No Muslim Presidents — Ben Carson Right — Sharia Law Conflicts With Presidential Oath of Office To Defend U.S. Constitution — Governor Scott Walker Suspends Campaign — Conservatives Disappointed — Videos

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Story 1: No Muslim Presidents —  Ben Carson Right — Sharia Law Conflicts With Presidential Oath of Office To Defend U.S. Constitution — Governor Scott Walker Suspends Campaign — Conservatives Disappointed — Videos

U.S. Constitution

Article II

Section 1.

Clause 8: Oath or affirmation

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleii

United States Constitution

Article VI

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi

U.S. Bill of Rights

Amendment I (1): Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-constitution-amendments/bill-of-rights/

Sharia Law

Shariah law

Sharia law is the law of Islam. The Sharia (also spelled Shariah or Shari’a) law is cast from the actions and words of Muhammad, which are called “Sunnah,” and the Quran, which he authored.

The Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of the Sharia law, called “figh,” by imams is given some leeway.

As a legal system, the Sharia law covers a very wide range of topics. While other legal codes deal primarily with public behavior, Sharia law covers public behavior, private behavior and private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Islam’s Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women.

According to the Sharia law:

•  Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
•  Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
•  A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
•  A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
•  Girls’ clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad‘s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
•  A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
•  A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
•  A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
•  Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
•  A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
•  A woman’s testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man’s.
•  A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
•  A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
•  A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
•  Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be Halal.
•  Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
•  The list goes on.

http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html

Ben Carson: ‘Absolutely I stand by the comments’ about Muslim president

Ben Carson Does Not Believe a Muslim Should Be President Meet The Press

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said today he would not support a Muslim as president on meet the press The retired neurosurgeon also said Islam, as a religion, was inconsistent with the Constitution. Carson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he believed a president’s faith should matter “depending on what that faith is.” “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said. “If it’s [a president’s faith] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter.” Carson, who has been near the top of several presidential polls, said he would consider voting for a Muslim in Congress “[depending] on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.” ABC News has reached out to Carson’s campaign for comment.
Ben Carson Does ‘Not Advocate’ A Muslim As President Sun, Sep 20 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson tells Chuck Todd that the faith of a presidential candidate should matter to voters “if it is inconsistent with the values … of America.”

GOP candidate Carson: Muslim shouldn’t be elected president

What Is Sharia Law?

How Is Sharia Law Dangerous for Western Society?

484. Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

485. Was Muhammad A Prophet Of Peace?

493. What Is Sharia Law?

Muslims should not become President’ Republican candidate

Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 1: The Threat Doctrine of Shariah & the Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 2: ‘Civilization Jihad’ in America

Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 3: Influence Operations Against Conservatives & the GOP

Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 4: Suhail Khan, A Case Study in Influence Operations

CAIR – Muslim Mafia

CAIR in Damage Control After Terrorist Designation, Ties to Muslim Brotherhood

CAIR, Muslim American Society Designated as Terrorist Organizations

Election 2016 Presidential Polls

Tuesday, September 22
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus PPP (D) Trump 24, Carson 17, Cruz 8, Fiorina 13, Rubio 8, Bush 6, Walker 5, Huckabee 6, Paul 4, Jindal 4, Kasich 2, Santorum 1, Christie 1, Perry, Graham 0 Trump +7
Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus PPP (D) Clinton 43, Sanders 22, Biden 17, O’Malley 3, Webb 3, Chafee 2 Clinton +21
Monday, September 21
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination CNN/ORC Clinton 42, Sanders 24, Biden 22, O’Malley 1, Webb 0, Chafee 0 Clinton +18
Sunday, September 20
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination CNN/ORC Trump 24, Carson 14, Bush 9, Rubio 11, Cruz 6, Fiorina 15, Huckabee 6, Paul 4, Kasich 2, Christie 3, Walker 0, Perry, Santorum 1, Jindal 0, Graham 0 Trump +9
Thursday, September 17
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Michigan Republican Presidential Primary MRG Trump 22, Carson 24, Bush 8, Fiorina 3, Rubio 4, Cruz 3, Huckabee 6, Kasich 2, Walker 2, Christie 1, Paul 2, Santorum 0, Jindal 0 Carson +2
Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary MRG Clinton 41, Sanders 22, Biden 22, O’Malley 1, Chafee 0, Webb 0 Clinton +19
Michigan: Trump vs. Clinton MRG Clinton 43, Trump 40 Clinton +3
Michigan: Bush vs. Clinton MRG Clinton 39, Bush 40 Bush +1
Wednesday, September 16
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary WBUR Trump 22, Carson 18, Kasich 9, Fiorina 11, Bush 9, Cruz 5, Paul 4, Rubio 2, Christie 2, Walker 1, Huckabee 1, Graham 1, Pataki 0, Jindal 0, Santorum 0 Trump +4
New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary WBUR Sanders 35, Clinton 31, Biden 14, Webb 2, O’Malley 1, Chafee 1 Sanders +4

Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker Suspends His Presidential Campaign – Mark Steyn – Hannity

Poor debate showings key to Walker’s early

 

Scott Walker drops out of 2016 presidential race

Scott Walker on Donald Trump, Family Politics

Donald Trump: Scott Walker Has ‘a Lot of Problems’

It’s Official – The Kochs Have Chosen Their Candidate

Scott Walker suspends presidential campaign

By Jenna Johnson, Dan Balz and Robert Costa

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has suspended his presidential campaign, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed amid tepid debate performances, confusing statements and other missteps.

“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Walker said in a brief speech in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday evening. “With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.”

Walker said that because the field is so crowded, candidates have become focused on personal attacks instead of the substantial issues that matter most to voters. He said Republicans have lost the “optimistic view of America” pushed by President Ronald Reagan, Walker’s political idol, and urged those still running to “get back to the basics” with a focus on creating jobs, reducing the size of government and strengthening the military.

“To refocus the debate on these types of issues will require leadership,” Walker said. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”

In making that plea, Walker did not directly name the current front-runner, businessman Donald Trump.

The announcement stunned many of Walker’s major supporters, donors, fundraisers and even some of his staff members. Given his tanking poll numbers, many expected dramatic changes to the staff and strategy — but not such a sudden end.

“I’m stunned and saddened because I think Scott has had a tremendous record of accomplishment,” Fred Malek, a longtime party fundraiser who serves as the Republican Governor’s Association’s finance chairman. “He’s a man of the highest character and capacity, and he would have made a great president.”
Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a statement: “Governor Walker has an amazing story to tell about turning Wisconsin around. It is unfortunate that the bluster of candidates overshadowed his substance.”

When Walker launched his presidential campaign in mid-July, he was considered a top-tier candidate. He was an early favorite in Iowa, where many voters liked that he was a mellow, understated and sometimes boring Midwesterner. And a super PAC supporting his candidacy raised more than $20 million in less than three months.

But as the summer wore on, Walker’s campaign quickly became overshadowed by Trump and other candidates who have never held elected office. As Walker slid in early polls, he seemed to struggle to find his place the field, sometimes taking stances or using language that confused some of his longtime supporters. During the first Republican debate, Walker pitched himself as “aggressively normal” but seemed to disappear on the crowded stage. While he tried to be more energetic during the second debate last week, Walker was again overshadowed and hardly spoke during the three-hour faceoff. There were always glimmers of hope within the campaign that the situation would improve, and Walker’s campaign was constantly maneuvering — first targeting Trump’s supporters, then trying to tap into anti-establishment sentiments and then, just last week, focusing all of their energy on Iowa.

[How Donald Trump destroyed Scott Walker’s presidential chances]

Throughout the summer, Walker made a series of confusing or contradictory comments that often took several days to fully clarify. In August, he seemed to endorse ending birthright citizenship, then said he didn’t have a position on the issue, and then said that he did not want to change the constitution, which many believe guarantees citizenship to those born on U.S. soil. In late August, Walker called building a wall along the Canadian border “a legitimate issue for us to look at,” only to say days later that he never supported the idea and that his words were twisted by the media. Over Labor Day weekend, he refused to say if the United States should accept more Syrian refugees, telling reporters that it was a “hypothetical question” and that he wanted to talk about “reality” – only to say soon after that the United States should not accept more refugees.
Several longtime Walker supporters said they no longer recognized the candidate they had watched rise to national prominence from the Wisconsin governor’s office. Walker is best known for aggressively pushing for reforms to the state’s public-sector unions in 2011, riling Democrats both in his state and across the country. He quickly became a favorite of tea-party activists and his calm amid protests at the state capitol landed him on the cover of conservative magazines. He became a regular presence on Fox News. A year later, as he battled and ultimately won a recall election, he was being touted as a possible vice-presidential candidate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

“It was nice for him to get that attention in the short run, but it set up expectations he couldn’t hope to maintain,” said Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman and adviser to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

Union leadership, which had long considered Walker a top target, reacted quickly Monday to reports that he was suspending his campaign. “Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a terse afternoon statement.

In recent weeks, there were clear signs that Walker’s campaign was in trouble. His poll results began to resemble a ski slope. And although the super PAC was flush with money, supporters worried that the campaign itself was running low on cash.

The large cadre of staff and paid consultants around Walker have been on what one called a “death watch” for the past several weeks. It was clear to many that a single bad debate performance would spell the beginning of a dramatic downsizing of Walker’s campaign, with Walker staffers bracing for spending cuts, layoffs and a shake-up in the campaign leadership. Following last week’s debate, the frustration of many fundraisers and major donors exploded, as they demanded that Walker replace his campaign manager, Rick Wiley. Over the weekend, Walker skipped two previously scheduled appearances in Michigan and California, angering Republicans in states with high numbers of delegates, so that he could instead spend more time in Iowa. There, he struck several people as looking exhausted and beaten down.
There aren’t many loyal Walker voters in the state left to claim, said Steve Grubbs, Iowa strategist for Republican presidential rival Rand Paul. “The reality is that there was a very significant shift from Walker to Trump over the last 8-10 weeks,” he said, adding that it was those voters who might be up for grabs. “As Walker is out, and Trump begins to lose support, those voters will come back into play. And we believe that a lot of those voters are gettable,” said Grubbs.

Then came the latest CNN poll on Sunday that was like a punch in the gut: The governor was now polling nationally at less than one percent – so low that he received an asterisk on some charts instead of an actual number.

Still, the candidate kept his deliberations to quit the race very close, with a full schedule of events planned for this week that included campaign stops in Indiana and Virginia and a fundraiser in New York City at the home of one of his major donors, Joe Ricketts. Most staff, including senior aides, found out only Monday that he had decided to suspend his campaign later in the day.

Walker said on Monday that he reflected on the decision at church on Sunday. In suspending his campaign, he thanked everyone who believed in him — especially his wife, Tonette, and their two sons.

“Most of all, I want to thank God for his abundant grace,” Walker said in closing on Monday. “Win or lose, it is more than enough for any of us.”

[What happened to Scott Walker?]

Trump — who has been credited with quickening if not causing the sudden death of Walker’s campaign — praised Walker’s character and gubernatorial record and said he would reach out to his former rival in the coming days to offer encouragement.

“I really liked him a lot,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post on Monday. “I thought he was a terrific person. He has been a terrific governor. I got to know him pretty well. I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t worked out better for him. Many people thought he’d be the primary competition, at least initially.”
Trump, who proudly surrounds himself with a small group of aides, wondered if Walker was hurt by too much advice and management from his political consultants. “He was very loose guy when he came up to see me a few months ago to give me a plaque, but then on the campaign, maybe there were too many people. I think he had too many people, many of them who didn’t know what they were doing,” he said.

Other presidential contenders also offered their praise on Monday evening. In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) called Walker “a good man, a formidable fighter, and an effective reformer.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also used a statement to call Walker “a good man” and “one of the best governors in the country.”

Even before Walker announced the suspension of his campaign, rival campaigns had begun contacting top Walker donors to urge them to come aboard. Vin Weber said Bush’s campaign was aggressively reaching out to Walker donors and staffers Monday afternoon. “We thought it happened a little sooner than expected, but it was inevitable. There was not a path back for him, based on his performance as a candidate. And even though he was an asterisk in the polls, his decision will help to clarify the race, sending a strong message to other candidates who aren’t registering to move on and get the party down to 5 or 6 candidates who are viable.”

Gary Marx, a senior adviser to Walker’s campaign who coordinated outreach to conservative movement groups, said in an interview Monday that he and others are already looking for work. On Tuesday, Marx said, he will interview with three GOP presidential campaigns, which he declined to name.

A major problem of the Walker campaign, he said, was that it was difficult to generate enthusiasm — and campaign funding soon dried up. “No matter how much money was in the super PAC, hard dollars still matter,” he said. “He didn’t have the finances to continue on. Money is ultimately what stops campaigns from going further.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/21/scott-walker-suspends-presidential-campaign/

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Lying Lunatic Left Democratic Party’s War on People of Faith By Opposing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Law — 19 Other States Have Similar Laws — Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — Does Not Discriminate Against Any One Including Gays and Lesbians– Videos

Posted on April 3, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, Business, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Demographics, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Radio, Radio, Religion, Resources, Space, Strategy, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Story 3: Lying Lunatic Left Democratic Party’s  War on People of Faith By Opposing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Law — 19 Other States Have Similar Laws — Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — Does Not Discriminate Against Any One Including Gays and Lesbians– Videos

Religious-Freedom-Restoration-ActRFRA1religionmap2013gay-marriage-cartoon-beeler

Indiana legislators pledge to ‘fix’ controversial religious freedom law

Pence signs Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Religious Freedom Restoration Act Bill Draws Criticism, Support

Indiana lawmakers discuss the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

WFB’s Liz Harrington Discusses Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law on Real Story

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Religious Freedom Law ‘Absolutely Not’ a Mistake

Religious Freedom Act backlash continues in South Bend, across the US

What Does The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Ruling Mean?

The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Explained

History and Impact of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Mark Steyn On The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

Swarens: Gov. Mike Pence to push for clarification of ‘religious freedom’ law

Gov. Mike Pence, scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm, told The Star on Saturday that he will support the introduction of legislation to “clarify” that Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians.

“I support religious liberty, and I support this law,” Pence said in an exclusive interview. “But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.”

The governor, although not ready to provide details on what the new bill will say, said he expects the legislation to be introduced into the General Assembly this coming week.

Asked if that legislation might include making gay and lesbian Hoosiers a protected legal class, Pence said, “That’s not on my agenda.”

Amid the deepest crisis of his political career, Pence said repeatedly that the intense blowback against the new law is the result of a “misunderstanding driven by misinformation.”

He adamantly insisted that RFRA will not open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians. But he did acknowledge that Indiana’s image — and potentially its economic health — has been hurt badly by the controversy.

I spoke with Pence on the same day that thousands of people rallied at the Statehouse in opposition to the law. And the same day that Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle announced that his company will abandon a deal with the state and city to expand the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis because of RFRA’s passage.

Oesterle’s statement is a telling sign that the outrage over RFRA isn’t limited only to the political left. Oesterle directed Republican Mitch Daniels’ 2004 campaign for governor. And it’s a signal that the damage from the RFRA debacle could be extensive.

Behind the scenes, Pence and his team have been scrambling to mitigate that damage — both to the state and to the governor’s political career.

Pence said, for example, that he had a “cordial and productive” conversation with Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who announced shortly after Pence signed the RFRA legislation on Thursday that the company will cancel all corporate-related travel to Indiana. That conversation, however, has not led to a reversal of the Salesforce decision.

I asked the governor if he had anticipated the strongly negative reaction set off by the bill’s passage. His response made it clear that he and his team didn’t see it coming.

“I just can’t account for the hostility that’s been directed at our state,” he said. “I’ve been taken aback by the mischaracterizations from outside the state of Indiana about what is in this bill.”

In defense of the legislation, he noted that 19 other states and the federal government have adopted RFRA laws similar to Indiana’s. And he pointed out that President Barack Obama voted for Illinois’ version of RFRA as a state senator.

The governor also criticized the news media’s coverage of the legislation. “Despite the irresponsible headlines that have appeared in the national media, this law is not about discrimination,” he said. “If it was, I would have vetoed it.”

Yet, those justifications, cited repeatedly by the governor’s supporters in recent days, have done little to quell the controversy.

Which is why the proposal to clarify the law’s intent with a new bill has gained traction among Pence’s advisers in the past couple of days.

Pence also plans to fight back in the state and national media. He’s scheduled, for instance, to defend the law Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. “I’m not going to take it (the criticism) lying down,” he said.

As we wrapped up the conversation, I asked Pence: What answer do you have for the many gays and lesbians — and their friends and families — who’ve asked this past week if they are still welcome in Indiana?

“First, this law is not about discrimination. It’s about protecting religious liberty and giving people full access to the judicial system,” he said. “But, yes, Hoosier hospitality is about making all people feel welcome in our state. We did that with the Super Bowl and with many other events, and with bringing businesses here. We will continue to do that.”

