Full Text Political Transcripts March 8, 2014: Sarah Palin’s Speech at CPAC 2014 Dr. Seus & Criticizes Obama’s Ukraine Policy — Excerpts

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Sarah Palin’s CPAC 2014 Speech

Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

“How do you convey to Putin the threat that sounds like ‘Vladimir don’t mess around or you’re going to feel my flexibility because I’ve got a phone and I’ve got a pen and I can dial really fast and poke you with my pen — pinkie promise.’”

“I’m probably being too hard on the president. After all, who could’ve seen this coming?”

“Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.”

“Hey Democrats! It’s your leaders who are demeaning women. Liberals seem to think the women of America are cheap dates.”

“I do believe that the eyes of America are open. Unfortunately though, some would want you to hit the snooze button and roll back over. Like ‘Hush America, go back to sleep little lambs,’ Some of these folks are in the GOP establishment.”

“Thank you, Texas because liberty needs a Congress on Cruz control. The awakening began, and Sen. Ted Cruz helped keep them awake. His filibuster, it worked in waking people up to the folly of a government takeover.”

“He told his colleagues it was time, time to stand up, time to use the tools of the Constitution, the power of the purse and to fulfill their campaign promises and to stop Obamacare. But our army balked. We hoped that they were just reloading, but instead they retreated, and worse, worse, they joined the lapdogs in the lamestream to trash the foot soldiers who had fought for America.”

“I do not like this Uncle Sam. I do not like his healthcare scam. I do not like these dirty crooks or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress stills. I do not like their crony deals. I do not like the spying man. I do not like ‘Oh yes we can.’ I do not like this spending spree. We’re smart we know there’s nothing free. I do not like reporters’ smug replies when I complain about their lies. I do not like this kind of hope. And we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope. Hat tip the Internet.”

“Run, Sarah, Run!”

“I should, I didn’t get to run this morning. I was so busy. Did some hot yoga and didn’t get to run.”

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Political Headlines March 8, 2014: CPAC 2014: Rand Paul wins second consecutive CPAC straw poll

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2014 CPAC: Rand Paul wins second consecutive CPAC straw poll

Source: WaPo, 3-8-14

One day after riveting a packed convention ballroom, tea party darling Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) topped the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, his second consecutive victory in the conservative confab’s contest. Paul won 31 percent….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 17, 2013: Michele Bachmann Unveils New Approach At CPAC 2013

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Bachmann Unveils New Approach At CPAC

Source: CBS Local, 3-17-13

But she got a warm welcome when she stood before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in suburban Washington, D.C.. She talked about the conservative movement being one of “care and compassion.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines March 16, 2013: Rand Paul Edges Marco Rubio to Win CPAC Straw Poll & Full Results List

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Rand Paul Edges Marco Rubio in CPAC Straw Poll

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-16-13

United States Senate

Could Rand Paul run for president in 2016?

The Kentucky senator emerged as the potential 2016 presidential candidate preferred by the largest share of those who participated in a straw poll at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference. Paul commanded 25 percent of straw poll voters, while another possible GOP contender, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, was close on his heels with 23 percent, according to the results of the survey announced on Sunday….READ MORE

Ky. Sen. Rand Paul — 25 percent
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio — 23 percent
Other/Write-in — 14 percent
Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum — 8 percent
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie — 7 percent
Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan — 6 percent
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker — 5 percent
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson — 4 percent
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — 4 percent
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal — 3 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 3 percent
Undecided — 1 percent

2013 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll ballot:
N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Former Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez
Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Ky. Sen. Rand Paul
Ind. Gov. Mike Pence
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio
Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan
Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum
S.C. Sen. Tim Scott
S.D. Sen. John Thune
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker
Other/Write-in
Undecided

Political Headlines March 16, 2013: Rand Paul Narrowly Defeats Marco Rubio to Win 2013 CPAC Straw Poll

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Rand Paul Narrowly Defeats Marco Rubio to Win 2013 CPAC Straw Poll

Source: ABC News (blog), 3-16-13

Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. This year’s poll was sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by the GOP firm, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 16, 2013: Rand Paul Wins CPAC 2013 Straw Poll

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Conservatives back Rand Paul in early poll

Source: Reuters, 3-16-13‎

Conservative activists picked Senator Rand Paul on Saturday as their preferred presidential nominee for 2016, in an early but often unreliable snapshot….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 16, 2013: CPAC Gets a Pep Talk From Sarah Palin

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CPAC Gets a Pep Talk From Sarah Palin

Source: NYT, 3-16-13

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced Sarah Palin on Saturday, crediting her for his election.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced Sarah Palin on Saturday, crediting her for his election.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Sarah Palin attacked President Obama and Beltway Republican groups….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines March 16, 2013: Sarah Palin’s Speech at CPAC 2013 Excerpts — Compares Obama to Bernie Madoff, Sips From a Big Gulp and Jokes About Her (Gun) ‘Rack’

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Sarah Palin Compares Obama to Bernie Madoff, Sips From a Big Gulp and Jokes About Her (Gun) ‘Rack’

Source: ABC News, 3-16-13

abc cpac sarah palin 4 jt 130316 wblog Sarah Palin Compares Obama to Bernie Madoff, Sips From a Big Gulp and Jokes About Her (Gun) Rack(ABC News)

On President Barack Obama: He is considered a good politician, which is like saying Bernie Madoff was a good salesmen. The difference being, the president is using our money.

Background checks? Yeah, I guess to learn more about a person’s thinking and associations and intentions. More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President — should have started with yours.

On gun ownership: You should have seen what Todd got me for Christmas. Well, It wasn’t that exciting. It was a metal rack, case for hunting rifles to put on the back of a four-wheeler. Then though, I had to get something for him to put in the gun case, right. So, this go around, he’s got the rifle, I got the rack.

On Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s large soda ban: Palin held up a Big Gulp, sipped from a straw and said: Bloomberg is not around, our big gulps are safe. We’re cool. Shoot, it’s just pop with low-cal ice-cubes in it.

On the current state of politics in Washington: We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington, we have reality television.

On young conservatives: My only piece of advice to our young college Republicans is you’ve got to be thinking Sam Adams, not drinking Sam Adams. And that’s just a joke.  I don’t want to know hear from the CEO of some brewery accusing me of being an anti beer-ite.

On freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who introduced her: We need more Americans like Ted Cruz. Coming from Texas, Ted Cruz comes to town, chews barbed wire, and spits out rust.

On Obama administration transparency: Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama, you lie.

Full Text Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Mitt Romney’s Speech at CPAC 2013 the 40th Conservative Political Action Conference

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Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference

Source: ABC News, 3-15-13

PHOTO: Mitt Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., March 15, 2013. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

The following is Mitt Romney’s address as prepared for delivery Friday, March 15, at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.:

What an honor to be introduced by Governor Nikki Haley, a woman of uncommon courage and conviction; whose principles have guided her governance. We need more governors like her!

I’ve also had the honor of your support from the very beginning. You gave my campaign an early boost. You worked on the front lines—promoting my campaign, turning out voters. Thank you.

With help from so many of you, I had the honor of becoming my party’s nominee for president. I was given the privilege of experiencing America in ways Ann and I had never imagined. Across this great country, our fellow citizens opened up their homes and hearts to us.

Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win. But I also left honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people. We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.

It’s fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party. I utterly reject that pessimism. We may not have carried the day last November 7th, but we haven’t lost the country we love, and we haven’t lost our way. Our nation is still full of aspirations and hungry for new solutions. We’re a nation of invention and of reinventing. My optimism about America wasn’t diminished by my campaign; no, it grew—It grew as I came to know more of our fellow Americans.

I have seen American determination in people like Debbi Sommers. She runs a furniture rental business for conventions in Las Vegas. When 9/11 hit and again when the recession tanked the conventions business, she didn’t give up, close down, or lay off her people. She taught them not just to rent furniture, but also to manufacture it.

I’ve seen perseverance. Harold Hamm drove a truck for ten years so that he could afford to go to college. He majored in Geology. Studying geological surveys, he concluded that there should be oil in North Dakota. He went there and drilled a well. It was dry. I’m told that it costs about $2 million to drill a dry hole. But he kept on drilling. 16 dry holes later, they called it Harold’s folly. That changed with the 17th. The Bakken range he discovered is estimated by some to hold as much as 500 billion barrels of oil.

I’ve seen risk taking. The flagging lumber business and mounting losses convinced International Paper Corporation that they needed to shut down their lumber mill in Ossipee, New Hampshire. Into the breech stepped Jim Smith and Kim Moore, the plant manager and sales manager. They borrowed and invested everything they could, to buy the broken business. They saved their jobs and 30 other peoples’ jobs, growing sales from $5 million a year to $50 million.

I’ve met people of great faith. I sat in the home of Billy Graham and in the residence of Cardinal Dolan and prayed with these men of God.

I met heroes in our armed forces: men and women who re-signed with the National Guard after multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, knowing that in all probability, they would be going back again.

I met heroes in the homes of the nation: single moms who are working two jobs so that their kids will have clothes like those that the other kids wear, dads who almost forget what a weekend is, because of all the jobs they’ve taken on to keep the house.

We are a patriotic people. The heart of America is good. Our land is blessed by the hand of God; may we as a people always be worthy of His grace, and His protection.

Like you, I believe a Conservative vision can attract a majority of Americans and form a governing coalition of renewal and reform. As someone who just lost the last election, I’m probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election. That said, I do have advice. Perhaps because I am a former governor, I would urge you to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories: the 30 Republican governors.

