Racist Journalists, Minimum Wage, and Civil Asset Forfeiture

Mark Halperin used to be a respected journalist, or at least he pretended to be. But his interview with Ted Cruz was a deplorable bit of racism and hackery – he basically challenged Cruz to prove that he was genuinely Cuban. Really really disgusting and further proof that when we take old media seriously, we give THEM credit that they no longer deserve.

The great news is that Ted Cruz handled it quite well, and our team seems to really be handling the opposition media much better this go round than last.

We also discussed James Franco’s article about the positive influence that working at McDonald’s was in his life, and how we must focus on talking about “starting points”  and the first rung of the ladder.

Then we shared some stories about the horrors of civil asset forfeiture. This is a topic that needs to be addressed, by government, and that we can reach beyond our traditional groups to bring in allies. We should all learn more about it.

It’s all in the podcast


Your hosts

THIS WEEK’S LINKS:

Halperin’s Racist Interview of Cruz – http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/05/11/3657223/prize-racist-interview-2016-candidate-goes-bloombergs-mark-halperin/

Halperin ‘Apology’ – http://www.scribd.com/doc/264961797/Statement-From-Mark-Halperin

Franco Criticized on Support of McDonalds – http://freebeacon.com/blog/james-franco-reveals-the-dirty-little-secret-of-fast-food-labor-its-not-worth-15-per-hour/

Franco – McDonalds Was There for Me – http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/05/07/mcdonalds-was-there-for-me-when-no-one-else-was/?tid=sm_tw

The Next Labor Fight Is over When You Work – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/08/the-next-labor-fight-is-over-when-you-work-not-how-much-you-make/

HuffPo on Amtrak Passenger DEA Cash Seizure http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/07/dea-asset-forfeiture-joseph-rivers_n_7231744.html

Young Black Man Cash Seized by DEA – http://freebeacon.com/issues/dea-seizes-amtrak-passengers-life-savings-without-charging-him-with-crime/

Nebraska Veteran’s Cash Seized – http://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2015/04/16/veteran-forfeiture-nebraska/

Veteran’s $63k Seized Because He kept It in Grocery Bags – http://www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/police-seize-63530-from-veteran-because-he-kept-it-in-grocery-bags/

IRS Seizes Convenience Store Owner’s Life Savings – http://personalliberty.com/irs-seizes-rural-convenience-store-owners-career-savings-in-another-horrible-abuse-of-civil-forfeiture/

Vox on IRS Asset Forfeiture – http://www.vox.com/2015/5/2/8528845/irs-structuring-civil-forfeiture

John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEpZWGgJks

The 7 Most Egregious Examples Of Civil Asset Forfeiture – http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/30/the-7-most-egregious-examples-of-civil-asset-forfeiture/

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Racket – http://reason.com/archives/2014/09/24/the-civil-asset-forfeiture-racket

Leslie’s Share of Jeb Bush on Religious Freedom – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LeslieP/posts/UW6UpDr83HR 

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A collaborative project of Free Radical NetworkThe Party of Choice, and The Conservative Union. Members of each group come together to discuss messaging successes, failures, and strategies in an effort to make ourselves, and the movement as a whole, better at selling Liberty.

“Because if we can’t sell Liberty, we suck; but if we can’t learn how to sell Liberty, we are defeated”

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The Refinery ep.32: GOP vs. Science, YouTube, SOTU

The podcast is here!

On this episode of #TheRefinery, The Conservative Union’s Leslie, The Party Of Choice’s Andy, and Free Radical Network’s Felicia & JD discuss Elitism, the “Republicans Are Anti-Science” meme, YouTube interviewing the President, and yes, The State Of The Union.

Join the weekly discussion about solving conservative messaging problems

A collaborative project of Free Radical NetworkThe Party of Choice, and The Conservative Union. Members of each group come together to discuss messaging successes, failures, and strategies in an effort to make ourselves, and the movement as a whole, better at selling Liberty.

