1. Adviser says it’s 90/10 Ted Cruz will run for president

    Cruz_1-1024x682Well, it looks like Rand Paul will have a fight on his hands to earn the Republican presidential nomination. An adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told National Journal, “At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in. And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.”

    Cruz’s camp expects an end-of-the-year announcement from the senator. Reportedly, his strategy is to focus his campaign on foreign policy, something for which Paul has come up against a lot of criticism:

    Cruz’s foreign policy approach starts with soft power—pushing tougher sanctions on Iran and Russia, for instance, and using fierce rhetoric to undermine the legitimacy of unfriendly governments. Cruz, whose office features an enormous painting of Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, says rhetoric should be paramount in American foreign policy. “It’s a critical responsibility of the president of the United States to speak out as a clarion voice for freedom,” Cruz said.

    As for the conditions for use of force, Cruz appears ready to deploy the U.S. military, but not in a nation-building or occupation capacity, a position his team likely calculates as a poll winner, considering Americans’ dissatisfaction with unsuccessful efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “If and when military action is called for, it should be A) with a clearly defined military objective, B) executed with overwhelming force, and C) when we’re done we should get the heck out,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the job of our military to engage in nation-building. It is the job of our military to protect America and to hunt down and kill those who would threaten to murder Americans. It is not the job of our military to occupy countries across the globe and try to turn them into democratic utopias.”

    While Cruz and Paul may differ on their opinions of the use of sanctions, they both agree that the U.S. should not become forcefully involved in foreign affairs unless absolutely necessary, and not without first defining a clear plan. No matter who gets the GOP nod in 2016, they will be sure to distance themselves from Obama’s often careless and haphazard foreign policy.

  2. Adviser says it’s 90/10 Ted Cruz will run for president

    Cruz_1-1024x682Well, it looks like Rand Paul will have a fight on his hands to earn the Republican presidential nomination. An adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told National Journal, “At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in. And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.”

    Cruz’s camp expects an end-of-the-year announcement from the senator. Reportedly, his strategy is to focus his campaign on foreign policy, something for which Paul has come up against a lot of criticism:

    Cruz’s foreign policy approach starts with soft power—pushing tougher sanctions on Iran and Russia, for instance, and using fierce rhetoric to undermine the legitimacy of unfriendly governments. Cruz, whose office features an enormous painting of Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, says rhetoric should be paramount in American foreign policy. “It’s a critical responsibility of the president of the United States to speak out as a clarion voice for freedom,” Cruz said.

    As for the conditions for use of force, Cruz appears ready to deploy the U.S. military, but not in a nation-building or occupation capacity, a position his team likely calculates as a poll winner, considering Americans’ dissatisfaction with unsuccessful efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “If and when military action is called for, it should be A) with a clearly defined military objective, B) executed with overwhelming force, and C) when we’re done we should get the heck out,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the job of our military to engage in nation-building. It is the job of our military to protect America and to hunt down and kill those who would threaten to murder Americans. It is not the job of our military to occupy countries across the globe and try to turn them into democratic utopias.”

    While Cruz and Paul may differ on their opinions of the use of sanctions, they both agree that the U.S. should not become forcefully involved in foreign affairs unless absolutely necessary, and not without first defining a clear plan. No matter who gets the GOP nod in 2016, they will be sure to distance themselves from Obama’s often careless and haphazard foreign policy.

  3. GOP doesn’t want Obama to use lame-duck Congress to replace Holder

    8570524865_719029beff_zWith Eric Holder stepping down from his post as U.S. attorney general, the White House is looking to fill the position ASAP. However, Republican lawmakers, who have had a tumultuous relationship with Holder, have already urged Barack Obama not to use the lame-duck Congress to push through his nominee:

    “Rather than rush a nominee through the Senate in a lame-duck session, I hope the president will now take his time to nominate a qualified individual who can start fresh relationships with Congress so that we can solve the problems facing our country,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Grassley, who voted to confirm Holder in 2009, lamented that his tenure “was strained by his lack of respect for Congress, the American taxpayer and the laws on the books.”

