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Rand Paul: The Next Ronald Reagan

 

A cavalryman depends on a strong-willed beast. US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the equestrian-soldier is riding a sick horse. When the beast becomes too ill, and is determined medically futile the soldier places a bullet in its head. This act is not an easy task to carry out, but the soldier knows a sick horse is a dead horse, which is better put out of its misery.  For a cavalryman in the battlefield it is quick. In Washington, Paul will have to take his time- just as Reagan did. Reagan destroyed the GOP mold of his time. Many wonder, will Paul follow in his steps?

Ronald Reagan and the Paul Family during Reagan's 1976 Presidential bid. Ron and Rand to the left of Reagan.

Ronald Reagan and the Paul Family during Reagan’s 1976 Presidential bid. Ron and Rand to the left of Reagan.

It is quite remarkable that America has already had a Libertarian-leaning Republican, but the establishment GOP wouldn’t dare let you know about it. This man is more quoted, and revered than any other GOP politician in history. His name was Ronald Reagan, and he once said, “The heart of my philosophy is libertarianism.”  You will never see Lindsey Graham or John McCain utter this quote, but come election year they will claim themselves Reaganites. In 1976 at the GOP convention Rand’s father, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX, Retired), was one of only 4 republican congressmen to support Reagan that year. Reagan lost. In 1980 Reagan tried again, Paul still at his side, but this time Reagan won by a landslide. Reagan’s win marked the beginning of what many recall as the “Reagan Revolution”. The “Revolution” is a purposeful parallel that the Senior Paul carried on into his presidential bids. However, the two Pauls play a remarkably different battle plan. The Senior Paul’s battle was an ideological one. The Junior Paul’s battle plan is a strategic ground game. A game poised to not only win hearts and minds as his father did, but votes as well.

Paul will be able to pull together conservatives and independents from across the spectrum just as Reagan did. He can turn blue states red with his stance on droneswiretappingmedical marijuana and other civil liberties. He is the leading name in the 2016 GOP bid as of now. He has won every recent straw poll his name has been in, and has visited every early primary state multiple times. Also, he is winning the social media race with more than 1 million Facebook fans. There are also multiple support, and “Presidential Draft” pages for Rand Paul with hundreds of thousands of fans. No other potential candidate has this social media force. Look to the Obama presidential wins and we know that elections are now dependent on social media force. Furthermore, one super- PAC has been working feverishly on a draft effort raising thousands of dollars to send out “Paul for President” campaign garb.

This aside, the truth is that Reagan would never be elected in the modern day Republican Party without one hell of a fight. Thirty years has changed the game of American politics with the establishment GOP backed by war lobbyists, big agriculture and the pharmaceutics industry. Paul’s battle will be one against the largest machine yet known to man. Although the establishment holds more events, fundraisers and marketing in the name of Reagan than any other GOP politician in history they do not believe what Reagan believed. The grassroots will support Paul, many state legislators will follow and he will also bring in endorsements from many leading conservative think-tanks such as the Heritage Foundation headed by former US Senator and ally, Jim DeMint. Regardless, make no mistake; he will be met with great resistance in 2016. He stands headstrong against the modern day GOP on many things such as foreign policy and aide, and the establishment’s lack of bite when it comes to not raising taxes and protecting the Second Amendment.

Expect to see Paul square up against types who are marketed to the American people by the establishment as being “Tea Party candidates”.  Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan seem to stand out as these types, and are losing popularity with the actual Tea Party as they continue to align more with the establishment. The Republican Party hasn’t put one of their own in office since 1980 with Reagan. Is Paul the next Reagan? Paul can stand on his own merits, and no one should underestimate this. However, we also cannot underestimate the power of Reaganism.

For a ‘Revolution’ to occur, something must come to an end.  The question is will Paul be able to place the metaphorical bullet in the GOP’s head as Reagan did decades ago? If Paul does win- the Republican Party we know today will die. Many believe that is more than a fair trade.

Rand Paul Never Voted for Indefinite Detention in 2013 NDAA

Libertarians began to abandon Rand Paul (R-KY) in droves after he voted for the 2013 NDAA. Many of them believed that this legislation included indefinite detention of US citizens. However, it did not. Many of them have sworn to never vote for Rand Paul again. These misguided libertarians are upset over nothing. Rand Paul explains:

I have noticed that many are confused by my vote for NDAA. Please allow me to explain. 

