his annual luncheon his “Strategy to Elect a Taxpayer-Friendly Board of Supervisors.”

“FCTA Annual Luncheon: Sat Oct 4 Noon-2pm, Grevey’s Restaurant
8130 Arlington Blvd (Rt 50 at Gallows Rd) / Falls Church, VA
Meal $20 (Salmon or Chicken florentine) RSVP: or email
Featured speaker: Barbara Hollingsworth – “The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy”
(Barbara, formerly editor with the DC Examiner, is now with Media Research Center.)”

The good people of Fairfax County need no introduction to the work of Purves and his colleagues. (Click on foregoing link to “Fairfax County Public Schools: High Taxes for Low Achievement”).

But we would strongly recommend to other county-and municipal-level conservatives throughout Maryland and Virginia that they come to this October 4 Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance luncheon to see what they are accomplishing.

Doubtless interested guests could make an appointment to seek Purves’ wise counsel on how to put together their own always-on-watch local information source.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 16 Sep 2014

227 Years Tomorrow: Bells Across U.S. Mark Constitution Signing

In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Congress (click here) “to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.” The next year, their request became public law signed by president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A Connecticut DAR chapter explained last year (click here) in their “Bells Across America to Ring on September 17″–

“The Daughters of the American Revolution encourage churches, schools, courthouses, fire houses, Veterans homes, city governments and individuals to ring bells on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution 226 years ago.  
From May 1787 to September 17, 1787 the debate on wording of the document and the establishment of the 3 branches of government was fiercely debated. It was the Connecticut Compromise which proposed the two houses of Congress – one with proportional representation (the House of Representatives) and one with equal representation (the Senate) which enabled the delegates to agree. And on Sept 17, 1787 the Constitution was signed. At 4:00 when the delegates emerged from what is now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, all the bells rang to celebrate the signing of the Constitution.  Ringing of the bells at 4:00 p.m. is encouraged but any time September 17 is fine.”

Tomorrow from Oregon to Arkansas bells will commemorate the signing of the Constitution 227 years ago in Philadelphia.

Whether you are a “new” citizen or one from many generations of Americans, consider urging your place of worship to ring their bells tomorrow to mark the signing of our Constitution.

Our readers understand more than most that preserving and protecting and defending our Constitution is paramount in these very dangerous times.

2014 Election Richard Falknor on 10 Sep 2014

VA-9 & The Immigration Crisis:William Carr Rated “True Reformer”

NumbersUSA is rating conservative independent William Carr, candidate here and here for the House of Representatives from Virginia 9, as a “True Reformer” here.

Carr’s opponent, incumbent Republican Morgan Griffith, received a NumbersUSA rating of D+.

There is no Democrat running for this seat in the November 4 general election.

Click here, then click on Virginia 9 to see the details of these NumbersUSA ratings. “True Reformer” is also explained here.

In their own words, here is what NumbersUSA is all about

“NumbersUSA Action is the nation’s largest grassroots immigration-reduction organization with more than two million participants in all 435 congressional districts. Members mobilize to persuade public officials to support immigration policies that protect all Americans—especially the most vulnerable and including the foreign-born—from losing wages, taxes, individual freedoms, quality of life, and access to nature due to excessive immigration numbers that indiscriminately enlarge the U.S. population, the laborforce and government costs.”

In the wider context, here is Morgan Griffith’s Heritage Action Scorecard: 53%.

Stay tuned to hear both Virginia 9 candidates elaborate their positions on our immigration and border crisis — and on the president’s promised “executive action”!

2014 Election Richard Falknor on 04 Sep 2014

What National Crisis? Comstock & Foust Shirk The Heavy Lifting

“During a town-hall forum in Herndon, Republican Barbara J. Comstock and Democrat John W. Foust talked about traffic congestion in Northern Virginia, the federal deficit and whether more should be done to outsource government jobs as a way to bolster the regional economy. The event, attended by about 175 people at the offices of Dominion Virginia Power, was geared toward business concerns in a district dominated by high-tech companies and federal contractors.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Leesburg Today’s Danielle Nadler explained here