    Republicans have long been against using lame-duck sessions to push through non-emergency legislation, as lawmakers who have lost their seats would have no accountability:

    That holds true for selecting Holder’s replacement, said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider the eventual nomination.

    “Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced,” Cruz said.

    Unfortunately, it’s practically 100% guaranteed that Democrats will use the lame-duck Congress to ram through their preferred nominee, rather than take the time to consider who will be most willing to work with (a likely Republican majority) Congress.

  4. Never forget that good will triumph

    Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Today and every day, let us remember and honor all those who lost their lives, and never forget that no matter what evil is capable of, good will always triumph.

    Never_Forget

  5. Ted Cruz pushes to use ‘any and all means necessary’ to stop executive amnesty

    8570524865_719029beff_zBarack Obama has officially delayed any plans for passing executive amnesty. Indeed, as part of a concerted effort to save face for the Democratic Party going into the midterms, he intends to make September all about ISIS — but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) refuses to let the illegal immigration debate drop so easily.

    Tuesday, Cruz called on his fellow lawmakers to use “any and all means necessary” to block Obama from ever taking executive action on immigration:

    “I think we should use any and all means necessary to prevent the president from illegally granting amnesty,” Cruz said when asked Tuesday whether he wants to include such provisions in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. “That certainly, I think, would be appropriate to include in the CR, but I think we should use every – every – tool at our disposal.”

    The comments from the junior Texas senator came at a news conference when several conservative lawmakers from both chambers gathered to criticize Obama’s executive actions on immigration – both past and potential future orders.

    “President Obama has decided this election will be a referendum on amnesty,” Cruz said, referring to the White House’s move to punt the immigration executive action until after the midterm elections, following concerns from several vulnerable Senate Democrats.

    Cruz has introduced legislation that would strip taxpayer funds from being used to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which prevents undocumented children with longstanding ties to the U.S. from being deported. He declined to elaborate on whether he would oppose a CR that failed to include an immigration measure, but some lawmakers — particularly Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — are worried that Cruz could influence another government shutdown over the issue.

  6. How Obamacare can still win the Senate for Republicans

    scumbag-boss-memeThis time last year everyone was talking about Obamacare. These days, however, Barack Obama’s legacy legislation has found itself drowned out by the tidal wave of other scandals, crises, and embarrassments plaguing the federal government, from Iraq, to illegal immigration and amnesty, to the chaos in Ferguson, Missouri, to Obama single-handedly dragging his entire party down with him. But with election season — and open enrollment — right around the corner, Republican politicians would do well to shine the spotlight on Obamacare once again:

    Now, the GOP should circle back. There are nine Senate seats described as “toss-ups” by Real Clear Politics, and Obamacare could move the needle in some of those races. The ACA is still a political stink bomb, with Kaiser Family Foundation polling showing only 37 percent of the country views the law favorably – one of its lowest ratings since it passed in 2010.  Some 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the ACA – up a shocking 8 points since June.

    Democrats everywhere are running scared from Obamacare, and for good reason. As laid out by The Fiscal Times’ Liz Peek, here are six reasons why renewed focus on this unpopular mandate can win back the Senate for the GOP:

    1. Premium hikes are coming in 2015. The Health Research Institute (HRI) at PricewaterhouseCoopers recently estimated that Obamacare insurance premiums in 27 states and the District of Columbia are set to increase by an average 7.5% next year — but the average hardly paints a full picture. HRI found that some consumers in Nevada could see prices go up a staggering 36%. Even more damning for Democrats are the rate increases expected to hit key election states: insurance companies in North Carolina, Iowa, Louisiana, and Arkansas have requested 10.8%, 11.5%, near 20%, and near 12% increases, respectively.

    2. The Obama admin is probably fudging enrollment numbers. If you ask the White House, 8 million Americans are enrolled in Obamacare. If you ask insurers, that’s not exactly the case. Aetna reported that only about 600,000 of its 720,000 enrollees have paid their premiums, and they expect the number to drop another 500,000 by year-end.

    3. People are livid about the narrow doctor networks. Ironically and completely counterintuitive to its entire purpose, Obamacare has made it more difficult for customers to obtain care thanks to narrow doctor and hospital networks. For example, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only participating insurer in New Hampshire, and it promptly eliminated 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals from its network. Since the start of 2013, more than 70 bills have been introduced in 22 states to clarify the network rules, and multiple lawsuits have been filed in California.