Whether Pence can get that message across — whether he still has the credibility to get people to believe it — will help determine the extent of RFRA’s damage. First, and most important, for the state. But also for Mike Pence’s political future and legacy.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Argued March 25, 2014
Decided June 30, 2014Full case nameSylvia Burwell, Secretary ofHealth and Human Services, et al., Petitioners v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Mardel, Inc., David Green, Barbara Green, Steve Green, Mart Green, and Darsee Lett; Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, et al., Petitioners v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al.Docket nos.13-354
13-356Citations573 U.S. ___ (more)

134 S.Ct. 2751, WL 2921709, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4505, 123 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 621

HoldingAs applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Health and Human Services(HHS) regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). HHS’s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion under the RFRA. The Court assumes that guaranteeing cost-free access to the four challenged contraceptive methods is a compelling governmental interest, but the Government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.Court membership

Case opinionsMajorityAlito, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, ThomasConcurrenceKennedyDissentGinsburg, joined by Sotomayor; Breyer, Kagan (all but part III-C-1)DissentBreyer and KaganLaws applied

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), is a landmark decision[1][2] by the United States Supreme Courtallowing closely held for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law’s interest. It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation’s claim of religious belief,[3] but it is limited to closely held corporations.[a] The decision is an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and does not address whether such corporations are protected by the free-exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

For such companies, the Court’s majority directly struck down the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by theUS Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees, by a 5-4 vote.[4] The court said that the mandate was not the least restrictive way to ensure access to contraceptive care, noting that a less restrictive alternative was being provided for religious non-profits, until the Court issued an injunction 3 days later, effectively ending said alternative, leaving no employer-sponsored alternative for any female employees of closely held corporations that do not wish to provide birth control.[5]

The ruling could have widespread impact, allowing corporations to claim religious exemptions from federal laws.[6][7]

Background

Federal law

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Employment Division v. Smith (1990) that a person may not defy neutral laws of general applicability[b] even as an expression of religious belief. “To permit this,” wrote Justice Scalia, “would make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” He wrote that generally applicable laws do not have to meet the standard of strict scrutiny, because such a requirement would create “a private right to ignore generally applicable laws”. Strict scrutiny would require a law to be the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.

In 1993, the US Congress responded by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), requiring strict scrutiny when a neutral law of general applicability “substantially burden[s] a person’s[c] exercise of religion”.[8] The RFRA was amended in 2000 by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) to redefine exercise of religion as any exercise of religion, “whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief”, which is to be “construed in favor of a broad protection of religious exercise, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this chapter and the Constitution”. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the RFRA as applied to federal statutes in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita in 2006.

Affordable Care Act

Most Americans are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which relies on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to specify what kinds of preventive care for women should be covered in certain employer-based health plans. HHS exempted religious employers (churches and their integrated auxiliaries, associations of churches, and any religious order), non-profit organizations that object to any required contraception,[9] employers providing grandfathered plans (that have not had specific changes before March 23, 2010), and employers with fewer than 50 employees. The HRSA decided that all twenty contraceptives approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be covered.[10] Companies that refuse are fined $100 per individual per day,[11] or they can replace their health coverage with higher wages and a calibrated tax.

Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties

Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts company founded by self-made billionaire[12] David Green and owned by the Evangelical Christian Green family with about 21,000 employees.[11] It provided the contraceptives Plan-B and Ella until it dropped its coverage in 2012, the year it filed its lawsuit.[13][14] It is the largest funder of theNational Christian Charitable Foundation that uses its billion-dollar endowment to fund a network of political groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom, which recently supported the Arizona SB 1062 bill that attracted national controversy.[15] The Hobby Lobby case also involved Mardel Christian and Educational Supply, which is owned by Mart Green, one of David’s sons.

Hobby Lobby’s case was consolidated with another case by Conestoga Wood Specialties, a furniture company owned by the Mennonite Hahn family that has about 1,000 employees. They were being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.[16]

Specific contraceptives contested by plaintiffs

The Green and Hahn families believe that life begins at conception which they equate to fertilization, and object to their closely held for-profit corporations providing health insurance coverage to their female employees of four FDA-approved contraceptives that the Green and Hahn families believe may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg (many doctors and scientists disagree), which the Green and Hahn families believe constitutes an abortion.[17][18][19][20]

Lower court history

In September 2012, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against enforcement of the contraception rule based on the RFRA and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The district court denied Hobby Lobby’s request for a preliminary injunction. In March 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit granted a hearing of the case. In June, the appeals court ruled that Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is a person who has religious freedom.[6] The court ordered the government to stop enforcement of the contraception rule on Hobby Lobby and sent the case back to the district court, which granted preliminary injunction in July. In September, the government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.[21]

Two other federal appeals courts ruled against the contraception coverage rule, while another two upheld it.[11]

The case was previously titled Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. Sylvia Burwell was automatically substituted as petitioner when she was approved by the United States Senate as the Secretary of Health and Human Services after being nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Kathleen Sebelius following Sibelius’ resignation on April 10, 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court consideration

Acceptance and briefs

On November 26, the Supreme Court accepted and consolidated the case with Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Two dozen amicus briefs support the government, and five dozen support the companies. American Freedom Law Center‘s brief argues that birth control harms women because men will only want them “for the satisfaction of [their] own desires.”[22] Another brief argues that the contraception rule leads to “the maximization of sexual activity”.[7] Two of the briefs oppose each other on the constitutionality of the RFRA. Two briefs that do not formally take sides oppose each other on whether the right to religion applies to corporations.[23] One of those briefs argues that if shareholders are separated by the corporate veil from corporate liabilities, then their religious values are also separate from the corporation. It mentions the ruling in Domino’s Pizza, Inc. v. McDonald made against the African American owner of JWM Investments whose contracts were breached due to racial discrimination. The brief argues that if JWM Investments could not suffer discrimination through its owner, then Hobby Lobby could not suffer religious burden through its owner.[24][25] Two briefs were filed by LGBT groups concerned that future anti-discrimination laws would be pre-emptively harmed if employers could claim to be religiously exempt.[26][27][28]

Argument and deliberation

Oral arguments were held on March 25, 2014 for 30 minutes more than the usual one hour.[8] The three women in the court focused their questioning on Hobby Lobby’s lawyer, Paul D. Clement, while the men focused on the administration’s lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr.[29] Justice Sotomayor quoted the ruling from United States v. Lee (1982) saying that an employer can’t deprive employees of a statutory right because of religious beliefs. Clement replied that Lee does not apply because it was a challenge against a tax rather than against a significant burden. Sotomayor said that instead of paying the burden of the penalty, Hobby Lobby could replace its health care with the equivalent expense of higher wages and a calibrated tax, which the government would use to pay for the employees’ health care.[30][31] Near the end of Clement’s argument, Justice Kennedy expressed concern for the rights of the employees who may not agree with the religious beliefs of their employers.[32] When Verrilli argued that the ruling in Cutter v. Wilkinson requires the court to weigh the impact on third parties in every RFRA case, Justice Scalia said that the RFRA does not require the court to balance the interest of the religious objector to the interest of other individuals. Verilli returned to Lee,saying that granting an exemption to an employer should not impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.[30][33]

Opinion of the Court

Majority opinion

On June 30, 2014, Associate Justice Samuel Alito delivered the judgment of the court. Four justices (Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas) joined him to strike down the HHS mandate, as applied to closely held corporations with religious objections, and to prevent the plaintiffs from being compelled to provide contraception under their healthcare plans. The ruling was reached on statutory grounds, citing the RFRA, because the mandate was not the “least restrictive” method of implementing the government’s interest. The ruling did not address Hobby Lobby’s claims under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.[34]

The court argued that the purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of shareholders, officers, and employees.[35] It said that “allowing Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel to assert RFRA claims protects the religious liberty of the Greens and the Hahns.”[36] The court found that for-profit corporations could be considered persons under the RFRA. It noted that the HHS treats nonprofit corporations as persons within the meaning of RFRA. The court stated, “no conceivable definition of the term includes natural persons and nonprofit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.”[37] Responding to lower court judges’ suggestion that the purpose of for-profit corporations “is simply to make money”, the court said, “For-profit corporations, with ownership approval, support a wide variety of charitable causes, and it is not at all uncommon for such corporations to further humanitarian and other altruistic objectives.”[38] The court rejected the contention that “the Nation lacks a tradition of exempting for-profit corporations from generally applicable laws,” pointing to a federal statute from 1993 that exempted any covered health care entity from engaging in “certain activities related to abortion”.[39]

The court held that the HHS contraception mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion, rejecting an argument that the $2,000-per-employee penalty for dropping insurance coverage is less than the average cost of health insurance. Responding to HHS’s argument that the provision of coverage does not itself result in destruction of embryos, the Court asserted that the argument dodges the substantial burden question that the Court is supposed to address. The Court added, citing Jesuit moral manuals, that the argument is also the religious question of the morality of enabling the immoral acts of others, to which HHS had provided “a binding national answer”. The Court argued that federal courts should not answer religious questions because they would in effect be deciding whether certain beliefs are flawed.[40][41] The court argued that “companies would face a competitive disadvantage in retaining and attracting skilled workers,” that increased wages for employees to buy individual coverage would be more costly than group health insurance, that any raise in wages would have to take income taxes into account, and that employers cannot deduct the penalty.[42]

The court found it unnecessary to adjudicate on whether the HHS contraceptive mandate furthers a compelling government interest and held that HHS has not shown that the mandate is “the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling interest”.[43] The court argued that the most straightforward alternative would be “for the Government to assume the cost…” and that HHS has not shown that it is not “a viable alternative”.[44] The court said that the RFRA can “require creation of entirely new programs”.[45] The court also pointed out that HHS already exempts any nonprofit organization from paying for any required contraception by allowing it to certify its religious objection to its insurance issuer, which must “[p]rovide separate payments for any contraceptive services required to be covered”.[46] However, the court said the approach might not necessarily be the least restrictive alternative for all religious claims.[47]

The court concluded by addressing “the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction”. The court said that their decision “provides no such shield”, and that “prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.”[48] The court also said that the requirement to pay taxes despite any religious objection is different from the contraceptive mandate because “there simply is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes.”[49] The court acknowledged the dissent’s “worries about forcing the federal courts to apply RFRA to a host of claims made by litigants seeking a religious exemption from generally applicable laws…”, noting that this point was “made forcefully by the Court in Smith“. The court responded by saying, “Congress, in enacting RFRA, took the position that ‘the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests’…The wisdom of Congress’s judgment on this matter is not our concern. Our responsibility is to enforce RFRA as written, and under the standard that RFRA prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful.”[50]

Concurring opinion

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion, responding to the “respectful and powerful dissent”, by emphasizing the limited nature of the ruling and saying that the government “makes the case that the mandate serves the Government’s compelling interest in providing insurance coverage that is necessary to protect the health of female employees”, but that the RFRA’s least-restrictive way requirement is not met because “there is an existing, recognized, workable, and already-implemented framework to provide coverage,” the one that HHS has devised for non-profit corporations with religious objections. “RFRA requires the Government to use this less restrictive means. As the Court explains, this existing model, designed precisely for this problem, might well suffice to distinguish the instant cases from many others in which it is more difficult and expensive to accommodate a governmental program to countless religious claims based on an alleged statutory right of free exercise.” (Kennedy, J., concurring, p. 3, 4)

Dissenting opinions

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the primary dissent, which was joined by Justice Sotomayor in full and by Justices Breyer and Kagan as to all but Part III–C–1[51] on “whether a corporation qualifies as a ‘person’ capable of exercising religion”.[52] Ginsburg began, “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs. … Compelling governmental interests in uniform compliance with the law, and disadvantages that religion-based opt-outs impose on others, hold no sway, the Court decides, at least when there is a ‘less restrictive alternative.’ And such an alternative, the Court suggests, there always will be whenever, in lieu of tolling an enterprise claiming a religion-based exemption, the government, i.e., the general public, can pick up the tab.”[53]

She challenged the majority’s unprecedented view of for-profit religion saying “Until this litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption from a generally applicable law, whether under the Free Exercise Clause or RFRA. The absence of such precedent is just what one would expect, for the exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities[54]…Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.”[55] Responding to the majority’s argument that the government should “assume the cost” of contraceptives, Ginsburg said that “the nation’s only dedicated source of federal funding for safety net family planning services…” is not designed to absorb the unmet needs of those already insured. She noted that “a less restrictive alternative” has not been written into law by Congress.[56] Ginsburg warns, “The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield…”[57]

Justices Breyer and Kagan wrote a one-paragraph dissenting opinion, saying that “the plaintiffs’ challenge to the contraceptive coverage requirement fails on the merits” and that they “need not and do not decide whether either for-profit corporations or their owners may bring claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.”[58]

Reactions

Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, said “Today, the nation’s highest court has reaffirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country’s founding principles. The court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith.”[59]

Conestoga CEO Anthony Hahn said, “Americans don’t have to surrender their freedom when they open a family business.”[59]

Organizations

Conservative and pro-life groups praised the ruling. The National Review said that the Supreme Court ruling “[led] Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Matt Bowman to call Hobby Lobby an ‘inclusive decision’ that advances everyone’s freedom.”[60] Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “This is a great victory for religious liberty – the bedrock of our founding. In living out our religious convictions, there are certain things we must not do. This is why we are at a watershed moment. Religious people will no longer be ordered to take action that our religion says we must not take.”[61] Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “The Supreme Court has delivered one of the most significant victories for religious freedom in our generation. We are thankful the Supreme Court agreed that the government went too far by mandating that family businesses owners must violate their consciences under threat of crippling fines.”[61] The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family business…Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom.”[62]

Pro-choice and civil-liberties groups criticized the ruling. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, “Today, the Supreme Court ruled against American women and families, giving bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage. This is a deeply disappointing and troubling ruling that will prevent some women, especially those working hourly-wage jobs and struggling to make ends meet, from getting birth control.”[63] Deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union Louise Melling said, “This is a deeply troubling decision. For the first time, the highest court in the country has said that business owners can use their religious beliefs to deny their employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by law.”[64]

In an editorial, the New England Journal of Medicine called the decision “a setback for both the ACA’s foundational goal of access to universal health care and for women’s health care specifically”, voicing concern that “in assessing the competing claims about abortion and birth control, the Court’s majority focused on the religious claims of the corporations without discussing scientific or medical opinions.”[65] In JAMA Internal Medicine, Alta Charo wrote that “consistent with a disturbing trend among courts and legislatures to misstate or misuse scientific information in the context of women’s reproductive rights and health, the Supreme Court’s decision ignored the well-accepted distinction between contraception and abortion.”[66] The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, representing 90% of U.S. board-certified gynecologists, supported a bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby ruling.[67]

Government

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “Congress needs to take action to solve this problem that’s been created and the administration stands ready to work with them to do so. President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them. Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women that are employed by these companies.”[64]

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said, “If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will. We will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.”[3]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “[T]he Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that Americans hold dear.”[3]

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who introduced the RFRA in 1993, said his law “was not intended to extend the same protection to for-profit corporations, whose very purpose is to profit from the open market.”[68]

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors.”[69]

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Although the Court restricted their ruling to ‘closely-held’ companies, this ruling will immediately affect the lives of millions of women across the country. Over 90 percent of America’s businesses are ‘closely-held,’ including such large employers as Koch Industries and Bechtel.[69]Women should not be forced to jump through extra hoops to secure the fundamental health care they need. Allowing employers and CEOs to limit the health care available to employees is a gross violation of their workers’ religious rights. It’s just not her boss’ business.”[64]

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said, “Today’s victory in the Hobby Lobby case is terrific news—but now is no time to rest. We cannot rely on the courts alone to defend our religious liberty.”[61]

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to protect the religious freedom of all Americans, both individually and collectively. The notion that religious freedom belongs only to some, and even then only in private, defies our nation’s traditions, our laws, and our Constitution. And as the Supreme Court rightfully said today, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act could not have been clearer in saying religious liberty of all Americans must be equally protected and not unnecessarily burdened.”[61]

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) said, “I am extremely encouraged by today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the religious liberty rights of the Green family of Hobby Lobby.”[61]

Aftermath

Cases following SCOTUS ruling

Forbes reported that following the ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, “the Supreme Court vacated the judgment against Eden Foods and sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for further consideration.”[70]

Wheaton College order

On July 3, 2014, the Supreme Court granted a temporary exemption to the approach it suggested as a less restrictive alternative in Hobby Lobby, where the plaintiffs would send a form (EBSA Form 700)[71] to its insurance issuer, which would pay for the contraception. In an unsigned emergency injunction for Wheaton College in Illinois, the court said that instead of notifying its insurance issuer, Wheaton can notify the government. Once notified, the government should notify the issuer. Wheaton believed that by transferring the obligation to cover contraceptives to its insurance issuer, it was triggering that obligation. The emergency injunction does not constitute a ruling on the merits of Wheaton’s religious objection. The court said “Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicant’s employees and students to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives.”[72]

In a 15-page dissent joined by the other two women on the court, Justice Sotomayor criticized the majority’s reasoning: “Wheaton’s application comes nowhere near the high bar necessary to warrant an emergency injunction from this court…The court’s actions in this case create unnecessary costs and layers of bureaucracy, and they ignore a simple truth: The government must be allowed to handle the basic tasks of public administration in a manner that comports with common sense.”[73]

In January, the Supreme Court granted a similar temporary injunction to the Little Sisters of the Poor.[74][75][76]

In dueling commentaries between regular SCOTUSblog contributor Marty Lederman and co-founder Tom Goldstein, Lederman argued that only Form 700 can require an insurance provider to pay for contraception coverage. Goldstein argued that an existing regulation allows the government to specify an alternative to Form 700. He pointed out that “the Court didn’t accept Wheaton’s most aggressive argument” that it cannot be required to do anything. He said that Justice Kennedy’s concurrence is controlling and makes clear that the RFRA is not violated by requiring Wheaton to notify the government.[77][78]

Implications

Religious exemption from laws that apply to the general public

Although the court stated clearly that the decision is limited to the contraceptive mandate (Syllabus p. 4-5), the ruling is seen to have consequences extending far beyond contraception. Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general said, “for the first time, commercial enterprises could successfully claim religious exemptions from laws that govern everyone else.” Fifteen states had filed a brief arguing that businesses would be able to deny coverage for transfusions, stem cell treatments, and psychiatric care.[6] In line with the dissenting opinion, The American Prospect asked, “[W]ill the taxpayers have to send a check to employees if employers feel that minimum wage laws violate their religious beliefs?”[79] Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that objections to paying health benefits for same-sex spouses will get traction.[80] The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLT) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights withdrew their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed by the Senate, saying that its religious exemptions would allow companies to fire or refuse to hire LGBT workers in light of the Hobby Lobby ruling. NGLT executive director Rea Carey said, “We do not take this move lightly. We’ve been pushing for this bill for 20 years.”[81]

Such concerns are focused on the court’s application of the federal RFRA law and were driven by national controversy over a state RFRA amendment bill in Arizona. Douglas Laycock, law professor at the University of Virginia, said, “The whole secular left has decided” that RFRA laws “are very dangerous because they care so much more about the contraception cases and gay rights.” He said RFRA laws are mischaracterized because they do not dictate outcomes favoring religious objectors, they only require courts to use the highest standard of scrutiny on any law challenged.[6] Mark Kernes, Senior Editor and Chief Legal Analyst forAVN magazine stated in an op-ed piece, “If the Hobby Lobby decision supports the ‘right’ of companies not to make available birth control that will prevent women from “catching” a pregnancy, what’s to keep those same religious companies from arguing that providing access to PrEP drugs like Truvada, which help prevent gays (and, admittedly, everyone) from catching HIV shouldn’t similarly be excluded from their health plans?”[82]

Imposition of religious beliefs onto others

Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, said that the Supreme Court has never ruled that companies have religious beliefs and that “it has never held that religious exercise provides a license to harm others, or violate the rights of third parties.” Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, said religious freedom “gives us all the right to hold our beliefs, but it doesn’t give you the right to impose your beliefs on others, to discriminate against others.”[7] The editorial board of The New York Times wrote that the decision “swept aside accepted principles of corporate law and religious liberty to grant owners of closely held, for-profit companies an unprecedented right to impose their religious views on employees.”[83] A Fox News columnist wrote, “[W]ith all of the debate about the religious beliefs of the Hobby Lobby owners, what about the religious beliefs of their employees? They are just as important, and should not be trampled upon.”[84]The director of the United Church of Christ’s Washington, D.C. office, said that the ruling “may embolden private employers to claim religious objections to particular health care services, in effect forcing their own religious views upon their employees.”[85] Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely-held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom, which means that the…corporation’s employers can impose their religious beliefs on their employees.”[86] The Center for American Progress said that the ruling “moves in the direction this court has been moving already, which is talking about corporate personhood—really treating corporations like people, saying that the corporation has a religion itself and that should be imposed on its employees.”[80] Interfaith Alliance leader Rev. Welton Gaddy said, “The First Amendment is at its best when it is used to protect the rights of minorities from the whims of the powerful. Today’s decision, which gives the powerful the right to force their religious beliefs on those around them, is a far cry from the best traditions of religious freedom.”[62]

Scholars on the other side (including some on the left) disagree, arguing that companies owned and run by liberals will likewise benefit from the freedom to operate according to their conscience or values – which has not been viewed as “imposing” views, because people routinely choose whom to associate with based on philosophical compatibility.[87] This debate reflects a larger recurring ideological issue over what constitutes “coercion” or “imposing” – e.g., whether burdens imposed by law onto employers are better or worse than burdens imposed by employers on employees.[88]

Corporate liability

The New York Times editor Dorothy J. Samuels wrote, “If owners indicate that they are not entirely separate from their corporation—by denying corporation employees’ birth control coverage based on their personal religious beliefs—the case could be made in future state-court litigation that they have waived their right to be shielded from responsibility for corporate financial liabilities.”[89] The dean of the UC Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky said, “The liabilities of the corporation are not attributed to the owners, so why should the owners be able to attribute their beliefs to the company?”[90] Samuels leaves her readers with an adage: “Be careful what you wish for.”[89] Several legal scholars wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court for this case arguing this danger, while scholars on the other side counter that incorporated non-profit organizations enjoy liability protection despite their activities based on religious or other values/conscience-based causes.[91]

See also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burwell_v._Hobby_Lobby_Stores,_Inc.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For state versions of the RFRA, see State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.
For the Indiana legislation, see Indiana SB 101.
Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to protect the free exercise of religion.
Acronyms(colloquial) RFRA
Enacted by the 103rd United States Congress
Effective November 16, 1993
Citations
Public Law 103-141
Statutes at Large 107 Stat. 1488
Codification
Titles amended 42 U.S.C.: Public Health and Social Welfare
U.S.C. sections created 42 U.S.C. ch. 21B § 2000bb et seq.
Legislative history
United States Supreme Court cases
City of Boerne v. Flores
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that “substantially burden” a person’s free exercise of religion. The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (DNY) on March 11, 1993 and passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with three dissenting votes[1] and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The RFRA was held unconstitutional as applied to the states in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision in 1997, which ruled that the RFRA is not a proper exercise of Congress’s enforcement power. However, it continues to be applied to the federal government—for instance, in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal—because Congress has broad authority to carve out exemptions from federal laws and regulations that it itself has authorized. In response to City of Boerne v. Flores, some individual states passed State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that apply to state governments and local municipalities.

Provisions

This law reinstated the Sherbert Test, which was set forth by Sherbert v. Verner, and Wisconsin v. Yoder, mandating that strict scrutiny be used when determining whether the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom, has been violated. In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress states in its findings that a religiously neutral law can burden a religion just as much as one that was intended to interfere with religion;[2] therefore the Act states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”[3]

The law provided an exception if two conditions are both met. First, the burden must be necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest.”[3] Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues.[4] The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.

Background and passage

This tipi is used for Peyote ceremonies in the Native American Church, one of the main religions affected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to all religions, but is most pertinent[dubious ] to Native American religions that are burdened by increasing expansion of government projects onto sacred land. In Native American religion the land they worship on is very important. Often the particular ceremonies can only take place in certain locations because these locations have special significance.[5] This, along with peyote use, are the main parts of Native American religions that are often left unprotected.

The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment states that Congress shall not pass laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. In the 1960s, the Supreme Court interpreted this as banning laws that burdened a person’s exercise of religion (e.g.Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)). But in the 1980s the Court began to allow legislation that incidentally prohibited religiously mandatory activities as long as the ban was “generally applicable” to all citizens. Also, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, intended to protect the freedoms of tribal religions, was lacking enforcement. This led to the key cases leading up to the RFRA, which were Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association (1988) and Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). In Lyng, the Court was unfavorable to sacred land rights. Members of the Yurok, Tolowa and Karok tribes tried to use the First Amendment to prevent a road from being built by the U.S. Forest Service through sacred land. The land that the road would go through consisted of gathering sites for natural resources used in ceremonies and praying sites. The Supreme Court ruled that this was not an adequate legal burden because the government was not coercing or punishing them for their religious beliefs.[6] In Smith the Court upheld the state of Oregon‘s refusal to give unemployment benefits to two Native Americans fired from their jobs at a rehab clinic after testing positive for mescaline, the main psychoactive compound in the peyote cactus, which they used in a religious ceremony. Peyote use has been a common practice in Native American tribes for centuries. It was integrated with Christianity into what is now known as the Native American Church.[7]

The Smith decision outraged the public. Many groups came together. Both liberal (like the American Civil Liberties Union) and conservative groups (like theTraditional Values Coalition) as well as other groups such as the Christian Legal Society, the American Jewish Congress, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, and the National Association of Evangelicals joined forces to support RFRA, which would reinstate the Sherbert Test, overturning laws if they burden a religion.[8] The act, which was Congress’s reaction to the Lyng and Smith cases, passed the House unanimously and the Senate 97 to 3 and was signed into law byU.S. President Bill Clinton.

Applicability

The RFRA applies “to all Federal law, and the implementation of that law, whether statutory or otherwise”, including any Federal statutory law adopted after the RFRA’s date of signing “unless such law explicitly excludes such application.”[9]

Challenges and weaknesses

The Peyote cactus, the source of the peyote used by Native Americans in religious ceremonies.

In 1997, part of this act was overturned by the United States Supreme Court. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antoniowanted to enlarge a church in Boerne, Texas. But a Boerne ordinance protected the building as a historic landmark and did not permit it to be torn down. The church sued, citing RFRA, and in the resulting case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507(1997), the Supreme Court struck down the RFRA with respect to its applicability to States (but not Federally), stating that Congress had stepped beyond their power of enforcement provided in the Fourteenth Amendment.[8] In response to the Boerneruling, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000, which grants special privileges to religious land owners.[10]

The Act was amended in 2003 to only include the federal government and its entities, such as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.[11] A number of states have passed state RFRAs, applying the rule to the laws of their own state, but the Smith case remains the authority in these matters in many states.[12]

The constitutionality of RFRA as applied to the federal government was confirmed on February 21, 2006, as the Supreme Court ruled against the government inGonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), which involved the use of an otherwise illegal substance in a religious ceremony, stating that the federal government must show a compelling state interest in restricting religious conduct.

Post-Smith, many members of the Native American Church still had issues using peyote in their ceremonies. This led to the Religious Freedom Act Amendments in 1994, which state, “the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremony purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any state. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation.”[3]

Applications and effects

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act holds the federal government responsible for accepting additional obligations to protect religious exercise. In O’Bryan v. Bureau of Prisons it was found that the RFRA governs the actions of federal officers and agencies and that the RFRA can be applied to “internal operations of the federal government.”[13] RFRA, in conjunction with President Bill Clinton‘s Executive Order in 1996, provided more security for sacred sites for Native American religious rites.[3]

As of 1996, the year before the RFRA was found unconstitutional as applied to states, 337 cases had cited RFRA in its three year time range.[14] It was also found that Jewish, Muslim, and Native American religions, which make up only three percent of religious membership in the U.S., make up 18 percent of the cases involving the free exercise of religion.[14] The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was a cornerstone for tribes challenging the National Forest Service’s plans to permit upgrades to Snow Bowl Ski Resort. Six tribes were involved, including the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Hualapai. The tribes objected on religious grounds to the plans to use reclaimed water. They felt that this risked infecting the tribal members with “ghost sickness” as the water would be from mortuaries and hospitals. They also felt that the reclaimed water would contaminate the plant life used in ceremonies. In August 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their RFRA claim.[15][16]

In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court stated: “…while petitioner’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest.”[17] In the case of Miller v. Commissioner, the taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the “mark of the beast” from the Bible. In its decision, the U.S. Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.[18]

The RFRA figured prominently in oral arguments in the case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, heard by the Supreme Court on March 25, 2014.[19] In a 5-4 decision, Justice Alito stated, that the RFRA did not just restore the law as before Smith but contains a new regulation that allows to opt out of federal law based on religious beliefs.[20]

20th anniversary

A day-long symposium was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7, 2013, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Restored or Endangered? The State of the Free Exercise of Religion in America” featured three panel discussions and two keynote addresses.

The first keynote address was from Oliver S. Thomas, the former general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the chair of the diverse “Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion” in the 1990s that worked for the passage of RFRA. The second was from Douglas Laycock, who was an author of RFRA. His address traced the legal history of RFRA and discussed its impact on current debates, including the contraception mandate and same-sex marriage laws.

The panel discussions covered the history and impact of RFRA, religious freedom and the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, and current and future challenges to the free exercise of religion in a diverse society. The addresses and panel discussions are all available online, as well as a special downloadable resource with more on RFRA, published by the Baptist Joint Committee.[21]

See also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Freedom_Restoration_Act

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on thefreedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights was originally proposed as a measure to assuage Anti-Federalist opposition to Constitutional ratification. Initially, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress, and many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today. Beginning with Gitlow v. New York (1925), the Supreme Courtapplied the First Amendment to states—a process known as incorporation—through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Court drew on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson‘s correspondence to call for “a wall of separation between church and State”, though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute. Speech rights were expanded significantly in a series of 20th and 21st-century court decisions which protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing, pornography, and school speech; these rulings also defined a series of exceptions to First Amendment protections. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for defamation and libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). Commercial speech, however, is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, and is therefore subject to greater regulation.

The Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, and applies to a wide variety of media. In Near v. Minnesota (1931) and New York Times v. United States (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint—pre-publication censorship—in almost all cases. The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.

Text

The Bill of Rights in theNational Archives

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]

Background

Main article: Anti-Federalism

In 1776, the second year of the American Revolutionary War, the Virginia colonial legislature passed a Declaration of Rights that included the sentence “The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments.” Eight of the other thirteen states made similar pledges. However, these declarations were generally considered “mere admonitions to state legislatures”, rather than enforceable provisions.[2]

James Madison, drafter of the Bill of Rights

After several years of comparatively weak government under the Articles of Confederation, a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia proposed a new constitution on September 17, 1787, featuring among other changes a stronger chief executive. George Mason, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the drafter of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, proposed that the Constitution include a bill of rights listing and guaranteeing civil liberties. Other delegates—including future Bill of Rights drafter James Madison—disagreed, arguing that existing state guarantees of civil liberties were sufficient and that any attempt to enumerate individual rights risked the implication that other, unnamed rights were unprotected. After a brief debate, Mason’s proposal was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations.[3]

For the constitution to be ratified, however, nine of the thirteen states were required to approve it in state conventions. Opposition to ratification (“Anti-Federalism”) was partly based on the Constitution’s lack of adequate guarantees for civil liberties. Supporters of the Constitution in states where popular sentiment was against ratification (including Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York) successfully proposed that their state conventions both ratify the Constitution and call for the addition of a bill of rights. The U.S. Constitution was eventually ratified by all thirteen states. In the 1st United States Congress, following the state legislatures’ request, James Madison proposed twenty constitutional amendments, which were then condensed to twelve and forwarded to the states. Ten of these were ratified and became the Bill of Rights.[4] The First Amendment passed the House and Senate with almost no recorded debate, complicating future discussion of the Amendment’s intent.[5][6] The First Amendment (along with the rest of the Bill of Rights) was submitted to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789, and adopted on December 15, 1791.[7][8]

Establishment of religion

Main article: Establishment Clause

Thomas Jefferson wrote with respect to the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists (a religious minority concerned about the dominant position of the Congregationalist church in Connecticut):

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.[9]

In Reynolds v. United States (1878) the Supreme Court used these words to declare that “it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach [only those religious] actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.” Quoting from Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom the court stated further in Reynolds:

In the preamble of this act […] religious freedom is defined; and after a recital ‘that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty,’ it is declared ‘that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere [only] when [religious] principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.’ In these two sentences is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.

Originally, the First Amendment applied only to the federal government, and some states continued official state religions after ratification. Massachusetts, for example, was officially Congregationalist until the 1830s.[10] In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Establishment Clause (i.e., made it apply against the states). In the majority decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote:

The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another … in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State’ … That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.[11]

In Torcaso v. Watkins (1961), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prohibits states and the federal government from requiring any kind of religious test for public office. In the Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994),[12] Justice David Souter, writing for the majority, concluded that “government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion.”[13] In a series of cases in the first decade of the 2000s—Van Orden v. Perry (2005),McCreary County v. ACLU (2005), and Salazar v. Buono (2010)—the Court considered the issue of religious monuments on federal lands without reaching a majority reasoning on the subject.[14]

Separationists

U.S. President Thomas Jeffersonwrote in his correspondence of “a wall of separation between church and State”.

Everson used the metaphor of a wall of separation between church and state, derived from the correspondence of PresidentThomas Jefferson. It had been long established in the decisions of the Supreme Court, beginning with Reynolds v. United States in 1879, when the Court reviewed the history of the early Republic in deciding the extent of the liberties of Mormons. Chief Justice Morrison Waite, who consulted the historian George Bancroft, also discussed at some length the Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments by James Madison, who drafted the First Amendment; Madison used the metaphor of a “great barrier.”[15]

Justice Hugo Black adopted Jefferson’s words in the voice of the Court.[16] The Court has affirmed it often, with majority, but not unanimous, support. Warren Nord, in Does God Make a Difference?, characterized the general tendency of the dissents as a weaker reading of the First Amendment; the dissents tend to be “less concerned about the dangers of establishment and less concerned to protect free exercise rights, particularly of religious minorities.”[17]

Beginning with Everson, which permitted New Jersey school boards to pay for transportation to parochial schools, the Court has used various tests to determine when the wall of separation has been breached. Everson laid down the test that establishment existed when aid was given to religion, but that the transportation was justifiable because the benefit to the children was more important. In the school prayer cases of the early 1960s, (Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp), aid seemed irrelevant; the Court ruled on the basis that a legitimate action both served a secular purpose and did not primarily assist religion. In Walz v. Tax Commission (1970), the Court ruled that a legitimate action could not entangle government with religion; in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), these points were combined into the Lemon test, declaring that an action was an establishment if:[18]

  1. the statute (or practice) lacked a secular purpose;
  2. its principal or primary effect advanced nor inhibited religion; or
  3. it fostered an excessive government entanglement with religion.