“Throughout the 90-minute forum, the candidates took questions on transportation, job creation, support for veterans, the national deficit and tax reform. Through their answers, both worked to paint the other as extreme—Foust pinned Comstock as another tea party Republican in Congress while Comstock linked Foust to President Obama’s economic and energy policies—and both touted their willingness to work across party lines.
Foust noted his seven years as chairman of the Fairfax Economic Advisory Commission and on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors where he helped pass a balanced budget every year. He said it’s usually difficult to tell who are the Democrats and the Republicans on the county’s Board of Supervisors because they work so well together.
‘I can’t tell you how many people have been surprised when they learn the party I am in, thinking I’m in the other party,’ he said.
Comstock pointed to her work with business leaders, Democrats and Republicans in the state General Assembly to pass legislation that encourages telework, as well as a package of data center state tax incentives and a research and development tax credit. ‘A credit Gov. McAuliffe (D) praised as enhancing Virginia’s business climate,’ she said.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

 But several big dogs apparently failed to bark yesterday:
Both contenders should be discussing major concerns in blunt words.

  • Preserving the U. S. Constitution from “executive action” whether on Obamacare, or our immigration laws. Today according to Rasmussen here “Voters Strongly Oppose Obama’s Amnesty Plan for Illegal Immigrants”–
“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the president granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants without the approval of Congress. Just 26% are in favor of Obama’s plan, while 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Only 24% think the president has the legal authority to grant amnesty to these illegal immigrants without Congress’ approval. Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe the president does not have the legal right to do so. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.”
  • Stopping reckless bi-partisan Congressional spending: for example, the nearly $1 trillion 949-page farm and food-stamp bill here that the House approved last January here–
Heritage: “The farm bill isn’t getting the attention it deserves.  Congress is likely very aware of this fact and is pouncing on a chance to get its farm bill through.  Tonight’s State of the Union address further provides cover for what Congress is about to do to the American public this week.   The House is expected to vote tomorrow on this nearly $1 trillion farm bill, which is projected to cost even more than the Obama stimulus bill.
The House and Senate farm bill negotiators have come up with a bill that is filled with central planning policies, handouts to special interests, and wasteful spending.  The winners are the special interests.  The losers are everybody else, including taxpayers, the poor, consumers, and virtually any other group you can think of.(Highlighting Forum’s)

           And for exampleCongress Rushing Through Massive New Healthcare Entitlement Before August Recess” where Breitbart’s Daniel Horowitz reports here

“The political class plans to shout ‘veteran’ and ‘emergency’ in a crowded room of anxious politicians eager to get home for recess, and come away with another government-run health care program in a matter of just three days. This is what is wrong with Washington.”
  • War and Peace and Islamists and Israelyesterday Virginia 10’s Representative Frank Wolf declared here that
“…he will introduce legislation next week authorizing the use of military force against international terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda and its affiliates, like al Nusra, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab and Boko Haram, while encouraging close coordination with NATO and regional allies on any action. Wolf said he was compelled to introduce the measure because of the rapid advances made by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as well as territorial gains made by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Libya, Nigeria and Somalia.”

          The governor of Michigan got into trouble recently for asserting Israel’s right to exist, according to The Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro here

“The Islamic Society of North America is leading the onslaught against Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for one remark he made at the group’s conference asserting Israel’s right to exist. Clockwise: Governor Snyder, Tariq Ramadan, ISNA President Mohamed Magid”

One assumes that both Mrs. Comstock and Mr. Foust already support Israel’s right to exist — but this is certainly the right time to reaffirm their conviction publicly.

Many conservatives draw wisdom and leadership from senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions, who has called on his colleagues here to embrace a “humble and honest populism” and say “’no’ to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.” Says Sessions:

“The GOP lost the [2012] election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Consequently the reports of yesterday’s policy-lite town hall forum are disheartening.

For Virginia conservatives see the House GOP too often acting, in Daniel Horowitz’ words, as the voice of the national Chamber of CommerceBig Immigration, Big Government, Big Education, and Crony Capitalism.

“A humble and honest populism” for Barbara?

Barbara Comstock still has a little time — not much — to drop her GOP Establishment talking points into the Potomac and speak clearly to the grave concerns all Americans face today.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 26 Aug 2014

Immigration:Where Do VA GOP Congressional Candidates Stand?