    4. The legislation is inherently flawed. See Halbig v. Burwell, the court case that could be Obamacare’s undoing.

    5. Obamacare reeks of Obama’s imperial tendencies. 

    Mr. Obama has single-handedly changed the ACA some 24 times, delaying important provisions such as the employer and individual mandates. The president has rigged the rollout of the ACA to political advantage, putting off the most painful aspects of the bill and front-loading the goodies. Republicans should remind voters we have yet to encounter, for instance, the 40 percent Cadillac tax, which has been pushed back until 2018, but which is expected to raise as much as $214 billion by 2023.

    6. Obamacare discourages job creation. Yes, it does. Companies have already limited hiring new employees and cut back current employee hours in order to avoid the dreaded employer mandate. Additionally, the ACA has made it possible so that Americans no longer need to work to have health insurance, which is completely disincentivizing.

  7. Washington Post article declares Democrats ‘are in the process of destroying themselves’

    senator_harry_reidWashington Post columnist Ed Rogers gave Republicans something delightful to read on Tuesday. According to him, with just 11 weeks until the midterm elections, “nothing suggests that the Democrats have reached the bottom of the political trough they are in,” and it doesn’t look like they’ll be digging themselves out of their hole anytime soon:

    The calamities, distractions and scandals we’ve seen during the Obama administration all come in such rapid succession that the half-life of any one is relatively short. But still, Obama and the Democrats cannot seem to get in front of any current events. They are in a permanent state of crisis, being tossed around on the waves of the daily news cycle. Any day with no new bad news is considered a good day for the White House and the Democrats generally.

    The Democrats are on their back foot on every front — from the violence in Ferguson, Mo., to developments in Iraq and Afghanistan to uneven economic data to the now-ancient IRS scandal. Politically, the Democratic Party seems to be in more turmoil than President George W. Bush and the Republicans were before the debacle of the 2006 midterm elections.

    Ouch. But that’s not even the worst of what Rodgers says. In his sign-off, he declares that Republicans won’t even have to try to destroy the Democrats — they’re doing it for them:

    As with football, we are still in preseason, but we are fast approaching Labor Day and the official kickoff of the 2014 campaign season, and Republicans wouldn’t dare trade places with the Democrats. The bottom line is, Democrats are reacting to events rather than becoming the master of them. As this campaign season gets underway, the old adage definitely applies: Never interfere with your opponents when they are in the process of destroying themselves.

    It looks like it will be a happy election season for the GOP.

  8. In Iowa, Ted Cruz calls for abolition of the IRS

    Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_5Several Republican 2016 hopefuls took to the stage in Ames, Iowa at the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday. Though the state’s caucuses are over a year away, the potential candidates looked to impress Christian conservative voters, who influence the caucuses due to their tendency to be organized and motivated to participate.

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appealed to Christian values and also called for the eradication of something everyone despises — the IRS:

    “We need to stand unambiguously for the commonsense conservative principles shared by the vast majority of Americans,” Cruz said as he criticized the national health care law, national education standards and other initiatives disliked by many conservatives.

    “We need to stand for life,” he said. “We need to stand for marriage. We need to abolish the IRS. We need to repeal Obamacare. We need to repeal Common Core.”

    […]

    Cruz also used the occasion to question Obama’s foreign policy decisions. He told reporters that if Obama continues military engagement in Iraq, the president should seek congressional approval.

    Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee focused on foreign policy:

    Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and the last to speak, focused on foreign policy, accusing the administration of not supporting Israel and arguing that the U.S. should provide arms to Iraq’s Kurds.

    “If we had good sense we would arm the Kurds as we said we would. We gave them nothing, not so much as a BB gun,” Huckabee said.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, of course, spoke on the border crisis:

    The crowd responded warmly to Perry when he repeated his criticism of Obama’s response to the recent flood of unaccompanied child immigrants that has overwhelmed authorities in Texas. He drew a standing ovation for repeating his credo: “If you will not secure the border of our country, then the state of Texas will.”

