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Why Democrats are conspiring with the Russians to discredit President Trump

The Democrats keep yelling “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.” Why?

There have been many theories about the sudden interest on any and all connections between President Trump and his cabinet with the Russians by Democrats. Among these are: the Russians hacked the election, the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton, any contact with any Russian official or surrogate is grounds for dismissal or even impeachment.

Perhaps we should look back at what the Obama administration did to appease, if not become a surrogate for, Russia:

  1. Obama abandoned the missile defense system in Europe shelving deployment of U.S. missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, citing new intelligence that the missile threat from Iran was minimal. Victory: Russia and Iran.
  2. Obama called for a “reset” of Russian/U.S. relations. On 6 March 2009 in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the English word “reset” and the Roman alphabet transliteration of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet word перегрузка (“peregruzka”.) Victory: Russia and Iran.
  3. Obama tells Russian President Dmitry Medvedev more flexibility after the 2012 election. Obama stated that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space” and that “[a]fter my election I have more flexibility.” Victory: Russia, Iran, Syria
  4. Obama’s “red line” in Syria if Assad used chemical weapons. Red line policy ignored when Assad uses chemical weapons a second time. Victory: Russia and Syria.
  5. Finally, Obama’s deal with Iran on development of nuclear weapons. Victory: Iran, Russia and ISIS.

Democrats consider Obama’s Iran deal his signature foreign policy success. Here are Obama’s remarks on the Iran deal:

Obama’s foreign policy has emboldened Russia as the key force in the Middle East and at the same time given Iran the cover it needs to continue its nuclear program. Iran is now the hegemonic power in the Middle East, with the help of Russia, and is training and exporting radical Islamists to do its bidding globally.

As former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said July 28, 2009, after the latest of six trips to the Gulf in the last 18 months, that “what I hear is, there is greater fear of Iran than there is animus toward Israel.” He added, “So that is almost a predominant sentiment that I’ve noticed throughout most, if not all, of the Gulf states” (Washington Times, July 29, 2009).

pelosi schumer putinThis is the reason that Democrats have tried to tie President Trump’s hands when it comes to Russia.

For if President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are successful in engaging Russia in the fight against ISIS and if President Trump can decouple Russia from Iran then the Obama foreign policy legacy will be gone. The Iran deal will be no more. Iran will be de-fanged and will not be the threat that it currently is to its Gulf state neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Democrats working with the Russians are doing everything they can to put President Trump into a box when it comes to negotiating with Russia. That is good for Russia, Iran and Syria’s Assad.

Democrats want America to be weak in its foreign policy and weak even before President Trump meets with Russian President Putin.

The Democrats, along with Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are hurting President Trump’s foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East and with Russia. That is the goal.

That is why the Democrats, and perhaps the “Axis of Evil” Republican Senators McCain, Graham and Rubio, are in effect conspiring with the Russians.

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Mark Levin to GOP: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump

Hold Iran accountable for terrorism: Sen. Cruz and Rep. McCaul

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A Citizen is One Thing — But Natural Born

Written by Mario Apuzzo, Constitutional expert, defining Natural Born Citizen as the Founders meant. He concludes the only definition is:

A child born in a country to parents who were its citizens at the time of birth, both right of blood and right of soil merge into the child at the moment of birth to create a unity of citizenship and allegiance only to the United States and to no other nation.

Below are some excerpts from Apuzzo’s very recent writing on the subject:

It is treason upon the Constitution and the Framers’ command that for the sake of the national security of the republic, for persons born after the adoption of the Constitution, no person except a natural born citizen is to be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military, to interpret the natural born citizen clause out of the Constitution and replace it with how we may today define under the positive laws of the Fourteenth Amendment or naturalization Acts of Congress a citizen of the United States at birth, a person who, if not also a natural born citizen, is not born with sole allegiance to the United States.

[ … ]

With these principles to guide us, we can only conclude that de facto President Barack Obama, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, and Governor Bobby Jindal are all not natural born citizens. None of them were born in the United States to parents who were both U.S. citizens at the time of their children’s birth.

[ … ]

Obama, assuming he was born in the United States, is a citizen of the United States at birth, but only by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. He is not and cannot be a natural born citizen under the common law because while he was presumably born in the United States to a U.S. citizen mother, he was born to a non-U.S. citizen father.

[ … ]

Cruz was born in Canada, presumably to a U.S. citizen mother and a non-U.S. citizen father. He can be a citizen of the United States at birth, but only by virtue of a naturalization Act of Congress (section 301(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952). He is not and cannot be a natural born citizen under the common law because, while he was born to a U.S. citizen mother, he was not born in the United States and he was born to a non-U.S. citizen father.

[ ,,, ]

Rubio and Jindal were born in the United States to two non-U.S. citizen parents. They are both citizens of the United States at birth, but only by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. They are not and cannot be natural born citizens under the common law because, while they were born in the United States, they were born to two non-U.S. citizen parents.

Kerry: U.S. Obligated to Prevent Israeli Sabotage of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Armin Rosen in a Business Insider article wrote about Florida’s US Senator Marco Rubio’s provocative question that generated a troubling response from Secretary Kerry at yesterday’s testy Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program. It had to do with the dilemma facing the Administration about a commitment by the world powers to defend the Iranian nuclear program against attack.

Rubio raised the hypothetical of what would be the U.S. obligation under a provision found in an Annex III to the agreement, if Israel might undertake a possible cyber attack.  An attack akin to the malworm, Stuxnet that disabled Iran’s enrichment centrifuges temporarily setting back their nuclear program.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) questions U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (not pictured) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington July 23, 2015.   REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing July 23, 2015. Source:  Reuters-Gary Cameron.

The Business Insider article laid out the quandary:

Republican presidential candidate and US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) asked about a provision of the agreement that seems to obligate the US and its negotiating partners to help protect Iranian nuclear sites against potential outside attack.

According to Annex III, the agreement’s section on “civil nuclear cooperation,” the signatories commit to “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.

This provision of the deal doesn’t mention any countries by name. But Rubio wondered if this was included in the deal because of Iranian concerns related to a specific US ally.

“If Israel decides it doesn’t like this deal and it wants to sabotage an Iranian nuke program or facility, does this deal that we have just signed obligate us to help Iran defend itself against Israeli sabotage or for that matter the sabotage of any other country in the world?” Rubio asked.

[Secretary of Energy] Moniz replied that “all of our options and those of our allies and friends would remain in place” after the deal goes into effect.

Kerry then jumped in to explain the provision’s specific purpose: “To be able to have longer-term guarantees as we enter a world in which cyberwarfare is increasingly a concern for everybody that if you are going to have a nuclear capacity, you clearly want to be able to make sure that those are adequately protected.”

Rubio posed the key question to Kerry:

If Israel conducts a cyber attack against the Iranian nuclear program are we obligated to help them defend themselves against an Israel cyber attack?

Kerry responded:

I don’t see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there and we just have to wait until we get until that point,” Kerry said, cryptically — “that point” referring to a future time at which Israel believes it’s necessary to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. It seems that at that juncture, the US would have to determine whose side to take.

