Feed on Posts or Comments 22 October 2014

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.

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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.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 24 Jul 2014

Borders & Constitution Crisis:Tomorrow AM House GOP Summit

UPDATE! Pete Kasperowicz in TheBlaze here “Boehner indicates no room for Ted Cruz border plan in House bill”all the more reason for conservatives to have a heart-to-heart with the GOP members they know right away!

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Borders & Constitution Crisis: Tomorrow AM House GOP Summit

 

Breitbart’s “House GOP to Hold Border Crisis Summit”–

“House GOP leadership will be holding a border crisis summit at 9 a.m. Friday morning, Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel announced in an email to reporters on Thursday.’The House Republican Conference will hold a meeting tomorrow morning at 9 AM to continue discussing the humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and the menu of recommendations developed by the Working Group led by Rep. Kay Granger,’ Steel wrote.”

Investigative journalist Boyle underscored the fact that –

“A number of key conservatives, especially Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), have criticized the Boehner working group plan, noting a press release announcing it does not mention President Barack Obama’s name. Sessions, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are leading a push to confront Obama’s use of executive actions on immigration in the bill.”

In a closely related post here today, “Fleming To Boehner: Don’t Give Obama Border Bill Until He Rescinds Executive Amnesty,” Boyle explained what House conservatives see as essentials for border-crisis legislation–

  • “Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), an influential conservative member, wrote to Speaker John Boehner and other members of House GOP leadership to urge them to drop plans for a new border crisis bill until President Barack Obama rescinds his executive orders that administratively have granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in America.”
  • “Fleming called for three steps that must happen before the House considers any legislation. First, he said, Obama must ‘declare an end’ to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Second, he said that President Obama must use the ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause in the 2008 anti-human trafficking law that many have blamed for this crisis to deport the illegal alien children back to their home countries. Third, Fleming called on Obama to join Texas Gov. Rick Perry in deploying the National Guard along the entire U.S. border with Mexico to ‘secure the border and turn back all illegal crossers.’  Perry deployed the National Guard along Texas’ border with Mexico, but Fleming wants the National Guard along the full border, which includes New Mexico, Arizona and California in addition to Texas.”
  • “Last week, Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) hand-delivered a letter to every member of Congress warning them against taking any actions that don’t get at the root of the problem: Obama’s executive amnesties.”
  • “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined Sessions’ call by offering a bill that would bar the administration from furthering pursuing DACA or other executive amnesties by blocking funding for documents the administration would need to create. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) offered the House companion of the Cruz bill, both of which have been gaining cosponsors in their respective chambers of Congress.” (Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

You can read this entire Boyle post here.

This afternoon and early evening offer an opportunity for conservatives to help Maryland here and Virginia here House GOP members stay focused on the essentials: protecting our Constitution and  our sovereignty. If we can’t make the time to talk with our members about this on-going national catastrophe on our southern border, we will be as delinquent as the president.

And before you talk to a member, please listen to the compelling YouTube of Zack Taylor of the association of former border patrol officers,

For even more background, see our earlier posts–

 

 

Homeland Defense Richard Falknor on 16 Jul 2014

UPDATED! Can The House GOP Protect Us From The Obama Youth Invasion?

UPDATE!  Here is an agenda “No Money Until President Obama Acts” recently compiled by immigration-control experts of 28 steps the president should take to address the border crisis.

* * * * * * * * * *

Can The House GOP Protect Us From The Obama Youth Invasion?

“Republicans in DC have chosen to be a legislative opposition, rather than a political opposition. They don’t articulate an alternative vision of the role of government and law in our society but, rather, a different basket of legislation and proposals. Is is any wonder that House Democrats are raising more money than House Republicans for the midterm elections? Contrast that with how Republican governors are running fundraising rings around state Democrats. Voters want to support a vision, not a laundry list of legislative proposals. . . .The political and humanitarian crisis currently unfolding at the border is exactly what happens when a large segment of the government simply abandons its job. It is the result of years of unserious policy debate and short-term political expediency. Republicans, unfortunately, have no idea how to respond.” (Highlighting Forum’s)    Breitbart’s Mike Flynn in GOP Lost at the Border

The House Republican leadership, unfortunately, apparently lacks the required vision to cope with the White House and Senate Big-Immigration-induced youth invasion. 

Consequently the GOP base and allied independent conservatives will have to weigh in themselves to help guide the House leadership (and to offset the influence of the billionaire pro-amnesty donors) if the tide of illegals is to be stemmed.

This afternoon we learn from Breitbart’s Jonathan Strong here that “Boehner’s Border Group Delays Report As It Broadens Focus, Reviews ‘Wish Lists'”–

“Noting the group had failed to meet prior self-imposed deadlines, Granger said Wednesday only that she [Republican Representative Kay Granger of Texas] hoped the House would pass the resulting bill – or, potentially two bills, she allowed – before lawmakers depart for the August recess.”

Senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions sent out a magisterial letter Monday to all members of the Congress.

Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle explains here in his “Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has warned all of his colleagues in Congress that President Barack Obama’s new immigration strategy—his plans to legalize millions of illegal alien adults through executive power—could destroy America as we know it”–

‘I write to inform you of a development that threatens the foundation of our constitutional Republic,’ Sessions, Congress’s top immigration hawk, wrote in a letter that was hand-delivered to all 535 members of Congress on Monday and provided exclusively to Breitbart News.
Sessions cites a recent report from the National Journal, in which reporter Major Garrett detailed how, despite the ongoing crisis at the border, Obama plans to legalize anywhere from five to six million illegal alien adults in much the same way he did for illegal alien minors through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in summer 2012.
‘Obama made it clear he would press his executive powers to the limit,’ Garrett wrote on July 3, as cited by Sessions. ‘He gave quiet credence to recommendations from La Raza and other immigration groups that between 5 million to 6 million adult illegal immigrants could be spared deportation under a similar form of deferred adjudication he ordered for the so-called Dreamers in June 2012.’
Sessions cites another paragraph from that National Journal piece as well, in which Garrett reported that President Obama has ‘now ordered the Homeland Security and Justice departments to find executive authorities that could enlarge that non-prosecutorial umbrella by a factor of 10.’ ‘Senior officials also tell me Obama wants to see what he can do with executive power to provide temporary legal status to undocumented adults,’ Garrett wrote.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Alabama senator Sessions declares (see full text of letter within Breitbart post here)–

“… there is a clear path forward to prevent the continued dissolution of America’s borders. Certainly, DACA and the president’s other numerous unlawful policies must be terminated. But as a first step, Congress must not acquiesce to spending more taxpayer dollars until the President unequivocally rescinds his threat of more illegal executive action.
Congress must demand that the President use his lawful powers to begin enforcing the law now — instead of passing legislation on the promise of future enforcement –and that he back down from his plan to widen his disastrous DACA program, which would of course escalate the existing border disaster to unthinkable proportions.
If Congress simply passes a supplemental spending bill without these preconditions, it is not a question of if the President will suspend more immigration laws, but only how many he will suspend. Congress cannot surrender to this lawlessness. Acting in defense of Congress, our constituents, and their communities, we must stand firm. This transcends politics. It is about our duty as constitutional office holders. It is about the solemn oath we all took as members of Congress.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

In a post here yesterday, Matthew Boyle reports “Key Amnesty Critic Warns: Border Bill Could Open Door to Dreaded Conference Committee”–

“While the 2008 law has dominated discussions about legislative remedies to the border crisis, in which 57,000 unaccompanied children have been smuggled into the U.S. so far this year resulting in frequent abuse and a significant number of deaths, many immigration hawks say the 2008 law is a red herring distraction from the larger cause of the majority of these problems: President Obama’s widespread rejection of enforcement of American immigration laws. Tuesday evening, Numbers USA director of government relations, Rosemary Jenks, warned that Cornyn’s plan could open up the Congress to the entire Gang of Eight bill again via a conference committee. ‘Cornyn, like so many other Republicans, has been distracted by this shiny object, which is the 2008 anti-trafficking law,’ Jenks added in a phone interview. ‘It is just ridiculous to assume that changing this law that affects less than 20 percent of all the illegals coming across the border right now is going to fix the problem.’ On Wednesday morning, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published a new report arguing that the 2008 law is inapplicable to the current crisis at the border as pushed by the Obama administration and certain members of Congress.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Jenks also warned–

“The House bill could be introduced by the end of the week and voted on as early as next week. That’s a pathway that Jenks warns could open up the entire Gang of Eight bill again. ‘If it goes through the House first, it will be conferenced in the Senate,’ Jenks told Breitbart News. ‘Think about what that means. I cannot imagine why people don’t get this. McCain and Graham and Schumer are talking in the pages of The New York Times about how they will attach part or all of their bill to whatever comes through on this. … This is why the whole idea that you can do targeted policy changes is ludicrous.'” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Finally, savvy Congress watcher Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project cautioned todayRepublicans Must Avoid Shiny Objects in Immigration Debate” here

“Republicans in Washington have been stymied by the President’s impertinence towards the rule of law and disrespect for the legislative authority of Congress.  The only tool that Congress can utilize against an imperial presidency is the power of the purse, yet Republicans have been reluctant to engage in such brinkmanship.  But now the President has given Republicans their best point of leverage yet–he is asking for new funding to clean up the immigration mess created by his lawless amnesties.  It’s time Republicans embrace the leverage instead of squandering it.
In June 2011, the Obama administration sent a memo (‘Morton Memos’) to DHS law enforcement ostensibly suspending deportations against those illegals who would qualify for the Dream Act–a law that never passed Congress.  This policy, which was eventually formalized into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was fully institutionalized on June 15, 2012.
It’s bad enough for a president to violate even minor laws and serve as his own ad hoc law-making body.  But it is downright dangerous for a president to shred our immigration laws, which are so fundamental to preserving our sovereignty and protecting our national security.  Obama was clearly in violation of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1225) which requires ICE to place aliens who are not ‘clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted’ to the United States into removal proceedings.  In its place, he unilaterally created his own law, yet most Republicans huffed and puffed but did not fight back with the power of the purse.
Fast-forward two years and we are now witnessing the failure of such lawlessness in spectacular fashion. Hundreds of thousands of people from Central America are chomping at the bit to take advantage of the new open borders policy while the going is good.  Now Obama is forced to ask Congress for more money to ‘clean up’ his mess.  It goes without saying that the first demand of all Republicans should be the suspension of DACA and the repeal of Obama’s other lawless acts–the very impetus for this request for funding.(Highlighting Forum’s)

The message to House GOP members: appropriate no money to fix the president’s border mess until he rescinds the DACA and other unlawful immigration programs.

Equally important, approve no legislation to which the Senate can then attach their open-borders schemes.

In view of the gravity of the border invasion and the continuing dispersion of young illegals throughout the US, should the House not remain in session throughout August and later–until the current crisis is under control?

The House leadership shouldn’t hurry that chamber into perilous and unnecessary legislative “fixes” for the invasion, bills few would have read — just to get home for summer vacation.

As senator Sessions points out, this is a constitutional crisis.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 14 Jul 2014

House Judiciary Chief Bob Goodlatte “Clueless on Impeachment”?

“‘We are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment,’ Goodlatte told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on ‘This Week’ Sunday. ‘The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the President of the United States. He has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that.’” — Kari Rea

Today constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy took Virginia’s Sixth District Representative Bob Goodlatte to task here in author McCarthy’s PJM post “GOP’s House Judiciary Chairman Clueless on Impeachment.”

Some key McCarthy points – –

  • The Beltway fixture that Republicans have placed in charge of the House Judiciary Committee—i.e., the committee that, by its own description, functions as ‘the lawyer for the House of Representatives,’ and claims an ‘infrequent but important role in impeachment proceedings’—is ignorant when it comes to the Constitution’s impeachment standard.”
  • “In point of fact, no ‘criminal acts’ are necessary before a president may be impeached.”
  • The concept conveyed by ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ is executive maladministration, whether out of imperiousness, corruption or incompetence. In that sense, it is more redolent of military justice offenses than criminal acts that violate the penal code. Like a soldier, one who owes fiduciary responsibility is liable for acts that would not be considered criminal wrongs if committed by an ordinary civilian. Dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, profound deceitfulness, and the failure to honor an oath, to take a few obvious examples, would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors even if they might not be indictable offenses if committed by one in whom high public trust was not reposed.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)

 McCarthy objects to impeachment of this president right now as a prudential  matter, but not because impeachment requires “criminal acts” –

“Consequently, it makes sense that the House is not ‘drawing up articles of impeachment,’ as Rep. Goodlatte took pains to assure George Stephanopoulos. Impeachment is a political remedy involving the stripping of political authority, not the proof of crimes. In that most important of senses, it is a matter of public will.
At the moment, there is not widespread popular support for impeaching President Obama; thus, as I argue in Faithless Execution, it would be counterproductive for the House to file articles of impeachment. If it took such a step—before building political support by focusing the public on the full extent of executive lawlessness and why it is such a threat to our liberties and our system of government—the president would easily prevail in a Senate trial. The administration and the media would spin that outcome as an endorsement of Obama’s imperial presidency. The result: those who had set out trying to rein in presidential lawlessness would inadvertently have encouraged more of it.”

Former Federal prosecutor McCarthy puts the president’s lawlessness into the larger picture–

“The precedents for executive domination that President Obama is setting will be available for exploitation by every future president, regardless of party. Goodlatte admits the president does not execute the laws faithfully—the president’s main domestic duty—but does not see that as a ground for impeachment. Got that? He’s not saying, ‘Look, we don’t have the political support necessary to proceed with impeachment'; he is saying rampant presidential lawlessness does not constitute a legal basis for impeachment.

Last month Andrew McCarthy recommended “a practical step” here in his NRO post “Boehner Issues Memo Explaining His Feckless Plan to Sue Obama”–

“I had a column on the homepage yesterday about a practical step congressional Republicans could take to combat the rampant presidential lawlessness I’ve documented in Faithless Execution — to wit, they can start impeaching subordinate executive branch officials who have been involved in either (or both) the IRS abuse of Americans over their political beliefs or the cover-up of that constitutional affront, which has involved misleading testimony, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.”

McCarthy also summed up what he saw as the GOP Establishment’s thinking–

“Boehner and Beltway Republicans are essentially saying, ‘We can’t use our power because Obama and his media friends would say mean things about us. But our lunatic conservative base is demanding action. So let us file a lawsuit so we can say we did something. Who knows . . . maybe in a year or two we’ll get lucky and get a favorable ruling against Obama that can’t be enforced without Obama’s help.'”

We agree with McCarthy when he declares that —

“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.”

But we also believe that the House GOP leadership does not want any serious “distractions” (from a quiet ride to the November 4 elections) arising from even second-level impeachment proceedings, from serious appropriations cuts that might “shut down the government,” or even perhaps from unexpected but blockbuster Benghazi revelations.

As we noted last Friday, Judiciary panel chief Goodlatte said on June 16  (here via Tony Lee at Breitbart)–

“Goodlatte acknowledged that if there is not an ‘an overwhelming majority’ of Republicans who support various amnesty and immigration bills, then ‘we have to have some Democrats come and support us.’
‘We’ve already passed four bills out of the committee,’ he said. ‘I believe that there is bipartisan support for those and for other bills that would come along behind those bills.

This is clearly chairman Goodlatte’s preferred path — to immigration “reform”.

Consequently he will continue blaming the president for the border crisis, but not push for a confrontation with the White House to stem the invasion.

Follow Bob Goodlatte’s nimble rhetoric as the border crisis comes to a crunch in the House!

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 11 Jul 2014

Borders & Sovereignty In Peril; But Are Top GOP Members Lost?

Most conservative citizens, Republican, Independent, or old-fashioned Democrat, are deeply troubled by the sovereignty crisis on our southern border and are eager to get as much news as possible to do what they can to help stem the invasion.

What Is REALLY Happening on Our Southern Border: Chapter and Verse

Read here Zack Taylor’s (The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, Inc.) “Independence Day 2014 Advisory to America”. 

It’s not pretty, but read it all. Below is an excerpt on one part of the threat–

“The equation is simple, cocaine and heroin are grown and produced outside of the United States then smuggled across our borders before being placed in the hands of trusted foreign representatives inside the United States for distribution to every hamlet, town and city in America through a network that could teach Wal-Mart a thing or two about distribution. America is the largest illegal drug and alien market in the world and transnational criminals have virtually unlimited resources to protect and enlarge their organizations. Illegal Immigration is a large part of how they accomplish their business model inside the United States which is likely why the War On Drugs failed in that they can replace gaps in the supply chain almost instantly through illegal or legal immigration. The preponderance of the violence in our cities is directly related to the supply of illegal drugs from foreign countries. The root problem is that this organized crime model of illegal immigration is ignored and allowed to flourish.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Too few House GOP members, however, propose any kind of concrete House of Representatives-driven solution.

The GOP rhetoric of many members, of course, is full of the obligatory blaming of the president (who richly deserves it), but overlooks the complicity of their own leadership in pushing Big Immigration.

We have this old-fashioned expectation that at least Republican nominees for — and incumbents in — the U.S. House of Representatives are there first to protect our liberties.  Here is their oath:

‘I, AB, do solemnly swear (or Affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’ (Underscoring Forum’s.)

GOP election pitches, explicit or implicit, which market the candidate’s deal-making skill and ability to “reach across the aisle” for “common sense solutions” seem tone deaf while the Republic is under siege.

Meanwhile, Back in Maryland and Virginia

Here is a local 10th Congressional District of Virginia GOP committee touting House nominee Barbara Comstock and suggesting she can hustle more for Loudoun County.

What can local Republican apparatchiks be thinking, pushing pork at a time like this?

In fairness, Mrs. Comstock is probably no different from too many other GOP House nominees or incumbents across America in having no discernible concrete proposals for the Congress to try to stem this threat to our citizens’ security. 

Only Virginia 7 GOP nominee David Brat has been addressing head-on the bi-partisan open-borders push and the consequences of that destructive policy.

Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte has a wish list for the president here but no specific recommendations for the House itself to act — to bring to bear its primacy of place in controlling the public purse, or its power of impeaching the president’s servants who can be held accountable for implementing lawless policies.

But we know where Mr. Goodlatte’s heart is.

As Judiciary panel chief Goodlatte reportedly said on June 16  (here via Tony Lee at Breitbart)–

“Goodlatte acknowledged that if there is not an ‘an overwhelming majority’ of Republicans who support various amnesty and immigration bills, then ‘we have to have some Democrats come and support us.’
‘We’ve already passed four bills out of the committee,’ he said. ‘I believe that there is bipartisan support for those and for other bills that would come along behind those bills.’ (Highlighting Forum’s)

Today we received a list here — “No Money Until President Obama Acts” — compiled by immigration-control experts, of 28 steps the president should take to address the border crisis.

The House GOP leadership must resolve to confront the Obama Administration by denying major funds and possibly by the impeachment of subordinate officials such as the Secretary of Homeland Security —  if we are effectively to protect our borders and our sovereignty. 

Without substantial public pressure, however, there is little likelihood that the House GOP leadership will risk any kind of confrontation before the November 4 election.  They didn’t climb this far up the GOP ladder to start acting like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher. They came here to learn how to do deals and to listen to donors.

Mark Levin’s Take

House GOP nominee Barbara Comstock has sought and received many endorsements, including, notably, that of Mark Levin.

Nationwide commentator and constitutional lawyer Levin weighed in strongly this week on what should be done about the chaos on our border and on the fecklessness of Speaker John Boehner.

Understand that Speaker Boehner’s proposal for a lawsuit is a dangerous substitute for taking Constitutional action, not a prelude to solving the problem. 

Readers can listen to Levin’s comments here and here thanks to the RightScoop.

Does Mrs. Comstock agree with former Reagan Justice Department official Mark Levin’s insights on Speaker Boehner’s proposed lawsuit  and on Levin’s recommendations about what should be done about the border crisis?

Does any Virginia GOP House incumbent agree with Mark Levin on these two critical concerns?

Does Maryland GOP House appropriator Andy Harris?

If we are looking for models of United States Representatives in action to stem the border invasion, consider Oklahoma’s Jim Bridenstine and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn proposed visit to Ft. Sill tomorrow here

“Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK) will visit the HHS facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) at Ft. Sill, on Saturday, July 12.  Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN) will accompany him.After being denied access on July 1st to the federal facility operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to house UAC at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Bridenstine notified HHS that he intends to visit the facility.  The HHS response included a list of restrictions including no questions during the tour, no contact with staff or children, and no recording devices or photography.  Both Congressmen have indicated that they plan to treat these restrictions just as the President treats laws passed by Congress, as ‘suggestions’.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Readers will recognize that the time-sensitive issues we are focusing on here are those of preserving our Constitution and the safety of our families, not ordinary policy disputes.

Homeland Defense Richard Falknor on 07 Jul 2014

UPDATED! The Invasion: Tracking Where The White House Sends The Young Illegals

ADD-ON! Continuously updated NumbersUSA map here “Relocations of Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors”

* * * * * * * * * *

The Invasion: Tracking Where The White House Sends The Young Illegals

VDARE’s James Fulford urges his readers here (via Ann Corcoran’s RRW) toCall Your ‘State Refugee Coordinator’ And Ask How Many Phony Refugees From The Southwest Border Are Coming To YOUR State!”

We agree, and believe that all conservative activists should stay on top of this invasion especially as it touches their states and local communities.

Explains Fulford–

“Are swarms of ‘The children!”’coming to your state?
If they are, your state’s refugee coordinator will probably be among the first to know. So phone “your” coordinator – contact information is below—and, politely, ask basic questions such as Where? When? How Many? and What’s it going to cost state and local taxpayers?
If you feel awkward about asking such questions … if you feel that you need to be able to explain why you’re calling … you have a ready motive: the news that’s in our faces every day.
The week starting Monday, July 7 is the time to phone, as VDARE.com has learned that at least some of the coordinators will be on a conference call with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement during the week. It will help if the coordinators are made to understand that many of their fellow citizens are very concerned.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Lawrenceville Says No!

Many readers will recall how the citizens of Lawrenceville, Virginia put a stop to settling young illegals into a no-longer-used college building in their tiny community.

Breitbart’s Kerry Picket told that story here in herAngry Virginia Residents Say ‘No’ to Obama Administration’s Plan to House Illegals.”

Our Maryland and Virginia House GOP members seem tongue-tied when it comes to concrete action to stop the Obama Administration’s settlement of approaching 300,00 young illegals across the US (see Neil Munro’s Daily Caller post here of July 5).

Compare the silence of many of the House GOP lambs with Oklahoma Representative Jim Bridenstine’s robust July 5 letter here to the Department of Health and Human Services —

“In response to your question, I am available to visit the UAC facility sited within Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, on Saturday, July 12, 2014 and plan to do so. However, it is unacceptable that any representative of the people be limited to pre-planned, showcase visits to a facility so critical to the well-being of children. Just as foster parents in the State of Oklahoma are subject to unannounced visits by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), federal representatives of the people should be able to access UAC facilities at times of their choosing.
I plan to make multiple visits to the UAC facility at Ft. Sill; the tragedy that is occurring requires unfettered access. I will bring my staff, interpreters, and legal counsel. We will speak with HHS staff members, contractor personnel, and persons being detained at the Ft. Sill UAC facility for whatever period is needed to secure an adequate understanding of facility operations and the stories of those being detained . We will bring responsible journalists to appropriately share those stories with the American people.
My visits will be recurring and may include other Members of Congress . On each occasion, I expect to be admitted to the UAC facility without delay and treated professionally and with courtesy. Any federal representative of the people must have unrestricted access to UAC facilities at any time. Denying such access undermines transparency and causes the people to lose confidence in their government. This is especially problematic for an administration attempting to secure an additional $2 billion to expand its Refugee Resettlement operation. HHS and its contractors must be completely transparent in their operation of UAC facilities wherever those facilities may be located.
The stories being told by children and young people now detained at the UAC facilities are horrifying. These stories include accounts of girls being abused and raped as they made their way to the U.S. border. There are accounts of children being leased to unrelated adults seeking to gain entry into the United States. There are reports of children dying in route to the United States. This extreme human suffering and trafficking are the direct result of an open border and misguided policy. Failure to secure the southern border and enforce existing immigration laws is utterly unacceptable .
Congress, the media, and indeed HHS itself should be shining a bright light on the human tragedy that is continuing to grow day by day and week by week as a consequence of our open border.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Just this noon Mr. Bridenstine spoke again here on the need for full transparency in his press release on “Proposed Media Showcase ‘Tour’ of UAC Facility”–

“The idea of no recording devices, no questions, and no interactions is not acceptable.  This violates the 1st Amendment.  This is not transparent.  HHS is trying to muzzle the media and hide the human tragedy that has resulted directly from the Administration’s failure to enforce the law.”

 In spite of the best efforts of Jim Bridenstine and a few other fearless House members, citizens themselves will have to bear the laboring oar in the pushback against this invasion.

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