The Pronk Pops Show 834, February 8, 2017, Story 1: President Trump’s Order To John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security, –“Secure the Borders” — Pause For Vigorous Vetting — Videos — Story 2: Senator Warren Defames and Lies As Did Coretta Scott King In Her Letter About Senator Sessions — Rule 19 — Objection — Senator Take You Seat — Three Cheers! — Story 3: Awaiting 9th Circuit Three Judge Panel Decision –Videos

Posted on February 8, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Consitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Empires, Employment, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Media, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Social Science, Somalia, Success, Sudan, Syria, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 834: February 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 833: February 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 832: February 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 831: February 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 830: February 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 829: February 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 828: January 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 827: January 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 826: January 27, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 825: January 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 824: January 25, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 823: January 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 822: January 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 821: January 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 820: January 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 819: January 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 818: January 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 817: January 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 816: January 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 815: January 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 814: January 10,  2017

Pronk Pops Show 813: January 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 812: December 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 811: December 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Story 1: President Trump’s Order To John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security, –“Secure the Borders” — Pause For Vigorous Vetting — Videos —

Image result for john kelly dhs

Image result for cartoons about ban travel 7 countriesImage result for john kelly dhs
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President Trump Interview With Bill O’Reilly Super Bowl Sunday

DHS: Trump’s travel ban is necessary, lawful

DHS Secretary John Kelly: ‘This Is All On Me’…Should Have Talked To Congress About Immigration Order

Published on Feb 7, 2017

The abrupt rollout of President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven terror-prone countries “is all on me,” Homeland Security Secretary Jack Kelly told a congressional hearing on Tuesday. Although the executive order was developed before his confirmation, Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee that just after his inauguration, he met with his (small) staff and made some changes. The order took effect on Friday evening, and “the thinking was to get it out quick,” so people with bad intentions would not have time to “jump on an airplane and get here.”

Kelly told the committee, “In retrospect, I should have — this is all on me, by the way — I should have delayed it just a bit, so that I could talk to members of Congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this, to prepare them for what was coming, although I think most people would agree that this has been a topic of President Trump, certainly during his campaign and during the transition process.” Kelly also noted that as Customs and Border Patrol officials began to implement the order, adjustments were quickly made to “fine-tune it.”

“Although the immigration pause has been an “inconvenience,” Kelly said everyone delayed or denied entry was treated “humanely.” He denied reports that people were made to stand up for hours on end or that people were insulted. “But going forward, I would have certainly taken some time to inform the Congress, and that’s certainly — that’s something I’ll certainly do in the future.” Kelly said the Trump administration is not contemplating adding additional countries to the list of seven, but the administration is looking at additional vetting processes to be sure they know who is coming into the country.

Homeland Secretary John Kelly I should have consulted Congress on travel ban

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly Defends Travel Ban

Kelly: ‘Thousands’ Of ISIS Could Enter US; 2-7-2017

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a congressional committee on US border security, explaining that Islamic terrorists have access to fake documents (and counterfeit document production tools) to enter Europe and then the US.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly Testifies on Border Security. Feb. 7. 2017.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly will appear before the House Homeland Security Committee w

FULL – Homeland Security Nominee General John Kelly CRUSHES IT at Confirmation Hearing

Gen Kelly Briefs Press on SOUTHCOM Issues

Gen Kelly Briefs Pentagon Press

Published on Mar 12, 2015

℠2015 – General John Kelly, Commander of U.S. Southern Command briefs the Pentagon press corps on issues such as fiscal readiness, the drug trade, and terrorism.

2014 California Gold Star Parents – General John F. Kelly, USMC – Full Version

Donald Trump launches blistering attack on judges in ‘disgraceful’ travel ban hearing and calls it ‘a sad day’

Watch | Donald Trump launches blistering attack on judges

 By 

Donald Trump has angrily denounced the three judges hearing his travel ban appeal, describing the process as “disgraceful” and saying it was a “sad day” for the United States.

Addressing a conference of police chiefs, Mr Trump told the crowd he had listened to Tuesday’s hearing with dismay.

“I won’t say the court was biased. But so political,” he said.

Mr Trump attempted to litigate the case himself, reading at length from a document and commenting on how it proved the legal foundations of his travel ban – which was halted on Friday.

Mr Trump went on: “I listened to lawyers on both sides last night, they were talking about things that had nothing to do with it.

“It’s so sad when you read something so perfectly written and so clear to anybody. I watched last night in amazement and I heard things I couldn’t believe.

“I don’t ever want to call a court biased so I won’t call it biased, and we haven’t had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political. “But it would be so great for our sysem if they could read something and do what’s right.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/08/donald-trump-dismisses-travel-ban-hearing-politics-us-waits/

Homeland Security secretary says a border wall won’t be built all at once

The nation’s top Homeland Security official portrayed himself Tuesday as a steward of President Trump’s vision for border security as he laid out a path to fruition for some of Trump’s most bombastic campaign promises.

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly described plans for safeguards along the border that were more piecemeal than the “big, beautiful wall” Trump has touted.

Kelly said his agency would first build sections of wall and fencing where border agents see an immediate need and fill in gaps with ground sensors, surveillance blimps and other technologies that help detect illegal border crossings, emphasizing that the government lives in “a world of finite time [and] resources.”

“We’re not going to be able to build a wall everywhere all at once,” Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee, adding that Border Patrol agents told him they preferred barriers they could see through rather than a solid wall.

But Kelly also said measures for the “extreme vetting” of travelers were under consideration that go further than visa officers ever have. The Homeland Security Department may demand that some visa applicants trying to enter legally hand over passwords to their social media accounts before flying to the U.S.

“They don’t want to cooperate, they don’t come in,” Kelly said.

In three hours of testimony, Kelly filled in specifics on several national security goals Trump has broadly set. And like a soldier carrying out orders, Kelly, a retired Marine general, shouldered the blame for the haphazard rollout of the president’s order temporarily blocking entry for refugees and all travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, even though he was largely left out of crafting the decree.

“The thinking was to get it out quick so that potentially people that might be coming here to harm us would not take advantage of some period of time that they could jump on an airplane,” Kelly said.

In retrospect, he said, “I should have delayed it just a bit” to prepare lawmakers and the public for the changes that were coming.

The confusion surrounding its implementation is “all on me,” Kelly said, putting himself in the awkward position of apologizing for the execution of a directive he didn’t see until the week it was issued and wasn’t told was coming until the day before it was signed.

Live coverage: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing over Trump’s travel bans »

The writing of Trump’s order was limited chiefly to a handful of senior White House advisors, including Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller, and agency lawyers. Lawmakers of both parties condemned the White House over its implementation.

The White House officials who directed the rollout should have come before the committee to “answer for this debacle” rather than Kelly, said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the panel.

Even committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who advised Trump on the travel restrictions during the transition and defended the president’s decision to implement them, criticized how the directive was put into action.

“The rollout of this executive order has been problematic. It has caused confusion here in Congress, across the country and around the world,” McCaul said.

Homeland Security officials were forced in the hours after the order was signed to scramble to issue instructions to border agents. Amid the uncertainty, some border agents blocked lawful permanent residents from entering the country.

Kelly defended his department’s work and insisted that Customs and Border Protection officers were not to blame for the chaos that unfolded at airports, saying the turmoil was not in immigration lines but in arrival halls flooded with protesters and frustrated relatives of people blocked by the order.

Civil liberties advocates and Democrats have criticized the president’s order as unfairly targeting Muslims, pointing to Trump’s repeated calls during the campaign to block Muslims from the U.S.

A lawsuit attempting to overturn Trump’s travel ban appeared to be on the fast track to the Supreme Court. Judges on the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday.

Travelers from the countries targeted by Trump’s temporary ban — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — have hurried to board flights to the U.S. during what might be a brief window to enter the country while the legal challenges play out.

McCaul was adamant the order didn’t target a religious group. “This is not a Muslim ban, and even the suggestion that it is will alienate our allies and embolden” terrorists, he said.

Nonetheless, the administration is also looking at ways to step up background checks on citizens from the seven countries before they travel, such as demanding social media account passwords, Kelly said. Most of those nations have unreliable police forces or lack identity systems to help confirm travelers are who they say they are, he said.

“It is very hard to truly vet these people in these countries,” Kelly said.

Trump’s Jan. 27 order also required the Homeland Security Department to give him a list within 30 days of other countries that do not provide adequate information to border officials, but the agency has stopped work on that part of the order while the courts review it.

“There is no additional list,” Kelly said after the hearing.

Kelly also laid out for lawmakers the lengthy timeline needed to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Kelly said he wanted to see construction of a wall “well underway” within two years. Costs have been estimated at $12 billion to $38 billion.

And echoing White House complaints, Kelly strongly denied a report in the Washington Post that Bannon had asked him to keep in place the temporary ban on green-card holders being allowed into the U.S.

“Every paragraph, every sentence … was wrong,” Kelly said. “It was a fantasy story.”

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) asked whether Kelly had concerns about political advisors pressuring him to act.

