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Archive for December, 2011

By  , Fort Collins Republican Examiner

If congress won’t vote term limits for themselves, voters can do it for them. If you are for a two term limit for the Senate (12 years) and 3-4 term limit for the House (6-8 years), promote “term limits” as you vote.

Or, if a representative votes for something you don’t approve of, recall them. Make sure you let them know why you won’t be voting for them. Send a strong message. Of course, everyone will disagree about issues, even within party lines, so make sure you are sending a message about something you feel strongly about. Minor issues shouldn’t make or break a candidate or representative.

The New American has an article on December 28 urging voters to recall anyone who voted for the over-reaching National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 (NDAA). The NDAA calls for American citizens to be detained as “unlawful enemy combatants” and subject them to military tribunal.

By voting out representatives who have been in Washington long enough to get comfortable, we can keep them accountable. Sure, some might just go right back to Washington as a lobbyist, but fresh blood is a good thing.

If the US Congress has the lowest approval rating of 12.7% (Real Clear Politics for Dec. 14-18, 2011) and a disapproval rating of 84%, shouldn’t we make some big changes?

Originally, people ran for Congress to make a difference, then return to their chosen career, however, politicians are now in it for the long haul, especially with high salaries and benefits.

Look at the longest sitting, and current members of the Senate Daniel K. Inouve (D-HI), serving since 1963, that’s 48 years and Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), serving since 1975, 36 years. And in the House of Representatives, we have John Dingell (D-MI), who has been there for 56 years.

In Colorado, our two Senators are relatively new, Michael Bennet (D) has served since 2009, and Mark Udall (D) was elected in 2008, but served in the House before that (1999-2009).

In the House, members are up for re-election every two years. We have the following members serving for us in Washington D.C.:

Diana DeGette (D) serving her 8th term (16 years)

Doug Lamborn (R) and Ed Perlmutter (D): 3rd term (6 years)

Jared Polis (D), Mike Coffman (R) and Scott Tipton: in their 2nd term

Cory Gardner (R), 1st term

Let’s enact our own term limits and get in people who care about their constituents, not about furthering government interference in our lives, in Washington D.C.

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On Thursday, December 15th, 2011, Congress gave Obama a new power to detain American citizens indefinitely, without charge or trial. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act empowers the President to detain anyone who “substantially supported” groups he determines are “associated forces” of terrorists.

The provision that is an issue is Section 1021, which is part of another 1800-page bill passed by Congress.

Section 1021, the bill’s discretionary detention provision, authorizes the President to detain persons who “substantially supported” forces “associated” with al-Qaeda or the Taliban that “are engaged in hostilities” against the U.S. or its “coalition partners.”  None of the quoted terms are defined.  We do not know what constitutes substantial support, hostilities, or our coalition partners.  The bill does not attempt to define “associated forces,” either.  Without knowing what qualifies as an associated force, no one can be sure they are safe from the new government’s detention powers.

Section 1022, the bill’s mandatory detention provision, requires the President to detain members of al-Qaeda who have planned or carried out attacks against the U.S. or its coalition partners.  Only section 1022 states that it “does not extend to citizens of the United States.”

If it was important enough to include the statement that section 1022 “does not extend to citizens of the United States”, then why wasn’t that same statement also included in section 1021? The fact is that the Senate expressly rejected a provision in section 1021 that would have prevented the indefinite detention of American citizens.

You can read the language of both provisions in the conference report.  Section 1021 begins on page 653; section 1022 begins on page 656.

The expansive, undefined, and dangerous detention power in section 1021 goes well beyond what Congress authorized in its September 2011 Authorization for Use of Military Force (9/11 AUMF), even though the bill claims it only “affirms” the President’s authority under the 9/11 AUMF.  To understand how much power section 1021 gives to the President, consider the 9/11 AUMF’s text, which Congress passed just days after the most deadly attack in U.S. history: The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

When the Senate passed the bill last Thursday, for the first time in history, Congress approved the indefinite detention of persons who “substantially supported . . . associated forces.”

Who might that be? Do you want our President making that decision?

Interestingly, an amendment, now subsection 1021(e), states: Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

The key to subsection 1021(e) is its claim that section 1021 does not “affect existing law or authorities” relating to the detention of persons arrested on U.S. soil.  If the President’s expansive view of his own power were in statute, that statement would be true.  Instead, the section codified the President’s view as if it had always existed, authorizing detention of “persons” regardless of citizenship or where they are arrested.  It then disingenuously says the bill doesn’t change that view.

The fact is that our Constitution does not permit the federal government to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge or trial.

Our own Cory Gardner voted for this bill. In his recent weekly newsletter he made the comment that “the bill institutes a requirement that foreign terrorist detainees must be held in military custody, but that requirement does not apply to US citizens.” That is section 1022. He makes no mention about the problems in section 1021. I thought that he was going to uphold the Constitution. Maybe he didn’t read the bill.

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“Tom Price (R-GA), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, understands health care better than most. Before coming to Congress, he spent nearly 20 years in private practice as an orthopedic surgeon. He’s now using the lessons from that experience to undo the damage of Obamacare by promoting a plan called the Empowering Patients First Act”.

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By  , Fort Collins Republican Examiner

Cory Gardner wants to solve problems, not kick the can down the road.

President Obama blames Republicans for refusing to corporate with the Democrat controlled Senate. He wants Republicans in the House of Representatives to go along with his agenda, no matter what is best for the country.

