Tag Archives: Congress

ICYMI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Historic Speech To Congress March 3, 2015

BiBi Speaks to Congress

By Gary P Jackson

The speech heard round the world. The speech that reminds us all what a feckless crapweasel Barack Obama truly is, as well as how much the democrat party absolutely hates Israel and loves her enemies.

This is what a leader looks like. It goes without saying I stand with BiBi and I stand with Israel.

As our friend Ray notes, checking out Rand Paul at the 43:19 minute mark pretty much sums him up as well.

The Washington Post has a complete transcript of BiBi’s speech, if you’d like to review more.

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Breaking: President Obama to Seek Congressional Approval for Actions Against Syria

Barack-Obama-Syria-460x288

By Gary P Jackson

In a sudden shift Saturday afternoon, President Obama announced he would seek Congresional approval before ordering military action against Syria, after Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against the Syria people.

From the Washington Post:

President Obama said Saturday that the United States has decided to use military force against Syria, saying last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack there was “an attack on human dignity,” but that he has decided to seek congressional authorization for such a strike.

The announcement appeared to put off an imminent cruise missile attack on Syria and opens the door to what will almost certainly be a contentious and protracted debate.

Obama’s remarks came as senior administration officials were making a fresh round of calls to congressional leaders on Saturday in an effort to bolster support for a potential military strike on Syria, officials said.

Many are against getting involved in the Syrian conflict, as both sides are anti-America, and the rebels fighting Assad have strong ties to al Qaeda. Also the Obama regime has laid out no clear goals, no clear plan of action.

One must also conclude that with British Prime Minister David Cameron losing his attempt join in Obama’s folly, and only the French expressing interesting in a coalition, as well as Obama’s own caterwauling over the Iraq war, [which DID have Congressional approval] that seeking Congress’ approval now is the only way for Obama to save face and not look like the flaming hypocrite that he is.

Ironically, Saddam Hussein slaughtered over ONE MILLION Iraqi citizens, including the Kurds, … with chemical weapons …, and yet Obama, and the entire left wing of the democrat party STILL scream about “Bush’s war” and how wrong it was for America to invade Iraq, and take Saddam out.

And yet, not a single peep out of the Code Pink fascists, or any other radical anti-American democrat group over Obama wanting to get into Syria, with roughly 1,000 deaths due to the chemical attacks.

Also, unlike Syria, Iraq was, at the time, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Saddam offered the families of suicide bombers $25,000 for every bomb set off in Israel. We’ve see an almost complete lack of suicide bomb attacks in Israel since the Iraqi dictator was captured.

As for myself, I see no clear reason to get involved in this war. Both sides of the fight are our enemies, and unless the goal is to go in there and wipe em all out and start over, giving the Syrian people true Liberty and Freedom, it makes no sense. Even if Assad’s tyrannical government is toppled, we know the Muslim Brotherhood [al Qaeda] will likely fill the vacuum created, and we’ll have another disaster, as we have in Egypt.

I feel for the Syrian people. They live in a country that has been run by a brutal dictator for years. If the other side wins, they will STILL live under a brutal dictatorship. Just a different name on the door! That is the greatest tragedy of the whole affair, and something neither Obama, or those supporting his actions, care to address.

Thankfully, only a handful in Congress are excited about getting involved in this mess.

Either Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] or Speaker of the House John Beohner [R-OH] could call Congress back into session, but they are not scheduled to return until the 9th of September.

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Congress Clouds the Already Weak Transparency of the STOCK Act;Updated

by Whitney Pitcher
CapitolBuilding
At the end of last week without even a vote, both the House and the Senate approved a repeal of a portion of the STOCK Act.  The STOCK Act, signed into law last Spring, is a transparency and ethics law aimed primarily at Congress and their staff. The law requires those individuals to disclose their conflicts of interests (such as stock purchases) and  prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit. However, the bill also applies to many higher ranking federal employees as well. With the repeal of the portion of this bill (if signed by the President),  two components of transparency will become opaque, as detailed by the Sunshine Foundation (emphasis added):

The bill enacted last year would require already public financial disclosures of senior congressional and executive branch officials to be put online in order to prevent or root out insider trading. There were concerns that some provisions of the bill were overbroad and would put some government employees at risk. Rather than craft narrow exemptions, or even delay implementation until proper protections could be created, the Senate decided instead to exclude legislative and executive staffers from the online disclosure requirements.  

The sweeping exemption goes even farther than critics of the disclosure requirements requested. For those to whom online disclosure would still apply (the president, vice president, members of Congress, congressional candidates and individuals subject to Senate confirmation) the Senate bill made electronic filing of the information optional and struck the requirement that online information be searchable, sortable and downloadable, making even the disclosures that remain in the bill tepid and relatively unusable.

Even prior to the aforementioned legislation, implementation of the STOCK Act had already been delayed multiple times. Additionally, the bill was not even available for public consumption on the  Library of Congress website until after the measure was approved by Congress. Imagine that–a bill that would repeal transparency passed through Congress in a non-transparent manner.

In today’s data-driven, information age, if such government information is not online, it is essentially useless to the American public. How will constituents be able to hold their leaders and their leaders’ staff accountable if such information in not available online? If such online disclosure is merely optional, there is little motivation for politicians to be voluntarily transparent.

The STOCK Act was the ultimately a hybrid of two bills proposed by Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. When the STOCK Act was being discussed in Congress, Governor Sarah Palin called the bill ” particularly weak” because they did not require Congress to disclose their stock purchase or trades immediately. Governor Palin supported a more stringent bill from Congressman Sean Duffy,which would have required all Congressmen to create blind trusts or disclose stock trades within three days. Duffy’s bill never made it out of committee.

The research and work of Peter Schweizer led to such legislation being seriously considered at all. Legislation banning insider trading never got any traction until Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out was released in 2011. Schweizer called the passage of the STOCK Act a “victory”, but noted that the bill did not go “nearly far enough to deal with the problems of cronyism and corruption that we face.”

What must Governor Palin and Peter Schweizer think of the non-transparent weakening of an already weak bill?

The STOCK Act only received 5 “nay” votes total between the House and the Senate when it passed in early 2012. Why did a bill that received overwhelming support now engender such an overwhelming response for its weakening? Why didn’t the co-author of the original bill, Senator Gillibrand, call for at least a legitimate vote on the weakening of her bill? Why did Congressman Duffy, who proposed a stronger piece of legislation, not reject such a bill?

It seems that the political forecast in Washington D.C. remains cloudy with little chance of sunlight and transparency.

Updated:President Obama has now signed this bill only further confirming that the “most transparent  administration” is nothing but.

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Speaker of the House Sarah Palin? Hey, Why Not!

Sarah Palin Fiesty

By Gary P Jackson

Yeah, it’s a crazy idea, and would never happen, but after seeing some of the nonsensical choices thrown out there lately, it’s the only alternative that actually makes sense.

A few days ago Norman J. Ornstein a “resident scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute penned a ridiculous piece for the Washington Post. Ridiculous not for suggesting that Congress could, and maybe should, look outside it’s ranks to pick a new Speaker, but for who this cat thinks would make a good choice.

Boehner’s dilemma is worsened by the fact that 50 or more House Republicans come from districts that are homogeneous echo chambers, made that way through redistricting and the “Big Sort” that has like-minded people living in close proximity to one another. None of them is threatened in a general election; all could be unseated in a contested primary.

With the Club for Growth and others putting million-dollar bounties on the heads of apostates who vote for any taxes, and with the conservative wind machine of talk radio having its effect, these lawmakers are immune from broader public pressure, the impact of a large election outcome or persuasion by their party leaders. For Boehner, fulfilling his constitutional responsibility as speaker of the House means getting the House to work its will, even if his party does not go along — but doing so imperils his speakership.

What if Boehner doesn’t survive? Go to Article I, Section 2: The Constitution does not say that the speaker of the House has to be a member of the House. In fact, the House can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the post. Every speaker has been a representative from the majority party. But these days, the old pattern clearly is not working.

Even in a multi-ballot marathon, there is no way 17 or more Republicans in the new House would opt for Nancy Pelosi, or any other Democrat. The danger is that a fatigued GOP will settle for a take-no-prisoners firebrand or find another candidate willing to pledge fealty to the radical minority within the majority, turning the current, really bad situation into something worse.

The best way out of this mess would be to find someone from outside the House to transcend the differences and alter the dysfunctional dynamic we are all enduring. Ideally, that individual would transcend politics and party — but after David Petraeus’s stumble, we don’t have many such candidates. It would have to be a partisan Republican.

One option would be Jon Huntsman. By any reasonable standard, he is a conservative Republican: As governor of Utah, he supported smaller government, lower taxes and balanced budgets, and he opted consistently for market-based solutions. As a presidential candidate, he supported positions that were in the wheelhouse of Ronald Reagan. But a Speaker Huntsman would look beyond party and provide a different kind of leadership. He would drive a hard bargain with the president but would aim for a broad majority from the center out, not from the right fringe in. He could not force legislation onto the floor, but he would have immense moral suasion.

Another option would be Mitch Daniels, the longtime governor of Indiana and a favorite on the right. Daniels has shown a remarkable ability to work with Democrats and Republicans, and he is a genuine fiscal conservative — meaning he does not worship at the shrine of tax cuts if they deepen deficits, and he would look for the kind of balanced approach to the fiscal problem put forward by Simpson-Bowles, ­Rivlin-Domenici and the Gang of Six.

America’s political dysfunction is driven by a Republican Party that has become an insurgent outlier. Unfortunately, even last month’s decisive election has not purged or ameliorated that dysfunction. It may be time for a different kind of out-of-the-box action. Huntsman for speaker!

There are over 300 MILLION Americans and these two are the best Ornstein can come up with? We might as well pack it in.

Let’s look at Mitch Daniels first. Though he’s not completely horrible, he was part of the Bush administration, the bad part, that allowed spending to skyrocket. “Truce” Daniels is the guy who not only said we should more or less give up the fight on social issues, surrendering to the democrats, but also supports such lunacy as a VAT, [value added tax] a scheme that taxes goods at every step of production, as value is “added“. From raw materials to finished product, this unholy tax does nothing but make everything cost more. They’ve had this in the UK for years. The last thing we need is to import more failed Euro style socialism into this country.

Of course, the burning question on Daniels is will his wife let him be Speaker! I’m all for equality and respecting the wishes of one’s spouse, but this is a guy who said he couldn’t run for President because his wife wouldn’t let him. Frankly he makes Speaker Boehner look like Hercules in comparison. Next.

Why oh why anyone in the Republican Party thinks Jon Huntsman is viable for anything but ridicule is so far beyond comprehension it borders on the absolute absurd. Never mind that Huntsman was actually a fairly decent Governor, the fact is, he’s not a Republican. He’s openly hostile to every single principle that the GOP pretends to stand for. Recently he accused the GOP of “not having a soul,” which on the surface sounds about right, but if you read what he bases this on, you realize that Huntsman is a liberal democrat who, for some unknown reason, thinks he should pretend to be a Republican.

It should be clear to the Geniuses of the GOP™ after Huntsman’s total flop of a presidential run that few Republicans want anything to do with Huntsman. He’s a liberal and we already have enough liberals in Washington. Sane Americans want to rid the nation of these varmints, not put more in positions of power!

Then there are Huntsman’s daughters. They hate the GOP, and especially Conservatives, so much they make Megan McCain look like a flag waving, “Don’t Tread on Me” Tea Party Patriot! And like Meggie Mac, they just LOVE talking to the media about their disdain for Conservatives. Just what we don’t need.

David Petraeus is also mentioned. I don’t understand the infatuation with this guy [as a potential political figure] either. We know little of his politics and only assume he’s a Republican. The few things he’s let out make one think he’s a liberal in every way. When I see Petraeus I think Colin Powell not Ike!

Here’s a hint for Ornstein and the rest of the Republican Party’s Thought Leaders™, if the person you are so in love with is openly hostile to the base of the party, as well as all of the principles it [allegedly] stands for, you probably need to re-think your infatuation with said loser.

Not to be outdone, Allahpundit, covering this nonsense over at Hot Air, advanced the notion that Paul Ryan is the answer, though he admits Ryan would be “nuts” to step into this mess and fight Boehner.

Paul Ryan is the exact sort squishy liberal Republicans love. He pretends to be Conservative but is rather “flexible” when you get down to specifics. Throwing out his uninspiring run with Mitt Romney in the past election, this is a guy who’s so-called budget plan, won’t actually balance the budget in my lifetime, and even then, that’s based on the failed idea that there would be no increase in government spending! Yup, Ryan’s plan won’t do anything, even though it’s got over 20 years to do it!

Ryan was also part of the cabal, along with Eric Cantor, that helped Boehner oust Tea Party Conservatives from leadership positions within Congress. Not a ringing endorsement for those of us who WANT Tea Party principles upheld. Those of us who want an out of control government stopped dead in it’s tracks know Ryan ain’t the man for the job.

Ryan has consistently voted for every big spending program, and crony bailing out nonsense, for years. And since out of control government spending is one of the worst problems facing America, I think we can pass on Ryan.

For what it’s worth, many Hot Air readers expressed their own choice for Speaker, overwhelmingly that choice was Sarah Palin.

Speaking of Eric Cantor, evidently he and Boehner are on opposite sides of the “fiscal cliff” argument, with Cantor solidly against the Senate bill that passed in the wee hours of New Years Day. That has led some to say Cantor should face off against Boehner for Speaker. See above, Cantor is no different han Boehner. Also, folks must never forgive Cantor for the fact he joined Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney in early 2009 for the inaugural [and final] “Forget Ronald Reagan …. and All He Stood For …. Listening Tour and Free Pizza Extravaganza.” Yeah, this is certainly the guy we want running the House. Not!

But what of Sarah Palin? Why should she be Speaker? Two words: Proven. Leadership.

As both Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin proved she has the skill to bring varied groups together for the common good. As Governor, Sarah was able to bring democrats on board for all of her many signature pieces of legislation. Legislation that shook the entrenched permanent political class to it’s core. One of the reasons she maintained an approval rating in the low 90s and high 80s throughout most of her term as Governor is the fact she knew how to work with everyone to get things done.

When Sarah took office in late 2006 she had a briefcase full of campaign promises and very aggressive legislative goals. When she left office in 2009 every single promise had been kept and monumental legislation had been passed, all in a very bi-partisan way. How did she do this? She knows how to negotiate. She knows that one should negotiate from a position of strength.

As we watch Speaker Boehner negotiate like someone who who lost, rather than won re-election, I’m reminded of the dynamic between Ronald Reagan, who won two historic landslides, and then Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. O’Neill never let Reagan forget that, he too, had been re-elected. He and his democrat party.

America re-elected Barack Obama, though with millions fewer votes than in 2008, the first time in our nation’s history a President has won re-election with fewer votes than they originally won with, America also re-elected John Boehner and a Republican dominant House of Representatives. Our system of government is a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately our “leaders” seem to have forgotten this.

Speaker Boehner has the exact same mandate President Obama has. He has a position of strength but no clue about how to use it. Sarah Palin wouldn’t have this problem!

In reality, the chances of Sarah Palin being chosen Speaker are slim and none, with none being in the lead. Though the Constitution doesn’t specify that the Speaker must come from the elected members, there’s a reason it’s never been done. No way are these gentlemen and gentle women going to give up so much power to an outsider, any outsider, no matter how strong the pedigree. The Speaker is in direct line of succession to the presidency, should something happen to the President. It’s how we ended up with Gerald Ford, though he was appointed VP after Agnew resigned. It was his position as Speaker that put him there.

As Speaker, Sarah Palin would wield incredible power over the budget process as well as all legislation before Congress. Again, Sarah’s record of fiscal discipline is stellar. She brought the corrupt process in Alaska back to reality, took deficits and created multi-billion dollar surpluses. She was the only Governor in the country to actually reduce their state’s liabilities. She cut expenses to the bone, and managed to throw in massive entitlement reform in the mix. Today we see many states fighting out of control employee pension plans that threaten to bankrupt them. Sarah fixed Alaska’s pension system in her spare time.

What’s noteworthy is Governor Sarah Palin accomplished all of this in good times when Alaska, and America was flush. Alaska had oil dollars pouring in at an almost unbelievable rate, and Alaksa’s legislature had dreams of massive new spending. Sarah not only shot that nonsense down, she cut wasteful spending already in place. This is what we need in Washington today!

Though it will never be an issue with the current Republican “leadership,” with all of the corruption, plus Fast and Furious and Benghazi, Obama is ripe for impeachment, as is Joe Biden. If Republicans retook the Senate in 2014, one could envision a Speaker Palin leading the call for impeachment of Obama. The possibilities after that are endless. This is another reason you won’t see a Speaker Palin.

I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin wouldn’t want this job, but anyone who knows her incredible record of public service knows that it would make perfect sense for her to replace Boehner. She has the proven record of getting the seemingly impossible done, and done in bi-patisan fashion. This is something needed in Washington.

If we are going to engage in the fantasy of replacing Boehner with someone from outside of Congress, we might as well fantasize about the very best person for the job, not retreads, failures, or liberal GOP stooges!

Oh, and for what it’s worth, Sarah Palin is the only one with the ability to save the Republican Party from itself. Another reason the Geniuses of the GOP™ want nothing to do with her!

palin-resurects-gop

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Sarah Steelman Announces Run For Vacated House Seat

Sarah-Steelman

By Gary P Jackson

On this week’s Steel Resolve Sarah Steelman announced that she will be seeking the soon to be vacated congressional seat from Missouri’s 8th District. Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson is leaving office in order to head up the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Under Missouri law, there will be no primaries, instead each party picks it’s own candidates for the upcoming special election. Sarah Steelman is the best candidate for Missouri, and the United States. Those of you ho have followed her since Sarah Palin endorsed her Senate run have learned that Steelman is the real deal.

Stay tuned and follow Sarah on Twitter for more details.

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Stand with Rep. Sandy Adams to Protect the Taxpayer

by Whitney Pitcher

Florida’s Congressional primary will be held next Tuesday, August 14th., One primary race in the seventh district pits longtime Congressman John Mica against freshman Congresswoman Sandy Adams.  Sandy Adams is an Air Force veteran and former Orange County Deputy Sheriff and Florida state representative.

Adams, endorsed by Governor Palin both in 2010 and in this year, won a seat in Congress riding the 2010 Tea Party wave. Her record in office so far has proven to be a reform minded breath of fresh air compared to her now opponent, Congressman John Mica. In the last two years, Congressman Mica’s voting record has followed the status quo of crony capitalism, bloated government, and corporate welfare.In just the past two years voted on multiple occasions to support continued corporate welfare and poor use of taxpayer dollars. Mica voted against Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act which would have eliminated all targeted energy subsidies across the board–both for renewables and fossil fuels. Congresswoman Adams, on the other hand, voted to eliminate these energy subsidies that would have saved $90 billion over ten years. Congressman Mica stood for corporate welfare again when he voted for a bill that re-authorized the Export-Import (ExIm) bank, which the Heritage Foundation calls the “Fannie Mae of Exporters”. The ExIm bank provides taxpayer guaranteed loans to American companies who do business overseas. Congresswoman Adams took another stand against corporate welfare by voting against the re-authorization of this bank.  Congressman Mica stood for corporate welfare and energy subsidies again when he voted against a bill that would have blocked “Solyndra type” green energy loan guarantees; Congresswoman Adams voted in favor of blocking such loans. There is a crystal clear difference between the crony capitalist voting record of Congressman Mica and the pro market voting record of Congresswoman Adams.

The crony capitalism doesn’t stop with solely his recent voting record for Congressman Mica. Breitbart News reports on what the Congressman has provided his cronies as the chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

One of Mica’s pet projects is Florida’s SunRail, a 61 mile commuter rail costing around $1.2 billion dollars. The rail curiously does not connect with one of Florida’s most profitable businesses, Disney World, but does run through Mr. Mica’s congressional district. Not only will district business benefit from the Sunrail, which will serve around 2000 commuters a day, Mr. Mica’s enthusiastic campaign donor, CSX Transportation, will get $491 million of tax payer money for its freight lines.

“ ‘His dedication to SunRail is not for mass transit — it is for helping CSX to get government funds for its private freight lines,’ said State Senator Paula Dockery, a Republican and a chief critic of the project.”

The New York Times goes on to report:

Campaign finance records show that many of the contractors that worked on the project, including an engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff, have been major contributors to Mr. Mica’s re-election campaigns. So have businesses and individuals who could benefit from the project, including ICI Homes, a real estate developer that owns several sites close to a proposed SunRail station, and Florida Hospital in Orlando, whose $250 million expansion plan is contingent on getting a station on its property.

But the largess with tax payer dollars extends not only to his donors but to his family as well. Mr. Mica’s daughter, D’Anne Mica, ran a public relations firm for 8 years. One of her clients was the construction firm, PBS&J. (ABC News, January 12, 2010) In 2009, Rep. Mica earmarked $13 million of taxpayer dollars for PBS&J, coincidentally a major supporter of Florida’s SunRail.

Congresswoman Adams’ record represents a stark contrast from Congressman Mica’s cronyism and corporate welfare. This is why Governor Palin wrote today re-iterating her support for Adams:

In 2012, we have a unique opportunity to elect more commonsense conservatives to Congress, but that alone is not enough. We must support conservatives who are with us on the issues but not weighed down with the burden of crony capitalism that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Sandy Adams is just one of those candidates. She is running in Florida’s 7th Congressional District; and unlike her opponent, Sandy is free from the shackles of lobbyists and back door dealings in Washington. As someone who served in the military and as a career law enforcement officer, Sandy doesn’t have time or the patience for the business as usual ways of Washington. Washington insiders on both sides of the aisle have spent this country into massive debt and put our children’s future at risk. Let’s restore power to the people by electing a wise Congress that our next President can work with. Please join me and others like Congressman Allen West, Condi Rice, and Tea Party Express in supporting Sandy Adams today.