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.” Rasmussen Reports August 20, 2014

NumbersUSA is the recognized scorekeeper on the immigration-policy votes and stated positions of members of — and candidates for — the Congress , i.e., both House and Senate.

In their own words, here is what NumbersUSA is all about

“NumbersUSA Action is the nation’s largest grassroots immigration-reduction organization with more than two million participants in all 435 congressional districts. Members mobilize to persuade public officials to support immigration policies that protect all Americans—especially the most vulnerable and including the foreign-born—from losing wages, taxes, individual freedoms, quality of life, and access to nature due to excessive immigration numbers that indiscriminately enlarge the U.S. population, the laborforce and government costs.”

Below is NumbersUSA’s most current scorecard for Virginia– always illuminating with VA-7’s Dave Brat rated as a “True Reformer” and VA-10’s Barbara Comstock receiving no rating at all.  Presumably Virginia GOP candidates will  now hustle to see their NumbersUSA immigration positions are listed and current.

“2014 Candidate Immigration Comparisons: Congressional
Have your candidates filled out the immigration survey? If, not download the PDF yourself and give it to them.
Interested in top contests in other states? View Featured Contests
NumbersUSA never endorses candidates. It provides a factual basis for comparing candidates only on immigration issues. Candidates with the green TRUE REFORMER label have demonstrated that they agree with all or nearly all of NumbersUSA’s key positions on immigration policy.
Select race to view comparison grid:
Rob Wittman (GOP) *Incumbent
Norm Mosher (DEM)
Scott Rigell (GOP) *Incumbent
Suzanne Patrick (DEM)
Randy Forbes (GOP) *Incumbent
Elliott Fausz (DEM)
Robert Hurt (GOP) *Incumbent
Lawrence Gaughan (DEM)
Dave Brat (GOP)
Jack Trammell (DEM)
Morgan Griffith (GOP) *Incumbent
[William Carr "Conservative Independent"]
Gerry Connolly (DEM) *Incumbent
Gerald Geddes (GOP) [Lost Primary]
Suzanne Scholte (GOP)
Ed Gillespie (GOP)
Mark Warner (DEM) *Incumbent
If those candidates whom readers are tracking have not filled out a NumbersUSA immigration survey, one can download it here to give to the candidate directly.
Stay tuned for a current NumbersUSA report on Maryland.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 23 Aug 2014

Five Fair August Questions For House GOP Candidates

Late August is the season of Town Halls, and door-belling, and meet-and-greets and fundraisers for candidates

It is also a splendid time to chat with whichever House GOP nominee you encounter, or with whom you have (or have had) some kind of informal relation.

Conservatives have emailed us — “what are the most crucial questions we should ask now in the limited time we may have with a candidate?”

Here are our “back-of-the envelope” questions, but you may have your own ideas — which we are always glad to receive at our email!

I — The Constitution — Using The House’s Appropriations Powers To Preserve Congress’ Legislative Powers:

Speaker Boehner has said here he will urge a “continuing resolution” running until early December, into the after-election lame-duck session.

Q: During this lame-duck session, will you speak and vote for regular order here on appropriations i.e., insisting on passing individual appropriations bills to fund the government — for the rest of FY 2015, which will start on October 1.

As you know, without regular order — if all budgetary items should be rolled into one giant “omnibus” bill — the House will not be able easily to defund the implementation of the president’s unconstitutional immigration lawmaking — nor his many other intrusive rules nor his job-killing EPA regulations. 

Angelo Codevilla points out — 

“Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).”

Q: And will you then speak for — and vote for — defunding the implementation of the president’s “executive actions” rewriting our immigration laws?

II — Changing The Course Of The GOP:

Senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions has called on his colleagues here to embrace a “humble and honest populism” and say “’no’ to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.”

“The GOP lost the [2012] election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Many conservatives, however, see the House GOP too often simply as the voice of the national Chamber of Commerce — Big Immigration, Big Government, Big Education, and Crony Capitalism.

Q: What steps will you take to steer the House Republican Conference toward the interests of working Americans of all ethnicities  — as senator Sessions urges?