The Lemon test has been criticized by justices and legal scholars, but it remains the predominant means by which the Court enforces the Establishment Clause.[19]In Agostini v. Felton (1997), the entanglement prong of the Lemon test was demoted to simply being a factor in determining the effect of the challenged statute or practice.[20] In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), the opinion of the Court considered secular purpose and the absence of primary effect; a concurring opinion saw both cases as having treated entanglement as part of the primary purpose test.[19] Further tests, such as the endorsement test and coercion test, have been developed to determine the whether a government action violated the Establishment Clause.[21][22]

In Lemon the Court stated that that the separation of church and state could never be absolute: “Our prior holdings do not call for total separation between church and state; total separation is not possible in an absolute sense. Some relationship between government and religious organizations is inevitable,” the court wrote. “Judicial caveats against entanglement must recognize that the line of separation, far from being a “wall,” is a blurred, indistinct, and variable barrier depending on all the circumstances of a particular relationship.”[23]

Accommodationists

Accommodationists, in contrast, argue along with Justice William O. Douglas that “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”.[24]This group holds that the Lemon test should be applied selectively.[24] As such, for many conservatives, the Establishment Clause solely prevents the establishment of a state church, not public acknowledgements of God nor “developing policies that encourage general religious beliefs that do not favor a particular sect and are consistent with the secular government’s goals.”[25][26]

Free exercise of religion

Main article: Free Exercise Clause

“Freedom of religion means freedom to hold an opinion or belief, but not to take action in violation of social duties or subversive to good order,” In Reynolds v. United States (1878), the Supreme Court found that while laws cannot interfere with religious belief and opinions, laws can be made to regulate some religious practices (e.g., human sacrifices, and the Hindu practice of suttee). The Court stated that to rule otherwise, “would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government would exist only in name under such circumstances.”[27] In Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940), the Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied the Free Exercise Clause to the states. While the right to have religious beliefs is absolute, the freedom to act on such beliefs is not absolute.[28]

In Sherbert v. Verner (1963),[29] the Supreme Court required states to meet the “strict scrutiny” standard when refusing to accommodate religiously motivated conduct. This meant that a government needed to have a “compelling interest” regarding such a refusal. The case involved Adele Sherbert, who was denied unemployment benefits by South Carolina because she refused to work on Saturdays, something forbidden by her Seventh-day Adventist faith.[30] In Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), the Court ruled that a law that “unduly burdens the practice of religion” without a compelling interest, even though it might be “neutral on its face,” would be unconstitutional.[31][32]

The need for a compelling interest was narrowed in Employment Division v. Smith (1990),[33] which held no such interest was required under the Free Exercise Clause regarding a law that does not target a particular religious practice.[34] In Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah (1993),[35] the Supreme Court ruled Hialeah had passed an ordinance banning ritual slaughter, a practice central to the Santería religion, while providing exceptions for some practices such as thekosher slaughter. Since the ordinance was not “generally applicable,” the Court ruled that it needed to have a compelling interest, which it failed to have, and so was declared unconstitutional.[36]

In 1993, the Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), seeking to restore the compelling interest requirement applied in Sherbert andYoder. In City of Boerne v. Flores (1997),[37] the Court struck down the provisions of RFRA that forced state and local governments to provide protections exceeding those required by the First Amendment, on the grounds that while the Congress could enforce the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a constitutional right, the Congress could not impose its own interpretation on states and localities.[38] According to the court’s ruling in Gonzales v. UDV (2006),[39] RFRA remains applicable to federal laws and so those laws must still have a “compelling interest”.[40]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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Conservatives Cheer Cruz Candidacy — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — Videos

Posted on March 24, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Coptic Christian, Corruption, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Music, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Obamacare, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

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Story 1: Conservatives Cheer Cruz Candidacy — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — Videos

cted cruz runs

ted cruz makes pointted_cruz_cnn1

the competition

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination

Polling Data

Poll Date Bush Walker Carson Huckabee Paul Christie Rubio Cruz Perry Jindal Santorum Kasich Spread
RCP Average 1/25 – 3/15 16.6 16.6 10.6 10.2 8.4 6.4 5.0 4.6 3.0 2.0 1.8 1.7 Tie
CNN/ORC 3/13 – 3/15 16 13 9 10 12 7 7 4 4 1 1 2 Bush +3
McClatchy/Marist 3/1 – 3/4 19 18 9 10 7 6 5 4 3 2 Bush +1
Quinnipiac 2/26 – 3/2 16 18 7 8 6 8 5 6 1 2 2 1 Walker +2
PPP (D) 2/20 – 2/22 17 25 18 10 4 5 3 5 3 Walker +7
FOX News 1/25 – 1/27 15 9 10 13 13 6 5 4 4 3 2 2 Bush +2

All 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Polling Data

fox-cpac-straw-poll

CPAC2015

• Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz • One-On-One • Hannity • 3/23/15 •

Ted Cruz announces presidential bid at Liberty University

Ted Cruz Liberty University FULL SPEECH Ted Cruz Announces He’s Running For President 2016

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas on Monday formally announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, promising a campaign that would be about “re-igniting the promise of America.” Ted Cruz Becomes First Major Candidate to Announce Presidential Bid for 2016. Ted Cruz Opens 2016 As the Election’s Self-Declared Conservative Champion
The Texas senator and presidential candidate kicked off his “The power of the American people as we stand up and fight for liberty knows no bounds,” Mr. Cruz said during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in which he talked at length about his family and his faith as he laid out a case for his candidacy.
imagine you compiled a list of all the things Cruz asked his young audience to “imagine” being fulfilled through his presidency: “…millions of courageous conservatives rising up to say in unison, ‘we demand our liberty.’” “…millions of people in faith all across America coming out to the polls and voting our values.” “…millions of young people standing together saying ‘We will stand for liberty.’” “…booming economic growth” “…record number of small businesses” “…young people coming out of college with four, five, six job offers” (lulz) “…innovation thriving on the internet as government regulators and tax collectors are kept at bay.” “…America finally becoming energy self-sufficient.” “…a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.” “…health care reform that keeps government out of the way of your and your doctor.” “…a simple flat tax.” “…abolishing the IRS.” “…a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders.” “…a legal immigration that welcomes and celebrates those who come to achieve the America dream.” “…a federal government that stands for the First Amendment rights of every American.” “…a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.” “…a federal government that fights to keep the right to bear arms.” “…a federal government that protected the privacy rights of every American.” “…repealing every word of Common Core.” “…embracing school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation.” “…a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel.” “…a president who says I will honor the Constitution and under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.” “…a president who says we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.” “…it’s 1775.” “…it’s 1777.” “…it’s 1943.” “…it’s 1979.”
Drawing on a stump speech he has developed in recent months, Mr. Cruz struck a tone of defiance and appealed to conservatives to “imagine a president” who would repeal the Affordable Care Act, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, secure the border and forbid same-sex marriage.

His criticism of President Obama also extended to foreign policy, where he denounced the administration’s positions on Israel, Iran’s nuclear program and Islamic extremism.

Related Coverage Mr. Cruz made his case to a gathering of conservative activists at an annual gathering in February. Ted Cruz’s Path to the Presidency MARCH 23, 2015 Senator Ted Cruz brought his daughters, Catherine, 4, right, and Caroline, 6, on stage at Liberty University on Sunday during a walk-through for his speech Monday, when he will start his presidential campaign. Road to 2016: Why Ted Cruz Is Such a Long Sho tMARCH 23, 2015 Senator Ted Cruz at a rehearsal on Sunday for his formal campaign announcement at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Things You May Not Know About Ted Cruz MARCH 23, 2015 Senator Ted Cruz is the first Republican to officially enter the presidential race. Ted Cruz Hopes Early Campaign Entry Will Focus Voters’ Attention

Cruz launches 2016 presidential campaign with fiery speech Fox News Video

Senator Ted Cruz Announces Running For U.S. President in 2016 ‘Imagine’ Full Speech (VIDEO)

Sen. Cruz: Obama Counterfeiting Immigration Documents – 2/17/2015

Ted Cruz’ solution to Obama’s illegal actions on immigration

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Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks on the Senate Floor in Opposition to the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Bill

Sen Ted Cruz Wants to DOUBLE Immigration

Laura Ingraham is “pretty sure” Ted Cruz is eligible to be President

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Sen. Cruz Amendment to Immigration Legislation to Increase H-1B Visas

Ted Cruz announces candidacy for President in 2016

Analyzing Sen. Ted Cruz’s first speech after announcing 2016 bid

John Lennon – Imagine HD

The Beatles – Revolution (Subtitulado al Español)

Assessing possible presidential candidates | FoxNewsChannel

Analyzing Sen. Ted Cruz’s first speech after announcing 2016 bid

Chuck Todd Tees Up Jerry Brown To Slam Ted Cruz As ‘Unfit’ For Office

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

Transcript: Read Full Text of Sen. Ted Cruz’s Campaign Launch

Cruz served as a law clerk to J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995[8][11] and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996.[7] Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.[46]

Private practice

After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, which is now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, from 1997 to 1998.[47] While with the firm, Cruz worked on matters relating to the National Rifle Association, and helped prepare testimony for the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.[48] Cruz also served as private counsel for CongressmanJohn Boehner during Boehner’s lawsuit against Congressman Jim McDermott for releasing a tape recording of a Boehner telephone conversation.[49]

Bush Administration

Cruz joined the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.[47]

Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team, devise strategy, and draft pleadings for filing with the Supreme Court of Floridaand U.S. Supreme Court, the specific case being Bush v. Gore, during the 2000 Florida presidential recounts, leading to two successful decisions for the Bush team.[11][50] Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts and noted attorney Mike Carvin to the Bush legal team.[48]

After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department[7][50] and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.[7][21][50]

Texas Solicitor General

Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott,[8][51] Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008.[29][11] The office had been established in 1999 to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a “leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction.” As Solicitor General, Cruz would argue before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.[48]

Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.[8][21][32] Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress.[52] Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: “We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”[52]

In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz drafted the amicus brief signed by attorneys general of 31 states, which said that the D.C. handgun ban should be struck down as infringing upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.[32][53] Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[32][54]

In addition to his success in Heller, Cruz has successfully defended the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5-4 in Van Orden v. Perry.[21][32][11]

In 2004, Cruz was involved in the high-profile case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow,[21][11] in which Cruz wrote a U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of all 50 states.[55] The Supreme Court upheld the position of Cruz’s brief.

Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided 5-4 in his favor in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.[11][56]

Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row.[8][21][32][11] With the support of the George W. Bush Administration, the petitioners argued that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to notify the convicted nationals of their opportunity to receive legal aid from the Mexican consulate.[57][48] They based their case on a decision of the International Court of Justice in the Avena case which ruled that failing to allow access to the Mexican consulate, the US had breached its obligations under the Convention.[58] Texas won the case in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that ICJ decisions were not binding in domestic law and that the President had no power to enforce them.[57][48]

Cruz has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America,[51][59] by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,[60][61] and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.[62][63]

Private practice

After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, he worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in a U.S. Senator from Texas in 2013.[35][11][64] At Morgan Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice.[64]

In 2009-2010, while working for Morgan Lewis, Cruz formed and then abandoned a bid for state attorney general when the incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott, who hired Cruz as Solicitor General, decided to run for re-election.[20]

U.S. Senate

2012 election

Cruz speaking to the Values Voters Summit in October 2011

Cruz’s election has been described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.”[65] On January 19, 2011, after U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek reelection, Cruz announced his candidacy via a blogger conference call.[14] In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and then by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee;[66] Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState;[67] the FreedomWorks for America super PAC;[68] nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin;[69] former Attorney General Edwin Meese;[50] Tea Party Express;[70] Young Conservatives of Texas;[71] and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn,[72] Jim DeMint,[73] Mike Lee,[74] Rand Paul[75] and Pat Toomey.[76] He was also endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin[77] and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul,[78] George P. Bush,[50] and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.[79]

Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst.[80] In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler’s 3.2 million (40.6%). Two minor candidates garnered the remaining 3% of the vote.[15] According to a poll by Cruz’s pollster Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, taken six weeks after the 2012 general election, Cruz received 40% of the Hispanic vote, vs. 60% for Sandler, outperforming Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the Hispanic vote by 6 points.[81][82]

After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.[83]

Political positions

Cruz is pro-life, with an exception only when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.[84][85] Cruz opposes same-sex marriage, stating that he instead supports marriage “between one man and one woman,”[86] but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide.[87] On February 10, 2015, Cruz re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act.[88]

Cruz is a gun-rights supporter.[89] On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening that they would filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows.[90] On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment.[91] Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.[92]

Cruz has raised concerns that the National Security Agency has not done effective surveillance of potential terrorists while intruding needlessly into the lives of ordinary Americans.[93]

Cruz opposes net neutrality because he argues that the Internet economy has flourished in the United States simply because it has remained largely free from government regulation.[94] He believes regulating the Internet will stifle online innovation and create monopolies.[95] He has expressed support for stripping theFederal Communications Commission (FCC) of its power under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to ensure net neutrality,[94] and opposes reclassifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.[96]

Cruz opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying that it would hurt competition by creating additional costs for internet-based businesses.[97]

He was an original co-sponsor of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, Senate Bill 1 of the 114th Congress.[98] And on January 29, 2015, he voted for its passage.[99] It passed the Senate 62-36, the goal of the bill was to approve the construction of the transnational pipeline.[100] Cruz wants Congress to approve the exportation of U.S. natural gas to World Trade Organization countries.[101]

Cruz opposes the legalization of marijuana, but believes it should be decided at the state level.[102]

Economy

Since being elected, Cruz has spent a great deal of time speaking about what he characterizes as the misguided economic policies of the Obama Administration.[103] Chiding the GOP over its 2012 electoral losses, he stated that “Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent” [104] and has also noted that the words “growth and opportunity” ought to be tattooed on every Republican’s hand.[105]

In February 2014, Cruz opposed an unconditional increase in the debt limit.[106] He said that Republican politicians feared the truth and “they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.”[107]

Foreign affairs

On foreign policy, Cruz has said that he is “somewhere in between” Rand Paul‘s isolationism and John McCain‘s active interventionism.[108]

In 2004, he criticized Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for being “against defending American values, against standing up to our enemies, and, in effect, for appeasing totalitarian despots.” [109] Cruz helped defeat efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that the treaty infringed on US sovereignty.[48]

In 2013, Cruz stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war and stated that America’s armed forces should not serve as “al-Qaeda‘s air force”.[110] In 2014, Cruz criticized the Obama administration: “The president’s foreign policy team utterly missed the threat of ISIS, indeed, was working to arm Syrian rebels that were fighting side by side with ISIS.”, calling ISIS “the face of evil”.[111] Cruz has called for bombing ISIS, but is doubtful that the United States “can tell the good guys from the bad guys” in a plan to arm “moderate” rebels, and the plan to defeat ISIS should not be “laden with impractical contingencies, such as resolving the Syrian civil war.”[112]

In 2014, Cruz spoke at an event held by the watchdog group In Defense of Christians (IDC). Cruz was booed by the group after making statements considered pro-Israel that were viewed by some pundits as intentionally provocative. When the audience refused to stop booing, Cruz eventually left the stage.[113] The resulting controversy expanded beyond Cruz and some commentators believe has resulted in the conservative movement becoming divided between those who sided with Cruz and Israel, and those who sided with Middle Eastern Christians and argued that Cruz’s comments were out-of-bounds.[114] Republican representative Charlie Dent labeled Cruz’s actions “outrageous and incendiary”.[115] Others who criticized Cruz included Mollie Hemingway and Ross Douthat,[116] as well as Scott McConnell, who claimed the controversy was about more than just Cruz, suggesting it is already causing a schism within the conservative movement over issues relating to Israel and Middle Eastern Christians.[117] Matthew Yglesias described the controversy as a “conservative war”.[118] Cruz apologized for questioning the motives of his critics and said that all should be united in speaking out against persecution of religious minorities.[119]

Health care

Cruz is a strong critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he usually refers to as “Obamacare”. He has sponsored legislation that would repeal the health care reform law and its amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

After the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, Cruz stated, “Obamacare is a disaster. You have the well-publicized problems with the website. It just isn’t working.”[120] He called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign.[120]

In 2014 Cruz gave majority leader Harry Reid the procedural opening he needed to allow a Senate vote to confirm Vivek Murthy, who had raised concerns about the health effects of gun ownership, to be United States Surgeon General.[121]

In the summer of 2013, Cruz started a “nationwide tour” sponsored by The Heritage Foundation to promote a congressional effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that a shutdown of the government would not be a disaster for America or the Republican Party (GOP).[122][123]

On September 24, 2013, Cruz began a speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act relative to a continuing resolution designed to fund the government and avert a government shutdown.[124][125] Cruz promised to keep speaking until he was “no longer able to stand”.[126] Cruz yielded the floor at noon the following day for the start of the proceeding legislative session after twenty-one hours nineteen minutes.[127] His speech was the fourth-longest in United States Senate history.[128] Following Cruz’s speech, the Senate voted 100–0 regarding a “procedural hurdle toward passing a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown”.[129] Cruz was joined by 18 Republican senators in his effort to prevent stripping out a clause that would have defunded the Affordable Care by voting against the cloture motion, leaving the effort 21 votes short of the required number to deny cloture.[130]

Cruz is believed to be a major force behind the U.S. government shutdown in 2013.[131][132] Cruz delivered a message on October 11, 2013 to fellow Republicans against accepting Obamacare and, describing it as a “train wreck”, claimed the American people remain “energized” around the goal of gutting the law.[133] Cruz stated Obamacare is causing “enormous harm” to the economy.[133] Republican strategist Mike Murphy stated: “Cruz is trying to start a wave of Salem witch trials in the G.O.P. on the shutdown and Obamacare, and that fear is impacting some people’s calculations on 2016.”[132] Cruz said that he “didn’t threaten to shut down the government” and blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.[134]

The Houston Chronicle which had endorsed Cruz in the general election, regretted that he had not lived up to the standard set by the previous U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison.[135][136] After a deal was made to end the shutdown and to extend the debt-ceiling deadline, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Cruz’s actions “not a smart play” and a “tactical error”,[137] and Cruz stated: “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. The test that matters. . . is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?”[138]

