Will “Lucy” McConnell Pull The Football Away Again, Charlie Brown?

charlie brown footballFor the first time in a long while, Republican senators are actually sticking to the conservative game plan, holding the line on confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, until after the election.

This week two Republican senators, Susan Collins (R-ME) and John Boozman (R-AR) attended what the White House called “courtesy visits” with Judge Garland.  Four more are pending.  But Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell insists that his players will not jump offside this time.

Despite White House cries of foul play, the freeze-out of the president’s nominee doesn’t seem to be gaining any yardage with the press or the public, providing a jolt of testosterone for McConnell’s usually-timid team.

Republican legislators have repeatedly folded to their outnumbered Democrat opponents on popular conservative issues like budget restraint, defunding Planned Parenthood, and stopping Iran’s nuke program.   Even a chip shot like dropping the corrupt and obsolete Import-Export Bank was out of their reach.  Conservative voters have had enough, and the ascent of outsiders Ted Cruz and Donald Trump to the top of the GOP presidential roster drives that message home to McConnell and friends.

Still, it’s hard to not feel a little bit like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football.  Will “Lucy” McConnell pull it away at the last second like she always has before?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideTake a minute to enjoy one
of my all-time favorite pieces
of music from the Charlie Brown
TV shows by jazz giant
Vince Guaraldi

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi

 

South Carolina Tells Nikki Haley “No Refugees”

photo by WLTXPresident Obama’s accelerated plan to resettle up to 200,000 Syrian refugees in the United States over the next two years faces a tsunami of opposition from American citizens, and their security concerns over the program have pressed elected officials at every level into action.

Senator Jeff Sessions conducted an oversight hearing on the resettlement plan, and today House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a task force to find a way to put the program on hold until their security concerns could be addressed and resolved.  A number of congressmen have made statements in opposition, and some have proposed bills prohibiting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Last night the Dept. of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the State Department held a classified briefing in an attempt to assuage the concerns of members of Congress.  South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney said the briefing did not offer much new information but added he has done his own research and determined that the vetting process amounts to little more than a question on a form asking, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”  Mulvaney expects a House vote today which would require the agencies to specifically vet each refugee in detail prior to approval for resettlement.  “That would be the ‘pause’ some have referred to,” he said.

Pressure is being applied at the state level as well, and as of this writing over 30 governors have stated opposition to Syrian refugee resettlement in their respective states.  South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was an early advocate of the program, but acquiesced to calls for tighter security and wrote a letter to the State Department requesting a hold on Syrian refugees headed for her state.  South Carolina state representative Chip Limehouse plans to file a bill that would prevent the state from funding refugee relocation.

At the local level, county councils in South Carolina, supported by fervid testimony from constituents at council meetings, are passing resolutions that they hope would prevent Governor Haley from placing refugees in their counties.  Greenville County’s resolution stated, in part: “…the Greenville County Council will not approve or proceed with the United States Refugee Resettlement Program and rejects the expenditure of state funds to assist the United States Refugee Resettlement Program in Greenville County.”

While the Greenville County resolution won unanimous approval, as did similar bills in Berkeley and Pickens counties, York County’s motion by councilman Bruce Henderson failed for lack of a second.  Councilman Robert Winkler told me he is completely opposed to any program that might bring a terrorist to our shores.  When asked why he wouldn’t second the motion, he said, “We just didn’t have enough time to know exactly what we were voting for.  But I don’t really think there is anything we can do about it anyway – if Governor Haley wants to put refugees in our county, she can just do it, no matter what we say.”  Winkler pointed out that not much county money is spent directly on refugees other than the cost of police, fire departments, and schools.  Benefits such as food stamps, cash welfare, health care and housing are funded by the state and federal governments, so the county does not have any control over expenditures for refugees.

It’s not clear exactly who, if anyone, has the authority to stop the Obama administration from proceeding with the resettlement of Syrian refugees, or, for that matter, any other refugees.

Governor Haley contends that no Syrian refugees have been resettled in South Carolina to date.  If the predominantly conservative local and state officials prevail, that status will not change any time soon.

This article is sponsored by Watchdog Arena.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

And if she should tell you “come closer”
And if she tempts you with her charms
Tell her no no no no no-no-no-no
No no no no no-no-no-no
No no no no no
Don’t hurt me now for her love belongs to me

Tell Her No – the Zombies

They song may be from 1965.  But the Zombies are still alive!

Another Rebel Yell From House Conservatives

Speaker of the House John Boehner has survived yet another coup attempt, led by his arch-rival and one of the leaders of the conservative rebels in the house, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

One of Meadows’ rebel friends in Congress told me yesterday that the move was ill-fated from the start and would “set back” the cause of the small but growing group of conservative members who are trying to do what their voters back home sent them to do.  “I don’t know what Meadows was thinking,”  he said.