III – – The leadership of the House GOP:

Many conservatives are gravely disappointed by the leadership of the Speaker:

  • By his abdicating, since the House GOP came to power in January of 2011, the House’s power of the purse here;
  • By his toxic immigration schemes here and here;
  • By his lack of dedication — since January of 2011 — to repealing Obamacare here;
  • By his attachment to crony-capitalism, as seen in the nearly $1 trillion 949-page farm and food-stamp bill here that the House approved last January here;
  • By his unconscionable delay here in belatedly naming a select committee here intended to get all the facts out on Benghazi;
  • By his apparent indifference to appropriations that are facilitating the destruction here of Christians in Syria here and here;
  • By his allowing our national defense to weaken significantly through the House passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Q: Will you vote for John Boehner as Speaker in the coming Congress?

IV –Impeachment:

The House of Representatives has two sovereign remedies to cope with runaway presidents: 1) the power of the purse, and thus of withholding appropriations for specific activities, as Angelo Codevilla explains here; and 2) the impeachment power here, which, as constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy points out here and here might first be exercised on subordinate executive branch officials, even if there is not (yet) sufficient support for impeaching the chief executive.

Q: Would you vote for the impeachment of this attorney general? Or of the IRS chief and senior officials involved in (McCarthy’s words) “either the revenue agency’s blatantly unconstitutional harassment of taxpayers over their political beliefs or the executive branch’s willful obstruction of Congress’s investigation of the scandal?”

Good hunting! —  as you track down your (we hope) not too elusive House GOP nominee to pose a fair question or two.

And we would be delighted to hear of your success via our email!

(This post has been slightly expanded since press time last evening.)

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 21 Aug 2014

Grassroots Take Action! Two Weeks & Days Until Congress Returns

“One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.” –Thomas Sowell

The Congress’ August vacation will end on Monday September 8.

But, when they return, will at least Republican members have heard and understood conservative priorities?

Politico’s Jake Sherman reports here, for example, in What John Boehner’s not saying on the road”

“In the opening days of the tour, Boehner only once talked about President Barack Obama’s health care law, and it was an offhand remark. He said entitlement programs need ‘tweaks,’ not the massive overhaul Republicans have voted for. There was no explicit mention of suing Obama — just a brief nod to trying to ‘stop the president’s overreach.'” . . . “In an interview this week with POLITICO, Boehner explained the strategy, and said his party doesn’t talk enough about how it wants to govern. He said he’s pushed members to ‘talk more about solutions’ in the months leading up to the November election.”

By way of contrast, Victor Davis Hanson yesterday summed up the situation in the real world in his NRO post “All Fall Down” here

“Consider our dog days of August: An American journalist savagely beheaded on tape, with more promised to come. The Islamic State rampage. The Gaza war and Hamas’s serial truce violations — and the new neutral U.S. stance with implied disruptions in military support for Israel. The implosion of Iraq, the bloodletting in Syria. Iran full speed ahead on enrichment as the world’s attention turns elsewhere. Putin and Ukraine on the edge of war. Libya bombed again. Egypt in turmoil. Christians being wiped away in the Middle East. Ebola spreading in Africa. China squaring off with Japan. Germany angry at being tapped while tapping others. What exactly happened to Private Bergdahl or the five terrorists who were freed for his freedom?
At least there is calm at home?
Hardly: food, gas, and electricity prices are at near all-time highs; a stagnant economy in ‘recovery’ that for most people outside of Wall Street remains recessionary; government soon to be run by executive orders; the end of any idea of national sovereignty or a southern border; the Ferguson riots and racial explosions revealing an America more divided than at any time since the 1970s; the buffoonish Missouri governor Nixon playing the Katrina role of a now imprisoned Ray Nagin. The alphabet soup of unresolved IRS, VA, NSA, and AP scandals; revolutionary, extra-legal justice meted out to Rick Perry; Benghazi coming back into the news; the little reported on drip-by-drip practical dissolution of Obamacare.”

Between today and September 8, conservatives should call up Republican House members they know, and ask how they plan to use their power of the purse to derail the president’s use of “executive action” to rewrite or ignore current immigration law. 

Earlier this  month, we detailed the background on the House’s lamentable failure properly to employ their power of the purse in our “Getting Ready To Stop Obama Amnesty Overreach” here–

“But if the House is to defund implementing the president’s amnesty overreach through so-called executive action contrary to existing law, House GOP members must start work to stop the overreach now — not in September.”

