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Military Brass Oppose Iran Deal

Written by:  Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Familes

Two weeks ago, Big Media and the left made a big deal over the fact that three dozen retired admirals and generals signed a joint letter supporting the president’s nuclear deal with Iran. Yesterday, more than five times that number sent a letter to Congress urging opposition to the deal.

One hundred and ninety retired admirals and generals told congressional leaders that removing sanctions on Iran threatened Middle East peace. They warned that far from cutting off all pathways to a bomb, the deal “allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb.” They wrote that the agreement, with its secret side deals, was “unverifiable.”

They are right on all counts.

In addition, Dennis Ross and Gen. David Petraeus, both of whom served in the Obama Administration, wrote a joint op-ed in the Washington Post this week. According to Ross and Petraeus, the deal allows Iran to expand its nuclear program, adding that it treats Iran “like Japan or the Netherlands — but Iran is not Japan or the Netherlands when it comes to its behavior.”

They state that “deterrence is the key” to making sure the Iranians do not attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, deterrence doesn’t seem to be in the president’s vocabulary. Every time he insists that our only options are this terrible deal or war, he makes it clear that the military option is off the table.

But Ross and Petraeus have a solution:

“While some may question whether we would act militarily if the Iranians were to dash to a bomb, no one questions whether the Israelis would do so. . . . Providing the Israelis the MOP [bunker busting 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator bombs] and the means to carry it would surely enhance deterrence.”

Texas Lt. Governor Looking For Conservative Voices!

Dan Patrick

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is looking for conservative voices!

Below is a list of the boards and commissions the Lieutenant Governor makes appointments and nominations to:

2036 Commission, Texas
Adult Offender Supervision, Texas State Council for Interstate
Adult Stem Cell Research Coordinating Board, Texas
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Texas Council on
Assessments and Accountability, Texas Commission on Next Generation
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee
Cemetery Committee, State (lieutenant governor submits list to governor)
Charitable Campaign Policy Committee, State Employee
Communities in Schools Advisory Committee
Demographer, Office of State (lieutenant governor submits list to governor)
Developmental Disabilities, Executive Committee of the Office for the Prevention of
Economic Development Stakeholders, Advisory Board of
Economic Incentive Oversight Board
Elections Advisory Committee
Emergency Communications, Commission on State
Emissions Reduction Plan Advisory Board, Texas
Ethics Commission, Texas (selected from lists submitted by senate political parties)
Facilities Commission, Texas
High School Completion and Success Initiative Council (lieutenant governor submits list to education commissioner)
Holocaust and Genocide Commission, Texas
Homeless, Texas Interagency Council for the
Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant Program Advisory Board
Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee
Penal Laws, Commission to Study Non-Criminal
Poet Laureate, State Musician, and State Artists Committee, Texas
Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board
Preservation Trust Fund Advisory Board, Texas
Primary Care Residency Advisory Committee
Small Business Assistance Advisory Task Force, Office of
Small Business Compliance Assistance Advisory Panel
Sunset Advisory Commission
Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee
Transportation Advisory Committee, Public

If interested, please complete Appointment Application.

Phone # for Lt. Governor’s office 512-463-0001

Grad-School Loan Binge Fans Debt Worries

August 21, 2015

A growing number of Americans owe more than $100,000 in student debt and are having difficulty paying it back. Most are paying less than the interest on their balance taking advantage of a federal income-based repayment program, says Josh Mitchell in the Wall Street Journal.

Student debt has doubled since the recession to $1.19 trillion and is likely to become a topic for debate in the 2016 presidential race.

Post graduate students, who account to 14% of students in higher education, are responsible for 40% of this debt. Some federal programs have made it easy for students to borrow huge sums of money and eventually have those debts forgiven.

These Federal programs have had unintended consequences:

  • Graduate schools have been able to keep raising tuition.
  • High-earning graduates who can afford to repay their loans have been subsidized without careful consideration.
  • The students’ ability to repay is not carefully assessed.
  • The amount of students who owe more than $100K has swelled to 1.82 million in 2015.

The current administration has stood behind this program claiming that graduate students have the highest earning potential and will most likely repay their loans. These programs are also designed to generate income for taxpayers. Nonetheless, there has been a rise in enrollment in debt forgiveness programs and an expansion in the less stringent repayment program will cost taxpayers $15.3 billion.

Many borrowers are planning to combine debt forgiveness programs with income-based repayment plans. Debt forgiveness was devised to encourage graduates to remain in public sector jobs instead of leaving for the higher-paying private sector. However, recent studies show that the programs are benefiting the people who need it the least.

Source: Josh Mitchell, “Grad-School Loan Binge Fans Debt Worries,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2015.

