- Senator Rand Paul on the Libyan conflict (riehlworldview.com)
- Senator Rand Paul’s response to SOTU: “Obama is a progressive by nature” (riehlworldview.com)
The answer is: The pledge is bolder. The Contract with America merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democratic control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to working toward a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable, and America more prosperous.
The pledge divides its policy commitments into five parts. The first concerns jobs. The Republicans promise to stop tax increases, to require congressional approval of regulations with a large economic impact, and to give small businesses a tax deduction. To our minds, this section of the pledge is the least impressive. The first two policies would merely prevent government from destroying jobs, and the rationale for the third is elusive. (We like small businesses, but other companies generate jobs, too.) Still, these are better economic policies than we are getting from the administration or the current congressional leadership.
The longer-range policies are more compelling. The second section of the pledge promises budget restraint. Domestic discretionary spending would be cut back to “pre-bailout, pre-stimulus” levels, and then its growth would be capped — generating hundreds of billions in savings. The legislative budget, which has grown unjustifiably in recent years, would also be pruned back: Republicans know they cannot cut spending elsewhere if they will not cut spending on themselves. TARP would be ended, as would the federal entanglement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A federal hiring freeze would be instituted. And Congress would make “a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” If that means putting their long-term unfunded liabilities on budget, it would be an important first step toward reform.
Third comes health care, where the Republicans say they “will immediately take action to repeal” Obamacare. They also plan to work toward their own health-care reforms, including medical-malpractice reform, freedom to buy health insurance across state lines, and better-funded high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. They also promise to enact a law banning federal funding of abortion. That would strengthen the existing Hyde amendment, which applies only to a portion of federal spending and has to be renewed every year. (Here, too, the pledge goes beyond the Contract, which steered clear of all “social issues.”) (Source: NRO)
Go to the source for the rest of the analysis on the plan.
As pointed out it may not be the perfect plan. However it is a far better alternative than the current situation of “shove it down there throats” that has been endured under a Democrat majority in Congress.
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The Obama administration is changing the federal immigration enforcement strategy in ways that reduce the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants, even as states such as Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio and Texas are pushing to accelerate deportations.
The changes focus enforcement on immigrants who have committed serious crimes, an effort to unclog immigration courts and detention centers. A record backlog of deportation cases has forced immigrants to wait an average 459 days for their hearings, according to an Aug. 12 report by Syracuse University‘s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which analyzes government data.
Among the recent changes:
• Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton ordered agency officials on Aug. 20 to begin dismissing deportation cases against people who haven’t committed serious crimes and have credible immigration applications pending.
• A proposed directive from Morton posted on ICE’s website for public comment last month would generally prohibit police from using misdemeanor traffic stops to send people to ICE. Traffic stops have led to increased deportations in recent years, according to Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank whose research supports tighter enforcement.
The directive said exceptions would be made in certain cases, such as when immigrants have serious criminal records.
• ICE officers have been told to “exercise discretion” when deciding whether to detain “long-time lawful permanent residents, juveniles, the immediate family members of U.S. citizens, veterans, members of the armed forces and their families, and others with illnesses or special circumstances,” Daniel Ragsdale, ICE executive associate director of management, testified July 1 in the administration’s lawsuit to block Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The law requires police officers to determine the immigration status of suspects stopped for another offense if there was a “reasonable suspicion” they are in the USA illegally. A U.S. district judge has held up the provision pending review.
• A draft memo from ICE’s sister agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, to Morton discussed ways the administration could adjust regulations so certain groups, such as college students and the spouses of military personnel, could legalize their status or at least avoid deportation if Congress doesn’t pass comprehensive immigration reform. USCIS rules on applications for visas, work permits and citizenship. USCIS spokesman Christopher Bentley said the memo was intended to stimulate brainstorming on how to legalize immigrants if new laws aren’t passed.
The administration’s new direction puts it at odds with those who believe the nation’s immigration laws should be strictly enforced and that all illegal immigrants should be deported.
Apparently it’s easier to just ignore current law to push for reforms that aren’t needed than to enforce current law. Simple solution – enforce the current law, build the fence and streamline the legal immigration process so it doesn’t take so long.
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Troops were patrolling in the town of General Trevino around noon when they came under fire from a ranch allegedly controlled by the Zetas drug gang, according to a military spokesman who was not authorized to be quoted by name.
They returned fire and invaded the ranch, known as “The Stump.” At least 25 suspected cartel operatives died, but no soldiers were killed or wounded seriously, the spokesman said.
Authorities rescued three people believed to be kidnap victims, he added, and seized 20 vehicles and an unspecified quantity of weapons and ammunition.
Drug violence has claimed more than 28,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon intensified a crackdown on cartels after taking office in late 2006.
The Zetas began as a gang of drug assassins but have since evolved into a powerful cartel. A fight between the Zetas and their former allies, the Gulf cartel, has increased the rate of killings in Tamaulipas and elsewhere, according to government figures.
The Zetas are suspected of being responsible for the kidnapping and killing of 72 Central and South American migrants in Tamaulipas last week, in what could be Mexico’s biggest drug-related massacre. (Source: AP)
Considering the lack of U.S. border security how long before we see such battles on the Texan side of the border.
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