But Breitbart’s Tony Lee this Monday reported here in “Sessions Calls Out Big Business for Pushing Amnesty After Laying Off US Workers”–

“Companies that have recently laid off workers are scheming to get President Barack Obama to give them more guest-worker visas by executive action. After the New York Times reported that Obama is working on crafting executive actions behind closed doors after having met with representatives from ‘Oracle, Cisco, Fwd.US, Microsoft, Accenture, Compete America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,’[**] which Politico detailed, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) blasted the White House for ‘actively working against the interests of the American worker.'” . . . “Sessions noted that ‘same group of CEOs who helped write the Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill in secret is now scheming with the White House to extract by executive fiat what was denied to them by the American people and Congress.'” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

As Andrew McCarthy declared

“Our Washington ruling class does not see itself as bound by our quaint Constitution. When a Republican eventually wins the White House, expect the same rule by decree.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

If you have already been in touch with the House GOP members (or nominees) you know during the August Congressional vacation, we would welcome hearing from you about your experience.

Where appropriate — we would like to pass along your experience — “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Email us here.

* * * * *

** Readers may also want to ask any House GOP members or nominees (e.g., Barbara Comstock here in Virginia 10) who accept US Chamber of Commerce endorsements — why they do so in light of the Chamber’s record. In addition to the Chamber’s immigration-expansion lobbying, Daniel Horowitz here lists the Chamber’s shameful record of favoring crony capitalism and big government.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 08 Aug 2014

VA Tea Partiers & Ed Gillespie: Chance For Course Correction?

This morning someone dropped in our mailbox a report about the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation meeting with GOP Senate nominee Ed Gillespie a week ago.

Travis Witt, the Federation’s chief, declared–

“I am a principled pragmatist. Ed Gillespie was not my choice for Virginia Senator, nor the choice for many Tea Party folk. But do we as conservatives decide to stay home and not participate in the election process because we do not have a perfect candidate?”

Scroll down for the text of the Witt Report.

But first, here is our take–

The good Mr. Witt is missing an opportunity: the choice is not a static one, simply between incumbent senator Mark Warner and whatever may be the current incarnation of Ed Gillespie.

The wiser path is to use conservative voter leverage to get Mr. Gillespie publicly to commit now to firm conservative positions.

If we can’t move Ed Gillespie to an explicit and principled constitutional path now, we surely won’t be able to do it when he is in office!

Last Friday’s meeting’s first question should have been — “if elected, will you vote for Mitch McConnell and his team as Senate GOP leaders?”

The meeting’s second question should have been — “how are you now supporting senator Jeff Sessions’ call to stop the president’s lawless overreach through executive action on immigration?”

Overall the Gillespie answers ( in the Witt Report) on crucial issues are simply sound bites with much wiggle room, not arresting insights. 

For example–

“Repeal” Obamacare?  How and when? By trying to defund it through returning the appropriations process to regular order?  A sound goal working with other conservative GOP senators. But Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran (presumptive appropriations panel chief or ranking member) and Lamar Alexander will likely be pushing back. Certainly not, one hopes, by waiting until Mitt Romney is president?

The tone of the Witt Report does not reflect the gravity of the president’s use of “executive action” to usurp the Constitution.

The tone does not even reflect the struggle in the House last week finally to take legislative action (H.R. 5272 however symbolic) against DACA — House legislative action inspired by senator Jeff Sessions!

Mr. Witt’s conservativism is well-established. He personally opposed Eric Cantor and recognizes here the local consequences of the bleeding southern border. Thus we must conclude that the following list of loosely defined and undifferentiated issues reflects some grab-bag thinking in last Friday’s meeting.