Congressman Mica has shown that he’s used his position in Congress to protect his cronies. Conversely, Congresswoman Adams has used her seat in Congress to protect the taxpayers–and victims of abuse. She is in a unique position as a woman and as a former law enforcement officer to lead the way on sensible legislation to protect women without the extending the law (the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA) beyond the original intent–as the Senate Democrats want to do. As Adams wrote in an op-ed this past spring:

 To make this a political issue is not only wrong but dangerous. Violence against women in this country cannot be just another campaign issue, it cannot become part of a stump speech; it must be a reflection of our best efforts as Americans united against a cycle of violence that can and must be broken. That is why I am proud to introduce, with my House colleagues, legislation that aims to improve VAWA while still keeping lifesaving programs intact. Our legislation will help ensure that money is going to the victims of abuse and not Washington bureaucrats by streamlining the grant process to make it more accountable, efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, it eliminates fraud in immigration programs and omits the potentially unconstitutional expansion of tribal court jurisdiction over non-native Americans.

As someone who knows firsthand the dangers and effects of domestic violence, I want victims out there to know that there is hope and life after abuse. Programs like VAWA, when not used for political posturing, are crucial to protecting and helping these victims. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand together on this issue without turning it into a partisan talking point. Too many lives are at stake for us to give anything less.

Representative Sandy Adams will protect rule of law and the taxpayer. To stand with Governor Palin, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Allen West, ShePAC, and Tea Party Express, please support Congresswoman Adams. You can find out more about her campaign and donate here.

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Big Win for Sarah Palin and Peter Schweizer: Congress Passes STOCK Act

By Gary P Jackson

Back in November, CBS’ 60 Minutes ran an exposé featuring Peter Schweiser and information from his new book Throw Them All Out. 60 Minutes exposed massive insider trading schemes that were going on in Congress.

Though illegal for us mere mortals to engage in [ask Martha Stewart about that] members of Congress were exempted from these laws, and were actually writing legislation based on, not what was best for America, but what would enlarge their bank accounts.

Legislation banning this criminal activity has languished for years. Louise Slaughter, a N.Y. democrat, has been trying for years to get something done. The 60 Minutes broadcast lit a fire under members of Congress.

As Politico reports, not everyone was happy though, as some, such as Senators Patrick Leahy, John Cornyn, and Chuck Grassley wanted stronger language, and even tougher rules:

After weeks of delays, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill banning congressional insider trading to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.
The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.

I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who authored an early version of the bill last fall, said in a statement. “The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was also involved in shaping the STOCK Act, echoed Brown, calling it “a strong bill with teeth” and a “good step forward” to begin reestablishing trust with the American people.

Others downplayed the significance of the legislation. “It’s a modest gesture,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO, adding that he believes lawmakers are already prohibited from insider trading under existing law.

In a statement, President Obama said: “After I sign this bill into law, Members of Congress will not be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill.  It’s a good first step.  And in the months ahead, Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.

In early February, the Senate approved a tougher version of the legislation on a near-unanimous vote. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed this week to move forward on the House-passed bill, which dropped two provisions that had been in the Senate-passed package — a move that infuriated a handful of lawmakers from both parties.

One of those proposals, authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would have expanded federal laws against bribery, theft of public money and other types of public corruption.

The other provision by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would have required greater disclosure from so-called “political intelligence consultants” who seek information from Congress or the executive branch to trade stocks.

Before the vote, Grassley lashed out at Senate leaders for striking a deal to take up the House measure. Grassley, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) all voted no.

This is bipartisanship, but it’s not the kind of bipartisanship, cooperation, intended or not, that this nation deserves,” Grassley said during in a 20-minute floor speech. “I know that today’s actions only serve the desires of obscure and powerful Wall Street interests, and it undercuts the will of the overwhelming majority of Congress.

For her part, Slaughter vows to continue the push for tougher measures.

It’s a disappointment that Mitch McConnell, once again, caved.

This isn’t as tough of a measure as hoped for, but it’s a solid start. Both Sarah Palin and Peter Schweizer [a top Palin adviser] have been pushing for major ethics reforms like this for some time. Had Peter’s book, and 60 Minutes appearance not been there to expose this activity, it’s unlikely this legislation would have come to pass.

It’s an important win for all of us who seek to hold Congress accountable.

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Would Someone Please Hand Rick Perry a Copy of the United States Constitution?

Article. I, Section 4, Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Article I, Section 5, Clause 4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Article II, Section 3: He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

By Gary P Jackson

Politicians continually make wild promises they have no intention of keeping, or no authority to make happen. I think it’s partly why almost half of the nation’s citizens neither follow politics, or participate in the political process. It’s one of the reasons people don’t trust politicians. The BS just turns them off.