Yes, they are winning elections, but more importantly, they are solving problems. Big problems. Important problems. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia secured a constitutional amendment to expand charter schools. Governor Rick Snyder signed Right to Work legislation—in Michigan! Several secured tort reform. Many turned huge deficits into surpluses. Republican governors reached across the aisle, offered innovative solutions and have been willing to take the heat to make tough decisions.

We need the ideas and leadership of each of these governors. We particularly need to hear from the Governors of the blue and purple states, like Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, Chris Christie, and Brian Sandoval because their states are among those we must win to take the Senate and the White House.

We can also learn from the examples of principle, passion and leadership that we have seen during these last several weeks from fellow conservatives here in Washington. I may be a little biased, but I applaud the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.

If I were to offer advice to any president of the United States, it would be this: do whatever you can do to keep America the most prosperous and free and powerful nation on earth.

It is no secret that the last century was an American century. And it is no secret that over the span of the 21st century, America’s pre-eminent position is far from guaranteed. The consequence if America were to be surpassed would be devastating. Why? Because among the primary rivals for world leadership—China, Russia, and the Jihadists—not one believes in the freedoms we take for granted. Freedom depends on American leadership.

American leadership depends on a military so strong, so superior, that no one would think to engage it. Our military strength depends on an economy so strong that it can support such a military. And our economy depends on a people so strong, so educated, so resolute, so hard working, so inventive, and so devoted to their children’s future, that other nations look at us with respect and admiration.

That is the America we grew up in, and it is the America our children deserve.

What other nation would have enjoyed hegemonic military power for a quarter of a century, and never have used it to seek revenge against its former foes or to seize precious natural resources from the weak?

What nation is the most philanthropic in the world, the first to bind up the wounds of the injured from hurricanes, tsunamis, and war?

What nation is the largest contributor to the fight against AIDS in Africa?

Who came to the rescue of Europe when it faced its darkest hour and came to the rescue of others under the threat of tyranny, in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq? Whatever you think of these interventions, the impulse behind them was liberation, not conquest. In all of human history, there has never been a great power that has so often used its power to liberate others from subjugation, to set the captives free. This we must teach our children, and never ourselves forget.

I’m inspired by a people who believe in and live for something greater than themselves—whether their faith, their country, their family, their school.

I marvel at the prescience, the brilliance and the sacrifices made by the nation’s Founders.

I’m proud of our immigrant heritage, proud that so many of us and of our ancestors came here because they wanted to be here, to build a better future for their children here, to worship their God here.

At a campaign stop in Texas, I met a Cambodian-American named Sichan Siv. Sichan came here in 1976, escaping the killing fields of Cambodia. His first job was picking fruit, then he drove a cab in New York City. He later volunteered on the campaign of George H.W. Bush. Thirteen years after coming to America he went to work in the White House. And then, he was appointed as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He said that whenever he stood to speak in behalf of America, his emotions choked, and he asked himself in what other nation could an impoverished Cambodian refugee have become its Ambassador.

America began with an idea, a noble one. That idea was that every person is endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. Freedom flows in American veins. It invigorates our many enterprises, it inspires us to live beyond ourselves, it calls us to care for the suffering and downtrodden. It has made us a great nation.

Today, history and duty summon us again. The country is imperiled by mounting debt, by failing institutions, by families stressed beyond their limits, by schools that fail to make the grade, and by public servants who are more intent on scoring political points than on national renewal.

Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility. I am sorry that I will not be your president – but I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is right…and just.

Thank you again for your help and support along our journey. Ann and I will treasure these memories all the days of our lives. God bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Mitt Romney Admits ‘Mistakes’ in CPAC Speech

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Mitt Romney Admits ‘Mistakes’ in CPAC Speech

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-15-13

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In his first public speech since losing the presidential election, a humbled Mitt Romney addressed a crowd of conservatives who supported his 2012 campaign and told them his loss “prepared” them for “larger victories” ahead….READ MORE

READ the transcript of Mitt Romney’s CPAC Speech

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: CPAC 2013: Hearing from some of the possible next GOP standard bearers

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CPAC 2013: Hearing from some of the possible next GOP standard bearers

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog), 3-15-13

We’re approaching the midpoint of CPAC 2013, and we’ve heard from about half of the people expected to be contenders in 2016….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Mitt Romney: GOP, conservatives ‘have not lost our way’ at CPAC 2013

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Romney: GOP, conservatives ‘have not lost our way’

Source: USA TODAY, 3-15-13

The event known as CPAC often shines the spotlight on the up-and-comers of the Republican Party and is a critical proving ground for presidential hopefuls. More than a dozen potential 2016 presidential candidates — including Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: In rambling CPAC speech, Donald Trump says GOP ‘in serious trouble’

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In rambling CPAC speech, Donald Trump says GOP ‘in serious trouble’

Source: Washington Post (blog), 3-15-13 

Celebrity mogul Donald Trump opened the second day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference with a speech that combined dire predictions about the GOP’s future with boasts about his own career. “The Republican Party is in serious trouble”….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: NRA President Wayne LaPierre Tells VP Joe Biden, ‘Keep Your Advice, We’ll Keep Our Guns’ at at CPAC 2013 the 40th Conservative Political Action Conference

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NRA President Tells Biden, ‘Keep Your Advice, We’ll Keep Our Guns’

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-15-13

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Friday is the second day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference — an annual gathering in Washington, D.C., where members of the GOP meet to cement their ideology and try out potential presidential nominees for the coming years.

In his speech at CPAC, the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre mocked Vice President Joe Biden for his advice that women should fire a shotgun two times in the air if they are faced by an attacker and accused the vice president and the White House of having “lost their minds.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Marco Rubio vs. Rand Paul at CPAC 2013

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Marco Rubio vs. Rand Paul

Source: Washington Post (blog), 3-15-13

The two hottest conservatives in the Senate came to CPAC on Thursday showing their respective strengths. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appeared back to back, maybe a preview of a heavyweight fight in 2016….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Conservatives Take Up Question of Change at CPAC 2013 Retreat the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

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Conservatives Take Up Question of Change at Retreat

Source: NYT, 3-15-13 

Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney will be among those speaking Friday on the way forward for the G.O.P….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 15, 2013: Live Blogging CPAC 2013: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump to Speak on Second Day

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LIVE UPDATES: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump to Speak at Second Day of CPAC 2013

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-15-13

Friday is the second day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference – an annual gathering in Washington, D.C. where members of the GOP meet to cement their ideology and try out potential presidential nominees for the coming years. Today Republican party leaders and celebrities will speak at the conference, including Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. Read background about the event here.

Live updates and behind-the-scenes looks throughout the day….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Jim DeMint’s Speech at CPAC 2013 the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

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Jim DeMint’s Speech at CPAC 2013

Source: Heritage Foundation, 3-14-13

You may have heard that I recently received a big promotion. That’s right. I was promoted from the U.S. Senate and ranking member on the powerful Commerce Committee to The Heritage Foundation. Some people have wondered why I would leave the most debilitated body in the world to help lead the freedom movement in America. The answer is simple. The President and the Congress will not solve America’s problems unless the people force them to. Washington is America’s problem. We are the solution. And the situation is too urgent to wait until the next election. The conservative movement must get its act together and act now to save our nation.

Ed Feulner, the current President and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, recently joined me and a team of Heritage freedom-fighters on a cross-country tour that covered 12 cities. Thousands of people came out for rallies and meetings. We told them how we were working with a large coalition of conservative organizations and state policy groups to build public support for conservative ideas. We told them how Heritage Action is working with coalition partners to hold lawmakers accountable and to organize grassroots support for congressmen and senators who stand for conservative principles.

The people who came to our rallies were a little discouraged when they showed up, but by the time they left, they were full of hope and ready to jump back into the ring to fight for their country. All they want is leadership. They want champions who will stand up to the progressives, take on the liberal media and push back against the Republican leadership when they go wobbly. Their message to us is … if we will be their champions – and lead with courage and bold ideas — they will join us.

Speaking of champions, did any of you happen to see Rand Paul on C-SPAN last week? Senator Paul, along with Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio and others took a courageous and principled stand. Their courage inspired the nation. Americans are hungry for some genuine conviction and passion. And there are many new champions of freedom with conviction and passion in the House and Senate. It is our job to make sure they are heard and that their ideas are supported by the American people.

Rand Paul’s filibuster should remind us that one person with the courage of his convictions can inspire the American people — including young people, women and minorities — and it should also remind us that a national conservative movement with leaders who have the courage to stand for bold, visionary ideas can change the course of our nation and save freedom for the next generation.

After the last election, a group of downcast conservative leaders here in Washington asked me to speak to them about the future of the conservative movement. They wanted to know what conservatives should do. My answer was simple: get up, spit out a few teeth, wipe the blood off your lip and get back in the fight.

Our situation is a lot like the boxer who had been knocked down multiple times in the third round, he was bloodied and could barely pull himself off the canvas before the referee counted him out. He was about to get knocked down again when he was saved by the bell. He stumbled to his corner and collapsed on his stool. Then his manager whispered in his ear, “You’ve got him right where you want him.”

Tonight, you are the boxer and I am the manager. I’m here to tell you how we have President Obama and the whole liberal progressive movement right where we want them.

To understand where we are as a movement and our path forward, we must remember that there is a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement. National Republican leaders have not advanced a conservative agenda for almost 20 years. Not since the first few years of the Republican revolution in the 1990s – when welfare reform and a balanced budget were passed – have Republicans in Congress seriously championed conservative ideas. By the time I arrived in the House in 1998, my party was increasing spending and handing out earmarks like candy to help our members get re-elected.

Two years later, when George W. Bush was elected and Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress, spending and earmarks exploded, the federal role in education was vastly expanded with No Child Left Behind, Medicare was expanded to include prescription drugs, and numerous other new federal programs were created.