The Witt Report

 “On Friday evening August 1st, 12 Tea Party leaders from several organizations in Central Virginia met with Ed Gillespie in Lynchburg, VA. Here is a synopsis of Ed’s comments about a multitude of issues (randomly ordered, pick your preference) concerning Tea Party organizations.
Amnesty – Secure the border first. Immigrants must follow the legal process
Slating – Wrong; should not have been used
Balanced Budget Amendment – Supports passage and will introduce legislation if elected
Earmarks – does not support earmarks nor will he request them for Virginia if elected
Constitution – In all decisions, Ed stated he will follow the Constitution.
Term limits – Ed believes in citizen legislators and would term limit himself to 2 terms as Senator.
Obamacare – Repeal – Obamacare is a fatally flawed system designed to fail so that a single payer plan can be initiated. Return Healthcare to the private sector, implement tort reform, make health insurance competitive across state lines, and encourage individual medical savings accounts.
Karl Rove – disagrees with his actions that have created division in the Republican Party
Department of Education – Education needs to be returned to the local level and more should be done to encourage charter schools. Ed was not willing to provide tax credits to homeschoolers because doing so would give government the incentive necessary to regulate families having received a tax credit.
EPA – Rules and regulations affecting economic growth must be stopped.
Keystone – build the pipeline
IRS – broken and needs to be changed
NSA – Faulty, must be restricted, and needs to have opponent representation on FISA “courts”
In my opinion, Ed’s answers provide enough information for Tea Party folks to support and vote for him when compared to the voting record of Mark Warner. Ed is willing to listen to Tea Party if we have concerns about his comments and stances. Warner will not. Ed stated that he would attend as many local Tea Party meetings as his schedule will allow between now and November 4.
I am a principled pragmatist. Ed Gillespie was not my choice for Virginia Senator, nor the choice for many Tea Party folk. But do we as conservatives decide to stay home and not participate in the election process because we do not have a perfect candidate?
The current climate of government and politics in America did not happen overnight or in a vacuum; it has been a gradual process taking many decades. It will not be rectified in one election cycle and it will never be rectified if we refuse to remain engaged.
Can Gillespie say more to encourage support from Tea Party activists? Of course. Will Mark Warner continue to do damage to this nation if re-elected? Absolutely. Unless we want to see Mark Warner as a potential Clinton running mate in 2016 and a voter for liberal SCOTUS judges, then his defeat in November 2014 is needed. Ed Gillespie is the only candidate in the race for Virginia Senate that has the potential to defeat Mark Warner. Sarvis can’t. And Ed cannot win if conservatives stay at home.
By the way, I refuse to be a Bill Bolling. I do not have everything I want in a candidate, but I will not sit out an election cycle and in so doing, indirectly aid and support Mark Warner whose voting record supports the destruction of principles (Declaration of Independence) and procedures (Constitution) that made America the nation I love and want to see flourish for my children.
Rev. Travis Witt
Chair, Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation”

No, “Ed cannot win if conservatives stay home,” as Mr. Witt declares.

And conservatives cannot win** if they send to the Senate for six years yet another uncritical poodle of Mitch McConnell and the GOP Senate leadership — especially this candidate who has spent his professional life in the bowels of the GOP Establishment. As we noted in 2009 – -

“He has a record of helping hike taxes in Virginia, he has a strong record in behalf of more open immigration, and he is, according to the Manchester Union Leader, on record in behalf of larger government

But both can win- –  if Virginia conservatives use their voting leverage now to get the old Ed Gillespie to come to a better mind by demanding that he detail:

  • and how he will confront the president’s lawless “executive actions.”

The Tea Partiers participating in last Friday’s meeting might want to revisit senator Jeff Sessions’ letter here to his colleagues urging the GOP  “to adopt a humble and honest populism”–

The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying ‘no’ to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Virginia conservatives must encourage Mr. Gillespie publicly to choose voters over destructive donors or supporters. 

In doing so, both conservatives and the candidate will help the Republic start on an overdue course correction.

 * * * * * * * * * *

** Unless, of course, they believe Republican Big Government and Political Correctness are markedly preferable to Democratic Big Government and Political Correctness.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 07 Aug 2014

August Recess: Getting Ready To Stop Obama Amnesty Overreach

“More important is that the Republican leadership, by acquiescing in the practice of funding the government by Continuing Resolutions rather than by individual appropriations has emasculated the most virile means by which mankind has ever limited government.”  –Angelo Codevilla, Continuing Appropriations Resolutions Subvert Limited Government.

Conservatives have until Monday, September 8, to bring the House GOP members they know to a new mindset determined to defund promptly the implementation of the president’s current and future “executive actions” on immigration.

Last Friday the House passed H.R. 5272 here, a bill to check the president’s policy of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has contributed to the invasion of our southern border. 