This year we have the Republican candidates for president making all sorts of promises that will never come to pass. You’ve got Bachmann and Romney promising to write a bunch of Executive Orders to fix things. Newt Gingrich is promising some three hundred on his first day in office! Never mind an Executive Order isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, as Congress can override it with legislation, something Newt knows a lot about, and the next president can simply write an order of his or her own, rescinding it.

Rick Perry is not only offering up all kinds of policies, he’s actually talking about opening up the Constitution willy-nilly, to add amendments that, frankly will never come to pass.

One of the things Perry keeps talking about is making Congress part time. Not an unappealing thing, for sure. In fact, the notion brings a lot of applause from those that don’t grasp the consequences of this sort of thing.

Here in Texas, where Perry is Governor, we have a part time legislature, that only meets every two years. This works because of two important things. The Governor can call a special session of the legislature to work on a specific problem, or set of problems. Also, constitutionally, the Texas Governor is one of the weakest in our nation. Not totally impotent, but not much more than a figurehead. There’s not a whole lot of damage he can do when our legislature is in recess.

Nothing like Alaska, where it’s constitution makes the Governor very powerful, the second most powerful, in fact, and a true CEO. The one where the buck really does stop “here.”

One of the reasons why Texans have not been happy with Perry, and have worked hard attempting to oust him in the last two elections, is he’s tried many times, through Executive Orders, and other methods, to make an end run around the legislature. For the most part, once back in session, the legislature has taken actions to [thankfully] stop whatever nonsense Perry has been up to.

Now as much as I would love to see the United States Congress reigned in, unlike Texas, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government are co-equals. Our founders wisely set up a set of checks and balances to make sure no one person, or persons is able to dominate the process of governing.

The problem with Perry’s idea, is the president is no more the boss of Congress, than Congress is the boss of him. Other than having the authority to call Congress back in session, and under extreme circumstances, adjourn their session, the president has no say whatsoever in what Congress does or doesn’t do.

As someone who wants smaller government, I would fear a part time Congress, and so should everyone else.

Now if we elected a strict constitutionalist as president, we might have something, but can you imagine Barack Obama with a part time Congress, able to create all sorts of new laws and regulations by executive fiat?

Without Congress watching over the president, any president, the chances of the Executive Branch turning into an imperial presidency, looking more like a dictatorship, rather than part of a Representative Republic, are high.

Congress needs a great many reforms. Sarah Palin’s latest editorial points to the massive corruption that many members of that august body absolutely wallow in daily. It will take legislation to cure this. In other words, it will be up to Congress, and no one else, to fix what is wrong with Congress. The president CAN push them to reform. He can stand at the bully pulpit and make his concerns known. He can get the American people on his side, and have them take on Congress. But for he or she, that’s as far as it goes.

One of the reasons Sarah Palin chose not to run for president, is she recognized she could never help bring about the reforms needed in Congress, while running for president, or even as president. Politics would get in the way of reform, and common sense.

It will be tough for Perry to embrace the reform mantle, as his own corruption and cronyism is well documented, and quite extensive, but if he wants to be president, he needs to stand beside Sarah Palin, Peter Schweizer, and others who are calling for sudden and RELENTLESS reform.

Sadly, Perry seems to be more comfortable making wild promises, than actually embracing common sense. Perry needs to get serious, or just come home.

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Sarah Palin Our Republic Can Only Survive if We Don’t Embrace The Status Quo

By Gary P Jackson

Man this is a POWERFUL interview once you get past the small talk.

Sean tries again to get Sarah to endorse someone, which it’s obvious she isn’t prepared to do.

She does take a shot at those who have been in positions of power, like Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, who had the opportunity to make a difference, but didn’t.

She has a list of things that could have been addressed, that have never been attempted by any of these candidates that were in a position to address them.

Of course, she has good things to say about Newt as well, but she always had something good to say about em all. People will likely take her positive comments about Newt out of context, this would be a mistake.

Like in her television interview Thursday night, Sarah tends to favor consistency of positions over all else. This, of course knocks both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney out of the running, as both are champion flip-floppers. Both have been known to change positions within a single day, if caught saying something stupid, or unpopular.

Of course, on the other hand, one COULD make the case that both Mitt and Newt have been ideologically consistent, as both are Big Government “progressives” who have pushed outrageous positions like government mandated health insurance, and global warming “fixes” like cap and tax. The only difference is Romney seems to be, in the mold of his father, a movement “progressive” in the traditional Northeastern Liberal Republican. With Newt it may be a mixture of being a true believer and being well paid to shill for hard left causes. We’ll never know the exact truth.