Republicans on the street (or should I say “former” Republicans, because almost nobody I know still claims the GOP) are livid at the leadership.  Conservative voters, still the largest ideological group, are furious that the Republican members have consistently legislated against their wishes since winning majorities in both houses.  Under Boehner and McConnell Congress has voted against defunding ObamaCare, voted in favor of giving Obama fast-track authority over trade deals, voted to raise the debt limit, and voted against reducing federal spending.  They allow Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty to continue and refuse to put an end to the flaunting of federal law by sanctuary cities.  They abdicated all foreign policy direction and oversight to a comicly inept administration and State Dept., resulting in Obama and Kerry’s disastrous nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran.  More examples abound.

Boehner claims to be a stellar leader, saying, “Under Republican leadership, Congress is getting things done.”  He’s right.  The problem is, everything they are getting done is exactly what the Democrats want, not what conservatives elected them to do.

Conservative Americans feel completely disenfranchised.  We find current Democrat policies and priorities wrongheaded and even repugnant. And the Republicans we elected to Congress seem unwilling or unable to stop even the most egregious actions of the left.  Even the obsolete, corrupt Export-Import Bank, thought to be dead and finally buried, was resurrected by McConnell.

Boehner and McConnell have no idea how upset the grassroots conservatives are, or how significant are our numbers.  GOP presidential hopefuls are starting to get it, especially seeing how even a clunky outsider like Donald Trump is hailed for giving voice to conservative values in public.

What was Congressman Meadows thinking?  Did he think maybe he could embarrass Boehner into stepping down?  Or did he hope that his fellow rebels would finally jump into the fight with guns blazing this time?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideHe lives in his own heaven
Collects it to go from the seven eleven
Well he’s out all night to collect a fare
Just so long it don’t mess up his hair.

Rebel Yell – Billy Idol

 

Reid Out, McConnell In. I Should Be Happy, Right?

reid-and-mcconnellTwo years ago Obama won re-election and the Democrat propaganda machine (war on women, everybody is racist, global warming, gay marriage, blah blah blah) seemed unstoppable.   I was in shock and dismay for a long time.

Yesterday the Democrats got a serious butt-whoopin’ as voters roundly repudiated their tired cliches and failed policies, electing a flood of Republicans.  Shouldn’t it feel better than this?  Seems like we should be dancing in the streets.

Harry Reid is no longer the Senate majority leader.  Hooray!  Has there ever been a more corrupt, cynical, dishonest person in such a position of power?  The best interests of the country and its citizens never made Reid’s priority list.  The accumulation of personal wealth and political power were his only ambitions and he pursued both relentlessly.

Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell won his re-election bid, and will assume Reid’s role at the helm of the Senate.  I should be happy . . . I guess.

Mitch McConnell is the face of the Republican insider club who promised he would “crush” the Tea Party.   McConnell, John Boehner, and other old-guard Republicans view their sweeping victory as a death-blow to the conservatives – the very same without whose effort and money his Republican party could not have prevailed.

McConnell consummated his re-election by stating that he would not take any extraordinary measures to address our $18 trillion dollar debt.

 

Asked whether he would insist on more deficit-reduction before going along with raising the debt ceiling, McConnell noted that when the House of Representatives and Senate write their fiscal 2016 budget blueprints, there could be a “mechanism” for addressing this issue. – Reuters

 

Looks like it will be spending-as-usual in Washington, DC.

I’m trying to crawl out from under my wet blanket.  What a joy it will be to have Joni Ernst, the soldier-mom from Iowa, in the Senate.   She blew up the Democrats’ pet “war on women” mantra: “I’m a woman, and I’ve been to war.  This is not a war.”

Scott Walker, the utterly fearless governor of Wisconsin, won his third election in four years, once more deflecting everything the Democrat machine and the unions could throw at him.   He has managed his state prudently and efficiently, and treats his citizens like adults.   If that isn’t vetting for a presidential run, I don’t know what it.

In fact, Democrats are job-hunting all over the country as voters continue to replace them at every level from school boards to state legislatures.  My new home state, South Carolina, boasts a conservative all-star team that includes Nikki Haley, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott and my own congressman, Mick Mulvaney.

Yeah, I guess it was a good week.  But I have a message for Mssrs McConnell and Boehner:

We conservatives have expended great effort and money to stop the liberal Democrats’ assault on our Constitution and destruction of our economy.  In some cases we had to, again, plug our noses as we marked our ballots.  We saved your bacon, but not your pork.  If you continue to disrespect and disregard us, there’s gonna be a showdown!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideBad dreamer, what’s your name?
Looks like we’re riding on the same train
Looks as though there’ll be more pain
There’s gonna be a showdown.

Showdown – Electric Light Orchestra

Take a minute to enjoy this amazing live performance by Jeff Lynne, the genius who glues together all the magical musical pieces known as the Electric Light Orchestra.  As a musician, I marvel at the perfection of his production at every level.