By Ron Paul
Yes, Donald Trump is shrewd and really wants to sell himself as an outsider. He understands how to stir the many people who are unhappy. But when you get beyond the theatrics, he's not really an outsider at all. I discuss this, as well as Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton below on Fox Business:
By Chris Rossini
Time for a mental exercise.
Let's imagine that the "land of the free" was, you know, actually the land of the free. Let's pretend that the government actually operated within the confines of the U.S. Constitution. How would an American president handle a trip to Cuba in that situation? What would he say?
Perhaps something like this:
Hello people of Cuba. I'm so very pleased to have the opportunity to take this short trip to visit you. Most of my foreign engagements are done via video conferencing now. But since our countries are so close, I was able to get away for a couple of hours.
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By Ron Paul
According to a recent poll, 73 percent of all Americans oppose increases in federal spending. Since this anti-government spending sentiment is a major reason Republicans control the House and Senate, one would expect the Republican Congress to hold the line on, or even cut, government spending. Yet, despite the Republican leadership’s rhetoric about "fiscal responsibility," this year’s House Republican budget spends $104 billion more than the GOP’s 2013 budget.
Some conservatives, most notably the Heritage Foundation, have criticized the GOP budget. Heritage and the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC) have both prepared conservative alternatives to the official Republican budgets. Unfortunately, neither Heritage nor the RSC budgets meaningfully reduce federal spending.
Conservative efforts to reduce the size of government are handicapped by their love affair with the military-industrial complex. Since the Pentagon’s budget makes up the largest category of “discretionary” spending, it seems logical that a serious balanced budget plan would reduce spending on militarism.
Yet many of the same conservatives who (rightly) criticize the Republicans for refusing to cut spending not only oppose cuts to the Pentagon budget, they actually call for increases in military spending! These conservatives refuse to admit that the trillions spent on “regime change” overseas have not only failed to turn the targeted counties into Jeffersonian republics but have actually empowered groups like ISIS.
Conservative support for ever-increasing spending on militarism undercuts their efforts to end corporate welfare. Much of the so-called defense budget is wasted on boondoggles like the F-35 fighter that only defend the lifestyles of defense contractors and their lobbyists.
Despite insisting on increased military spending, the Heritage and RSC budgets both, at least on paper, eliminate the deficit in less than ten years. These budgets contain some other positive elements. For example, the RSC budget calls for an audit of the Federal Reserve. Both budgets repeal Obamacare and provide the American people with much needed tax relief.
The good features of the conservative budgets do not cancel out their flaws. For one thing, neither of the conservative budgets actually cuts spending. Instead, they both use the old DC trick of cutting projected increases in spending. Only in DC could budgets that increase domestic spending be considered a “radical attack on the welfare state.”
The fundamental flaw in the conservative budgets is philosophical: like much of modern American conservatism, the budget accepts the notion that that the American government is both constitutionally authorized to, and capable of, running the economy, running our lives, and running the world. Hence the “conservative” budgets do little or nothing to scale back the federal role in education, housing, welfare, or commerce.
Conservative budgets reform welfare programs by giving the states more authority and flexibility in administering the programs. This may make marginal improvements in the programs, but it does not make the welfare state moral or constitutional. It also does not make government welfare more efficient or compassionate than private charity.
Similarly, while conservatives promise entitlement reforms that give individuals greater control, they refuse to grant young people the option to care for themselves by opting-out of the government entitlement system.
If America is going to avoid a major economic crisis, government spending and debt must be reduced. However, budgets that merely tinker around the edges of the welfare-warfare state, or only reduce the rate of spending increases, merely postpone the day of reckoning. Only a budget that brings the troops home, shuts down unconstitutional agencies, ends all corporate welfare, and begins unwinding our welfare and entitlement programs will ensure future generations enjoy liberty, peace, and prosperity.
By Daniel McAdams
Anyone wondering just how bad is US foreign policy need only turn to the daily press briefing by the US State Department for an answer. And let me tell you, the answer is it's really, really bad. Yesterday's briefing was at the same time one for the record books and par for the course, as State Department Spokesman Admiral John Kirby tried to explain Washington's uber-incoherent Syria policy.
First, AP diplomatic reporter Matt Lee -- an excellent journalist -- asked Kirby to explain Washington's opposition to a Kurdish group in Syria announcing the creation of an autonomous Kurdish area inside Syria. After all, observed Lee, Washington does not believe Assad has the legitimacy to govern Syria so the Kurds are not encouraged to put themselves under the control of the current government in Damascus.
State Department Spokesman Kirby agreed.
But Washington opposes the creation of any autonomous areas inside Syria, so they cannot self-govern.
So where does that leave the Kurds to turn for governance, ISIS?
Please be patient for the extended quote, it really is worth reading the exchange:
MR KIRBY: What we’re trying to get in place, as I said earlier, is good governance in Syria. I’m not going to dispute with you, I certainly would not disagree with you, that there’s not good – that there is no good governance in Syria. We concede that point, which is why the talks in Geneva are so important to try to get at a government that is responsible and responsive to the Syrian people. And we recognize that’s going to take some time. But again, the timeline is around 18 months.
The State Department believes it has mastered the art of articulating two (or more) completely contradictory positions at the same time, but as you can read above, the resulting dog's breakfast is a horror to read and probably a hazard to thinking person.
The briefing gets even worse, however, when the discussion turns to the political transition process. State Department Spokesman Kirby outlined the kind of government the US wants to see in Syria:
I’ll say it again. We don’t support self-rule, self – semi-autonomous zones inside Syria. We just don’t. What we want to see is a unified, whole Syria that has in place a government that is not led by Bashar al-Assad, that is responsive to the Syrian people, whole, unified non-sectarian Syria. That’s the goal.
