About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

North Carolina Patriots Help Influence Senator's Vote

Along with fellow Republican senators Susan Collins (ME) & Lisa Murkowski (AK) North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis was one of the first three Republican senators to say he would vote with all Democrats against President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency because Congress refused to spend $5.7 billion to construct a wall along 234 miles of our southwest border.
Since I expected this of Tillis, as well as Collins & Murkowski, I was very surprised when Senator Tillis's name was not on the list of the twelve Republican senators who voted to terminate Trump's Declaration of National Emergency: Alexander – TN, Blunt – MO, Collins – ME, Lee – UT, Moran – KS, Murkowski – AK, Paul – KY, Portman – OH, Romney – UT, Rubio – FL, Toomey – PA, & Wicker – MS.
Earlier this month I was briefed on the Tillis matter by very dear friends & charter members of RTE who had invited Carol & me to their house in NC.  Tillis is up for reelection in 2020 along with 21 other Republican incumbent senators versus 12 Democrat incumbent senators.  NC is a competitive state.
Below is our friend's letter to Senator Tillis on the subject.

Dear Senator Tillis,


Your recent decision to vote with Democrats and against your Party concerning the President's Emergency Funding for the border wall is truly a huge disappointment!  The situation at the border is certainly an emergency. I know this with first hand knowledge from relatives who live near the border in Texas and Arizona.


( Why is it that Democrats have no problem sticking together? )


You are an embarrassment to your state and discredit your own political party!


I will remember your decision at Primary time and encourage everyone I know in the Old North State to do likewise.


Very truly yours,

A concerned voter


Our NC friends also had received the following response to their above letter from Senator Tillis that they shared with us. 


Dear NC Resident:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about President Trump's National Emergency Declaration. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, on February 15, 2019, President Trump issued a national emergency declaration in order to provide the rest of the funds he had previously requested through Congress to secure the southern border.
Let me be clear: I strongly agree with President Trump that there is a humanitarian and drug crisis at our border. It's unfortunate that some elected officials are denying this reality, because the numbers do not lie. Every year, hundreds of undocumented immigrants die trying to cross our border, and tens of thousands of Americans die from heroin-related overdoses, the vast majority of which is smuggled from the southern border.
That is why I have repeatedly supported and voted in favor of President Trump's plans to secure our borders and reform our nation's broken immigration system. In fact, last Congress I worked directly with President Trump and my Senate colleagues to introduce legislation based on President Trump's border security plan. This bill, known as the Secure and Succeed Act, included $25 billion for border security including walls, barriers, and other infrastructure. However, this legislation did not ultimately gain the support needed from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to become law. I wholeheartedly share President Trump's frustration that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have continually blocked the reasonable and good faith efforts to secure our borders and I stand with him in his efforts to protect the American people.
Due to Congressional obstruction, I understand why President Trump took the step of making a national emergency declaration, which would provide about $8 billion for border security infrastructure.
Please know that my concern with the emergency declaration has nothing to do with the President's goal of securing the border, but it is about maintaining Congress' power of the purse and preventing a future president from exploiting this precedent for their own agenda.
For example, in recent weeks, we have heard from two prominent elected officials who entertained the notion of removing walls and physical barriers, effectively opening up our borders. If we had a president who shared their views, they could also declare a national emergency, and use those same funds, originally appropriated by Congress for other purposes, to literally tear down border security infrastructure that already exists.
I applaud President Trump's efforts and determination to deliver on the promises he made to the American people and I will continue to work with him on ways to provide for billions of dollars in additional funding to finally secure our border and protect the American people. I know we can get it done.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about other important issues.
Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator
Now our friends were surprised to hear that Carol & I agreed with much of Tillis's above response.
The part we disagreed with is "preventing a future president from exploiting this precedent for their own agenda."  We think that any future Democrat president would declare a national emergency for any purpose whatsoever regardless of any precedent Trump's border wall funding sets.  The cat is out of the bag.
Nevertheless Tillis made a speech on the Senate floor & wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying "Republicans need to realize that this will lead inevitably to regret when  Democrats once again controls the White House, cites the precedent set by Trump, & declares his or her own national emergency to advance a policy that couldn't gain congressional approval."  So Tillis really believes this.
But on March 15, one day after the Senate voted 59 to 41 to support the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration, our NC friends received notice from Senator Tillis that he had reversed course & voted against the disapproval resolution.  Our friends sent Carol & me the following message of explanation from Tillis.