*Because if we can’t sell Liberty, we suck; but if we can’t learn how to sell Liberty, we are defeated*

THIS WEEK’S LINKS:

Matt Lewis – Anti-elitism or Anti-intellectualism? – http://www.mattklewis.com/?p=7997

Sowell – ‘And Then What?’ – http://wichitaliberty.org/economics/thinking-beyond-stage-one-economic-development/

How does the GOP fight a populist, tax the rich proposal? – http://hotair.com/archives/2015/01/19/how-does-the-gop-fight-a-populist-tax-the-rich-proposal/

No, the GOP Is Not at War With Science – http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/no-the-gop-is-not-at-war-with-science-114195.html#ixzz3PRKYeYOh

Turning Science Into the New Welfare Queen – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-seay/rand-paul-nsf-budget_b_6467666.html

State of the Union You Tubers – http://www.teaparty.org/keeping-classy-obama-interviews-3-amateur-youtube-personalities-sotu-77724/

BREITBART UNITY!!!! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isW3xvQS8e8

The Band-Aid Presidency

bandaid

 

Last night, in the most classic way imaginable, the Obama administration dumped a 800 lb lump of coal into the stockings of liberal America on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

The Administration announced that any person who had their health insurance cancelled late this year are no longer obligated to legally abide by the individual mandate, the central taxation component of the Affordable Care Act.  Additionally, these same people could satisfy the mandate requirement by purchasing catastrophic insurance alone, which previously was not considered sufficient to satisfy the mandate requirements.

The argument that the administration is making is ironic in so many ways.  They argue that the individual mandate, arguably the most important cog to the workings of Obamacare, is a ‘hardship’ to millions of Americans.  Furthermore, they are arguing that because of this hardship, they will simply delay that part of the law.

Think about the legality for a second:  President Obama is issuing a hardship exemption for something the Supreme Court has defined…as a tax.

Can you imagine the fun a Republican President can have with that power?

Let us also remember that this invalidates virtually every Democrat and liberal argument against a deal to avert October’s congressional shutdown.  Let us not forget that Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee put a proposal on the table to avert the shutdown if the administration simply agreed to a 1 year delay to the individual mandate.  Yesterday, Barack Obama did just that…proving that much of his stance on the shutdown was political theater, nothing more.

In the larger picture, this type of policy change largely defines the entire Obama Presidency. The pattern is as follows:  Obama and liberals propose a policy that, any common sense would tell you, cannot function in the real world. They pass this policy, often distorting the facts to the American public to get their support.  Once passed, they all of a sudden realize the idiocies contained in their plan, and rush to distance themselves from the plan they were recently advocating.  Once the policy becomes active, they realize that reality is more powerful than ideology, and thus, look for any and all ways to get themselves out of the mess they created.   And they use every ‘Band-Aid’ measure possible to cover-up the mess they have created.

The Band-Aids are piling up, and it does not only refer to health care.  Look no further than foreign policy this.  Obama’s Syria ‘Red line’ policy is a perfect example.  Obama talked a good game, but then realize that there was no way to enforce his red-line in the real world.  He quickly ran away from that policy, only to end up with a policy that, ironically, strengthened the power of a man Obama said was ‘evil’, Bashar Assad.

If you want to go further back, the Obama stimulus often had many of these characteristics as well. They passed statutes for ‘shovel-ready’ projects, and later realized there was no such thing.  They then pumped out the money, regardless of effect, to lackluster consequences.

Think of the fallacy of this latest Band-Aid on Obamacare.  The administration is arguing that they have imposed a hardship on at least 5 million Americans who lost their health insurance because of Obamacare.  So, to help these people, they are going to exempt them from the individual mandate.  However, these same people argued during the shutdown that any delay of the individual mandate would be catastrophic to the functionality of the entire ACA system.

Furthermore, the hardship claim is dubious.  Is Obama actually saying that it is more a hardship for people to lose their insurance and have to purchase it on his own exchange, than the hardship of forcing the previously uninsured to dig deep in their pocketbooks to purchase that very same insurance on the exchanges?  He is saying the previously uninsured have no burden of hardship as well?

Another liberal fallacy also dies: the argument that these were ‘substandard’ insurance policies.  Obama has now stated it is o.k. for people to move to catastrophic insurance, when the majority of this cohort had comprehensive insurance prior to Obamacare coming into effect.  In other words, Obamacare diminished  the quality of health insurance plans in America, and Obama is not legitimizing that change.

Each of the policy changes are chinks in the armor of Obamacare; that armor is now thin and rusting. This is a virtual universal delay of the individual mandate for 2014, no matter how liberals spin it.  They will never politically be able to argue that those that lost their insurance because of Obamacare bear more hardship than the uninsured do, and thus, they will be forced to exempt all Americans.  Ted Cruz wins the policy debate.

Even worse, this fixes nothing long-term.  This is a classic Obama ‘Band-Aid’.  Sure, it theoretically stops millions of people from being required to pay approximately $95 in tax penalty this April. But the real issue is not the tax, but the health care exchange.  By exempting all of these people, the administration makes the entire insurance system much less financially stable.