As senator Sessions suggests, via Matthew Boyle’s “Exclusive–Jeff Sessions: New Media Leading Way to Defeat Establishment’s Amnesty,” it will be a (necessary) struggle to get the Obama-Administration-led Senate to take up this crucial measure. 

In the meantime, a solution to realizing at least some of the objectives of this measure would be to defund future DACA activities in the pertinent FY 2015 (starting October 1, 2014) appropriations bills, and to defund the issuing of work permits to any alien not lawfully admitted into the United States in line with the House-passed H.R. 5272.

Last week, we asked

“What would be the larger result of failing to stop the president’s executive actions?
Living in a society where the rule of law has suffered a near mortal blow — and not just on immigration matters.
Andrew McCarthy has declared
‘Our Washington ruling class does not see itself as bound by our quaint Constitution. When a Republican eventually wins the White House, expect the same rule by decree.’
Explained senator Jeff Sessions–
Congress has repeatedly rejected amnesty legislation, and that is why Obama has ‘no power’ to enact executive amnesty that is ‘breathtaking in its overreach.’
Calling for a ‘public refutation’ of Obama’s proposed actions, Sessions said the American people, when ‘on alert and when they speak out,’ can stop Obama from enacting unilateral actions that would be ‘plainly and utterly unlawful and unconstitutional were he to do so.’
Sessions said if ‘Obama eviscerates plain law’ by enacting more executive actions, the next president can say that, declare that even more people can come to the country illegally. 
‘This goes to the very core of law,’ Sessions said. ‘And if we allow that to occur and if the president does such a thing, there is no moral authority to enforce any law in the future and all of our laws will be weakened.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The House of Representatives has two sovereign remedies to cope with runaway presidents: 1)  the power of the purse, and thus of withholding appropriations for specific activities, as Angelo Codevilla explains here; and 2) the impeachment power, which, as Andrew McCarthy points out here, might first be exercised on subordinate executive branch officials, even if there is not (yet) sufficient support for impeaching the chief executive.

Author and former Senate staffer Codevilla illuminates the current appropriations process — how we fail to use the power of the purse — and why we need to return to “regular order” in considering national legislation.

“Until circa 1990, Americans had taken seriously the relationship between appropriations and democracy. House and Senate used to divide the Executive departments’ requests for funds and programs into multiple categories and sub-categories. Then many committees and subcommittees held hearings on each item, followed by ‘mark-up’ sessions in which each would be modified and voted on. Thereafter, the full House and Senate would debate, amend, approve or disapprove them, one by one. This was “regular order” – more or less as described in civics books.
This changed at first gradually in the 1980s, when Democrats (and Republicans) who were resisting the Reagan Administration’s efforts to trim government figured out that individual appropriations bills delayed until the end of the fiscal year could be rolled together into ‘omnibus’ bills. These could be advertised as merely ‘continuing’ the current year’s programs and spending levels. In reality, these all-in-one bills 1) protected current programs from scrutiny, amendment, or repeal 2) were stuffed with new favors, programs, provisions and priorities that could not have survived an open process. Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).
This especially empowers Presidents and the interests aligned with him. So long as his allies control at least one house of Congress, they can make regular appropriations impossible, force the government to operate under CRs, and shape the CRs with the threat of a Presidential veto of any that contain items of which he disapproves. Then he can accuse those who insist on displeasing him with ‘shutting down the government,’ without entering into the substantive merits of the programs at issue. Incidentally, CRs also empower governmental bureaucracies and their clients. Thus, they effectively transfer sovereignty from the people to the government.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The Speaker of the House, of course, plans on keeping the “continuing resolution” model. The Hill’s Cristina Marcos reported on July 24 —

“House leaders had discussed voting on a short-term spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), as soon as next week. Boehner said he expected the funding bill would keep the government operating into the lame-duck session after the midterm elections.”
But if the House is to defund implementing the president’s amnesty overreach through so-called executive action contrary to existing law, House GOP members must start work to stop the overreach now — not in September.
For the present, however, we shouldn’t put aside the impeachment power, but instead weigh using it against the worst of the president’s lieutenants. And we must go back to appropriations “regular order” so the House can once again effectively exercise the constitutional power of the purse.
There is no guarantee that the GOP will take back the Senate. Even if it does, its likely GOP leadership, to put it charitably, does not have strong conservative inclinations. 
* * * * * *

We’ll write more on defunding other Obama Administration programs or regulations (including Obamacare) that cannot be allowed to become established, or further continued. These range from shutting down coal mining; to Federal control of local zoning; to the U.S. supporting here and here — directly or indirectly — Middle East jihadists slaughtering Christians and Jews.