“I work for one man. His name is Donald Trump,” Kelly said. “He has told me one thing: ‘Secure the border.’”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kelly-travel-ban-20170207-story.html

John F. Kelly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John F. Kelly, see John F. Kelly (disambiguation).
John F. Kelly
John Kelly official DHS portrait.jpg
5th United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Jeh Johnson
Commander of the United States Southern Command
In office
November 19, 2012 – January 16, 2016
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Douglas Fraser
Succeeded by Kurt Tidd
Personal details
Born John Francis Kelly
May 11, 1950 (age 66)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s) Karen Hernest
Children 3
Education University of Massachusetts, Boston(BA)
Georgetown University(MA)
National Defense University(MS)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1970–1972
1972–1976 (inactive reserves)
1976–2016
Rank US Marine 10 shoulderboard.svgGeneral
Commands United States Southern Command
1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
Multinational Force West
Battles/wars Persian Gulf War
Operation Desert Storm
Iraq War
1992 Los Angeles Riots
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2) with Valor

John Francis Kelly (born May 11, 1950) is the fifth and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security. He is a retired United States Marine Corpsgeneral and the former commander of United States Southern Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Kelly previously served as the commanding general of the Multi-National Force—West in Iraq from February 2008 to February 2009, and as the commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North in October 2009.[1] Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of U.S. Southern Command on November 19, 2012.[2] Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.

Kelly became Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2017 under PresidentDonald Trump.

Early life and education

Kelly was born on May 11, 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts into an Irish Catholic family.[3][4] He grew up in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.[4] Before he reached the age of 16, he hitchhiked to Washington State and rode the trains back, including a freight-hop from Seattle to Chicago.[4][5] He then served for one year as a United States Merchant Marine, where he says “my first time overseas was taking 10,000 tons of beer to Vietnam“.[6][5]

In 1970, when his mother told him that his draft number was coming up, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.[3][4][5] He was discharged from active duty as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.[3][4][5] He was commissioned on December 27, 1975[3] as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps via Officer Candidates School.[1] In 1976, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston and, in 1984, he received a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.[3][7]

Career

Kelly returned to the Second Marine Division where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer, and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, Florida, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Independence (CV-62). In 1980, then-Captain Kelly attended the U.S. Army’s Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C., serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Kelly returned to the Second Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to major in 1987, he then served as a battalion operations officer.[1]

Kelly’s official U.S. Southern Command portrait

In 1987, Kelly transferred to the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico.[1]

Completing duty under instruction and selected for lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (1st LAR), 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. During his tenure, 1st LAR was called in to provide augmentation support for police in the city of Long Beach, California during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Holding this command position for two years, Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 1995 and was selected to serve as the Commandant‘s Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to colonel.[1]

Kelly testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee

In 1999, Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001 and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the assistant chief of staff G-3 with the Second Marine Division. In 2002, Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the assistant division commander. Much of Kelly’s two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq.[1] In March 2003, while in Iraq, Kelly was promoted to brigadier general, which was the first known promotion of a Marine Corps colonel in an active combat zone since that of another First Marine Division assistant division commander, Chesty Puller, in January 1951.[8]

In mid-April Gen. Kelly took command of the newly formed Task Force Tripoli and drove it north from Baghdad into Samarra and Tikrit.[9] During the initial assault on Baghdad, Kelly was asked by a reporter of The Los Angeles Times if (considering the size of the Iraqi Army and the vast supplies of tanks, artillery and chemical weapons available to Saddam’s forces) if he would ever consider defeat. Kelly’s archetypal response was, “Hell these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain’t shit.” [10]

Kelly briefing reporters at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

His next assignment was as legislative assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Michael Hagee. In January 2007 Kelly was nominated for major general,[11] and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 11, 2007.[12]

Kelly’s next assignment, in July 2007, was as commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).[13] On February 9, 2008 Kelly assumed command of the Multi-National Force–West in Iraq, replacing Major General Walter E. Gaskin.[14] After a year in Iraq Kelly returned to the States in February 2009.[15]

Kelly was the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense and personally greeted Secretary Panetta at the entrance to the Pentagon on July 1, 2011, Panetta’s first day as secretary.[16] Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of U.S. Southern Command on November 19, 2012.[2]

In a 2014 speech regarding the War on Terror, Kelly said:

“If you think this war against our way of life is over because some of the self-appointed opinion-makers and chattering class grow ‘war weary,’ because they want to be out of Iraq or Afghanistan, you are mistaken. This enemy is dedicated to our destruction. He will fight us for generations, and the conflict will move through various phases as it has since 9/11.”[17]

Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.

Secretary of Homeland Security

Kelly is ceremonially sworn in prior to President Trump’s speech at DHS Headquarters on January 25, 2017. Kelly was actually sworn in a five days earlier.

On December 7, 2016, then President-electDonald Trump nominated Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a cabinet-level position.[18] People familiar with the transition said that Trump’s team was drawn to Kelly because of his southwest border expertise.[19] On January 20, 2017, Kelly was confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security by the United States Senate with a vote of 88-11.[20] On that evening, he was sworn in by Vice PresidentMike Pence.[21]

Personal life

In 1976, Kelly married Karen Hernest. They had three children: Robert M, John Jr, and Kathleen.[22]

In 2010, Kelly’s 29-year-old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon of Marines on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan. The younger Kelly was a former enlisted Marine and was on his third combat tour, and his first combat tour as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. At the time of his death, Robert Kelly was with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Robert Kelly’s death made John Kelly the highest-ranking military officer to lose a son or daughter in Iraq or Afghanistan.[23] Kelly’s other son is a Marine Corps major.[24][25][26]

Awards and decorations

Combat Distinguishing Device.pngAward star (gold).png
Gold star

Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze star

Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Order of San Carlos - Grand Officer (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit w/ 1 award star and Combat V Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 award star Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 3 award stars
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon Presidential Unit Citation (United States) Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 1 oak leaf cluster
Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 1 service star Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 3 service stars Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 service stars Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon Grand Officer of the Order of San Carlos (Colombia)[27] Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

See also

Immigration policy of Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illegal immigration was a signature issue of President Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, and his proposed reforms and remarks about this issue have generated headlines.[1] A hallmark promise of his campaign was to build a substantial wall on the United States-Mexico border. Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas”,[1][2] including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages”.[3][4][5] Trump’s proposals regarding H-1B visas have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign, but as of late July 2016, he appears to oppose the H-1B visa program.[6] Trump has questioned official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States (between 11 and 12 million), insisting the number is much higher (between 30 and 34 million).

Positions on immigration

Trump has questioned official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States (between 11 and 12 million), asserting that the number is actually between 30 and 34 million.[7] PolitiFact ruled that his statement was “Pants on Fire”, citing experts who noted that no evidence supported an estimate in that range.[7] For example, the Pew Research Center reported in March 2015 that the number of illegal immigrants overall declined from 12.2 million in 2007 to 11.2 million in 2012. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. labor force ranged from 8.1 million to 8.3 million between 2007 and 2012, approximately 5% of the U.S. labor force.[8]

Birthright citizenship

Trump proposes rolling back birthright citizenship – a historically broadened interpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that all persons born on U.S. soil are citizens – so as not to grant citizenship to US-born children of illegal immigrants (whom he refers to as “anchor babies“). The mainstream view of the Fourteenth Amendment among legal experts is that everyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of parents’ citizenship, is automatically an American citizen. [9][10]

Kate’s Law

Trump during his campaign promised to ask Congress to pass Kate’s Law to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry receive strong, mandatory minimum sentences. The law is named after Kate Steinle who was allegedly shot and killed in July 2015 by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was deported by from the US a total of five times.[11]

A law authored in the House was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on July 29, 2015.[12] The Senate version of the bill was filibustered by the senate in July 2016.[13][14]

Border security

Trump has emphasized U.S. border security and illegal immigration to the United States as a campaign issue.[15][16] During his announcement speech he stated in part, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[17] On July 6, 2015, Trump issued a written statement[18] to clarify his position on illegal immigration, which drew a reaction from critics. It read in part:

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5-time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico. This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States. In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans—many of them are working for and with me … and, just like our country, my organization is better for it.”[19]

A study published in Social Science Quarterly in May 2016 tested Trump’s claim that immigrants are responsible for higher levels of violent and drug-related crime in the United States.[20] It found no evidence that links Mexican or illegal Mexican immigrants specifically to violent or drug-related crime.[20] It did however find a small but significant association between illegal immigrant populations (including non-Mexican illegal immigrants) and drug-related arrests.[20]

In addition to his proposals to construct a border wall (see below), Trump has called for tripling the number of Border Patrol agents.[21]

U.S.–Mexico border wall proposal

Main article: Executive Order 13767
Further information: Mexico–United States barrier

Trump speaking about his immigration policy in Phoenix, Arizona, August 31, 2016.

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs.[22] In his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump pledged to “build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”[23][24] Trump also said “nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively.”[24] The concept for building a barrier to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S. is not new; 670 miles of fencing (about one-third of the border) was erected under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, at a cost of $2.4 billion.[24] Trump said later that his proposed wall would be “a real wall. Not a toy wall like we have now.”[25] In his 2015 book, Trump cites the Israeli West Bank barrier as a successful example of a border wall.[26] “Trump has at times suggested building a wall across the nearly 2,000-mile border and at other times indicated more selective placement.”[27] After a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 31, 2016, Trump said that they “didn’t discuss” who would pay for the border wall that Trump has made a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.[28] Nieto contradicted that later that day, saying that he at the start of the meeting “made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall”.[29] Later that day, Trump reiterated his position that Mexico will pay to build an “impenetrable” wall on the Southern border.[30]

John Cassidy of The New Yorker wrote that Trump is “the latest representative of an anti-immigrant, nativist American tradition that dates back at least to the Know-Nothings” of the 1840s and 1850s.[31] Trump says “it was legal immigrants who made America great,”[32] that the Latinos who have worked for him have been “unbelievable people”, and that he wants a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to have a “big, beautiful door” for people to come legally and feel welcomed in the United States.[33]

According to experts and analyses, the actual cost to construct a wall along the remaining 1,300 miles of the border could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total cost of up to $25 billion, with the cost of private land acquisitions and fence maintenance pushing up the total cost further.[27] Maintenance of the wall cost could up to $750 million a year, and if the Border Patrol agents were to patrol the wall, additional funds would have to be expended.[27] Rough and remote terrain on many parts of the border, such as deserts and mountains, would make construction and maintenance of a wall expensive, and such terrain may be a greater deterrent than a wall in any case.[27] Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage.[27]

Critics of Trump’s plan question whether a wall would be effective at stopping unauthorized crossings, noting that walls are of limited use unless they are patrolled by agents and to intercept those climbing over or tunneling under the wall.[27] Experts also note that approximately half of illegal immigrants in the U.S. did not surreptitiously enter, but rather “entered through official crossing points, either by overstaying visas, using fraudulent documents, or being smuggled past the border”.[27]

Mass deportation of illegal immigrants

Foreign born in US labor-force 1900-2015. Approximately 8 million of the foreign-born in the labor force were illegal immigrants in 2012.

