Will Iowa Put Walker On Path To Presidency?

Photo credit: Wisconsin National Guard (Flickr)

“Energetic” is the only word to describe Governor Scott Walker as he paced the stage in Iowa during his speech at Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit.

And though he was one of many speakers at the confab, he certainly gained the most politically – having received numerous standing ovations from the 1,200 assembled activists.

Governor Scott Walker isn’t the first name that rolls off your tongue when you talk about the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but he’s looking to change that completely…

Underdog Marks His Territory…

While bigger names such as Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Mitt Romney occupy the first tier of candidates, Walker hopes to change those dynamics in the Iowa caucuses.

Walker believes he (almost) has a hometown advantage. While he may be the Governor of Wisconsin, he did spend his early years in Iowa. His father, a preacher by trade, moved the family to Wisconsin to take a leadership position at a church when Walker was in the third grade.

Being Governor of a nearby state provides him with several advantages as he tries to knock off the favorites. He doesn’t have to travel far, and he can spend evenings in Iowa after working his day job as Governor of Wisconsin.

Make no mistake: Walker’s speech was targeted to the audience. It was intended to make the assembled Iowa activists feel they have an ally. Walker told the pro-lifers in the audience he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.

He told economic and business activists about his desire for tax cuts: “There’s a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April… because in America, we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”

Pushing his agenda even more, Walker gave reform-minded activists details about his battle with government worker unions in Wisconsin. You see, Walker is a hero to many because of his battles with these unions in Wisconsin. He made the most of the conflict in his speech, thanking the crowd for praying for him when the death threats came as a result of his courageous stand.

He also talked about the need for voter ID laws, a constant favorite of voters worried about voter fraud and ballot integrity.

To put it mildly, he knew just the bait to use to reel these activists in.

A Young, Spry Contender

Walker’s energy is likely the result of his youthfulness. After all, he is more than a decade younger than the GOP’s front-running competitors. Walker is only 47… while Jeb Bush is 61… and Mitt Romney is 67.

Some pundits have in the past called Walker boring and lacking charisma. But at the Iowa Freedom Summit, he nearly yelled as his passion bubbled forth. He made it crystal clear that he’s the candidate of smaller government.

Sure, the entire weekend was a festival of presidential contenders… Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Donald Trump… former Governors Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee… Senator Ted Cruz, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Neurosurgeon Ben Carson… you name it.

But as the Iowa caucuses approach a year from now, Governor Scott Walker made it well-known: He is determined to be a contender. And just to seal the deal, he promised to visit Iowa many times in the next 12 months.

Iowa, meet your newest ally.

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

SOTU Speech: Obama’s Finest Trickery

Stephen Goddard (Flickr)

On Tuesday, Barack Obama gave the most disgraceful State of the Union speech in history.

You could cut the air in the chamber as he attempted to call for civility in politics… which was quickly followed by him heckling the Republican Congress to their faces.

Obama’s “greatest” proposal is what some Republicans have called his “Robin Hood” package.

With tax revenue and spending at all-time highs, he still wants the government to get a bigger share of the nation’s revenue.

But remember, Robin Hood was a hero. And Obama isn’t fooling anyone…

The Tales of Robin the Hoodwinker…

Obama’s tax reform proposals wouldn’t be revenue neutral. Instead, he looks to increase taxes by $320 billion, aiming to fund a raft of new social programs. “Free” community college tuition is high on Obama’s “do-good” list.

But also taking precedence on the list are tax increases targeted at stock traders and investors. Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax rate from $0.20 to $0.28. He even had the audacity to say President Ronald Reagan accepted this high rate in the 1980s – forgetting to let his audience know Reagan wanted them lower.

On top of the new levy of capital gains, he wants to increase fees on America’s largest banks. These fees, like most corporate taxes, would flow on and be paid by the customers. (Read: average Americans struggling to make ends meet.)

Putting the nail in our economy’s coffin, Obama wants to raise estate taxes. This would hit small business and farmers hard.

Essentially, Obama’s hit list has been dubbed the “Robin Hood” tax package by Republicans. But this is the wrong rhetoric. You see, Robin Hood helped the poor against an overtaxing tyrannical state. Robin Hood fought the officials of the government.

Instead, Obama’s plan is more reminiscent of the Sheriff of Nottingham who abused the poor to fill the coffers of the greedy king.