– Read online from NCPA HERE…

Only 20 to 40 Cents of Each Medicaid Dollar Benefits Recipients

August 21, 2015

Medicaid is jointly funded by state and federal governments. It grows regardless of the state of the economy and its main purpose is to help those without enough income to pay for their medical care, says senior fellow John R. Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

However, a study conducted in 2008 in Oregon found out that:

  • Medicaid increased the use of health services and reduced the risk of large out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Nevertheless, it did not improve mortality of any physical health measure.
  • Of a figure of $1,576 only $465 was directly related to health care. The rest only freed up resources for other types of consumption.
  • The net cost to taxpayers was $1,374 per recipient.
  • The amount of government spending that was simply transferred to providers was $2,222.
  • Yet Medicaid spending keeps growing, and is much larger than other welfare programs.

The author concludes that Medicaid spending should be reduced and the funds converted to vouchers instead of being paid to providers directly, says Graham.

Source: John R. Graham, “Only 20 to 40 Cents of Each Medicaid Dollar Benefits Recipients” Providence Journal, August 16, 2015.

Read online from NCPA HERE.

Head of EPA: Obama’s Clean Power Plan will hit low-income minorities hardest, but they’ll get ‘incredible savings’ by 2030

**Written by Doug Powers
August 20, 2015

Barack Obama admitted in 2008 that energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket” after his war on coal commenced, but what he didn’t share for obvious political reasons was who would feel the pinch the most. EPA chief Gina McCarthy, still reeking of Animas River pollution, had more details the Dems would rather remain swept under the rug until next year’s election is over:

When speaking about the higher energy prices caused by the administration’s climate regulations on power plants, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.”

But low income Americans can rest easy, because just prior to that, McCarthy claimed that because of the new regs the increased energy price “tapers off to incredible savings by 2030?:

 In other words, “your energy bill will heal itself after another mess we’re about to cause.”

The “future huge savings” dangling carrot is an eco-friendly hologram. And even if somebody were to catch up to that carrot, they’d find that the price of carrots will have also at least doubled thanks to these efforts to “save the planet.”

 

Sleep well: UN plans to keep Iran in check with nuclear containment by honor system

*Written by Doug Powers

If you thought the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration was ill-advised, just wait until the United Nations adds their fingerprints to it:

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Oh, this should be really effective, and it will ultimately come with the blessing of the legacy-hungry Obama administration:

Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

The revelation on Wednesday newly riled Republican lawmakers in the U.S. who have been severely critical of a broader agreement to limit Iran’s future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the wider deal is unwisely built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration has insisted it depends on reliable inspections.
[…]
The investigation has been essentially deadlocked for years, with Tehran asserting the allegations are based on false intelligence from the U.S., Israel and other adversaries. But Iran and the U.N. agency agreed last month to wrap up the investigation by December, when the IAEA plans to issue a final assessment.

That assessment is unlikely to be unequivocal. Still, it is expected to be approved by the IAEA’s board, which includes the United States and the other nations that negotiated the July 14 agreement. They do not want to upend their broader deal, and will see the December report as closing the books on the issue.

Don’t worry though, because the U.N. is also reportedly — at the behest of the White House — negotiating a deal that would downgrade Ayatollah-led “death to America” rhetoric at anti-West protests in Tehran to less confrontational chants of “severe discomfort to America.” Iran will of course be relied upon for confirmation of compliance.

Reagan: Trust but verify.

Obama admin and the U.N.: Trust as long as the people you’re trusting will also do you a solid and verify just to save your people a trip.

You know, Obama’s Clean Power Plan sort of punishes states that voted for Romney

By:  HotAir, August 20, 2016

So, another major policy battle is brewing. It pits the president against GOP governors once again, with some presidential candidates possibly weighing in as this regulatory nightmare draws nearer. Carly Fiorina was the only 2016 Republican candidate who mentioned the Environmental Protection Agency’s new policy aimed at combating the non-threat of global warming during the “happy hour” debate on August 6.  Remember, ever since Malia had an asthma attack, fighting global warming has become personal to Obama. The policy has been announced; it aims to cut greenhouse gas emission by nearly 30 percent from 2005 levels; it will gut millions of jobs for blacks and Hispanics; and will burden rural Americans. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Clean Power Plan punishes red states (via Politico):

The original draft took it easiest on states with the heaviest reliance on dirty fossil fuels—states that nevertheless complained the most about Obama’s supposedly draconian plan. The final rule cracks down much harder on those states, while taking it much easier on states that are already moving toward cleaner sources of electricity.

Check out this excellent chart compiled by my colleague Alex Guillen. North Dakota would have been required to cut emissions just 10.6 percent to comply with the draft rule, the least of any state; it will have to cut emissions 44.9 percent to comply with the final rule, the most of any state except for similarly fossil-fueled Montana and South Dakota. Coal-rich Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana were also among the biggest losers in the revised plan. Meanwhile, the states that are already greening their grid—led by Washington, Oregon and New York—were the biggest winners in the final rule.

