Wednesday, November 11, 2015

America Needs Ted Cruz as President; Cruz Releases Plan to Cut 500 Billion in Spending

Conservative Papers ^ | 11/11/2015 | Katel 

THE CRUZ FIVE FOR FREEDOM
'We should shrink the size and power of the federal government by every and any means possible. What does that mean? That means eliminating unnecessary or unconstitutional agencies.' Ted Cruz
DebtBurden:
The total federal debt currently stands at $18.6 trillion, larger than our entire economy. That is up 75 percent since President Obama took office, and by the end of his tenure, he is expected to have added almost as much to the national debt as all past presidents combined. The federal government spent $3.5 trillion in fiscal year 2014, and ran a deficit of $483 billion. Sadly, even under a Republican Congress, the recent budget deal will add another $80 billion in spending over two years. The current and projected rates of government growth are unsustainable, irresponsible, and constitutionally indefensible.
The Obama Administration has little to show for its out of control spending. We have a stagnant economy, lagging job creation, and the lowest labor-force participation since the Carter Administration. The Obama economy has burdened each American household with the equivalent of $57,000 of federal debt. Under such stifling circumstances, its no wonder that 84 percent of college graduates do not have a job lined up after graduation, and 13.2 percent of young adults are out of work. The Obama economy is sinking our next generation further and further into debt, while the ever expanding federal government is creating fewer jobs, less growth, and scarcer opportunity. The current level of spending is not only irresponsible, but immoral and unjust to future generations.
No responsible parent would leave their children with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt; we should not allow the government to do this to our children and grandchildren either. Its time for Washington to tighten its belt, no more reckless spending or handing out favors to KStreet lobbyists while hard-working Americans are left to foot the bill.
It’s time for bold change. Change that stops Washington from squandering Americans money; that scraps the current tax code and replaces it with a single, fair, low rate for all; that reins in Washington’s costly regulations; that honors the Peoples work with the dignity it deserves; and that finally gets the government out of our pockets and off our backs.
Of course, because entitlements constitute roughly two-thirds of federal spending, no government spending plan is complete without addressing entitlement reform. And in the coming months, I will be laying out a detailed plan to do just that, to strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare, and to ensure their fiscal strength for decades to come. But we should start with federal discretionary spending.
I have already introduced the Cruz Simple Flat Tax, which reduces the existing seven individual rates to one low rate of 10 percent for all Americans; eliminates the corporate carve-outs and loopholes; and requires every business to pay the same Business Flat Tax of 16 percent. Under my plan, the after tax income of all Americans goes up by double digits, compliance costs go down, and the economy booms. The Simple Flat Tax is so simple and transparent, in fact, that Americans will be able to fill out their taxes on a postcard or smartphone app.
One important upshot of the Simple Flat Tax is that it allows us to eliminate the IRS. That agency, as we know it, administers a rats nest of laws and loopholes that allow it to wield unfettered power and that embolden it to target political opponents.
If elected, I will abolish the IRS. But I won’t stop there. We will abolish four cabinet agencies as well. And we will sharply reduce the alphabet soup of government entities, beginning with the ABCs that should not exist in the first place: The Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs that are constitutionally illegitimate and harmful to American households and businesses , including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s time to return to a federal government that abides by our constitutional framework and strips power from unelected bureaucrats.
We must break apart the federal leviathan that has ruled Washington and crept into our lives. Once we dramatically reduce the size of government , paired with fundamental tax reform and regulatory reform , we will reignite the promise that has made this the freest and most prosperous nation in the world.
To start the process of reducing the scope and cost of government, I will institute the following five reforms, which are estimated to save more than $500 billion over 10 years:
FiveForFreedom 1.Five for Freedom – abolish 4 unnecessary cabinet agencies and the IRS. 2.25 Federal 'ABCs' eliminate 25 Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs. 3.Grace Commission 2.0 – reinstitute President Reagan’s Panel on Cost Control (“The Grace Commission”) to identify waste and inefficiency. 4.Congressional accountability , amend the Constitution to require Congress and the President to balance the budget, and enact the REINS Act. 5.Federal hiring freeze and reform– institute a freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees across the executive branch, and reform automatic worker raises.
Estimated Savings of Over $500,000,000,000 in 10 years
1. FIVE FOR FREEDOM:
During my first year, I will fight to abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To do that, I will press Congress relentlessly. And I will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose central charge will be to lead the effort to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved elsewhere because they fall within the proper purview of the federal government. I do not anticipate lists to be long.
Internal Revenue Services
Americans spend far too much time, energy, and resources answering to the agency whose harmful conduct extends far beyond collecting large portions of the people’s hard-earned dollars–top IRS officials have targeted individuals based on their political and religious views and threatened their First Amendment rights. The IRS has become a partisan arm of the Obama Administration and an avenue for the Washington Cartel to further benefit its members, to the detriment of working Americans.
Essential to abolishing the IRS is wiping clean the cob-webbed tax code and starting over with the Cruz Simple Flat Tax, which sets one low rate of 10 percent for all individuals and enables them to fill out their taxes on a postcard or smartphone app. The Simple Flat Tax also taxes all businesses at the same, fair Business Flat Tax of 16 percent, removing the loopholes and backhanded funding of big businesses and special interests. The Simple Flat Tax fundamentally changes the tax code and abolishes the IRS as we know it. The remaining personnel needed can be housed in a drastically smaller division of the Department of Treasury.
Ineffective Spending: ◾Since 2011, there have been multiple serious allegations that top IRS officials have repeatedly committed felonies, including lying to Congress and disclosing the taxpayer and donor information of conservative groups, such as the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the National Organization for Marriage. The Obama Administration’s IRS also handed over to the FBI and the Department of Justice the legally protected taxpayer information of more than 12,000 grassroots organizations in order to launch investigations into the political speech activities of these nonprofit groups.
â—¾The IRS has repeatedly attempted to stifle citizens First Amendment rights. As grassroots activist Toby Marie Walker detailed in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the IRS has forced citizens to hand over blog posts, tweets, radio interviews, planned-event data, and lists of every candidate with whom they have had a relationship. If Walker and fellow leaders of the Waco Tea Party failed to comply, they could be penalized for perjury.
â—¾Every year, Americans spend about $500 billion and 6.1 billion hours on tax compliance. That time is the equivalent of 152 million Americans each working a full 40 hour workweek solely on taxes or, alternatively, 59,580 Americans working a 40-hour workweek every week from the time they are 18 until they are 67.
Department of Education
