Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paul Ryan needs to back away from this issue...


Paul Ryan Leading House for 'Amnesty' Deal
Newsmax

Paul Ryan, the Republican congressman and former vice-presidential candidate best known for his war on spending, is emerging as his party's leading champion of immigration reform in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With Senate passage of a sweeping immigration bill imminent, Ryan has been meeting with House conservatives to persuade them that reform of the immigration system, including a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, is an economic necessity and critical to fixing the nation's fiscal problems.

Ryan, a potential 2016 presidential contender, sees himself as a "bridge builder" between immigration advocacy groups and reluctant Republicans, he said in an interview with Reuters.

He argues that the immigration system is broken and must be overhauled. "It doesn't work for national security. It doesn't work for economic security," Ryan said.

While bi-partisan support is propelling comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, the Republican-controlled House will take a piecemeal approach, with passage of any "pathway to citizenship" a longshot, at best.

Supporters believe the 43-year-old lawmaker, who hails from a moderate district in southern Wisconsin, two hours north of Chicago, can make a difference because of his stature as a leading conservative voice and a possible White House candidate.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said the sheer amount of time Ryan has spent talking with House Republicans about budget issues gives him the credibility to court them on immigration reform.

"I would bet you a nickel that he has had more face time with each member than anyone else in the caucus," said Norquist, an influential conservative who also believes immigration reform is vital to the economy.

Republican strategist Whit Ayres calls Ryan "one of the most effective messengers the Republican party has in the House," adding that "If Paul Ryan talks, the House Republicans will listen."

That assessment may be overly optimistic, considering the large number of House Republicans from conservative districts who see legalization of illegal immigrants and offering them a path to eventually become U.S. citizens as an "amnesty."

But Ryan said a Republican-backed amendment to the Senate bill to boost security on the U.S.-Mexico border improves the chances that the House and Senate could ultimately agree on a compromise version of the legislation.

The amendment "brings the Senate bill closer to the House's position and that gives me the belief that we have a better chance at getting this law fixed at the end," he said.

Unlike Republican Senator Marco Rubio, an architect of the Senate immigration bill and a potential rival for Ryan if both seek the presidency, Ryan is not writing legislation or participating in a congressional working group on the issue.

But both Ryan and Rubio face risks from the divisiveness of the immigration issue among Republicans.

Support for immigration reform could cost either man votes with conservatives who will nominate a 2016 Republican candidate. On the other hand, the influence of Hispanic-Americans in U.S. elections could make it harder for any candidate who opposes immigration reform to win the White House.

Mitt Romney, who chose Ryan as his running mate in 2012 to shore up his conservative credentials, won less than 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, prompting Republican leaders to re-think the party's traditional wariness of immigration reform.

Should Ryan run in 2016, his support for immigration reform will distance him from Romney's position during the campaign that illegal immigrants ought to "self-deport."

Pressure on Republicans from shifting demographics are evident in Ryan's own Wisconsin district, which has the second largest Latino population among the state's districts.

But Ryan is not a new convert to immigration reform and he says politics are not driving his embrace of it. His work on it goes back to his days as an aide to Jack Kemp, the late congressman who saw immigration as part of a free-trade agenda.

In April, Ryan teamed up with his friend, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who is a staunch supporter of immigration reform, to tout the issue at an event in Chicago. He has also co-sponsored immigration reform bills in the past.

Like Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, Ryan talks of the work ethic of immigrants and the high proportion who start businesses. He often tells of his Irish ancestors who fled the potato famine in the 1850s and started a family farm in Wisconsin.

In the interview, he cited future budget deficits as a reason for urgency on immigration reform. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring from the workforce each day, "our economy is going to need more labor in the future," he said.

Ryan said he believes the country needs a system "designed for the economy, to bring workers in to do jobs that people won't do or to bring their high-tech intellectual capital."

The fiscal argument helped fuel momentum for the Senate immigration bill when the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would reduce deficits by $197 billion over a decade because of additional workers paying income and payroll taxes.

If Ryan is worried about a conservative backlash on immigration, he is showing no signs of it.

He has offered to debate anyone who says an "earned" path to citizenship is the equivalent of amnesty.

And the man who has sparred for years with Democrats on budget issues believes he can play a role in getting the two parties to work together. "I think when you get Democrats to listen to Republicans and Republicans to listen to Democrats you can find the common ground," he said.

