Tag Archives: Republicans

Judge Napolitano: Both Democrats And Republicans Will Spin Intel Findings To Their Advantage

(DCNF) Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said both Democrats and Republicans will find a way to spin any intelligence findings to their political advantage Thursday on “Fox & Friends.”

“It’s a dangerous area, and I’ll tell you why,” Napolitano said. “It’s very unfortunate if politicians use raw intelligence or raw law enforcement data for political narratives.” (RELATED: Judge Napolitano Says It’s Too Easy To Abuse FISA Laws To Spy On Americans)

“So, if you were to ask me, will they get what they’re looking for? It depends on who they are, because the Republicans are looking for a narrative that will undermine the beginning of the Mueller investigation,” he said. “The Democrats are looking for a narrative which will justify the continued Mueller investigation. Will they get what they’re looking for? Probably each side will.”

Napolitano said he believes there was more than one confidential mole informing on the Trump campaign, but thinks that information won’t be made public.

“If Bob Mueller has presented something or one of his prosecutors has, to a grand jury, it’s unlawful for them to share it with Congress. If there’s information about a confidential informant — whether it’s this person we’ve been talking about all week or somebody else, my guess is there’s more than one confidential informant,” Napolitano concluded.

“That information can’t be shared with members of Congress. If you were to ask me what’s going to be shared? That, I don’t know. I have no idea.”

Written by Nick Givas. You can Follow Nick on Twitter and Facebook


This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

DONEGAN: With GOP, Democrats in Turmoil, Libertarian Party Makes Historic Gains

The unexpected, meteoric rise of celebrity presidential candidate Donald Trump has torn the Republican Party asunder, causing many leading GOP politicos that once represented the party’s establishment and conservative wings to suggest that they might support a third-party candidate.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has become the unlikely voice of a new younger generation of progressives that are fed up with the status quo that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton represents. Many freshly-inspired voters and activists have recently stepped into the political process only to feel themselves being stiff-armed by Democratic Party superdelegates, party insiders whose votes have more weight than those of rank-and-file voters.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Debunking the Lesser-of-Two-Evils Voting Theory]

Amid these melees, America’s best organized third party, the Libertarian Party, has found itself suddenly achieving a series of victories that seemed impossible just a few years ago.

Earlier this month, the Libertarian Party became a ballot-qualified party in Oklahoma, a state with such mountainous ballot access restrictions that no third-party presidential candidate had appeared on the ballot there since the year 2000.

The party is also prepping for its first-ever nationally-televised presidential primary debate at 9 p.m. EST on Friday on Fox Business Network’s Stossel program.

Even more shocking is the fact that a recent national Monmouth University poll of registered voters which tested Libertarian Party frontrunner Gary Johnson against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump found Johnson at 11 percent support, just 4 percent shy of the 15 percent support level required to qualify for the general election presidential debates.

[DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

If former two-term Republican New Mexico Governor Johnson, a socially-liberal and fiscally-conservative self-made businessman, were to find himself in the general election debates with Trump and Clinton, he would be the only candidate onstage with executive experience in government, an unusual claim for a third party candidate to be able to make.

The only remaining Republican and Democratic primary candidates with executive experience are Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the Republican side and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who once served as mayor of Burlington, Vt., on the Democratic side.

The Libertarian Party’s organizational success has even reportedly caught the attention of some major-party candidates who dropped out of their primaries earlier this year.

Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark told The Washington Times on Wednesday, “We have been approached by candidates who have dropped out of the old party races about running on the Libertarian Party ticket. At this point, none of them have jumped in … but we have explored the options and talked to them about the logistics of it, what they would have to do, how they would be able to become part of the process.

Sarwick declined to say which candidates had approached the party.

In an unconventional political year in which the Republicans seem poised to nominate an unhinged celebrity that shouts profanities in speeches and the Democratic frontrunner is also facing the specter of a possible FBI indictment for mistakes that raise questions about her handling of classified national security information, the Libertarian Party’s current frontrunner might find himself in an opposite-day general election scenario where the third-party candidate is the only one who can emphasize his record as governor in an effort to cast himself and his party as more serious and presidential than the circus-like atmosphere of modern major-party politics. At a moment in which voters seem to prefer outsiders, the Libertarian Party can also play up its anti-establishment credibility as the best-organized third party alternative to what has been a generations-long Republican and Democratic stranglehold on U.S. politics.

For more election coverage, click here.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

IVN: How Many People Actually Voted for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Not Many

We’ve heard media pundits call it, “democracy in action.” Millions of voters have cast a ballot in the first round of the presidential election with many Republican and Democratic contests still to come. The media has talked about record-breaking numbers showing up to polling locations in droves, but what does that actually mean?

IVN independent author Gabriel Saint Cyr reported recently that both Republicans and Democrats have seen primary/caucus turnout that rivals the 2008 presidential election. The Democrats’ turnout of 11.7 percent of eligible voters nationally is the second highest turnout in nearly a quarter of a century. The Republicans are seeing their biggest turnout in modern U.S. history — a whopping 17.3 percent of the eligible voting population.

Media pundits call this democracy in action, yet this means that the number of voters (percent) in many states who are deciding which two major party candidates are guaranteed a spot on the general election ballot in all 50 states is in the single digits. The electability of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are being decided by only a handful of voters.

The data below was compiled from various secretary of state and board of elections websites and shows the stark reality of what winning a presidential primary or caucus actually means. The calculations, drawn from election results and voter registration statistics, show how big victories were won by less than 10 percent of the registered voting population in many states — a number that would be even smaller when looking at the entire voting age population.

It is information not often shared in the mass media, but readers can decide for themselves, is this really democracy in action?

This article, written by Athena Gavranian, was republished with permission from IVN.