He’s quick to blame Republicans, and praise the Democrats in Washington and yet:

1)    The Democrat controlled Senate has not produced a budget for nearly 1000 days, under Harry Reid’s (D) leadership. That means our government has no boundaries or guidance on spending. Obviously.

2)    The President hasn’t met with House Republican leadership for five months. In that time, the Super Committee failed to reduce $1.2 trillion from the debt. If he was interested in working together, he should initiate it.

3)    If the payroll tax “holiday” runs out as scheduled at the end of 2011, taxes will go up 2%, from 4.2% to 6.2%. This equals about $80 a month on an “average” paycheck. There are at least 43% of Americans who won’t be affected. They already pay no taxes.

4)    Republicans in the House want to fight for a longer extension, so it’s possible Americans will suffer through the first month of January with 2% higher taxes, but then be given a reprieve for the remainder of the year.

5)    Republicans want the tax cut paid for, and Democrats are starting to agree. Or maybe seeing the light. Our country is broke. We can’t continue to go deeper in debt.

6)    There is no leadership from the President. He wants Republicans to cave and refuses to hold Democrats accountable in any way. That is what Obama considers “compromise.”

The Senate is home for the Christmas holiday already, while the House is stuck in Washington as they try to get the payroll tax cut extended before it expires at the end of December 2011.

Colorado District 4 Representative Cory Gardner says he’s tired of kicking the can down the road. It’s been kicked so much it can’t be kicked any more. He is all for extending the tax cut for the full year, instead of the two months the Democrats want.

If it’s extended for a full year, it doesn’t stay in the news and become a talking point for the 2012 election.

The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell on December 21, 2011 goes into detail about President Obama appearing in the White House press room to blame Republicans. So much for working together.

Contact your representatives, in both the House and Senate, and let them know, you work and you want them to work as well.

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By  , Fort Collins Republican Examiner

The former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, has been the apparent media pick from the beginning of the process of selecting a Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential race. Mario Almonte, writing for the Huffington Post, throws it out there, with his article, “Mitt Romney Will Win the Presidential Nomination – Maybe Even Be President” (Dec. 20, 2011).

There has been a distinct push from the mainstream media to select the Republican nominee. There was initially some flack about Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan, but since then, he’s been above the attacks the other nominees have faced. This media influence changes the race from the people’s choice to politics as usual. For average Americans who get behind a candidate, donate money, and volunteer on campaigns, the mainstream media makes the process a joke.

Look at the poll leaders for the nomination since November 2010: Rick Perry (peaked in Sep. 2011), Herman Cain (peaked in Oct. 2011), Newt Gingrich (peaked in Dec. 2011), and Romney (on top from Nov. 2010 until Perry took over in Sep. 2011).

As each nominee reached the top and got into the spotlight, who took them down? The mainstream media. Cain was accused, at first by anonymous sources, of sexual harassment. It was never proven, and yet, he was deemed guilty (and not presumed innocent) by the press, ending his run. Rick Perry was attacked in the mainstream (for example, the Washington Post) for his lease on a hunting camp that had a negative sign at the entrance. Newt Gingrich is being brought down in the media (CBS News) for money he earned from Freddie Mac. Mitt Romney has not been attacked by the media as all three of the other leaders have been.

The only possible nominee for the Republican ticket is Mitt Romney. He has remained steady, and in the top three on the Real Clear Politics site since November 2010.

Pros for Romney’s campaign (ABC news): strong name recognition, an experienced campaign team, high fundraising ability, and he’s a successful business man.

Cons for Romney’s nomination (ABC news): Massachusetts health care law that was enacted while he was governor, his religion (Mormon) is seen by the media as a negative, he ran an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2008, flip-flopping on issues (although he claims to be a conservative now).

In the end, if Mitt Romney gains the nomination, it doesn’t matter who  Republicans and Independents supported in the race for the nomination. If they want to win back the White House from Barack Obama and change the tone in Washington, they must get behind the Republican nominee.

The Republican caucuses and primaries start on January 3, 2012 in Iowa and the people will have a choice, even if the media has already picked Mitt Romney. The good news is, without a formal nomination, Mitt Romney is within striking distance (2.1%) of Obama in the Real Clear Politics poll (Dec. 5-18, 2011).

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There are 184 radical leftists in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and one of those is Congressman Jared Polis, the currently elected Congressman for the Colorado CD 2.

Congressman Jared Polis, one of a handful of openly homosexual members of Congress, and a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is the sponsor of a bill called the “Student Non-Discrimination Act” (HR 998). This legislation, if passed, will instruct the Department of Education to implement homosexuality affirming programs across the nation and force public schools to indoctrinate an entire generation of youth with propaganda straight from the playbook of the radical “gay rights” movement.

This bill could pass, because too many of our Republican leaders have been avoiding the “social issues” like the plague and are fearful about standing in opposition to this bill that would supposedly stop “discrimination”.

Laws usually include entire sections dedicated to actually defining the key terms contained in the legislation. What is interesting is that the term “discrimination” is not defined in the legislation. The reason is because that way they can define the term after the legislation is passed, and if at any time they don’t like what is happening, it’s “discrimination”.

Another interesting aspect of this legislation is that it has been said that the person that will be responsible for implementing the law is none other than Kevin Jennings, a radical homosexual activist, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and was Obama’s “Safe School Czar” until July of this year.

Following is a link to the text of the bill.

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.998:

Unless you agree with the agenda that Jared Polis promotes, you will need to help us fight hard in 2012 to defeat him, now that we will be part of the CD 2.

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