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Conservatives have every reason to be optimistic

Freedom and opportunity are on the horizon with a new crop of principled, capable and positive conservatives. 

by George Landrith   bright-future-optimism-optimistic

In the past few weeks and the next couple weeks, we will see most of the expected entrants into the GOP presidential sweepstakes make their plans official. The GOP bench is deep with a number of highly credible and well qualified potential nominees. Part of this deep bench is the result of the conservatives doing well in a majority of the non-presidential and state elections during President Barack Obama’s time in office. The GOP has gained 70 seats in Congress and 910 state legislators around the nation since Barack Obama took office.

If you’re a conservative, there is a lot more good news on the horizon. That deep bench of well-qualified and highly credible candidates is revealing itself in congressional elections around the nation. Speaking with campaign experts around the nation, one thing is clear — the GOP has a bumper crop of great conservative candidates.

I can’t write about each of them, but perhaps I can pick one that caught my eye and shows real promise. In Florida’s 18th Congressional District, an established name is retiring from the House of Representatives to pursue the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio. Rick Kozell has announced his candidacy for the open congressional seat in the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach area.

Here’s what I like about Rick Kozell — he’s an optimistic, principled conservative with a winning vision for the future. He reminds me of a young Ronald Reagan. The press will have a hard time casting him as the stereotypical angry conservative. Kozell is affable, young, smart, and articulate. His smile is natural and his energy and enthusiasm are obvious. [Read more...]

Hillary’s many Libya problems …

by Stephen Collinson     •     CNNHillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton has another Libya problem.

She’s already grappling with the political headaches from deleted emails and from the terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi.

But she’ll face a broader challenge in what’s become of the North African country since, as secretary of state in 2011, she was the public face of the U.S. intervention to push out its longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya’s lapse into the chaos of failed statehood has provided a breeding ground for terror and a haven for groups such as ISIS. Its plight is also creating an opening for Republican presidential candidates to question Clinton’s strategic acumen and to undermine her diplomatic credentials, which will be at the center of her pitch that only she has the global experience needed to be president in a turbulent time. [Read more...]

Don’t Go Soft on the ICANN Handoff

Congress is wrong to take itself out of the game.internet-censorship-ICANN

by Peter Roff     •    US News & World Report

If, as CQ.com reported Thursday, GOP congressional leaders are suddenly going soft on the issue of the Obama administration’s intention to hand off the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, then someone has gone soft in the head.

The pending transfer, something the administration last year said it would like to see concluded by the end of this year, involves not just the critical operations of the Internet’s technical infrastructure but the values that govern its operations down to the level of the individual user. There is too much at stake to rush the transfer through.

For some time now, the plan has been to turn the responsibility for the Internet over to the world. American ingenuity developed it, American capital resources built it up and out, and American generosity made it possible for every country on Earth to take part in the revolution it spawned, even those countries that have sworn vengeance, jihad, destruction and similar ill-wishes on this, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”  [Read more...]

Hillary Needs a Faux War on Voting Rights

by Jonathan S. Tobin     •     Commentary Voter ID Fraud

Hillary Clinton was in Texas on Thursday doing what she usually does: not taking questions from the press while seeking ways to energize the Democratic base. In this case, her focus on highlighting a key issue for Democrats: voting rights. But contrary to the overheated rhetoric she and other members of her party are employing, this has little to do with fighting actual efforts to stop minorities from voting and everything to do with creating a sense of crisis, particularly among African-Americans, that Republicans are seeking to put them “back in chains.” The main focus of this effort is to invalidate laws requiring voters to have photo IDs while seeking to institute weeks-long periods of early voting. Neither of those measures has much to do with ensuring that Jim Crow never returns. To the contrary, the effort to hype this into a fight for racial equality is about Clinton’s fear that the African-Americans that turned out in record numbers to elect and then re-elect Barack Obama won’t show up for her next year. And if takes a cynical waving of the bloody shirt of the Civil Rights era to convince them that Republicans are out to get them, Clinton is demonstrating that she will stoop as low as it takes to get blacks sufficiently alarmed about a possible GOP victory in 2016. [Read more...]

Favors to foundation donors stretch back to Hillary Clinton’s Senate days

Earmarks, legislative action benefited husband’s benefactors

by Kelly Riddell     •     The Washington Times Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s efforts to provide favors to major donors to her husband’s global charity or her own political career stretch back far earlier than her tenure as America’s top diplomat, dating to the time she served as a U.S. senator and had the power to earmark federal funds and influence legislation, records show.

For instance, Mrs. Clinton introduced a bill when she was New York’s junior senator that allowed a donor to the Clinton Foundation to use tax-exempt bonds to build a shopping center in Syracuse, New York, public records show.

She also went to bat for Freddie Mac, working to defeat legislation that would have subjected the mortgage giant to tougher regulations before the housing bubble burst and led to a major recession. That same year, Freddie Mac donated $50,000 to $100,000 to her husband’s charity, originally called the William J. Clinton Foundation records show. [Read more...]

Corruption and abuse of power at the EPA

by The Washington Examiner Editorial BoardEPA Frankenstien

Last week, we looked at how the EPA manipulated the public comments process for its new rule defining protected waters under the Clean Water Act. The agency’s officials met behind closed doors and teamed up with left-wing environmental activists to get as many comments in support as possible. Like elections in pre-war Iraq, the drive was too successful to be remotely convincing; nearly 90 percent of the comments turned out to be in favor of the rule, a number that was then cited by EPA officials as evidence of how popular the rule was.

But as much as this rule was shaped by astroturfing, it will affect real people if it is allowed to take effect this summer.

If there is confusion about exactly what the rule does, the EPA can be blamed for that. In mounting its public defense, the agency has drawn up detailed fact sheets that attempt to minimize the additional lands over which the rule will give them power. Their propaganda for the layman, the purpose of which is to frighten the public into believing their drinking water won’t be clean without the new rule, does just the opposite. In one video posted online, EPA claims that “60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands” were unprotected or had an ambiguous status. These will now be regulated. [Read more...]

Who benefits and who is harmed by $15 minimum wage?

by Larry Elder   •   Townhallminimum_wage_employment_pay

Fourteen to one, in favor.

That was the Los Angeles City Council vote to raise, over the next five years, the city’s minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15. Of course, as Investor’s Business Daily tells us, the $15 per hour really is closer to $20.

How does it get to $20?

Investor’s Business Daily says: “Once all the nonwage costs are added, including payroll taxes, paid sick leave and the big one — ObamaCare’s employer mandate — minimum compensation for a full-time worker could rise as high as $19.28 an hour by 2020, an IBD analysis finds. That would amount to a jump of $10.67, or 124 percent, since June 2014.” [Read more...]

Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are responsible for Obamacare’s chaos

The Left desperately wants to blame Obamacare’s chaos on the GOP.  But it is all a lie. They passed it without a single GOP vote and they rammed it down America’s throat with lies. Now they want to blame the GOP. Have they no shame?  Evidently not. 

by David Harsanyi    •   The Federalist 

If the Supreme Court decides that there will be no more retroactive legislating and upholds Obamacare as written, terrible things will happen to America. No doubt, you’ve heard some of them. We might, for instance, find out what health insurance in fabricated, state-run “marketplaces” actually cost:

Twitter Obamacare Costs

Yikes, indeed. But her contention isn’t exactly right. Insurance plans in federally run exchanges already cost 650 percent more than consumers pay. The difference is picked up taxpayers. Kaiser estimates that the 37 states that have declined to set up exchanges will see an average spike of 287 percent should the King v. Burwell decision not go the administration’s way. A ruling that only proves exchanges have not made insurance markets more competitive or more affordable, as promised. [Read more...]

A liberal professor says … his liberal students terrify him

by Edward Schlosser    •   VoxChild Yelling Liberal Democrat

I’m a professor at a midsize state school. I have been teaching college classes for nine years now. I have won (minor) teaching awards, studied pedagogy extensively, and almost always score highly on my student evaluations. I am not a world-class teacher by any means, but I am conscientious; I attempt to put teaching ahead of research, and I take a healthy emotional stake in the well-being and growth of my students.

Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.

Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that’s simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher’s formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best. [Read more...]

Copyright Office Modernization

Frontiers of Freedom released by the following statement by its President, George Landrith regarding Copyright Office Modernization:

Intellectual Property Rights are acard catalog library congress copyrightn increasingly important part of the U.S. economy and account for an ever larger portion of our economic growth and output. For example, copyright industries account for more than $1 trillion of the nation’s GDP which is about one dollar out of every 14 in the economy, and they provide 5.5 million American jobs. Those numbers are only likely to increase in the future.

But the Copyright Office is housed in the Library of Congress and competes with other Library priorities, often to its detriment. One consequence is outdated IT systems which adds unnecessary complexity to the market at the expense of rights-holders and consumers. With tremendous growth in copyright industries expected and its increasingly important role in our modern economy, it is critical that we modernize the Copyright Office, thereby ensuring that an important part of our economy and a clear engine for future economic growth will remain strong. [Read more...]