Early in his campaign, in 2015, Trump proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.[34][35][36] During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Trump said that if he were to win the election, then on “[d]ay 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast”.[37]In June 2016, he stated that he would not characterize his immigration policies as including “mass deportations”.[38][39][40] However, on August 31, 2016, contrary to earlier reports of a “softening” in his stance[22][41][42][43][44], Trump laid out a 10-step plan reaffirming his hardline positions. He reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” with priority given to illegal immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He noted that all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally. [30][45]

Trump’s proposals for deportation also include a “Deportation Force”, modeled after the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback” program during the Eisenhower administration that ended following a congressional investigation.[46][36][46] Historian Mae Ngai of Columbia University, who has studied the program, has said that the military-style operation was both inhumane and ineffective.[36][46] Trump has said of his proposal: “We would do it in a very humane way.”[35]

According to a Washington Post analysis, if Trump’s criteria for immediate deportation as of September 2016 are met, the number of individuals prioritized for removal by ICE agents would range between about 5.0 and 6.5 million.[47] Analysts also noted that Trump’s mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties, since U.S. immigration courts already face large backlogs.[35] Such a program would also impose a fiscal cost; the fiscally conservative American Action Forum policy group estimates that deporting every illegal immigrant would cause a slump of $381.5 billion to $623.2 billion in private sector output, amounting to roughly a loss of 2% of U.S. GDP.[48]Doug Holtz-Eakin, the group’s president, has said that the mass deportation of 11 million people would “harm the economy in ways it would normally not be harmed”.[35]

Proposed Muslim immigration ban

Trump frequently revised proposals to ban Muslim immigration to the United States in the course of his presidential campaign.[6] In late July 2016, NBC News characterized his position as: “Ban all Muslims, and maybe other people from countries with a history of terrorism, but just don’t say ‘Muslims’.”[6](Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News that Trump tasked him to craft a “Muslim ban” and asked Giuliani to form a committee to show him “the right way to do it legally”.[49][50] The committee, which included former U.S. Attorney General and Chief Judge of the Southern District of New YorkMichael Mukasey, and Reps. Mike McCaul and Peter T. King, decided to drop the religious basis and instead focused on regions where Giuliani says that there is “substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists” to the United States.[50])

Trump proposed a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States (the U.S. admits approximately 100,000 Muslim immigrants each year)[51] “until we can figure out what’s going on” in December 2015.[52][53][54][55] In response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, Trump released a statement on “Preventing Muslim Immigration” and called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”.[56] Trump clarified how this would work in an interview with Willie Geist on in December 2015:

Geist: “Would airline representatives, customs agents or border guards ask a person’s religion?”
Trump: “They would say: ‘Are you Muslim?'”
Geist: “And if they said, ‘yes’, they would not be allowed in the country?”
Trump: “That’s correct.”[57]

Trump cited President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s use during World War II of the Alien and Sedition Acts to issue presidential proclamations for rounding up, holding, and deporting German, Japanese, and Italian alien immigrants, and noted that Roosevelt was highly respected and had highways named after him.[58][59][60][61] Trump stated that he did not agree with Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans, and clarified that the proposal would not apply to Muslims who were U.S. citizens or to Muslims who were serving in the U.S. military.[62][63] The measure proposed by Trump would be temporary,[53] until better screening methods are devised,[54] although the proposal had also been phrased in more controversial ways.[55]

In May 2016, Trump retreated slightly from his call for a Muslim ban, calling it “merely an idea, not a proposal”.[64] On June 13, 2016, he reformulated the ban so that it would be geographical, not religious, applying to “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies”.[64][65] Two hours later, he claimed that ban was only for nations “tied to Islamic terror”.[64] In June 2016, he also stated that he would allow Muslims from allies like the United Kingdom to enter the United States.[64] In May 2016, Trump said “There will always be exceptions” to the ban, when asked how the ban would apply to London’s newly-elected mayor Sadiq Khan.[66] A spokesman for Sadiq Khan said in response that Trump’s views were “ignorant, divisive and dangerous” and play into the hands of extremists.[67]

In June 2016, Trump expanded his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States to cover immigration from areas with a history of terrorism.[68] Specifically, Trump stated, “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.”[68] According to lawyers and legal scholars cited in a New York Times report, the president has the power to carry out the plan but it would take an ambitious and likely time-consuming bureaucratic effort, and make sweeping use of executive authority.[69] Immigration analysts also noted that the implementation of Trump’s plan could “prompt a wave of retaliation against American citizens traveling and living abroad”.[69] In July 2016, Trump described his proposal as encompassing “any nation that has been compromised by terrorism”.[70] Trump later referred to the reformulation as “extreme vetting”.[71]

When asked in July 2016 about his proposal to restrict immigration from areas with high levels of terrorism, Trump insisted that it was not a “rollback” of his initial proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants.[72] He said, “In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I’m looking now at territory.”[72] When asked if his new proposal meant that there would be greater checks on immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, such as France, Germany and Spain, Trump answered, “It’s their own fault, because they’ve allowed people over years to come into their territory.”[73][74]

On August 15, 2016, Trump suggested that “extreme views” would be grounds to be thrown out of the U.S., saying he would deport Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen (the gunman in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting), who has expressed support for the Taliban.[75][76][77] On 31 August in Phoenix Trump would make a speech billed by then running-mate Pence as important and offering many details.[78] In the speech, Trump vowed “places like Syria and Libya” were “places from which immigration would be suspended” under his immigration plan.[79][80] Jeff Sessions at the time said the Trump campaign’s plan was “the best laid out law enforcement plan to fix this country’s immigration system that’s been stated in this country maybe forever”. [81]

Sessions is Trump’s nominee to be Attorney General of the Department of Justice. During confirmation-hearing testimony, he acknowledged supporting vetting based on “areas where we have an unusually high risk of terrorists coming in”; Sessions acknowledged the DOJ would need to evaluate such a plan if it were outside the “Constitutional order.”[82]

Other proposals

Trump has proposed making it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to enter the United States, and making the e-Verify system mandatory for employers.[21]

Syrian refugees

Trump has on several occasions expressed opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S.—saying they could be the “ultimate Trojan horse[83]—and has proposed deporting back to Syria refugees settled in the U.S.[84][85] By September 2015, Trump had expressed support for taking in some Syrian refugees[84][86] and praised Germany’s decision to take in Syrian refugees.[87]

On a number of occasions in 2015, Trump asserted that “If you’re from Syria and you’re a Christian, you cannot come into this country, and they’re the ones that are being decimated. If you are Islamic … it’s hard to believe, you can come in so easily.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim as “false” and found it to be “wrong on its face”, citing the fact that 3 percent of the refugees from Syria have been Christian (although they represent 10 percent of the Syrian population) and finding that the U.S. government is not discriminating against Christians as a matter of official policy.[88]

In May 2016 interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump stated “Look, we are at war with these people and they don’t wear uniforms….. This is a war against people that are vicious, violent people, that we have no idea who they are, where they come from. We are allowing tens of thousands of them into our country now.” Politifact ruled this statement “pants on fire”, stating that the U.S. is on track to accept 100,000 refugees in 2017, but there is no evidence that tens of thousands of them are terrorists.[89]

Presidential actions

On January 27, 2017, as part of a plan to keep out radical Islamic terrorism, Trump signed an executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals“, that suspended entry for citizens of seven countries for 90 days: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, totaling more than 134 million people.[90] The order also stopped the admission of refugees of the Syrian Civil War indefinitely, and the entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days.[91] Refugees who were on their way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.[92]

Implicated by this order is 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182 “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” 8 U.S. Code § 1182 (Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952).

Critics argue that Congress later restricted this power in 1965, stating plainly that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.” (8 U.S. Code § 1152) The only exceptions are those provided for by Congress (such as the preference for Cuban asylum seekers).[93]

Many legal challenges to the order were brought immediately after its issuance: from January 28 to January 31, almost 50 cases were filed in federal courts.[94] Some courts, in turn, granted temporary relief, including a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) that bars the enforcement of major parts of the executive order.[95][96] The Trump administration is appealing the TRO.[96]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_policy_of_Donald_Trump

Story 2: Senator Warren Defames and Lies As Did Coretta Scott King In Her Letter About Senator Sessions — Rule 19 — Object — Senator Take You Seat — Three Cheers! — Videos

Elizabeth Warren rebuked on Senate floor

Published on Feb 8, 2017

Elizabeth Warren rebuked on Senate floor while reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King to criticize Jeff Sessions.

