Licking their wounds, House Democrats lash out at Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

The 2014 elections were not kind to House Democrats. Republicans now have their largest majority in over 60 years, and some in the Democrats’ dwindling minority are looking for someone to blame.

Barack Obama is the obvious first choice. He said a little more than a month before Election Day that, though he wasn’t on the ballot, ‘[his] policies [were] on the ballot. Every single one of them.” How’d that pan out? Earlier this year, Nancy Pelosi said Obamacare would be a “winner” for Democrats on Election Day, but polling shows Obamacare’s popularity is still on the decline as premiums continue to rise.

And now that the dust has mostly settled on the 2014, House Democrats are taking out their frustrations on Pelosi, who has held a firm grip on the Democratic caucus since 2003 when she was first elected to lead her party in the House.

POLITICO reports:

The discontent with Nancy Pelosi is breaking out in the open.

Democrats in the House have quietly grumbled about Pelosi since suffering devastating losses on Election Day, but there is a growing number of members willing to go public on their party leaders.

Republicans must not surrender to Obama’s blackmail

Notwithstanding the landslide rejection of Obama and his policies in the mid-term election, I don’t think this will produce big changes in policy over the next two years.

Simply stated, the GOP does not have the votes to override presidential vetoes, so there’s no plausible strategy for achieving meaningful tax reform or genuine entitlement reform.

Sequester Cuts

But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be important fiscal policy battles. I’m especially worried about whether we can hold on to the modest fiscal restraint(and sequester enforcement) we achieved as part of the 2011 debt limit fight.

Part of that victory was already negotiated away as part of the Ryan-Murray budget deal, to be sure, but there are still remaining budget caps that limit how fast politicians can increase so-called discretionary spending.

According to the Congressional Research Service, budget authority for defense is allowed to rise from $552 billion in 2014 to $644 billion in 2021. And budget authority for domestic programs is allowed to climb from $506 billion to $590 billion over the same period.

Time Magazine moves to ban the word “feminist” …

Feminismwords

Feminist. Like many words, it has become so highly politicized that barely anyone hears the word feminist and thinks of how far we’ve come in our fight for equality.

What began as a laudable movement, fighting against gross injustices done to women in both the domestic and economic spheres, has changed over time because now, women can be CEOs and politicians if we want to (although we mostly don’t want to).

Americans could be sad for women because they don’t want to be CEO, but why be sad when we could be happy for women because they are getting more of what they want? Wanting to be CEO is not an inherent good. Many women consciously make the choice to have less stress and pressure at work in exchange for a more fulfilling personal life, and that’s what equality is really about. Equality for women doesn’t mean that men and women should want the same things or be the same people, it means that no one should be be held back just because of their gender. Women should have the choice.

Perhaps it is a small group of attention-seeking people, acting under the guise of feminism, who want to manipulate and control the rest of us. This small group does not want equal opportunities for men and women as the rest of us do. The seek only to create discord and conflict among the sexes.

Liberty or Tyranny? We must decide.

Liberty or Tyranny

History is not cyclical, it is ours to make.

Our world is constantly changing. History is full of the rise and fall of empires, religious and political movements, war, conquest, commerce, and new technologies. Observing this perpetual change, certain historians of the past developed a theory that history was cyclical. According to them, regardless of our ambitions to permanence, the arc of history always revolves back to the mean. It is a theory that is tinged with determinism, because its proponents argue that an individual’s actions do not matter, as much as the historical forces within which the person lives. But while the theory may make a person feel less empowered, it also gives comfort. Because if what I do doesn’t matter, neither does what anyone does. Sometimes the good will win, and sometimes the evil, but the battle will continue, forever. Nobody and nothing wins permanently.

But many historians reject the cyclical theory. Instead they argue that the world is headed in a specific direction and is taking us somewhere new. A person who views history this way tends to believe in the power of individual action. He or she has no assurance that somehow good and evil will always battle each other. Instead he realizes with terror that evil has the potential to win, permanently, and this makes him fearful for the future. But, at the same time, he realizes, that good could win, also permanently, and this makes him hopeful and motivated.

Meet Yeon-Mi Park, North Korean Refugee and Lady of Liberty

YeonMi SFL

One of the most inspiring headliners for the upcoming 2015 International Students For Liberty Conference on February 13th-15th is Yeon-mi Park, a 21-year-old woman who escaped North Korea seven years ago and this year has been able to tell her story on a grand scale.

Yeon-mi Park enjoyed a rich lifestyle by North Korean standards for much of her life, but after her father was imprisoned for selling items to China, Yeon-mi was forced to move out of Pyongyang. She escaped to China with her family after her father’s release and was under constant threat of persecution until she made her way to the capitol of Mongolia, carrying only a compass and a razor blade in case her case for asylum didn’t work out. The small group she traveled with knew that they would not be able to return to North Korea.