The background of this troubling JCPOA provision was explored in our July 14, 2015 1330 amWEBY interview with Omri Ceren of The Israel Project and Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy Center to be published as an article in the August edition of the New English Review.

Note this exchange between Mike Bates of WEBY and Bryen:

sbryen-804443500

Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy Center.

Bates:  Shoshana.  Because with a deal in place, Iran will be free to covertly develop nuclear weapons without consequence.  …However, if the day comes when Israel has valid reasons to believe that a nuclear weapon is in the hands of the Iranians, or is imminently so, Israel is going to have no choice but to act unilaterally.  When they do, they will be excoriated and vilified.  … I think this makes it more dangerous, because the military option, as I see it, Shoshana, is off the table.

 Bryen:  I’m not sure it wasn’t always off the table.  Starting in the Bush Administration,the United States and Israel had a divergence of opinion about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. The Bush administration was in favor of sanctions and believed in squeezing them to death.  They were not in favor of military activity.   The Israelis always had believed that military action was best done in conjunction with the United States. Once they began to understand that there was no way, that even their good friend George W. Bush was not going to help them do this.   The military option became less viable.  You have to think about it from the point of view of a small country, Israel, and a large country, Iran, which has air defenses. Iran will now have better air defenses, because the Russians have sold them better air defenses.  The Iranians had more time to bury and harden their facilities.  They’ve had more time to dig them under populated places.  If you have to drop a bomb on something, the collateral damage there will be very heavy. I’m not sure that there was a great military option, to begin with.  However, you are right to the extent that if there was a facility you felt was absolutely crucial, I believe Israel could destroy it.

Omri Ceren

Omri Ceren, The Israel Project.

Note the following exchange between Bates and Ceren:

Bates:   I’m more concerned about the 8 million people living in Israel; the 300 millionpeople in the United States.  I’m concerned that Iran has been given a pathway to a bomb that is unobstructed.  This takes the military option off the table.  Even if Israel believes their existential threat is imminent, they can hardly attack militarily to stop it.  …I think the concessions are so much bigger than that.  Am I wrong, Omri?

Ceren:  Let me say that Shoshana’s answer was very compelling…Which is the military option was never Israel’s main option.  Sabotage and subterfuge were Israel’s real options, which is why it is so concerning that this deal puts the Iranian nuclear program under international sponsorship.There is an annex to the deal that says the EU-3 and their partners will teach them how to harden their nuclear assets against sabotage.  Specifically, against nuclear sabotage. In effect we’re protecting them,as they build up their program.  Forget protecting them in the last five minutes from Israeli action.  Thisdeal protects them from Israeli action throughout the entire lifetime of the deal

These exchanges between Senator Rubio and Secretary Kerry at yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Hearing and the excerpted WEBY interview exchanges with both Bryen and Ceren in the forthcoming New English Review article demonstrate how the JCPOA constrains both the US and Israel’s options to deal with the Iran nuclear threat. All due to the concessions made by Kerry and the negotiating team at both Lausanne and in Vienna. It explains why the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress and even some minority Democrats oppose the nuclear pact with Iran. Further, why Israel PM Netanyahu called the Nuclear pact with Iran a very bad deal in his speech on March 3,2015 before a Joint Meeting of Congress. We commend Republican Senator Rubio for asking the tough question that forced Secretary Kerry’s verification of how bad this deal is.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Secretary of State Kerry with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Moniz, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, July 23, 2015. Source: AP/Andrew Harnik.

Capitulation: P5+1 Iran Nuclear Deal Reached in Vienna

News came from Vienna this morning that a final deal has been reached between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Jerusalem Post reported:

World powers have reached a final, comprehensive agreement with Iran that will govern its nuclear program for over a decade, diplomats said on Tuesday morning.

The deal culminates a two-year diplomatic effort in which the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, led by the United States, have sought to end a twelve-year crisis over Iran’s suspicious nuclear work.

Formally known as the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 100-page document amounts to the most significant multilateral agreement reached in several decades. Its final form is roundly opposed in Israel by the government, by its opposition, and by the public at large.

The JCPOA allows Iran to retain much of its nuclear infrastructure, and grants it the right to enrich uranium on its own soil. But the deal also requires Iran to cap and partially roll back that infrastructure for ten to fifteen years, and grants the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, managed access to monitor that program with intrusive inspections.

In exchange, the governments of Britain, France, Russia, China, the US and Germany have agreed to lift  all UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic, once Iran abides by a set of nuclear-related commitments.

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be tasked with enforcing the agreement over its lifetime. The UN Security Council will soon vote on a resolution to codify the deal.

So, too, will the United States Congress. The US legislature now has a 60-day period to review the deal and, should its leadership choose, vote on a resolution approving or disapproving of the deal. A vote of disapproval would be subject to a presidential veto, which Congress may then vote to override.

Israel and its Arab neighbors are united in opposition to the agreement, warning it will legitimize Iran as a nuclear-threshold state in the short-term, and embolden its form of government – a theocratic republic – in the long-term.

The deal seeks to verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to keep Tehran at least one year away from having the capability to build such a weapon.

The JCPOA will not be “signed.” Negotiators in Vienna have agreed to “adopt” the text, and will spend several months preparing to implement various provisions of the highly technical agreement.

With this announcement from Vienna the unraveling of this dangerous legacy of President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will ensue with triggering of the 60 day review by Congress under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. As if orchestrated on cue in this duplicitous act of appeasement, President Obama will go to Capitol Hill to make the case to Democratic members that this agreement is a Hobson’s Choice, the least bad deal, under the circumstances with Iran.

For the Republican Congressional majorities in both houses it will present a daunting task to enlist a minority of wary Democratic colleagues to join with them to reject the Joint Plan of Action attempting to make it veto proof. Allies in the Middle East Israel, Saudi Arabia the Gulf Emirates and Egypt oppose the agreement as it facilitates Iran becoming a nuclear threshold state supporter of terrorism equipped with ICBMs. It will trigger proliferation and possible eventual military action against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Reliance on less than intrusive UN inspections of military sites and both known and unknown sites will assure Iran’s becoming a nuclear threshold power. Obama will leave behind a literal Stygian Stable of difficulties for his successor to enforce compliance by Iran with questionable snap back sanctions subject to a committee including Iran. Israel will be left virtually alone to its own means to combat a nuclear equipped apocalyptic Islamo fascist Iran.

UPDATE: Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today commented on the Obama Administration’s announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran:

“I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism. Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.

I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Vienna June 30, 2015. Source: Reuters.

Republicans Missing the Point Behind Donald Trump’s Ascendancy

Donald Trump’s political ascendancy has less to do with him and more to do with the Republican electorate’s total disillusionment with the lack of leadership coming from our congressional leadership.

All of a sudden, along comes Donald Trump speaking a language the Republican base understands—English!

In my view, Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Chris Christie are the only Republicans that are speaking to the American people in a manner that they can understand. The rest of the field speaks in “politicaleeze.”

The American people want someone like a Christie who will look them straight in the eye and give a direct answer to their question.

Far too many candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, spend too much time poll testing and focus grouping everything and every issue.