 

 

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 28 Jul 2014

Energizing The House GOP: This Week Our Voices Must Count!

UPDATE AFTER PRESS TIME! Sessions Calls On All Colleagues To Block President’s Planned Amnesty & Work Permits” YouTube today here.

* * * * * * * * * *

Immigration Crisis — Energizing The House GOP: This Week Our Voices Must Count!

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) warned his colleagues in Congress that Americans will vote them out of office in November if they do not act this week to thwart President Barack Obama’s plans to grant work permits and amnesty to up to eight million more Americans via executive fiat.
‘In November, some people are going to be wondering how their political heads were severed from their shoulders if they don’t listen to what the American people are saying,’ [senator Jeff] Sessions declared on Breitbart News Sunday.” (Highlighting Forum’s.) Tony Lee

This courageous senior Republican senator is certainly right about the electoral consequences to politicians who fail to act now to stop the president’s current and planned executive actions on immigration.

Conservatives should also weigh, moreover, the freedom consequences to their own families if they fail to persuade the House GOP members (here or here) they may know to stand fast against the president’s executive actions on immigration.

What would be the larger result of failing to stop the president’s executive actions?

Living in a society where the rule of law has suffered a near mortal blow — and not just on immigration matters.

As Andrew McCarthy has declared

“Our Washington ruling class does not see itself as bound by our quaint Constitution. When a Republican eventually wins the White House, expect the same rule by decree.”

Explained senator Jeff Sessions yesterday–

[A]ny border bill that passes the Senate or the House ‘should have in it language that bars any president from expending any money to carry out’ amnesty proposals. Sessions noted that Congress has repeatedly rejected amnesty legislation, and that is why Obama has ‘no power’ to enact executive amnesty that is ‘breathtaking in its overreach.’
Calling for a ‘public refutation’ of Obama’s proposed actions, Sessions said the American people, when ‘on alert and when they speak out,’ can stop Obama from enacting unilateral actions that would be ‘plainly and utterly unlawful and unconstitutional were he to do so.’
Sessions said if ‘Obama eviscerates plain law’ by enacting more executive actions, the next president can say that, declare that even more people can come to the country illegally. 
‘This goes to the very core of law,’ Sessions said. ‘And if we allow that to occur and if the president does such a thing, there is no moral authority to enforce any law in the future and all of our laws will be weakened.'” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Last Friday, the Alabama senator spelled out the larger context–

“’The American people have begged and pleaded for years for our laws to be enforced,’ Sessions said in his statement. ‘We have people in our own country living in violence, fear and poverty every single day. They have demanded an immigration policy that puts their jobs, wages and communities first. Every citizen should pick up the phone and ask of their congressional representative: where do you stand?’
 Sessions said that it would be wrong for any member of the House or Senate to support any border crisis bill that doesn’t end DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and block the president from expanding it.
 ‘No Member—House or Senate, Democrat of Republican—should support any bill with respect to the border crisis that does not include language explicitly prohibiting the Administration from taking such action,’ Sessions said. ‘Congress must foreclose any possibility of these unlawful executive actions before congressional funding is granted. This is an essential precondition.'” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Recall that the House of Representatives has two sovereign remedies to cope with runaway administrations: the power of the purse and thus of withholding appropriations for specific activities as Angelo Codevilla explains here; and the impeachment power, which, as Andrew McCarthy points out here, might first be exercised on subordinate executive branch officials, even if there is not (yet) sufficient support for impeaching the chief executive.

* * * * * * * * * *

As every state is now likely to become a border state, readers may wish to visit the following presentation here on the invasion of our bleeding and neglected southern border with Mexico:  Border Patrol veteran Zack Taylor’s in-great-depth briefing on the criminal (and worse) penetration of our border with Mexico. Taylor asks how the interaction of money and power prevents the securing of this area so crucial to our security and our sovereignty.

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