Prior to his speech at CPAC Thursday afternoon, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) didn’t mince words. He bluntly told reporters how nervous he is about the president’s final 20 months in office.
“The next 20 months are going to be very dangerous,” he said. “They are going to be dangerous at home. President Obama has reacted to this last election in a way that’s unprecedented. You know, prior presidents have been repudiated [and] they’ve reacted with contrition. [P]resident Obama, instead, reacted with anger and defiance.”
“I believe the next 20 months we are going to see a degree of lawlessness that will exceed anything we’ve seen in the previous six years,” he continued. “I think we’re going to see executive order after executive order. I think we’re going to see the abuse of regulations in a way that crushes small businesses, destroys jobs. I think we are going to see the continued weaponization of the IRS in the federal government, and it is going to be dangerous.”
He expressed hope, however, that Congressional Republicans will fulfill their constitutional duties and, as he put it, “rein in that abuse of power and provide meaningful oversight.” But unfortunately, he said, there are other concerns to be worried about as well.
“And I’ll tell you as dangerous as it’s going to be at home, it’s going to be even more dangerous aboard,” he emphasized. “Every bad actor on the face of the globe, from Putin to Khomeini in Iran to ISIS, has every incentive possible to do as much damage as they can in [the next] 20 months."
Because, he argued, "the tyrants of the world believe there is no credible threat or deterrent from this president.”
Rep. Mia Love's (R-Utah) parents came to America from Haiti with $10 in their pocket in the 1970s. After holding down several jobs, they eventually earned their own way to success. Their daughter, however, said that could probably not happen today, thanks to an overbearing federal government. Love shared her personal story with attendees today at the Conservative Political Action Conference to demonstrate how important it is to take advantage of opportunities just like her parents did and work to achieve the American Dream on their own individual efforts, before it's threatened by Washington.
Love has an impressive resume. She is the first black female Republican elected to Congress, as well as the first black Republican ever elected from Utah. More impressively, she did it without relying on the nanny state. Her own personal story is why she rejects the notion that government should run our lives.
"Too many in Washington don't trust the American people. They don't want us to have opportunities to rise to the occasion."
Love has a better vision for America.
"I think it's time we need to look within. I think it's time for Washington to trust the American people."
The Utah representative can now say that the same principles that propelled her parents' success have also offered her a way forward.
"Conservative policies work. I've seen them work as a mother, as a mayor, and I use them now as a member of Congress...The American people deserve the opportunity to rise to the occasion."
Speaking of rising, Rep. Love shared a poignant and relevant story about a hot air balloon ride she took last year. As she was getting ready to board the balloon, she asked her son to join. He declined, so her daughter jumped in instead. High in the air, they enjoyed the beauty of Utah's landscape. Then, the weather changed, and the wind took them into the backyard of a neighbor. After witnessing the exciting spectacle, Love's son felt a hint of jealousy.
"Peyton watched the excitement from the ground. He runs over and says, 'I'm ready, it's my turn! But, the opportunity for him to soar and rise to the sky had come and gone. I said, 'remember this experience, remember today...If you do not take opportunities that come today, you'll never know if they'll come back."
This is especially true, she said, thanks to a ballooning federal government."
"The federal government has made it impossible for people to save. It's difficult for someone to start their own lives - we've got to change that."
Even just 52 days in Congress, Love recognizes how harmful the government's nanny programs can be.
"I see all these programs that are meant to help the poor, hurt those they vow to protect."
Love said that government has its own interests in mind, not those of the American people. Her solutions? We have to trust ourselves and hit government agencies where they hurt.
"Independent people are the ones that give back. Washington can't do that. Washington needs to get smaller so people are bigger...Their job is to keep their job. We have to cut the bloodline to these bureaucracies, which is the funding."
It is this positive belief in America that encouraged Love's consituents to give her a seat in Washinton to try and change the selfish status quo.
"I was elected because of the policies and the principles that belive in American exceptionalism. I believe in this country."
Preserve your right to make your own decisions, she added.
"Unlike Washington, I believe you're capable of doing that."
I had the opportunity to interview Rep. Love Thursday morning. She expanded on how Big Government has made it extremely difficult for immigrants to legally enter and succeed in America. Below is our full conversation:
Illegal immigrants who are given work permits and Social Security Numbers through President Obama's amnesty programs could get up to $9,182 in cash benefits from the federal government every year, according to a new later from the Congressional Research Service.
Requested by an unnamed Senator, the CRS letter details the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit and and Child Tax Credit payments a family could receive from the Internal Revenue Service without paying any income taxes to the federal government.
Families with four children who earned $23,260 would owe zero income taxes in 2014 and would be eligible for a $9,182 check from the government since both the EITC and CTC are refundable benefit programs which pay recipients benefits above and beyond any tax liability they night have.
Families with incomes above $23,260 would still receive EITC and CTC payments from the federal government, but those payments would decrease as the families income rose.
Illegal immigrants who filed tax returns using Taxpayer Identification Numbers from the IRS have been receiving billions in CTC payments from the federal government for years. Obama's Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program would make it easier for millions more illegal immigrants to receive tax benefits by giving the SSNs.
With a SSN, illegal immigrants become eligible for both CTC and EITC payments. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that if Obama's executive amnesties are kept for the next ten years, illegal immigrants will receive more than $20 billion in EITC patients over that time.
According to the CBO, under Obama's amnesty programs, illegal immigrants would also get $3 billion in health care benefits, $2 billion in Supplemental Security Income, and $1.6 billion in food stamps.
When Obama first introduced his DAPA program to the American people, he claimed it would not "offer the same benefits that citizens receive."
These official CRS and CBO letters directly contradict that statement.
Marking the 50th Anniversary of her book, A Choice, Not an Echo, Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum received the Paul Weyrich Award for her life of service to the conservative movement on Wednesday evening at the Annual Weyrich Awards Dinner.
“Paul Weyrich was a tremendous figure in the early conservative movement, and I am proud to have called him my friend,” Schlafly said in a statement. “It is truly an honor to receive an award that bears his name and I am thrilled that the dinner has chosen to highlight my updated A Choice, Not An Echo for a new generation of conservatives to see. We are facing the very same battles today that Paul and I faced in the last 50 years.”
Numerous members of Congress and conservative VIPs attended the dinner, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
During dinner, guests viewed videos featuring tribute to Schlafly by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint and Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, among others.
Schlafly first self-published A Choice, Not An Echo in 1964. The book exposes Republican “kingmakers” – who picked Republican candidates and drove them to victory by funding media and staff support, feining public acclaim. More than 3.5 million copies of the book have been sold.
“She fought battles most lacked the courage to fight, and time and again she won," Dr. Ben Carson wrote in a Washington Times tribute published Wednesday.
Others awarded for their contributions to the conservative movement included FOX News host Megyn Kelly, author and former CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, and Live Action President Lila Rose.
The lights rose in the dimly lit auditorium at CPAC on Thursday afternoon, and the camera shot turned from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to the audience.
“At this time, if you are able, I would like to ask all of our military men and women to please rise and allow us to show our deep gratitude and appreciation,” Ernst had just said.
Across the room some three dozen veterans rose, and applause broke out.
“As we gather together for the next few days to celebrate our values, our beliefs, and our great freedom, I encourage all of you to take a moment and reach out, and thank a veteran and their family,” Ernst said, “because they help to protect those rights.”
Ernst commended America’s military for defending the “ideals, values, and freedoms that make this the greatest nation in the history of mankind.”
The newly elected senator has served in the military and is married to a retired command sergeant major.
“For more than 20 years, I had the great privilege of serving my state and my country while working alongside some of our finest soldiers,” Ernst explained. “Today I serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, and I’ve been privileged to have commanded many levels from company to battalion.”
Ernst served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her unit was tasked with running convoys throughout Kuwait and Southern Iraq.
“Because of the fearless men and women like these...I will always remain optimistic about the bright future of America.”
These experiences have made Ernst a fitting addition to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she now sits.
“We are already working on a wide range of issues, including threats from ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and others who are being radicalized by them. Congress must hold President Obama accountable to ensure that he and his administration finally develop a cohesive and strong strategy to confront these and the many other threats that we face.”
The nation must do everything possible to give veterans the quality care they were promised and deserve, Ernst stated.
If you like what Obamacare has done to health care, you are going to love what the Federal Communications Commission is about to do to the internet.
The FCC voted by a slim 3-2 margin Thursday to pass new "net neutrality" regulations that give the federal government unprecedented control over how the internet is managed.
Just as Obamacare was supposed to make health care cheaper for all Americans, net neutrality is supposed to guarantee "free and open access to the internet," according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
Wheeler's new regulations essentially turn internet service providers into public utilities the same way Obamacare turned health insurance companies into heavily regulated wards of the state. And just as Obamacare has expanded paper health coverage to millions of Americans, while making it much harder for most people to actually see a doctor, net neutrality will also bring uncertainty and stagnation to the internet in the name of providing equal access to all.
Technology entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently explained his opposition to net neutrality regulations to The Washington Post:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. ... Things have worked well. There is no better platform in the world to start a new business than the Internet in the United States. ... I want there to be fast lanes because there will be applications that need fast lanes. We are just now entering a period where we are seeing new ways to create and use high bitrate applications.
People like to use movies and TV shows as a reference to issues that could occur on the Internet. [But] the real issue is that there will be many applications that we can't foresee today. [And] we need those applications to not just have priority, but guaranteed quality of service.
I want certain medical apps that need the Internet to be able to get the bandwidth they need. There will be apps that doctors will carry on 5G networks that allow them to get live video from accident scenes and provide guidance. There will be machine vision apps that usage huge amounts of bandwidth. I want them to have fast lanes.
Also like Obamacare, the FCC is expected to be sued almost immediately, causing uncertainty in the industry for years. Already in 2014, a federal court struck down a 2010 FCC regulation on this same issue.
On Thursday at CPAC, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke privately to a room full of reporters on a range of issues, most crucially about how grassroots conservatives should choose the next Republican presidential nominee. He suggested that every rumored presidential candidate at CPAC will attempt to assure the base "they're the most conservative person who ever lived." For this reason, he said, grassroots conservatives should be very wary of candidates who are well spoken and inspiring, but aren't necessarily conservatives at heart.
“We’ve been burned before,” he said. “We’ve supported candidates who sound great, got into office, and didn’t stand for principles. What I would suggest to every Republican primary voter – what I’m going to suggest at CPAC this afternoon – is we say to every candidate ‘don’t tell me, show me.’”
“So if a candidate says they oppose Obamacare, great,” he continued. “Show me where you’ve stood up and fought to stop it. If a candidate says they oppose President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, wonderful, show me where you’ve stood up and fought to stop it.”
And so on and so forth. He argued that candidates should not just be fluent spokesmen and women for conservative principles, but have a real and genuine record to run on. In other words, someone like him.
“If we nominate another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney—and let me be clear, those are good and honorable men [who] love their country—[we won't win because] what they did didn’t work. It’s a losing strategy and if we nominate another candidate in that mold, the same voters who stayed home in ’08 and ’12 will stay home in ’16. And Hillary Clinton will be the next president.”
“So how do we win?” he asked. “We need to look for a candidate who can energize and mobilize those millions of conservatives and bring them back."
Cruz never said explicitly that he was running for president. But he implied as much. Speaking without notes for roughly 36 minutes, he built the case for why a candidate like him—who challenges the establishment, appeals to the base, and is a proven conservative—is best qualified to carry the Republican banner in 2016. We'll see.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch. Her full confirmation vote is now headed to the full Senate. During her confirmation hearing earlier this month, Lynch expressed support for President Obama's executive amnesty. She also said she believes illegal immigrants have a right to work in the United States.
"Senator, I think the right and obligation to work is one that is shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here and certainly if someone is here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the work place than not be participating," Lynch said during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill.
Earlier this week, more than 50 House Republicans sent a letter to the Committee urging a vote to block her confirmation.
Chairman Chuck Grassley voted against Lynch's nomination.
“As I’ve said many times throughout the nomination process, what we need from our next Attorney General – more than anything else – is independence. The current Attorney General has permitted politics to drive decision making far too often. For that reason, the question for me has been whether Ms. Lynch will make a clean break and take the Department of Justice in a new direction. After thoroughly reviewing Ms. Lynch’s testimony, both before the committee and in written follow-up questions, I remain unconvinced she will lead the department in a different direction," Grassley said in a statement after the vote. “I sincerely hope Ms. Lynch proves me wrong and is willing to stand up to the President and say ‘No’ when the duty of the office demands it. But based on my review of the record, I cannot support the nomination.”
This post has been updated with additional information.
Hollywood conservative Stacey Dash has signed a deal with Regnery Publishing to release her memoir titled There Goes My Social Life, Regnery announced today.
Best known for her role as Dionne in the 90s teen classic Clueless, Dash “came out” as a conservative when she tweeted in support of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.
“It made me furious that [Obama] was the first black president,” Dash said in a 2013 interview with Sean Hannity. “That should be a wonderful thing, right? He had an opportunity to unite us in such a profound way. And he did the exact opposite. … He took advantage of the disenfranchised, the uninformed. He knew that they would vote for him because of the color of his skin. And he used that. He used that. That to me is immoral. It’s wrong.”
Her tweet in 2012 made waves in Hollywood, and made her the target of extensive criticism both from colleagues in her field and from the left. The memoir will describe Dash’s conversion to conservatism, telling the story of her childhood in the South Bronx through her acting career.
A rare example of a successful conservative celebrity, Dash joined Fox and Friends last year. She regularly speaks on such topics from modern day feminism to second amendment issues, and earlier this week criticized Patricia Arquette’s “equality for women” Oscars speech.
“We need to become more on the offense,” Dash said. “We need to get out there, like the Democrats do. We need to get more celebrities to talk.”
Dash’s memoir will be released in the summer 2015 season.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in front of a Senate Armed Services Committee today that the terror threat against the United States is expanding and revealed 2014 as the deadliest year on record for attacks around the world.
"When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled," Clapper said, detailing thousands of attacks throughout the year.
Just yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry said in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the world is safer than ever from terror.
"We are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century," Kerry said.
Last summer, President Obama echoed that by saying the world is "less violent" than ever.
"[T]he truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to be — if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time," Obama said. "The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been."
According to an NBC/WSJ survey released in September 2014, 47 percent of Americans now feel less safe than they did before 9/11.