Educational opportunity thrives on choice, ingenuity, and diversity; the Department of Education squelches all three. Largely created as an outgrowth of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, the Department of Education has existed in its current form since 1980. Despite its stated aim to bring equal access to all, it has failed to close the gap between low income communities and other communities, and instead has led to one-size-fits-all solutions imposed on millions of students with differing educational needs. Eliminating the Department of Education not only restores the states constitutional power and saves taxpayers billions of dollars, it returns decision-making to parents and local communities, and liberates students and teachers from a failed top-down approach. The growing federal role in education spurred by the Education Department has led to perverse mandates such as Common Core and counterproductive laws such as No Child Left Behind.
We should repeal every word of Common Core. And, as President, I will direct the Secretary of Education to immediately end the federal governments mandates that seek to force states to adopt this failed attempt at a universal curriculum.
Even more broadly, we need to get the federal government out of education altogether. The Department of Education has the third largest discretionary budget in the federal government, and it provides 10 percent of funding for K 12 education. Yet, with that 10 percent share, it imposes significant requirements on states and schools, forcing them to submit to federal bureaucrats. Education has traditionally been a state matter; the people closest to students know them best , parents and teachers know far more than Washington bureaucrats , and we are already witnessing remarkable reforms by state and local governments to increase school choice and resist Common Core standards. We need to restore parent and student choice and remove federal barriers to children’s success.
A Cruz Administration will eliminate the programs in the Department of Education that are wasteful, ineffective, and fail to achieve better student outcomes. We will perform a careful review of remaining programs to assess how best to return those responsibilities to state and local communities.
The lions share of K-12 funding will be block granted to the states, including Title I funding and the Individuals with Disabilities Education program, while the Indian Education program and Federal Impact Aid will be transferred to existing departments. Pell Grants will also remain intact and can be transferred to the Treasury Department. This will result in higher quality education, more tailored to local needs, at a lower cost.
The D.C. Public School Funding and the Opportunity Scholarship Program will persist because Washington D.C. is under the federal purview of Congress and it is constitutionally appropriate for those programs to continue to be overseen at a federal level. But those programs can be run by another department, and the Education Department can be shut down.
Ineffective Spending: ◾Since the Department’s inception in 1980, the federal government has spent nearly $1.5 trillion on education. ◾It cost the U.S. $151,000 per student to put the graduating class of 2009 through public school; adjusted for inflation, that is nearly three times the amount we spent on the graduating class of 1970.
◾Despite this outrageous spending, education outcomes have either stagnated or declined. The nation’s report card, first administered in 1992, shows that the disparity between white and black 12th grade reading scores has increased showing African American students half a grade further behind their peers, and totaling a nearly three grade level difference.
Department of Energy
The Department of Energy has never discovered a barrel of oil. Instead, it actively hinders innovation and discovery as it selects 'winners' , that frequently go on to lose millions of dollars, even going bankrupt – while making it harder for entrepreneurs to succeed. Created by the Carter Administration in 1977, the Department of Energy was designed to direct a national energy policy. Two years later, those directives included mandating room temperatures and distributing rationing coupons for gasoline. The Department of Energy has since caused taxpayers to fund politically motivated programs that prop up favored interests.
In August 2015, for example, the White House announced the start of the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Impact Investment Center, an effort to raise public awareness of climate change. This program, along with the EPAs job killing, cost-inducing Clean Power Plan, exemplifies the ways in which the Obama Administration has used the Department of Energy as a partisan tool for furthering its agenda, at taxpayer expense.
While the Energy Department as a whole serves no critical role and stifles growth through unnecessary regulation, a few programs , such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Defense Capabilities, and cleanup and decontamination programs ,maintain our security and should be transferred to other departments.
The Department of Energy serves as a handmaid to the Washington Cartel, and rather than allow it to stifle growth through costly regulations, we should unleash the energy renaissance that will be propelled by innovators and hardworking Americans.
Ineffective Spending: ◾The government does a poor job acting as a venture capitalist to finance start-ups and innovation. The 2009 stimulus bill granted $80 billion to politically preferred energy projects. Since then, Obamas Department of Energy and other agencies have funded 33 faltering green-energy companies, including giving $553 million to Solyndra, $25 million to Evergreen Solar, and $43 million to Beacon Power , all of which have filed forbankruptcy. ◾The Government Accountability Office has designated the Energy Department’s cleanup program 'at high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.' The Energy Department itself estimates that its cleanup program costs escalated from $180 billion to $240 billion in two years. In 2009, a project delay in Tennessee caused the cost of that assignment alone to reach $781 million.
â—¾The Energy Department directly employs 16,000 workers and employs another 100,000 workers as contract employees; this costs each household an average of $243 per year.
Department of Commerce
Its rare to find a policy idea that both President Obama and Heritage Foundation President and former Senator Jim DeMint support, but abolishing the Department of Commerce is one such anomaly. Former Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher characterized the Department as “nothing more than a hall closet where you throw in everything that you don’t know what to do with” – an expensive repository, costing taxpayers roughly $10 billion a year. The only sure thing it accomplishes is growing the Washington Cartel and promoting special interests over the American people. We could do without such a scheme.
For decades, the Commerce Department has funded useless projects. In one such case in 1981, it funded grants to Bedford, Indiana, to build limestone replicas of the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramid of Cheops. Though the project was never completed, it is emblematic of the futile expenses billed to taxpayers.
The federal government should promote free trade for all, yet the Commerce Department has favored the few. That said, there are several functions that should be retained through other departments or agencies, including the functions of the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Bureau of Industry and Security.
Ineffective Spending: â—¾The Commerce Departments Economic Development Administration has long been known as the 'congressional cookie jar.' Its projects have included grants for a wine-tasting room, a conference center in Alaska, and a tourism-promotion program in the Northern Mariana Islands.
â—¾The Commerce Departments cronyism has long enabled politicians to fill the pockets of their benefactors: as far back as the 1960s, the Department financed the purchase of iceboxes for Eskimos and a tourist facility near a canceled West Virginia radio telescope. In November 2008, Harry Reid delivered a $2 million check to the University of Nevada for the 'Harry Reid Research and Technology Park.'