Libertarian Party Obtains Ballot Access in Okla. for First Time Since 2000

The Libertarian Party just scored a major victory in its quest to fulfill candidate Gary Johnson’s promise that the party will be on the ballot in all 50 states as an alternative to the Republicans and Democrats in the 2016 presidential election.

Ballot Access News is reporting that the Oklahoma Election Board announced on Monday that it has verified the Libertarian Party’s petition to become a qualified party in the state, meaning that its presidential candidate will appear on the 2016 ballot and that its voters can register to vote as members of the party.

Only Republican and Democratic candidates have appeared on the Oklahoma presidential ballot in every election so far since the year 2000. The only political party to gain recognized party status since that time, the Americans Elect party in 2011, did not place a candidate on the ballot after doing so.

[RELATED: Libertarian Party of Maine Files Suit Seeking Recognized Party Status, Ballot Access]

Truth in Media reported last year on the fact that Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin had signed a bill into law in May of 2015 that reduced the number of signatures required for a third party to obtain qualified party status from 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election to 3 percent.

Prior to that change in the law, the Libertarian Party called Oklahoma “one of the toughest states for ballot access.

According to The Associated Press, the Oklahoma Libertarian Party had submitted a petition with 42,000 signatures in February, above the 24,745 signatures required to meet the 3 percent rule.

We did it. Now we have to make it count,” said Oklahoma Libertarian Party vice chair Tina Kelly. She said that the party has a dozen in-state candidates that are planning to run for office, including two possible contenders for U.S. Senate.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

In order to remain a qualified party in future elections, the top LP candidate on the ballot must garner at least 10 percent of the vote, a steep hurdle for a party that drew one percent of the vote nationally in the 2012 presidential election. However, a bill that would reduce that threshold from 10 percent to 2.5 percent passed the Oklahoma Senate by a vote of 42-1 on March 10. It has been referred to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.

Election law expert Richard Winger of Ballot Access News wrote, “The most difficult petition requirement the Libertarian Party must now complete, in order to have its presidential nominee on the ballot in all states in 2016, is the Illinois requirement, 25,000 signatures.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

DONEGAN: Media Should Report on Presidential Elections, Not Manipulate Them

The 2016 presidential election, crowded with candidates in a circus-like atmosphere, is serving as a type of stress test for the U.S. news media. Can journalists, often viewed as members of the U.S. government’s fourth unofficial branch, manage the task of accurately and neutrally informing American voters of the positions of the many candidates that are running for president this time?

However, in order to achieve this simple-sounding feat, journalists must resist two major innate urges: giving in to the greedy lust for easy clicks and bending coverage to fit their own personal political biases or financial interests.

Billionaire Donald Trump’s celebrity campaign exposes media outlets who favor ratings and clicks over reporting the news, as Trump’s reality TV popularity has given the stiff and stodgy world of electoral politics an Access Hollywood-style makeover and a new audience hungry for gossip about the billionaire real estate investor’s latest controversies. Unfortunately, the U.S. media appears to be failing that aspect of the 2016 stress test, as Trump’s out-sized popularity has led to him obtaining “the overwhelming majority of [the 2016 presidential election’s] news coverage,” as University of Texas at Arlington political science professor Rebecca Deen told BBC News.

Journalists will obviously seek out content that attracts readers and viewers, as that is the nature of the news marketplace, but there is a difference between making sure to cover the hottest stories and choosing only to cover candidates that are already bringing in big ratings prior to even receiving coverage on their positions.

On the other hand, the vast array of different candidates in the 2016 race has placed a spotlight on the various biases that appear to burden different networks.

Fox News was criticized by conservatives, who likely believe that the news organization has cozy ties with the Republican National Committee, for posing what they saw as left wing attacks as questions at the network’s Aug. 6, 2015 Republican presidential debate in what was seen as an effort to disrupt outsider candidates like Carson and Trump and to put conservative candidates on the defensive. Fox has also drawn criticism for repeatedly leaving Sen. Rand Paul’s name off of on-screen graphics ranking candidates by their poll numbers, an issue that also plagued former Congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.

CNN has drawn criticism from Bernie Sanders supporters for pointlessly declaring Hillary Clinton the winner of Democratic presidential debates immediately upon their conclusion based often on arbitrary metrics, leading some observers to conclude that the network seems to unofficially favor the candidacy of Clinton over Sanders. Sen. Jim Webb accused the cable news channel of rigging the Democratic debates for Clinton and Sanders. CNN, which many perceive as left-leaning, also openly admitted to planning more divisive and combative debate questions for Republicans than it did for Democrats.

[RELATED: CNN Reportedly Planning Less-Confrontational Format for Democratic Debate]

Biases exist and always will because all journalists are human and have them. However, good journalists should admit their biases and work hard not to let them poison their coverage of facts and ruin their credibility in the eyes of neutral observers.

Also, media outlets are sometimes guilty of manipulating the playing field in the presidential race for their own convenience. As an example, news networks drew criticism from Republican activists for trying to winnow down the large field of GOP candidates prior to presidential debates based on early poll numbers, thus denying some lesser-known but serious candidates a platform to ever promote their candidacy in the first place.

It is not the media’s job to choose which candidates get to outline their policies to voters. It is the media’s job to neutrally publicize the views of all of those candidates and to let voters in the fifty states winnow the field down in the voting booth.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

When Fox Business cut Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina from the main stage of its Jan. 14 debate to the undercard, some accused the network of reducing the number of candidates on the main stage in an effort to prevent the undercard stage from being cut from the program due to a lack of available candidates, potentially putting advertising dollars at risk.

Ultimately, the U.S. news media as a whole should be judged on its coverage of the presidential race based on whether voters have been equipped with the information necessary to look at all of the candidates on the ballot on election day and choose the one whose positions line up best with their own personal views. It should not be a press release service for journalists’ favorite campaigns’ talking points, a public relations firm selling the viewpoints of the political establishment, or a ratings-and-clicks-obsessed tabloid detailing the latest celebrity gossip.