Senator Warren On Jeff Sessions – Full Floor Speech

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The Pronk Pops Show 814, January 10, 2017, Story 1: Senator Sessions Shines and Senate Will Overwhelmingly Approve Sessions As Next Attorney General — Videos

Posted on January 10, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Consitutional Law, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Hillary Clinton, History, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Law, Legal Immigration, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States Supreme Court, Videos, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

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Story 1: Senator Sessions Shines and Senate Will Overwhelmingly Approve Sessions As Next Attorney General — Videos

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Democrats Helpless as Sessions Heads to Hill

Liberals without the votes to torpedo AG confirmation prepare to ‘dirty up’ Alabama senator

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 10 Jan 2017 at 11:27 AM

Sen. Jeff Sessions will be in the hot seat Tuesday as senators consider his nomination for attorney general — but, barring an unexpected revelation, Democrats appear to lack the ammunition to stop him.

Not that the Alabama Republican’s critics won’t try.

“If there isn’t any really new information, it’s hard to see how he loses.”

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have already promised a thorough examination of his record, and Sen. Chis Coons (D-Del.) told CNN on Monday that there are “many areas where his votes and his record, from civil liberties to civil rights to torture to criminal justice reform to immigration are starkly different from my own.”

Sessions can expect grilling on all of that, as well as his relationship with President-Elect Donald Trump, his tenure as a prosecutor in the 1980s, and old allegations of racial insensitivity that sank his bid for a judicial appointment in 1986.

Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, said the big question is whether the hearings will produce any information about the senator’s record that has not already been rehashed.

“If there isn’t any really new information, it’s hard to see how he loses,” said Pitney, pointing to the GOP majority in the Senate and former Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s decision to eliminate the filibuster for Cabinet appointments.

As long as the Republican caucus remains unified, Democrats are powerless to block Sessions. And it’s hard to see where those Republican defectors would come from. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the kind of party-bucking senator who might be a problem for Sessions, has spoken favorably about the nomination. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a vociferous critic of Trump, put out a statement in November supporting him.

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who differs with Sessions on many issues, will introduce him at the confirmation hearing.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said Democratic opposition to Sessions is not really about defeating him.

“He’s guaranteed to be confirmed,” he said. “Democrats know this. The point of this is to dirty up Sessions as much as possible … A lot of this is just performance art for their base that just can’t believe Trump won.”

Krikorian, whose Washington-based think tank favors lower levels of immigration, said that and other issues likely will play a leading role at the confirmation hearing. He said hashing out public policy differences puts Democrats on firmer ground than trying to make the case that a man they have known and worked with for two decades is a racist.

“The other stuff is nonsense,” he said, referring to allegations that Sessions as U.S. attorney in Mobile, Alabama, called a black prosecutor “boy” and said he respected the Ku Klux Klan until he found out its members smoked marijuana. Sessions denied the former statement and said the latter was a joke.

“It’s so laughably unsubstantiated that they’re going to have to come up with something,” Krikorian said.

But if Sessions’ critics think they can make headway by re-litigating the failed Gang of Eight immigration reform — after an election in which the presidential winner made opposition to such reforms a centerpiece — Krikorian said, “I say, have at it.”

John Malcolm, director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, said attention on Sessions, both pro and con, may outweigh scrutiny of all of Trump’s other Cabinet nominations combined. He said Sessions is in for a grilling, but he added that he believes Republicans will remain unified and that some Democrats will vote for him, too.

“I think it’s going to be ugly. I think it’s going to by bloody,” he said. “I just don’t see [Sessions losing Republican votes]. Jeff Sessions has been their colleague for years. They know that he isn’t a racist.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) echoed that sentiment in an interview with CNN on Monday.

“I think it’s unfair for people to, and actually very hurtful, for people to say, ‘Oh, you’re a racist,’ when there’s no evidence in his public career that he ever has been racially insensitive,” he said. “So I think it’s a slander and very unfair for people to try to do that to someone. And I think he’s going to do fine in the confirmation process.”

Trump told reporters Monday that he believes all of his nominees will be confirmed. Asked specifically if he is worried about Sessions, he said, “No, I think he’s going to do great. High-quality man.”

Pitney, the Claremont McKenna professor, said questions about whether Sessions is too close to Trump to be independent are legitimate. But Krikorian said Sessions, unlike other potential choices, has the integrity and standing with Trump to tell the president if something is illegal.

Pitney said he believes most Democrats will vote against Sessions because the liberal base demands it. But he speculated that some of them might tell Sessions privately not to take it personally.

“If for some reason he’s not confirmed, he goes back in the Senate the next day,” he said. “That’s pretty much the definition of awkward.”

http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/democrats-helpless-as-sessions-heads-to-hill/

 Sen. Jeff Sessions defends his civil rights record, promises to prioritize law over his personal views

The daylong confirmation hearing was a mostly collegial affair with fellow senators politely prodding the 70-year-old former federal prosecutor to explain his record on issues ranging from torture to immigration.

As a longtime member of the committee now reviewing his expected nomination to become the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Sessions has sat on the opposite side of the witness table for five previous confirmation hearings for attorney general candidates.

So it’s no surprise that the seasoned Alabama lawmaker avoided any self-inflicted wounds during his testimony, keeping his composure amid questioning and periodic disruptions from protesters in the audience.

When pressed on his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, for example, the conservative senator told Democratic colleagues that both issues had been settled by the Supreme Court and that he would abide by those decisions. Similarly, on the use of waterboarding against terrorism suspects, which Sessions has previously supported, he said Congress had clearly outlawed the practice.

Session began his testimony by offering his most forceful denial yet of allegations that as a U.S. attorney in the 1980s he had improperly targeted civil rights advocates for prosecution on voter fraud charges and had made racially insensitive comments about the Ku Klux Klan and minorities.

“These are damnably false charges,” Sessions said, adding that he “did not harbor the race-based animosities I am accused of. I did not.”

Those accusations, made by fellow Justice Department attorneys at the time, helped torpedo Sessions’ 1986 nomination by President Reagan to become a federal judge.

“There was an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn’t true,” he said. “It was very painful. I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t respond very well. I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. It wasn’t accurate then and it’s not accurate now.”

Sessions is again being assailed by civil rights groups, who point to his Senate record of voting against hate-crime legislation, immigration reform and efforts to ban torture as evidence that he would not fairly enforce the laws protecting minorities.

Sessions testified he hoped to work closely with local police and would aggressively combat gun violence, gang crimes and drug trafficking. He said he felt criticism of police misconduct should be “narrowly focused on the right basis” because too often mistakes are used to ”to smear whole departments” and that “places those officers at greater risk.”

The senator did not stray from his long-held hard-line views on immigration enforcement, testifying he would aggressively “prosecute those who repeatedly violate our borders” and support rescinding an Obama administration program that deferred deportation of hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers, those brought to the country illegally as children.

“It is very questionable constitutionally,” Sessions said of President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. He did not say whether he believed the 742,000 immigrants protected under the program should be deported.

An unabashed opponent of marijuana use, Sessions was noncommittal about whether he might use his authority to resume raids of pot-growing operations and dispensaries. Such law enforcement actions, deeply unpopular in states like California and Colorado, were effectively halted in recent years. Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in both those states, among others.

On counter-terrorism, Sessions said he would fight the “scourge of radical Islam” and believed that the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should continue to house terrorism suspects. Obama was unable to fulfill his pledge to close the prison, which still holds 55 detainees, 19 of whom have been cleared for release.

Sessions added that he does not support “the idea that Muslims as a religious group should be denied admissions to the United States,” a position Trump once backed.

The hearing is scheduled to continue Wednesday with a long list of witnesses, including Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who said he will take the unprecedented step of opposing a fellow senator’s candidacy for a Cabinet job.

Sessions was the first of Trump’s Cabinet contenders to begin what is expected to be a combative confirmation process over the next few weeks.

Sessions, one of the most conservative members of Congress, is widely expected to win confirmation from his colleagues in the Republican-controlled Senate. No sitting U.S. senator has ever been rejected for a Cabinet position, and GOP senators on the committee offered nothing but unstinting support on Tuesday.

Even so, Sessions has a long and complicated history on racial matters, and the toughest questions posed by senators focused on how he would deal with civil rights laws, hate crimes and access to the polls.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, set a tough tone by saying that since the election, many citizens have expressed “deep anxiety about the direction of this country and whether this nominee will enforce the law fairly, evenly and without personal bias.”

“Today we are not being asked to evaluate him as a senator,” the California senator said, acknowledging that many of her Democratic colleagues like Sessions personally and professionally. “Will he be independent of the White House? Will he tell the president ‘no’ when necessary?”

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) grew testy when questioning Sessions about several civil rights lawsuits Sessions had listed on his Senate questionnaire as examples of “significant” cases that Sessions personally litigated during his career.

The Trump transition team later said that the cases were worthy of being mentioned, even though Sessions had not been actively involved in them.

Franken suggested that the Trump campaign or Sessions were trying to inflate his civil rights accomplishments.

Sessions replied that he had listed the cases because they were “historic” and that they “were the kind of cases that were national in scope, and deserved be listed on the form.”

The would-be attorney general waded into many of controversial issues that have long dogged the Justice Department, including whether it should reopen its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State. The FBI and Justice Department decided that criminal charges were not warranted despite having determined that Clinton and her aides unintentionally sent classified information over the system.

During the campaign, Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter but has since backed off that pledge.

Sessions, the first senator to endorse Trump’s presidential bid, said he would recuse himself from any Clinton-related matters because he had often attacked her on the campaign trail.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked whether Sessions believed Russia was behind the the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Emails hacked from the DNC and Podesta’s email account disrupted the Clinton campaign, and the intelligence community and the FBI have concluded that the cyberattacks were ordered by high-ranking Russian officials with the goal of hurting Clinton and helping Trump.