In 2004, when I was elected to the Senate, the spending binge continued. By 2006, Americans had seen enough and Republicans lost the majority in both houses. This was not a rejection of conservative policies. In 2008, things got even worse as Republicans helped pass bailouts for big banks on Wall Street and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barack Obama was elected and Republicans lost more seats in the House and Senate.

But it wasn’t long before the far-left policies of Obama and the rudderless Republicans finally woke Americans from their apathy. Americans from all walks of life – conservatives, libertarians, independents, and even recovering liberals – came together in groups called Tea Parties all across the country. They had a unified, simple message. “Stop the spending, borrowing, bailouts and government takeovers … and restore constitutional limited government.”

The majority of Americans agreed with these ideas. This was the opportunity for Republicans to embrace the movement and build that big tent our leaders have been talking about for years. Instead, the national Republican leadership rejected the Tea Party and, along with the liberal media, participated in vilifying the movement.

But many Republican candidates did embrace the Tea Party and the ideas that were uniting America. Many of them defeated establishment Republicans and went on to help Republicans take the majority in the House and gain seats in the Senate. This was the election that brought us Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and many champions in the House who ran their campaigns on cutting spending, banning earmarks and balancing the budget.

But even after these remarkable gains, some establishment Republicans blamed the Tea Party for keeping them from winning the majority in the Senate.

In 2012, with the Presidential election on the line, national Republican leadership rejected the lessons of 2010 and went back to the old way of campaigning – millions of dollars of negative television advertising telling Americans all the bad things about President Obama. They didn’t even try to inspire America with a bold positive vision. The Democrats, on the other hand, used the lessons of the Tea Party, built a grassroots network with voter registration in key demographics and states, and used a high-tech get-out-the-vote campaign to destroy Romney and defeat many Republicans.

As the leaders of the conservative movement, we need to recognize what worked in 2010 and build on it.

First: Republicans didn’t lead in 2010 … conservatives did. Conservatives from all walks of life made our ideas so persuasive and so pervasive across America, that many Republican candidates embraced them and rode our backs to victory. When we take control of our ideas and our message and convince Americans that these ideas will make their lives better, their futures brighter and their country stronger – the politics will follow us. If we do our job, candidates from all political parties will have to embrace our ideas and principles to get elected.

Second: We must have a permanent, from the ground up grassroots organization. That’s why Heritage created Heritage Action. They are promoting our ideas and holding Congress accountable by working with coalition groups across America to organize grassroots activists.

Third: We must learn how to communicate our ideas to all demographic groups and explain how conservative policies benefit 100 percent of Americans. School choice is a conservative policy that is specifically designed to help low income, minority students escape the shackles of failing public schools. Workplace freedom is a policy designed to increase the freedom of union members, to join or not join a union. Entitlement reform is designed to ensure low-income and middle-income Americans have the same freedom in retirement that wealthy Americans enjoy, the chance to control their own health care and income.

Fourth: We must tell the stories about real people whose lives have been transformed by conservative policies and contrast them with the stories of the people who are being victimized by liberal progressive policies.

People like Joe Kelley, a single father here in Washington, calls the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program a “blessing” for his children. By the fifth grade, his son Rashawn was three years behind in the public school system. Kelley had to get a court order for the school to provide Rashawn with a tutor after finding out that the school hadn’t fulfilled its requirement to update his son’s individual education plan.

Beyond the academic failures, Kelley says the school was so bad that “eight police officers patrolled it every day, yet kids were still scared of getting jumped.”

As a result of the scholarship, Rashawn was able to switch to a private school. He caught up to his grade level within two years and is today a high school graduate attending the University of the District of Columbia.

We must do more for the other Rashawns out there who need our help. The good news for us is that conservatives now control more states than ever before. Bold governors and state legislators are proving that our ideas work.

States like Tennessee that have eliminated their income tax and replaced it with a consumption tax have seen their economies boom. States like Indiana that have adopted freedom in the workplace and states like North Dakota that have opened their own energy resources have created new jobs and more opportunities for their citizens. States like Florida that have promoted education freedom have seen more students succeed … especially minorities. And states like Texas that have passed tort reform have seen the best doctors from all over the world move to their state – improving healthcare and lowering costs for everyone.

Our ideas work!

We know where Obama’s policies end up. Look at Greece and Europe. Look at California and Illinois. And look very closely at Detroit where big government liberals and union bosses have controlled city government for over 50 years. Detroit is bankrupt and elected officials have been replaced with a dictator … I mean director. Their population has decreased by more than half in the last 50 years. Only 7 percent of eighth graders read at grade level. Unemployment for Hispanics and African Americans is near 40 percent. Gangs and violence are rampant. There are over 400 liquor stores in Detroit, but not one chain supermarket. Detroit is a showcase for the liberal agenda. Like I said, “we’ve got em right where we want ’em.”

Our ideas make life better for everyone. Their ideas destroy lives and bankrupt cities, states and nations. If we can’t convince people of these facts, we are failing our fellow citizens.

Conservatives are committed to serve 100 percent of Americans – whether they vote for us or not. We will not rest until every American can reach the ladder of opportunity and climb as high as they can dream.

But none of our ideas, our policies or our communications will make any difference unless we show up. People won’t care about what we say until they are convinced that we care about them. We must engage Americans from all walks of life where they live. We must meet with those who are voting for policies that hurt them, listen until we understand why … and learn what words we must use to connect the right ideas with their hopes and dreams.

This is what I plan to do at Heritage. Our plans are bold and it will take several months before we can ramp up to full speed. In the meantime, there are at least four important things we must do right now.

First: We cannot give up on repealing Obamacare. Accepting Obamacare is giving up on America. We must cut the funding for Obamacare and support all the governors who reject the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of healthcare exchanges.

Second: America’s proud heritage of immigration has fueled our nation’s strength and diversity, but today we have a broken and politicized system that makes it easy to come here illegally. We have to fix the system, but we cannot design our national immigration policies to accommodate those who broke our laws. Granting citizenship to those who came here illegally violates the basic principles of freedom. It is wrong because it undermines the very reason immigrants flee other countries and come to America: our rule of law. And we know from history amnesty and citizenship does not solve the problem, it only encourages more law breaking. There were 3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 1986 when they passed the first amnesty. Today, there are an estimated 11 million illegals immigrants. Congress should take a step by step approach that streamlines our legal process to encourage those yearning for freedom and opportunity to come here the right way.

Third: Conservatives must lead with a plan that balances the budget in the next decade without raising taxes. My oldest grandson is 6 years old. Is it too much to expect that by the time he gets his drivers license, we will stop borrowing money from his future? The next battle over the debt will be in a few weeks when we reach the debt limit … again, and we know the chicken littles will squeal and tell us how the sky will fall if we don’t let the President borrow more money. The debt limit is simply a balanced budget. It prevents us from spending more than we take in.

So, we have three options. The first, and my preferred option, would be to balance the budget within 10 years. The second option, which is the President’s preferred option, is to never balance the budget … ever! Just keep borrowing and taxing and spending. The third option, which is ironically the easiest option, is to balance the budget immediately. In other words, just don’t pass the debt limit increase.

Here’s the conservative proposition: Mr. President, we reject your plan to never balance the budget, so you have two options. We can either balance in 10 years — without raising taxes — or we can balance immediately. It’s your choice.

And lastly: We cannot hope to limit government if we do not stand up for our core civil society institutions, beginning with marriage. Marriage is the foundation of America’s cultural stability and economic prosperity and the courts have no business overruling the people’s democratic decisions in the states. People can love whom they want and live the way they choose, but no one is entitled to redefine a foundational institution of civil society that has existed for centuries.

In two weeks, the Supreme Court will hear arguments against the right of states to protect marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Judicial activism is to blame for the Court even considering these cases. The Supreme Court should uphold these laws. It must recognize that the American people should make these decisions, not unelected judges.

We are told that the social issues divide Americans and that we should stop talking about them. We cannot.

Economic and social conservatism go hand-in-hand. They’re natural allies. Strong families, churches and voluntary institutions build strong character and economic independence. And government must always remember we are endowed by our creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is true for you and me, and it is true for the unborn. When government understands its limited role, it can be smaller, people can be freer and our economy can create prosperity for everyone. And when government grows larger with programs like Obamacare that consume so much of our lives, it tramples on both economic freedom and religious liberty. This has united conservatives of all stripes to fight to end Obamacare so we can all be free to live our own lives.

Conservatives can unite America with a platform of federalism that moves dollars and decisions back to the states and the people. Let’s encourage the states to compete for the best business environment and quality of life. States should have the freedom to determine how best to meet the needs of their students. For health care, let states use private contracting for Medicaid to deliver better health care for more people at lower costs. Federalism means letting more states have Medicaid waivers to serve those most in need more effectively and efficiently.

More dollars would be available for roads and bridges if states kept more of their own gas tax dollars and made their own decisions about infrastructure. States could grow their economies if the federal government would get out of the way and let them develop their energy resources.

The less we try to do at the federal level, the more we can unite the country around our ideas. Federal programs are failing and they are bankrupting our nation. The states are proving that conservative ideas deliver better results for all of our citizens.

Another area where conservatives can unite America is foreign policy and defense. Americans want a strong defense, but they are tired of endless wars. The conservative platform for defense and foreign relations can be summarized with two words: strength and focus. The White House, by contrast, has created confusion around the world by not leading and threatened our security by gutting defense.

If we want a strong defense and a foreign policy that serves the interests of the American people, we must act with clarity and judgment. We must defend our homeland, protect American interests abroad and limit foreign entanglements. The world expects us to lead, but we must do it with strength and focus.