Insurers who were already dubious of the administration’s competence on this are now outright furious at being lied to, time and again.  They fear this will further push the risk portfolios of their insurance plans to the extreme, and thus, will increase their costs. That further increases cost pressures on health insurance premiums across the board, increasing costs for everyone. The Obamacare upward bending of the cost curve continues.

The ‘Band-Aids’ are all for show.  Ultimately, the problem is that the law itself was inherently broken.  These temporary measures actually fix nothing in the system. They are a political attempt at cover.  But nobody can protect Democrats from the onslaught of public anger that is going to arise when they realize what the ACA does, when the Band-Aids finally come off.

A Happy Conservative’s Thoughts On The Shutdown

kermit waving arms

A few random pontifications on the government shutdown.

  • I for one think politically speaking, this is going much better than I could have predicted. I was supportive of the defund strategy, but thought it would all fall  apart in the first few minutes of a actual shutdown.  Give credit where credit is due:  Ted Cruz et al may have started this, but John Boehner is the one keeping the caucus together, against moderate threats like Peter King.
  • Where do we go from here?  I think it is pretty clear it will take another cliff to get both sides together, for a simple reason:  the government shutdown has not been very painful.  There is no motivation for either side to compromise right now.  Sure, the polls show a slightly larger portion of the population blames the GOP, but nowhere near the numbers of the 1995 shutdown. That is bad news for Obama. However, Obama is still under the illusion that this is a repeat of 1995, as are his West Wing advisors.  Until that view changes, we are on lockdown.
  • The next bump in the road:  the debt ceiling.  I think for all sides, that is far more important than this shutdown.  Default clearly would cause more repercussions than anything occurring today.
  • Be prepared for an unsatisfying end to this.  There is no way the GOP wins on all its points.  However, even a partial win by the GOP should be considered an achievement, considering the make up of D.C. today.  If we can get the medical device tax repealed, or something along the lines of the Vitter amendment, along with some other cost savings, I would be content.
  • The one negative of the shutdown?  The diluted news coverage of the debacle that has been the Obamacare startup.  The Feds are searching frantically for good news, and the best they can come up with is web hits.  Sorry, but that is about as useless a barometer as I can imagine.  Now, show me number of people who actually signed up for insurance, and then we can talk.  The most successful exchanges have signed up a few thousand customers; some have not signed up a single person yet, two days into this process.
  • So far, the Obama people have failed in finding any victims to point to in order to villify Republicans, but they did a pretty good job in creating victims to villify Obama.  The silliness at the World War II Memorial was about as stupid a political move as one can imagine.  And don’t doubt for a second that some political appointee reading Alinsky Rules didn’t make this decision.  No such barricades were placed during the Clinton-Gingrich shutdown, for example.  No, this was calculated, and it blew up in their collective faces.
  • Harry Reid compounded the Democrat debacle yesterday, when asked why the Senate wouldn’t try to help “one child who has cancer” by approving a mini-spending bill, he shot back: “Why would we want to do that?”  Reid spent the rest of the day trying to explain why this didn’t imply he wanted kids to die.  The House has twice passed funding bills to keep NIH and other essential services open.  If the media was actually nonpartisan, this would have a political impact.  We will see how much this story plays out.
  • As for tactics:  First, understand thy enemy.  Liberals are basically in the ‘Kermit the Frog hand flailing’ mode now.  Why?  I have had many conservatives ask this, and I thought it was blatantly obvious:  for liberals, shutdown of the Federal government is like taking away their oxygen.  You must understand that for many of them, their core ideological belief is that the government is the end all, be all of human existence. Life without a large, bureaucratic government overseeing their daily lives is unthinkable.
  • I suggest conservatives try to show sympathy for the furloughed government workers and others suffering from the shutdown.  I understand the hatred for big government, but many of these people are simply caught up in this, and are paying a price for the stupidity of our political leadership.  Be neighborly; help out any friends that are struggling. I have had friends that are Veterans, and some of their benefits have been cut.  Conservatives care about these things, and we should be the first to help and aid these people, and not revel in any of their misery.  This sympathy for fellow Americans does not mean inherently mean we should change our strategy; short term pain is one thing, long term good of the country is another.
  • Conservatives on the other hand need to react to these angry liberals in one, simple fashion:  Don’t worry, be happy.  Look, this is our ideal!  We have a government that is funding defense, and little other extraneous spending.  Doesn’t mean we support the level of spending that is occurring right now, but we can’t complain much about it either.  Be the happy warriors that Reagan used to talk about. We have little to lose, and a lot to win.  And unfortunately, many of these spending programs will be starting up sooner than we would like anyway.

Regarding citizenship and media stupidity

o-CRUZ-OBAMA-facebook

For some unknown reason, we have to talk about the citizenship rules that allow a person to be qualified to be the President of the United States again.