Sessions said he had not been briefed on the investigation but has “no reason to doubt” the findings. As attorney general, Sessions would play a large role in helping decide how to respond to such an attack during Trump’s tenure.

“When a nation uses their improperly gained … information to take policy positions that impact another nation’s democracy or their approach to any issue, then that raises real serious matters,” Sessions said.

Trump, by contrast, has questioned the intelligence findings of Russian hacking, calling the assertions an effort to delegitimize his election.

Sessions sidestepped questions about whether he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Russia and the Trump campaign, saying he had not publicly commented on that and would review any such case to determine whether “it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not.”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-sessions-confirmation-hearing-20170110-story.html

00:14
3:02

Video

Jeff Sessions Congressional Hearing

The confirmation hearing for Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee for attorney general, was punctuated by protesters in the chamber and sharp questioning from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.Watch in Times Video »

Confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s cabinet kicked off on Tuesday when Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, his nominee for attorney general, went before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Sessions, a Republican, spent all day at the witness table. Here are the observations:

It’s all but locked up

Barring some bombshell revelation, Senate Democrats do not have the votes to block him, and they showed little interest in trying to drum up Republican support to do so. The support of moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins of Maine and Democrats like Joe Manchin III of West Virginia seems to all but assure his confirmation.

Video and Analysis: Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing

It’s not 1986 anymore

The Sessions team had been prepared for questions about racially charged comments Mr. Sessions was accused of making in the 1980s, remarks that helped sink his nomination to the federal bench in 1986. On Tuesday, Republicans mounted a coordinated pre-emptive strike to criticism that Mr. Sessions harbored racist views. But Democrats did not make race a priority, opting not to vilify a colleague who is generally well liked. Instead, they used the hearing to establish the legal boundaries of the Trump administration. And they largely succeeded, as Mr. Sessions said he would reject a ban on Muslim immigration, for instance, and declared waterboarding “absolutely” illegal.

Same Sessions, different job

Democrats asked pointed questions about whether Mr. Sessions would aggressively enforce laws that he disagreed with and opposed in the Senate. They specifically cited a hate crimes law protecting gay people (Mr. Sessions voted against it) and a law guaranteeing access to abortion clinics (Mr. Sessions opposes abortion). Mr. Sessions said that his job as a senator was different from the job of attorney general, and that he would enforce laws with which he disagrees. “I don’t think it would be hard for me to be impartial and enforce laws that I didn’t vote for,” he said. “I think I can separate my personal votes of maybe years ago from what my responsibility is today.”

Fireworks on Wednesday

After a full day of testimony from Mr. Sessions, the Senate is expected to hear from those who support and oppose his confirmation on Wednesday. Race is sure to be a focus. Officials from the N.A.A.C.P. and the American Civil Liberties Union — two organizations that Mr. Sessions once called “un-American” — are scheduled to testify. Two African-American lawmakers — Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and a civil-rights leader, and Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey — are also scheduled to testify.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/politics/major-takeaways-sessions-confirmation.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 799, November 18, 2016, Story 1: Trump Selects Senator Session As Attorney General To Enforce The Law Including Immigration, National Security and Public Corruption — Criminal Illegal Aliens and Clintons Getting Out of Dodge — Three Cheers For Senator Sessions — Will Obama Pardon Clinton For Her Many Crimes? Yes — Videos — Story 2: Trump Selects Representative Mike Pompeo As Central Intelligence Agency Director and Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn As National Security Adviser — Videos — Story 3: Will Trump Offer Mitt Romney The Secretary of State Position? Romney is A Progressive Interventionist, Trump’s First Big Mistake? — Let Romney Cleanup The Mess At The Veterans Administration — Videos

Posted on November 18, 2016. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, College, Communications, Congress, Consitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Fourth Amendment, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Presidential Appointments, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Trump Selects Senator Session As Attorney General To Enforce The Law Including Immigration, National Security and Public Corruption — Criminal Illegal Aliens and Clintons Getting Out of Dodge — Three Cheers For Senator Sessions — Will Obama Pardon Clinton For Her Many Crimes? Yes — Videos —

Image result for cartoons on trump appointments sessionsImage result for trump appointments sessions flynn and Image result for trump select session as attorney generalImage result for trump select session as attorney generalImage result for trump select session as attorney general

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Breaking News: Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

Questions raised about Trump’s choice for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions

Senator Jeff Sessions

10 things to know about Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general

November 18 at 7:45 AM

Trump’s Transition: Who is Jeff Sessions?

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President-elect Donald Trump announced Friday that he plans to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general.(Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

In Donald Trump’s world, most roads, it seems, lead back to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Trump’s pick for attorney general.

After Sessions became one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump this February, he became an adviser on almost every major decision and policy proposal Trump made during the campaign:

–A top Sessions aide helped Trump communicate his immigration policy

–Sessions chaired Trump national security advisory committee

–Sessions advised Trump on who to choose for vice president. (Sessions was also in the running himself for the No. 2 job.)

“The president-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabama’s attorney general and U.S. attorney,” a Trump transition statement released Thursday read. “It is no wonder the people of Alabama re-elected him without opposition.”

In a relatively short time, Sessions has elevated himself from back-bencher to a “arguably one of the top 5 power players in the country now,” said Alabama GOP consultant Brent Buchanan. Here’s crash course in a politician likely to be a pivotal figure in Trump’s administration:

The basics: Sessions has served as a senator from Alabama for two decades. But Alabama is such a loyal state to its top lawmakers that Sessions is actually the junior senator from the state; Sen. Richard Shelby (R) has been in office three decades.

Sessions is popular back home: Aside from his first election in 1996, Sessions has never won with less than 59 percent of the vote. In 2014, he ran unopposed.

His full name is: Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III.

He’s “amnesty’s worst enemy”: The conservative National Review crowned Sessions with that title in 2014, with good reason. Sessions has opposed nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate the past two decades that has included a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

He’s also fought legal immigration, including guest worker programs for illegal immigrants and visa programs for foreign workers in science, math and high-tech. In 2007, Sessions got a bill passed essentially banning for 10 years federal contractors who hire illegal immigrants.

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“Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States,” Sessions argued in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed. “… What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together.”

He’s a debt hawk and a military hawk: Sessions, a lawyer before he became a politician, is known for touring Alabama with charts warning of the United States’ “crippling” debt. On foreign policy, Sessions has advocated a get-tough approach, once voting against an amendment banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of prisoners.

These are two positions that could put him at odd with the president he’ll serve: Trump has expensive plans that involve significant spending, like $1 trillion on an infrastructure program — and he campaigned on a strong non-interventionist worldview (often claiming, inaccurately, that he opposed the Iraq War before it started).

He’s a climate change skeptic: Here’s Sessions in a 2015 hearing questioning Environmental Protection Agency’s Gina McCarthy: “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”

Accusations of racism have dogged Sessions’s career: Actually, they almost derailed it. In 1986, a Senate committee denied Sessions, then a 39-year-old U.S. attorney in Alabama, a federal judgeship. His former colleagues testified Sessions used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”

By the time the testimony was finished, Sessions’s “reputation was in tatters,” wrote Isaac Stanley-Becker in The Post this July, on the eve of Sessions delivering a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention for Trump.

In 1986, Sessions defended himself against accusations of racism. “I am not the Jeff Sessions my detractors have tried to create,” he told the very same Senate Judiciary Committee he now sits on. “I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks.”

And he told Stanley-Becker this summer: “Racism is totally unacceptable in America. Everybody needs to be treated fairly and objectively.”

But the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich, who tracks hate speech, said Sessions is guilty of it, and that his mere presence in Trump’s inner circle is “a tragedy for American politics.”

He’s got a populist streak: Here’s one area where he and Trump likely get along swell. Wall Street and corporate executives are often the antagonists in the Alabama senator’s speeches. “A small group of CEOs don’t get to set immigration policy for the country,” he said in a 2014 speech opposing a multi-billion-dollar bill to help control the stem of influx of Central American refugees on the border.

As hard-line as Sessions can be, he’s worked with Democrats before: “Say what you will about him,” former longtime Senate Democratic communications aide Jim Manley told the Almanac of American Politics. “He was always nice to [the late Ted] Kennedy and other Democrats as well.”

Even people who have run against him have nice things to say about him. Stanley-Becker talked to Susan Parker, a Democrat who tried to unseat Sessions in 2002. During a debate, she asked for a tissue and Sessions handed her one. She joked she would use it to dry her eyes when Sessions made her cry, and he responded: “Please don’t say that. That’s my nightmare. I promise I’ll be nice.”

Sessions has joined with Democrats to support criminal justice reform legislation like reducing the disparity between sentence time for crack and powder cocaine (although civil rights advocates say more recently he opposed a bipartisan criminal justice reform package that in part reduced federal sentences.) In 2010 he teamed up with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on a proposal to put strict limits on non-military federal spending. It fell one vote short of passing.

Sen. Jeff Sessions endorses Donald Trump

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s White House bid during a joint appearance in his home state. (Reuters)

In 2016, he’s gone from fringe to mainstream: Aside from immigration battles, Sessions mostly operated in the background on Capitol Hill. Until 2016. His mix of hard-line immigration position and a populist streak had made him a tea party star and thus a coveted endorsement catch for Republican presidential candidates catering to the tea party. In presidential primary debates, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) would even brag about his ties to Sessions.

In the end, Sessions chose Trump, surprising the political establishment by jumping on stage with him at a rally in February in Madison, Ala., two days before Super Tuesday and donning a “Make America Great Again” hat.

“I told Donald Trump this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement,” Sessions said at the time.