First, we should be clear about what the bill is. NDAA is the yearly defense authorization bill. It’s primary function is to specify which programs can and can’t be funded within the Pentagon and throughout the military. It is not the bill that spends the money—that comes later in an appropriations bill. 

Because I think we should spend less, I will offer amendments to cut spending. I will likely vote against the final spending bill. This wasn’t it.

This bill also isn’t about indefinite detention. This year’s bill did not contain the authorization for indefinite detention.   

That provision was in last year’s NDAA bill. 

Rand Paul

Rand Paul (R-KY)

The bill this year contained the amendment I supported which sharply limited the detention power, and eliminated it entirely for American citizens in the US. While it is only a partial victory, it was a big victory. Particularly compared to what passed last year. Even so, I will continue to fight to protect anyone who could possibly be indefinitely detained.

I would never vote for any bill, anywhere, that I believed enhanced the government’s power to abridge your rights and detain people. This goes against every principle I hold dear and the Constitution I took an oath to uphold and protect.

Government power and the many associated abuses have been piling up for years. We will not win all our liberties back at once. But we did win one battle this year, and we should be pleased that we did while also realizing the fight is really just getting started. 

I hope you will keep fighting alongside me.”

Long time friend and Congressional ally, US Representative Justin Amash  provided the following statement: 

Senator Rand Paul is correct in his description of the 2013 NDAA. It’s the 2012 NDAA (not 2013) that authorizes indefinite detention without charge or trial. There’s much more to be done to protect our rights and undo the harm of the 2012 NDAA (which doesn’t expire), but thanks to the efforts of United States Senator Mike Lee and Sen. Paul, we are making significant progress in (re-)advancing the principle that all people in the United States have a constitutionally protected right to full due process.”

With Super PACs already forming to support a Rand Paul for President 2016 ticket if the liberty movement hopes to advance it would seem that Rand Paul is their best chance in decades. However, with liberty focused alternative media smearing Rand’s name without warrant over his vote on the 2013 NDAA the  movement is not making their case any easier to win. 

More than 80 American Entities Have Applied for Domestic Drone Authorization

As Reported by EFF: The Federal Aviation Administration has finally released a new drone authorization list. This list, released in response to EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, includes law enforcement agencies and universities across the country, and—for the first time—an Indian tribal agency. In all, the list includes more than 20 new entities over the FAA’s original list, bringing to 81 the total number of public entities that have applied for FAA drone authorizations through October 2012.

Some of these new drone license applicants include:

  • The State Department
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego, California)

    Map of Drone Authorization in USA Source: EFF

    Map of Drone Authorization in USA
    Source: EFF

  • Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho)
  • Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon)
  • Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota)
  • King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle, Washington)

There are multiple new entities in Ohio alone, including:

  • Medina County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Lorain County Community College

The list comes amid extensive controversy over a newly-released memo documenting the CIA’s policy on the targeted killing of American citizens and on the heels of news that Charlottesville, Virginia has just become one of the first cities in the country to ban drones. This new list should contribute to the debate over whether using domestic drones for surveillance is consistent with the Constitution and with American values. However, Brennan, the newly Obama proposed director of the CIA, will not answer as to whether or not drones will be used on American citizens.

America’s Rating as a Free Country Continues to Plummet

Freedom can be defined in many ways. However, one of the greatest indicators of freedom and liberty is economic freedom. True free-market capitalism is the basis of individual liberty. However, America is no longer a top 5 contender, and we haven’t been for a years. Actually, America is barely even in the top 10. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom study reports that America continues to fail. Who took first place in economic freedom in 2012? The

answer may surprise you. It was Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s score was an 89.9%, which was a 0.2% increase from 2011. Following Hong Kong in order: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and finally America at number 10. America’s economic freedom score was a 76.3%, which is down 1.5% from 2011. In fact, America is no longer even rated as a “Free” nation, which is a title granted only to countries with a score above 80%, but a “Mostly Free” nation. Right behind America rated at number 11 is Denmark. Denmark places the highest total tax pressure on its citizens in the world.