Legislation

Cruz has sponsored 25 bills of his own, including:[139]

  • S.177, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced January 29, 2013
  • S.505, a bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States, introduced March 7, 2013
  • S.729 and S. 730, bills to investigate and prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally purchase firearms, and to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms through straw purchases and trafficking, introduced March 15, 2013
  • S.1336, a bill to permit States to require proof of citizenship for registering to vote in federal elections, introduced July 17, 2013
  • S.2170, a bill to increase coal, natural gas, and crude oil exports, to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, to expand oil drilling offshore, onshore, in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, and in Indian reservations, to give states the sole power of regulating hydraulic fracturing, to repeal theRenewable Fuel Standard, to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases, to require the EPA to assess how new regulations will affect employment, and to earmark natural resource revenue to paying off the federal government’s debt, introduced March 27, 2014
  • S.2415, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to eliminate all limits on direct campaign contributions to candidates for public office, introduced June 3, 2014

Senate bill 2195

On April 1, 2014, Cruz introduced Senate bill 2195, a bill that would allow the President of the United States to deny visas to any ambassador to the United Nationswho has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.[140] The bill was written in response to Iran‘s choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as their ambassador.[141] Aboutalebi was involved in the Iran hostage crisis, in which of a number of American diplomats from the US embassy in Tehran were held captive in 1979.[141][142][143]

Under the headline “A bipartisan message to Iran”, Cruz thanked President Barack Obama for signing his bill S 2195 into law. The letter published in the magazinePolitico on April 18, 2014 starts with “Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law”. Cruz also thanked senators from both political parties for “swiftly passing this legislation and sending it to the White House.”[144][145][146]

Committee assignments

Presidential campaign

Senator Cruz speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Commentators have expressed their opinion that Cruz will run for President in 2016.[147][148][149] On March 14, 2013, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC.[150] He came in tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast.[151] In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote.[152] Cruz came in first place in the two most recent Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference[153] and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention.[154]

Cruz did speaking events in the summer of 2013 across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, early primary states, leading to speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a run for President in 2016.[155] Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobindescribes Cruz as the first potential Presidential candidate to emphasize originalism as a major national issue.[48]

Since Cruz was born in Canada, commentators for the Austin American-Statesman[156] and the Los Angeles Times,[157] have speculated about Cruz’s legal status as a natural-born citizen. Because he was a U.S. citizen at birth (his mother was a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as required by the Nationality Act of 1940), most commentators believe Cruz is eligible to serve as President of the United States.[19][158][159][160]

On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United.[161] The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates.[162] In his speech, Cruz mentioned that Latinos, young people and single mothers, are the people most affected by the recession, and that the Republican Party should make outreach efforts to these constituents. He also said that the words “growth and opportunity” should be tattooed on the hands of every Republican politician.[161]

On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced on his Twitter page “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!”.[163] He is the first announced major Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 campaign.[164][165]

Awards

Senator Cruz speaking at the 2015Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government in The Hill, on December 27, 2013, named Cruz “2013 Person of the Year.”[166] Manning stated that “of course, Cruz made his biggest mark when he and fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a last-ditch national grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare before the law went into effect fully. Imagine how many Senate Democrats wish right now that they had heeded Cruz’s entreaties and agreed to delaying or defunding it for one year. Now, they are stuck with the law and all its consequences.”[166]

Cruz was also named “2013 Man of the Year” by TheBlaze,[167] FrontPage Magazine[168] and The American Spectator,[169]“2013 Conservative of the Year” by Townhall.com,[170] “2013 Statesman of the Year” by the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Florida[171][172] and was a finalist in both “2013 Texan of the Year” by The Dallas Morning News[173] and a “2013 Person of the Year” finalist by Time.[174]

Personal life

Cruz and his wife, Heidi Cruz (née Nelson), have two daughters. Cruz met his wife while working on the George W. Bush presidential campaign of 2000. Cruz’s wife is currently head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and previously worked in the White House forCondoleezza Rice and in New York as an investment banker.[175]

When he was a child, Cruz’s mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship.[176] In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship,[160] he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada, on May 14, 2014.[176][177]

Electoral history

2012 Republican primary
Republican primary results, May 29, 2012[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Dewhurst 624,170 44.6
Republican Ted Cruz 479,079 34.2
Republican Tom Leppert 186,675 13.3
Republican Craig James 50,211 3.6
Republican Glenn Addison 22,888 1.6
Republican Lela Pittenger 18,028 1.3
Republican Ben Gambini 7,193 0.5
Republican Curt Cleaver 6,649 0.5
Republican Joe Argis 4,558 0.3
Total votes 1,399,451 100
2012 Republican primary runoff
Republican runoff results, July 31, 2012[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ted Cruz 631,316 56.8
Republican David Dewhurst 480,165 43.2
Total votes 1,111,481 100
2012 General Election
General Election, November 6, 2012[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ted Cruz 4,469,843 56.45
Democratic Paul Sadler 3,194,927 40.62
Libertarian John Jay Myers 162,354 2.06
Green David Collins 67,404 0.85
Total votes 7,864,822 100

See also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Cruz

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Tea Party Movement Demands Passage of Balanced Budget Amendment and The FairTax As The Price For Raising The National Statutory Debt Limit of $ 14,294,000,000 One Last Time By $1,000,000,000,000!–Videos

Posted on April 11, 2011. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Culture, Economics, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Private Sector, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Union, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 23: April 12,  2011

Pronk Pops Show 22 (Part 2): April 7,  2011

Pronk Pops Show 22 (Part 1): April 7,  2011

The FairTax: It’s Time

 

EAT THE RICH!


 

Reagan on Balanced Budget

 

Shelby Introduces Balanced Budget Amendment to Constitution

 

Mark Udall Co-sponsors the Balanced Budget Amendment

 

Mark Levin “I feel that we can do great things.”

 

3/09/11: Sen. Rand Paul on balancing the budget

 

Sen Paul and DeMint at CR Rally

 

Mike Pence at Continuing Revolution Rally

 

Advice to Tea Partiers

 

Debt Ceiling Balanced Budget

 

New Tea Party Senator will push for balance budget amendment

 

Today’s Fight is Not the Main Event

 

Details on the Balanced Budget Amendment

 Requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress each February.
 Requires Congress to appropriate a balanced budget annually.
 Caps annual spending at 20% of the economy.
 Requires any tax increase be subject to 2/3 House and Senate approval.
 All above limitations can be waived by 2/3 majority or by simple majority in times of War or if Congress deems a military conflict to be an imminent risk to national security.
 There have been at least 15 attempts to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.
 In 1997, passage of the amendment failed by 1 vote

 

Rand Paul and Mike Lee on “Glenn Beck” with Judge Napolitano 03/07/11

 

Fox News Reports on Hatch-Cornyn Balanced Budget Amendment 1-26-11


Hatch Introduces Balanced Budget Amendment

 

Inhofe: We Need a Balanced Budget Amendment Now More Than Ever

 

Inhofe Blasts Obama Budget and Federal Spending

 MONTHLY STATEMENT OF THE PUBLIC DEBT
OF THE UNITED STATES
MARCH 31, 2011

TABLE I -- SUMMARY OF TREASURY SECURITIES OUTSTANDING, MARCH 31, 2011
(Millions of dollars)
                                              Amount Outstanding
Title                                         Debt Held             Intragovernmental         Totals
                                              By the Public         Holdings
Marketable:
  Bills.......................................        1,694,692                     3,809                1,698,501
  Notes.......................................        5,843,938                     3,933                5,847,871
  Bonds.......................................          931,474                     3,815                  935,289
  Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.....          640,714                       125                  640,840
  Federal Financing Bank  1  .................                0                    10,239                   10,239
Total Marketable  a...........................        9,110,819                    21,921 2              9,132,740
Nonmarketable:
  Domestic Series.............................           29,995                         0                   29,995
  Foreign Series..............................            3,786                         0                    3,786
  State and Local Government Series...........          181,922                         0                  181,922
  United States Savings Securities............          186,864                         0                  186,864
  Government Account Series...................          136,956                 4,596,057                4,733,014
  Hope Bonds 19...............................                0                       493                      493
  Other.......................................            1,301                         0                    1,301
Total Nonmarketable  b........................          540,824                 4,596,550                5,137,374
Total Public Debt Outstanding ................        9,651,643                 4,618,471               14,270,115
TABLE II -- STATUTORY DEBT LIMIT, MARCH 31, 2011
(Millions of dollars)
                                              Amount Outstanding
Title                                         Debt Held             Intragovernmental         Totals
                                                 By the Public 17, 2Holdings
Debt Subject to Limit: 17, 20
  Public Debt Outstanding.....................        9,651,643                 4,618,471               14,270,115
  Less Amounts Not Subject to Limit:
    Other Debt Not Subject to Limit...........              488                         0                      488
    Unamortized Discount  3...................           20,388                    20,657                   41,046
    Federal Financing Bank  1     ............                0                    10,239                   10,239
    Hope Bonds 19.............................                0                       493                      493
  Total Public Debt Subject to Limit..........        9,630,767                 4,587,082               14,217,849
  Other Debt Subject to Limit:
    Guaranteed Debt of Government Agencies  4                13                         0                       13
  Total Public Debt Subject to Limit .........        9,630,780                 4,587,082               14,217,862
  Statutory Debt Limit  5.....................................................................          14,294,000
  Balance of Statutory Debt Limit.............................................................              76,138
COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY
THE BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT
www.TreasuryDirect.gov

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/2011/opds032011.prn
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The Rising Stars of The Tea Party, Conservative And Libertarian Movements–Senator Rand Paul and Jim DeMint and Representatives Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Michele Backmann and Ron Paul–Let’s Get The Second American Revolution Going!–Videos

Posted on January 29, 2011. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Technology, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Herman Cain on Your World with Neil Cavuto 1.12.11

Herman Cain Talks With Sean Hannity About Potential 2012 Presidential Run

 

 

Sen. Rand Paul: State of the Union Response

 

Rand Paul – Spending Cuts & the FED

 

Rand Paul on Debt Crisis ( 27-Jan-11)(POLITICS IN ACTION series)

 

Part 1) Jim DeMint named “Conservative of the Year” by Human Events

 

Part 2) Jim DeMint named “Conservative of the Year” by Human Events

 

Part 3) Jim DeMint named “Conservative of the Year” by Human Events

 

Rep. Paul Ryan Gives Republican Response to State of the Union Address

 

Paul Ryan: Hiding Spending Doesn’t Reduce Spending

 

Charlie Rose – Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin (R)

 

Rep. Mike Pence: Obama Signals More Spending in State of the Union

 

Congressman Mike Pence Remarks at the National Tea Party “March on Washington”

 

Weekly Republican Address 10/16/10: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)

 

Congresswoman Bachmann • Tea Party Express Response

 

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Rep Bachmann’s Intro To Ron Paul

 

Ron Paul Responds to Obama’s State of the Union Address

 

Ron Paul: The People Can Handle The Truth About Unemployment and Inflation

 

Ron Paul: A New Hope

 

Ron Paul 2012 – Can you Hear us Now?

 

Background Articles and Videos

Ron Paul Channel On YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/ronpaul2008dotcom?blend=3&ob=4

 

Michele Backmann Channel On You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/user/RepMicheleBachmann

 

Mike Pence Channel On YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/CongressmanMikePence

 

Paul Ryan Channel On YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/RepPaulRyan

 

Jim DeMint On YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/SenJimDeMint

 

Rand Paul Channel On YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/randpaul?blend=2&ob=1

 

Herman Cain Channel On YouTube

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/DraftCain2012

 

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Republicans’ “A Pledge To America”–A Good Start Or A Missed Opportunity–Videos

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”

~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Republicans Outline ‘Pledge to America’

A Pledge To America

Paul Ryan on House Republicans’ Pledge To America

Paul Ryan: Stop all tax hikes

Fox News interview: A Pledge to America

GOP’s “Pledge to America”

Mike Pence discusses “A Pledge to America” on FOX

Roskam Talks Pledge For America on CNBC

GOP Pledge to America

GOP’s new ‘Pledge to America’

Laura Ingraham Interviews Paul Ryan On A Pledge To America

Full Text of Republican

A Pledge to America

a new governing agenda build on

The Priorities of Our Nation

The Principles We Stand For

&

America’s  Founding Values

Preamble

America is more than a country.

America is an idea – an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government’s powers
are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with
the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any
man or woman can – given economic, political, and religious liberty – advance themselves, their
families, and the common good.

America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to
determine their own destiny.

Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.

These first principles were proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, enshrined in the
Constitution, and have endured through hard sacrifice and commitment by generations of
Americans.

In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the
governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent.
An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined
to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down longstanding
laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people.

An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues
mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.

2

Rising joblessness, crushing debt, and a polarizing political environment are fraying the bonds
among our people and blurring our sense of national purpose.

Like free peoples of the past, our citizens refuse to accommodate a government that believes it
can replace the will of the people with its own. The American people are speaking out,
demanding that we realign our country’s compass with its founding principles and apply those
principles to solve our common problems for the common good.

The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people
cannot be overstated.

With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest
aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation
was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge
to America.

We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent
of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment,
which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense,
and national economic prAmerica is more than a country.

We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite
fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America. …”

http://www.gop.gov/resources/library/documents/solutions/a-pledge-to-america.pdf

The biggest problem with “A Pledge To American” is its failure to address in a bold and creative way the economic problems facing the United States and its people.

Does the Republican Pledge permanently close one or more Federal Departments?

No.

Add VideoMilton Friedman on Libertarianism (Part 4 of 4)

Debt bomb 12 How to cut federal spending

Ronald Reagan – “We the People”

Does the Republican Pledge offer comprehensive tax reform such as the national sales consumption tax to replace the Federal Income Tax, payroll, estate and gift taxes?

No.

The FairTax: It’s Time

Does the Republican Pledge produce annual  surplus budgets by limiting Federal Government spending to 80% of FairTax revenue?

No.

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Does the Republican Pledge transform Social Security and Medicare to an individually controlled and owned investment retirement  account and health insurance plan.

No.

Social Security Ponzi Scheme

Does the Republican Pledge address illegal immigration by demanding immigration law enforcement and the removal and deportation of illegal aliens?

No.

Lou Dobbs – E-Verify & Border Fence may be canceled – Feb 16, 2009

Bilbray on the Cost of Illegal Immigration and Amnesty

Why not?

The Republican Pledge was vetted by political consultants and  lobbyists on K street who oppose all of the above as do the Republican establishment.

The Republican Pledge is simply timid or more precisely the anti-Obama agenda.

The Republican Pledge is neither bold nor inspiring with the exception of the preamble.

Going back to 2008 in Federal spending levels and freezing Federal  Government employee hiring is too little too late.

Why would we want to go back to where we were just two years ago?

Now if you want to go back to 1928 Federal spending levels under President Calvin Coolidge that would be ambitious.

A return to the  Republican establishment status quo in 2008 is playing defense.

Both  the economic policies and government intervention of Bush and Obama are responsible for the Great Recession.

This reminds me of  the economic policies and government intervention of Hoover and Roosevelt in the 1930s that led to the Great Depression.

Time to go on the offense.

Independents and tea party patriots will not be impressed.

Yes, the Pledge is better than the agenda of progressive radical socialists Democratic Party led by Barack Obama.

This is a a very low bar or standard to exceed.

Time for a new third political party with the tea party patriots as its core base with independents and the young as its growth opportunity.

Glenn Beck nailed it, the Pledge tells you what you want to hear, but does not tell you the truth and what you need to hear.

Glenn Beck-09/23/10-A

Glenn Beck-09/23/10-B

Glenn Beck-09/23/10-C

Ron Paul is also right, a GOP victory in 2010 would bring no change.

It would take several election cycles before the mess in Washington is cleaned up and the economy on the road to recovery a growth.

American Morning: Ron Paul on the state of the GOP

Ron Paul: GOP 2010 Victory Would Bring No Change

our pledge

As government expands, liberty contracts.

~President Ronald Reagan

Background Articles and Videos

Ronald Reagan TV Ad: “Its morning in America again”

Milton Friedman – The Great Depression Myth

Unpacking the “Pledge to America”

By Daniel Foster

“…The Pledge places job creation front and center, promising to stop all tax hikes scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2011 — not just those singled out by the Obama administration. The plan would also give small businesses the ability to deduct 20 percent of income from tax returns and, in an effort to tame productivity-stifling overregulation, would require congressional approval for any new administration rules that would impact the economy by $100 million or more.

Turning its attention to spending and the size of government, the Pledge proposes to immediately end TARP, cancel unspent stimulus dollars, and “roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels,” a move estimated to save $116 billion in the first year alone. It promises to end the government’s involvement in the revenue-sapping GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while shrinking their portfolios and establishing new capital standards.

To rein in the size of government, the document proposes a hiring freeze on non-security personnel, and calls for any new federal program to come with a “sunset” clause that would place the onus on legislators to routinely reassess its merits and justify new funding.

But the plan does not set specific spending targets, promising only to “significantly” reduce Congress’s next budget and place a “hard cap” on the growth of future discretionary spending.

And it is decidedly vague on entitlement reform, laying out in broad terms a commitment to “regularly review” and “fully account” for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid growth, but stopping well short of embracing specific entitlement reforms like those proposed in Wisconsin GOP congressman Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap.” …”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/247471/unpacking-pledge-america-daniel-foster

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Conservative Political Action Conference–CPAC 2010–Videos

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Immigration, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I Hear American Singing

I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

 

President Reagan’s Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference – 3/1/85

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 1

 

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 2

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 3

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 4

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 5

Glenn Beck CPAC 2010 6

Newt Gingrich CPAC 2010 -1

Newt Gingrich CPAC 2010 -2

Newt Gingrich CPAC 2010 -3

John Bolton CPAC 2010 – Part 1

John Bolton CPAC 2010 – Part 2

John Bolton CPAC 2010 – Part 3

CPAC: A Conservative melting pot

Jim DeMint On CPAC, Tea Party Movement

CPAC P1| Jim Demint Introduces Keynote Speaker Marco Rubio 2010

Marco Rubio Keynote Speech at CPAC 2010 Pt 1 of 3

 

Marco Rubio Keynote Speech at CPAC 2010 Pt 2 of 3

 

Marco Rubio Keynote Speech at CPAC 2010 Pt 3 of 3

 

CPAC P6| Jason Mattera Blasts Obama 2010

 

CPAC P7| Liz Cheney Who Will Introduce Her Father 2010

 

CPAC P8| Liz Cheney Who Will Introduce Her Father 2010

 

Vice President Cheney Appearance at CPAC

 

CPAC P 9| Mitt Romney Speaks 2010

 

CPAC P10| Mitt Romney Speaks 2010

 

CPAC P11| Mitt Romney Speaks 2010

 

CPAC P12| Mitt Romney Speaks 2010

 

Congressman Mike Pence Speaks at CPAC 2010

 

Congressman Mike Pence Question and Answer Session with Bloggers

 

CPAC P5| JIm Demint Speaks At CPAC 2010

 

Pt.1 – Ron Paul addresses CPAC 2010

 

Pt.2 – Ron Paul addresses CPAC 2010

 

Pt.3 – Ron Paul addresses CPAC 2010

 

George Will At CPAC 2010 pt.1

 

George Will At CPAC 2010 pt.2

 

George Will At CPAC 2010 pt.3

 

 

Stephen Baldwin At CPAC 2010

Robert Davi At CPAC Introducing Thaddeus McCotter

If You Love Your Country You Will Watch This Speech,Thaddeus McCotter

CPAC Phyllis Schlafly A True Conservative Founder Of Eagle Forum

Obama And ACORN – Darrell Issa (Rare Obama Footage)

Patriot Anita MonCreif ACORN Whistle Blower

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Part 2 – Michele Bachmann Obama Intends To Decline The Economy

Part 3 – Michele Bachmann – American Exceptionalism

Dick Armey on Conservative Principles at CPAC 2008 – Part 1

Dick Armey on Conservative Principles at CPAC 2008 – Part 2

Fred Thompson At CPAC 2010

CPAC Honors Roy Innis

CPAC Honors John Ashcroft pt.1

CPAC Honors John Ashcroft pt.2

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King Speech at 2010 CPAC

 

Chuck DeVore at CPAC 2010!

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Marc Morano accepts AIM award part 2

 

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“History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.”

~Milton Friedman

 

Background Articles and Videos

Glenn Beck To Deliver Keynote Speech At CPAC 2010 – 02/19/10

 

See me at CPAC!

Conservative Political Action Conference

“…Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC; pronounced /si.pæk/, see-pak) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists, and elected officials from across the United States. The conference began in 1973 as a small gathering of dedicated conservatives but has since grown into a large event attracting members of Congress, college activists, and other political celebrities. It is hosted by the American Conservative Union Foundation in association with sponsors Human Events and the Young America’s Foundation.

Each year it holds a straw poll of potential presidential candidates. Speakers have included Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. Before, during, and after his presidency, Reagan spoke at CPAC a total of 12 times. The 2010 speaker will be Glenn Beck, an American radio and television host, author, conservative political commentator, and entrepreneur. [1] CPAC is not affiliated with the Republican Party, and involves non-partisan groups and members of the Libertarian Party.[citation needed] Since 2007 the Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award has been presented during the conference.

CPAC 2010

CPAC 2010 will be held February 18–20, 2010 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Speakers include:

  • Rep. Dick Armey, former Republican majority leader
  • John Ashcroft, former Attorney General of the United States
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann, congresswoman from Minnesota
  • Glenn Beck, radio and television personality
  • Amb. John Bolton, former United Nations Ambassador
  • Andrew Breitbart, author and political commentator
  • Herman Cain, columnist and radio personality
  • Tucker Carlson, radio and television personality
  • Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney
  • Dick Cheney, former Vice President (made an unscheduled appearance on February 19, 2010)
  • Ann Coulter, author and political commentator
  • Sen. Jim DeMint, Senator from South Carolina
  • Rep. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House
  • David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union
  • Wayne LaPierre, author
  • Rep. Ron Paul, congressman from Texas
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota
  • Rep. Mike Pence, congressman from Indiana
  • Gov. Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts
  • Marco Rubio, State Speaker of the House and Senate candidate in Florida
  • Sen. Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania
  • J.C. Watts, former congressman from Oklahoma
  • George F. Will, columnist and journalist

CPAC 2009

CPAC 2009 was held February 26-28, 2009, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the straw poll for the third consecutive year.

Speakers included:

  • Senator John Cornyn
  • Representative Ron Paul
  • Governor Mitt Romney
  • Governor Mike Huckabee
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • House Minority Leader John Boehner
  • Newt Gingrich
  • John Bolton
  • Ann Coulter
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Robert Davi
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Jonathan Krohn

…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Political_Action_Conference

Rush Limbaugh CPAC Speech (Part 1 of 4): Rush Wants America to Succeed

Rush Limbaugh CPAC Speech (Part 2 of 4): Rush Wants America to Succeed

Rush Limbaugh CPAC Speech (Part 3 of 4): Rush Wants America to Succeed

Rush Limbaugh CPAC Speech (Part 4 of 4): Rush Wants America to Succeed

Ron Paul CPAC 2009 Part 1

 

Ron Paul CPAC 2009 Part 2

 

Rep. Mike Pence’s Complete Address to CPAC

 

Bill O’Reilly – Obama Bashing

 

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The Bloody History of Communism–Videos

Obama Youth–Civilian National Security Force–National Socialism–Hitler Youth–Brownshirts– Redux?–Collectivism!

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Israel Kirzner–On Entrepreneurship–Vidoes

Liberal Fascism–Jonah Goldberg–Videos

Ludwig von Mises–Videos

Robert P. Murphy–Videos

The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and The Ideas of Ayn Rand

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Murray Rothbard–Videos

Murray Rothbard–Libertarianism–Video

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Murray Rothbard– What Has Government Done to Our Money?–Videos

Peter Schiff–Videos

Schiff, Forbers and Bloomberg Nail The Financial Crisis and Recession–Mistakes Were Made–Greed, Arrogance, Stupidity–Three Chinese Curses!

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Amity Shlaes–Videos

Julian Simon–Videos

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Thomas Sowell and Conflict of Visions–Videos

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Peter Thiel–Videos

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.–Videos

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Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Hope and Change: Progressive Radical Socialist Democratic Party–History Next Year!

Posted on November 8, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Health Care, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

mask

Countdown to a Government Takeover of Health Care

Obama: House Passage of Health Care ‘courageous 

11 8 2009 Pence Appears On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace

Health Care Bill Is Back Room Dirty Deals

Health Care Bill Is Un Constitutional One Republican Tori

Lieberman: If Public Option Is In Bill, I Will Not Allow Final Vote

The mask of moderation is off.

The Democratic Party is now the party of progressive radical socialists.

If either the so-called Health Insurance Reform or Cap and Trade Energy Tax bills passes, the Obama Depression will last through 2012 with double digit unemployment rates and rapidly rising inflation resulting in a decline in the purchasing power of the dollar.

Pence got it right, the American people do not want massive deficit spending, stimulus bills, bailouts, tax increases and a major new entitlement program.

Most Americans cannot wait until next November to throw these progressive radical socialists of either party out the door.

The real problem and danger in this bill is that it is key part of Obama’s  intentional Cloward-Piven strategy of creating a crisis to transform the United States from a free enterprise capitalistic economy with a representative republic into a socialist command and control economy with a one party government–state socialism.

The vast majoritiy of the American people do not want this.

The progressive radical socialist Democratic Party knows this, they are not clueless but simply arrogant and drunk with power.

The progressive radical socialists are trying to rush two massive tax bills, amnesty for illegal aliens, and huge budget deficit appropriation bills through before they are shown the door.

The Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives in 2011 and pick up two to three Senate seats.

The party is definitely over, if not history.

Those Democrats that fell for Pelosi’s dirty deal to allow the amendment on abortion, should be ashamed of themselves–they could have defeated this bill outright and save their seats but unwisely did not.

The progressive radical socialists will pull this language from the final bill.

LOL

the Government is Incompetent…

Obama Violates the Constitution…

Background Articles and Videos

National Health Care reform narrowly passes 220-215

Rick Moran

“…Interesting reactions from left and right to the passage in the House of health care reform. Carl Hulse and Robert Pear of the New York Times:

 

Democrats were forced to make major concessions on insurance coverage for abortions to attract the final votes to secure passage, a wrenching compromise for the numerous abortion-rights advocates in their ranks.Many of them hope to make changes to the amendment during negotiations with the Senate, which will now become the main battleground in the health care fight as Democrats there ready their own bill for what is likely to be extensive floor debate.

Democrats say the House measure – paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare – would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.

Republicans condemned the vote and said they would oppose the measure as it proceeds on its legislative route. “This government takeover has got a long way to go before it gets to the president’s desk, and I’ll continue to fight it tooth and nail at every turn,” said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. “Health care is too important to get it wrong.”

On the House floor, Democrats exchanged high-fives and cheered wildly – and Republicans sat quietly – when the tally display showed the 218th and decisive vote, after the leadership spent countless hours in recent days wringing commitments out of House members.


A bill nobody has read, that contains nobody knows what, that no one has a clue of what kind of impact it will have on the current health care system, with a cost known only to God, has been passed with no formal hearings, extraordinarily limited debate, and in a totally partisan manner (minus one Republican who doesn’t have a prayer in 2010). And the Democrats are celebrating? …”

 

Health care takeover roll call vote — and what GOP Rep. Joseph Cao got from Obama; Plus: Organizing for America hustles more money

By Michelle Malkin 

“…The final 220-215 roll call vote on passage of the House Dems’ government health care takeover bill is here.

And here is the 240-194 roll call vote on the Stupak amendment to extend the ban on federal abortion subsidies to Obamacare/Pelosicare.

Thanks to Doug Powers for filling in while I spoke at the Foundation for Life event in Sugar Land, Texas tonight. What an incredible juxtaposition it was — meeting and talking with the true agents of Hope and Change, the true guardians of innocent life, and the true advocates for women and children outside the Beltway as the Democrat majority inside the Beltway rammed the massive, job-killing, high-taxing, bureaucracy-multiplying, generational debt-piling health care monstrosity down America’s throat.

One Republican voted for Pelosicare: GOP Rep. Anh (Joseph) Cao of Louisiana.

Yes, he’s the one who took over corruptocrat Democrat William Jefferson’s seat. I had reservations about him on election night because of his soft-on-immigration views. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt. If he could stand strong on limited government and fiscal conservatism, it would be worth it.

Well, since he was elected, Cao has backed the S-CHIP expansion, the $108 billion IMF bailout, and the omni-waste spending bill. And he voted to rebuke GOP Rep. Joe Wilson for calling out President Obama on his health care lies. …”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/11/08/health-care-takeover-roll-call-vote-and-what-gop-rep-joseph-cao-got-from-obama/

HOUSE PASSES SPEAKER PELOSI HEALTH CARE BILL

Ron Paul on National Health Care Reform

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Radical Welfare Socialism Assaults Free Enterprise Capitalism–The “Silent” Majority Responds!

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Babies, Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Education, Employment, Energy, Health Care, Homes, Immigration, Investments, Law, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Religion, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please Help Spread The Message of Liberty

A Reminder from Ronald Reagan

“The world is split today into two hostile camps, fighting each other with the utmost vehemence, Communists and anti-Communists. The magniloquent rhetoric to which these factions resort in their feud obscures the fact that they both perfectly agree in the ultimate end of their programme for mankind’s social and economic organization. They both aim at the abolition of private enterprise and private ownership of the means of production and at the establishment of socialism. They want to substitute totalitarian government control for the market economy. No longer should individuals by their buying or abstention from buying determine what is to be produced and in what quantity and quality. Henceforth the government’s unique plan alone should settle all these matters. ‘Paternal’ care of the ‘Welfare State’ will reduce all people to the status of bonded workers bound to comply, without asking questions, with the orders issued by the planning authority. …”

P.2

“…Neither is there any substantial difference between the intentions of the self-styled ‘progressives’ and those of the Italian Fascists and the German Nazis. The Fascists and the Nazis were no less eager to establish all-round regimentation of all economic activities than those governments and parties which flamboyantly advertise their anti-Fascist tenets. And Mr. Peron in Argentina tries to enforce a scheme which is a replica of the New Deal and the Fair Deal and like these will, if not stopped in time, result in full socialism. …”

P.3

“…The great ideological conflict of our age must not be confused with the mutual rivalries among the various totalitarian movements. The real issue is not who should run the totalitarian apparatus. The real problem is whether or not socialism should supplant the market economy.  …”

~Ludwig Von Mises

Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis

http://www.econlib.org/library/Mises/msS0.html#Preface

Milton Freidman – Socialism vs. Capitalism

Ronald Reagan on Capitalism and Socialism

Glenn Beck- 3/3/09 The One Thing

Glenn Beck- Ben Stein Interview

Obama Says His Cap and Trade System Results in Skyrocketing Electricity Rates

Shock VIDEO Unearthed Obama says he will bankrupt coal industry

Obama Admits His Plan Will Cause Electricity Rates to Skyrocket

Obama Poster

Obama Poster

Stop

Radical Socialism’s

Massive Government Intervention, Spending, Taxes, Deficits, Debt and Regulations

Protect Your

Life, Liberty, Happiness, Family, Job, Property, Retirement and Free Enterprise Capitalism

Join The

Second American Revolution

Second American Revolution–Tea Party Celebrations–Washington Fair–July 4, 2009–An Open Invitation To The American People

American People’s Plan = 6 Month Tax Holiday + FairTax = Real Hope + Real Change!–Millions To March On Washington D.C. Saturday, July 4, 2009!

Tea Parties Take Off In Texas–Spreading Nationwide–Are You Going To Washington Fair? Millions Celebrate The Second American Revolution–Saturday, July 4, 2009

Operation Family Freedom (OFF): Millions Celebrate Washington Fair, Saturday, July 4, 2009–The Second American Revolution

The conservative moment which has always been a fusion of traditional conservatives, fiscal conservatives and classical liberals or libertarians responds to President Obama’s Radical Socialist assault on free enterprise capitalism both on the streets at Tea Parties across the nation and at the Conservative Politcal Action Conference 2009:

The “Silent ” Majority Addresses The Nation

Congressman Pence Address CPAC 2009 Part 1

Congressman Pence Address CPAC 2009 Part 2

Congressman Pence Addresses CPAC 2009 Part 3

Ron Paul at CPAC 2009. Part 1 of 3

Ron Paul at CPAC 2009. Part 2 of 3

Ron Paul at CPAC 2009. Part 3 of 3

Ann Coulter at CPAC 2009 (Part 1)

Ann Coulter at CPAC 2009 (Part 2)

Ann Coulter at CPAC 2009 (Part 3)

Newt Gingrich Speech at 2009 CPAC

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 1)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 2)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 3)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 4)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 5)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 6)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 7)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 8)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part9)

Rush Limbaugh Gives Speech To CPAC (part 10)

Background Articles and Videos

Obama’s Spending Spree – Dangerous Days ! | The O’Reilly Factor | Fox News Channel

Newt Gingrich On Obama Budget

Another Look – Obama’s Budget – Bloomberg

I.O.U.S.A.: Byte-Sized – The 30 Minute Version

For Tax Year 2006

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1%

$388,806

39.89

Top 5%

$153,542

60.14

Top 10%

$108,904

70.79

Top 25%

$64,702

86.27

Top 50%

$31,987

97.01

Bottom 50%

<$31,987

2.99

Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

The 2003 tax cut was the second in three years, and although tax rates are lower, the federal income tax still remains highly progressive. The average tax rate in 2006 ranges from 3.0 percent of income for the bottom half of tax returns to 22.8 percent for the top 1 percent.Table 1
Summary of Federal Individual Income Tax Data, 2006
(Updated July 2008)

Number of Returns with Positive AGI

AGI ($ millions)

Income Taxes Paid ($ millions)

Group’s Share of Total AGI

Group’s Share of Income Taxes

Income Split Point

Average Tax Rate

All Taxpayers

135,719,160

$8,122,040

$1,023,739

100%

100%

12.60%

Top 1%

1,357,192

$1,791,886

$408,369

22.06%

39.89%

> $388,806

22.79%

Top 2-5%

5,428,766

$1,185,828

$207,311

14.60%

20.25%

17.48%

Top 5%

6,785,958

$2,977,714

$615,680

36.66%

60.14%

> $153,542

20.68%

Top 6-10%

6,785,958

$865,430

$109,060

10.66%

10.65%

12.60%

Top 10%

13,571,916

$3,843,144

$724,740

47.32%

70.79%

> $108,904

18.86%

Top 11-25%

20,357,874

$1,692,686

$158,413

20.84%

15.47%

9.36%

Top 25%

33,929,790

$5,535,830

$883,153

68.16%

86.27%

> $64,702

15.95%

Top 26-50%

33,929,790

$1,569,769

$110,023

19.33%

10.75%

7.01%

Top 50%

67,859,580

$7,105,599

$993,176

87.49%

97.01%

> $31,987

13.98%

Bottom 50%

67,859,580

$1,016,441

$30,563

12.51%

2.99%

< $31,987

3.01%

Source: Internal Revenue Service, http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=133521,00.html (“Individual Income Tax Returns with Positive Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Returns Classified by Tax Percentile – Early Release”)

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.htm

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

by Murray N. Rothbard

“Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.”

Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

“…Mises, and his follower Hayek, developed this cycle theory during the 1920s, on the basis of which Mises was able to warn an unheeding world that the widely trumpeted “New Era” of permanent prosperity of the 192Os was a sham, and that its inevitable result would be bank panic and depression. When Hayek was invited to teach at the London School of Economics in 1931 by an influential former student at Mises’s private seminar, Lionel Robbins, Hayek was able to convert most of the younger English economists to this perspective. On a collision course with John Maynard Keynes and his disciples at Cambridge, Hayek demolished Keynes’s Treatise on Money, but lost the battle and most of his followers to the tidal wave of the Keynesian Revolution that swept the economic world after the publication of Keynes’s General Theory in 1936.

The policy prescriptions for business cycles of Mises-Hayek and of Keynes were diametrically opposed. During a boom period, Mises counseled the immediate end of all bank credit and monetary expansion; and, during a recession, he advised strict laissez-faire, allowing the readjustment forces of the recession to work themselves out as rapidly as possible.

Not only that: for Mises the worst form of intervention would be to prop up prices or wage rates, causing unemployment, to increase the money supply, or to boost government spending in order to stimulate consumption. For Mises, the recession was a problem of under-saving, and over-consumption, and it was therefore important to encourage savings and thrift rather than the opposite, to cut government spending rather than increase it. It is clear that, from 1936 on Mises was totally in opposition to the worldwide fashion in macroeconomic policy.

Socialism-communism had triumphed in Russia and in much of Europe during and after World War I, and Mises was moved to publish his famous article, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” (1920) in which he demonstrated that it would be impossible for a socialist planning board to plan a modern economic system; furthermore, no attempt at artificial “markets” would work, since a genuine pricing and costing system requires an exchange of property titles, and therefore private property in the means of production.

Mises developed the article into his book Socialism(1922), a comprehensive philosophical and sociological, as well as economic critique which still stands as the most thorough and devastating demolition of socialism ever written. Mises’s Socialism converted many prominent economists and social philosophers out of socialism, including Hayek, the German Wilhelm Ropke, and the Englishman Lionel Robbins. …”

http://mises.org/about/3248

An Inconvenient Tax

Cap and trade yields ‘climate revenues.’ But don’t call it a t–.

“…That didn’t take long. The same week that President Obama promised (again) that “95% of working families” would not see their taxes rise by “a single dime,” his own budget reveals that taxes will rise for 100% of everyone for the sake of global warming. Ahem.

You don’t even have to burrow into yesterday’s budget fine print to discover the “climate revenues” section, where the White House discloses that it expects $78.7 billion in new tax revenue in 2012 from its cap-and-trade program. The pot of cash grows to $237 billion through 2014, and at least $646 billion through 2019. If this isn’t tax revenue, what is it? Manna from heaven? The offset from Al Gore’s carbon footprint?

If it brings in revenue that the government then spends, it’s a tax, and politicians should start referring to it as such. The Administration in fact projects that these “climate revenues” will become the sixth largest source of federal receipts by 2019, outpaced only by individual and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare and (barely) excise taxes. We’re supposed to be living in a new era of fiscal honesty, so let’s start with cap and trade.

Of course it’s easy to see why Democrats don’t want the public to think of cap and trade as a tax. Tax increases aren’t popular, as Mr. Gore learned when he and Bill Clinton tried to impose a BTU tax in 1993. The complex cap-and-trade tax would ripple throughout the energy chain and ultimately the entire economy. All consumers, not just “the rich,” would pay more for goods and services that use carbon energy — though some would pay more than others. A majority of those “95% of working families” probably lives in the middle of the country that relies far more on manufacturing and coal-fired power than do the better-off coastal regions. …”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123569802712289113.html

Obama administration could fast track cap-and-trade, RPS in ’09

January 21, 2009 – Exclusive By Emma Ritch, Cleantech Group

Likely proposals include a 15-percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2012 and 80 percent by 2050, Fusaro said in a post-election briefing on carbon markets today.

“That will incent industry to invest in cleaner technology since they would have regulatory certainty and long term time horizon,” he told the Cleantech Group.

A U.S. cap-and-trade policy would be in line with the 184 countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol, whereas a carbon tax wouldn’t, Fusaro said. Such a cap-and-trade system would operate as a de facto tax because costs would be added to consumers’ airline tickets, electricity bills and vehicle purchases, he said. …”

“…Carbon trading markets today don’t provide the financial incentive for companies to reduce emissions, with a ton of carbon dioxide emissions selling for between $3 and $15 on various exchanges.

Fusaro said the price has stayed low because there are too many sellers and not enough buyers of emissions thanks to nonexistent caps from the U.S. or too-high allowances from governments such as the European Union. Additionally, the EU mandates don’t cover enough sectors of the economy, such as transportation, Fusaro told the Cleantech Group.

“Greenhouse gas reductions don’t have an intrinsic value. It’s rather a value driven by legislation and the anticipation of legislation,” he said.

Voluntary cap-and-trade markets are giving companies a head start on the learning curve for emissions reductions. The U.S. makes up about 40 percent of the voluntary markets, which are increasingly being used as an alternative to the sometimes-onerous process to get credits through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program, Fusaro said.

The forced entry of U.S. companies in a cap-and-trade scheme could create a $1 trillion market thanks to the the country’s 6 billion tons of emissions each year, Fusaro said. Realistically, the program will likely cover 80 percent of the country’s carbon footprint and establish a price cap of $20 a ton, generating enough money for the federal government to spent $15 billion on clean energy, he said.  …”

http://cleantech.com/news/4081/obama-administration-could-fast-track-cap-and-trade-rps-09

Santelli On Kudlow Show 6

Tea Party photo album: Fiscal responsibility is the new counterculture

By Michelle Malkin

“…I’ve got tons of photos and e-mails pouring in from Tea Party people across the country. I joked to a Christian Science Monitor reporter covering the events that fiscal responsibility is the new counterculture. More coverage/photos/livestreaming at TCOT Report.

There is, as the old ’60s song goes, something happening here. And what it is, is very clear: A grass-roots revolt against the culture of entitlement. The spendzillas in Washington do not speak for us.  …”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/27/fiscal-responsibility-is-the-new-counterculture/

Tea Party on: Taxpayer revolts in Green Bay, Lafayette, Olathe, and Harrisburg; Plus: Live from Fullerton CA… “Recall the Taxinator!;” Arnie videotapes/DVDs smashes/shredded

By Michelle Malkin

“…The tax-paying rebels are not going away.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, today an estimated 500 protesters gathered for a Tea Party at Titletown Brewing. Reader David has more at Pork Revolution:

…”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/07/tea-party-on-taxpayer-revolts-in-green-bay-lafayette-olathe-and-harrisburg/

“Liberty: All the stimulus we need”

By Michelle Malkin

I leave you with the parting photo of the day from the DC Tea Party. It is the leitmotif that ran through the protests across the country. Can’t say it any better than this:

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/27/liberty-all-the-stimulus-we-need/

The Tea Party bashers: Clueless, bitter, and wrapped in tinfoil

By Michelle Malkin

tinfoilhat

You know you’re on to something when the tinfoil hat conspiracists start lobbing grenades at you.

In response to the nationwide outbreak of taxpayer protests against the culture of entitlement, a loon at Playboy.com claimed that the Tea Party events this weekend were part of a grand cabal funded by something called the Koch Foundation in cahoots with CNBC’s Rick Santelli: …”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/02/the-tea-party-bashers-clueless-bitter-and-wrapped-in-tinfoil/

The Obama Revolution

Paid for by the people.

deficits

“…The first point to understand is the sheer magnitude of federal spending built into this proposal. As the nearby chart shows, federal outlays will soar in fiscal 2009 to $4 trillion, or 27.7% of GDP, from $3 trillion or 21% of GDP in 2008, and 20% in 2007. This is higher as a share of the economy than any year since 1945, when the country was still mobilized for World War II. It is more spending by far than during the Vietnam War, or during the recessions of 1974-75 or 1981-82. …”

“…The falling deficit also assumes the largest tax increase in U.S. history, starting in 2011 with the repeal of the Bush tax rates on incomes higher than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The White House says this will yield upwards of $1 trillion, if you choose to believe that tax rates don’t affect taxpayer behavior.

In the real world, two of every three tax filers who fall into this income category are small business owners or investors, who are certainly capable of finding ways to invest that allow them to declare less taxable income. The real impact of this looming tax increase will be to cast further uncertainty over economic decisions and either slow or postpone the recovery. Ditto for the estimated $646 billion from a new cap-and-trade tax, which no one wants to call a tax but would give the political class vast new leverage over the private economy. (See here.)

Then there is Mr. Obama’s plan for national health care. The White House has put a $634 billion place holder in the budget to pay for covering tens of millions of uninsured Americans with government subsidized coverage. But even advocates of this government plan say the cost will be closer to $1 trillion over 10 years, and probably much more. Meanwhile, the President is promising to reform entitlements, but his budget proposes a net increase of about $1 trillion in Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements. …”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123569611695588763.html

The Obama Steamroller: Is Resistance Futile?

By Richard Baehr

“…Americans may grow weary of all the new programs, spending and elevated deficits. And most Americans do not hate the wealthy, even with all the populist bashing of bankers and corporate executives now going on. Obama’s team has no problem per se with wealthy folks of course — they like and depend on Hollywood liberals, K street lobbyists, trial lawyers, and union executives.  Obama’s team will counter  any criticism of its burgeoning deficit by saying:  “We inherited the problem, we inherited the problem”.

Over time, the refrain may wear thin, but no one should assume this is or will be a fair fight in terms of the power of the messaging, and the messengers.  By 2012, the GDP will likely be growing again, and Obama will take credit for the magnificent turnaround.  Obama will be a strong favorite for re-election, given his personal likeability and a campaign war chest that will almost certainly be bigger than the $800 million he spent in 2008.

America may also not be recognizable by then, and even less so by 2016, with a greatly expanded public sector share of the economy — maybe 30% on the federal level and close to 50% with states and localities added in. The federal bureaucracy will have been inoculated into every facet of the economy. There will be much higher tax rates on success (whether it be earned or investment income) and with this, the number of  risk-takers and entrepreneurs will drop rapidly.

Obama will have succeeded in turning the US into a more European like economy, with much slower growth prospects, crushing deficits, and increased entitlement spending as far as the eye can see (and neither more nor less manmade global warming, regardless of what the Congress and Obama do in this area). And of course, there will be the need for ever higher tax rates on the diminishing share of the population who pay income taxes, and for ever larger amounts of debt to be financed mostly by foreigners.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/the_obama_steamroller_is_resis.html

Obama’s Busted Budget

By Randall Hoven

“..Concerning the short term, where numbers are more solid, don’t even look at his budget if you are at all squeamish.  He puts the deficit at 12.3% of GDP in 2009.  Throughout the Great Depression, whether under Hoover or FDR, the deficit never exceeded 6% of GDP.  Under Reagan, with his inherited recession and his tax cuts, it never exceeded 6% of GDP.  Under George W. Bush, with his inherited recession and his tax cuts, it never even got to 4% of GDP.

In fact, in only five years since 1930 has the deficit exceeded 6% of GDP: 1942-46.  It has exceeded Obama’s 12.3% only from 1942 to 1945.  That was World War II.  Then, defense spending was about 40% of GDP.  Now it is about 4%.

President Obama projects debt held by the public at 59% of GDP in 2009, and about 65% of GDP thereafter, as far as his projections go.

You have to go back to Truman to see debts that high.  And Truman was paying off World War II costs.  It’s been below 50% of GDP since 1957.  For the first time since then, it will exceed that level this year, going from 41% to 59% of GDP in a single year.

This is a terrible budget.  In Obama’s first term, it is even worse than my predictions.  Into his second term and beyond, it is still bad, and held together only with rosy assumptions on both the revenue and spending sides.  When things can be expected to get really bad, by 2020 and beyond, he makes no projections at all. …”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/obamas_busted_budget.html

Europe Is Falling Apart Faster Than US? – Glenn Beck – March 2nd, 2009

Jim Rogers: Let AIG Go Bankrupt or USA Finished

Jim Rogers says “Go become a Farmer!” – March 3, 2009

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The Sovereign Wealth Fund Threat: Are Chinese Communists Behind Rush In Passing Bailout Bill?

Posted on October 3, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Economics, Investments, Links, Music, People, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Technology, Uncategorized, Video, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What is going on?

The Elite Looting Americans


 

Rep. McCotter discusses Sovereign Wealth Funds

Ron Paul talks @ Sovereign Wealth Funds Hearing 9/10/8

Sovereign wealth funds explained – Newsnight video

Lee Kuan Yew on Singapore sovereign wealth fund

Sovereign Wealth Funds On The Rise

Sovereign wealth funds – what China will do next?

Sovereign Wealth Funds — Navarro’s China Effect

17th Annual Conference:Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment 7/10

17th AnnualConference:Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment 10/10

Paul Volcker on Sovereign Wealth Funds and the Economy


 

China’s threat to American economic stability: CNN

America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony

“…a parliament or government which becomes a charitable institution thereby becomes exposed to irresistable blackmail. And it soon ceases to be the ‘deserts’ but becomes exclusively the ‘political necessity’ which determines which groups are to be favoured at general expense.”

~Friedrick A. Hayek, The Political Order of a Free People, page 150.

“…once wide coercive powers are given to governmental agencies for particular purposes, such powers cannot be effectively controlled by democratic assemblies.”

~Friedrick A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, page 116.

“It would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that the greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regard as the public good.”

~Friedrick A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, page 262.

 

Why all the rush in passing the bailout bill?

Why were alternative courses of action ruled out?

Why does the Federal government need to purchase the assets of financial institutions instead providing liquidity in the form of loans or investment to these financial institutions?

Is this an October surprise to influence the US elections?

Why are President Bush, Senators McCain and Obama resorting to dire fear mongering and very similar phrases and stories to try to convince and scare the American people to supporting the quick passage of the United States Government bailout of financial institutions, the so-called Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008?

George W. B ush statement on failure of wall street bail out 

McCain statement of failure of bailout bill

Obama Still Begging Taxpayers To Support Wall Street Bailout Bill

The fear campaign is not working.

Credit is not frozen.

The American people are calling their banks, credit unions, and car dealers–loans are being made.

Business as usual.

Just like it was business as usual in Congress.

The American elites are lying to the American people and the American people know it.

Some suspect that the Chinese Communists may have made it known to the US that China will not continued to hold US Treasury securities unless the US Federal government purchases from Chinese financial institutions those US mortgage-backed and related securities that are currently depressed in prices-so-called troubled assets.

In other words the US Treasury needs to bail out Chinese financial institutions that have purchased securities from US financial institutions, such as investment banks.

Why?

How much mortgage backed securities do Chinese financial institutions hold in their investment portfolios?

How much have these Chinese financial institutions  lost on holding this type of securities?

A lot of questions, but not many answers from the American elites.

Just hurry up and pass the bailout bill or else the US economy goes into a severe recession if not depression?

The American elites are not leveling with the American people. 

Charlie Rose – Economist Milton Friedman

What is going on?

First read the following from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that the Senate passed:

Sec. 112. Coordination with foreign authorities and central banks.  

The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks to work toward the establishment of similar programs by such authorities and central banks. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101. 

The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks to work toward the establishment of similar programs by such authorities and central banks. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101. 

The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks to work toward the establishment of similar programs by such authorities and central banks. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101. 

Note that the definition of what is a “troubled asset” under section 101 is quite broad:

TROUBLED ASSETS

—The term ‘‘troubled assets’’ means—

(A) residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before March 14, 2008, the purchase of which the Secretary determines promotes financial market stability; and

(B) any other financial instrument that the Secretary, after consultation with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, determines the purchase of which is necessary to promote financial market stability, but only upon transmittal of such determination, in writing, to the appropriate committees of Congress. 

 http://banking.senate.gov/public/_files/latestversionAYO08C32_xml.pdf  

Looks like the United States will be buying billions of dollars of troubled assets from foreign banks, including China.

The failure of Congress and specifically the Democratic Party to allow appropriate regulation and oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will result in the bailout of China who bought upwards of $400 billion of mortgaged backed securities or agencies.

Now what is the source of all those campaign contributions to certain Presidential candidates coming from abroad in 2008? 

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman 

“…And then there are the overseas donations — at least, the ones that we know about.

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.

But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain’s or Sen. Hillary Clinton’s online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton’s presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners. …”

http://www.newsmax.com/timmerman/Obama_fundraising_illegal/2008/09/29/135718.html?s=al&promo_code=6BD9-1  

Also consider that in the 1996 Presidential election significant campaign contributions were given to President Clinton from Chinese sources:

1996 United States campaign finance controversy

“The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People’s Republic of China to influence domestic American politics during the 1996 federal elections.

The issue first received public attention in early 1997, with news that a Justice Department investigation had uncovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct contributions to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in violation of U.S. laws regarding foreign political contributions.[1] While the Chinese government denied all accusations, twenty-two people were eventually convicted for fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the United States elections. …”

“…According to the United States Senate report Investigation of Illegal or Improper Activities in Connection with 1996 Federal Election Campaigns, prior to 1995 China’s approach to promoting its interests in the United States was focused almost exclusively on diplomacy, including summits and meetings with high-level White House officials. In these meetings, Chinese officials often negotiated with the United States government by using the appeal of their huge commercial market.[2]

Around 1995, according to the Senate report, Chinese officials developed a new approach to promote their interests with the United States government and to improve China’s image with the American people. The proposals, dubbed the “China Plan”, were prompted by the United States Congress’s successful lobbying of the president to grant a visa to Taiwan President Lee Teng-Hui. United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher had previously assured his Chinese counterpart Qian Qichen that granting a visa would be “inconsistent with [the United States’] unofficial relationship [with Taiwan]”[3] and the Clinton Administration’s acquiescence to the Congressional resolutions led China to conclude that the influence of Congress over foreign policy was more significant than it had previously determined. When formulating the so-called plan, Chinese officials acknowledged that, compared to other countries, it had little knowledge of, or influence over, policy decisions made in Congress, which had a sizeable pro-Taiwan faction under the influence of a more established “China Lobby” run by the Kuomintang.[2]

The plan, according the Senate report, instructed Chinese officials in the U.S. to improve their knowledge about members of Congress and increase contacts with its members, the public, and the media. The plan also suggested ways to lobby United States officials.[2]

Over the years, China has repeatedly denied these lobbying efforts involved financial contributions of any kind:

[S]ome people and media in the United States speculated… about so-called participation by Chinese individuals in political donations during the U.S. elections. It is sheer fabrication and is intended to slander China. [China] has never, nor will we ever, use money to influence American politics — China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, May 1998.[4] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_United_States_campaign_finance_controversy

Why all the rush now to bail out foreign countries whose financial institutions bought “troubled assets”?

Who is pulling the trigger on the financial crisis?

Why was the trigger pulled now?

Defeat the cram down bailout bill.

Only you can prevent socialism in America. 

“We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based–a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.”

~Friedrick A. Hayek, ‘The Pretense of Knowledge’, New Studies, page 34.

 

“The effective limitation of power is the most important problem of social order.”

~Friedrick A. Hayek, The Political Order of a Free People, page 128.

What is going on? 

 

~Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On / What’s Happening Brother

 
 
 

 

 

 

Background Articles and Videos 

  

 

Sovereign wealth funds explained – Newsnight video

 

Corporate Advisory Insight: Sovereign Wealth Funds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFIyqhUejqc&feature=related

  
 
 

 

 
 

 

Lee Kuan Yew on Singapore sovereign wealth fund

 

Davos Annual Meeting 2008 – Sovereign Wealth Funds

  
 
 

 

 
 

 

LOL

Bird & Fortune: George Parr, Conservative MP

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

Sovereign wealth fund

“A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals or other financial instruments. Sovereign wealth funds have gained world-wide exposure by investing in several Wall Street financial firms including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch. These firms needed a cash infusion due to losses resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis. 

Some sovereign wealth funds are held solely by central banks, who accumulate the funds in the course of their fiscal management of a nation’s banking system; this type of fund is usually of major economic and fiscal importance. Other sovereign wealth funds are simply the state savings which are invested by various entities for the purposes of investment return, and which may not have significant role in fiscal management.

The accumulated funds may have their origin in, or may represent foreign currency deposits, gold, SDRs and IMF reserve positions held by central banks and monetary authorities, along with other national assets such as pension investments, oil funds, or other industrial and financial holdings. These are assets of the sovereign nations which are typically held in domestic and different reserve currencies such as the dollar, euro and yen. Such investment management entities may be set up as official investment companies, state pension funds, or sovereign oil funds, among others.

There have been attempts to distinguish funds held by sovereign entities from foreign exchange reserves held by central banks. The former can be characterized as maximizing long term return, with the latter serving short term currency stabilization and liquidity management. Many central banks in recent years possess reserves massively in excess of needs for liquidity or foreign exchange management. Moreover it is widely believed most have diversified hugely into assets other than short term, highly liquid monetary ones, though almost no data is available to back up this assertion. Some central banks have even begun buying equities, or derivatives of differing ilk (even if fairly safe ones, like Overnight Interest rate swaps).[citation needed] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_wealth_fund 

  
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

Sovereign Wealth Funds Threat to United States Economy 

“…However, there is mounting concern–fed by the lack of transparency–that these government-owned investment funds could be used to advance a political as well as economic agenda. If sovereign investors manage assets to promote more than a healthy return on investment, asset prices in countries receiving sov­ereign capital may not reflect market fundamentals, and resources will not be allocated efficiently– exacting a real cost on the economies involved.[4]

Moreover, some fear that rather than use these funds as a means to hold a diversified asset portfolio and earn a solid return on investment, countries might instead use these funds to destabilize finan­cial markets, protect industries and companies, or even expropriate technology.

With little public information available on most sovereign investors’ financial objectives, countries– including the U.S.–are increasingly uncertain about the real benefits of receiving investment from these funds and worry that they instead represent a grow­ing threat to their economic and national security. France and Germany have already declared their intention to block state-owned funds from investing in their economies.[5]

However, it is important to remember that such funds have been in operation for some time and that there is little evidence indicating that nations use their sovereign wealth funds to intentionally cause harm to the countries and firms in which they invest. Furthermore, open and competitive markets are quick to punish any investor, sovereign or otherwise, that would mismanage their holdings. Few governments–even those with highly question­able free-market credentials–intentionally allocate scarce resources to gain control of an asset for the sole purpose of destroying the value of that asset and reducing their own wealth. …” 

http://www.heritage.org/RESEARCH/TRADEANDFOREIGNAID/hl1063.cfm

 

 China Investment Corporation  

“The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is responsible for managing part of the People’s Republic of China’s foreign exchange reserves with $200 billion United States dollars of assets under management, which makes it the fourth largest Sovereign Wealth Fund.[1][2] This sovereign wealth fund officially began operations on Saturday, September 29, 2007. It bought a US $3 billion stake of Blackstone Group in June[3] and a 9.9% stake of Morgan Stanley worth US$ 5 billion on December 19, 2007.[4][5][6] 

The People’s Republic of China has US $1.7 trillion in currency reserves. The China Investment Corporation was established with the intent of utilizing these reserves for the benefit of the state, modeled according to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. The state-owned Central Huijin Investment Corporation was merged into the new company as a wholly-owned subsidiary company.[5]

“…The Corporation aims to invest in around fifty large-sized enterprises across the world. Special treasury bonds were issued to create the capital that the CIC needed. 1,550.35 billion yuan ($207.91 billion) was issued in this bond sale. The bond process was completed in December 2007.[7] According to Lou Jiwei, the CIC needs to make a profit of 300 million Yuan every day just to pay the interest on the bonds and operation costs. The CIC paid its first interest on the bonds in February 2008 where it paid 12.9 billion yuan.[8] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Investment_Corporation  

 

Sovereign Wealth Funds and U.S. National Security

by Daniella Markheim  

“…In the 1990 decade, and early 2000 decade, hedge funds flexed their muscles, demonstrated their power, and earned both respect and animosity. Hedge funds have been blamed for several effects, like pushing up crude oil prices via speculation, even aiding and abetting the mortgage finance bubble. They grew in size to 9000 funds controlling $1.6 trillion in total. They stand first in line for carnage, having taken huge losses in the mortgage bond and Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) bond debacle. Most have suffered losses, while the great minority of smarter ones have profited on the opposite side of trades. In the process, hedge funds generally have lost a great deal of collective power, in a tarnished image. Meanwhile, the SWF funds have taken over as the prominent funds in the news, making their presence felt. In their arena, being entities connected and funded by major governments, they are huge in size. The SWF funds are the sharks operating in the ocean of liquidity, much fewer in number than the thousands of hedge fund minnows. Many hedge funds are over $1 billion in size though.

ONE COULD CONCLUDE THAT FOREIGN INSTITUTIONS HAVE BEGUN TO SHUN US$-BASED BONDS. CENTRAL BANKS ARE INCREASINGLY TURNING TO SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS AS PROFITABLE INVESTMENT VEHICLES. SWF FUNDS ENABLE A CHANGE IN COURSE, ONE WHICH THREATENS US BANKERS TO THE EXTREME. UK BONDS ARE IN THE SAME SEWER PIPE AS THE US BONDS. AFTER SWF FUNDS BUY UP BIG SLICES OF US BANKS, THEY CAN PURCHASE GOLD FREELY AND PULL THE DOG CHOKER ON US BANKERS IF NEED BE, RESTRAINING THEM. …”

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article3388.html 

What to do about big, foreign funds that are buying up the West? 

“…The biggest sovereign wealth funds “are owned by West Asian oil-producing countries, other oil producers such as Norway, and big Asian exporters such as China and Singapore….[O]il-rich West Asian nations and Russia as also large exporters such as China have been deploying part of their huge foreign-exchange reserves in sovereign [wealth] funds as investment vehicles that have grown significantly in size.” However, with all that cash moving around the global marketplace, some “rich nations, including Germany and the U.S., have…expressed uneasiness [since their governments believe that] these funds may be investing in their economies for political purposes.” Such governments are shocked – shocked! – by the notion that money might ever be used to influence the tone or direction of their policies. …” 

“…We are starting to get wind of who the winners and losers are in the government seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  It is not a pretty picture.  Holders of mortgage-backed debt of the two companies, so called agency debt, and holder of subordinated debt are the big winners.  Why? Government cash investments will be paid behind the payments to the mortgage-backed and even subordinated debt.  Any threat of a default and the government will make the payments on the debt.  Who holds this stuff.  The largest holders of agency debt are 1) foreign countries through state owned banks and through sovereign wealth funds and 2) a worldwide network of private banks and 3) United States pension funds.  The largest foreign holdings of agency debt are China ($400 billion) and Japan (($230 billion).   We are bailing out China and Japan, the world’s investment banks, and our pension funds.  Who is hurt??  Shareholders.  The government gets paid back before any preferred shareholders and common shareholders get any dividends.  Some shareholders are also holders of agency debt and do not mind; their gains on the debt side will swamp their loses on the stock side.  Some American investment banks and many pension funds are in this category.  But there are some banks that hold predominately preferred stock, most of them are regional banks or commercial banks, and they are big losers.  Shares are held in the public markets and usually in diversified portfolios.

Shareholders should lose (they are the residual claimants and they elect the board) but so should the debt-holders, particularly the subordinated debt holders (they took a risk of buying an instrument very similar to preferred stock).  Many debt holders have written down the value of their debt and now, suddenly, it is worth 100 cents on the dollar.  Why bailout foreign governments and why now — both companies had reserves — thin ones — and could have run on their own for another year or so?

The answer is political, regrettably.  Treasury did not want a blowup with China and Japan before the election and it wanted to create another method of subsidizing the economy (through Frannie and Freddie) that would take effect before the election. China threatened to sell not only agency debt but Treasuries and it would roil our debt markets; tight debt markets hurt GDP.  This threat is one we need to stand up to (emergency tariffs on Chinese goods are WTO legal). …” 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=15&entry_id=30088  

 

Chinese Government is Top Foreign Holder of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonds

$376 Billion in Chinese Agency Bond Holdings Subject to Taxpayer Bailout Proposals According to FreedomWorks Analysts

“…The top five foreign holders of Freddie and Fannie long-term debt are China, Japan, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. In total foreign investors hold over $1.3 trillion in these agency bonds, according to the U.S. Treasury’s most recent “Report on Foreign Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities.”

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “The prospectus for every GSE bond clearly states that it is not backed by the United States government. That’s why investors holding agency bonds already receive a significant risk premium over Treasuries.”

“A bailout at this stage would be the worst possible outcome for American taxpayers and mortgage holders, who have been paying a risk premium to these foreign investors. It would change the rules of the game retroactively and would directly subsidize the risks taken by sophisticated foreign investors.”

“A bailout of GSE bondholders would be perhaps the greatest taxpayer rip-off in American history. It is bad economics and you can be sure it is terrible politics.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/chinese-government-top-foreign-holder/story.aspx?guid=%7B347DF7BF-F0B7-48C9-A418-5A0B903D9F72%7D&dist=hppr 

 

Mike Pence Opposes Bailout 9/29/08

 

 
We Are Under Martial Law! As Declared By The Speaker Last Night! Rep Burgess

  
 
 

 

 
 

 

Michael Savage Argues About Financial Bail Outs Crooks on Wall Street – (9/29/08)

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

The Senate votes: Crap Sandwich 2.0 with sugar on top passes 74-25 

By Michelle Malkin  

“…There were 25 bailout busters (15 Republicans, 10 Democrats). …”

 http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/01/the-senate-votes-crap-sandwich-20/

Who’s afraid of sovereign wealth funds?

By Tim Weber 

“…Sovereign wealth funds – government-controlled investment funds – are one of the hottest topics at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But are they really dangerous?

 
 
 

 

Richard Fuld, Lehman Brothers chief executive

Richard Fuld says the funds could soon control up to $20 trillion

 

 

Picture this: You are finance minister and several very large banks in your country are in trouble. An investment fund steps into the breach and provides the much-needed cash – say $10bn (£5bn) or thereabouts. It helps to avoid a financial meltdown.

So far so good. But what if this fund is controlled by a foreign government with unclear intentions? What if such a fund also wants to buy your nation’s most important ports?

And what if the fund takes a large stake in a business that is a rival to its country’s national champion?

Across the Western world, politicians are grumbling, and economists and business leaders are pricking their ears. …”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7207715.stm 

 

Economists on the Bailout

 

US Economy: Even Hank Paulson’s bail-out plan cannot detox global banking

“…Around the world, investors were dumping assets they regarded as risky. World stocks were down sharply, while gold and U.S. Treasuries surged in the rush to safety.

The world’s central banks, led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, announced a $330 billion expansion of currency swap arrangements, which allows them to increase the amount of money they can provide in their home markets, effectively throwing more money at the crisis.

Earlier, the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg moved to partly nationalize Belgian-Dutch group Fortis NV with an injection of more than $16 billion, and German lender Hypo Real Estate Holding AG secured a credit line from the German government and banks of up to 35 billion euros.

British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley Plc was brought under the government’s wing, shares of French bank Dexia tumbled on a report that it might need emergency capital, and bank rescue deals also emerged in Iceland, Russia and Denmark.

“The contagion is spreading to mainland Europe and everyone’s asking, ‘Who’s next?'” said Mark Sartori, head of European sales trading at Fox-Pitt, Kelton in London.

The Wachovia deal is the latest in a series of events that has transformed the American financial landscape and wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars of shareholder wealth.

The changes include the government takeover of mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, the failure of giant savings and loan Washington Mutual, and Bank of America Corp’s purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co Inc. …”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3088685/US-Economy-Even-Hank-Paulsons-bail-out-plan-cannot-detox-global-banking.html

 
 
 

 

 

  

Largest sovereign wealth funds

 

Country  ↓ Abbreviation  ↓ Fund  ↓ Assets $Billion  ↓ Inception  ↓ Origin  ↓ Approx wealth per citizen ($)  ↓
Flag of Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi Emirate) ADIA Abu Dhabi Investment Authority 875 [9] 1976 Oil 1,000,000
 Norway GPF Government Pension Fund of Norway 391 [10] 1990 Oil 81,500
 Singapore GIC Government of Singapore Investment Corporation 330 [9] 1981 Non-commodity 100,000
 Kuwait KIA Kuwait Investment Authority 264.4 [11] 1953 Oil 80,000
 China CIC China Investment Corporation 200 [12] 2007.09.28 Non-commodity 151
 Singapore   Temasek Holdings1 159.2 [9] 1974 Non-commodity 35,400
 Australia FFMA Australian Government Future Fund 81.3 [13] 2004 Non-commodity 3,900
 Qatar QIA Qatar Investment Authority 60 [14] 2005 Oil 250,000
 United States (Alaska) APFC Alaska Permanent Fund 40.1 1976 Oil 61,000
 Libya   Libyan Investment Authority 50 2007 Oil 7,200
 Russia RNWF Russian National Wealth Fund 31.92 [15] 2008 Oil n/a
 Brunei BIA Brunei Investment Agency 30 1983 Oil 90,100
 South Korea KIC Korea Investment Corporation 30 2005 Non-commodity 417
 Malaysia KN Khazanah Nasional 18.3 1993 Non-commodity 658
 Kazakhstan KNF Kazakhstan National Fund 23.0 2000 Oil 1170
 China SAFE State Administration of Foreign Exchange n/a n/a Non-commodity n/a
 Taiwan NSF National Stabilisation Fund 15 2000 Non-commodity 652
 Canada (Alberta) AHF Alberta Heritage Fund 16.6 1976 Oil & Gas 5000
 Iran OSF Oil Stabilisation Fund 12.9 1999 Oil 174
Flag of Dubai United Arab Emirates (Dubai Emirate) DB Dubai World 100 2006 Oil n/a
 Saudi Arabia   Saudi Arabia Sovereign Wealth Fund 5.2 [16] 2008 Oil n/a

 

 

Defeat the Cram Down Bullshit Bailout Bill: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Bailout Bill vs. Rescue Economy American People (REAP) Law

The American People Want A Full Meal Buffett Deal–Not A Bailout!

Stop The Bailout: The American Elites’ Bum Rush of The American People–No Sale!

Obama Bombs Bailout Meeting–Whitehouse Still Standing–McCain Saved By House Republicans

Obama–ACORN–CRA–Congress–Democratic Party–Fannie Mae–Freddie Mac–Bailout–Socialism– Just Say No!

ACORN–Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now–Obama’s Red Shirts 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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