Sarah mentions Rick Santorum favorably again. She also says good things about Ron Paul, on his fiscal ideas, though isn’t a fan of his foreign policy. Sarah, of course is more Reaganesque in hers, eschewing both neo-con thinking of the GOP Elites™, as well as the isolationism that Ron Paul and his backers push, in favor of common sense.

Very good interview on whole. Sarah is always very candid in radio interviews.

It’s clear though, after Hannity kept trying to steer her towards commenting on a Newt vs Mitt battle that she’d just as soon not see it come to that!

Like most Conservatives, Sarah is looking for that candidate that won’t be more of the same, and will be a true reformer, not just one of the good old boys.

I can’t comment on any Palin interview without pointing out, when she lists her requirements for the sort of candidate we need, if we are to see our Republic survive, that candidate isn’t really in the current field. Not even close. The one with the proven record of doing what needs to be done isn’t running.

Audio courtesy SarahNet

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Filed under In The News, Politics, Ronald Reagan, sarah palin

The 40 Republican Congressmen, Including Ron Paul, Who Just Sold You Out

By Gary P Jackson

In the United States, our government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. It has an over regulation problem, and a great many policies that kill jobs.

Proving just how lame even Congressmen considered Conservative have become, here’s a report from Americans for Prosperity®

40 House Republicans Ask Super Committee for Higher Taxes

Late last week, a group of 100 U.S. Representatives sent a letter to the so-called Super Committee urging the handpicked group of twelve legislators to consider “all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues” in order to reach the committee’s goal of $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years. In Washington speak, this is code for raising taxes.

Among this list is 40 Republicans whose capitulation encouraging the committee to raise taxes is troubling. We shouldn’t be surprised to see 60 Democrats seizing on the opportunity to drive a wedge between conservatives intent on restoring economic growth by keeping taxes low and Republican lawmakers who are starting to throw in the towel on keeping pressure on Democrats to cut spending.

We all know that the real driver of long-term deficits is runaway spending on entitlements and big government pet projects. In the past, lawmakers have cut deals that supposedly included both tax hikes and spending cuts. But when you get a few years down the road the spending cuts never materialize and the higher tax rates take a bite out of economic activity. We’re still climbing out of the recession and we cannot afford higher taxes slowing us down.

Read more here.

You’ll note presidential candidate Ron Paul is one of the co-signers of this letter. I’m sickened to see my Congressman, John Carter on the list as well.

Thankfully, there is still some common sense left in Washington. Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio gets it right. In an op-ed for USA Today Jordan writes:

After an unprecedented spending binge, apologists for big government once again want to raise taxes to reduce the deficit. We’ve seen this before.

Read it all here.

Now the list:

Charlie Bass – (R-NH)
John Carter – (R-TX)
Howard Coble – (R-NC)
Tom Cole – (R-OK)
Ander Crenshaw – (R-FL)
Charlie Dent – (R-PA)
Robert Dold – (R-IL)
John Duncan – (R-TN)
Jo Ann Emerson – (R-MO)
Mike Fitzpatrick – (R-PA)
Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Paul Gosar – (R-AZ)
Mike Grimm – (R-NY)
Richard Hanna – (R-NY)
Gregg Harper – (R-MS)
Mike Kelly – (R-PA)
Peter King – (R-NY)
Jack Kingston – (R-GA)
Steve LaTourette (R-OH)
Billy Long – (R-MO)
Cynthia Lummis – (R-WY)
Tom Marino – (R-PA)
David McKinley – (R-WV)
Pat Meehan – (R-PA)
Devin Nunes – (R-CA)
Ron Paul – (R-TX)
Tom Petri – (R-WI)
Todd Platts – (R-PA)
Tom Reed – (R-NY)
Reid Ribble – (R-WI)
Phil Roe – (R-TN)
Tom Rooney – (R-FL)
Mike Simpson – (R-ID)*
Marlin Stutzman – (R-IN)
John Sullivan – (R-OK)
Lee Terry – (R-NE)
Bob Turner – (R-NY)
Ed Whitfield – (R-KY)
Frank Wolf – (R-VA)
Don Young – (R-AK)

* – Indiana’s Mike Simpson Organized the Letter

Hey Republicans, Ronald Reagan called and he’d like to have a long talk with you guys!

Americans for Prosperity® has ways for you to get involved and help remind Congress that it works for us, not the other way around. Go to the link and get involved.

Governor Sarah Palin at the Americans for Prosperity® event in Madison, Wisconsin. “Game on Mr President!.”

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