I’ve talked a lot tonight about what conservatives need to do to take control of our ideas, our message and how we need to connect with the American people. We can’t wait for Republicans to advance the conservative cause, it is our job to make our ideas so winsome to the American people that they become irresistible to the politicians. The voices of the new and bold conservatives in the House and Senate will certainly help, but it is our responsibility as conservative leaders to build support for our ideas among the voters.

Milton Friedman explained it this way when he said: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

That’s my main point today. It’s why I left the Senate to lead The Heritage Foundation and to help lead the conservative movement. We must take control of our ideas and our message. We must win the hearts and minds of the American people … all of the American people. We must help Americans see the connection between their hopes and dreams and the public policies that will help them achieve their goals. Then they will vote for the right ideas and the candidates who support them.

We can and we will unite America around the principles of freedom. We will develop a simple inspiring platform based on competitive federalism that unites rather than divides Americans. That is my hope and dream and it is my commitment to you. Please pray for our country and all those who defend it – those in uniform and all those who stand with us for the cause of freedom. Thank you.

Political Headlines March 14, 2013: At CPAC, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio take shots at Mitt Romney, John McCain

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

At CPAC, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio take shots at Mitt Romney, John McCain

Source: Washington Post, 3-14-13

The future of the Republican Party took some shots at its recent past on Thursday, as two top potential 2016 White House hopefuls made a conspicuous effort to distance themselves from the past two GOP presidential nominees….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Senator Mike Lee’s Speech at CPAC 2013 the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Sen. Mike Lee’s Speech at CPAC

Source: UnitedLiberty.org, 3-14-13

Up in the Pacific Northwest two brothers, Billy and Bobby, decided that they would sell apples. They set up a small fruit stand on the side of a busy road then drove their old pickup out to the farmer’s orchard, where they purchased a truckload of apples at a price of one dollar an apple. They returned to their stand and began selling their apples –for the head-scratching, bargain price of… one dollar an apple.

After selling the entire load the brothers drove back to the orchard and bought another truckload of apples for the price of… one dollar an apple. Back at the fruit stand, apples were flying off the shelf – again at the price of… one dollar per apple. In no time they sold every apple and enthusiastically raced back for another load.  They filled their truck and paid the farmer one dollar an apple.  Sweaty and exhausted from their efforts, the two brothers hopped back in their truck and hurried toward their stand.

As they drove, Billy said to Bobby, “Ya know, I’ve been thinkin’….  We’ve been working really hard today and sold two truck loads of apples – but it doesn’t seem like we’re making any progress in our business.”

Bobby thought about it then replied, “You know what? You’re right… He thought long and hard, then asked,… “Do you think we need a bigger truck?”

When it comes to the size, cost and scope of the federal government, I am here to tell you that we Do Not need a bigger truck.  Like Billy and Bobby, we instead need to stop and rethink what it is we are trying to accomplish and how best to achieve it.  Unfortunately we have a president who not only wants a bigger truck, he wants a truck with a personalized license plate, heated leather seats, a tricked out stereo system and a rack – no, not a gun rack – at least not without a universal background check – so maybe a rack for his golf clubs!

Did you listen to the President’s inaugural address in January?  It was an extended info-mercial for the biggest and most expensive truck in the world.  In soaring rhetoric, no 60-second truck commercial could ever match, the President rattled off a myriad of big Government solutions, which were each touted as the latest and greatest way for every American to have a bigger truck filled with massive government programs and the promise of utopia.  Of course no mention was ever made about the price of the truck, the size of the debt or how or when the payments would be made.

(And by the way, I am pretty sure he violated many standards of truth in advertising.  He should have hired the fast-talking voice-over guy who races through the disclaimers at the end of an ad, to say something like – this big truck you are buying will not solve your problems, will not pay your mortgage, will not provide you healthcare or give you a job or provide for your retirement.  Your truck loan, and that of your neighbors is payable to the Chinese government and will be painfully extracted from you today and from your children tomorrow.)

But here is what kills me.  As conservatives, instead of focusing on the real issues and the real goals for our society, we have been sucked into debating about what size of truck we really need!  We argue that we need a smaller truck, a smarter truck, a limited purpose truck, a more efficient truck, or even just a better truck.  I repeat – It is not about the truck.

It is time for us as Conservatives to reframe the debate.  It is time to focus on the principles that will lead us to the kind of country and society we want for ourselves and our future.

Here is the principle I am asking conservatives to understand – The opposite of bad government is NOT good government.  It isn’t even just limited government.  The opposite of bad government is Civil Society. A free and strong civil society is built on the innate desire of Americans to freely contribute to the betterment of the community.  Civil Society is the result of the relationships that connect, bind and strengthen us.  It is what drives each of us to do our part to help those around us.

Civil Society is where free individuals thrive and communities flourish.  The interconnection of local communities has always been at the heart of our nation.  I am also convinced that our future success will be found in a return to that connectedness that has driven the American dream from the beginning.  We see civil society when a parent instills values in a child, when a doctor heals a patient, when a teacher stays late to help a student learn to read, when a neighbor stops to help a neighbor– these are the bonds that will restore our faith in the institutions of civil society and move us away from reliance on bureaucratic, centralized decision-making. “We, the people” does not mean a collective adherence to the agenda of the ruling class.  It instead means as Americans we share basic values and principles that when viewed as a whole help form and protect a more perfect union.

Conservatives’ belief in civil society is grounded in the bedrock principles of freedom, self-reliance and self-governance and is manifest in the form of historic American institutions including the family, schools, churches, private groups and civic organizations.  These institutions of civil society teach the morals, values and behaviors that instill faith, confidence and trust between individuals, communities and even government.  The Constitution of this great nation provides the framework that ennobles the vision of the individual while enabling the value of the institutions to create an environment where people prosper and society succeeds.

Government cannot create a civil society, but it can kill it.  Over the past 80 years the federal government has expanded well beyond its constitutional limits.  The history of progressivism demonstrates that as the power of the federal government increases, the ability to self-govern diminishes. And as self-governance decreases, so does the influence of the institutions of civil society. Soon the ability to instill faith, confidence and trust among individuals and communities is replaced by the false promises of big government. And the more our citizens look to big government for solutions, the more the strength of civil society is sapped away, and our collective muscle as a nation – the very muscle that has forged the greatest civilization the world has ever known – atrophies.

In this country results matter.  And when it comes to the dismal and even dreadful outcomes delivered by the promises of big government – no rhetoric can cover the reality of the results.

We must remember that whenever government becomes too involved in anything, bad things happen.  Is it any wonder that the vast majority of Americans have little to no confidence in government?  (and they have even less confidence in congress as manifest in congress’s current approval rate of 15% – which makes members of congress a little more popular than Raul Castro and little less popular than the influenza virus.)

The current angst and apprehension among Americans originates, in part, because it is easy to forget where to look for solutions, strength and certainty.  I suggest that a return to civil society – engaged, self-reliant, free individuals building and strengthening communities – is the answer.

America is extraordinary, not because of who we are, but because of what we do.  Despite the current crushing weight of our bloated federal bureaucracy, we can still see the strength of our nation’s fabric through the intertwining actions of the genuine heroes around us.  They are often disguised as the daily deeds that everyday citizens perform, every single day.  Again, we see civil society when a neighbor stops to help a neighbor, when a 5th grader stands up to a bully for a classmate, when a pastor inspires faith in a troubled soul.  It is often the small and seemingly insignificant things we can and should do each day that ultimately determine the greatness of America.

When we look within and to each other, instead of looking to Washington and government, we will see the greatness of our country reemerge.

Today we are witnessing what happens at the end of the progressive, big government approach.  After the promises of federal solutions have eroded our faith in the institutions of family, school, church and community and having spent our nation to the brink of bankruptcy progressives simply shrug their shoulders, throw up their hands and say, “it isn’t my fault, it isn’t my job and it isn’t my responsibility.”  That is a very un-American approach to a challenge.

I saw this attitude once on a trip through southern Utah with my family.  We had stopped at fast-food restaurant for lunch.  Because my wife Sharon was with me, I thought it would look good if I chose to go to the salad bar instead of buying a hamburger.  I went down the salad bar getting bits of healthy greens and nutritious looking vegetables.  I was very uninspired at my prospects for an appetizing lunch when to my great surprise and delight, at the very end of the salad bar I found… chocolate pudding!  I immediately scooped a large blob of it on my plate, trying to hide it by fluffing up my greens around it.  Suddenly I was feeling very good about lunch.  Looking very healthy, but still getting desert – a lot of it.

Sitting down, I mentally complimented myself for the ingeniousness of what I was about to pull off.  Smiling at the thought, I took a large bite of the chocolate pudding, only to find that it was completely rancid, rotten and spoiled.  It was awful!  I immediately set out to find an employee of the restaurant so I could warn them of the spoiled pudding at the salad bar.  I approached one young lady who worked there and said, “Excuse me, I just want to let you know that the pudding at the salad bar is spoiled.”  She gave me a deer-in-the-headlights blank stair.  I clarified, “The chocolate pudding is rancid and rotten and should be removed before someone eats it and gets sick.” She proceeded to roll her eyes and deliver that deep, soul-crushing sigh that teenagers have perfected and said – “I’m not on salad!”   ….. and walked away.

Instead of that type of shoulder shrugging, what we need in this nation and especially in this town is some serious shoulder squaring in the spirit of civil society.  You see we are all “on salad.”

We are all:
On helping someone in need.
On dealing with the debt.
On building our communities.
On upholding the Constitution.
On restoring the greatness of this nation.