Nine months later, Sessions will be a central figure in transitioning that “movement” into a working government

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/18/10-things-to-know-about-sen-jeff-sessions-donald-trumps-pick-for-attorney-general/

Will Jeff Sessions Roll Back Civil-Rights Protections?

Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general has a record of hostility toward the federal government’s role in curtailing discrimination on the basis of race, sexuality, and immigration status.

Mike Segar / Reuters

 By ADAM SERWER

Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man whose views on race once led a Senate committee to deem him unfit for a federal judgeship, is Donald Trump’s choice to head the federal agency that enforces the nation’s civil-rights laws.

In his 1986 confirmation hearing, witnesses testified that Sessions referred to a black attorney as “boy,” described the Voting Rights Act as “intrusive,” attacked the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American” for “forcing civil rights down the throats of people,” joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was ok until he found out they smoked marijuana, and referred to a white attorney who took on voting-rights cases as a  “traitor to his race.” As Ryan J. Reilly reported, Sessions also faced allegations that he referred to a Democratic official in Alabama as a nigger.

“It’s unimaginable that Senator Sessions would be the chief law enforcement officer for the nation’s civil rights laws,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “This demonstrates that the president-elect is continuing to select individuals for his team that have a demonstrated record of hostility to equal rights and justice, and to civil rights.”

The Justice Department does far more than prosecute federal crimes. It is the primary federal agency responsible for ensuring that Americans’ rights are protected regardless of race, religion, disability, or gender. It ensures that Americans have the right to vote; that they can find a place to live, work, or get an education without discrimination; that local law enforcement agencies do not violate the constitutional rights of the communities they police; and that the nation’s civil-rights laws are defended and preserved in court.

Defenders of Sessions might argue that his racist views may have changed, that he has reformed, that the sins of Sessions’s past should not bear on his future. After all, Sessions has made many statements since in favor of racial egalitarianism, and even said in 2010 that the work of the civil-rights division “provides tremendous benefit to American citizens.”

Yet the evidence that Sessions’s views on law and policy have changed is thin. Since becoming a senator, Sessions has denounced federal efforts to protect the rights of marginalized Americans as intrusive, decried the extension of equal rights to gays and lesbians as a threat to Western civilization, and fought to preserve punitive laws in the face of a bipartisan trend toward criminal-justice reform. Sessions’s selection as attorney general augurs an era in which the federal agency charged with protecting the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBT Americans will be led by a man who has been openly skeptical of, if not opposed, to  its past efforts to do so. Which means that Sessions’s tenure as attorney general could leave some of the most vulnerable Americans defenseless, should he conclude that the civil-rights laws that protect them are not worth enforcing.

The choice of Sessions, a hardliner who has long criticized the Obama administration’s immigration policy as too lenient and opposed the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill, also suggests that Trump has every intention of engaging in the massive crackdown on immigration he advertised during his campaign.

“The attorney general occupies the most important law-enforcement role in the nation and, as such, must be someone committed to equal justice under law for all,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights. “There were questions about [Sessions] ability to be fair and impartial on the bench back then and those questions remain today.”

Under President George W. Bush, the political appointees to the Justice Department’s civil-rights division were found in an internal investigation to have violated civil-service laws by considering partisan affiliation in hiring. The head of the division, Bradley Schlozman, declared his intent in an email to “gerrymander those crazy libs out of the section,” referring to the part of the division that enforces voting rights. He wanted to replace them with “real Americans” and “right-thinking Americans.” A 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office found a “significant drop in the enforcement of several major antidiscrimination and voting rights laws.” While civil-rights enforcement lagged, many of the division’s lawyers were instead compelled by the Bush leadership to work deportation cases.

Under the Obama administration, enforcement of the nation’s civil-rights laws again became a top priority, with the division taking on the racially discriminatory financial practices that lead to the 2008 financial crisis, more forcefully enforcing and defending votingrights laws, and moving against anti-LGBT discrimination, particularly in schools.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/trumps-pick-for-attorney-general-foreshadows-a-civil-rights-rollback/508172/

Jeff Sessions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions official portrait.jpg
United States Attorney General
Designate
Taking office
January 20, 2017*
President Donald Trump(Elect)
Succeeding Loretta Lynch
United States Senator
from Alabama
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Serving with Richard Shelby
Preceded by Howell Heflin
44th Attorney General of Alabama
In office
January 16, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Governor Fob James
Preceded by Jimmy Evans
Succeeded by Bill Pryor
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama
In office
1981–1993
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by William Kimbrough, Jr.
Succeeded by Don Foster
Personal details
Born Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
December 24, 1946 (age 69)
Selma, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Blackshear
Children 3
Alma mater Huntingdon College(BA)
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa(JD)
Religion United Methodist
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1973–1977
Rank US military captain's rank.gifCaptain
Unit 1184th United States Army Transportation Terminal Unit
United States Army Reserve
*Pending Senate confirmation

Jefferson BeauregardJeffSessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the juniorUnited States Senator from Alabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party.

From 1981 to 1993 he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994, and to the U.S. Senate in 1996, being re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Sessions was ranked by National Journal in 2007 as the fifth-most conservative U.S. Senator, siding strongly with the Republican Party on political issues. He supported the major legislative efforts of the George W. Bush administration, including the 2001 and 2003 tax cut packages, the Iraq War, and a proposed national amendment to ban same-sex marriage. He was one of 25 senators to oppose the establishment of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He has opposed the Democratic leadership since 2007 on most major legislation, including the stimulus bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he opposed all three of President Barack Obama’s nominees for the Supreme Court.

Sessions was considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but Mike Pence of Indiana was ultimately selected for the ticket. On November 18, 2016, the transition team announced via press release that President-elect Trump had picked Sessions as his designee for Attorney General.

Early life and education

Sessions was born in Hybart, Alabama[1] on December 24, 1946, the son of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Jr and Abbie Powe.[2] His father owned a general store in Hybart, Alabama and then a farm equipment dealership. Both of Sessions’ parents were of primarily English ancestry, with some Scots-Irish.[3][4] In 1964, Sessions became an Eagle Scout and earned the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. [5]

After attending school in nearby Camden, Sessions studied at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. He was active in the Young Republicans and was student body president.[6] Sessions attended the University of Alabama School of Law and graduated with his J.D. in 1973.[7]

Sessions entered private practice in Russellville and later in Mobile,[8] where he now lives.[9] He also served in the Army Reserve in the 1970s, achieving the rank of captain.[8]

Sessions and his wife Mary have three children and six grandchildren.[10]

Political career

U.S. Attorney

Sessions was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama beginning in 1975. In 1981, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. The Senate confirmed him and he held that position for 12 years.[8]

Failed nomination to the district court

In 1986, Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.[11] Sessions’s judicial nomination was recommended and actively backed by Republican Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton.[12] A substantial majority of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which rates nominees to the federal bench, rated Sessions “qualified,” with a minority voting that Sessions was “not qualified”.[13]

At Sessions’ confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” because they “forced civil rights down the throats of people”.[14]

Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot“. Sessions later said that the comment was not serious, but did apologize for it.[15] Figures also testified that on one occasion, when the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division sent the office instructions to investigate a case that Sessions had tried to close, Figures and Sessions “had a very spirited discussion regarding how the Hodge case should then be handled; in the course of that argument, Mr. Sessions threw the file on a table, and remarked, ‘I wish I could decline on all of them,'” by which Figures said Sessions meant civil rights cases generally. After becoming Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Sessions was asked in an interview about his civil rights record as a U.S Attorney. He denied that he had not sufficiently pursued civil rights cases, saying that “when I was [a U.S. Attorney], I signed 10 pleadings attacking segregation or the remnants of segregation, where we as part of the Department of Justice, we sought desegregation remedies”.[16]

Figures also said that Sessions had called him “boy.”[11] He also testified that “Mr. Sessions admonished me to ‘be careful what you say to white folks.'”[17] In 1992, Figures was indicted by a federal grand jury with attempting to bribe a witness by offering a $50,000 to a convicted drug dealer who was to testify against his client. Figures claimed the indictment was in retaliation for his role in blocking Sessions nomination.[18]Sessions was also reported to have called a white civil rights attorney a “disgrace to his race.”[19]

Sessions responded to the testimony by denying the allegations, saying his remarks were taken out of context or meant in jest, and also stating that groups could be considered un-American when “they involve themselves in un-American positions” on foreign policy. Sessions said during testimony that he considered the Klan to be “a force for hatred and bigotry.” In regards to the marijuana quote, Sessions said the comment was a joke but apologized.[15]

In response to a question from Joe Biden on whether he had called the NAACP and other civil rights organizations “un-American”, Sessions replied “I’m often loose with my tongue. I may have said something about the NAACP being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it.”[13]

On June 5, 1986, the Committee voted 10–8 against recommending the nomination to the Senate floor, with Republican Senators Charles Mathias of Maryland and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania voting with the Democrats. It then split 9–9 on a vote to send Sessions’ nomination to the Senate floor with no recommendation, this time with Specter in support. A majority was required for the nomination to proceed.[20] The pivotal votes against Sessions came from his home state’s Democratic Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama. Although Heflin had previously backed Sessions, he began to oppose Sessions after hearing testimony, concluding that there were “reasonable doubts” over Sessions’ ability to be “fair and impartial.” The nomination was withdrawn on July 31, 1986.[13]

Sessions became only the second nominee to the federal judiciary in 48 years whose nomination was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.[15] He was quoted then as saying that the Senate on occasion had been insensitive to the rights and reputation of nominees.[21][22] A law clerk from the U.S. District Court in Mobile who had worked with Sessions later acknowledged the confirmation controversy, but stated that he observed Sessions as “a lawyer of the highest ethical and intellectual standards.”[23]

After joining the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions remarked that his presence there, alongside several of the members who voted against him, was a “great irony.”[21] When Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania left the GOP to join the Democratic Party on April 28, 2009, Sessions was selected to be the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. At that time, Specter said that his vote against Sessions’ nomination was a mistake, because he had “since found that Sen. Sessions is egalitarian.”[24]

Alabama Attorney General and U.S. Senate

Sessions speaking at a campaign event for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on August 31, 2016.

Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in November 1994, unseating incumbent Democrat Jimmy Evans with 57% of the vote. In 1996, Sessions won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, after a runoff, and then defeated Democrat Roger Bedford 53%–46% in the November general election.[6] He succeeded Howell Heflin, who had retired after 18 years in the Senate. In 2002, Sessions won reelection by defeating Democratic State Auditor Susan Parker. In 2008, Sessions defeated Democratic State SenatorVivian Davis Figures (sister-in-law of Thomas Figures, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who testified at Sessions’ judicial confirmation hearing) to win a third term. Sessions received 63 percent of the vote to Figures’ 37 percent. Sessions successfully sought a fourth term in 2014[25] and was uncontested in both the Republican primary and the general election.[26][27]

Sessions was only the second freshman Republican senator from Alabama since Reconstruction and gave Alabama two Republican senators, a first since Reconstruction. He was easily reelected in 2002, becoming the first Republican reelected to the Senate from Alabama since Reconstruction (given that his colleague Richard Shelby, who won reelection as a Republican in 1998, had previously run as a Democrat, switching parties in 1994).[26]

2016 presidential election

Sessions was an early supporter of the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, and was a major policy adviser to the Trump campaign, especially in regard to immigration and national security.[28] Sessions donned a “Make America Great Again” cap at a Trump rally in August 2015, and Stephen Miller, Sessions’s longtime-communications director, joined the Trump campaign.[29] On February 28, 2016, Sessions officially endorsed Donald Trump for president. The Trump campaign considered Sessions for the position of running mate, and Sessions was widely seen as a potential Cabinet secretary in a Trump administration.[28] After winning the presidential election, Trump announced that he would nominate Sessions to be Attorney General, succeeding Loretta Lynch.[30]

Political positions

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions addressing voters in 2011.

Sessions was ranked by National Journal as the fifth-most conservative U.S. Senator in their March 2007 Conservative/Liberal Rankings.[31] He backs conservative Republican stances on foreign policy, taxes, and social issues. He opposes abortion and illegal immigration.

Sessions is the ranking Republican member on the Senate Budget Committee,[32] a former ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Sessions was a supporter of the “nuclear option,” a tactic considered by then-Senate Majority LeaderBill Frist in the spring of 2005 to change longstanding Senate rules to stop Democratic filibusters (or, “talking a bill to death”) of some of George W. Bush’s nominees to the federal courts. When the “Gang of 14” group of moderate Senators reached an agreement to allow filibusters under “extraordinary circumstances,” Sessions accepted the agreement but argued that “a return to the tradition of up-or-down votes on all judicial nominees would… strengthen the Senate.”[33]

Sessions is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[34]

Foreign and military policy

Senator Sessions speaks during Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) 2012 in Nashville, TN

In 2005, Sessions spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C. in favor of the War in Iraq that was held in opposition to an anti-war protest held the day before. Sessions said of the anti-war protesters: “The group who spoke here the other day did not represent the American ideals of freedom, liberty and spreading that around the world. I frankly don’t know what they represent, other than to blame America first.”[35]

In the 109th Congress, Sessions introduced legislation to increase the death gratuity benefit for families of servicemembers from $12,420 to $100,000.[36] The bill also increased the level of coverage under the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance from $250,000 to $400,000. Sessions’ legislation was accepted in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2005.[37]

Sessions was one of only three senators to vote against additional funding for the VA medical system. He opposed the bill due to cost concerns and indicated that Congress should instead focus on “reforms and solutions that improve the quality of service and the effectiveness that is delivered.”[38]

Crime and security

Senator Sessions and Indiana Governor/VP candidate Mike Pence at an immigration policy speech in Phoenix, Arizona in August 2016

On October 5, 2005, he was one of nine Senators who voted against a Senate amendment to a House bill that prohibited cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment of individuals in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government.[39]

Sessions has taken a strong stand against any form of citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Sessions was one of the most vocal critics of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. He is a supporter of E-Verify, the federal database that allows businesses to electronically verify the immigration status of potential new hires,[40] and has advocated for expanded construction of a Southern border fence.[41] In 2013, Sessions claimed that an opt-out provision in immigration legislation before Congress would allow Sec. Janet Napolitano to skip building a border fence. PolitiFact called the claim “False,” stating that the provision would allow Napolitano to determine where the fence was built, but not opt out of building it entirely.[42]

In November 2010, Sessions was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the committee voted unanimously in favor of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, and sent the bill to the full Senate for consideration.[43] The proposed law would allow the Attorney General to ask a court to issue a restraining order on Internet domain names that host copyright-infringing material.[43]

Sessions has been a strong supporter of civil forfeiture, the government practice of seizing property when it has allegedly been involved in a crime.[44] Sessions opposes “any reform” of civil forfeiture legislation.[45]

Economic issues

Sessions voted for the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, and said he would vote to make them permanent if given the chance.[46]

In 2006, Sessions received the “Guardian of Small Business” award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB),[47] an honor that the organization bestows upon legislators who vote in accord with its stance on small business issues at least 70% of the time.[48] He was recognized by the NFIB again in 2008[49] and 2010;[48] in 2014 the organization endorsed him in his run for a fourth term, noting that he had achieved a 100% NFIB voting record on key issues for small businesses in the 112th Congress.[50]

He voted for an amendment to the 2008 budget resolution, offered by Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, which would have placed a one-year moratorium on the practice of earmarking.[citation needed]

Sessions was one of 25 senators to vote against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the bank bailout), arguing that it “undermines our heritage of law and order, and is an affront to the principle of separation of powers.”[51]

Sessions opposed the $837 billion stimulus bill, calling it “the largest spending bill in the history of the republic.”[52] In late 2011 he also expressed skepticism about the $447 billion jobs bill proposed by President Obama, and disputed the notion that the bill would be paid for without adding to the national debt.[53]

Higher education and research

In 2013, Sessions sent a letter to National Endowment for the Humanities enquiring why the foundation funded projects that he deemed frivolous.[54] He also criticized the foundation for distributing books related to Islam to hundreds of U.S. libraries, saying “Using taxpayer dollars to fund education program grant questions that are very indefinite or in an effort to seemingly use Federal funds on behalf of just one religion, does not on its face appear to be the appropriate means to establish confidence in the American people that NEH expenditures are wise.”[55]

Social issues

As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions worked to deny funding to student Gay-Straight Alliances at Auburn University and The University of South Alabama, stating “an organization that professes to be comprised of homosexuals and/or lesbians may not receive state funding or use state-supported facilities to foster or promote those illegal, *1551 sexually deviate activities defined in the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.” [56]The U.S. District court ruled against these actions as a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sessions has been an opponent of same-sex marriage and has earned a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest LGBTQ advocacy group.[57] He voted against the Matthew Shepard Act, which added acts of bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate-crimes law,[58] Sessions voted in favor of advancing the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, a U.S. constitutional amendment which would have permanently restricted federal recognition of marriage to those between a man and a woman.[58] Sessions voted against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.[59]

Sessions has also said regarding the appointment of a gay Supreme Court justice, “I do not think that a person who acknowledges that they have gay tendencies is disqualified, per se, for the job”[60] but “that would be a big concern that the American people might feel—might feel uneasy about that.”[61]

Sessions is against legalizing cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use. “I’m a big fan of the DEA”, he said during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.[62] Sessions was “heartbroken” and found “it beyond comprehension” when President Obama claimed that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol.[63]

Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Sessions is pro-life and was one of 37 Senators to vote against funding for embryonic stem cell research.[64]

Health care reform

Sessions opposed President Barack Obama’s health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[65] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[66]

Following Senator Ted Cruz‘s 21-hour speech opposing the Affordable Care Act, Sessions joined Cruz and 17 other Senators in a failed vote against cloture on a comprehensive government funding bill that would have continued funding healthcare reform.[67]

Energy and environment

Sessions is skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change.[68] He has voted in favor of legislation that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.[69] Sessions is a proponent of nuclear power, and has voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.[citation needed] The League of Conservation Voters, a pro-environment advocacy group, gave him a lifetime score of 7%.[70]

Marijuana

Sessions is a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization. In April 2016, he said that it was important to foster “knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about… and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”[71]

Supreme Court nominations

While serving as the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee in the 110th Congress, Sessions was the senior Republican who questioned Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama‘s nominee to succeed retiring Justice David Souter. Sessions focused on Sotomayor’s views on empathy as a quality for a judge, arguing that “empathy for one party is always prejudice against another.”[72] Sessions also questioned the nominee about her views on the use of foreign law in deciding cases,[73] as well as her role in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF). On July 28, 2009, Sessions joined five Republican colleagues in voting against Sotomayor’s nomination in the Judiciary Committee. The committee approved Sotomayor by a vote of 13–6.[74] Sessions also voted against Sotomayor when her nomination came before the full Senate. He was one of 31 senators (all Republicans) to do so, while 68 voted to confirm the nominee.[75]