Abuse of Power Will Never Be Remedied By More Power

n

By Shawn Macomber Lawfare Tyranny

As he awaits his fate at the hands of Dutch immigration authorities, Mathieu Ngudjolo — the first person acquitted of crimes against humanity charges by the International Criminal Court — has given a fascinating interview about his nearly five years imprisoned at the Hague wherein he discusses his bafflement at his charges (“There were people who were much more powerful. The leader of the FNI, [Floribert Ngabu] even testified as a witness, but no charges were brought against him. The Congolese president [Jospeh Kabila] was never indicted either,”) his daily activities (case-building, tennis, football), the strange bedfellows an international prison makes (“When I arrived in 2008 it was calm because there were not many people. Lubanga and Charles Taylor [ex-president of Liberia] were there already; Jean-Pierre Bemba [ex-vice president of the DRC] and others came later. But there were no problems at all. Never. At night we all had dinner together”), and a host of other interesting tidbits.

What’s most surprising, however, is Ngudjolo’s undeterred support for the Court (!):

I still support the court. The world needs a strong ICC and I’m the first one to back it. But currently it is not functioning well. We need people and politicians who support it so the court can prosecute everyone. At the moment many people are not prosecuted for political reasons.

Here are three thoughts on the epic understatement, “currently [the ICC] is not functioning well”:

[Read more...]

The Long Arm Of U.S. Law Gets Longer

Hen House IRS DOJ Scandal Corruptionby Peter Roff    •    The Daily Caller

The United States Department of Justice has a well-earned reputation for ruthlessness in its pursuit of lawbreakers, to the point where serious concerns have been raised they are trampling on the rights of the accused. It’s gotten to the point where politically motivated prosecutions, while not exactly commonplace are alarmingly frequent. One does not need be a juris doctor to recognize the system is sick: The way Alaska Republican Ted Stevens was railroaded out of the U.S. Senate on a train driven by the DOJ’s Public Integrity section is proof enough of that.

Though the Stevens case may be the best known it is not by far the last word on prosecutorial overreach and over-criminalization. Unfortunately these tactics have leaked out of DOJ into other departments of the executive branch – with embarrassing consequences for the United States and the cause of justice.

Consider the State Department, where Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland has been caught trying unsuccessfully to pressure the government of another country to issue a legal finding that would help her in her efforts to bring pressure on the government of yet another country. [Read more...]

The International Criminal Court: Money Well Spent?

ICC 1

By Shawn Macomber  • Lawfare Tyranny

Kenya recently settled its outstanding 2014 “contributions” to the International Criminal Court with a €26,110 ($28,542) payment, according to the Court’s Report of the Committee on Budget and Finance issued last week.

This might seem like a princely sum to the average Kenyan subsisting in a nation with a per capita GDP of less than $1500, but it is an atomic particle compared to how much the ICC has spent on its reportedly “very, very amateur” pursuit of Kenyan leaders:

Notification of 26 June 2014 for €1,369,900 ($1,522,091) and further notification of 10 October 2014 of the revised estimate of resources required of €782,900 ($870,295) for the purposes of funding prosecutorial activities related to offences against the administration of justice under article 70 of the Rome Statute and for witness relocation and assisted moves in the situation in Kenya.

Of course, even a money furnace like the ICC can revise costs downward amidst ignominious failure — while, naturally, deflecting blame and insisting an unwilling world play army on its behalf — but, considering the Court’s sorry record, it is exceedingly difficult to believe those funds wouldn’t have better served the Kenyan people via direct aid and/or civil society nurturing organizations.

A gaggle of starry-eyed world government apparatchiks bumbling in and out of volatile internecine conflicts, frequently making bad situations worse, then leaving has not exactly worked out. (Good luck, Israel/Palestine!)

Perhaps it is time to try a fresh approach?

White House Claims Climate Change Causes Terrorism

by Paul Bedard     •     Washington Examiner

Global-Climate-Change-environmentStepping up his war on global warming and bolstering the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to put new restrictions on coal-fired energy plants, President Obama Wednesday issued a new report warning that the phenomenon can cause allergies, asthma and foster terrorism.

The report lists at least 34 effects of climate change, a doomsday scenario of health, security, economic and political issues.

“Climate change is contributing to extreme weather, wildfires, and drought, and that rising temperatures can lead to more smog and more allergens in the air we breathe, meaning more kids are exposed to the triggers that can cause asthma attacks,” said the White House. [Read more...]

Curiouser and Curiouser: Hague Hypocrisy As Wonderland

icc 3By Shawn Macomber  •  Lawfare Tyranny

We’ve noted previously the hammer-of-international-justice-for-thee-but-not-for-me phenomenon that seems to go hand in hand with pleas for International Criminal Court intervention, and this week has provided no exception to the rule.

First, via PressTV (“the first Iranian international news network, broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis”), comes this nugget:

At a Wednesday summit with high-ranking judiciary officials in Tehran, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani voiced regret over the bombardment of the impoverished country, saying the monarchy’s measures inside Yemen amount to war crimes according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“The Saudi regime’s officials should be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court like Nazi criminals,” he said.

And yet curiously Iran has chosen not to ratify the Rome Statute and join the ranks of these supposed neo-Nazi slayers at the Hague!

[Read more...]