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal received a positive reaction for his call for change in Washington:

    Drawing the most laughter was Jindal’s speech, which featured anecdotes about his immigrant parents and the birth of his kids, feeling at times like an introduction to voters. Still, he got a rousing response to comments about changing leadership in Washington.

    “The people have had enough and we’re ready to take our country back. We don’t need incremental change. We need big change. They better get out of the way,” Jindal said.

    The caucuses are a ways away, but it’s important for potential candidates to pay attention to Christian voters. As Jamie Johnson, a pastor from Stratford who served as an adviser to Santorum in 2012, put it, “To ignore Christian conservatives in Iowa is to say, ‘I’m not interested in winning.’”

  9. Cruz, Sessions, vow to fight Obama’s plan to expand amnesty

    Cruz_1-1024x682Barack Obama reportedly plans to use his executive authority to extend amnesty to six million more illegal immigrants by the end of the summer, but on Thursday Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) vowed to fight him every step of the way:

    The two senators have been among the most vocal Republican opponents of Obama’s deferred deportation policy, which they say has prompted a flood of unaccompanied minors to try crossing into the United States.

    Cruz said he was back at the Texas border last weekend, when he asked border officials why the roughly 60,000 children have tried to cross.

    “Every single one of the border patrol agents gave the exact same answer,” Cruz said. “They said they’re coming because they believe they will get amnesty.”

    Cruz also called it “fitting” that Obama was hosted by the television producer of the TV show Scandal during his recent visit to California, as “it is scandalous that the president has more time to be fundraiser in chief than he does to do his basic job in being commander in chief in securing our borders.”

    Sessions stated that Americans need to know that Obama’s deferred action program also hopes to grant work authorization permits to illegal immigrant adults:

    “We need to know what this is saying, and we need to know what it means, and we need as members of Congress in this Senate to resist it,” Sessions said, citing a National Journal report outlining Obama’s plan. “And we cannot allow it to happen. We will not allow it to happen.”

    “They are not entitled to certain government benefits if they come illegally,” Sessions added.” Of course they are not. Of course they are not able to work and take jobs and get benefits if they came into the country illegally.”

    Cruz has proposed legislation that would prevent a program similar to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy for millions of other illegal immigrants, and also plans to propose another bill this week that would fix a 2008 law so the U.S. can more quickly deport children from Central America. As for the latter bill, Speaker John Boehner is expected to propose the same change in his forthcoming House border legislation.

  10. Cruz, Sessions, vow to fight Obama’s plan to expand amnesty

    Cruz_1-1024x682Barack Obama reportedly plans to use his executive authority to extend amnesty to six million more illegal immigrants by the end of the summer, but on Thursday Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) vowed to fight him every step of the way:

    The two senators have been among the most vocal Republican opponents of Obama’s deferred deportation policy, which they say has prompted a flood of unaccompanied minors to try crossing into the United States.

    Cruz said he was back at the Texas border last weekend, when he asked border officials why the roughly 60,000 children have tried to cross.

    “Every single one of the border patrol agents gave the exact same answer,” Cruz said. “They said they’re coming because they believe they will get amnesty.”

    Cruz also called it “fitting” that Obama was hosted by the television producer of the TV show Scandal during his recent visit to California, as “it is scandalous that the president has more time to be fundraiser in chief than he does to do his basic job in being commander in chief in securing our borders.”

    Sessions stated that Americans need to know that Obama’s deferred action program also hopes to grant work authorization permits to illegal immigrant adults:

    “We need to know what this is saying, and we need to know what it means, and we need as members of Congress in this Senate to resist it,” Sessions said, citing a National Journal report outlining Obama’s plan. “And we cannot allow it to happen. We will not allow it to happen.”

    “They are not entitled to certain government benefits if they come illegally,” Sessions added.” Of course they are not. Of course they are not able to work and take jobs and get benefits if they came into the country illegally.”

    Cruz has proposed legislation that would prevent a program similar to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy for millions of other illegal immigrants, and also plans to propose another bill this week that would fix a 2008 law so the U.S. can more quickly deport children from Central America. As for the latter bill, Speaker John Boehner is expected to propose the same change in his forthcoming House border legislation.

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