There is a lot going on in Washington at the moment. We’ve learned that the IRS is singling out conservative groups and that the Department of Justice is taking reporters’ phone records without any notification or request for cooperation. To say that this is chilling for First Amendment rights in this country is a huge understatement. It is also yet another episode (just like Fast and Furious or the tragedy in Benghazi) where the head of the agency in question has no knowledge of what happened and cannot provide any answers.
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) released the following statement regarding Florida TaxWatch releasing their 2013 Turkey Watch Report.
“The TaxWatch list is built on the unconstitutional perversion that if an appropriation isn't recommended by unelected agency officials it shouldn't be considered in conference by elected legislators. This is an arrogance of the elite who spend too much time in Tallahassee and Washington listening to the echoes of their own invented wisdom and thinking they're hearing the voice of God.
It’s been a good while since I gave you an update on where things stand with the Benghazi investigation. And in light of the recent developments in Syria (and the possible U.S. response to those developments), I wanted to let you know where I stand on that as well. In a lot of ways, the two are related.
The major development involved the furloughs of FAA employees. To make a long story short, the sequestration cuts which have been imposed across the government have been implemented by the Obama administration in a way that will make the pain the most severe and the most obvious. One of the earliest signs of that was when the administration announced that they were cancelling White House tours indefinitely. They didn’t have to do that.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY is being redefined in America, or at least many would like it to be. Our secular establishment wants to reduce the autonomy of religious institutions and limit the influence of faith in the public square. The reason is not hard to grasp. In America, “religion” largely means Christianity, and today our secular culture views orthodox Christian churches as troublesome, retrograde, and reactionary forces. They’re seen as anti-science, anti-gay, and anti-women—which is to say anti-progress as the Left defines progress. Not surprisingly, then, the Left believes society will be best served if Christians are limited in their influence on public life.
We are currently mired in a frantic debate about the rights of gun owners. One example should suffice to prove that the debate has become hysterical: Second Amendment supporters, one prominent but less than articulate member of Congress alleges, have become “enablers of mass murder.”
We got word on Friday that the President’s budget request will be arriving in Congress approximately two months late. The Senate budget proposal, assuming it arrives, will be approximately four years late. The House budget proposal, whether everyone agrees with it or not, will be published about a full month before it is due. I’ll leave the interpretation of those facts to you.
WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent.
We have a serious problem. It isn’t new, but frankly we’ve run out of time to fix it. The consequences are upon us. In about a week, the sequestration cuts to our military that we’ve been hearing about for over a year now will start to kick in. If you’ve been reading this weekly report for very long, then you’ve probably heard me talk about this before.
As you no doubt saw, the President gave his State of the Union Address. For the most part, I think the overall reaction in Washington amounted to little more than a shrug. It’s the same speech he’s been giving for years and we’ve pretty much heard it all before. In short, my gripe with the President isn’t that I disagree with his philosophy, because of course I do. He’s a liberal and I’m a conservative. I think what bothers me about the President is the general lack of leadership.
Judge Jeanine Pirro delivered an impassioned monolog on her Fox News Channel program, "Justice with Judge Jeanine," Saturday night, Jan. 5, 2013. Her remarks were directed to the Gannett ownedJournal News in White Plains, New York, the newspaper that published a list of legal gun owners and their addresses.
AN IMPORTANT CASE was heard by the Supreme Court last month involving a race-conscious affirmative action program at the University of Texas. This case, Fisher v. Texas, will decide whether racial classifications intended to promote student diversity are consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This question, of course, had already been answered in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, when the Court approved a race-conscious admissions plan at the University of Michigan Law School. But the situation at the University of Texas is somewhat different and may provoke the Court to reconsider its 2003 decision.
This week, the country suffered a pretty serious setback in finding a solution to our generation’s greatest fiscal challenges.
The talks between the White House and the Congress have gone nowhere but backwards. The President made an offer. In both its scope and its composition, it mirrored the budget request he submitted to Congress earlier this year. As the New York Times, Washington Post, and others reminded their readers, this is the same proposal that received zero votes in either the House or the Senate when he submitted it previously.
Bill O'Reilly of Fox News had some tough words against the progressive movement on last night's "O'Reilly Factor." Detailing the dangerous views of the left on economic and social issues, O'Reilly asked "is traditional America gone for good?" The segment can be viewed here which he made during his "Talking Points Memo" in the opening portion of his show.
ONCE UPON A TIME, hardly anyone dissented from the idea that, for better or worse, the United States of America was different from all other nations. This is not surprising, since the attributes that made it different were vividly evident from the day of its birth. Let me say a few words about three of them in particular.
“We need to repeal this intrusive law and start anew with common-sense solutions that encourage innovation without punishing businesses, seniors, or individuals,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). “Not only does this law represent a massive tax increase on the American people, it would devastate Medicare by cutting half a trillion dollars from the program to pay for new spending. Any savings in Medicare should stay in Medicare.”
Obviously, it was a historic week in Washington. I will try to keep this short, but I want to let you know where I stand on this healthcare decision by the Supreme Court. My reaction to this was a bit different than a lot of what you have probably heard in the news so far, so please bear with me for a minute…