Alex Nowrasteh of the libertarian Cato Institute said Ryan could give other Republicans political cover to support immigration reform. "Nobody is going to question the conservative credentials of Paul Ryan," he said.

The Cost of War – on Coal

By: Bob Beauprez / Townhall Finance
 
War always has a cost.  The War on Coal declared last Tuesday by Barack Obama is no different.  The costs will be real, substantial, and be felt in every American household.

Barack Obama says there is no more time to wait around for Congress to act.  Seeking the once fashionable Consent-of-the- Governed would take too long.  The President ridiculed those with dissenting opinions – including a growing number within the scientific community; "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society," he said in his speech at Georgetown University.

The "Flat Earthers" apparently include 16 of the most highly credentialed environmental scientists in the world who jointly penned an editorial in the June 28, 2013 Wall Street Journal explaining that, "There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy."

Obama justifies both his unilateral action and cost of the War on Coal with the same explanation Progressives use for virtually every item on their agenda.  We simply must "combat this threat on behalf of our kids."  It's always for the children, isn't it?

As we said in a post yesterday, "Obama's new War is a war against ourselves.  Virtually all of the coal is domestically produced supporting American jobs, families and communities, and providing a huge portion of the affordable energy necessary to support citizens and businesses throughout the nation."

A team of Heritage Foundation Scholars analyzed and quantified the cost of Obama's War on Coal for just the first years from 2015-2030.  Led by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Research Fellow for Energy Economics and Climate Change, the Heritage scholars confirmed our assertions from yesterday's blog post.  Obama's war "with no compelling scientific argument" to justify it, will most certainly have tangible, harmful consequences for every American citizen.

Here's a link to the entire Heritage report, and below is a key excerpt with the summary findings:

While it may not be clear exactly which policies will be used, it seems clear that zeroing-out coal-fired electric power plants is a goal of this Administration’s environmental team. This paper will analyze the economic impact of setting such a target. We look at the first 16 years of a 20-year phase-out of coal power: 2015–2030.

The analysis shows significant economic losses extend beyond the obvious areas of coal mining and power generation. In particular, we find that by 2030:

          • Employment falls by more than 500,000 jobs;
          • Manufacturing loses over 280,000 jobs;
          • A family of four’s annual income drops more than $1,000 per year, and its total income drops by $16,500 over the period of analysis;
          • Aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) decreases by $1.47 trillion;
          • Electricity prices rise by 20 percent;
          • Coal-mining jobs drop 43 percent; and
          • Natural gas prices rise 42 percent.
After Tuesday’s testimony in the George Zimmerman trial by star witness Rachel Jeantel some of my white devil, honky, gringo, pasty skin, mackerel snatchin’, Caucasian buddies got all up in arms about Rachel Jeantel stating that “creepy ass cracker” is not a racial slur.
  First of all, Rachel, and I hate to break it to you, sister -- and I use that word “sister” in the strictest biblical sense of the word -- but “creepy ass cracker” does, historically, denote derision towards the pigmentally challenged of this world.

By pointing this out to you, I do not mean to demean or berate you. It’s just a friendly FYI I’m putting out there for you to consider, for future reference, because it does offend some of my tribe’s more genteel members.

That said, it really doesn’t offend me. Matter of fact, I prefer cheeky ass cracker to creepy ass cracker as the former borrows capital from British slang and merges it with an 18th century Floridian colloquialism, making it at least a quasi-compliment for this 21st century, brutish wordsmith; while the latter denotes a middle-aged white dude who comments way too much on a cute teenage girl’s Facebook page. Or a teenage boy’s Facebook page, for that matter. But I digress …

Another thing that got a lot of my WASPY buddies miffed by your testimony last week was the fact that the media isn’t Paula Dean-ing you for your use of an obvious racial epithet. To that I would suggest just forgiving them if they tweeted you something untoward, as some of my buddies are arriving a little late to the party and it’s just now dawning on them that the media is unsympathetic to their genome’s plight.

Thirdly, I’d watch it calling someone or something “retarded.” A lot of folks, especially those with special needs friends and family members, take umbrage to that phraseology. It’s just a suggestion to consider. Seriously.

Another thing to ponder if you happen to get called to the stand again, is to get your stories straight while you’re giving testimony or it could turn out better for the defense than the prosecution.

And finally, I know you didn’t ask for this type of spotlight to bear down on you but, if I were you, I would really, really dial down on the rude answers and the obtuse facial expressions, as it sure didn’t look great on television, and at the end of the day, we all have to get along.