Trump, Trumpies, And RINOs Trouble The GOP

Donald Trump did wonders for Fox News’ ratings and Megyn Kelly’s star power last week.

But “The Donald” didn’t do himself, the Republican Party or the conservative cause any favors.

Millions of viewers saw clear evidence that Trump is not a serious Republican candidate or really a conservative.

He espoused no conservative principles or policies. He offered no ideas or specific conservative solutions to any domestic or foreign problem.

All he proved — as if the whole TV audience didn’t already know — was that he’s an egomaniacal billionaire who’s certain he’d make a good Republican president.

During the debate, he repeated his shallow generalities about building a high wall to stop illegal immigration, making better trade deals with China and the serial incompetence of our leaders in Washington.

And he boasted that “I’m rich. I buy candidates. Government is broken. I can fix it.”

Because he appeals mostly to people who listen to conservative talk radio 24/7, Trump has won over a large number of Republicans and conservatives who mistakenly think he is one of them.

Trump’s poll numbers in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere have gone up since last week. They remain embarrassingly high for the Republican Party, but they’ll start falling to Earth soon.

It’ll happen when his Don Rickles routine wears thin, his liberal tendencies are exposed and the GOP’s bloated preseason roster gets cut down to Jeb, Scott, John, Rand, Ted and probably Carly.

Meanwhile, Trump has issued a threat to the Republican Party.

He said that if it does not treat him “fairly” or with “respect,” whatever that means, he might run next fall as an independent or a third party candidate.

Trump calls his threat “leverage,” but I think others would call it “extortion” or “blackmail.”

If he doesn’t get his way, he’d be willing to sabotage the GOP in 2016 and almost certainly give Hillary, Joe Biden or even Bernie the Socialist the keys to the White House.

Meanwhile, as if Trump was not causing enough trouble for the GOP, the party has to deal with a chronic problem within its own conservative ranks that cost it the last presidential election.

For some reason, many Republicans and conservatives have become their own worst enemies.

If they don’t agree with 100 percent of everything a primary candidate says or does, they call him or her a “Republican in name only” and they’re against them.

It’s gotten totally nuts and self-defeating. As a party, we laud Jeb for his many successes as a conservative governor of Florida.

But because he’s in favor of Common Core or immigration reform, some conservatives declare him a RINO unfit to be president.

It’s the same with John Kasich.

Conservatives love him because he brought us a balanced budget in Washington as a congressman and then went on to turn Ohio around as governor.

But because recently he accepted federal Medicaid money for Ohio, some conservatives don’t think he should be president. He’s a RINO.

To make matters worse, if their favorite in the primary doesn’t win, many conservative Republicans won’t show up in the general election to vote for president. Ask Mitt Romney how that works out.

Conservatives love to drop my father’s name and try to find candidates that act and think like he did. But they forget that Ronald Reagan was an 80-20 guy.

He was happy to agree with 80 percent of a Republican candidate’s views because he knew that he’d never find someone with whom he agreed 100 percent.

He didn’t make the perfect conservative the enemy of the good conservative. And he always, always, always supported the final choice of the Republican Party — even after they beat him in the primary.

Finally, may I remind everyone that as governor, Ronald Reagan, the great conservative, raised taxes and signed an abortion bill?

That would disqualify him as a RINO by today’s standards. Yet he was the best president in our lifetime.

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 – Equipping You With The Truth

Jeb Bush Has To Provide Government Reform Details

Congratulations to Jeb Bush for promising as president to take on the Washington bureaucracy. But, as they say, the devil is in the details.

He has credibility. As Florida governor, Bush cut the state bureaucracy by 11 percent over his eight years. If he becomes president, he now proposes to freeze federal employment and then reduce it by 10 percent over the four year presidential term through attrition.

Bush qualifies this with a “three-out, one in” proviso allowing one new employee for every three slots cut.

This sounds good in today’s rapid news cycle, but the details reveal important qualifications. He relies primarily on retirements to meet his goal. What happens if they are not sufficient?

Attrition alone also allows the better employees to leave, creating imbalances.

Yes, most of the reduction should be by attrition; but some must be fired to target program functions that need to be cut or eliminated. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency when he reduced non-defense civilian employment by 100,000, 90 percent of separations were by attrition; but the other ten percent were aimed at bad programs to show he was serious about the whole effort.

Bush did say that program reform is critical and promised tax, regulatory and entitlement reforms — but will only detail them sometime in the future. He did specifically propose a line item veto, a balanced budget amendment, procurement reform, and baseline budgeting — all of which would be positive but have been languishing for years.