Matt Lee then asked, "if it was the will of the Syrian people as negotiated by their representatives to have a federal system, that the United States could accept that if that was ultimately their chosen outcome. Is that still your policy?"
To which Kirby replied, "We’re not interested in self-rule, self-autonomous zones" (for Syria).
This all leads to Matt Lee summarizing the insanity of US foreign policy better than we've seen done in a long time:
QUESTION: So the political transition in Geneva – the Syrians are free to come up with whatever kind of system they want. It’s up to them to decide. But the United States says they can’t have Assad as their leader, and they can’t have a federal system of any sort. How is that leaving it up to the Syrians to decide how they’re going to govern themselves?
This is Washington's idea of freedom and sovereignty for Syria (and the rest of the world): you are free to choose your own future as long as you choose the future we want for you.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.
By Chris Rossini
Many believe (thanks to propaganda) that America is an "exceptional" nation, and a little over 100 years ago this nation would take its exceptionalism on the road. Tanks, fighter jets, and now drones would "go over there" and make those people right. We're gonna force them live like us. Their ways of life need to be abolished so that the they too could "make their voices heard" and pick their bureaucrats by vote.
Picking bureaucrats by vote became equated to (also thanks to propaganda) freedom and liberty. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. But, nevertheless, the empire would stomp around the world holding the banner of "democracy" up high.
Now that the results are in, democracy was not produced, but instead foreign nations that fell in the empire's path received the gifts of chaos, death, destruction, and millions of people migrating away to different countries.
To add further insult to the scheme, financing the empire has turned the homeland into a bankrupt mess with Americans (still clouded with their ideas of "exceptionalism") grasping for answers. Such an environment has historically acted as a red carpet for the iron-fist who rides in on his white horse.....enter Donald Trump.
How Donald Trump has been treated proves that, not only has the empire failed abroad, but its "democracy" banner is a scam at home too.
Pat Buchanan writes:
Turnout in the GOP primaries has been running at levels unseen in American history.
Americans are voting. They're "making their voices heard". This is supposed to be a great thing in the eyes of the democracy pushers, right?
The news is on a 24-hr cycle of anti-Trumpism. The television, Internet and newspapers are all on auto-pilot and hoping that something sticks between now and June.
But isn't America's ritual of 'vote for your bureaucrat' what all the wars have been for? Didn't an estimated 1 million Iraqis die so that the U.S. could impose this system on them? Aren't there American troops in 150 countries (doing whatever they're doing) for this?
Americans are voting en masse for Donald Trump. We were told that this is freedom. What's the problem?
Why is The Washington Post, which champions every disgraceful war overseas putting out headlines that say: “To defend our democracy, the GOP must aim for a brokered convention.”
Pat Buchanan quips:
Defending democracy requires Republicans to cancel the democratic decision of the largest voter turnout of any primaries in American history. And this is now a moral imperative for Republicans.
It appears that the spreading democracy thing has not only been exposed for what it is overseas, but at home as well.
Democracy does not equal liberty. It never has, and never can.
Liberty equals Liberty, and we can sure use a good dose of it right about now.
By Ron Paul
The Republican Party is obviously threatened by Trump. If you think about it, I wasn't nearly as much of a threat to the party as Trump is, and they flat-out changed the rules on us when I ran. Will the party change the rules on Trump?
Nevertheless, Trump wants to be the boss. But I'm not looking for a boss. I'm looking for government to back off so that we can be our own bosses. I discuss this and more with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business below:
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By Chris Rossini
The U.S. Constitution was intended to be the U.S. federal government's ball & chain. It was supposed to shackle the government down so that Americans could enjoy lives of liberty as never before.
It should go without saying that it didn't work. As we observe the biggest government in the history of the world, coupled with the biggest welfare state and military empire, it is not a mistake to say that the U.S. Constitution failed miserably.
However, fantasy is a big part of politics, so American politicians and talking heads keep the founding document around for rhetorical purposes. You'll mostly hear about the Constitution during election season. Republicans are well known for peppering it into their dishonest orations. Of course, after elections are over, you won't hear Republicans appeal to the Constitution, or follow it.
Democrats are a little different. In general, they stay away from the Constitution, unless they want something, like their choice for a Supreme Court Judge. For example, President Obama has just nominated a candidate to fill Antonin Scalia's vacant seat on the Supreme Court. The Republicans are refusing to have a hearing and vote for confirmation.
Wouldn't you know, there are Democrats that are appealing to the U.S. Constitution in order to get the Republicans to vote....Ha!
One of those individuals is Robert Reich, who worked for the Clinton Administration. Now, anyone who knows about Reich might automatically giggle at him mentioning the Constitution. His entire career is based on violating it with reckless abandon.
But, nevertheless, here's Reich now that it's convenient to appeal to the document:
The Constitution of the United States is clear: Article II Section 2 says the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges to the Supreme Court.”
Now, what Democrats and Republicans do with filling the vacant seat is of no interest to this author. The Supreme Court was destroyed long before any of us were born.
However, for someone like Reich to insult everyone's intelligence with his clearly political appeal to the Constitution just had to be pointed out. Furthermore, Reich couldn't even fake it through his entire article.
This is later in the piece:
And think of the cases coming up – on retaining a woman’s right to choose, on the rights of teachers and other public employees to unionize, on the President’s authority to fight climate change, and the rights of countless Americans with little or no power in a system where more and more power is going to the top. That’s the traditional role of the Supreme Court – to protect the powerless from the powerful.
That's total nonsense!
If you're going to fake it, at least follow through.
As poor as the U.S. Constitution is, it would be much preferable if the government actually did follow the supposed "law of the land". The government would not be anything like what we see today.
However, were that to actually happen, and the Constitution was dug out of the trash can, and taped back together, what would Robert Reich do for work?