I invite each of you to square your shoulders and be “on salad.”  The synergy, connection and strength that comes from civil society is not only what has made and preserved us a nation, but what will lead us toward a bright future and better days to come….

In order to move forward on this path to a flourishing civil society I invite you to join me on a journey back… back to a place and time not unlike our own…It was a turbulent time of deep division within our young republic.

George Washington recorded the events of March 4th 1797 – the last day of his second term as President of the United States.  Washington wrote, “It was with a heavy heart that I left my room today, thinking not so much of myself as of our country…

Walking out onto Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Washington continued, “ I was plain George Washington now, neither General nor President. Suddenly I realized I was not alone.  People were following me, at first only a few, then a swelling crowd.

“For a long moment, I stood face to face with them – the young cobbler, the carpenter, the storekeeper, the laborer.  All of them stood facing me.  They said not a word.  I realized that Providence was showing me a vision of America, of what it would become.  I could feel assured that, come what may, whether it be political bickering…, or any other evil in government,… our country rests in good hands, in the [hands] of its people. …”

A similar crowd has gathered here today at CPAC.  Political strife divides our country.  Government is expanding in ways that would shock the Founding generation…  As I look out at this crowd, I don’t see cobblers and shopkeepers but scientists and school teachers, web designers and entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers and friends. I am also confident that our country rests in good hands – the hands of its people.

Hand in hand, acting on the instincts of our better angels and connected in the principle of civil society, we the people, not we the government, will form a more perfect union and ensure that the vision of George Washington becomes the destiny of the nation…

Full Text Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Senator Rand Paul’s Speech at CPAC 2013 the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Sen. Paul Addresses 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

randpaul-cpac13

I have a message for the President, a message that is loud and clear, a message that doesn’t mince words.

The message for the President is that no one person gets to decide the law, no one person gets to decide your guilt or innocence.

My question to the President was about more than just killing Americans on American soil.

My question was about whether Presidential power has limits.

Lincoln put it well when he wrote, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man, give him power.”

President Obama who seemed, once upon a time, to respect civil liberties, has become the President who signed a law allowing for the indefinite detention of an American citizen.

Indeed, a law that allows an American citizen to be sent to Guantanamo Bay without a trial.

President Obama defends his signing of the bill by stating that he has no intention of detaining any American citizen without a trial.

Likewise, he defended his possible targeted Drone strikes against Americans on American soil by indicating that he has no intention of doing so.

Well, my thirteen hour filibuster was a message to the President.

Good intentions are not enough.

The presidential oath of office states ‘I WILL protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution,’ NOT ‘I intend to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.’

Mr. President, good intentions are not enough. We want to know, will you or won’t you defend the Constitution?

Eisenhower wrote,

“How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?”

If we destroy our enemy but lose what defines our freedom in the process, have we really won?

If we allow one man to charge Americans as enemy combatants and indefinitely detain or drone them, then what exactly is it our brave young men and women are fighting for?

Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty if you combine the Executive and the Legislative branches. Likewise, there can be no justice if you combine the Executive and Judicial branch into one.

We separated arrest and accusation from trial and verdict for a reason. When Lewis Carroll’s white queen shouts sentence first, verdict afterwards, the reader’s response is supposed to be ‘But that would be absurd!’

In our country, the police can arrest, but only your peers can convict. We prize our Bill of Rights like no other country. Our Bill of Rights is what defines us and makes us exceptional.

To those who would dismiss this debate as frivolous, I say tell that to the heroic young men and women who have sacrificed their limbs and lives, tell it to the 6,000 parents whose kids died as American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, tell them that the Bill of Rights is no big deal.

Tell it to Sergeant J.D. Williams, of Auburn Kentucky, who sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers. Tell J.D., who lost both legs and an arm; tell him his sacrifice was great but that we had to suspend the Bill of Rights he fought for.

Yes, the filibuster was about drones, but also about much more. Do we have a Bill of Rights or not? Do we have a Constitution or not and will we defend it?

In his farewell speech in 1989, Ronald Reagan said: “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

He was right. Government cannot give us our liberty, our rights come from our Creator. But as government grows, liberty becomes marginalized. The collective takes precedent over the individual. Freedom shrinks.

And our government today is larger than it has ever been in the history of our country.

Everything that America has been, and everything we ever wish to be, is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have.

The President seems to think we can keep adding to a $16 trillion debt. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second.

The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working. He’s got it exactly backwards.

I’m here to tell you, what we need to do is leave more money in the pockets of those who earned it.

Look at how ridiculous Washington politicians have behaved over the sequester. The President did a big “woe is me” over a trillion dollar sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans joined him.

But the sequester didn’t even cut any spending. It just slowed the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.

Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

After the sequester, it was announced that the White House would stop giving tours. Administration officials said that it was due to “cuts” imposed by the sequester.

Meanwhile the President found an extra $250 million to send to Egypt. You know, the country where mobs attacked our embassy, burned our flag, and chanted death to America.

You know, the country whose President recently stood by his spiritual leader, who called for death to Israel and all who support her.

I say-not a penny more to countries that burn our flag.

The President says he can’t find anything to cut except for White House tours.

Well what about the $3 million spent studying Monkeys on Meth. Does it really take $3 million to discover that monkeys, like humans, act crazy on Meth?

What about the $300,000 for a Robotic squirrel? They wanted to study whether a squirrel that doesn’t wag its tail will be bitten by a rattlesnake. Only problem, they couldn’t find a real squirrel to volunteer not to wag its tail.

Bottom line – a rattlesnake will bite the you-know-what out of a squirrel not wagging its tail. Mr. President, maybe we could have cut robotic squirrels before white house tours.

For any of you college students looking for jobs, Uncle Sam’s got a job for you. The pay is $5,000 per person. The study is in Hawaii but the requirements are onerous —- you must like food.

The study is to develop a Menu for when we colonize mars. Guess what a bunch of college students came up with……..Pizza.

You could cut just one of these programs and return to letting schoolchildren tour the White House.

This government is completely out-of-control. We desperately need a new course and new leadership.

The path forward for the Republican Party is rooted in respect for the Constitution and respect for the individual.

Part of that respect is allowing Americans to freely exercise one of their most basic rights, the right to bear arms.

You can’t protect the 2nd amendment though if you don’t have the Fourth amendment. If we are not secure in homes, if we are not secure in our persons and our papers, can we really believe that our right to bear arms will be secure?

We need to jealously guard all of our liberties.

The FaceBook generation can detect falseness and hypocrisy a mile away. They are the core of the ‘leave me alone’ coalition. They doubt that Social Security will be there for them.

They worry about jobs and money, rent and student loans. They want leaders that wont feed them a line of crap or sell them short. They aren’t afraid of individual liberty.

Ask them whether we should put a kid in jail for the nonviolent crime of drug use and you’ll hear a resounding no.

Ask them if they want to bail out Too-Big-To-Fail banks with their tax dollars.

And you’ll hear a hell no.

There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street.

Likewise, there is nothing progressive about billion dollar loans to millionaires to build solar panels.

The Republican Party has to change—-by going forward to the classical and timeless ideas enshrined in our Constitution. When we understand that that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we will become the dominant national party again.

It is time for us to revive Reagan’s law: For liberty to expand, government must now contract. For the economy to grow, government must get out of the way.

This month, I will propose a five-year balanced budget.

My budget eliminates the Department of Education, and devolves power and money back to the states where they belong.

With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses.

The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!

The Constitution must be our guide. For conservatives to win nationally, we must stand for something. We must stand on principle.

We must stand for something so powerful and so popular that it brings together people from the left and the right and the middle.

We need a Republican Party that shows up on the Southside of Chicago and shouts at the top of our lungs ‘We are the party of jobs and opportunity. The GOP is the ticket to the middle class.’

The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,——I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we??—-

Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP, the GOP that will win again, will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and personal sphere.

If we are going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.

We must have a message that is broad. Our vision must be broad. And that vision must be based on freedom.

There are millions of Americans, young and old, native and immigrant, black, white and brown, who simply seek to live free, free to practice their religion, free to choose where they send their kids to school, free to choose their own healthcare, free to keep the fruit of their own labor, free to live without government constantly being on their back.

I will stand for them.

I will stand for you.

I will stand for our prosperity and our freedom.

And I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.

Thank you and God Bless America.

###

Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Guide to CPAC 2013 the Conservative Political Action Conference — Why It Matters, Who’s Going, What We Will Learn From It

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

CPAC 2013 – Why It Matters, Who’s Going, What We Will Learn From It

CPAC 2013 the Conservative Political Action Conference Official Site

Source: ABC News, 3-14-13

LIVE UPDATES: CPAC 2013

Today marks the start of a three-day gathering of conservative leaders and activists from around the country. The Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC, for short — is organized by the American Conservative Union and has become an annual focal point that brings together establishment figures, new leaders, grassroots types and, in particular, the younger generation of conservatives. It kicks off this morning at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

Here’s a quick guide about what we can expect:

WHO’S GOING: A whole lot of big-name speakers such as Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and many more….The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, American Crossroads head Steven Law, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Heritage Foundation President and former Sen. Jim DeMint.