Yeon-mi is part of a generation in North Korea that can’t remember a time when the government provided for its people. This generation has very little, if any, loyalty to the Kim regime. At the Students for Liberty International Summit, she will speak on this “Black Market Generation,” including their views on North Korea and the outside world, and their increasing consumption of foreign media.

Big Brother Alert! Your neighbor could be an undercover federal agent.

Next Door Neighbor

Shocking revelations from “records and interviews” reveal at least 40 federal agencies are using undercover officers to infiltrate everyday scenarios including having them pose “as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing,” according to a New York Times report.

From the story:

At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar with the practice.

At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers or accountants or drug dealers or yacht buyers, court records show.

At the Agriculture Department, more than 100 undercover agents pose as food stamp recipients at thousands of neighborhood stores to spot suspicious vendors and fraud, officials said.

Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.

Hillary Clinton’s potential soon-to-be campaign team wants to “punish” conservative voters

Hillary Clinton

Liberals have long thought of politics as a zero-sum game, where the winners revel in the spoils of victory while punishing the losers. Furthermore, liberals have long equated political activism with violence. Radical liberal groups — particularly environmentalists and so-called ‘animal rights’ activists — use violence and force to advance their cause. Domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground bombed buildings to achieve political success.

So it’s no surprise that potential Hillary 2016 staffers would use words like “punish” when referring to political opponents in private email exchanges.

A source leaked private emails of Democrat activists to ABC News earlier this week, pulling back the curtain on a listserv that reaches more than 150 activists. Well-known Democratic activists Robby Mook and Marlon Marshall use the listserv — titled “Mook Mafia” — to have an ongoing discussion about politics, campaigns, and 2016. Think of the liberal journalist listserve “JournoList,” only with activists instead of reporters.

From the ABC News exclusive:

Rand Paul talks #ConservativeRealism with liberal Bill Maher

Rand Paul Conservative Realism

Senator Rand Paul took his message of “conservative realism” to liberal comedian Bill Maher’s HBO program on Friday night. Maher, well known self-proclaimed “libertarian” (he seems to throw the word around without much philosophical grounding) and critic of conservatives, welcomed Paul to his show and had high praise for Paul’s genuine efforts to reach out to new constituencies to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal.

Maher praised Paul’s efforts to restore voting rights to non-violent felons who have served their time, allowed Paul to further explain his stance on foreign policy, and called Paul’s efforts to curtail the War on Drugs “music to my ears.”

During the interview, Maher signaled that independents like himself and others in key states might be able to support Paul, should he decide to run for president in 2016.

“I am available to the Rand Paul campaign,” Maher said, but cautioned Paul on the Republican Party’s stance on environmentalism. Paul pushed back against over-regulation and expressed concern for the loss of jobs over restrictive regulations. Paul applauded advancements in renewable energy, but stressed the importance of continuing to use resources like coal and natural gas. Paul noted he was working on a bill to help deregulate the renewable energy industry, so more Americans could access “green” energy alternatives.

Twitter reacted postively to Paul’s appearance. Many tweets came from self-described Democrats who had previously not been open to Paul’s message:

Republicans fired Harry Reid in 2014; he may retire in 2016.

Harry Reid

Harry Reid and Senate Democrats took a thumping in the 2014 elections, losing eight seats to Republicans — so far — with a likely ninth seat changing parties in Louisiana in the upcoming December 6 runoff. At a closed-door meeting of the incoming Republican caucus, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was unanimously elected Majority Leader. Republicans will take control of the Senate in January.

At the same meeting, Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker was elected to head the National Republicans Senatorial Committee, the campaign committee charged with elected Republicans to the Senate. Wicker suggested that outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may decide to retire rather than face a very competitive re-election campaign in 2016.

The Hill reports:

The new National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman pointed out that Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, who was just reelected overwhelmingly, could run against Reid in 2016.

“To me, that state is going Republican,” Wicker said on MSNBC. “I think Gov. Sandoval has a real good opportunity now after a great run as governor, perhaps to run for senator. So, you know, frankly I’ll say this: I think Harry Reid may decide to retire. That’s my prediction.”

Reid won a tough race in 2010 against Republican Sharron Angle, whom Democrats were able to paint as extreme.

Defeating Mark Udall in Colorado may yield one final victory for liberty

NSA Domestic Spying

When Republican challenger Cory Gardner defeated incument Democrat Mark Udall in Colorado, it was a huge victory for constitutional government and individual liberty. However, that victory might yield one final benefit even before Gardener takes office in January. Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is considering releasing all or part of a secret government report on the CIA’s torture program before he leaves office.

As a member of Congress, Udall has immunity from prosecution for releasing classified information as part of the “Speech or Debate Clause” if he does so on the floor of the Senate. He could read the entire unredacted report in a speech or filibuster and suffer no criminal consequence because of the congressional exception and no political consequence since he’s leaving office.

The report was compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2009 to 2012 based on documents from the detention and interrogation program started after the September 11 attacks. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has no problem with the government’s wholesale violation of American privacy rights, summarizes the report as follows:

 


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