This brings me back to Trump. Whatever you think about him, he spoke the truth about the state of illegal immigration; and yes his language was extremely hyperbolic and way over the top. Yes, he could have made the same point without the incendiary language; but nonetheless, he has caused a tectonic shift in the debate over sanctuary cities.

Trump has managed to tap into voter angst and their economic insecurity. So, Republicans should stop fretting so much about how Trump hurt the feelings of Hispanics and deal with the issue he has brought to the forefront of the political landscape.

If our congressional leaders would spend more time promoting the conservative agenda that they ran on last year versus giving Obama victories in trade and amnesty, then a person like Trump would have absolutely no political traction whatsoever.

In many ways, Donald Trump is the Frankenstein that our congressional leadership has created by their lack of any bold legislative action that they promised Republican voters during the 2014 elections.

They told the voters last year that if you give them control of the House and Senate, they would block Obama’s amnesty—they caved; they would reign in federal spending—they caved; they would pass a strong boarder enforcement bill—they got amnesia.

Republican leadership thought these issues would just magically disappear or that the Supreme Court would save them from having to do their jobs; they were very wrong on both counts.

The next U.S. president will be the candidate who can speak directly to the American people in very simplistic language about their vision for the country on issues like immigration, ISIS, the domestic and foreign economy, values, how to manage the growing diversity of our country, etc.

So, as opposed to criticizing Trump, shut him up by addressing the issues he is talking about. Granted, his answers/solutions are extremely sophomoric; but at least he is addressing issues the American people care about in a language they understand.

The same thing can be said about Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders. You write him off at your own peril. He is tapping into the same frustration and disillusionment on the Democratic side that Donald Trump is tapping into on the Republican side.

It was sad watching Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN last week. She is quite good at talking without saying anything.

But I am getting this same eerie feeling that I got in 2007—2008 when Hillary acted as though winning the Democratic primary was a foregone conclusion. The amount of arrogance she and her campaign are showing is astonishing.

Sanders will continue to provide a vigorous challenge to Hillary from the left and then I expect Vice President Joe Biden to enter the race because of the disillusionment from their party’s base.

So the takeaway from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is quite simple. People want to be talked to in a language that they can understand. They want specific answers to the problems facing Americans, no more broad, vague, undecipherable talk.

The American electorate is afraid about their future and needs and wants a presidential candidate who is going to reassure them that their future will be alright under their leadership.

Sometimes candidates need to get rid of their pollsters and just talk to the American people from their hearts about the values and the vision they have for the country.

So, Donald Trump is not the problem with the Republican Party; it is the seeming inability of Republicans to connect with the American people about how they are going to solve the many problems facing America.

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UPDATE: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights & Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding the conspiracy surrounding Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s recent escape from a Mexican prison:

“Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s escape has dealt a serious blow to all those working in good faith within the Mexican government, law enforcement and judiciary to give that nation a better future. That’s a harder future to achieve as long as drug cartels run amok trafficking drugs, terrorizing the public, and poisoning the rule of law and democratic order that many generations of Mexicans have worked to achieve. The U.S. played a key role in assisting our Mexican partners in finding and arresting Guzman, and we should stand ready to help them find him again and bring to justice all those involved in this conspiracy.

“When Guzman is arrested again, the U.S. should pursue his extradition in accordance with our treaty with Mexico governing such cases. It is not clear to me why the Obama Administration did not formally request his extradition after his previous arrest in 2014. This is the second time Guzman has escaped from prison, and not only is he wanted for major crimes in the U.S., but we have the capabilities to bring him to justice.”

Rubio warns Bad Nuke Deal With Iran ‘Almost Guarantees War,’ by Ken McIntyre

The Senate must review whatever deal the Obama administration strikes with Iran to delay its gaining a nuclear weapon, Sen. Marco Rubio said this morning, arguing that “a bad deal almost guarantees war.”

The Florida Republican said Israel won’t accept an agreement that doesn’t recognize its right to exist, and shouldn’t have to, provoking applause.

“The argument the White House uses [to garner Democrats’ support] is that if you are not in favor of this agreement, you are in favor of war,” Rubio said. “I would argue a bad deal almost guarantees war because Israel is not going to abide by any deal that they believe puts … their existence in danger.”

Rubio, who announced April 13 that he is running for president, said other Middle East nations including Saudi Arabia will want their own nuclear weapon if they see Iran’s getting one as only a matter of time.

He also said the final deal “has to mirror the fact sheet” the administration put out when a framework was struck with the Iranians. It is “incredibly worrisome,” he said, that the White House rejects that idea.

Read more.

Dear Members of Congress: Why do you only mention the 1986 Amnesty?

The amnesty of 1986 was supposed to be a “one time only” amnesty. Yet since 1986 through 2000, Congress passed a total of seven (7) amnesties or adjustments for illegal aliens:

1. The Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) Amnesty of 1986 – the “one-time only” blanket amnesty for some 2.8 million illegal aliens.
2. Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 – a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
3. Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 – an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
4. The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 – an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.
5. The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 – an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
6. The Late Amnesty of 2000 – an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.
7. The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 – a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.

An amnesty is a reward to those breaking the law. Issuing an amnesty to illegal aliens only encourages more illegal immigration into the United States.

An amnesty benefits neither our society nor those being amnestied.

An Immigration and Naturalization Service study found that after living in the United States for 10 years, the average amnestied illegal alien had only a seventh grade education and earned less than $9,000 a year.

By enacting an amnesty, Congress places a staggering financial burden on American taxpayers to support those amnestied.

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Rubio Continues Pulling Back On His Immigration Reform Position

One of the authors of the controversial Senate immigration reform bill, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, spoke to the Shark Tank and other reporters at the Capitol about the upcoming House immigration reform debate, where he believed that a set of principles that would be widely supported will probably come out of the House of Representatives.

Rubio’s ears were ringing as earlier in the day, Speaker John Boehner told reporters during a press conference at RNC headquarters, that a set of immigration principles would be discussed at the upcoming Republican congressional retreat. Rubio stated that the American people lacked confidence in the Obama administration, which is pushing blanket legalization in the immigration reform debate, to enforce any and all immigration enforcement measures.

Rubio was pummeled by grassroots activists for his change of position on immigration reform, when he co sponsored the Senate immigration bill, but now seems to be backing away from his own bill.

It’s still an Issue that needs to be solve, I think the better way to solve it at this point, given the lack of confidence people have in the federal government, is to do it in a way that will gain people’s confidence, and that is why I think a sequential approach is the better approach- it was originally what I had advocated for, it’s not the direction the Senate headed, but in essence, it sounds like that’s the direction everyone wants to head now.

Rubio added that if there was another debate on this issue, he would engage and “give ideas about how to move forward.”

My observation on it now is, that this is not a process today that’s conducive to some big piece of legislation, lack of confidence people have in the federal government has only eroded in the past 12 months, I think it will continue to erode.

And then he added:

The observation that I have made, which I made a couple months ago, and now everyone is agreeing with, is that this is an issue that needs to be handled sequentially, given the mood and sentiment around here and the lack of trust people have. That’s the only observation I couple months ago is that some central piece of legislation, one big piece of legislation just isn’t going to pass.