For more election coverage, click here.

Ariz. Sec. of State Calls for End to Taxpayer-Funded Presidential Primaries

Republican Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan is reportedly working with legislators on a bill that would end taxpayer funding of presidential primaries in the state.

According to The Associated Press, Sec. Reagan’s elections director Eric Spencer said that ending taxpayer-funded primaries would save the state $10 million. He also argued that the legislation is necessary because independent voters are required to fund the Democratic and Republican parties’ primary contests but are not allowed to participate in them.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Spencer told The Arizona Capitol Times, “We want to return this to the political parties to run. And we believe that that’s a core function of a political party, to vet their nominees.

The Arizona State Legislature slashed the Sec. of State’s budget by $6 million in 2015 to apply it to the upcoming presidential primary election.

The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts wrote, “Adding to reasons why the GOP and Democrats don’t need party welfare? Fully a third of Arizona’s voters can’t even participate in the presidential primaries. Independents now comprise the largest and fastest growing voting bloc in the state yet they can’t vote in a presidential primary. They are, however, expected to pick up a share of the tab.

[RELATED: Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates]

Inevitably, [ending taxpayer funding of primary elections] would mean there would be caucuses instead of presidential primaries in Arizona, because the parties could not afford to administer presidential primaries on their own,” said Ballot Access News’ Richard Winger, an election law expert.

In July of last year, the Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber those who identify as Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates

Officials in charge of the Commission on Presidential Debates say that due to the mood of the electorate, they are preparing for the possibility that a third-party candidate will emerge who obtains sufficient support to qualify for the 2016 general election presidential debates.

According to The Washington Post, in an interview that will appear on a Jan. 24 episode of The Open Mind, Commission on Presidential Debates co-chair Michael McCurry reportedly told host Alexander Heffner, “The dynamic in the electorate right now and the dissatisfaction with the two major political parties could very conceivably allow an independent or a third-party candidate to emerge, and we are very clear that they would be welcome in these debates.

CPD co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who said that he thinks “it would be great” if a third-party candidate were to qualify, said that the commission spent months considering a change to the rule that requires independent candidates to obtain at least 15 percent support in national polls in order to qualify to participate in the 2016 general election debates, but that it ultimately decided to keep it in place.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Critics of the rule say that it has prevented any third-party candidates from qualifying for the general election debates since 1992, when Ross Perot took on former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

However, despite having chosen to keep that rule in place, the co-chairs of the CPD reportedly believe that, depending on who wins the Republican and Democratic primaries, 2016 might be a year in which a prominent third-party candidate responds to voter demand, enters the race, and qualifies for the general election debates.

Characterizing the CPD co-chairs’ views in the wake of his interview, Open Mind host Heffner told The Washington Post, “I think they’re aware of the Trump revolution, or whatever you want to call it — the microphone that the media has provided for Trump. The two-party system, to many Americans, has disillusioned them to the point of questioning whether this is a democracy. And these men have a role to play in determining who is on that stage.

[RELATED: Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates]

Some pundits theorize that Donald Trump might defy his pledge to the GOP and run as an independent if he loses the Republican primary. A Trump primary win on the other hand might leave an opening for another right-leaning third-party candidate. A Bernie Sanders loss in the Democratic primary could leave a significant number of disaffected progressives up for grabs for a high-profile independent.

Meanwhile, the bench of apparent 2016 third-party candidates is already loaded with higher-profile candidates than in previous elections. Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb quit the Democratic primary last year and is considering an independent run, and a University of Mary Washington poll found him at double digit support in Virginia as an independent in several match-ups against various combinations of possible Republican and Democratic nominees. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently hired pollsters to test how he might fare as an independent alternative to a Trump vs. Clinton general election match-up.

The Libertarian Party has gone from running lesser known activists as candidates, such as Michael Badnarik in 2004, to having serious candidates with executive experience, like former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, in its stable. According to CBS Minnesota, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is considering a run for the Libertarian Party’s nomination, meaning the party’s 2016 primary debates might involve a showdown between a group of candidates including more than one former governor.

In July of last year, the Truth in Media project released a Consider This video pointing out the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. For context, watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Gaming the Public: The Parties’ Dirty Secret About Corruption in Politics

By Steve Hunyar – Republican and Democratic politicians alike hold one dirty strategy close to the vest when it comes to the majority of the funds they receive throughout their political campaigns and their terms in office.

Many Republicans are fond of pointing fingers at political corruption in the Democratic ranks when public and private unions contribute lobbying dollars in overwhelming numbers to Democrats. We hear the usual litany of comments trying to convince Americans that Democratic politicians are in the pockets of the unions and their leaders.

Many Democrats are equally fond of pointing fingers at political corruption in the GOP ranks which stems from corporate lobbying dollars. We get their incessant comments trying to convince Americans that Republican politicians are in the pockets of the corporations and their boards.

Lots of postured finger points — even more money changing hands.

And many partisan Americans on both sides, left and right, lap it up and play right into the strategy. Incessant claims of corruption. Ad nauseam assertions of influence peddling. Right versus left. Democrats hating Republicans and vice versa. Chest puffery; fist slamming bravado.

Erstwhile, the politicians laugh all the way to the bank as their ‘divide and conquer’ strategy works to near perfection and it’s continued business as usual. For continued favors to their lobbying benefactors, the money pours voluminously into their campaign coffers.

In occasional grand schemes of contrition, policymakers pass laws to make it seem like they are equally angered by the financial manipulation — claiming that most of their colleagues are accepting these legal bribes, but never them. And these laws, such as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold), are eventually found to be unconstitutional and are overturned. Back to business as usual. Ah, but they look good trying to make it seem like they are fighting the corruption.

[pull_quote_right]Without the politicians standing there with their palms extended outward and upward, there would be no lobbying.[/pull_quote_right]

For all of the grandstanding and posturing, there is one simple truth. It is the politicians that are creating the demand for the supply.

We can blame anything and everything. However, without the politicians standing there with their palms extended outward and upward, there would be no lobbying, no lobbying dollars, and no influence peddling. Unions and corporations would not allocate lobbying dollars, if not for the greed and corruption of the politicians themselves.

Lobbyists and the entire lobbying industry would be sunsetted if politicians simply agreed to not fund their campaigns with monies other than directly from the public. The problem is no politician, nor candidate with political aspirations, wants to risk losing for a lack of funding, so it’s business-as-usual.

At a time when America has become inestimably divided, this is a rallying cry most would support.

We need a new breed of independent candidates who are willing to lead the charge and disregard any group that is eager to finance their run for office; candidates and politicians who do not rely on any special interest group other than the individual constituents they serve.

In today’s technological era, candidates use social media to easily reach out beyond the confines of their voting precincts and collect from anyone in the U.S. that wishes to contribute. They could also easily limit the amounts they receive from individuals – regardless of laws – putting purity back into their campaigns.

If they owe no one, they can vote their conscience and truly represent their voters. Politics would be radically overhauled on every level.

Alas, this will never happen as long as We the People do not demand it. As long as We the People do not recognize this divide and conquer strategy, we will never collectively see through the fog of division and derision, and demand real change.

If you take anything from my thesis, please understand the current quid pro quo politics would not exist if not for the contemptible corruption and greed of the politicians themselves. Blaming the unions and the corporations for attempting to influence politicians is a waste of time and a fabricated distraction.

We are being played.



Republished with permission from IVN.

Politics and Football: Why Our Blind Allegiance to One Team Can Ruin the Whole Game


By Brian Hasenbauer – With football season and the Republican/Democratic primaries in full swing, conversations about politics and football are everywhere and it’s hard to stay out of the discussions. This got me thinking about the similarities between football and politics.

In football, everyone cheers for their own team and thinks regardless of how bad they are or how they are doing they are the best!

Some have been cheering for that team since they were young and saw their parents cheering for them and never thought much of it. They became fans simply because their parents where fans of that team.

Some discovered their team later in life or in the college years when sports becomes more important to social activities but these favorite teams last with most of us for our lifetime and can’t be easily changed regardless of how well your team is doing or the opinions of others.

Growing up I had a few different teams that I rooted for as my dad was in the Navy and we moved around frequently. My parents were from upstate New York and many of those in the area were Buffalo Bills fans which became my first team.

Later we moved to Rhode Island and I became a New England Patriots fan but that didn’t last long as we moved to Spain and things changed.

When you live on a military base overseas things are a little different than life state-side and I can remember one team being the favorite team of most families living on the base. America’s Team was that team, the Dallas Cowboys!

Overseas there were not many games we could see in the 1970s as we were still receiving VHS tapes from friends to keep up with Greatest American Hero, but for some reason the one game we would see would be on Thanksgiving and it was always the Cowboys. So I became a fan and after my dad was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. things were solidified when I lived in enemy territory – Redskin territory.

When I showed up to 5th grade at Chapel Square I can remember my new friends mocking me and telling me how stupid I looked in my blue and gray Cowboys t-shirts every time I wore them.

I soon found out that even when the Redskins or any of my friends’ teams were not doing well, they still thought their team was the best and no opinions could sway their minds. It doesn’t matter what your team’s record is or the point in the season, no other team can compare.

This happens even when your team is down or going through a rough patch. You can’t see how any other team can be ranked higher and don’t understand why everyone doesn’t like your team or appreciate them as you do. You simply can’t understand what’s wrong with everyone else.

Comparisons to Politics

When seeing some of the posts and “discussions” in the media and Facebook regarding any number of issues regarding politics or religion, I have seen a number of similarities between football and politics.

[pull_quote_right]Similar to allegiance to a favorite football team, those who identify ‘strongly’ with either major party show this same blind allegiance to their party.[/pull_quote_right]

Chief among these similarities is the fact that once you have a mindset or certain set of beliefs, no amount of evidence will sway your opinion. Not to stereotype everyone in this same mold but that’s what I’ve witnessed and experienced.

Similar to allegiance to a favorite football team, those who identify “strongly” with either major party show this same blind allegiance to their party. It doesn’t matter what the issue is or how things are going, that’s their team and that’s where their allegiance lies.

Graduating from one of the largest Division I schools without a football team (George Mason University), I have a different viewpoint on college football for sure and like to think I can remain nonpartisan with most issues.

It’s for this reason I strongly identify with being an independent as I define myself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative or what some would call “a political unicorn.” Looking for solutions and embracing new ideas regardless of the origin is the way I like to think of my political ideology.

Back to Football…

Football you would think would be a little clearer cut with losing and winning records and statistics. It should be easier for the fans with teams with winning records to be the most vocal about their teams’ chances and those with losing records to agree and possibly even cheer for another team when there’s isn’t playing.

This simply doesn’t happen.

No middle ground is found and you typically don’t hear someone say about another team that they look great and should easily win. No, they just defend their own team and create reasons and arguments why the teams with better records aren’t so great and why their team is still in it.

I’m a Cowboy fan; they are 3-8 and don’t stand much of a chance at making the playoffs. I’m a realist and can see this even though my Sunday’s will now be ruined for the rest of the year.

I’m not going to start cheering for the Redskins or Giants but I’ve certainly realized and can understand that my team is not going to be in the Super Bowl and can appreciate the other teams left in the hunt for the Super Bowl.

Is this middle ground? Is this giving up on my feelings and passion regarding my team? No, I’m still as passionate about the Cowboys, but I am a realist and understand that it’s not their year and can see that another team is probably better suited to win this Super Bowl this year.