WHO’S NOT GOING: The two most-talked-about names who don’t have speaking slots at this year’s CPAC conference are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (although McDonnell plans to participate in a prayer breakfast associated with the conference on Friday morning)….READ MORE

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Kelly Ayotte Kelly AyotteU.S. Senator

John Barrasso John BarrassoU.S. Senator

Diane Black Diane BlackU.S. Representative

Marsha Blackburn Marsha BlackburnU.S. Representative

Jeb Bush Jeb BushFormer Governor of Florida

Eric Cantor Eric CantorHouse Majority Leader

Cardenas Al CardenasACU Chairman

Ben Carson Dr. Ben CarsonDirector of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Francesca-Chambers Francesca ChambersEditor, Red Alert Politics

Steven Crowder Steven CrowderActor, Comedian

Ted Cruz Ted CruzU.S. Senator

Ken Cuccinelli Ken CuccinelliVirginia Attorney General

Artur Davis Artur DavisFormer U.S. Representative

Carly Fiorina Carly FiorinaACU Board Member

Tom Fitton Tom FittonPresident, Judicial Watch

Jeff Frazee Jeff FrazeePresident, Young Americans for Liberty

Newt Gingrich Newt GingrichFormer House Speaker

Kristan Hawkins Kristan HawkinsPresident, Students for Life

Chelsi Henry Chelsi HenryOutreach Chair, Young Republican National Federation

Bobby Jindal Bobby JindalGovernor of Louisiana

Ron Johnson Ron JohnsonU.S. Senator

Sonnie Johnson Sonnie JohnsonFounder, “Did She Say That”/Breitbart News Network

David Keene David KeenePresident, NRA

Katie Kieffer Katie Kieffer

Wayne LaPierre Wayne LaPierreExecutive VP, NRA

Mike Lee Mike LeeU.S. Senator

Art Linares Art LinaresConnecticut State Senator

Dana Loesch 3 Dana LoeschHost, “The Dana Loesch Show”

JennyBeth Martin Jenny Beth MartinCo-Founder, Tea Party Patriots

Alexander McCobin Alexander McCobinPresident, Students for Liberty

Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnellU.S. Senate Republican Leader

Kate Obenshain Kate ObenshainAuthor/Commentator

Sarah Palin Sarah PalinFormer Governor of Alaska

Rand Paul Rand PaulU.S. Senator

Katie Pavlich Katie PavlichNews Editor, Town Hall

Rick Perry Rick PerryGovernor of Texas

Mitt Romney Mitt RomneyFormer Republican Nominee for President

Root, Wayne Wayne Allyn Root2008 Libertarian Nominee for Vice President

Marco Rubio Marco RubioU.S. Senator

Paul Ryan Paul RyanChairman, House Budget Committee

Rick-Santorum Rick SantorumFormer U.S. Senator

Tim Scott Tim ScottU.S. Senator

T.W. Shannon T.W. ShannonSpeaker, Oklahoma House of Representatives

Pat Toomey Pat ToomeyU.S. Senator

Donald Trump Donald TrumpChairman & President, The Trump Organization

Scott Walker Scott WalkerGovernor of Wisconsin

Allen West Allen WestFormer U.S. Representative

Crystal Wright Crystal WrightEditor & Publisher, conservativeblackchick.com

Political Headlines March 14, 2013: Live Blogging CPAC 2013: Conservatives Rally at First Day of 40th Conservative Political Action Conference

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

LIVE UPDATES: Conservatives Rally at First Day of CPAC 2013

Source: ABC News, 3-14-13

Thursday marks day one of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference – an annual gathering in Washington, D.C. where members of the GOP meet to cement their ideology and try out potential presidential nominees for the coming years. Read background about the event here.

Live updates and behind-the-scenes looks throughout the day….READ MORE

Political Highlights February 14, 2011: Budget Battles: Obama Unveils Valentine’s Day 2012 Budget

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The President Discusses the Situation in Egypt

 

White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 2/11/11

 

STATS & POLLS

  • New poll shows Obama ahead of four major potential GOP candidates: A new poll commissioned by the NHJournal.com web site shows that President Barack Obama would defeat Republicans Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in head-to-head matchups in New Hampshire if the election were held today. The poll also shows Granite Staters have a generally favorable view of Obama, are split on Romney and Huckabee, but have unfavorable views of Palin and Gingrich. The poll also shows Granite Staters oppose repeal of the state’s same-sex marriage law but support repeal of “Obamacare.”
    For details of the poll, click here. – Union Leader, 2-11-11
  • Most Americans say Obama is handling Egypt about right, Pew poll says: According to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 57% say the Obama administration is handling the situation in Egypt about right. Republicans are less likely than Democrats or independents to give the president high marks…. – LAT, 2-8-11

THE HEADLINES….