When questioned if  his bill was “one big bill,” Rubio responded:

That was the direction the senate went, but if you back and read what I wrote in the WSJ last year, up to the time that debate began , I argued that a better approach , there is a difference between what you do and how you do it, those are two separate issues, and from a procedural standpoint  my argument was, that if we could begin to do this in a way that was sequence so that people can gain confidence and momentum behind the idea I thought that that was a more realistic approach.

Rubio then reiterated  that “the Senate decided” to go in the “big piece”of legislation direction.

Now the Senate decided to do it in one big piece of legislation, I didn’t think that was the best approach, But I chose to get involved with it because I wanted to influence, and hopefully make something positive happen. By nature, if I see a problem, I try to solve it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column and photo originally appeared on The Shark Tank. 

Marco Rubio: 2013 Loser of the Year?

The ever-colorful, and controversial Tampa Bay Times, has easily called Senator Marco Rubio, their choice for 2013′s loser of the year.

While I don’t agree that Rubio is the loser of the year, I will say that Rubio made a compelling case for himself, and his year was more like that of his beloved Miami Dolphins, who turned out another lackluster football season. Boy, do the Dolphins really stink.

Once thought to be the future of the Republican Party, and the one that could and would beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election, Rubio managed to commit one of the biggest unforced errors in political history.

Rubio was at the top of his game, until the immigration reform debate took form. Instead of offering his own immigration reform bill, one that would encompass his pro-legal immigration position, he nestled into bed with the devil, and his demonic stooges, Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin, and offered Americans a whopping amnesty bill that only served to enrage them, and paint himself as a pro-amnesty hack.

Rubio desperately switched gears into conduct damage control, after realizing the mistake he had made. His own staffers from the very top, to the ones at the state level, were out trying to put out the grassroots fires Rubio started, but to no avail.

Rubio had done irreparable damage to his brand.

Some within Rubio’s political circles believed that this would blow over, but this screw up will transcend far beyond 2013, and possibly affect his chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination, if he decides to run for re-election, or for higher office in 2016.

The Republican Party, which was once considered to be Rubio’s party, is now is now that of the likes of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul.

Now in all fairness, Rubio supports conservatives and conservative causes 95 percent of the time, including his recent showing of how hawkish he is on foreign affairs, and with the recent repeal Obamacare movement.

But while most Americans praise him over his accomplishments and bona fide conservative voting record, his position on immigration reform, and co-sponsoring of the amnesty-lite Gang of Eight bill in the Senate, have become the political anvil permanently strapped to his ankle.

This said, Feliz Navidad!

This column originally appeared on The Shark Tank.

Florida: Rubio warns taxpayers on the hook to bail out insurance companies for Obamacare enrollees

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

As of November 2nd, 2013, Florida has the highest number of enrollees in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with 3,571 having selected a plan. Florida is one of thirty-six states with a fully or partially run federal insurance exchange. In Florida 123,870 submitted complete applications with 93,456 eligible to enroll in a plan. Texas is second with 108,410 applicants, 80,960 eligible and 2,991 who selected a plan.

But there is a problem with who will pay for the coverage.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) writes, “Buried deep in the Department of Health and Human Services’ press release that accompanied the president’s Nov. 14 speech was this sentence: ‘Though this transitional policy was not anticipated by health insurance issuers when setting rates for 2014, the risk corridor program should help ameliorate unanticipated changes in premium revenue. We intend to explore ways to modify the risk corridor program final rules to provide additional assistance.’”

“Risk corridors are generally used to mitigate an insurer’s pricing risk. Under ObamaCare, risk corridors were established for the law’s first three years as a safety-net for insurers who experience financial losses. While risk corridors can protect taxpayers when they are budget-neutral, ObamaCare’s risk corridors are designed in such an open-ended manner that the president’s action now exposes taxpayers to a bailout of the health-insurance industry if and when the law fails,” notes Rubio.

Rubio raises a red flag noting, “Subsequent regulatory rulings have made [it] clear that the administration views this risk-corridor authority as a blank check, requiring no further consultation or approval by Congress. A final rule handed down in March by HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states: ‘Regardless of the balance of payments and receipts, HHS will remit payments as required under section 1342 of the Affordable Care Act.’”

On November 14th, the American Academy of Actuaries issued a press release saying that President Obama’s plan to reverse health-insurance cancellations “could lead to negative consequences for consumers, health insurers, and the federal government.” More specifically, the academy said, “Costs to the federal government could increase as higher-than-expected average medical claims are more likely to trigger risk corridor payments.”

Rubio concludes with, “It is a damning indictment of ObamaCare’s viability when the president’s only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies. The American people are already being directly hurt by ObamaCare’s early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge.”

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Have you noticed Rubio is not talking amnesty during the August recess?

WDW – FL gets daily press releases from the office of Florida Senator Marco Rubio. During the August recess to date there is one topic he is not talking about – amnesty. It appears Rubio is not hosting any town hall meetings. Rather he is giving speeches to select friendly groups, such as Chambers of Commerce. The Chamber supports amnesty because it provides its membership with cheap labor.

If he did hold a town hall meeting he might get an ear full like what happened in Sarasota, FL, where at a presentation by Dennis Michael Lynch on amnesty just the mention of Rubio’s name drew loud boos.

Rubio wants to talk about Apalachicola Bay (oysters), defunding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Washington misspending (which will increase if  the amnesty bill passes), the UN nominee Samantha Power and a liberal activist court.

Where is anything on amnesty? Nada, nothing, total silence.

Sarah Carter from The Blaze reports, “Cochise County [Arizona] Sheriff Mark Dannels doesn’t mince words. He’s angry that local law enforcement and the citizens who call the Southwest border home have been left out of the decision making process when it comes to security and immigration reform … ‘Look at (Sen. Marco) Rubio out of Florida — have you been down here, Rubio?’ he said, noting that drug cartels had just replaced a radio relay station on the mountain that the sheriff’s team had taken down less than three weeks earlier.”

“I say to myself, ‘Rubio, you’re making decisions for me, for my state, for my county, my city when you haven’t even been here – what an insult,  what do you know about our border?  You know nothing about our border. Yet you’re making those decisions without even speaking to us,’” wrote Carter.

Rubio’s office did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Maybe this is a topic that Rubio wants to ignore but AZ Sheriff Dannels and the people do not.

Here is a list of releases dated August 13, 2013:

For a complete list of Rubio press releases for August 2013 go here.

For Rubio perhaps silence is golden on amnesty?

Center for Immigration Studies calls Rubio’s amnesty ad “deceptive” (Video)

Jon Feere, the Legal Policy Analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, reviews an ad released by the “Gang of Eight” featuring Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). The ad is playing nationwide, including in Florida.

Feere states, “The minute-long advertisement calls the proposal ‘conservative immigration reform’ and attempts to make amnesty appealing to Republican voters. Partisan politics aside, the amnesty ad is misleading on a number of counts…”

The ad was produced by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who created FWD.us, an advocacy group aimed at promoting amnesty. One of the group’s offshoots is “Americans for a Conservative Direction“, which is cited at the end of the ad.

Americans for a Conservative Direction’s board members include: Haley Barbour: former Governor Haley Barbour served as the 62nd governor of Mississippi from 2004 to 2012 and served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee in the mid ’90s; Sally Bradshaw: former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Chief of Staff from 1999-2001, and served as a Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee’s Growth and Opportunity Project; Joel Kaplan: currently Vice President of US Public Policy at Facebook, Joel also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush; Dan Senor: former chief advisor to Representative Paul Ryan on the Romney-Ryan 2012 campaign; Rob Jesmer: former Executive Director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2008 – 2012.

Below is the ad:

Here is Feere’s analysis of the ad phrase by phrase:

RUBIO: “Anyone who thinks what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty.”

Very few Americans believe that we don’t have a serious problem with illegal immigration. It is true that this country is experiencing a de facto amnesty for illegal aliens, and it is largely the result of the Obama administration refusing to enforce immigration laws on the books. The problem is that Rubio wants to turn this “de facto” amnesty into a formal amnesty, and grant millions of law-breakers work permits, driver’s licenses, Social Security accounts, travel documents, and an unknown number of additional state-level benefits. Rubio is trying to help President Obama fulfill his campaign goal of keeping all illegal aliens in the country and giving them benefits reserved for legal residents. If Rubio was actually troubled by the de facto amnesty being advanced by the Obama administration, Rubio would side with the ICE officials who are suing the Obama administration over the president’s effort to prevent them from doing their jobs. Top-ranking ICE official Chris Crane explained the lawsuit to Fox News, here. Mr. Crane’s recent congressional testimony, available here, raises many troubling issues. ICE’s additional concern is that the amnesty bill would make permanent their inability to enforce the law by giving DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano “virtually unlimited discretion” to waive all enforcement of immigration law. If an amnesty is passed, the Obama administration will likely continue to undermine any immigration enforcement provisions in the bill.

ANNOUNCER: “Conservative leaders have a plan, the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States.”

The so-called “Gang of Eight” senators who wrote the bill aren’t all “conservative leaders”, unless you consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to fit that description. True, the gang also includes Republican senators, but it is up for debate whether one considers Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to be conservative on immigration. Their immigration report card grades, from the pro-enforcement group NumbersUSA, are troubling: Graham has a “C”, McCain a “D”, and a Flake “C”. This is in contrast to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has an “A+” from NumbersUSA.

The voiceover in the ad also cites a newspaper article for the “toughest enforcement measures in the history of the United States” language. This commercial carefully avoided some of the language in the article’s full sentence, particularly the part noting that this bill would allow previously deported illegal aliens to return to the country. The article’s full sentence reads:

The controversial proposal would grant most of the 11 million people here illegally a path to citizenship and give thousands of deported individuals a chance to return, but would also adopt some of the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States.

No immigration bill in the history of the United States has ever permitted previously deported illegal aliens to return to the United States to receive citizenship, so it is difficult to see how this news organization concluded that the bill is the “toughest” our country has ever seen. Of course, the article is really claiming that the bill would “adopt some” tough enforcement measures, not that the bill itself is tough.

On closer inspection, many of these measures (noted below) are not as tough as they seem to be.

RUBIO: “They have to pass the background check, they have to be able to pay a registration fee, they have to pay a fine.”

Within six months of the bill’s passage, illegal immigrants would become immediately eligible for legal status, and many of the hoops that illegal immigrants would have to jump through to get such status do not amount to much. It is likely that any illegal immigrants who simply claim to be eligible will be able to avoid deportation, even if they’re already in detention. This is exactly what is already happening under President Obama’s deferred action program. ICE agents are being instructed to release any illegal aliens who claim to be eligible, even if they haven’t filled out an application form. The same situation will unfold under the large-scale amnesty bill. ICE will be virtually handcuffed and will not be able to carry out most enforcement.

To acquire the primary legal status offered under this bill, illegal immigrants would have to undergo a simple background check. But the bill would still grant legal status to illegal immigrants with a significant amount of criminality on their rap sheet. For example, crimes like ID theft and vandalism are not considered serious enough to deny a person status, despite the fact that such crimes create real victims. Specifically, two misdemeanors will not result in legal status being denied and under the bill multiple misdemeanors could be counted as “one” misdemeanor, provided they occur on the same day. Additionally, any problematic history an illegal immigrant has in his home country is unlikely to be uncovered; in a sense, our public safety would depend on the bookkeeping of police departments in the alien’s homeland, and there are many things that Americans consider criminal that are not criminal overseas.

Finally, the government’s capacity to conduct background checks on millions of illegal immigrants is questionable. ICE Union head Chris Crane explained in a video interview with the Daily Caller that there is “no such thing as a background check on a foreign national.” The 1986 amnesty also had background checks, but hundreds of thousands of fraudulent applicants were rubber-stamped. The amnesty granted legal status to someone who used his new status to freely travel to the Middle East to pick up terrorist training and helped lead the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Had we enforced our immigration laws, he would have been removed from the country and the attack might never have occurred.

The recent Boston Marathon bombing should also illustrate the government’s inability to carefully vet backgrounds. The FBI interviewed at least one of the terrorists, his family members, and his neighbors, in addition to analyzing his Internet usage. They apparently found nothing that would have raised a red flag. Despite the fact that DHS estimates there are many problematic foreign-born people living in the United States, the millions of illegal aliens applying for the amnesty will not have nearly as vigorous of a background check as the Boston bombers had, suggesting that some bad people will receive legal status through the bill. As written, the bill would allow known gang members to become U.S. citizens if they simply “renounce” their gang affiliation.

Rubio also claims that illegal aliens applying for the amnesty would have to pay a fee, but there are waivers and no specificity. The bill simply notes that illegal aliens aged 16 and older who want legal status will have to pay a fee “in an amount determined by [DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano]”. While it is unclear how much the fee would be, the bill says it should be enough to cover processing the applications. (See here for David North’s estimate of the size of the fee needed to process applicants properly.) But in the next section, the bill gives Napolitano the power to limit the fee and to exempt “classes of individuals” altogether. With such broad authority granted by Congress, it is unclear whether this fee would apply to most amnesty applicants.

It should also be noted that USCIS already offers waivers for those who cannot afford certain fees — in fact, the Obama administration created a form for such waivers in 2010 — and similar waivers may apply to any future amnesty. To obtain a fee waiver for some existing immigration benefits, an applicant simply must show that they are currently using a welfare program. Currently, 71 percent of illegal alien households with children make use of at least one form of welfare.

Rubio also claims that amnesty applicants would have to pay a fine. A fine is different from a fee and, by definition, a fine is meant to be a punishment for breaking a law. The bill puts the fine at $500 for the initial legal status — not much of a punishment considering the laws that have been broken. This initial status turns the illegal aliens into legal residents and grants them work permits, driver’s licenses, Social Security accounts, and many other benefits. Applicants would have to pay another $500 over the next six years. If a person wants to upgrade from this provisional status to full green card status (and eventual U.S. citizenship), they would have to pay another $1,000 many years down the road. But there are many exceptions. For example, people of any age who claim to have entered before age 16 and have a high school degree or GED would not have to pay either of the $500 fines, nor would they have to pay the $1,000 fine for green card status. Also, all people under 21 years of age, regardless of when they entered and whether they have a high school degree, would be exempted from both of the $500 fines.