That is a radical change. The EPA acknowledged in the plan that it “rectifies what would have been an inefficient, unintended outcome of putting the greater reduction burden on lower-emitting sources and states.” As EPA air quality chief Janet McCabe explained to me in an interview: “We got a lot of comments making the same point you did.” But it hasn’t gotten attention, perhaps because coal-state politicians cried wolf so loudly about the draft. It’s the result of a decision to calculate emissions according to a uniform measurement for every power plant rather than a weirdly calibrated analysis of what’s reasonable for individual states.

But whether or not the new approach is more technically or legally defensible, getting tougher on dirtier states could have a dramatic effect on results, because states like Kentucky and West Virginia were always unlikely to do any more than the legal minimum, while states like California and Massachusetts are unlikely to stop their transitions to cleaner energy once they achieve compliance.

After reading that this plan will increase electricity costs by 10-15 percent, which would torpedo any hope of reviving manufacturing in this country, which is a sector that usually carries seven support jobs, you can see on paper that this administration, nay, this Democratic Party has no interest in creating a serious jobs program.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute noted that this policy is cap-and-trade by another name:

Continue reading “You know, Obama’s Clean Power Plan sort of punishes states that voted for Romney”

Court says Texas Voter ID law is only slightly unconstitutional

From: HOT AIR – August 6, 2015

A decision by a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel to call the Texas Voter ID law unconstitutional isn’t as big of a win as some are making it out to be. It’s true the panel upheld a previous judge’s ruling the law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, but it’s important to look at what the panel said. They noted the law was basically unintentionally discriminatory.

As such, we conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. As discussed below, we remand for a consideration of the appropriate remedy in light of this finding in the event that the discriminatory purpose finding is different.

One thing which is really interesting is how the panel agreed with Texas on the problem of the previous voting system.

Simply reverting to the system in place before SB 14’s passage would not fully respect these policy choices—it would allow voters to cast ballots after presenting less secure forms of identification like utility bills, bank statements, or paychecks.

One thing which is really interesting is how the panel agreed with Texas on the problem of the previous voting system.

Simply reverting to the system in place before SB 14’s passage would not fully respect these policy choices—it would allow voters to cast ballots after presenting less secure forms of identification like utility bills, bank statements, or paychecks.

The justices then makes a couple suggestions on what ID’s should be acceptable.

One possibility would be to reinstate voter registration cards as documents that qualify as acceptable identification under the Texas Election Code….However, we recognize that the district court must assess this potential solution in light of other solutions posited by the parties, including other forms of photo identification.

Continue reading “Court says Texas Voter ID law is only slightly unconstitutional”

In Iowa, Ted Cruz woos the right with business owners who refuse same-sex couples

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz greeted visitors at the Iowa State Fair on Friday.

8.21.15 – Dallas Morning News

http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/08/in-iowa-ted-cruz-woos-the-right-with-business-owners-who-refuse-same-sex-couples.html/

 “In Iowa, Ted Cruz woos the right with business owners who refuse same-sex couples”

WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH TED CRUZ HERE.

Todd J. Gillman Follow @toddgillman Email tgillman@dallasnews.com

Excerpts from this article:

DES MOINES, Iowa –Cruz will spend much of the day at the Iowa State Fair. But that will be mere warm-up for an event he’s been promoting for a month, featuring some of the florists and bakers who’ve faced fines, financial ruin and protests for refusing services to same-sex couples.

…For the Friday evening rally, Cruz assembled an A-team (or rogues gallery, depending on your view) conscientious objectors — florists, bakers and others who have refused to provide services to same-sex couples.

These VIP guests include:

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery, in Gresham, Ore. In July, the state’s labor commission ordered them to pay $135,000 for emotional damages to a lesbian couple from nearby Portland, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer. The Kleins refused to make their wedding cake – but the state ruled that their religious beliefs don’t trump state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Kleins have appealed.

Dick and Betty Odgaard: In 2013, the Mennonite couple refused to host a same-sex wedding at the Gortz Haus Gallery, a former church they converted to an art gallery, flower shop, bistro and wedding venue in Grimes, Iowa, near Des Moines. Last year, the state Civil Rights Commission fined them $5,000. In January, they stopped hosting all weddings to avoid further penalties. Struggling financially, they closed their doors entirely last month. A month ago, Cruz released a video of a chat with the Odgaards as a way to drum up support for the rally.

Kelvin Cochran: In January, Atlanta’s fire chief was fired by Mayor Kasim Reed, a few months after being suspended over a self-published book that compares homosexuality to bestiality. Cochran has sued the city in federal court, alleging religious discrimination.

Barronelle Stutzman: The Washington state florist refused to provide flowers for a pair of grooms in 2013, prompting international attention, protests, threats and an outpouring of support. A judge ordered a $1,000 fine that she is appealing. She defends her actions.

Blaine Adamson: The owner of a Kentucky print shop declined a T-shirt order in 2012 from an LGBTQ group, citing religious disagreement with the message: “Lexington Pride Festival.” The shirt listed sponsors of the gay-pride event on the back. The city’s Human Rights Commission found the action violated a local non-discrimination ordinance.  In April, a judge overturned that ruling.

Phillip Monk: In 2013, then an Air Force senior master sergeant, Monk became a cause célèbre for Christian conservatives who objected to repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He had clashed with an openly lesbian commanding officer at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for refusing to declare his own support for same-sex marriage.

Candidates for Texas Senate District 1

MEET BRYAN
Representative Bryan Hughes

Bryan Hughes represents District Five in the Texas House of Representatives, where he works for the folks of Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith, Titus, and Wood Counties. Rep. Hughes currently sits on the House Committee on Appropriations, as well as the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues.

Born and raised in East Texas, he attended Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, receiving his BBA in Economics, cum laude, in 1992. From there he went on to Baylor University School of Law, where he received his law degree in 1995.

He was honored to be chosen by US District Judge William Steger of Tyler to serve as his Law Clerk, a position he held from 1995-1997.

In his first run for office in 2002, Bryan was elected with 52% of the vote against a long-time incumbent. In 2004, he was reelected by a 62% margin and in 2006 with 82% of the vote. He was unopposed for reelection in 2008 and 2010. Facing his first ever opposition in the Republican Primary in 2012, Bryan was honored to be elected by a 77% margin. In 2014, Bryan won with his highest margin ever – 92%.

In 2007, Tyler Junior College honored Bryan with its Valuable Young Alumnus award. Additionally, in 2008 he was chosen by his law school as the Baylor Young Lawyer of the Year. The University of Texas at Tyler in 2013 named him a Distinguished Alumni.

He has received numerous awards for his work in the Legislature, including the Taxpayer Champion Award from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the Horizon Award from Texas Right to Life, and “Defender of the American Dream” from Americans for Prosperity. In 2011, Texas Right to Life named Bryan Hughes the Pro-Life Whip of the Texas House.

Bryan was the first member of his family to receive a Bachelor’s degree. As a small businessman, he knows about hard work and the value of a dollar. Bryan is a leader in his church, a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer, and active in civic and community organizations.


 

Republican State Representative for East Texas:

Representative Simpson has consistently been ranked as one of the ten most conservative State Representatives for all 3 sessions he has served the people of East Texas.

David Simpson was grateful to be elected State Representative of House District Seven in 2010 after defeating a seven-term incumbent in the March Republican primary and then a general election challenge that November. He was then re-elected to a second term by a large margin in 2012 and without opposition in 2014. District Seven is presently comprised of Gregg and Upshur Counties and includes the cities of Longview, Gilmer, Kilgore, Gladewater, Liberty City, White Oak and Clarksville City.

Deep Roots in Texas:
David is a seventh generation Texan. He was born in Lubbock and grew up in Dallas, spending summers and weekends in East Texas at the family’s home place in Avinger, where his family settled in the mid 1800s. David and his family have lived in Longview since 2000.

Family:
David and Susan Simpson have been married for 30 years. They have been blessed with seven children, ranging in age from eleven to twenty-eight. All are independent now except for the youngest two that are still at home. They also have two grandsons. David and his family enjoy hiking, target shooting, and four-wheeling together.

Faith and Church:
David is an active member of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, where he has led its prayer meeting and occasionally taught. For a summary statement of his Christian faith click here.

Public Service:
David served several terms as Mayor of the City of Avinger, Texas, from 1993 to 1998. During this time he led several revitalization projects to renew and restore downtown Avinger. He also led the city council to establish a municipal court and law enforcement department. President George W. Bush, when he was Governor of Texas, commissioned David to serve as a member of the Ark-Tex Regional Review Committee in 1996. David then resigned as Mayor in August 1998 when he moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, due to his employment with Republic Group.

Education:
David is a 1979 graduate of Highland Park High School, a 1983 graduate of Vanderbilt University, receiving a B.A. in philosophy, and a 1988 graduate of Trinity Ministerial Academy of Montville, New Jersey.

Business Experience:
David is President and Chief Executive Officer of Avinger Timber LLC, which owns and manages timberlands in several counties in northeast Texas. He also manages other small businesses, including Simpson Publishing Company, which he founded. Previously he was employed by Republic Group Inc. (formerly NYSE: RGC) as Manager of Mill Operations (1998 – 2000) and Executive Vice President-Paperboard (2000). He was a director of the company from 1994 to 1998 and again in 2000 until it was sold.