Dear NC Resident:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about President Trump's National Emergency Declaration.  I want to give you an update on the vote that occurred in the Senate yesterday.

I voted with President Trump and against the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration.

From the beginning, I agreed with President Trump that there is a crisis at our southern border and have always supported his desire to build new infrastructure and barriers.

The concerns I raised about declaring a National Emergency to secure border wall funding were never about what President Trump is trying to accomplish but rather with setting a precedent that a future Democratic president would exploit to bypass Congress to implement policies well outside the mainstream.

Over the past several weeks, I've met with the Vice President and senior White House staff to build consensus on amending the National Emergencies Act.  I'm incredibly encouraged by the historic commitment from the President to restore proper balance between the executive and legislative branches.

While the Trump Administration is working in good-faith with Congress to amend the National Emergencies Act,  I was very disappointed that Democratic leaders have outright rejected attempts to do so, in addition to calling the dire situation at the southern border a 'manufactured crisis.'

In the coming weeks, I'll continue to work with the White House and my Republican colleagues on a long-term solution, and I hope some of my Democratic colleagues will join us.

All the best,

Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator

In his Senate floor speech given as part of the lead up to the Senate vote on the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration Senator Tillis said that he had "received a lot of feedback" on his initial decision to vote with the Democrats to negate Trump's declaration.

After receiving the above unsolicited update from Senator Tillis our NC friends summed it up best when they wrote to me "Well it looks like I am on the Senator's mailing list now!  My letter must have made an impact."

I'll say it made an impact – along with all the other feedback the senator received. 

In this series of events Tillis did not write canned boiler plate letters like we have all received from politicians.  He also did not cave after listening to his constituents in a blatant attempt just to get reelected but rather offered a reasonable explanation of why he changed his vote after consulting with the Vice President to address his concerns.

The work & persistence shown by two patriots in NC are an example of what Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he responded to Elizabeth Powell's question @ the end of the Constitutional Convention about what sort of government the delegates of the Convention had created on September 17, 1787 – "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."                    


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Trump's National Emergency Declaration Reveals The Need For Changes In Immigration & Asylum Laws

Background:  In fiscal year (FY) 2012 there were 2 groups of 100 or more people who arrived @ America's southwest border seeking asylum.  In FY 2018 there were 12 such groups & so far in the first five months of FY 2019 there have been 70 – these groups have come to be known as caravans of migrant families (adults & children) with as many as 12,000 people mostly from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras, & El Salvador.  Source Graham Ledger.
Migrant families no longer try to evade Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border but rather have learned that if they turn themselves in after placing one foot on American soil & saying the word "asylum" they will be released into the U.S. in accordance with our asylum laws as they await a hearing in federal immigration court – current hearing backlog: more than 829,000 cases meaning a ruling can take years to be made.  As many as 94.1% of the migrants pretending to seek asylum know they don't qualify for asylum & their claims will be refused – see previous posts dated February 10 & 28 for details. 
Arrests of Central American families illegally entering America in the first five months of FY 2019 hit a record (136,150 people) exceeding the total number for all of FY 2018 (107,212 people).  And the flow of migrant families seeking to abuse our asylum laws is growing thereby overwhelming government facilities intended to hold single adults for a few hours @ a time.  In addition, the number of unaccompanied children caught @ the border so far this FY is 26,937 compared to 17,501 for the same period in FY 2018 – talk about separation of children from families.  Overall the Border Patrol has made 268,044 arrests from October through February compared to 136,209 for the same period in FY 2018.
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (USCBP) reports that 66,450 aliens were arrested as they tried to illegally enter the U.S. in February – the highest February total since 2008 & the highest monthly total since 2009.  In addition there were over 10,000 people deemed inadmissible @ ports of entry thereby bringing the total arrested or deemed inadmissible to more than 76,400 people in February.  See table below. 
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USCBP further reports that there were 40,000 family units – aliens travelling with children – who were either apprehended or turned back in February, a ten fold increase from two years ago.  See graphic below.
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Family units & unaccompanied children make up 62% of those arrested or deemed inadmissible @ the southwest border up from 27% in February 2017.  Families with children require special time consuming medical treatment & facilities that have been overwhelmed by fraudulent asylum seekers who are trying to game our immigration & asylum laws.
The above statistics describe the destructive violation of our sovereignty that President Trump has recognized as a crisis for which he has declared a national emergency - a movement of an exponential rate of growth in an endless direction toward America that migrants, drug smugglers, & gangs from all over the world have picked up on.
On December 11, 2018 President Trump met with soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Oval office to discuss government funding for the portion of the federal government not already funded in fiscal year 2019 & Trump's request for $5.7 billion to build a 234 miles long wall along the southwest border – the meeting was televised.  After no agreement was reached the government was partially shutdown @ 12:01 AM on December 22 in what was the longest government shutdown to date – 35 days.  See graphic below.
  click on graphic to enlarge
The number of federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown totaled 800,000 people broken down as shown on the following graphic.
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After 35 days of shutdown the President & Congress agreed to reopen the government on January 25 for three weeks to see if a deal could be reached regarding funding the border wall.  After Pelosi said she would not approve more than $1 for a border wall Congress passed an 1,159 page, $328 billion spending package, including $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of barrier along the southwest border, that will keep the federal government open until October 1 – there is no reason to believe anyone read the bill that also includes $22.5 billion for other border security measures including 800 new Customs & Border Patrol officers.  The bill passed the Senate 83 to 16 & a few hours later it passed the House 300 to 128
Even before he signed the bill on February 15 Trump declared a national emergency under the National Emergency Act of 1976, bypassing Congress to divert money from elsewhere in the government to build the proposed border wall – this totaled $8.1 billion.  See graphic below for breakdown of these redirected funds (includes the $1.4 billion approved by Congress).
click on graphic to enlarge
On February 26 the House passed a resolution, 245 to 182 with 13 Republicans supporting the resolution, that would terminate Trump's declaration of national emergency specifically objecting to the reallocation of $3.6 billion from Department of Defense (DOD) military construction projects shown in the above graphic.
On March 14 the Senate voted to support the House resolution 59 to 41 with twelve Republican senators voting with the Democrats (Alexander – TN, Blunt – MO, Collins – ME, Lee – UT, Moran – KS, Murkowski – AK, Paul – KY, Portman – OH, Romney – UT, Rubio – FL, Toomey – PA, & Wicker – MS). 
On March 15 Trump vetoed the congressional resolution that disapproved the national emergency declaration.  The House plans to hold a vote on March 26 to try to override the veto.