His proposal not to pay Congressmen who do not vote is simply silly and impossible to become law. And his plans to limit lobbying sound as good as they did from Barack Obama until someone reminds folks of the Constitutional right to petition the government.

The heart of his proposal is to reform the civil service, which he correctly recognizes is dysfunctional. But he misrepresents the source of the problem, saying that much of today’s bureaucracy “is a relic from the 1970s and the Carter administration,” which “didn’t have the taxpayers’ interest foremost in mind.”

Actually, Jimmy Carter’s one real accomplishment as president was the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 which was implemented by the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981, and actually rationalized the performance appraisal system and introduced pay-for-performance for senior executives and managers.

Unfortunately, it was President George H.W. Bush who presided over the elimination of merit pay for managers and the downgrading of performance management. In the wake of 9/11, President George W. Bush attempted to reintroduce performance management at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security; but these were stalled by the unions and their friends in Congress and were finally abandoned.

Gov. Bush promises to do better. He recognizes the feds are paid more than the private sector, they have much richer benefits, and the bad ones are rarely disciplined or removed.

He proposes “no more doling out raises across the board,” to reintroduce merit pay and financial rewards for good performance, and to remove nonproductive employees in “weeks rather than years.”

What is missing but essential is a focus on contractors who make up the great majority of those who do national government work but are not formal employees. As the public has lost confidence in bureaucratic expertise, it has proved impossible to increase the size even under Democratic presidents and Congresses.

As political scientist John J. Dilulio, Jr. shows in his book “Bring Back the Bureaucrats,” to run the present government even marginally well it would be necessary to add a million or more bureaucrats.

The federal government has increased its programs exponentially on the domestic side since Reagan, but it has roughly the same number of employees. How can that be?

The answer is private or lower-level government contractors do the work, about 8 to 1 for every national government employee.

In Florida, Bush did cut some 13,000 state jobs but mostly converted them into government contractors and increased the total overall. He cut taxes by $20 billion, but his budget authority increased from $49 to $71 billion–an incredible two-thirds growth. Debt increased from $15 to $23 billion and the debt service from $928 million to $1.7 billion per year.

State government actually increased dramatically during the Bush years.

It is refreshing to hear government management reform given such emphasis. It has not been front and center in a presidential election since President Jimmy Carter. But Carter used it as an alternative to reducing governmental functions. Hopefully, Gov. Bush will not

As an excellent new study by the CATO Institute’s Chris Edwards, “Why the Government Fails,” documents, the real problem is over-centralization; and the only real solution is to cut programs and send functions back to state, local and private institutions.

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 – Equipping You With The Truth

The 5-Word Question Candidates Won’t Be Asked In The Debate, But Should All Answer

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter shared on Fox News’ The Kelly File Wednesday night the one question she would like every presidential candidate asked.

The bestselling author has been very clear in recent years about the subject that has driven her train in recent years: immigration.

In her newly released book, Adios America: The Left’s Plan to Turn America Into a Third World Hellholeshe takes an in depth look at the topic.

Megyn Kelly cited a newly released CBS poll to Coulter, which found that 55 percent of Republican voters believe immigrants who are in the country illegally should be allowed to stay, while 41 percent indicated they should be required to leave.

Coulter responded by saying a lot depends on how questions are asked regarding immigration. Nobody wants to be seen as mean or uncaring towards the people who are here.

“A lot [of immigrants] are admirable. A lot of them are good people,” said Coulter. “That shouldn’t be the question for someone running for the president of the United States. The question should be does this help America? I would like to ask them, ‘How many immigrants are enough?’”

She said the United States currently has 42 million immigrants. She wondered: do we cut off immigration at 100 million? 200 million? “How many are enough?”

For those who point to Ronald Reagan as a model for how to handle immigration today, Coulter says the times are different. It is true Reagan signed legislation allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens. But when he was in the White House, 1 in 16 people in the country was foreign-born; today, it is approximately 1 in 7, Coulter pointed out.

Census foreign born

h/t: TheBlaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

What Happened When A 16-Year-Old And His Pregnant Girlfriend Went To Abortion Clinic Is Going Viral

Image for representational purposes only.

A four-sentence story, along with a picture of a child whose teenage parents chose life, has gone viral.

Over 720,000 have “liked” the posting on the popular Facebook photo blog Humans of New York, which reads:

“I was 16 when my girlfriend got pregnant. We went to the abortion clinic on 59th Street. We filled out the papers and everything. Then right before we were called back, we looked at each other, and said: ‘Let’s get out of here.’”