More Tricks and Mind Games

Apparently, the idiots running the GOP communications operation don’t really understand how big government is strangling America.

Small businesses, the engine of a growing economy, are at an all-time low… and by the look of things, not many new ones are being created, either. After all, innovation and small business are what create jobs.

Plain and simple, the small guy gets hosed as Obama tells him everything that he’s doing is for him.

And while the Obama economy has favored the wealthy Obama donors who fill his campaign coffers, the number of billionaires is rapidly growing under his regime. You see, Obama’s stifling regulation kills competition against the big guys already in business. Therefore, the rich keep getting richer.

Sure, the president uses “class warfare” rhetoric; but it’s all a part of government doublespeak. It’s nothing but more Obama schemes and mind games…

Regardless of party lines, money talks. So when you hear that Obama’s plans are being called “dead on arrival,” don’t believe it. John Boehner and the Republicans could adopt many of Obama’s proposals in advance of the 2016 elections.

After all, they want to be liked, too… and keep in mind, Robin Hood was the protagonist of the story.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Cyber Security Proposals Threaten Privacy

Obama on Cuban Relations

In the name of fighting against cyber attacks, Barack Obama wants to change the rules that protect your personal data. You see, the real motherlode of data on Americans currently sits in private hands.

But Obama wants to move the data into the claws of law enforcement agencies.

The goal is to have private sector companies give even more information to the government, in exchange for protection against lawsuits for the misuse of data.

It’s a beneficial deal for the companies and the government, but what this deal implies for the consumer is downright frightening…

The leading privacy advocates were aghast at Obama’s latest moves against online privacy.

In a statement criticizing the Obama proposal, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said: “Introducing information-sharing proposals with broad liability protections, increasing penalties under the already-draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and potentially decreasing the protections granted to consumers under state data breach law are both unnecessary and unwelcomed. The status quo of overweening national security and law enforcement secrecy means that expanded information-sharing poses a serious risk of transferring more personal information to intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”

The False Solution for a True Problem

Cyber security is a real problem, but the biggest threats are outside the country. Hackers from Russia and China are threatening private firms and public networks via the internet. Instead of beefing up security against these threats, the Obama team wants to broadly collect more data on generally law-abiding American citizens.

In the internet world, this is akin to having the TSA search your 85-year-old grandma at the airport. The focus is all wrong.

If you clearly analyze the myriad proposals affecting the internet from the Obama administration, they all have one common denominator: they give the federal government more control over private activity and citizens.

Another frightening proposal is pending at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), one that would declare data networks to be public utilities. Reason being, once again, to give the government (in this case, the FCC) dramatically more power over internet providers.

Adding insult to injury, a third proposal uses the FCC to strike down laws in the states that prohibit government agencies from building broadband networks to compete against private firms. Obama and his team love the idea of socializing the internet by putting networks in the hands of local governments.

Bottom line: Should these three proposals pass, they’ll dramatically change the way the internet works. Government as the guardian of your private data? Check. Government as regulator of all private internet providers? Check. And finally, the government actually providing your internet access.

A government in control of all cyber space is slowly taking shape. Consider yourself warned.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama’s Foreign Policy Blunders To Explode

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

When it comes to foreign policy, 2014 might have seemed unstable. But the actual shooting wars were well contained.

As we look forward to 2015, however, the landscape looks more chaotic than ever.

Let’s take a tour through the top five foreign policy blunders that are about to erupt over the coming months…

Blunder #1: Iran. When Obama entered office, the containment of Iran was a primary objective of American policy. Iran was using Russian and North Korean technology to become a nuclear power with a stated objective of ending the “Jewish” occupation of Palestine.

Iran’s nuclear program is an existential threat that Israel cannot (and should not) allow. 2015 is the year Israel moves unilaterally to end this threat.

Obama has been trying to coax Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions through diplomacy. This has been an adventure in naivety. To his surprise, Obama’s coaxing has only given Iran the time and ability it needed to consolidate its technological gains.

Expect Iran to become a flashpoint in 2015.

Blunder #2: Syria. Next up is Syria. (Iran and Russia are involved here, also.) Bashar al-Assad has hung on as Syrian President against all odds. His civil war, which began as a legitimate democracy movement, metastasized into the Islamic State.

If Obama had left well enough alone and not encouraged jihadi warriors with his support of the Arab Spring, then Assad would have likely never seen his country disintegrate. We’re now in Syria fighting – essentially, with Assad – because of Obama’s earlier bloopers.

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Blunder #3: Iraq. The Islamic State also was greatly helped by Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq. Iraq has suffered under unbelievable incompetence by both Bush and Obama.

Bush should have never dissolved the Iraqi Army. And just as a new one was finally taking shape, Obama left the field, and they disintegrated (this time on the battlefield).

Blunder #4: Ukraine. Circle around to Ukraine, and you see Obama pushing Russia up against the wall with economic sanctions and military aggressiveness within sight of their border. How would America feel if Russia made a deal with Mexico to station Russian tanks on our southern border?

Ukraine deserves freedom, but real freedom will result not from economic sanctions and blustering talk. The country suffered horribly in 2014. Its currency has lost half of its value. Food and medicine are scarce; and in parts of the country, a live shooting war is taking place.

Vladimir Putin shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame. Putin has been aggressive and has tried to look strong, but he’s Russian and proud. The way to deal with Russia is how Reagan handled the situation. Be firm, but also extend the hand of friendship. Eternal economic sanctions only hurt the lower classes. The elites never feel the pain.

Blunder #5: Asia. Asia also has some really urgent problems. Rhetoric is heating up between India and Pakistan. These two nuclear powers just can’t keep from fighting. Essentially, it boils down to a religious war between Islamic Pakistan and the Hindu-influenced Indian government.

Obama has ignored Pakistan and encouraged instability there by using a highly destabilizing drone policy in which the United States insists it has the right to kill people inside of other sovereign nations. This is a policy fraught with unintended future consequences (none of them good).

Bottom line: I hope you’re prepared… Any of these Obama failures has the ability to spin out of control and strike U.S. financial markets – creating uncertainty, which limits economic growth and the future of peace.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Syria Causing Heated Debate On Capitol Hill

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

The big debate before the Committee on Foreign Relations is an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Syria.

Under normal circumstances, this would involve the Obama administration sending Congress a draft AUMF resolution and requesting its passage.

These types of resolutions are required under the War Powers Act, and have largely replaced the constitutionally required Declaration of War.

But Obama has sent nothing to Congress.

He seems to believe the open-ended resolution that was passed in 2002 – giving President Bush the authorization to oust Saddam Hussein – still gives him enough power to push ahead with war in Syria.

So, as Senate Democrats are rushing to pass one of these resolutions before Republicans take control of the Committee (and the U.S. Senate) in January, what can we expect to happen?

Not Another Iraq…

Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey (Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations for the next few weeks) wants any resolution to contain clear boundaries on troop deployments and a limited timeframe–the main reason being the Democrats’ frustration with the open-ended resolution Bush had on Iraq.

On December 10, Secretary of State John Kerry was on Capitol Hill arguing against the restriction. And here’s what he said before the Committee: “The fact is that we’re going to continue this operation, because the president and the administration are absolutely convinced – and I respect your opinion – [that] we have the authority.”

Translation: They believe they don’t need Congress’ okay.

In hindsight, it’s ironic that both Obama and Kerry held different opinions when they were in the U.S. Senate. As Senators, both were actively trying to limit President Bush’s actions as Commander-in-Chief.

Unconstitutional Moves?

At this point, the fight is primarily within the Democratic Party. Most Republicans are sitting on the sidelines because they believe the U.S. President has wide latitude to make his own decisions concerning the use of force. Heck, the majority of Republicans would give even Barack Obama a blank check to run the war anyway he pleases.

While the Republicans are mum, one stands alone – Rand Paul. And his position is much more principled. Paul believes we don’t need an AUMF resolution, but a full-blown Declaration of War (as mandated by the U.S. Constitution) before Obama moves forward.

At the same hearing… Paul said, “The Constitution is quite clear that this responsibility lies with Congress… For four or five months, we’ve been derelict in our duty… [and] I think this president has been derelict.”

So there’s the real division in D.C.: Both the Democrats and Republicans disregard the Constitution’s call for a Declaration of War – happy to settle with an AUMF. Obama has even less care for the rule of law, as he doesn’t even want a new AUMF.

And yet, only the Tea Party Constitutionalist Rand Paul wants a Declaration of War. And by the look of things, he’s completely outnumbered.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom