Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Rubio seeks to assure GOP that immigration overhaul will create toughest enforcement laws in U.S. history


By | The Ticket
 
At a private lunch meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will brief his fellow Republican senators on the details of a comprehensive immigration reform plan set to be released sometime over the next week, and he is expected to assure them that the legislation will contain the "the toughest immigration enforcement laws in U.S. history."

The pitch, however, may be a tough sell for some Republican lawmakers still smarting from past failed attempts to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Among his colleagues in the Senate Republican caucus, Rubio and the other members of the so-called "Gang of Eight"—the bipartisan group of senators tasked with writing the first draft of a new immigration bill—face many tough critics, particularly Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, senior Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.

Through press releases, media appearances and official letters sent over the past several weeks, Sessions and Grassley have warned that the immigration bill would not mandate adequate border security and could hurt U.S. workers. They have called for the Gang of Eight, which for months has held weekly meetings behind closed doors, to begin negotiating in public, and they want to see immigration reform done piece-meal, instead of through one giant, comprehensive bill.

With the bill set to be made public in the coming days, skeptical Republican senators will have an opportunity to have some of their questions answered and air their concerns. Many of their questions, presumably, will concern the immigration enforcement measures in the bill.

So what should lawmakers concerned about enforcement mechanisms expect to hear?

According to an overview of part of the legislation provided to Yahoo News by a source familiar with the bill's language, the enforcement proposals are indeed sweeping: First, the bill would require the federal government to meet specific security and border enforcement goals for 10 years before anyone living in the country illegally is allowed to obtain legal status. Applicants who applied for the new, Registered Provisional Immigrant status would be required to continually meet eligibility requirements by remaining employed and in good standing with the law. They also would be required to pay fines, taxes and maintain a physical presence within the United States during the years-long application process.

If passed, the law ultimately would cost billions of dollars in new spending for border security measures, while creating a visa-exit system to track when people overstay their visa and a program that would enforce workplace compliance laws. There also is language in the bill that would prohibit those currently in the country illegally to receive government-subsidized health insurance benefits tied to the 2010 federal health care law for up to 15 years.

For his part, Rubio should be at ease explaining the bill to his colleagues. Since the overhaul's blueprint was unveiled earlier this year, he has made it his task to sell the bill to skeptical friends on the right who worry that the effort to overhaul immigration laws will amount to nothing more than "amnesty" for illegal immigrants and that the border enforcement rules in the new bill will lack the teeth necessary to prevent future flows of immigrants.

In January, Rubio embarked on a media blitz of conservative radio and television programs in an effort to put Republican minds at ease over the march toward a bill. He tussled with conservative media heavyweights such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, who challenged him over parts in the blueprint that offer a path to legality for the nearly 12 million immigrants currently living in the country illegally.

As for the process of passing the bill, Rubio also has vowed to ensure that once the measure's first draft is released to the public, it stays public. There is a fear among Republicans, and even some Democrats, that instead of putting the bill through a process of transparent, regular order, the bill's path toward passage could devolve into the realm of secret, backdoor negotiations that plagued Obamacare in 2009 and 2010.

One of the last things immigration reform advocates want is a sideshow of demonstrators arriving in Washington furious because the final bill is perceived as being the product of crony kickbacks to special interests and backroom dealing. With an issue as emotional and important as immigration, everyone will want to know exactly what's in it long before it's time to take a final vote.

In Tribute To The Iron Lady: The 25 Greatest Quotes From Margaret Thatcher

By: John Hawkins / Townhall Columnist who runs Right Wing News
 
In Tribute To The Iron Lady: The 25 Greatest Quotes From Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher has left us.

Other than Winston Churchill, she was the finest leader to come out of Europe in the last century. She helped Britain recover economically, she stood shoulder to shoulder with Reagan against the Soviet Union and she set a fine example not just for Brits, not just for women, but for everyone to follow.

If we had more leaders with Margaret Thatcher's heart, courage and wisdom, this would be a different, better world.

As you read these quotes from one of the towering figures of the 20th century, you'll see why.

25) "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t."

24) "I too have a certain idea of America. Moreover, I would not feel entitled to say that of any other country, except my own. This is not just sentiment, though I always feel ten years younger – despite the jet-lag – when I set foot on American soil: there is something so positive, generous, and open about the people – and everything actually works. I also feel, though, that I have in a sense a share of America."

23) "They’ve got the usual Socialist disease — they’ve run out of other people’s money."

22) "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police."

21) "If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage."

20) "Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper."

19) "I never hugged him, I bombed him." -- Thatcher on dictator, Muammar Gaddafi

18) "I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left."

17) "It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge."

16) "I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand 'I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!' or 'I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!' 'I am homeless, the Government must house me!' and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first…There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate."

15) "The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom."

14) "A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country's flag."

13) "Whether it is in the United States or in mainland Europe, written constitutions have one great weakness. That is that they contain the potential to have judges take decisions which should properly be made by democratically elected politicians."

12) "The defence budget is one of the very few elements of public expenditure that can truly be described as essential. This point was well-made by a robust Labour Defence Minister, Denis (Now Lord) Healey, many years ago: ‘Once we have cut expenditure to the extent where our security is imperiled, we have no houses, we have no hospitals, we have no schools. We have a heap of cinders.’"

11) "...The larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone."

10) "Whether manufactured by black, white, brown or yellow hands, a widget remains a widget – and it will be bought anywhere if the price and quality are right. The market is a more powerful and more reliable liberating force than government can ever be."

9) "To be free is better than to be unfree – always. Any politician who suggests the opposite should be treated as suspect."

8) "During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it."

7) "There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people’s lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth."

6) "Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag."

5) "It is one of the great weaknesses of reasonable men and women that they imagine that projects which fly in the face of commonsense are not serious or being seriously undertaken."

4) "...Conservatives have excellent credentials to speak about human rights. By our efforts, and with precious little help from self-styled liberals, we were largely responsible for securing liberty for a substantial share of the world’s population and defending it for most of the rest."

3) "Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever."

2) "Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."

1) "Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story."

'Proportional' Response

By: Thomas Sowell / Townhall Columnist
 
Since when has it been considered smart to tell your enemies what your plans are?

Yet there on the front page of the April 8th New York Times was a story about how unnamed "American officials" were planning a "proportional" response to any North Korean attack.

This was spelled in an example: If the North Koreans "shell a South Korean island that had military installations" then the South Koreans would retaliate with "a barrage of artillery of similar intensity."

Whatever the merits or demerits of such a plan, what conceivable purpose can be served by telling the North Koreans in advance that they need fear nothing beyond a tit for tat? All that does is lower the prospective cost of aggression.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, should we have simply gone over and bombed a harbor in Japan? Does anyone think that this response would have stopped Japanese aggression? Or stop other nations from taking shots at the United States, when the price was a lot lower than facing massive retaliation?

Back before the clever new notion of "proportional" response became the vogue, our response to Pearl Harbor was ultimately Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Japan has not attacked or even threatened anybody since then. Nor has any war broken out anywhere that is at all comparable with World War II.

Which policy is better? There was a time when we followed the ancient adage "By their fruits ye shall know them." The track record of massive retaliation easily beats that of the more sophisticated-sounding proportional response.

Back in ancient times, when Carthage attacked Rome, the Romans did not respond "proportionally." They wiped Carthage off the face of the earth. That may have had something to do with the centuries of what was called the Pax Romano -- the Roman peace.

When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, the British simply sent troops to take the islands back -- despite American efforts to dissuade Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from doing even that.

For more than a century since the British settled in the Falkland Islands, Argentina had not dared to invade them. Why?

Because, until recent times, an Argentine attack on a British settlement would be risking not only a British counterattack there, but the danger of a major British attack on Argentina itself. That could mean leaving Buenos Aires in ruins.

Today, Argentina's government is again making threatening noises about the Falkland Islands. Why not? The most the Argentines have to fear is a "proportional" response to aggression -- and the Obama administration has already urged "negotiations" instead of even that. When threats are rewarded, why not make threats, when there are few dangers to fear?

Can you think of any war prior to Iraq and Afghanistan where the United States announced to the world when it planned to pull its troops out? What has this accomplished? "By their fruits ye shall know them." What have been the fruits?

First of all, this constant talk in Washington about not only pulling out, but announcing in advance what their pullout timetable was, meant that Iraqi political leaders knew that a powerful Iran was on their border permanently, while Washington was a long way away and intended to stay away.

Should we be surprised that the Iraqi government has increasingly come to pay more attention to what Iran wants than to what Washington wants? Once more, vast numbers of American lives have been sacrificed winning victories on the battlefield that the politicians in Washington then frittered away and turned into defeat politically.

What about other countries around the world who are watching what the American government is doing? Many have to decide whether they want to cooperate with the United States, and risk the wrath of our enemies, or cooperate with our enemies and risk nothing.

There is no need to respond to a North Korean artillery barrage by wiping North Korea off the map.

But there is also no need to reassure the North Koreans in advance that we won't.

What announcing the doctrine of "proportional" response does is lower the price of aggression. Why would we want to do that?

Iran warns it may scrap nuclear treaty

Regime official: U.S. the big loser in failed negotiations


nuclear_blast4By: Reza Kahlili / WND
Iran is threatening to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the wake of the failure of the latest negotiations between the Islamic regime and world powers.

Since the United States and European countries are not in compliance with the treaty and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, why should Iran be in compliance, asks Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the regime’s parliament.

“It is not acceptable for Iran to respect the NPT and the agency’s regulations but America and the West disregard its articles such as article 6 (mandating reduction of nuclear weapons) and article 4 (Iran’s nuclear rights),” Boroujerdi told Fars News Agency, an outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards. “Therefore there is no reason for Iran to remain a member of the NPT, and the parliament can review this status.”

The world powers once again failed at Almaty, Kazakhstan, to get Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program and allow further inspections by the IAEA. The talks, which lasted two days, were held last week between Iran and the 5-plus-1 powers: the United States, Britain France, Russia, China, plus Germany.

“The Americans … tell us to stop enrichment to the 20 percent level, but not only enriching to this level but to even 30 percent and 50 percent is allowed within the (IAEA) regulations,” Boroujerdi said. “America in the last 10 years insisted on Iran not having access to nuclear technology; however today, Iran after 10 years has reached full capability in the nuclear field, including extraction to uranium enrichment, and so therefore during these 10 years, America has been the loser and Iran the winner.”

Boroujerdi said the world must accept Iran’s right to uranium enrichment and remove sanctions, and should the regime’s nuclear activities be referred again to the United Nations, it has the right to quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would mean that the IAEA would no longer have access to monitor Iran’s known nuclear sites.

Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday is to unveil two additional uranium-processing facilities in the central province of Yazd, according to the FNA news agency.

A recent analysis in Keyhan, the newspaper mouthpiece of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also referred to the West’s demands over the past decade to not allow Iran to have a handful of centrifuges for research. But it said now the West “has knelt” in front of Iran because there are more than 10,000 centrifuges enriching uranium.

“During the last decade, the Resistance Front (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah) and Islamic Awakening (Arab Spring), led by the Islamic Republic of Iran, have managed to defeat the power of Zionist Christians in four corners of the Middle East and have forced America to beg for negotiations,” the analysis said, adding that the future is bright for Iran and that America is hopeless.

Also, Mashregh News, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence unit, said the Obama administration’s plan to contain Iran will continue to fail and that Obama knows that pressure for sanctions within the United Nations has peaked and that he does not have many cards to play.

“Despite the sanctions, Mr. Obama has failed to persuade Iran to change course,” the report said, “and Iran has left no doubt about the direction of its nuclear program.”

Mashregh, which reflects the view of the Islamic regime, said Iran’s continuation of its nuclear program will help expand the country’s anti-American policies in the region, which would force the United States to leave the Islamic world, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, and it would not be farfetched to conclude that in the near future, the region would be controlled by the Islamic movement.

While Iran and the world powers haggled over the regime’s known nuclear sites, WND revealed exclusively on March 20 a secret nuclear site. Satellite images show a massive site 14 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, including two installations deep in a mountain at which, according to a source, the regime is in the final stages of completing its program of arming its Shahab 3 missiles with nuclear warheads. Part of the site has an array of missiles and over 385 missile garages for mobile missile launchers.

Many American experts who have reviewed the images have expressed deep concern and have urged Congress to conduct a hearing on the Islamic regime’s nuclear bomb pursuit.

The source, a high-ranking officer within the regime’s Ministry of Defense, warned that the regime has successfully bought time through meaningless negotiations in reaching an “Objective Force” where not only it can survive an attack but provide a meaningful response.

The source concluded that if world leaders think North Korea’s rhetoric is bad, they will experience daily uncertainty once the regime in the not-so-distant future arms its missiles with nuclear warheads where the instability in the energy market alone could crash the West’s economy.

See the video report here:
http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/iran-warns-it-may-scrap-nuclear-treaty/

ATF Wants To Know Everything About You

 by / Personal Liberty Digest

ATF Wants To Know Everything About You

The Federal government has already made great strides in ensuring that anonymity is a thing of the past with massive data-collection-and-storage facilities like fusion centers and a post-9/11 American legal structure that makes government’s ability to spy on citizens easier than ever.

And American citizens, for their part, have willingly placed themselves in a position to be spied upon with relative ease via addiction to social networking and reliance on technology that provides unprecedented convenience.

Unfortunately, for all of the joy of being instantly able to contact old friends or keep in touch with busy grandchildren on social networks or the benefits that come from always having a phone on hand that doubles as a computer, Americans pay a high price: There is no such thing as privacy. And even if you refrain from using the aforementioned technologies, someone you know has likely already unwittingly provided the surveillance state with enough information to include you in the dragnet.

A recent notice posted on the website of the Federal Business Opportunities reveals that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives  is currently seeking help putting together a “massive online data repository system.” The system, to be operated by the ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII) for at least five years, would enable the agency to conduct ongoing automated searches and find links between people by scouring “structured and unstructured data.”