“I was 16 when my girlfriend got pregnant. We went to the abortion clinic on 59th Street. We filled out the papers and…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, July 20, 2015

The posting has also prompted nearly 10,000 comments; many of them consist of people sharing their stories of choosing life over abortion. Here is a sampling:

“*standing ovation* that’s what I call ‘courage.’” – Caroline

“My first child is adopted and she’s almost 3 months old. Her birth mom is one of the bravest people I know and she had made two appointments to go to an abortion clinic, but the both times she couldn’t go through with it. I’m forever grateful to her for giving us what we struggled for years to have.” – Erica.

“I was 16 and pregnant and also went to an abortion clinic. They did an ultrasound and turned the screen away from me. The doctor said I wasn’t allowed to see because it might make me change my mind. I started crying, sat up and said, “I think I just did, I’m keeping my baby.” Now my son is almost 9 years old, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.” – Daf

“October 16, 2000 will be a day I will never forget. I didn’t have the courage to walk out. Evan Alexander would have been 14. It took God a long time to heal my guilt and shame. Praying for you guys and your journey. Looking forward to holding my baby in heaven someday.” – Julie

“My then boyfriend, now husband and I did the same thing. I was on my way to the consultation appointment to abort and he called me as I walked out of my parents house and asked if I left yet. I told him no, and he said “don’t!” He heard a song on the radio on his way. A song that played at his aunt’s funeral. He said it was a sign that we need to keep the baby. I don’t think I have ever been more relieved in my life, then I was the moment I called the office and said I wouldn’t be coming in. Now she is 6 years old and we have a 3 year old boy and another little girl that will be born any day now. We are going strong ( going on 10 years) and we love our children with all of our hearts!” – Amanda

“Never heard of a woman who regretted not having an abortion.” – Christina

Perhaps, the recently released videos implicating Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, in the sale of aborted babies’ body parts has made the story of this young New York couple choosing life resonate all the more.

President Ronald Reagan recognized that the practice of abortion was not consistent with the nation’s founding beliefs and issued a proclamation to highlight the problem. In it, he followed the same reasoning President Abraham Lincoln used when he pointed out the Supreme Court’s error of not recognizing the personhood of Americans of African descent in the Dred Scott case.

Reagan stated: “America has given a great gift to the world, a gift that drew upon the accumulated wisdom derived from centuries of experiments in self-government.” “Our gift is twofold,” he continued, “the declaration, as a cardinal principle of all just law, of the God-given, unalienable rights possessed by every human being; and the example of our determination to secure those rights and to defend them against every challenge through the generations.”

He noted that one of those inalienable rights, “as the Declaration of Independence affirms so eloquently, is the right to life.” He highlighted the “tragic and unspeakable results” since the decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973 – the loss of tens of millions of unborn lives. The decision, the president wrote, thus cheapened the nation’s respect for human life.

Based on these observations, the proclamation closed: “I, Ronald Reagan…do hereby proclaim and declare the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.” Then, borrowing directly from the Emancipation Proclamation, he wrote: “‘Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.’”

h/t: The Blaze and Life Action News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism - Equipping You With The Truth

Cruz Goes On Fox News, Drops This Incredible Truth Bomb On ‘Washington Cartel’ And Trump

While some in the Republican presidential primary field have trashed Donald Trump for his controversial remarks on issues like immigration, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz explained in a recent interview that he was observing his party’s 11th commandment.

Often cited by Ronald Reagan, Republicans obeying the rule agree to never “speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

It is not only party unity, Cruz told Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity Wednesday, that keeps him from criticizing Trump.

“He’s a friend of mine,” he said of the real estate tycoon. “He and I have sat down and visited many, many times.”

As for the attention – both positive and negative – his comments have received, Cruz chalked it up to Trump’s willingness to address uncomfortable truths.

“And he’s taking on the Washington cartel,” he added.

Cruz went on to charge that several others in the primary field are not so open to hearing a conservative immigration message.

Trump has focused on “illegal immigration and sanctuary cities” in recent speeches, Cruz explained, adding that “a great many of the candidates in 2016 for the Republican nomination have been vocal aggressive advocates of amnesty.”

On this issue, he pointed out, both he and Trump represent the field’s minority.

“When we come to the first debates in a couple of weeks,” he asserted, “I’m going to be one of the very few major candidates on that stage who has never embraced amnesty.”

Instead of throwing stones at a fellow GOP candidate, Cruz said he would prefer to focus on real proposals to address our immigration problem, including his plan to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities and impose a mandatory five-year minimum sentence for anyone convicted of illegal re-entry into the U.S.

Is Trump right on immigration? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth