“What’s coming is going to be evil.” That’s the assessment of former Benjamin Netanyahu aide and accomplished author Joel Rosenberg on the future of Egypt. Rosenberg says the ascending to power of the Muslim Brotherhood is a nightmare for the region (and particularly Israel) since the new president loudly promoted Sharia Law and jihad during his campaign. Rosenberg tells us what the proper U.S. position should have been toward Egypt over the past couple of years in his estimation. He also sizes up the growing violence in Syria and the rising tensions between Syria and Turkey. Rosenberg also details his new book, “Implosion: Can America Recover from its Economic & Spiritual in Time?”. Rosenberg says he can’t answer the question posed in the subtitle but insists Americans need to get very serious now about reversing our huge debt and addressing our nation’s spiritual decline. He says the latter is not about engaging in the debate over key social issues but rather a need for a third Great Awakening in which Americans repent and turn back to God.
Archives for June 2012
Three Martini Lunch 6/27/12
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are pleasantly surprised by the number of Democrats announcing they will not attend their party’s convention this year. They’re also enjoying the Democratic insistence that this trend is nothing unusual. Greg and Jim dissect a new Obama ad trumpeting his work toward equal pay for women but the facts in the ad undermine Obama’s own argument. And they preview what will be a crazy and memorable Thursday in Washington.
Pandering Through Amnesty
It’s been over a week since President Obama announced a unilateral plan to allow young illegal immigrants to stay in this country and legally obtain work permits but critics are still fuming over what they see as an unconstitutional method to attain an overt political goal. Jim Gilchrist is the founder and head of the Minuteman Project – a group founded several years ago in response to what he considered the federal government’s abdication of border security responsibilities in the Bush administration. He is even more infuriated with what he sees as blatant political pandering now from President Obama through his executive order to implement key aspects of the DREAM Act.
The most significant changes would allow young illegals who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently younger than 30 to stay here and legally obtain work permits. Gilchrist rejects the compassion argument of going easy on young illegals since they didn’t consciously break the law. He asserts that breaking the law has consequences and young illegals should have to be sent home and get in line for the legal immigration process before being allowed to enter the U.S. again. Gilchrist says Obama is consciously encouraging illegal behavior in hopes of legalizing tens of millions of immigrants who shouldn’t be here. He says the ultimate goal is to turn the vast majority of current illegals into loyal Democratic voters.
Gilchrist has no love for Republicans either, as he contends the GOP would be doing the same thing if it thought most illegals would vote for them. In fact, he believes that’s exactly why President George W. Bush was so lenient towards illegals during his administration.
A Very Loud and Messy Time
Many political battles will play out in the coming months, but few loom larger than the scheduled tax increases set to take effect at the start of next year. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire, so are the payroll tax breaks and other provisions that could add up to a huge financial hit to American families. Both parties are opposed to letting all the cuts expire but there are major disagreements over what should be extended and which breaks can lapse. Rep. James Lankford is a member of the House Budget Committee. He says there will be a huge legislative fight over the expiring taxes in the lame duck session. Lankford tells us what his goals will be to protect taxpayers this year and what sort of permanent change he would like to promote in the new Congress.
Three Martini Lunch 6/26/12
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Dan Foster of National Review enjoy learning that Democrats had to cancel a huge pre-convention bash in Charlotte since it fell $27 million short of the $36.6 million needed to fund the event. They also lash out at the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Napolitano for responding to the Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s immigration laws by refusing to cooperate with Arizona authorities on detaining illegals. And they unload on TSA for opening an urn of cremated remains, spilling some of them in front of the grandson of the deceased and then laughing about it.
Farm Subsides: A Growing Debate
Adam Ulbricht of Radio America looks at a growing divide over agricultural subsidies in the United States. During congressional debates over the recent Federal Farm bill, some lawmakers tried limiting subsides given to farmers, a practice that dates back to the Great Depression. Supporters are urging Congress to back new crop insurance programs, rather than traditional forms of payment. Don Carr of the Environmental Working Group, Francis Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Dale Moore of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute each shed light on this issue.
‘That Was the Central Issue’
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a mixed verdict on Arizona’s hotly debated immigration laws Monday, striking down much of the legislation but unanimously upholding the most contentious component of the law. The court ruled 8-0 that police in Arizona could request proof of legal residency from someone confronted over an unrelated violation if there is probable cause to believe the person may be here illegally. The high court also struck down provisions that would make it a state crime for illegals to apply for or hold a job. Illegals will also not be guilty of a state crime for not having proof of their legal residency on their person. All three of those provisions are currently in the federal law, but the Court ruled the state had no business entering an area of the law that was the domain of the federal government. Justice Antonin Scalia wanted the entire law upheld, saying Arizona should not be punished for wanting to enforce laws the federal government won’t enforce. He also said this ruling questions whether states can be considered to have any sovereignty. California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is one of the staunchest voices in Congress for tougher border enforcement. He says the the most important part of the Arizona law is the portion the court upheld and provides local and state authorities with much more latitude to keep their people safe. He does not seem worried about the components that were struck down and blames Democrats for failing to get serious about protecting our borders. Finally, Rohrabacher explains why President Obama’s recent efforts to attract Latino votes through leniency toward young illegals is going to backfire.
Energy Bill Really A Jobs Bill
On Thursday, while most of Washington was focused on the drama of a House committee finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, the full House passed a sweeping energy bill. The larger package contained seven smaller measures ranging from greater access to domestic supply of energy or fully reviewing new environmental regulations that most Republicans deem harmful to the energy industry in particular and to the economy as a whole. Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and represents a coal-rich district in eastern and southeastern Ohio. He walks us through the seven components of the bill and why he thinks they have the ingredients to spark the creation of a million new jobs – and at least 600,000 in the oil and gas industries alone. Johnson details how proposed regulations would be reviewed and he responds to allegations from Democrats that such a process would lead to dirtier air and more cases of lung cancer. Rep. Johnson also explains why he’s not optimistic about the bill’s fate in the Senate and he unloads of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying if Reid were in the military he’d be in Ft. Leavenworth for failing to do his job.
Three Martini Lunch 6/25/12
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review talk about the Supreme Court ruling that upholds a decision on corporate contributions to political campaigns. The Supreme Court also ruled on the Arizona Immigration law, striking down several portions of the bill but kept the most controversial provision alive. The Obama campaign is also urging supporters to ask their wedding and birthday guests to donate to his campaign instead of giving gifts.
Lankford Rebuts Pelosi, Carney
On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his ongoing refusal to fully cooperate with the ongoing probe into the botched Fast & Furious operation. In the intervening days, both Holder and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney have insisted that the Justice Department turned over all “relevant” documents. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi further alleges that this is all a Republican “scheme” to distract and discredit the man tasked with stopping GOP voter suppression efforts in this year’s elections. We get reaction from Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He also defends his committee vote and explains why it was necessary.