â—¾The Department of Commerce favors some companies over others. For example, it has granted crude oil exemptions only to a handful of companies over the past 40 years. In the summer of 2014, the Department granted limited waivers to only two corporations.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Real solutions to restoring hope in American households will not come from Washington. One need only to examine the last half-century of failed 'War on Poverty' programs, out of which HUD was born, to understand this. We have spent roughly $22 trillion on means tested welfare programs since 1964, yet the poverty rate has remained virtually unchanged. Poverty goes far deeper than a persons pocketbook. It is both material and spiritual, and the reason federal bureaucrats are so ineffective at solving it is they fail to realize that there is no subsidy ,or substitute , for hope. In order to solve real poverty, we must recognize the federal governments limited role, and return power to state and local communities who know the people in their neighborhoods, and have a direct and personal stake in finding solutions.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has exacerbated higher housing costs for low-income communities. HUD undercuts its own goal by creating distortions in the housing market, attaching strings to its money, and imposing top-down control on local communities.
Federal housing reform is a critical part of welfare reform; rather than perpetuating poverty and trapping families in dangerous communities and under achieving school districts, we must empower people to rise out of dire circumstances. Section 8 housing will be reformed as part of a larger antipoverty and welfare-reform agenda consistent with policies that are family-centered, opportunity-inspired, and work-focused. Programs like the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, and veterans’ homeless assistance grants, will remain intact,they will be transferred to the Department of Justice and Department of Veterans’ Affairs, respectively.
Ineffective Spending: â—¾In July 2015, the Office of Inspector General for HUD discovered that the federal government provides public-housing assistance to over 25,000 families whose income exceeds HUDs 2014 eligibility limits. Some were even millionaires. The OIG estimated that taxpayers will pay $104.4 million for the housing of these families over the next year.
◾HUD has often attached unnecessary and burdensome requirements to its funding – in one instance in New Yorks Westchester County, it required HUD-funded projects to have three bedrooms, though that would more than double the county’s costs from $51.6 million to roughly $100 million.
â—¾Although the Departments programs are ostensibly designed to help move families out of downtrodden neighborhoods, they have failed. They often confine low income families to dangerous neighborhoods.
2. TWENTY-FIVE FEDERAL “ABCs”
The rate at which we are spending is unsustainable. And federal programs often fail to support their purported beneficiaries while instead propping up special interests. There are far too many members of Congress who willingly hand out special favors to select industries and friends.
Lets break the Washington Cartel and restore power to the people. Lets stop handing over billions to federal favorites. We will sharply reduce the alphabet soup of government entities, beginning with the 'ABC's that should not exist in the first place: The Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs that are constitutionally illegitimate and harmful to American households and businesses. The following 25 ABCs are emblematic of the types of government functions I will examine, downsize, and reform to limit federal overreach. But these are just a start.
Eliminate the following Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and programs: 1.Appalachian Regional Commission 2.Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative 3.Climate Research Funding for the Office of Research and Development 4.Climate Resilience Evaluation Awareness Tool 5.Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 6.Corporation for Public Broadcasting (privatize) 7.Corporation for Travel Promotion 8.Global Methane Initiative 9.Green Infrastructure Program 10.Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program 11.Legal Services Corporation 12.National Endowment for the Arts 13.National Endowment for the Humanities 14.New Starts Transit Program 15.Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund 16.Presidential Election Campaign Fund 17.Regulation of CO2 Emissions from Power Plants and all Sources 18.Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vehicles 19.Renewable Fuel Standard Federal Mandates 20.Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation 21.Sugar Subsidies 22.Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery 23.UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 24.UN Population Fund 25.USDA Catfish Inspection Program
3. GRACE COMMISSION 2.0
In 1982 President Reagan brought together a group of business leaders, led by J. Peter Grace, to assess federal spending levels and evaluate areas of waste and fraud. The members of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, commonly referred to as the Grace Commission, worked like 'blood hounds,' as President Reagan described, to improve government efficiency. The business leaders’ report recommended 2,478 'cost cutting, revenue-enhancing' suggestions, without raising taxes, weakening defense, or harming social welfare. As Chairman Grace recognized then, 'every dollar we can stop spending is a dollar that the government does not need to borrow.' Never has that been more needed than today. Grace Commission 2.0 will apply business principles to government spending, and ensure civil servants are actually doing what the title suggests.
4. CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY:
Balanced Budget Amendment
A strong balanced budget amendment is necessary to get back to fiscal responsibility, stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids, and keep Congress accountable to the American people. As President, I will fight to finally pass a strong Balanced Budget Amendment, which limits federal spending to a percentage of GDP and requires a congressional supermajority to ever raise taxes. In the private sector, quality companies do not spend money without first budgeting for expenses, and at the bare minimum, the government should do the same it’s necessary for our posterity, and to be good stewards of Americans time and dollars.
REINS Act
In 1996, Congress attempted to gain control over federal regulations through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Since then, agencies have added 60,0000 federal regulations, and only one has been undone through the CRA. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that Americans paid a total of $1.86 trillion in federal compliance cost in 2013, which averages to $15,000 of hidden regulatory cost per household each year. President Obamas regulations alone cost an additional $80 billion annually.
The REINS Act will stop giving Congress a backdoor to expanding federal expenses without as much as a yea or nay. The REINS Act requires Congress to approve of any regulation or major rule that will have an economic impact of $100 million or more and ensure that Congress does not unlawfully delegate its authority to unelected bureaucrats. As President, I will press Congress to pass the REINS Act, and will sign it into law.
5. FEDERAL HIRING FREEZE AND REFORM:
A Cruz Administration will institute a freeze on the hiring of new federal civilian employees across the executive branch; no vacant positions at this point may be automatically back filled; no new positions may be created; and no circumvention will be allowed through the hiring of contractors.
For those agencies in which it is determined that a vacant position needs to be filled, I will authorize the hiring of a maximum ratio of one person for every three who leave.
I will also reduce the annual across the board adjustment for federal civilian pay so that rather than receiving automatic yearly raises, federal workers would have more opportunities for merit-based pay increases. The federal civilian workforce exceeds 2 million workers and costs the taxpayers more than $260 billion each year in wages and benefits. Since the 1990s, compensation of federal workers has outpaced that of private-sector workers: on average, federal workers make 78 percent more than private-sector employees.
Through natural attrition, and spending restraint, we can meaningfully downsize the federal government over time so that we are no longer bankrupting our children and grandchildren. With a commitment to the common-sense prudence that any responsible family or small business must demonstrate –,and a willingness to take on the cronyism of the Washington Cartel , we can reverse the disastrous spending and debt in Washington. And a Cruz Administration will do exactly that.

'Bum'- Rakes in $200/hr Begging...don't give money to beggars!

Reaganite Republican ^ | 11 November 2015 | Reaganite Republican 

Maybe people need to start listening to NYC Police Commissioner 
Bill Bratton when he recently suggested that New Yorkers refrain from giving money to street beggars if they'd like to alleviate the panhandling epidemic brought on by the serially-misguided DeBlasio era.

Of course he was immediately attacked as some sort of heartless monster by the left with hashtags and worse... 

And while I can't prove how much heart the NYPD's head cop may-or-may-not have, he's got to have one hell of a lot more brains in his head than the 'progressive' NYers now inflicting their knee-jerk' 'caring' on the man: handing drunks and other street-dwellers no-strings-attached cash merely encourages more of the same -same as any subsidized behavior- and the fact is, some of them make incredible money at it.

And I'm talking ON TOP of today's generous bloated welfare payments...
A panhandler outside Grand Central Terminal says he rakes in up to
$200 an hour from kind-hearted New Yorkers.

And the 43-year-old former theater stagehand is only one of a legion of beggars in the city hauling in big bucks and a smorgasbord of food doing nothing but sitting on the sidewalk with hands out.

'On a Friday morning, I make $400 in two hours,’’ said Will Andersen, who was with his 9-year-old dog, Rizzo, on East 42nd Street between Vanderbilt and Madison avenues on Tuesday.

As Andersen was talking to The Post, another beggar told him gleefully,
'I got three breakfast sandwiches today! And they were all meat!
I’m putting on pounds out here!'...

'There are other spots where people get hundred-dollar bills. I could go over to Fifth Avenue and make $150 before lunch'
But I learned two things myself when I used to live in Los Angeles:
Bill Bratton is a superb cop and leader who knows what he's talking about...
the man did a great job out there- at least that's my recollection.