[pull_quote_right]In order to stay in the conversation you choose a team, the team you dislike the least.[/pull_quote_right]

Where is the common ground in politics or religion? With opposing viewpoints on most issues it’s difficult for opposing sides to see any common ground or points of meaningful discussion and the conversations become filled with hatred and spite for the opposing view. There is simply no middle ground.

In football, in a way middle ground is watching the Super Bowl where millions of people around the world choose one of two teams and cheer for teams they normally wouldn’t.

The presidential election is the Super Bowl of politics and just as many Americans whose candidates didn’t make it to the final two, we choose a side and cheer for the one that for most of us we dislike the least. It’s the lesser of two evils.

Let’s face it… when your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, no other team can compare, but in order to stay in the conversation you choose a team, the team you dislike the least.

This is true with the presidential race as well. For most of us, no candidate meets every single criterion you would like in a candidate and you make a compromise by voting for the lesser of two evils. In a two-party system, there is no viable alternative and this choice must be made if you still want to be involved in the conversation.

Unfortunately, many who identify with one party or the other will only vote party line and can’t find a middle ground on any issues. Considering there are not many options but one of the lesser evils, you vote your party line.

Common Ground

After writing this I more deeply understand the allegiance to certain teams but what I still can’t grasp is the blind allegiance to political parties that don’t represent the majority of Americans or understand how we continue to have the same two teams in the Political Super Bowl each year. We need a viable third party that can be more representative of an American populace that has become frustrated with the partisan bickering and lining of lobbyists pockets in a corrupt political system.

We need leaders willing to fight for the common man and woman and free us all from political parties that care more about tearing each other down than lifting up the American people.

It’s time we come together, look for solutions to our challenges as a country and have discussions and debates that focus on issues and not parties or personalities. It’s only by putting country first that we can fight terrorism, tackle the national debt, balance the budget, secure our country’s borders and return to being the undisputed leading super power in the world.

To make this happen, it will probably take an act of terror as never seen before to truly galvanize America once again to meet these challenges we face. And it’s only when we can truly come together as a nation that we can tackle poverty in our own country, build our education system into one that’s world class, and modify our immigration policies to ensure our safety while welcoming a highly skilled workforce to help support our aging and declining workforce.

We can do this if we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. If we can’t come together as a nation for a common good and end the partisan infighting, we will no longer be the world’s last best hope for peace and prosperity and could possibly relinquish that title to China or Russia.

It’s a choice our leaders can make and regardless of what team you are cheering for, you owe it to yourself and your country to tell your elected officials that you are tired of nothing being accomplished and call for change.

Poll: Independents Will Soon Outnumber Republicans and Democrats Combined

By Jane Susskind (IVN) – A recent NBC poll confirms that the partisan political environment is, in fact, taking a toll on the two major parties, with voter registration revealing that self-identified independents are the fastest growing voting bloc in America.
NBC commentators coin it “the rise of an ‘independents’ era,” reporting that in 2014 the number of people self-identifying as independent was at 39 percent, passing that of Democrats (32 percent) and Republicans (23 percent).

[bctt tweet=”45% of voters now self-identify as independent #election @chucktodd”]

As of June 2015, the number of self-identifying independents has grown to 45 percent — just 2 points shy of the number of Democrats and Republicans COMBINED.

“The largest political party in the United States in no longer a party at all,” NBC commentator Chuck Todd reports.

“In the 31 states plus the District of Columbia where voters have to pick a party when registering to vote, unaffiliated or no party voters are now the leading political party in 12 of those state, and in a few of them, they are the majority of all registered voters.” – Chuck Todd, NBC News

In Florida, a major 2016 battleground state, the number of independent voters has grown by one million voters in the last 10 years. Democrats have only seen an increase of 300,000 voters, and Republicans lag with just 200,000 additional voters in the same time period.

What does this mean for 2016? Candidates will have to start listening to the nation’s increasingly independent-minded electorate if they want to distinguish themselves. The only issue is, do they know how?

For more election coverage click here.

Rand Paul Uses Kalief Browder As An Example Of The Need For Criminal Justice Reform

During a fundraiser in Baltimore County on Tuesday, GOP Presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul addressed current issues with criminal justice in the United States, and urged Maryland Republicans to think about why many African Americans mistrust the justice system.

Paul brought up the story of Kalief Browder, an African American who recently committed suicide, after spending three years in a jail at Riker’s Island, without trial. Browder was arrested in 2010, when he was 16, for allegedly stealing a backpack, and because he wasn’t able to make bail, he stayed at Riker’s until his case was dismissed.

I’ve been telling this story for about a year and a half, two years now,” Paul said. “It makes me sad. I thought about not telling the story again. But I think this young man’s memory should help us to try to change things. He died this weekend. He committed suicide. His name was Kalief Browder. He was a 16-year-old teenager from the Bronx. He was arrested, accused of a crime, and sent to Rikers.”

The New York Times noted that during his time at Rikers, Browder suffered psychological trauma from spending nearly two of the three years in solitary confinement, and physical trauma as a result of several beatings, including one incident when Browder was “brutally assaulted by a guard.

As Truth In Media previously reported, the Department of Justice released a report in Aug. 2014, which concluded that corrections officers at Riker’s Island “regularly violated the constitutional rights of teenage prisoners by consistently and swiftly resorting to violence in their handlings with them.”

“Are we going to let you be raped and murdered and pillaged before you’ve been convicted?” Paul asked. “He wasn’t even convicted! So when I see people angry and upset, I’m not here to excuse violence in the cities, but when I see people angry, I see where some of the anger is coming from.”

Paul said that although he can’t personally relate, looking at the odds young black men currently face in the US has helped him to understand the unrest and frustration felt by young men such as Browder.