This study takes the following 10 benchmarks into account when rating countries: Freedom from corruption, property rights, individual fiscal freedom, restrained government spending, monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. As mentioned earlier, economic freedom is more vast than it may sound on the surface. It includes all of the above benchmarks, which affect our everyday lives. Money is not the root of all evil; however it is at the root of our lives and if we are not economically free one must ask themselves if our freedom is simply a fallacy. There are 9 other countries more economically free than America and our rating is dropping drastically. In 2010, America was rated number 8.  With the numbers trending down and all of the benchmarks trending towards negative values America’s rating should not be expected to improve when the 2013 ratings are released.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. -Margaret Thatcher

Breaking: GOP to Suspend Debt Ceiling All Together, and Constitution

Update (1/24/25): The House voted to approve HB 325 with a vote of 285 to 144. Interestingly, 199 republicans voted to pass, 33 voted not to pass, and 86 democrats voted to pass, while 111 voted not to. The Senate vote is on January 31st.

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The House GOP has opted to forego raising the debt ceiling to a set cap for a three month extension as previously reported. The new decision made by those who control the flow of legislation in the House is to now simply make the debt ceiling limitless until May 19th. Even though Republicans could have requested that at least some sort of spending cuts would be part of this new legislation not a single dime of cuts were requested.

This new legislation has multiple negative connotations.

  • It essentially nullifies Article 1 of the US Constitution. Removing the ceiling all together gives the Federal Government the power to spend without House approval.
  • It establishes precedent that the ceiling is purely arbitrary and could be abolished, as many in the Democratic party have suggested.

    Reid and Boehner

    Reid and Boehner

  • It gives the Federal Government the potential to spend possibly trillions of dollars with no approved allocation within the next 5 months.
  • It breaks the promise the GOP made when they took over the house. You now, the one where they said all legislation must remain within strict constitutional authority.
  • The new legislation does not actually cease pay to Congress if they do not come up with a  budget by the deadline. It only puts their paycheck into an account for them until they do (How will they ever survive…? Oh yea, special interests pays well we are told.)

Senate Democrats have said they will produce a budget resolution that will include increased revenues, and they have promised to consider the debt-limit boost to arrive from the House. Increased revenues is highlighted above due to the fact that it is again a constitutional violation of Article one, which delegates this power only to the House. Regardless of the Constitution, Senate Democrats no longer feel they need to abide. Just as they refused to do so with the Fiscal Cliff, and Obamacare when it came to them taking the power to raise revenue. The vote is set to occur Wednesday, January 23rd.

Breaking: House Republicans to Raise Debt Ceiling

House Republicans have agreed to vote on legislation as early as next week to raise the debt ceiling for 3 months. However, they sent a warning to the

Speaker of the House John Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner

Senate that they must work with them to come up with a budget deal before they “agree to a long-term ceiling raise”. It seems that House Republicans have no serious intentions to cut spending since they have already indicated that they are willing to vote for long-term debt ceiling raises. However, the measure would make it to where Congress will not get a paycheck if a budget deal is not met before the 3 month deadline of April 15th. If we are to look at the fiscal-cliff ‘deal’ (resulting in a threat of national credit rating downgrade), can we be sure a budget passed by the Senate and Obama will be any better than what we had before? Obama recently held a news conference where he said he will not negotiate with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling. It seems that the President got his message across without having to sign an unconstitutional executive order as has been speculated. Will this tactic of allowing the President to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a budget for the first time in years actually work? Only time will tell. US Senator, Rand Paul (R-KY) says he will vote it down.

Breaking: Fiscal Cliff Deal Unconstitutional; VOID

Democrats and Republicans alike have remained silent on a very major issue of the Fiscal Cliff deal that was voted on and passed at the beginning of the month. According to the US Constitution, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” –Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1 US Constitution. Here is the problem, The Fiscal Cliff bill, or the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012  as it stands with revenue raised through taxation did not originate in the House of Representative, but in the Senate.

Boehner, Reid, and Obama

Boehner, Reid, and Obama

As happened with the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, the Senate shelled a House bill purposefully to pass this legislation, which raises revenue through taxation on the American people. Will there be a Supreme Court challenge on the constitutionality of the Fiscal Cliff bill as there was with Obamacare? With such strong support from both the Senate and the House you shouldn’t expect a challenge. Anyone who dares to speak out on the constitutionality of the legislation will be spearheaded as attempting to tailspin the Nation into another recession. However, research has shown that had we simply jumped off the Cliff, we would have most likely been far better off anyways. So, even though no one in the Senate even read the bill before they voted on it, and the Constitutionality is void- your paycheck has already gone down due to the social security tax increase and many other new taxes. Strangely, Obama didn’t actually sign the bill. He was on vacation in Hawaii and used an “Autopen” to do so. Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Reid have not yet commented about the Constitution in regards to the Fiscal Cliff deal.