Furthermore, it is likely that some pro-amnesty groups will assist applicants in paying the fines — some of which will be using taxpayer-provided funds to do so. The bill would actually grant groups like La Raza $150 million of taxpayer dollars to help illegal aliens apply for the amnesty, and the bill grants them a lot of discretion to decide how to spend the money. In reality, the fine may not be much of a punishment at all — particularly if American taxpayers are the ones footing the bill.

Absent from Rubio’s list is the requirement that illegal aliens pay back taxes. The reason he is no longer citing it is because that provision never made it into the bill. For months Rubio and other amnesty advocates sold the bill on the notion of requiring illegal aliens to pay back taxes for the years they have worked off the books. But it was simply part of an attempt to mislead the public into thinking this bill is tougher than it really is. Only “assessed” taxes have to be paid, and if the IRS doesn’t audit illegal immigrants working off the books — which is won’t — then there will be no “assessed” taxes to pay.

ANNOUNCER: “Border security on steroids. Tough border triggers have no giveaways for law breakers.”

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Napolitano simply has to submit a plan for border security and a fencing plan within six months of the passage of this bill. As soon as she submits the plans, illegal aliens become eligible for work permits, Social Security accounts, driver’s licenses, travel documents, and countless state-level benefits. Past amnesties show that these benefits are mostly what illegal aliens are looking for; green card status and U.S. citizenship are not priorities for most illegal immigrants. No border security has to be in place for these benefits to be handed out. A proposed amendment to the bill that would have made border security come before these benefits are handed out was rejected by the Senate. Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Lindsey Graham, two of the alleged “conservative leaders” who helped authored this bill, voted against the amendment along with all of the Democrats.

The “triggers” — border security, an entirely new electronic verification system (to replace E-Verify), and an operational exit-tracking system — are required to be in effect before illegal immigrants can upgrade to a green card. But even this isn’t exactly true.

The bill does provide a significant amount of funding for border security, but it remains unclear how that money would be spent and whether the border would ever actually be secured. The bill requires an “effectiveness rate” of 90 percent and defines such a rate as “the percentage calculated by dividing the number of apprehensions and turn-backs in the sector during a fiscal year by the total number of illegal entries in the sector during such fiscal year.” This equation requires some estimate of the number of missed illegal entries, but the metrics of border security have been up for debate for many years and it’s unclear how such an estimate would be reached. Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council asks, “How are they going to measure effectiveness?” He fears the bills language “will put pressure on Border Patrol management to fudge the number in order to fit political purposes.”

Rubio has said that if effective control of these sections of the border is not met within five years, “it goes to a border commission made up of people that live and have to deal with the border and they will take care of that problem.” But in the bill, the “Southern Border Security Commission” would be made up of six Washington-appointed members (two by the president and four by congressional leaders), plus one from each southern border state (appointed by the governor), and it could do nothing but issue recommendations. But it gets worse. The bill also says that if “litigation or a force majeure” prevents the border from being secured then Secretary Napolitano has the authority to go ahead and issue illegal aliens U.S. citizenship anyhow.

One member of the Gang of Eight has asserted that citizenship for illegal immigrants will not be conditioned on actually having a secure border. Sen. Charles Schumer (R-N.Y.) explained, “We are not using border security as a block to a path to citizenship. This [the trigger] will not be a barrier to giving citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country.”

In other words, there really aren’t any border security triggers at all.

RUBIO: “No federal benefits, no food stamps, no welfare, no Obamacare, they have to prove that they’re gainfully employed.”

Rubio is simply wrong with these assertions. Illegal immigrants are already receiving federal benefits and this bill would do nothing to stop that. This bill would actually extend greater amounts of benefits to illegal immigrants by giving them legal status.

We estimate that 71 percent of illegal immigrant-headed households with children use at least one welfare program. Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, but they, not the children, are collecting the benefits, which support the entire family. Illegal immigrant households with children primarily use food assistance and Medicaid, making almost no use of cash or housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrant households tend to have relatively high use rates for every type of welfare program. It is undeniable that if the amnesty bill becomes law, the legalized illegal immigrants will have greater access to the welfare state.

As for Obamacare, illegal immigrants who get green card status will have access to Obamacare, causing the aggregate annual deficit to soar to around $106 billion, finds the Heritage Foundation. Heritage also concludes that the amnesty applicants who receive green card status would also receive full eligibility for more than 80 means-tested welfare programs.

As to the “gainfully employed” requirement, Rubio is not being completely honest. The most important exemption comes toward the end of the bill, but it’s worth noting at the outset: All education and job requirements in the bill are waived if the immigrant is unable to work or go to school “due to circumstances outside the control of the alien”. The bill provides no explanation of what this might include, and one must ask whether high unemployment rates would count as something outside the control of the amnesty applicants.

Acquiring provisional status does not require evidence of employment. Renewing the status after six years does trigger an employment section of the bill. The section requires that the legalized immigrant fulfill one of two options. In the first option, the alien must prove that he “was regularly employed throughout the period of admission as a registered provisional immigrant, allowing for brief periods lasting not more than 60 days” and “not likely to become a public charge”. But this means that the immigrant could be unemployed for a two-month period and still meet this requirement. Plus, the wording is such that it leaves some interpretation to the courts. What if the immigrant has two “brief periods” of unemployment “lasting not more than 60 days”? By some interpretations, the immigrant would still be able to meet this requirement. Can an immigrant have five such brief periods? Ten? If the bill were written to limit unemployment to 60 days, then it would read “allowing for brief periods of unemployment totaling not more than 60 days”. It is a simple wording change, but it leads to a significantly different outcome.

As an alternative, the alien can “demonstrate average income or resources that are not less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level” for the period he lived here as an alien legalized under the bill. If the alien is the only person in his household, this requirement means that he would have to be making at least $11,490 a year.

But standards are low here. Amnesty applicants can submit a number of different documents to prove they worked. This includes any paperwork from a day laborer hiring center or even sworn affidavits from an alien’s family member who is willing to claim that the alien was working.

On top of all this, the work requirements do not have to be met if an amnesty applicant is going to school. The bill defines the education requirement quite broadly.

Furthermore, the employment and educational requirements do not apply to anyone under age 21 at the time of applying for the amnesty’s provisional legal status, nor do they apply to people over age 60. Also exempted is anyone who is a “primary caretaker of a child or another person who requires supervision or is unable to care for himself or herself.”

ANNOUNCER: “Bold, very conservative, a tough line on immigration.”

Considering all the exemptions and waivers already laid out above, it is difficult to conclude that this bill is bold with a “tough line” on immigration. The phrasing in this portion of the Rubio commercial is taken from quotes from pro-amnesty columnists in the media. The word “bold” was used by a Washington Post blogger who supports amnesty. The phrase “very conservative” is from the same writer; the full sentence is more illuminating:

In essence, if you accept that you have to start somewhere and we have no capability to uproot 11 million people, this is a very conservative-friendly plan.

So the writer called the bill “very conservative-friendly” and the ad shortened it to “very conservative.” One could certainly argue that these have different meanings. But the premise of the full quote is also worthy of debate. Does the United States have no capability to send 11 million people back home? Amnesty advocates constantly argue that the only alternative to mass amnesty is mass deportations. But in reality, both are unworkable. The only solution to the illegal immigration problem is the “attrition through enforcement” policy where we consistently enforce our immigration laws for a period of years and encourage illegal immigrants to go home in greater numbers than they already are. The Post blogger does not entertain this option and presents only a choice between amnesty and mass deportations, one embraced by Rubio.

The phrase “tough line on immigration” was taken from a pro-amnesty columnist from CNN. The same columnistcalled Arizona a “rogue state at war” for passing laws attempting to curb illegal immigration. That the pro-amnesty columnist opposed Jan Brewer’s efforts but embraces Rubio should raise flags about Rubio’s commitment to immigration enforcement.

RUBIO: “It puts in place the toughest enforcement measures in the history of the United States, potentially in the world and it once and for all deals with the issue of those that are here illegally but does so in a way that’s fair and compassionate but does not encourage people to come illegally in the future and isn’t unfair to the people that have done it the right way.”

Rubio claims that this comprehensive amnesty will fix the illegal immigration problem “once and for all”. But the American people have been told this before. The 1986 comprehensive amnesty, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was sold to the public as a one-time plan that would not have to be repeated because the bill contained sanctions against employers for hiring illegal immigrants, and other enforcement provisions. But after IRCA legalized about three million illegal aliens, the enforcement provisions never materialized. Today, about 7.5 million illegal aliens are holding jobs and their employers are not being held accountable. Why would anyone believe that the enforcement provisions in yet another amnesty would ever be enforced? In fact, only a few years after IRCA passed, the National Council of La Raza issued a report calling for the end to workplace enforcement. Interestingly, the author of that report was Cecilia Munoz, who today is President Obama’s chief immigration advisor. Odds are high that she will be working to undermine the enforcement in Rubio’s bill the moment it becomes law. Just last week President Obama told a roomful of amnesty advocate groups that if the bill becomes law, he will “revisit” the enforcement provisions. In other words, Obama has pledged to administratively narrow the scope of enforcement as soon as 11 million illegal immigrants and their family members acquire legal status through the bill. This is why enforcement must come before any type of legal status. Rubio’s bill is backwards, and it’s clear he hasn’t learned from the mistakes of IRCA.

Rubio also claims that the bill “does not encourage people to come illegally” but he apparently hasn’t been listening to border officials in the field who have come to Washington to testify before Congress. Rubio didn’t see thisWashington Times article:

“We have seen an increase in attempted entries,” Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher told a Senate committee.

He said part of the reason for an increase is that Congress is talking about legalizing illegal immigrants, which is luring more foreigners to try to be in the U.S. when amnesty takes effect.

This should not come as a surprise. Amnesties always encourage illegal immigration because they send the message that illegal entry is a feasible path to legal U.S. residence.

Rubio also claims that amnesty is not unfair to those who are attempting to come to the United States the legal way. The reality is that illegal aliens get to stay in the country the moment they apply for amnesty. If they pass the simple background check, they receive legal status and nearly all the benefits of citizenship, including a work permit, a Social Security account, travel documents, a driver’s license, and many additional state-level benefits. While green card status may be delayed for a period of years, it is undeniable that amnesty applicants are in a much better position compared to those overseas who have applied to come to the United States legally. The amnesty applicant is only in the “back of the line” in the sense that the green card — and eventual U.S. citizenship — would allegedly be delayed until after all existing green card applications are processed. But the fact is, the genuine back of the line is in the illegal alien’s home country.

ANNOUNCER: “Stand with Marco Rubio to end de facto amnesty, support Conservative Immigration Reform.”

Again, Rubio wants to turn the de facto amnesty we’re currently experiencing as a result of non-enforcement of immigration laws into a de jure amnesty for millions of people who do not belong here. Rubio asks you to “stand” with him, but Rubio himself is standing with Obama, Napolitano, La Raza, the ACLU, and many other amnesty supporters who cannot be described as “conservative” in any sense of the word.

Rubio introduces legislation to limit powers of IRS

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today filed an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from abusing its powers to violate first amendment rights. Rubio will introduce identical legislation, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013, in the Senate tomorrow. The legislation, introduced today in the House by Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH), provides for mandatory termination and criminal liability for Internal Revenue Service employees who willfully violate the constitutional rights of a taxpayer. The need for the legislation is demonstrated by current reports of the IRS deliberately targeting conservative organizations, and it expressly states that political speech and political expression are protected rights.

The legislation reads in part, “Whoever being an employee of the Internal Revenue Service, engages, during the performance of that employee’s official duties, in an act or omission described in section 1203(b) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 shall be fined under this 8 title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.’’

“A government organization like the IRS discriminating against political organizations is an outrageous abuse of power, and the American people have every right to demand answers and accountability,” said Rubio. “Those responsible individuals should face all appropriate punishment available under current law, and all organizations and individuals who engage in political speech and expression should be protected against this kind of discriminatory behavior in the future. I commend Congressman Turner for championing this legislation in the House and hope our colleagues will join us in providing protections to deter this kind of governmental abuse from happening again.”

Earlier, Rubio sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to demand the resignation of the current IRS Commissioner. “The American people deserve answers about how such seemingly unconstitutional and potentially criminal behavior could occur, and who else was aware of it throughout the Administration,” Rubio wrote. “If investigations reveal that bureaucrats or political appointees engaged in unconstitutional or criminal targeting of conservative taxpayers, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

To view the legislation, click here.

Below is the full text of the letter:

May 13, 2013

The Honorable Jack Lew 
Secretary 
U.S. Department of the Treasury 
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Secretary Lew:

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service’s selective and deliberate targeting of conservative organizations are outrageous and seriously concerning. This years-long abuse of government power is an assault on the free speech rights of all Americans. This direct assault on our Constitution further justifies the American people’s distrust in government and its ability to properly implement our laws.

The American people deserve answers about how such seemingly unconstitutional and potentially criminal behavior could occur, and who else was aware of it throughout the Administration. It is imperative that you, your predecessor, and other past and present high-ranking officials at the Department of Treasury and IRS immediately testify before Congress.

The public expects your complete cooperation with both congressional investigations and potential criminal inquiries. If investigations reveal that bureaucrats or political appointees engaged in unconstitutional or criminal targeting of conservative taxpayers, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. At a bare minimum, those involved with this deeply offensive use of government power have committed a violation of the public trust that has already had a profoundly chilling effect on free speech. Such behavior cannot be excused with a simple apology.

Furthermore, it is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people’s confidence under the current leadership. Therefore, I strongly urge that you and President Obama demand the IRS Commissioner’s resignation, effectively immediately. No government agency that has behaved in such a manner can possibly instill any faith and respect from the American public.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

City of Sarasota, FL promotes “kiddie porn” parody?

The City of Sarasota, FL owns and operates the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which has a budget of over $8.8 million. On April 23, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. 50 Shades: The Musical will be performed. 50 Shades: The Musical is a parody of the controversial erotic book 50 Shades of Grey.

According to Larry Allen, Sarasota County Communication Office, “Sarasota County provided grant funding in the amount of $76,468 to the Arts and Cultural Alliance through the Tourist Development Tax. The Alliance provides funding to the Van Wezel for program series. A  list of prospective show offerings was provided in the grant application process on March, 2012. 50 Shades of Grey was not on the list provided on that date.” [My emphasis]

In August of 2012, the Ulsterman Report posted a letter from a person with “20 years with Child Protective Services.” The author of the letter writes, “Yes, 50 Shades is pornography. Like most pornography, the story line is weak, the characters one-dimensional, while the sex itself graphic, detailed, but formulaic. The underlying theme to 50 Shades is something far more sinister and appalling though than your mere run-of-the-mill porn. It is pedophilia. It is child porn. Kiddie porn.” [My emphasis]

According to the letter writer, “I didn’t seek out 50 Shades of Grey. It was brought to my attention by a longtime friend who is also a clinical psychologist at a university. She’s a bit older than me. She grew up in the counter culture era and did her fair share of experimentation of all kinds.  So she’s hardly a prude. What she today though is a mother and grandmother. And she’s smart. One of the things that fascinates her is this age of cultural phenomena.  How due to technology things now spread so quickly throughout society and become the next big thing at an increasingly rapid pace. She says sometimes this phenomena is pretty much harmless, and other times it can be very damaging to kids and or adults who begin to emulate something out of a need to belong to the ‘next big thing’.”

According to Mary Bensel, Executive Director of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 50 Shades is the next big thing.

Mary Bensel, Executive Director of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

During a telephone interview Bensel pointed out that the musical is getting rave reviews everywhere it plays. There is a video on the Van Wezel website with patrons (the musical is restricted to those over 18 years old) saying how funny 50 Shades is. But is sexual abuse funny?

Bensel stated she has both read the book 50 Shades of Grey and viewed 50 Shades: The Musical in New York.

When asked if she believed the book 50 Shades of Grey was pornographic Bensel stated, “I have no opinion.” On the phone call was Julia Mays, Director of Marketing for the Van Wezel, who portrayed the book 50 Shades of Grey as a “love story”.

E.L. James, author 50 Shades of Grey

According to Wikipedia, “Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James. It is the first installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM).” [My emphasis]

Bensel stated that the Van Wezel paid about $10,000 for the musical and has sold $27,424 in tickets. Sex sells and sexual abuse sells even better?

When asked if anyone from the Van Wezel staff reviewed the lyrics or screen play the answer was “no, that is not our job.” A call was placed to David Freeland, Senior Booking Manager with the Broadway Booking Office, NYC, who is the agent for 50 Shades: The Musical to get a copy of the screen play. Freeland has not return our call as of the publishing of this column.

As the Ulsterman Report letter writer states, “Sexual predators are cons. They almost always have a cover. It’s that cover which allows them access. 50 Shades of Grey is a con. It now has access to millions of readers. It is a story about abuse from beginning to end. And it’s not just the abuse of a man and a woman – it’s the abuse of a man and a girl.”

Bensel’s con is the book and musical are popular, thereby justifying its booking. She also noted that 50 Shades: The Musical and Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody have been booked by other Florida performing arts halls including: The Lakeland Center, Broward Center and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center in Fort Myers, FL.

Senator Marco Rubio has made it his mission to stop human trafficking, including the sex trafficking of children in Florida. Perhaps Senator Rubio should visit the Sarasota City Hall when he comes to Sarasota on March 15th and make the Commissioners understand the problem? Please watch this video interview with Senator Rubio where he states “awareness is critical”:

UPDATE:

WDW received the following email sent to the Sarasota City Commissioners:

Dear Commissioners:

Many Adult Ordinances passed in the city of Sarasota, an Ordinance No. 97-4015 was adopted on the 2nd reading on the 15th June 1998 but was amended by Ordinance 98-4073 & passed Dec. 7. 1998. Another amendment to the Adult Ordinance 99-4165 passed Nov. 15, 1999.  Most of the changes were made to strengthen the Ordinances to make them more enforceable.

I would think that these ordinances would prohibit any kind of pornographic performance at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall based on this evaluation of 50 Shades of Grey planned to be performed on April 23, 2013.

As a former Director of Florida Family Association for Sarasota/Manatee County, our organization was very much involved with all the Adult Ordinances for the city & County of Sarasota as well as Manatee.

Therefore, I would appreciate knowing what the city of Sarasota plans to do with this performance.

Esther Rachwal
Sarasota, Fl. 

Perhaps the Van Wezel should be issued an Adult Use Permit?

RELATED COLUMN: Police chief: If you don’t curb porn, number of sex crimes will rise

Rep. West Receives Guardian of Small Business Award

Congressman Allen West (R-FL) received the National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award Thursday.

The award is presented to members of Congress who NFIB considers “champions” of small business owners. West received a perfect score of ‘100’ for his votes on 13 key NFIB supported pieces of legislation concerning issues from healthcare, energy and Federal Government regulations.

Rep. West received a perfect score from the National Federation of Independent Businesses as did sixteen other members of the Florida delegation. Republican Senate Candidate Connie Mack received a 100 percent, with Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz garnering a zero. Senator Bill Nelson received a score of 36 and Senator Marco Rubio a score of 100.

Here is the list of the Florida delegation by district and their NFIB scores:

1      Miller, J. 100
2      Southerland 100
3      Brown, C. 0
4      Crenshaw 100
5      Nugent 100
6      Stearns 100
7      Mica 100
8      Webster 100
9      Bilirakis 100
10    Young, C.W. “Bill” 100
11    Castor 8
12    Ross, D. 100
13    Buchanan 100
14    Mack 100
15    Posey 100
16    Rooney 100
17    Wilson, F. 0
18    Ros-Lehtinen 9
19    Deutch 0
20    Wasserman Schultz 0
21    Diaz-Balart 92
22    West, A. 100
23    Hastings, A. 8
24    Adams 100
25    Rivera 100

For a complete look at how each Member of the 112th Congress voted, click here

“Our small businesses are at the heart of keeping this economy going and I am proud to receive this award,” West said. “As I travel Dixie Highway in Palm Beach County and visit small businesses in South Florida, I see firsthand the importance of expanding opportunities and reducing burdensome regulations on our independent employers. Our small businesses represent the best of the American spirit and I will continue to be their voice on Capitol Hill.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised West for his commitment to American business owners.

“In the 112th Congress, Representative West proved he is willing to stand up and do big things for small business,” Danner said. “Guardian-award winners are genuine small business champions, consistently voting to promote and protect the right of small business owners to own, operate and grow their businesses.”

Congressman Allen West is a member of the House Committee on Small Business and is a member of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce and the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.

The Guardian of Small Business Award is presented to lawmakers who vote with small businesses 70 percent or more of the time and demonstrate a commitment to protecting free enterprise.

National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB has 350,000 members and its mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.