“This young man, 16 years old,” Paul said. “Imagine how his classmates feel about American justice. Imagine how his parents feel. So the thing is until you walk in someone else’s shoes, I think we shouldn’t say that we can’t understand the anger of people.

Paul also said that he holds the Democrats accountable for the current conditions, and he believes they have “utterly failed our inner cities, and utterly failed the poor.”

“A lot of these policies came from Bill Clinton,” Paul said. “In Ferguson, for every 100 black women, there are 60 black men. That’s because 40 are incarcerated. Am I saying they did nothing wrong and it’s all racism? No. What I am telling you is that white kids don’t get the same justice.”

For more news related to the 2016 Presidential election, click here.

Rand Paul Declares Victory Over NSA Spying

Washington D.C.- Senator Rand Paul has declared victory over the NSA spy program reportedly authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

As we reported, late Sunday the National Security Agency (NSA) shut down its bulk data collection program as the PATRIOT Act expired thanks to Paul’s efforts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to pass several bills that would temporarily extend the law’s expiring spying authorities but was blocked by Rand Paul, first through a perfectly-timed filibuster and then through additional procedural stalling tactics that pushed the timing of the vote past May 22, when senators were set to leave Washington DC for recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute vote on May 31 in an effort to reauthorize the provisions prior to their expiration, but Senator Rand Paul objected to any votes on PATRIOT Act reauthorization bills or the USA FREEDOM Act, a house-passed bill that Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) said would outsource NSA spying to corporations, until the Senate had sufficient time to debate, thus tabling the votes until Tuesday of this week at the earliest, forcing the PATRIOT Act to officially expire as of 12:01 EST Monday morning.

A new Washington Post article is now suggesting that Senator Paul slipping in Iowa because of this stance against the NSA’s program.  The latest polling from Iowa shows Paul tied with Dr. Ben Carson for second place in Iowa at 10 percent apiece. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the far-and-away frontrunner, however, reaching 17 percent.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Paul slammed establishment Republicans who have been supporting the program for years.

“I’ve been all over the United States in the last year, particularly in the last week or so when we’ve been talking just about the PATRIOT Act, and we get hundreds of people showing up at every stop who are all saying you know what, they don’t want President Obama to be collecting their phone records. So I find that not only is it the right position, it’s also a very popular position among Republicans—just not in the Washington establishment Republicans. But when you’re out there meeting with grassroots Republicans, the grassroots by and large think that President Obama went way too far with this illegal collection of our phone records.”


PATRIOT Act Spy Provisions Officially Expire After Senate Reauthorization Attempt Fails

Snowden: Private Explicit Photos Often Shared By NSA Agents

Governor Walker Breaks Silence On Patriot Act, NSA Stance

Jason Stapleton Program Live: Republicans Join President to Screw Us All

Today we’ll be talking about he president’s Fast Track bill and shed some light on why congress would be supporting such an obvious shift of their own power to the executive. We’ll also discuss Frances new surveillance state AND…Are fund managers preparing for a market meltdown?

The Jason Stapleton Program is live from 11:05 am to noon eastern. Enjoy replays from earlier episodes before and after the live show.

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Obama: ‘By Hook Or Crook,’ I’ll Expand Government – Will Republicans Stop Him?

By Neil Munro 

President Barack Obama says he’s going to push the limits on presidential power as far as he can go during the last two years of his tenure.

“Where [elected Republicans in Congress] are not willing to work with us, we will do it administratively or we will convene the private sector,” he said in a friendly interview with The Huffington Post.

“By hook or by crook,” he added.

Obama said his big-government push would “make sure that when I leave this office, that the country is more prosperous, more people have opportunity, kids have a better education, we’re more competitive, climate change is being taken more seriously than it was, and we are actually trying to do something about it.”

In practice, Obama’s agenda includes more progressive control over peoples’ salaries, education practices and the energy companies. Each expansion means that state and local governments plus large and small companies will cooperate with regulators to push progressives’ goals, instead of trying to please Americans voters, taxpayers and free-market consumers.

Despite the huge victory delivered by GOP voters and swing voters in November, it is not clear if the GOP leaders can — are will even try — to block Obama’s plan.

The Constitution says the White House can only execute Congress’ laws, not rewrite them.

Obama’s supported by 46 senators, most of the established media, plus a progressive and ethnic coalition that comprises roughly 40 percent of the electorate.

On the other side, the GOP is split, and the mainstream media is relatively small.

Half the party consists of a small-government core that wants to curb progressives’ government-magnified power over Americans’ economic and social lives.

But the GOP leadership, plus a large chunk of legislators, most lobbyists and campaign donors, are reluctant to rally voters against Obama’s big-government agenda. Instead, they prefer to make deals that provide short-term economic benefits to business groups and to wealthy donors.

Since November, the divided GOP has failed to reduce Obama’s progressive power grabs in the health sector, the energy sector, the education sector, the Internet and the immigration system.

In many cases, judges and GOP governors are more effective in blocking Obama’s agenda.

For example, lawsuits by governors have already frozen Obama’s amnesty, and may force major changes in Obamacare. Also, Obama’s Internet takeover will be stopped or just slowed by disadvantaged companies, as will much of his energy takeover.

GOP leaders have repeatedly failed to stop Obama’s “by hook or crook” expansion of progressive power at the expense of the free-market and Americans’ freedoms.

In February, the GOP retreated on its effort to block an agency decision that would allow a federal agency to decide how much companies can charge for Internet services. That power ensures that Internet executives’ most important customers will now be federal regulators, not American Internet users.

Over the last year, the GOP leadership failed to block — or even fight —- Obama’s November amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants.