The stupidity of this discussion boggles the mind.  It was stupid when it was brought up when Barack Obama first ran in 2008, it was even dumber when issues about John McCain’s Panamanian birth arose, and now is compounded with a new level of stupidity based on the recent disclosure of Sen. Ted Cruz’s birth certificate.

Furthermore, the trolls in the media that have nothing better to do than discuss established law without understanding the law they are discussing are roping in Conservatives, who are falling for the trap. Our own Leslie P has an excellent piece on this earlier today.

There are some subtle rules in here, but here is the basic gist of the situation:  if you are a child of an American citizen, and you claim American citizenship upon your birth…you are a naturally born citizen of the United States.

There are some minor hurdles however.  For example, before a certain date, you needed that parent to reside in the U.S. during some period within 5 years of the birth. And you cannot immediately claim another country’s citizenship, and the later proclaim U.S. Citizenship…that would renounce your American citizenship as natural born.

If you want an extensive run down on the legal case, this was an excellent article from Redstate.com, in two parts.  Many little details and nuances are in the laws, but my gestalt is pretty much accurate.

Now, the media has jumped on another little nuance…that Cruz (who is, by all legal criteria, a Natural Born Citizen) is also potentially a Canadian citizen.  This actually may be true, based on what some legal scholars in Canada are stating.  This is, additionally, also completely irrelevant to the discussion whether Cruz is eligible for the Presidency.  Nothing in the Constitution precludes a Natural Born Citizen from having dual citizenship.

What is really intriguing about this is that, if the media had any inquisitive nature at all, that Barack Obama, under Kenyan law, was a KENYAN citizen by birth until the age of 23.  Because his father was a Kenyan citizen at birth, Obama automatically was a Kenyan citizen with dual citizenship until the age of 23.  At that time, he either had to become a Kenyan citizen in toto, or automatically lost his claim on his Kenyan citizenship, because adults cannot have dual citizenship in Kenya.

Intriguing how the media never picked up on that.

Don’t let the media drive a silly narrative.  This is strategic on their part; they think that they can use the birther issue to divide the Right.  We conservatives should always base the decision on what the law specifically states.  And in this question, there is no debate.

Birtherism–The Left’s Effective Tool Against the Right–Ted Cruz Version

CRUZ_0819NAT_32638724[1]Wait, what? Birtherism as a tool that the left is wielding against the right? Hold on a minute. The left has dismissed the birthers as cranks and fools, now they ARE birthers? What’s going on.

It’s just another way that the left is kicking our butts tactically. WE LET THEM WIN, ALL THE TIME. Because we are foolish. Figure it out, and just stop it.

John Hayward explains and in his last paragraph nails the strategy, and makes you understand why it is another in a long list of small victories of the left over the right. They bat us around like the cat playing with the mouse. It’s sport for them.

To recap: Ted Cruz was born in Canada, to an American mother. He was a US Citizen at birth, no naturalization process required – US law says so. He was also a Canadian citizen at birth. The two countries have similar laws, and Ted Cruz ended up a dual citizen, at birth.

  1. You’re a citizen no matter where you are born if one of your parents is a citizen and lived in the country for 5 years.
  2. You’re a citizen based on where you were born.

We know this – if a pregnant American is traveling, and has her baby while in Mozambique, that kid is American. (So yes, even if Obama’s mom had the baby in Kenya, he’s a citizen). That’s part 1. Pregnant Mexican citizens cross the border so that the baby is born in America and thus and American. That’s part 2.

1375981183000-AP-Resisting-Advice[1]So yes, Ted Cruz has been an American since birth. It’s a non-troversy.

The left has started “just asking questions” and poking around and doing their deceptive “investigations” which are simply attempts to wound good Conservative politicians, issues, or groups.

This is not something that the left cares about. They know it’s an irrelevancy. They know it disappears tomorrow.

But they trot is out, hoping that the right will form a circular firing squad and that they can just sit back and watch us fight amongst ourselves as they enact some other bit of progressive economic or cultural destruction.

110x75-f6604a680edc4dbed86008042b640c66[1]It’s working. They have actually succeeded in getting the Paul campaign sniping at the Cruz campaign. You know what that hurts? The defund Obamacare movement. Because the staffers will be angry at each other rather than working together.

The Washington Examiner reports it, Drudge highlights it, and we spend time talking about it, fighting over it, and now we have to divide into Paul camps versus Cruz camps? Really? Victory to the left. Well done. That was easy.

We have GOT to stop being so freaking stupid. Seriously.