ATF officials are looking for a company capable of setting up a computer program that would compile databases of financial data, online information, vehicle registration records, phone numbers, addresses and all other manner of potentially identifying information in order to provide detailed records on American citizens searchable with just a few keywords. Using information gathered from social networks and other sources of publicly available data, the agency also wishes to be able to automatically establish connections between an individual and his family members, business associates and acquaintances without having to search more than one source.

While Federal agents can generally locate the aforementioned information using current investigative resources, the ATF says the database system it wants to implement allows it “quickly respond to problems, threats, etc.” spending as few man-hours on old-school detective work as possible.

That means ATF will be able to conduct no-knock raids, like that carried out against YouTube sensation Kyle Myers of the FPS Russia gun enthusiast channel, on more Americans and faster than ever before.
Op-ed: 
Rest in Peace 'Iron Lady'
By: Diane Sori


 
Winston Churchill, Golda Meir, Ronald Reagan...most of the great ones of the 20th century are gone, and yesterday we lost another giant amongst leaders as British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher, 'The Iron Lady' as she will forever be known, died peacefully after suffering a stroke.

As the first woman to hold the position of Prime Minister (1979-1990), Margaret Thatcher transformed her country and the world with her unyielding anti-Communist, anti-Socialist stance, and with her unabashed embrace of capitalism. Lady Thatcher turned Britain, paralyzed by strikes and impoverished, into a proud, rich, powerful, world-beacon of a country.

Margaret Thatcher came to be known as the peacetime Churchill...tenacious, implacable, and with a sometimes terrifying steely resolve. As Prime Minister she brought both positive and negative changes (the poll tax) to the British economy and political landscape. A larger than life political figure of conservative consequence who lauded over the leftist political bloviators of her day, Margaret Thatcher was the epitome of strength, dignity, courage, and leadership as was evidenced by her standing strong in her belief in a robust free market system of government while most of Europe was leaning towards socialism.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money," she said...wise words that need to be heeded today.

Margaret Thatcher was a champion of private business ownership, when in 1980, with more people out of work in Britain than at any time since the Great Depression (there was 13% unemployment when she entered office, 5.8% when she left office), she transferred many state owned businesses into the private sector, a move which put people back to work as profits soared. She also broke the power of the labor unions and forced the opposing Labour Party to abandon its ideology of nationalized industry. Margaret Thatcher was in power when Britain fought and won, with Her Majesty's warships, the Falkland Islands War against Argentina in 1982. 

"We have raised Britain in the respect of the world from what it was -- broke, bankrupt, unwilling to defend itself properly," Lady Thatcher said in 1987. "We have, I think, transformed Britain."

Yes, madame Prime Minister you sure did, and together with our beloved Ronald Reagan, as one voice united in everlasting friendship, they helped transform the world by bringing the mighty Soviet Union to its knees as they ushered in the fall of communism, warmed up the Cold War, and reunited Germany with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. 

In fact, Margaret Thatcher's positive rapport with the Mikhail Gorbachev (“I like Mr. Gorbachev...We can do business together”), and her deep friendship with Ronald Reagan made her a critical link between the White House and the Kremlin in their negotiations to halt the arms race of the 1980s.

Thatcher and Reagan...allies on the deepest level (ideology soul mates they have been called), Lady Thatcher NEVER wavered in her support of Reagan or with his world view. A strident and adamant defender of the United States, Lady Thatcher was considered Britain's Ronald Reagan. In fact Reagan called her the "best man in England" and she called him "the second most important man in my life.”

After stepping down as Prime Minister in 1990, Lady Thatcher remained steadfast in expressing her opinions, and in her defense of the United States. She advocating Western intervention to stop the ethnic bloodshed in the Balkans in the early 1990s, and after the September 11th terrorist attacks, believing that terrorism demanded a united response, she endorsed President George W. Bush’s policy of sanctioning pre-emptive strikes against governments that sponsored terrorism. She also outwardly and vocally supported the war to overthrow the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein.

Margaret Thatcher broke many barriers and was admired and respected for her brilliance, charisma, and political savvy. This wondrous woman knew how to lead...NO dithering, NO faltering, and NO vacillating. She was one of the last politicians you could look at and know exactly what she stood for.

A great leader, most assuredly...an important one, undoubtedly...a determined one, without question.

“My task will not be completed until the Labour Party has become like the Conservative Party, a party of capitalism.”

Hopefully, Lady Thatcher's wish will someday become reality, but until then may she and Reagan's words and visions help guide us back to both our country's shared conservative roots.

Rest in peace 'Iron Lady' knowing you made a difference NOT only to Britain but to the world.