Americans

He’s right: Glenn Beck says it’s time to bring our troops home

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck went into a lengthy, brilliant monologue on his talk show on Tuesday in which he offered a mea culpa over his support for the Iraq war and called on the United States to alter its approach to foreign policy and bring its troops home.

The conservative talk show host reflected on some areas of agreement in American politics, including the bipartisan outrage over the VA scandal, though he admitted that the United States is polarized, and suggested that “[m]aybe we could come together now on this nightmare in Iraq.”

“Now, in spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said: We shouldn’t get involved. We shouldn’t nation-build. And there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free. I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free. They said we couldn’t force freedom on people,” said Beck on his show. “Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn’t have.”

Beck, who sounded an awful lot like Ron Paul in the nearly 16-minute monologue, lamented the human cost, the deaths American soldiers and innocent Iraqis who were killed in the war, as well as the $2 trillion fiscal impact. But, he explained, the people of Iraq need to work the problems they face out for themselves.

Is The American Dream Dead?

American flag

The American Dream—the idea that any American has the ability to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, work hard, make good decisions, and lift themselves from even abject poverty to extreme wealth—is what has always made America different from any other nation on earth.  Only in the United States’ free market capitalist economic system has this level of economic mobility been possible, which is why people from around the world have flocked to the United States throughout its history.  But is the American Dream still possible?

According to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, 59 percent of Americans believe that it is impossible for any individual American to work hard and get rich, the highest level ever.  Not only that, only 48% believe that it is possible for anyone to work their way out of poverty, while 39% disagree.  Rasmussen also shows that pessimism is at an all-time high, with only 25% of Americans believing that the economy will be better a year from now than it is today.  Given the sorry state of the American economy, that’s a very sad statement.

Americans renouncing citizenship reaches a record high, tax laws blamed

passport

The Treasury Department released its quarterly list of Americans who have renounced their citizenship in 2013, finding that another 560 people have decided to leave the country to establish residency in friendlier climates elsewhere (emphasis added):

This year will set a record for expatriations by U.S. taxpayers, with at least a 33% increase from the previous high in 2011.

The Treasury Department published the names of 560 people who either were U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship or long-term residents who turned in their green cards during the third quarter.

That brings the total so far this year to 2,369, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. For all of 2011, the number of published expatriates was 1,781, he said.
[…]
Taxpayers who expatriate aren’t required to give a reason, but experts said the overall increase was likely because of tougher enforcement of U.S. tax laws.

“Nothing has changed in immigration law that would make people want to renounce,” said Freddi Weintraub, an immigration specialist and partner at Fragomen Worldwide, a New York-based law firm. “Current or anticipated changes in tax law and enforcement are driving this increase.”

Some may question the patriotism of those who are leaving the United States and renouncing their citizenship. But why would anyone want to reside in a country where wealth and success are frowned upon by President Obama and congressional Democrats when its so much easier to uproot and move to a country with lower tax burden? That is, unfortunately, the way many people look at the situation.

Hollywood to help push ObamaCare

Hollywood

The Obama Administration already has a lot of support from celebrities in its effort to sell ObamaCare to Americans, particularly young people, who are essential to the success of the law. But Hollywood has found another way to promote the unpopular healthcare law. They’ll soon be promoting ObamaCare in television plot lines:

Coming soon to your favorite TV shows: plot lines about the Affordable Care Act.

Hollywood Health & Society, a program with the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center got a $500,000 grant this week from The California Endowment to help TV writers tell better stories about the new health insurance law.

CNN poll: 57% oppose ObamaCare, GOP gets blame for government shutdown

Opposition to ObamaCare has hit its highest level since March 2011, according to the latest CNN poll, but Americans place the blame for the government shutdown largely on Republicans.

The poll of 803 American adults, conducted between September 27-29, found that 57% oppose ObamaCare, while only 38% support the law. Congressional Republicans have tried to delay the law through the Continuing Resolution (CR), but have been met with resistance from the White House and Senate Democrats.

These policy disagreements have prevented President Obama and House Republicans from coming to an agreement on the CR, resulting in a government shutdown.

But the poll, which was taken before the shutdown and released yesterday, found that 68% of Americans believe that a government shutdown will be a bad thing and 46% blame Republicans in Congress for the impasse. Just 36% blame President Barack Obama.

It’s important to note that the share of blame Republicans received has dropped from a CNN poll earlier this month, from 51% to the current 46%. The blame President Obama received rose by 3 points.

Sixty percent (60%) of Americans said that the most important job Congress has is to approve a budget agreement that would avoid a government shutdown. Just 34% believe that Congress should block funding for ObamaCare.

Take from the poll what you will, but it indicates that Republicans are still winning the messaging war on ObamaCare, despite President Obama and his allies efforts to sell the law to a skeptical American public. It’s too early to guess what the ramifications will be or if Republicans will be able to turn the narrative around. But entering into the shutdown, Republicans have their work cut out for them.

Poll: 60% of Americans say the government has too much power

The number of Americans who believe the federal government is too powerful has reached a record high, according to a poll released earlier this week by Gallup, though the historical numbers reflect partisan divisions depending on which party controls the White House.

The Gallup poll, conducted between September 5-8, found that 60% of American adults believe that the federal government is too powerful, surpassing the previous high recorded in September 2012, while 32% say that the government has about the right amount of power, which is a record low.

Just 7% of Americans believe that the federal government has too little power.

An eye-popping 81% of Republicans believe that the federal government has too much power. And though only 38% of Democrats agree with that view, that number is up from 28% just last year. Sixty-five percent (65%) of independents believe the government has too much power.

The Obama Administration has come under criticism from both Republicans and Democrats concerned about the erosion of civil liberties through the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which collects Americans’ phone and Internet metadata even if they’re not suspected of a crime. The Internal Revenue Service’s politically motivated targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups has been heavily criticized by Republicans.

But the historical patterns show that Republicans (Bush 2003-2009) and Democrats (2009 to present) are less likely to think the federal government has too much power when their party has control of the White House, as you can see in the chart below.

Gallup: Economy, jobs remain Americans’ top concerns

The economy and related economic issues remain at the top of Americans’ concerns, according to a poll released by Gallup on Friday.

Gallup asked 2,059 Americans over the age of 18 about the most important problems facing the United States. Unsurprisingly, 25% of Americans said the economy is the most pressing issue, followed by 19% of respondents who listed unemployment and jobs as their biggest concern. Seventeen percent (17%) said that dissatisfaction with government was the most important problem facing the nation.

President Barack Obama has tried to turn his attention back to the economy in recent weeks amid scandals that have come out of his administration and falling poll numbers. His approval rating on the economy fell to dismal 35%, according to a survey released last week by Gallup, and his overall approval rating is underwater, via Real Clear Politics, sits at 45/50.

Americans are not at all concerned about issues that President Obama has tried to push through Congress or unilateral executive action.

Obama “Pivots” to Focus on Economy…Again

Last week, Obama gave a speech before attendees at Knox College in his political home state of Illinois, a speech which signified a “pivot to the economy”, a new laser focus on job creation and improving the quality of life for the middle class. Some of you may be confused, recalling that Obama has declared a pivot to the economy before (14 times before, according to the Republican National Committee’s estimate, which only goes back to the beginning of 2011, or nineteen times, according to political reporter Salena Zito’s unofficial count).

But no, this is not the same as those other pivots. This is nothing like the stimulus bill which failed to stimulate the economy and actually INCREASED the unemployment rate by more than two points; and it is certainly nothing like “Recovery Summer” or “Recovery Summer 2” (or 3 or 4), which saw no actual recovery. No, this time, after nearly five years in office, he really, really means it!

And that is good news, considering how much the economy has struggled under the leadership in his administration (that new-fangled “leading from behind” technique that Obama has mastered). Under Obama, we now have more people on food stamps than at any time in the history of our nation. In fact, we have more people on food stamps than are employed in private sector jobs. And a disproportionate number of the few new jobs that are being created are either temp jobs, or work in the food and service industries, which typically are lower on the pay scale. So we sure are lucky that he is going to shine that brilliant intellect of his on our economic problems (I’d try to quantify just how brilliant but he hasn’t really been forthcoming with his work while in college…probably out of kindness so that the rest of us little people won’t be intimidated by just how much smarter he is than all of us!).

Gallup: Majority Says Government Too Powerful

Throughout the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has been making the case for more government involvement in the lives of Americans. But the recent scandals that have become frontpage news have gone right to the heart of President Obama’s message. And they seem to have caught the eye of Americans.

According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe the government has too much power. That’s up from 51% just last year, but down from the high of 59% in late 2010, just before the mid-term elections:

 Majority Says Government Too Powerful

The case against a big government was perhaps best made by David Axelrod as he was trying to defend President Obama, to whom he served as an advisor. “[W]e have a large government,” he claimed as he made a case for President Obama’s lack of knowledge about the IRS scandal.

It’s been said that the conservative and libertarian case against big government often falls on deaf ears because Americans don’t know what it means and we, as limited government advocates, cannot properly relay it. But the IRS scandal is the one, as Chris Matthews recently explained, is the one that can resonate with voters because it hits so close to home.

Rand Paul asks important questions about Obama’s drones on “Fox News Sunday”

Rand Paul on

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been spending a lot of time recently working to bring transparency to President Barack Obama’s drones program.

A recently released memo from the Department of Justice laid out a tenuous legal justification for drone strikes on American citizens. While the Obama Administration has promised to explain the “mechanisms” by which they choose their targets, there are still many questions to be answered, including the constitutional issues that come with ignoring the right to due process.

Sen. Paul has said that the nomination of John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is more important than Chuck Hagel’s nomination, which Republicans successfully — though only temporarily — stalled last week. He has asked some hard, pointed questions of John Brennan about President Obama’s drones program, including whether or not the White House would carry out drone strikes on American citizens on American soil. But no real answers have been given, and the lack of transparency with this program and the role the CIA will play has prompted Sen. Paul to call Brennan’s nomination the “preeminent libertarian concern.”

Sen. Paul responded to criticism that he has faced from neoconservatives about this issue during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.


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