The benefits that Obama wants to provide to the 5 million illegals include work-permits that let them compete for jobs held by Americans, plus future payments from the Social Security fund, tax rebates worth roughly $1.7 billion over 10 years, plus drivers’ licenses and a quick path to citizenship and the voting booth by 2024. The 5-decade cost of Obama’s amnesty could reach $1.3 billion.

In December, the GOP leadership let Obama fund his amnesty in exchange for new rules that allow Wall Street banks to get federal backing for risky economic bets.

In February and March, GOP leaders in the Senate and in the House allied with Democrats on Congress to overcome GOP opposition to the amnesty, by allowing Obama to use fees paid by illegals to fund his amnesty.

But the GOP leaders are sometimes willing to fight Obama and his progressives. In March, Sen. Mitch McConnell launched a far-reaching campaign to protect his home-state coal companies.

At other times, the GOP leaders are willing to fight the GOP’s small-government wing. In March, GOP leaders in the House negotiated with Democratic leaders to develop a health-sector spending plan that would deepen and expand government control over the health sector, and would also increase the national debt by roughly $400 billion.

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CPAC Straw Poll Winner Rand Paul Battles The Bush Machine—Goldwater Style

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2015—As the winner of the past three Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) Straw Polls, Senator Rand Paul excels at generating meaningful political and economic discussions among college students and young professionals. The same generation that is known for speaking in bewildering acronyms continues to gather in force to ask and to answer difficult questions that are essential to the life and liberty of all Americans. Their answers will ultimately determine the future of the nation.

The Senator’s most recent economic stand will endear him to anyone who has ever interfaced with the Internal Revenue Service. He promised to introduce the largest tax cut in American history. In his speech to attendees of CPAC, he mentioned that he is poised to propose a tax plan “that would get the IRS out of our lives.” He indicated his intention to cut taxes “for everyone from the richest to the poorest.”

“It’s time for a new way predicated on opportunity and freedom!” said Paul to a wildly supportive crowd. The Senator attacked America’s indiscriminate foreign aid policies, especially the large sums of money sent without the permission of taxpayers to countries that consider The United States an enemy. “Not one penny more to these haters of America!” said Paul.

His speech had the tenor of a well-run, focused campaign and was eerily similar to comments made by Senator Barry Goldwater exactly 50 years ago on the campaign trail leading up to his landmark GOP presidential nomination. “You cannot stop a man who has vowed to bury you by handing him a shovel,” said Goldwater, “By feeding and clothing his friends, while denying your friends the means to help protect you!” Goldwater believed that removing foreign aid would ultimately prevent wars.

Several members of the Young Jewish Conservatives attending CPAC this year specifically mentioned the foreign aid issue as a driving force behind their support for Rand Paul for president. Paul’s straight talk appeals to countless concerned Americans who are fed up with politics as usual, feel betrayed by the Party Machine, and fear that the United States is on an irreversible course similar to that of the Titanic—or Greece.

Two weeks prior to CPAC, the Students for Liberty (SFL) held its national conference in Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 students from across the world attended. The group was largely inspired by the ideas presented to them by Senator Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul. Now it is the fastest-growing political group on college campuses globally, and is surpassing both the College Democrats and College Republicans groups on American campuses.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is another group inspired by the Paul family’s articulation of limited government principles. Many YAL members were active in the GOP for years before they understood the liberty message, realized how well it resonates, and committed to passionately fight to preserve it. The large presence of both SFL and YAL at CPAC is telling, and has seemingly eliminated the establishment hostilities doled out to them by fellow attendees when they were the minority at previous conferences. The young libertarians gladly swap testimonies of political enlightenment with a fervor nostalgic of a tent revival meeting. They are also getting elected to offices across the land, a clear sign that they are not going away anytime soon.

Freedom is popular, it seems, and the Bill of Rights is back en vogue with a new generation of American rebels. This energy threatens to change the go-along-to-get-along, aging Republican establishment, which is why the party profiteers are so quick to strike back at the resurgence of old school conservatism.

The same Rockefeller Republicans who sandbagged Goldwater after he won the GOP nomination from the floor are currently working financial and legal channels on behalf of Jeb Bush. The 2016 Republican nomination is seemingly fixed for the top fundraiser and his delegate-donors, a complete violation of the nominating process. Sources say Jeb Bush bussed hundreds of people to CPAC from their Washington offices just to fill seats during his speech and to presumably raise his standing in the straw poll. This effort did not succeed in preventing him from being handily booed every time his name was mentioned, including while he addressed the attendees who remained after a protest/walkout. His temporary seat-filling strategy was met with disdain by attendees who saved and spent their own money to attend the duration of the event and cast their ballots.

One of Paul’s leading critics is fellow Senator and former GOP nominee John McCain, a man who praises Goldwater with his lips while shunning everything he stood for by his actions.  Just two years ago, the 80-year-old McCain called Senators Paul and Cruz, as well as Congressman Justin Amash, “wacko birds.” He called their supporters, the Under 40 crowd that supports Paul’s limited government principles, “impressionable libertarian kids.”

Yet, the vibrant, liberty-leaning younger crowd that has wrestled its way into the GOP is the only fresh blood coursing through the Party’s very old veins. Perhaps the current Republican Party leadership is not the right body from which to expect kind words of “big tent” gratitude. The crowds who now stand with Rand don’t seem to care. Their vision is clear, and they know they will eventually outlive the generation that got the country into this mess in the first place. They seem to be ready to get to work.

Senate Democrats Agree to DHS Funding Bill to Protect Obama’s Immigration Order

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 98-2 on a bill that would continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bill, which comes three days before a partial DHS shutdown, has created controversy between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, and was only agreed upon after Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, removed provisions added by the House that would have reversed President Obama’s executive immigration action.

The Hill reported that the two votes against the bill were from Republican Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid, called the bill a “clean Homeland Security funding substitute,” and said that Democrats in the Senate would only support it on the condition that it did not reverse Obama’s immigration order.

According to the Huffington Post, under the agreement presented by McConnell, the Senate will “resolve the DHS funding issue and then vote on a separate bill” from Republican Senator Susan Collins “to block Obama’s executive actions.

The Associated Press noted that the bill will now be sent to the House, where some conservatives called the new plan a “surrender to the White House.”

The Hill reported that several Republicans criticized this “clean” plan, and many of them vowed they would “not vote to fund agencies that would be carrying out Obama’s immigration order.”

As previously reported, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson addressed the possibility of a shutdown, while on Meet the Press on Sunday. While also commenting on threats made against the Mall of America by Islamist militants in Somalia, Johnson said it was “bizarre and absurd” that the U.S. government was having this discussion “in these challenging times.”

Following Johnson’s comments, DHS spokeswoman Marsha Catron released a statement admitting that the department was not “aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center.”

Republicans Criticize Political Motivation Behind Democrats’ Torture Report, and Release Their Own Version

On Tuesday, the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the torture methods, or “enhanced interrogation techniques,” used by the Central Intelligence Agency on al-Qaida hostages following the terror attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

As previously reported, the committee’s Democrats were the only ones who approved this account, and the Republicans on the committee chose to follow-up the initial report with one of their own.

While the report from the Democrats accused the CIA of misleading White House officials about the effectiveness and the cruelty of the tactics being used on the hostages, the Republicans took a different angle.

The 100-page report from the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee claimed that the tactics used by the CIA weakened al-Qaida overall, and saved American lives:

We have no doubt that the CIA’s detention program saved lives and played a vital role in weakening Al Qaeda while the program was in operation,” concluded the report.

The committee’s Republicans also alleged that Democrats had practiced “inadequate objectivity,” and had written their report with “political motivations” in mind.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, released a statement condemning the timing of the release, and saying that he believes the decision to release the report at this time was “politically motivated,” following the Democrats’ loss of control in the Senate.

The timing of the release is problematic given the growing threats we face,” said Graham. “Terrorism is on the rise, and our enemies will seize upon this report at a critical time. Simply put, this is not the time to release the report.

Some Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee viewed the release of the report as a way to degrade former President George W. Bush.

Richard Burr, a Senator from North Carolina, and the Committee’s incoming Chairman, insisted that “The only motive here could be to embarrass George W. Bush.”

According to USA Today, in the midst of the report’s release, Bush and his top aides have “remained low-key,” and have issued “few statements on the report’s claims that the agency exceeded its authority and lied about the results.”

Bill Harlow, the CIA’s Director of public affairs from 1997 to 2004, was in charge of the group that organized the website ciasavedlives.com, which was created shortly after the Democrats released their report.

“Our concern is that right now people are reporting the Feinstein report as if it’s true,” said Harlow. “We don’t think it’s true.”

In an editorial for the Wall Street Journal, three former CIA Directors and three former deputy directors, who were part of the group that created ciasavedlives.com, concluded that the Democrats’ report was merely a form of “politicization.”

As lamentable as the inaccuracies of the majority document are — and the impact they will have on the public’s understanding of the program — some consequences are alarming,” the former Directors wrote.


Nancy Pelosi has been reelected as the House minority leader

House Democrats have reportedly reelected Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the position of  minority leader for the next two years.

The election has been confirmed Tuesday by NBC News.

Sources told the Associated Press Pelosi, 74, was reelected in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats by a voice-vote.  Pelosi ran unopposed for her reelection, despite Democrats saying their party needs new blood to be elected to leadership positions.

The unrest in the Democratic Party comes after the party lost the Senate in the midterm elections, and many Democrats are saying the unpopularity of President Obama has turned many voters away from the party.

However, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-NJ, said, “We need a full-blown discussion of who we are, where we’re going, what are our priorities. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority…It’s all of our faults, not just the leadership.”

Despite a call for new leadership, many Democrats still think Pelosi is a great leader and laud her for the financial assets she brings to the party.  Over the past two years, aides for Pelosi say she has raised about $101 million for Democrats in the House, while she appeared in over 115 cities for about 750 campaign events.

Pelosi, after her reelection addressed her fellow Democrats, saying, according to Politico, house Democrats are the “strongest team on the field.”  She also called for a refocusing of the party’s attention on “middle-class issues.”

Pelosi is not the only Democratic leader to retain their position.  Many sources are saying the entire Democratic leadership team will be reelected, many of whom are running unopposed as well.

Poll: Majority of Americans Want Republicans To Take Lead Directing Nation, but Half Believe Nothing Will Actually Change

A recent poll conducted by Gallup found that 53% of Americans want the GOP in Congress to have more influence than President Obama in setting the nation’s agenda.

The poll was conducted November 6-9, 2014, and Gallup reported that the results were taken from a  “random sample of 828 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia,” who were surveyed via telephone interview.

The subjects who were surveyed were asked the question, “Who do you want to have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year – Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress?

53% of participants favored the Republicans in Congress taking control, and 36% preferred President Obama. This signals a shift from previous poll results.

In a 2012 Gallup poll, 46% of Americans preferred President Obama taking control, while only 42% favored the Republicans in Congress.

According to Gallup, the Republicans’ 17-percent lead over Obama both “exceeds what they earned after the 2010 midterm, when Americans favored Republicans by an eight-point margin,” and “eclipses the nine-point advantage Republicans had over Bill Clinton following the 1994 midterm in which Republicans captured the majority of both houses.

The poll also found that 34% of Americans believe that the country will be better off with the Republicans in control. 19% think the country will be worse off, and 47% don’t think control by the GOP will make a difference.

Gallup reported that although “the midterm election provided a clear signal as to which party voters want to control Congress,” it also showed that “after four years of partisan gridlock, most Americans are not optimistic that the election’s outcome will improve things.”