The other lesson deduced was that the homeless I handed a buck or two upon arrival to Santa Monica/Venice in 1990 were often seen almost every day around the neighborhood, even hitting-me-up again without having any idea they just got money from me the very day before.

I also noticed they where living the life: free (great!) lunches at the Santa Monica town hall, perfect weather to live rough in, etc. They also had carsin many cases, taking every single parking space on the street for days and weeks as they slept and lived in them. When a cop came, they just moved to another spot... even if they had to push it.

The 'homeless' often hung out at a the beach all day, dealt in drugs, were always stoned, parked for free, used a free clinic, ate mostly for free, then surfed and drank the day away while panhandling and also taking a government check.

And their personal monthly overhead costs closely approximated zero. 

Nice racket if you're shameless -and dishonest- enough to live such a way... and many are, until you gather the courage and pragmatic common-sense tell them 'no' on both the panhandling and the government level: there are very few people in this country lacking access to generous welfare support.

Or they could try something new + different, like a job- an option that probably doesn't look all that inviting to them when they can make two-hundred-bucks and hour mooching money from the unthinking (while collecting government largesse)- so unless it's an old lady digging through a garbage can, I don't give them a dime.



The Trump Way on Immigration Suits Republicans, Poll Shows

rollcall.com ^ | Posted at 12:08 p.m. today | Lindsey McPherson 

Republicans need to make gains with Hispanic voters in 2016, but that reality is complicated by the fact that more adults support Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration, a new Economist Group/YouGov Poll finds.
A whopping 49 percent of Republicans and independents who lean to the GOP say Trump is the presidential candidate who can best handle the issue — well ahead of Marco Rubio with 10 percent GOP support, Ted Cruz with 7 percent and Jeb Bush at 5 percent.

YouGov-GOPImmigration-1
The divide in the GOP over how to address issues stemming from illegal immigration spilled over in the fourth Republican presidential debate Tuesday. The opt-in, Internet survey was taken Nov. 5-9, before the economy-focused debate in Milwaukee.
(Excerpt) Read more at atr.rollcall.com ...

Winners & Losers

National Review -- the Corner ^ | 11-10-15 | Jonah Goldberg 

Biggest loser on merits: Kasich. He’s done. He came across angry, condescending and unprincipled. By the end of the debate he came across as the drunk, obnoxious, uncle everyone wishes hadn’t accepted the invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.
Biggest loser politically: Jeb Bush. On the substance, I thought his performance during the first half was the best he’s done. But by the second half he started to fade and grew more incoherent. On several occasions he gave passable answers if you could cut through the word clouds, but then Rubio came in and gave essentially the same answer better, both on substance and style.
This was particularly true during the discussion of the bank bailouts. More than anything, Bush needed to outshine Rubio and lay the groundwork for a “Bush comeback” narrative. He simply didn’t do that. He didn’t do what he needed to do stop the slide of donors and voters to Rubio.
The winners are a broader bunch. Rubio was definitely one of them for the reasons I stated above (he was also hugely lucky in staying out of the immigration fight on amnesty).
Cruz, also, had a great night. He solidified his position as the credible “outsider” candidate who can go all the way. He also jointed Kasich on the question of the bank bailouts (though he might have hurt himself with Wall Street donors). One other point about both Cruz and Rubio. During the discussions of their tax plans and national defense, they both tailored their answers in ways that will play well in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
I thought Carly Fiorina had some of the best answers of the night. But she didn’t shine the way she has in past debates in part because her competitors were so much better.
Ben Carson also came out a winner, at least when measured against the expectations working against him. His closing answer was the best of the night. On the substance, I think he was often weak. But he didn’t do anything to lose the support of the people who are for him, and probably won a few more supporters as well.
You could say pretty much the same thing about Trump, though he had more bad moments than Carson did. But he has definitely become a better candidate and he’s still the best at the body language of these debates. His “Let Jeb speak” moment was a very unsubtle way of declaring he was the guy in charge on the stage. So was his peacemaking bit about how all the tax plans are good. Still, I don’t think he gave anyone who’s opposed to him (like me) a reason to change their mind.
Rand Paul, had a good night, but it doesn’t matter. His argument that spending on the military is “liberal” just doesn’t play. His bit on income inequality being highest in Democratic cities and states was great.
In the undercard debate, I thought Christie was the winner and I still think he’s got a non-trivial chance to do very well in New Hampshire. One last huge winner: Fox Business. This was the best debate of them all. One can almost hear the forehead slapping at CNBC. “Oh that’s how it’s done.”

Civil rights?

On the side!

Stop pretending

Just jokin?

To argue...

WHY?

Greek Mythology

Proud!

NOTHING!

Fat Cats

Do you really think?

I was being nice!

TREASON!

Civil Rights Museum

It's easier...

Knock Knock

...or bust!

I have a dream!

Backwards

REDLINE

Homosexuality Is Not Sexuality

Crisis ^ | 11/11/15 | Deacon Jim Russell 

Events of recent memory have left my head spinning in disbelief–”Caitlyn,” same-sex so-called “marriage,” three women “marrying” in South America, and, yes, “gay Catholics” and “chaste gay couples.” With me, you may wonder how all this has emerged in a short few decades of social upheaval.
I may have an answer: Society has constructed an unreal cultural landscape in which things that are not sexuality are passed off as sexuality.
Even a majority of Catholics are, perhaps unwittingly, swallowing this unreality, hook, line, and sinker.
The fabric of this false landscape is language–language that frames everyone and everything in a way that fundamentally relativizes the truth about human nature and God’s real plan for us and our sexuality. I’d assert that this process all started with a single word: homosexuality.
Think about it. By all accounts, the word “homosexuality,” used in contrast to its also-coined counterpart “heterosexuality,” is just about 150 years old. Before this time in human history, there was no such thing as the conceptual construct of “orientation.” Sexual attractions did not define the human person, and people did not presume to assail God’s plan for human sexuality by categorizing attractions in a way that reduces God’s plan to one mere possibility among an ever-growing number of other “identities” and so-called “sexualities.”
A Flash-Flood of UnrealityFast-forward to the present. The 150-year-old crack in the dam has become a gaping fissure that allows modern minds and hearts to be flooded with some muddied and foul waters. Now everything is up for grabs because both our behaviors and our identities have become as fluid as the floodwater. Culture now grants us absolute permission to equivocate authentic sexuality with myriad counterfeits. This permission is safeguarded by coining even more terminology designed to protect the original insult to truth about sexuality, bringing about deeper and more deadly moral collapse.
This original “either/or-ing” of human sexuality–”orientation”–has made a mess of things. Now the meaning of God’s original plan for us is obscured and, worse, viewed as pure bigotry. Now it’s absolutely okay to be gay or straight or queer or genderfluid, or, or… Now we deal with sexual “minorities” who claim “erasure,” “homophobia,” and “othering” if you commit the cardinal social sin of … heteronormativity!
Now men who “feel” like women (and vice versa) must be affirmed rather than healed. Now men who know they are men are merely “cisgendered” out of relativistic respect for those who are “transgendered”–all because fluidity–not authentic sexuality–must be maintained at all costs. Now, even “gay sex” is treated as real sex rather than the unreal and aberrant mutual masturbation of deeply confused souls.
By saying all this, by the way, I’m the worst form of “hater”–worthy of condemnation and perhaps prosecution and imprisonment.
Let Sexuality Speak for ItselfToo often, we get caught up in the wrongness of the unreality without focusing on letting the reality–sexuality–speak for itself. It’s time to get back to basics–time to re-set the high bar of God’s plan as a high bar rather than as one mere “flavor” of sexual “identity” or “orientation” or behavior among many “okay” options. So, let’s answer this question: To what is sexuality ordered? In doing so, it should become crystal clear why homosexuality is not, in fact, sexuality. In the following assertions you’ll notice that I avoid using the terms “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” in favor of “same-sex attraction” and “sexuality,” for the sake of illuminating the reality of what is described by the terms.
Sexuality is ordered toward complementarityThis is so simple that even the youngest child “gets” this. There are two and only twosexual “identities”–man and woman, boys and girls. And they are made for each other. Complementarity is really “complete-mentarity.” As a man I do not possess what it means to be a woman, and vice versa. We complete each other. Same-sex attraction involves objectiveredundancy, not complementarity.
Sexuality is ordered toward total self-giftOnce we understand complementarity, we can understand that this “completion” necessarilyinvolves a covenantal exchange of persons. Sexuality is not merely about an exchange of pleasure, or rights, or services, etc. It’s a gift of selfthat requires two things. First, self-mastery or self-possession. We cannot give what we do not possess. Second, a capacity to receive the other’s total self-gift. With SSA, “you cannot receive that which you already possess.” A man cannot receive a total self-gift of the person, body and soul, from another man. It’s impossible. The “ache” of sexual desire is the longing for completion that comes from the covenantal, personal exchange of man with woman.
Sexuality is ordered toward consummation. The mutual, complementary, total self-gift finds its fullest expression in the indissoluble unity of body and soul that takes place when husband and wife (not just sex-less “spouses” but male with female) come together in marital relations. With same-sex attraction, no such pathway toward consummation is even conceivable. Sexual acting out between two men or two women is brute parody of the reality of consummation.
Sexuality is ordered toward the good of permanence. The magnitude of the meaning of “consummation” cannot be exaggerated. There is no such thing, this side of Heaven, as a temporary “total self-gift.” The pathway to permanence arises precisely because a husband and wife (a man with a woman) are capable of willing the covenantal bond that can and must last for as long as they both shall live. It can and must find permanent expression (until death) in the mutual gift of self expressed fully in marital relations. Again, this is utterly inaccessible to two men or two women. Two people with SSA may say they “choose” permanence, but it’s an objectively “human-willed” and not “God-ordained” choice because they are incapable of “enfleshing” an authentic and total covenantal exchange of persons.
Sexuality is ordered toward the good of fidelity. Part of the “permanence” of total self-gift is the exclusivity of “forsaking all others.” Again, it’s irrational to suggest that someone can make a total self-gift to more than one person. Sexuality is ordered toward “the one.” Thus, another tenet of the unreal secular embrace of “orientation” is exposed here–namely, that sexuality is not concerned with any abstract or generic information about the kind of person that attracts you. Sexuality is about prayerfully discerning who the one real person might be with whom you can mutually make a covenantal self-gift. The abstraction of “orientation” is a distraction from the real purpose of sexuality. SSA again provides no avenue for the exclusivity that total self-gift requires.
Sexuality is ordered toward the good of children. Finally, sexuality offers the human person the possibility of “imaging” God’s love and likeness in a unique way–through pro-creation, creating “with” God. This is not merely about raising children (though the “education” of children is certainly just as much a primary end here as is procreation), but about raising up children with God. Our “consummation” of covenantal self-gift is, like the Blessed Trinity’s own, fruitful, moving beyond the “selves” of husband and wife and toward an immortal form of “consummation”–a child. In Heaven, by God’s design and plan, there will be one lasting fruit of earthly marital union: our children. Same-sex attraction obviously is utterly sterile, not in any way ordered toward this immensely meaningful finality of authentic sexuality.
Let’s Get RealNeither same-sex attraction nor the coined term “homosexuality” can rightly be considered either a form of, or a participation in, real sexuality. The reality that is same-sex attraction exists in total opposition to the reality that is sexuality. Perhaps this is why one finds this sentence in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Sexuality is ordered toward the conjugal love of a man and a woman. (CCC 2360)
Maybe this is also why the next paragraph in the Catechism (CCC 2361) quotes a crucial phrase from St. John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio (FC 11):
Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.
More important: Can we all pray that more people will stop cooperating in the failed social experiment of homosexuality, heterosexuality, orientation, etc.? The only “truly human” way to “real-ize” (as in make real) our sexuality is when it is properly ordered toward marital love.

What Climate Alarmists Want: 'A World Without Capitalism'

Investors Business Daily ^ | 11/10/2015 | Editorial 

Climate Change: Researchers from developed nations who insist that humans are warming the planet have inadvertently given Third World nations a weapon to shake down capitalist nations. Or was that the plan all along?
Third World nations haven't developed their economies because their governments are often run by con men, thieves, killers and tyrants.
While these governments never recognize that they are the problem, they do know an opportunity for a racket when they see one.
Extortion often comes with a veneer of legitimacy, though, and that's what we have in a manifesto produced by Bolivia. It is ostensibly that country's contribution to the United Nations climate conference that begins later this month in Paris.
But it's really a facade hiding a corrupt campaign.
According to the Bolivian government, which takes its orders from extreme-left President Evo Morales, "the failed capitalist system, (which) promotes consumerism, warmongering and commercialism, causing the destruction of Mother Earth and humanity, (has) triggered the climate crisis."
[snip]
Pushing America off its economic perch has long been a goal of the international community, as well as those in this country who fancy themselves as "internationalists" and "citizens of the world."
The beneficiaries are the Evo Moraleses of the world. They can drive their countries deeper into ruin with socialist policies and still get bailed out by rich nations that are supposedly causing climate change.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...

Five for Freedom

National Review ^ | 11/10/2015 | Ted Cruz 

Bringing government spending under control.


At the last Republican presidential debate, I presented the Simple Flat Tax - which, for a family of four, exempts the first $36,000 from all income tax, and above that amount collects one low rate of 10 percent for all Americans. It eliminates the death tax, the payroll tax, the corporate income tax, and the Obamacare taxes; ends the corporate carve-outs and loopholes; and requires every business to pay the same simple business flat tax of 16 percent. That plan will unleash unprecedented growth, create millions of new jobs, raise after-tax incomes for all income levels by double-digit percentages — and abolish the IRS as we know it.

But eliminating the IRS is only the first step in my plan to break apart the federal leviathan that has ruled Washington and crept into our lives. We can’t stop there. In addition to eliminating the IRS, a Cruz administration will abolish four cabinet agencies. And we will sharply reduce the alphabet soup of government entities, beginning with the ABCs that should not exist in the first place: The Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs that are constitutionally illegitimate and harmful to American households and businesses. It’s time to return to a federal government that abides by our constitutional framework and strips power from unelected bureaucrats.

The need is urgent. The total federal debt currently stands at $18.6 trillion, larger than our entire economy. That is up 75 percent since the current president took office, and by the end of his tenure, he is expected to have added almost as much to the national debt as all past presidents combined.

And what does the Obama administration have to show for its uncontrolled spending? A stagnant economy, lagging job creation, and the lowest labor-force participation since the Carter administration. The Obama economy has burdened each American household with the equivalent of $57,000 of federal debt. Under such stifling circumstances, it’s no wonder that 84 percent of college graduates do not have a job lined up after graduation, and 13.2 percent of young adults are out of work. The current level of spending is not only irresponsible, but immoral and unjust to future generations.

It is time for bold change. Change that stops Washington from squandering Americans' money; that creates jobs and restores growth with a single, fair, low rate for everyone; that reins in Washington's costly regulations; that honors the people's work with the dignity it deserves; and that finally gets the government out of our pockets and off our backs.

Of course, because entitlements constitute roughly two-thirds of federal spending, no government spending plan is complete without addressing entitlement reform. And in the coming months, I will be laying out a detailed plan to do just that, to strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare and to ensure their fiscal strength for decades to come. But we should start with federal discretionary spending.

First, to begin the process of reducing the scope and cost of government, I have identified the Five for Freedom: During my first year as president, I will fight to abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To do that, I will press Congress relentlessly. And I will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose central charge will be to lead the effort to wind them down and determine whether any of their programs need to be preserved elsewhere because they fall within the proper purview of the federal government. I do not anticipate the lists to be long.