It shows the priorities of Democrats & those Republicans in Congress who fight against Trump's authority to declare a national emergency wherever he sees it, an authority that Congress gave to the President via statute in order to avoid as many hard decisions for themselves as possible.  Congress will fight the president on declaring a national emergency on our southwest border but will not change the immigration & asylum laws that are so obviously being abused & used as weapons against America.
But Congress may only have the power to block the military construction portion, $3.6 billion, of Trump's plan to fund the border wall.  Without the $3.6 billion Trump would still have $4.5 billon of the original $5.7 billion sought. 
Trump already has the authority to move $2.5 billion seized from drug interdiction programs operated by the DOD to projects that would interrupt drug smuggling corridors.  Transferring the $2.5 billion drug interdiction money to the Army Corps of Engineers would provide the money to build barriers along the southwest border where drug smuggling occurs.
The $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund represents money sized in drug arrests & banks that committed sanctions violations & other crimes.  The Treasury uses this fund  for "programs & activities aimed @ disrupting criminal enterprises."  Trump can transfer this $600 million to build the border wall by declaring it is for law enforcement purposes.
However, all of this misses the point of how to address an emergency.  The border wall is certainly necessary & can't be built soon enough to suit me but it is not the answer to an emergency.  The solution lies in Congress changing our immigration & asylum laws or @ least the portion of our asylum laws that are being abused thereby making fools of us.
No other country would let such abuses continue.  In fact European Union countries have acted to cut off immigration after what became known as the European migrant crisis in 2015 whereby, for example, Germany admitted over 1.4 million migrants.  Now Italy has taken emergency steps to stem the number of seaborne migrants to just 262 the first two months of 2019 down from 5,200 during the same period last year & over 13,000 in 2017.  There were 181,436 migrants that entered Italy's shores in 2016 & only 23,370 in 2018.  See graphic below.
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Italy has proven that immigration control can be done but it takes a will as shown in the above graphic – but that will is not there in the U.S. 116th Congress – & really hasn't been in decades. 
And you can take me literally on that.  Last week I watched former five term Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo speak @ two town hall meetings broadcast on One America News Network – first in Cincinnati & second in Detroit - with a group of patriots dedicated to building as much of the border wall as possible with private money.  Many readers will remember that Congressman Tancredo's sole issue was border protection & fighting illegal immigration.  In both town hall meetings Tancredo explained that when he was in Congress he could not find one Republican let alone any Democrat who would join him in pursuing a realistic approach to border security.  In fact Tancredo said he was reprimanded on several occasions by Republican leader Tom Delay for even pursuing the issue.
So we are up against it as the elites of both parties shout by their actions for all of us to hear & know, but we are unable to hear refusing to listen, heed, or be persuaded, that they want illegal aliens to enter America for one reason or another.  These elites are protected by armed guards & walls so that any problems or crimes resulting from illegal aliens will not apply to them or their families – just to people like the late Kate Steinle or you & me @ random.
Now many of our elected representatives don't approve of the way Trump pursued the funding of the border wall – but certainly none can approve of what is actually going on @ the southwest border – click here to see 53 illegal aliens rush to America after cutting the fence in the Pacific Ocean & then only when caught claim asylum & here to see ten illegal aliens sneak across the southwest border in San Diego after smuggler uses young girls as decoys.  The people in these videos are not asylum seekers – they are fraudulent opportunists who are entering America uninvited ahead of people who have legally applied for citizenship & also ahead of people who have legally applied for refugee status or asylum.
You can side with the Democrats & the dozen Republicans in the Senate who voted against Trump's emergency declaration or with the Republicans who supported President Trump in looking for a way to protect America from an illegal immigration onslaught that shows no sign of abating & has been in the process of ruining America for decades.  But we should clearly recognize what is happening to our country regardless of whether or not Trump is constitutionally correct in declaring a national emergency or politically incorrect in so doing.
The number of illegal aliens entering America dropped in 2017 to new lows after it was perceived that Trump, in his first year in office, would clamp down on illegal immigration – similar to the results in Italy today as shown above.  It was only after the migrants learned they could reach their goal of entering America through the abuse of our asylum laws that the illegal immigration onslaught regained momentum.
It is clear that a few changes to the immigration & asylum laws would drastically change the destructive actions @ our southwest border thereby eliminating the emergency.  This could happen in the next five minutes if Congress wanted it to.  But since it doesn't happen we know that our elected representatives in power don't want it to. 
This is where you come in.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Laura's Special Guest At CPAC

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Laura Ingraham gave a very inspiring speech @ the recent CPAC conference – especially the encouraging final point.  Click here to hear the conclusion of Laura's speech in which she introduced a very special guest.