  • Obama’s Valentine’s Day budget: No roses or bon-bons for the GOP: President Obama’s FY 2012 budget lands on congressional desks Monday. Republicans are unimpressed, which sets the scene for a long fight over spending, taxing, and deficit reduction….
    It’s only by coincidence that President Obama’s federal budget for FY 2012 arrives on congressional desks on Valentine’s Day – a weighty tome far heavier than a box of chocolates.
    It’s more challenge than gift, though, especially now that the tea party-tinged House is run by Republicans. They’re already ripping through the contents, pronouncing them unacceptable.
    Obama’s budget, House Speaker John Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, “will continue to destroy jobs by spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much.” – CS Monitor, 2-13-11
  • Budget Forecasts Bigger 2011 Deficit: President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposal projects this year’s deficit will reach $1.6 trillion, the largest on record, as December’s tax-cut deal begins to reduce federal revenues, a senior Democrat said Sunday. The new forecast is larger than the $1.48 trillion deficit projected last month by the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, and up from last year’s $1.3 trillion shortfall. The tax deal extended tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration while adding others, such as a temporary cut to the payroll tax. The prospect of a record deficit is likely to intensify the debate over federal spending and cost controls, which has gripped Washington in recent weeks. Conservative Republicans, many elected with tea-party support, are demanding deep budget cuts for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30…. – WSJ, 2-14-11
  • Republicans, White House Brace for Twin Budget Battles: Republicans looking to make deep spending cuts are girding for twin budget battles in Washington starting this week — a fiscal fight one lawmaker said will define the rest of President Obama’s term. The president plans to unveil his 2012 spending plan Monday, a $3.5 trillion-plus budget which, according to officials, will outline $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. At the same time, Republicans are still trying to cut back this year’s spending. They want to bring a bill to the floor Tuesday that they claim would cut $100 billion out of the budget for the seven months remaining in the 2011 fiscal year.
    Top GOP lawmakers said Sunday they were hopeful the Obama administration would play along, and endorse a plan to sharply reduce short- and long-term spending. But they said the snippets of information out about the upcoming budget plan suggest the president’s not being ambitious enough in tackling what they describe as a fiscal “crisis.” They said the proposals on the table so far will not reverse the “unsustainable” rise in the national debt…. – Fox News, 2-13-11
  • Obama spending plan criticized for avoiding deficit commission’s major proposals: President Obama drew fire Sunday from congressional Republicans and independent budget experts for his reluctance to advance a plan that would tackle the nation’s biggest budget problems in the spending blueprint he will submit to Congress on Monday.
    In the first statement of his budget priorities since Republicans regained control of the House, Obama will avoid politically dangerous recommendations to wipe out cherished tax breaks and to restrain safety-net programs for the elderly, put forward last year by his own bipartisan fiscal commission as a strategy for reining in a soaring national debt.
    White House budget director Jacob J. Lew has told advocates of reform that the White House thinks any significant plan offered by the president would simply become a target for partisan attack. Key Democrats, including Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.), said they accept that rationale. Republicans argued that Obama was abdicating a responsibility to chart a path to solvency.
    “The country’s biggest challenge, domestically speaking, no doubt about it, is a debt crisis. . . . It looks like the debt is going to continue rising under this budget,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt. And this president has been punting.”… – WaPo, 2-13-11
  • Obama’s ‘White Paper’ and Reforming Housing Finance: The Obama administration came out on Friday afternoon with its highly anticipated ‘white paper’ proposing solutions to revamping the nation’s broken mortgage system. The plan entitled “Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market” addresses the adverse incentives created by the pre-2008 mortgage institutions. As anticipated on Monday, the Wall Street Journal’s prediction that the Obama administration would advocate gradually eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was confirmed in this report. However, now the question becomes: what is going to replace these lending institutions?… – Financial Advisory, 2-12-11
  • Republicans take a $100 billion whack at Obama budget: Bending to party conservatives – notably tea partiers – House GOP leaders propose steep cuts in many popular programs for the rest of the fiscal year. Will it lead to a government shut-down?
    In a move that has “tea party” written all over it, Republicans in the House of Representative propose to cut spending for the rest of this fiscal year by what they claim is “the largest single discretionary spending reduction in the history of Congress.”
    Will it pass? That’s unlikely, given Democratic control of the Senate and President Obama’s authority to veto what’s called a “continuing resolution.”
    Still, the action sets the scene for what could be a knock-down-drag-out political fight. And while the amount in question is just a fraction of overall government spending, it wallops many popular programs – including some highly favored by the Obama administration….. – CS Monitor, 2-12-11
  • The Donald and Sarah Palin hair: a CPAC carnival of conservatism: Day 1 of the Conservative Political Action Conference – or CPAC – included Donald Trump touting himself, Michele Bachmann slamming ‘Obamacare,’ and Rand Paul talking about massive budget cuts. In other words, a classic CPAC day…. – CS Monitor, 2-11-11
  • Obama bids farewell to faithful press flack: President Barack Obama bade farewell to his spokesman Robert Gibbs Friday, joking that after President Hosni Mubarak’s exit, his flack’s departure was not the most important exit of the day.
    Gibbs is stepping down from the high-pressure role as White House press secretary after more than 250 on-camera briefings, but is expected to play a big role in Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
    “Gibbs’ departure is not the biggest one today,” Obama said in the White House briefing room.
    A sometimes acerbic former college goalkeeper from Alabama, has been with Obama since the beginning of his big- time political career, when he made an unlikely run for Senate in 2004 that turned into a presidency.
    “Robert started very early with me on this wild ride that I’ve been on,” Obama said. “When I won the Democratic primary in Illinois, I realized that I was going to have to start staffing up a little bit.” “I still didn’t have a lot of money, so all I could afford was Gibbs,” Obama joked, then turned serious, saying that Gibbs had been an “extraordinary” spokesman and a great friend.
    “You could not ask for somebody better in the foxhole with you during all the twists and turns of my candidacy, and then the incredible challenges that we faced over the last two years.”… – AFP, 2-11-11
  • Obama to Gibbs on last day: Here’s your tie back: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs got a gift from his boss Friday before giving his last press briefing. President Obama gave him his tie back.
    It was Gibbs’ light blue tie that Obama wore to give his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston — the speech that ignited his career. On Friday, Obama presented it in a glass frame with photos and a note reading, in part: “I thought that I could finally give your tie back.”
    There were hugs from the president and congratulations from the press corps for Gibbs, who is resigning after more than two years in one of the toughest jobs in Washington; six years with Obama; and 17 in the political communications business…. – USA Today, 2-10-11
  • CPAC gets underway on wave of 2010 midterm momentum: The largest conservative gathering of the year began in Washington on Thursday with a parade of possible Republican presidential candidates determined to show that they have what it takes to defeat President Obama in 2012. More than 11,000 activists and politicians convened for the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference to take stock of the contenders and of the conservative movement after Republicans’ major gains in the 2010 midterm elections. The three-day meeting is part celebration of those victories and part an effort to remind the party’s new leaders to live up to the promises of last year’s campaign.
    The opening-day roster of potential presidential hopefuls included former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty will speak on Friday, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will appear on Saturday. Two prominent potential candidates, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, decided not to attend…. – WaPo, 2-10-11
  • Arizona sues US government over illegal immigrants: Arizona is counter-suing the US government, charging that Washington has failed to protect it from an invasion of illegal immigrants and related violent crime, its governor has said. The lawsuit, which seeks federal compensation, is in response to a federal lawsuit filed by President Barack Obama’s administration last year challenging Arizona’s enforcement of a new immigration law along the US-Mexican border.
    “Our citizens have lived with this dark cloud for too long .. It’s time for the federal government to do its job and secure the border,” said Governor Jan Brewer, announcing the lawsuit outside the federal courthouse in Phoenix…. – AFP, 2-10-11
  • High-speed wireless access for entire US will spark innovation, Obama says: President Obama aims for 98 percent of Americans to be able to go online using high-speed wireless access within five years….. – CS Monitor, 2-10-11
  • Swedish minister to Assange: turn yourself in: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should turn himself in for questioning in a Swedish rape investigation and has no reason to worry about not getting a fair trial, Sweden’s justice minister said Thursday. Beatrice Ask’s comments to The Associated Press reveal the irritation among senior Swedish officials at the arguments used by Assange’s lawyers in fighting his extradition in a British court, where closing arguments are set for Friday. The lawyers defending Assange, who is accused of sexual misconduct against two Swedish women, say a closed-door trial in Sweden would represent “a flagrant denial of justice.”… – AP, 2-10-11
  • U.S. terrorism threat at ‘heightened’ state: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the terrorism threat is the highest it has been since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
    Senior Homeland Security Department officials warned Wednesday that the threat to the United States is the highest it has been since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, citing the emergence of more foreign terrorist groups, a sharp increase in extremists in this country and the “lone wolf” operator whom authorities worry they may not be able to stop.
    “The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “In some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks.”… – LAT, 2-9-11
  • Why Michelle Obama is talking about her husband’s gray hair: As First Lady Michelle Obama publicizes her chosen issue, childhood obesity, she keeps dropping in humanizing details about her husband. Yes, he has gray hair. And boring fashion sense…. – CS Monitor, 2-9-11
  • Obama says businesses must hire, invest to grow economy: President Obama on Monday pledged to make government an ally of companies as they emerge from the bleak downturn of recent years, even as he challenged executives to do their part to help resurrect the economy.
    “We can, and we must, work together,” Obama told an audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, his most overt effort yet to mend ties with the nation’s business community. “Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep, abiding belief in this country, a belief in our people, a belief in the principles that have made America’s economy the envy of the world.”
    His administration will “help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate,” Obama said, vowing new investment in infrastructure and education and a focus on removing “barriers that make it harder for you to compete – from the tax code to the regulatory system.”… – WaPo, 2-7-11
  • Terrorism sponsor no more? Obama hints at taking Sudan from the list: US says it holds the door open for Sudan to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it meets its ‘obligations,’ including recognition of an independent South Sudan… – CS Monitor, 2-7-11
  • Health-care law supporters tap Democratic strategist to defend it: Supporters of the new health-care law have tapped a top Democratic strategist to help defend it against Republican criticism as they settle in for what many expect will be a protracted battle to shape the public’s view of the law through the 2012 elections and beyond.
    “There’s a growing recognition that with respect to this big health-care reform legislation there’s no such thing as a final victory or a final defeat,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of the consumer lobby Families USA, one of the groups behind the effort. “The Republicans are intent on making this a multi-year effort and those of us who strongly support the legislation must meet that challenge. . . . We feel we’ve got to come together in a much more systematic fashion.”
    The initiative is being headed by Paul Tewes, a political consultant who directed field operations in key states for President Obama’s campaign…. – WaPo, 2-7-11
  • Word and Lyric, Giffords Labors to Speak Again: Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an eloquent speaker before she was shot in the head last month, is relearning the skill — progressing from mouthing words and lip syncing songs to talking briefly by telephone to her brother-in- law in space. With a group of friends and family members acting as a backup chorus, Ms. Giffords has been mouthing the lyrics to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby.” And as a surprise for her husband, who is celebrating his birthday this month, a longtime friend who has been helping her through her rehabilitation videotaped her mouthing the words to “Happy Birthday to You.”… – NYT, 2-13-11
  • Rep. Giffords speaks for first time since shooting: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke for the first time since she was shot in the forehead, her spokesman said Wednesday, yet another significant milestone in her recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Giffords spoke first several days ago and is speaking “more and more,” spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Wednesday. He didn’t know what her first words were, but said at breakfast one morning she asked for toast.
    “She’s working very hard and it’s paying off,” he told The Associated Press. “We’re elated at this. We always knew Gabby is a fighter and that she’s not going to let this thing win. And you know, every day is proof of that.”… – AP, 2-9-11

112TH CONGRESS

  • Freshmen Republicans claim victory on spending: First-term Republican conservatives claimed victory Friday after forcing their own leadership to expand a package of spending cuts headed for debate on the House floor next week. “$100 billion is $100 billion is $100 billion,” said Rep. Tim Scott R-S.C., referring to amount the revised package would cut from President Barack Obama’s budget request of a year ago.
    That was the amount contained in the Republican “Pledge to America” in last fall’s campaign, and when party leaders initially suggested a smaller package of cuts this week, many of the 87-member freshman class who have links to the tea party rebelled. In fact, even some Republicans acknowledged privately the legislation will cut about $61 billion from current spending on domestic spending…. – AP, 2-11-11
  • Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl won’t run for reelection: The minority whip, who has been a vocal critic of Obama’s agenda on immigration and healthcare, says it is time for him to do something else. Republicans are confident they can hold on to his seat…. – LAT, 2-10-11
  • House GOP fumbles on Patriot Act renewal: Conservative and ‘tea party’ Republicans join many Democrats to vote against renewal of the terrorist surveillance law, key provisions of which are to expire Feb. 28…. – LAT, 2-9-11
  • Patriot Act extension fails in the House by seven votes: More than two-dozen House Republicans bucked their party to oppose the measure that would extend three key provisions in the counterterrorism law.
    House Republicans suffered an embarrassing setback Tuesday when they fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party’s tea-party bloc.
    The bill to reauthorize key parts of the counter-terrorism surveillance law, which expire at the end of the month, required a super-majority to pass under special rules reserved for non-controversial measures.
    But it fell short of the required two-thirds after 26 Republicans bucked their leadership, eight of them freshman lawmakers elected in November’s midterm elections. With most Democrats opposing the extension, the final tally was 277 members in favor of extension, and 148 opposed…. –
  • New York Congressman Resigns Over E-Mails: Representative Christopher Lee of New York abruptly resigned on Wednesday night after a shirtless photo of himself, which he had e-mailed to a woman, was published on the Internet. Mr. Lee, a two-term Republican from western New York, notified the House speaker, John A. Boehner, of his decision in a letter on Wednesday afternoon, after the scandal had erupted, according to senior Congressional officials.
    Mr. Lee’s office released a statement in which he asked for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” he wrote. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”… – NYT, 2-9-11
  • NY Rep. Lee resigns after shirtless photo story: A married New York congressman accused of sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman abruptly resigned his seat Wednesday, saying he was quitting because he regretted actions that had hurt his family and others. The gossip website Gawker reported Wednesday that Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican, had e-mailed the photo to a woman he met on the Craigslist classified-ads website.
    Lee said in an e-mailed statement that his resignation was effective immediately. The statement offered no confirmation or details of a Craigslist posting. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” Lee said in a statement posted on his congressional website. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”… – AP, 2-9-11
  • With Jim Webb retiring, 2012 Senate prospects get harder for Democrats Sen. Jim Webb (D) of Virginia won’t seek reelection next year. But Virginia’s Democratic bench isn’t very deep: The freshman senator surprised few people Wednesday with his announcement that he will not seek reelection next year. Senator Webb had not raised much money and was not an enthusiastic campaigner. But it’s usually easier for an incumbent to win than a newcomer – especially in a state where the Republicans rebounded in 2009 and 2010. Plus, Virginia Democrats don’t have a big bench. Their best hope – former Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee – has said in the past he’s not interested in running for the Senate. Now that the seat is open, there’s speculation President Obama may twist his arm. For Mr. Obama to win Virginia again in 2012, it will be less difficult if a strong Democrat is on the Senate line…. – CS Monitor, 2-9-11
  • Harman resignation reduces ranks of House Democratic centrists: Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said Monday that she will resign from Congress, a announcement that came as a surprise to many in her party and served as the latest blow to the diminished ranks of the centrist wing of the Democratic caucus.
    Harman added in an e-mail sent to supporters that she was “in discussions” to take over the presidency of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The think tank is currently run by former representative Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), who like Harman believes in a muscular foreign policy that has at times run afoul of the liberal wing of the Democratic party. The center is expected to name a new president Tuesday.
    “This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed – nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress,” Harman wrote…. – WaPo, 2-7-11