The IRS and these cabinet agencies are unnecessary and will be shuttered for the following reasons:

* Internal Revenue Service - to dramatically simplify the tax code and enable everyone to fill out their taxes on a postcard or smartphone app.
* Department of Education - to return education to those who know our students best: parents, teachers, local communities, and states. And to block-grant education funding to the states.

* Department of Energy - to cut off the Washington cartel, stop picking winners and losers, and unleash the energy renaissance.

* Department of Commerce - to close the “congressional cookie jar” and promote free enterprise and free trade for every business.

* Department of Housing and Urban Development - to offer real solutions that lift people out of hardship, rather than trapping families in a cycle of poverty, and to empower hurting Americans by reforming most of the remaining programs, such as Section 8 housing.

Second, besides these unnecessary cabinet agencies and the IRS, we will sharply reduce the agencies, bureaus, commissions, and other programs that are harming American households and businesses - including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Together with the four departments and the IRS, our conservative estimate of the effects of these eliminations and reductions is a savings of over $500 billion over ten years. And that's just a start. The true savings - of scaling down the scope of the federal government, of restoring to the states their rightful authority, and of unleashing the people's ingenuity - cannot be measured by a number. We are uprooting the centralized power that we have lived under for far too long.

Third, we will bring back a proven approach from the prosperous days of the Reagan administration: a private-sector panel to assess federal spending levels and evaluate areas of waste and fraud for removal. At President Reagan's behest, the Grace Commission recommended 2,478 "cost-cutting, revenue-enhancing" suggestions, without raising taxes, weakening defense, or harming social welfare. It was a major success among other policies that created a great economic boom, and it deserves a reprise.

Fourth, we will hold Congress accountable; it too often delegates its authority to unelected bureaucrats. We will enact a strong Balanced Budget Amendment. And, by enacting the REINS Act, we will require that a majority of members approve any major, cost-inducing regulations.

Fifth, we will put in place a hiring freeze of federal civilian employees across the executive branch. For those agencies in which it is determined that a vacant position needs to be filled, I will authorize the hiring of a maximum ratio of one person for every three who leave. And rather than automatically increasing federal workers' pay annually, workers will have more opportunities for merit-based pay increases.

The full details of this plan can be found at www.tedcruz.org. It's past time to dramatically reduce the size of government and restore congressional accountability to the people. Doing so, along with instituting fundamental tax reform and regulatory reform, will reignite the promise that has made this the freest and most prosperous nation in the world.

Why Do Working Americans Support Job-Killing Democrats?

Townhall.com ^ | November 11, 2015 | Star Parker 


After years of review, President Obama has killed the Keystone XL pipeline project. The pipeline would have moved crude oil from Western Canada to Nebraska, where it would have connected to existing pipelines and moved the oil to refineries at the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The exact number of jobs that the project would have created was disputed, but a reasonable estimate seems to be several thousand jobs. These would have been largely blue-collar jobs, which is why labor unions, usually a constituency that a Democratic president seeks to please, supported the project.
But another Democratic constituency, the environmental lobby, opposed the project, and they won the day with our president.
Immediately after the president killed the project, the three Democrat presidential contenders -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley -- endorsed the president's decision.
Looking at the rationale the president used to justify his politically motivated decision to kill this pipeline project raises the question, "Why do so many working-class Americans, and in particular low-income Americans, continue to support big-government Democrats, who are more interested in their left-wing agendas than creating jobs and prosperity in America?"
Polls regularly show the economy and jobs at the top of the concerns of Americans. And on that front, this president has been a particular disaster.
But you wouldn't know it listening to his justification for killing this project.
"The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy," said the president. He then continued on to describe how the economy has supposedly thrived under his watch.
"Our businesses created 268,000 new jobs last month. They've created 13.5 million new jobs over the past 68 months -- the longest streak on record. The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent."
We must wonder if President Obama knows better or if he actually believes this deceptive and distorted picture about what is going on with our economy.
We are experiencing one of the most sluggish economic recoveries in history.
In a paper submitted for the Focusing the Presidential Debates Project, Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane points out, "sclerotic growth is the overriding economic issue of our time."
Cochrane notes, "from 1950 to 2000 the US economy grew at an average rate of 3.5 percent per year. ... From the bottom of the great recession in 2009, usually a time of super-fast catch-up growth, it has only grown at two percent per year."
What does this mean in terms of jobs?
In contrast to the 13.5 million jobs created over the last 68 months that President Obama brags about, Ed Lazear, a Stanford economist and former chairman of President George W. Bush's council of economic advisers, notes that if the economy had grown sufficiently fast to "make up for the recession and keep pace with growing population" it would have created 17.5 million jobs.
In other words, there are 4 million fewer jobs today than there would have been had the economic recovery been sufficiently robust to make up for the losses caused by the recession.
Why is this recovery so poor? Because this recent pipeline decision characterizes all the economic decision-making that has been taking place over the last seven years.
It's all about government, political power and interests rather than allowing what drove the 3.5 percent economic growth from 1950 to 2000 -- free enterprise.
President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce Harry Alford recently spoke at the Port of New Orleans about the suffocation of business at the hands of the regulatory state.
According to Alford, "every year since 2009, federal agencies have piled on about $150 billion in new compliance costs." He says the total impact of regulatory costs now exceed $2 trillion.
All working Americans must hear from Republicans that economic growth is our No. 1 priority. And free enterprise is the only way to do it.

FACTS!

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