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

  • Florida governor cuts spending and taxes in budget: Florida’s Tea Party-backed Governor Rick Scott proposed cutting more than $5 billion from state spending on Monday while also slashing taxes as he laid out his first budget proposal aimed at closing a deficit of nearly $4 billion.
    The Republican, a former healthcare executive, proposed saving nearly $4 billion over two years by reforming Medicaid, the health insurance program for poor people. He also saw savings of $2.8 billion over two years through an overhaul of Florida’s relatively healthy state pension system. Scott also proposed cutting taxes by more than $4 billion over two years. This would include a roll-back of corporate income taxes from 5 percent to 3.5 percent and reductions in property taxes…. – Reuters, 2-7-11

CHICAGO MAYORAL CAMPAIGN

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

  • Boehner sees wide-open field for GOP in 2012: House Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t see a front-runner so far in the large field of potential GOP candidates for the White House in 2012. He says he’s never seen a more wide-open race for his party’s nomination. He tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Republicans need to find someone who can paint a vision of the future that includes a smaller, less costly and more accountable government…. – AP, 2-13-11
  • Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll again: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) won the always-anticipated, rarely predictive presidential straw poll Saturday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, but he did so with less than a third of the vote – a result that suggested the energy of conservative activists at the gathering has not coalesced behind a single candidate. Winning for the second year in a row, Paul carried about 30 percent of the 3,742 votes cast. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney came in second with about 23 percent. Beyond that the vote splintered, with no potential candidate rising above the single digits…. – WaPo, 2-12-11
  • T-Paw gets religion in Iowa: Pawlenty is working hard to court evangelical Christian voters. A devout evangelical himself, Pawlenty made three stops around Iowa Monday in an effort to win over the influential voting bloc that helped put Ronald Reagan in the White House and later gave George W. Bush two terms.
    “It’s important that we acknowledge and begin with the notion that this was a country and is a country that is founded under God,” he declared on the final stop on the Family Leader lecture series at Dordt College in Sioux City. “This not the rhetoric of a politician passing through town. This is a foundational concept for our nation.”

    But Pawlenty, who was the first would-be 2012 candidate to address the social conservative advocacy group, is just one of several prospective Republican presidential candidates vying for evangelicals’ support…. – Politico, 2-7-11

QUOTES

The President records the Weekly Address

 

White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 2/11/11

 

  • White House White Board: OMB Director Jack Lew on the President’s Budget: In this White House White Board, Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, explains how the President’s Budget will help then government live within its means, while still investing in America’s future. Look for much more detail here at WhiteHouse.gov Monday afternoon…. – WH, 2-13-11
  • McConnell: Obama Agenda Is ‘Over’: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Saturday that President Obama’s legislative agenda is “over,” but said GOP lawmakers are willing to work with the White House to do what they “think is right for America.” In a speech Saturday night to a GOP crowd in his hometown, the Kentucky Republican derided Obama for performing “Clintonian back flips” to portray himself as a moderate, but said it’s yet to be seen whether the new tone is “rhetoric or reality.”…
    “And to the extent that the president wants to do what we think is right for America, we won’t say ‘no’ simply because there’s an election coming along,” said McConnell….
    Still, McConnell drew cheers from the partisan crowd when he declared: “The legislative agenda of Barack Obama is over.”
    McConnell also laid out the strategy of Senate Republicans, saying, “Whatever the House can get out of the House with a majority vote is the goal of the Senate.”
    “We’ll see how many of them come over and join us and begin to tackle our annual deficit,” he said…. – Fox News, 2-12-11
  • WEEKLY ADDRESS: “It’s Time Washington Acted as Responsibly as Our Families Do” Remarks of President Barack Obama As Prepared for Delivery, February 12, 2011, Washington, DC: A few months ago, I received a letter from a woman named Brenda Breece. I wanted to share her story because it speaks to what a lot of families are going through – and it offers a good example of the kind of responsibility that’s needed in Washington right now….
    Families across this country understand what it takes to manage a budget. They understand what it takes to make ends meet without forgoing important investments like education. Well, it’s time Washington acted as responsibly as our families do. And on Monday, I’m proposing a new budget that will help us live within our means while investing in our future.
    My budget freezes annual domestic spending for the next five years – even on programs I care deeply about – which will reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade. This freeze will bring this type of spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president. We’ve stripped down the budget by getting rid of waste. For example, we’re getting rid of thousands of government-owned buildings that sit empty because they aren’t needed. I’ve also proposed freezing salaries for hardworking government employees, because everyone has to do their part. And I’m going to make sure politics doesn’t add to our deficit, by vetoing any bill that contains earmarks.
    And yet, just as the Breece family is making difficult sacrifices while still investing in the future – by helping their daughter pay her tuition – my budget does the same. I’m proposing that we invest in what will do the most to grow the economy in the years to come. This means job-creating investments in roads, high-speed speed trains, and broadband. This means cutting-edge research that holds the promise of creating countless jobs and whole new industries, like clean energy and biotechnology. And it means improving our schools and making college more affordable – to give every young person the chance to fulfill his or her potential, and receive the job training they need to succeed. Because it would be a mistake to balance the budget by sacrificing our children’s education.
    So, after a decade of rising deficits, this budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future. It cuts what we can’t afford to pay for what we cannot do without. That’s what families do in hard times. And that’s what our country has to do too. WH, 2-12-11TranscriptMp4Mp3
  • Remarks by the President on Egypt: THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.
    By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change. But this is not the end of Egypt’s transition. It’s a beginning. I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead, and many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks. For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.
    The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state, and will now have to ensure a transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people. That means protecting the rights of Egypt’s citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free. Above all, this transition must bring all of Egypt’s voices to the table. For the spirit of peaceful protest and perseverance that the Egyptian people have shown can serve as a powerful wind at the back of this change.
    The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt. We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary — and asked for — to pursue a credible transition to a democracy. I’m also confident that the same ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that the young people of Egypt have shown in recent days can be harnessed to create new opportunity — jobs and businesses that allow the extraordinary potential of this generation to take flight. And I know that a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership not only in the region but around the world.
    Egypt has played a pivotal role in human history for over 6,000 years. But over the last few weeks, the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace as the Egyptian people demanded their universal rights.
    We saw mothers and fathers carrying their children on their shoulders to show them what true freedom might look like.
    We saw a young Egyptian say, “For the first time in my life, I really count. My voice is heard. Even though I’m only one person, this is the way real democracy works.”
    We saw protesters chant “Selmiyya, selmiyya” — “We are peaceful” — again and again.
    We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect.
    And we saw doctors and nurses rushing into the streets to care for those who were wounded, volunteers checking protesters to ensure that they were unarmed.
    We saw people of faith praying together and chanting – “Muslims, Christians, We are one.” And though we know that the strains between faiths still divide too many in this world and no single event will close that chasm immediately, these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences. We can be defined by the common humanity that we share.
    And above all, we saw a new generation emerge — a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology to call for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears; a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations. One Egyptian put it simply: Most people have discovered in the last few days…that they are worth something, and this cannot be taken away from them anymore, ever.
    This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence — not terrorism, not mindless killing — but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.
    And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history — echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice.
    As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, “There is something in the soul that cries out for freedom.” Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken note.
    Today belongs to the people of Egypt, and the American people are moved by these scenes in Cairo and across Egypt because of who we are as a people and the kind of world that we want our children to grow up in.
    The word Tahrir means liberation. It is a word that speaks to that something in our souls that cries out for freedom. And forevermore it will remind us of the Egyptian people — of what they did, of the things that they stood for, and how they changed their country, and in doing so changed the world. – WH, 2-11-11TranscriptMp4Mp3

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Gingrich: Obama is no Ronald Reagan: A recent Time magazine cover featuring an image of Ronald Reagan with his arm around President Obama has been the subject of much fodder at today’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
    “I knew Ronald Reagan,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich said. “… I hate to tell this to our friends at MSNBC: Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan.” Reagan, the 40th president, is an icon in conservative GOP circles and addressed CPAC at the first conference in 1973…. – USA Today, 2-10-11
  • Ed Rollins: Can Obama be beaten in 2012?: And then of course we have the story of our president. Certainly he was never viewed as a serious threat until he won Iowa.
    One of the great things about American politics is that the early primaries and Iowa caucus are retail politics. Voters want to meet you, shake your hand and look you in the eye and hear what you’re all about. They take their politics very seriously. They have seen many presidential contenders — and they aren’t intimated by any of them.
    A year from now we will know the winner of the Iowa caucus, who will be a front-runner at least until the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. If someone wins two out of those first three, he or she will be on their way to being the nominee. And before it’s over, we will know whether the Republicans will have a candidate who is up to the task of defeating Obama…. – CNN, 2-10-11
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