Sessions also served as the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee during the nomination process for Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Sessions based his opposition on the nominee’s lack of experience, her background as a political operative (Kagan had said that she worked in the Clinton White House not as a lawyer but as a policy adviser[76]), and her record on guns, abortion, and gay rights. Sessions pointed out that Kagan “has a very thin record legally, never tried a case, never argued before a jury, only had her first appearance in the appellate courts a year ago.”[77]

Sessions focused the majority of his criticism on Kagan’s treatment of the military while she was dean of Harvard Law School. During her tenure, Kagan reinstated the practice of requiring military recruiters to coordinate their activities through a campus veterans organization, rather than the school’s Office of Career Services. Kagan argued that she was trying to comply with a law known as the Solomon Amendment, which barred federal funds from any college or university that did not grant military recruiters equal access to campus facilities. Sessions asserted that Kagan’s action was a violation of the Solomon Amendment and that it amounted to “demeaning and punishing the military.”[78] He also argued that her action showed a willingness to place her politics above the law.[78]

On July 20, 2010, Sessions and five Republican colleagues voted against Kagan’s nomination. Despite this, the Judiciary Committee approved the nomination by a 13–6 vote. Sessions also voted against Kagan in the full Senate vote, joining 36 other senators (including one Democrat) in opposition. 63 senators voted to confirm Kagan. Following the vote, Sessions remarked on future nominations and elections, saying that Americans would “not forgive the Senate if we further expose our Constitution to revision and rewrite by judicial fiat to advance what President Obama says is a broader vision of what America should be.”[79]

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Sessions refused to consider any nominee for the position. Sessions maintained his opposition after President Obama nominated D.C. Circuit judge Merrick Garland, joining other Republican Senators in delaying a Supreme Court hearing until the inauguration of a new president.[80]

Legislation

On December 11, 2013, Sessions cosponsored the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 1799; 113th Congress), a bill that would reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 and would authorize funding through 2018 to help child abuse victims.[81] Sessions argued that “there is no higher duty than protecting our nation’s children, and this bill is an important step to ensure the most vulnerable children receive the care and support they deserve.”[81]

Political contributors

During his career, Sessions’ largest donors have come from the legal, health, real estate, and insurance industries.[82] From 2005 to 2010, the corporations employing donors who gave the most to his campaign were the Southern Company utility firm, Balch & Bingham law firm, Harbert Management investment firm, Drummond Company coal mining firm, and WPP Group, a UK-based communications services company.[83]

Committee assignments

Electoral history

2014
United States Senate election in Alabama, 2014[85]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions (Incumbent) 795,606 97.25
Write-ins Other 22,484 2.75
Total votes 818,090 100
Republicanhold
2008
Alabama U.S. Senate Republican Primary Election – 2008
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Sessions* 199,690 92.27
Republican Zach McCann 16,718 7.73
Alabama U.S. Senate Election – 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Sessions* 1,305,383 63.36 + 4.78
Democratic Vivian Davis Figures 752,391 36.52
Write-ins 2,417 0.12
2002
Alabama U.S. Senate Election – 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Sessions* 792,561 58.58 + 6.13
Democratic Susan Parker 538,878 39.83
Libertarian Jeff Allen 20,234 1.50
Write-ins 1,350 0.10
1996
Alabama U.S. Senate Republican Primary Election – 1996
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Sessions 82,373 37.81
Republican Sid McDonald 47,320 21.72
Republican Charles Woods 24,409 11.20
Republican Frank McRight 21,964 10.08
Republican Walter D. Clark 18,745 8.60
Republican Jimmy Blake 15,385 7.06
Republican Albert Lipscomb 7,672 3.52
Alabama U.S. Senate Republican Primary Runoff Election – 1996
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Sessions 81,681 59.26
Republican Sid McDonald 56,156 40.74
Alabama U.S. Senate Election – 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Sessions 786,436 52.45
Democratic Roger Bedford 681,651 45.46
Libertarian Mark Thornton 21,550 1.44
Natural Law Charles R. Hebner 9,123 0.61
Write-ins Write-ins 633 0.04

1994

Alabama Attorney General Election – 1994
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Jeff Sessions 667,010 56.87
Democrat Jimmy Evans* 505,137 43.07
Write-ins Write-ins 660 0.00

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions

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Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn

LT Flynn spoke to a packed crowd of Young America’s Foundation’s students and supporters at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. to celebrate freedom.

“Field of Fight” with Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn

He was one of the most respected intel officers of his generation. Now he’s leading ‘Lock her up’ chants.

In campaign appearances for Donald Trump, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn has cast the presidential race as a continuation of the career he spent battling dangerous enemies in distant wars.

“The enemy camp in this case is Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said at a rally in Florida this month, pointing his thumbs down in disgust. “This is a person who does not know the difference between a lie and the truth. . . . She is somebody who will leave Americans behind on the battlefield.”

As chants of “Lock her up!” rose from the crowd, Flynn nodded with enthusiasm and said he was “so proud, standing up here, to be an American.”

It was a jarring moment in a race full of them — a retired three-star general comparing a presidential candidate to the al-Qaeda militants he faced in Afghanistan and Iraq, calling for a former senator and secretary of state to be imprisoned.

The appearance was only the latest eyebrow-raising episode involving Flynn, 56, who was one of the most respected military intelligence officers of his generation but who has spurned the decorum traditionally expected of retired U.S. flag officers and become the only national security figure of his rank and experience to publicly align himself with Trump, the Republican nominee.

The unruly 2016 campaign has drawn dozens of former senior national security officials into the fray, including 50 who served Republican presidents and who this month signed a lettersaying Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president. Denunciations of Trump from retired Marine Gen. John Allen — who spoke at the Democratic National Convention — and former acting CIA director Michael J. Morell struck some as compromising their former institutions’ apolitical role in American democracy.

But Flynn, who vaulted to public attention with his speech at the Republican National Convention last month, has rattled even some of his most long-standing colleagues, engaging in harsh, partisan rhetoric that, to his critics, seems to clash with the principles and values he spent a career defending.

He has called President Obama a “liar,” declared the U.S. justice system “corrupt” and insisted that he was pushed out of his assignment as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency because of his views on radical Islam. The claim has left former superiors seething, including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to current and former officials who said Flynn was removed because of management problems.

Like Trump, Flynn has advocated forging closer ties with Russia. In interviews with The Washington Post, Flynn acknowledged being paid to give a speech and attend a lavish anniversary party for the Kremlin-controlled RT television network in Moscow last year, where he was seated next to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

“People went crazy,” said retired Brig. Gen. Peter B. Zwack, a former U.S. military attache in Moscow. “They thought it was so out of bounds, so unusual.” Zwack emphasized that he considers Flynn a “patriot” who “would never sell out his country.”

Flynn, who was no longer in government but received a DIA briefing on Russia before the trip, said the invitation and payment came through his speaker’s bureau. He said he used the visit to press for collaboration on Syria, Iran and the Middle East, and dismissed the ensuing controversy as “boring.” Asked why he would want to be so closely associated with a Kremlin propaganda platform, Flynn said he sees no distinction between RT and other news outlets.

“What’s CNN? What’s MSNBC? Come on!” said Flynn, who also has appeared occasionally as an unpaid on-air analyst for RT and other foreign broadcasters.

Dismayed by Flynn’s behavior since he left the military, former colleagues have contacted him to urge him to show more restraint. Among them are retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who relied heavily on Flynn in Iraq and Afghanistan, and retired Adm. Michael Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McChrystal declined to comment for this article.

Mullen provided a written statement saying that “for retired senior officers to take leading and vocal roles as clearly partisan figures is a violation of the ethos and professionalism of apolitical military service.” Officers are sworn to execute orders without regard for political positions, an oath to the Constitution that “is inviolable and presidents must never question it or doubt it,” he said.

Flynn and Allen “have violated this principle and confused that clarity,” Mullen said. “This is not about the right to speak out, it is about the disappointing lack of judgment in doing so for crass partisan purposes. This is made worse by using hyperbolic language all the while leveraging the respected title of ‘general.’ ”

Allen noted that retired U.S. military officers have frequently taken public positions in presidential campaigns, including a number of recent chairmen, and that he did so out of concern with Trump’s calls for resuming the use of torture, killing families of terrorism suspects and mass-bombing cities in Syria.

“Retired senior officers should not take lightly the impact of public commentary in a political environment,” Allen said. “I chose to do so because I believe that Trump was proposing policies and orders to the U.S. military as a potential Commander in Chief, which I believed would create a civil-military crisis. This is a matter of conscience for me, because in moments of crisis such as these, credible voices must speak out.”

In interviews, Flynn said he respects his former superiors but rejected their entreaties as attempts to silence him and impinge on his free speech rights. “When someone says, ‘You’re a general, so you have to shut up,’ ” he said, “I say, ‘Do I have to stop being an American?’ ”

Flynn dismisses his critics as closet Clinton supporters or misguided colleagues who have put their pursuit of corporate board seats and lucrative consulting contracts ahead of their concern for the country. Most retired generals “are afraid to speak out,” he said, because they use their stars “for themselves, for their businesses.”

Flynn said his foray into politics began last year when he volunteered to advise five Republican candidates. He said that he first met Trump 11 months ago and that he spoke with him by phone several times before being asked to speak at the Republican convention.

Trump is a “very serious guy. Good listener. Asked really good questions,” he said. Flynn’s role in the campaign has yet to be defined. He said he has never met with Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and has not been promised any position if the real estate developer wins.

Flynn’s credentials and backing of Trump have fueled speculation that he could be in line for a high-level national security job if Trump is elected. He was briefly considered a potential Trump running mate before the candidate picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Rather than scaling back, Flynn, a registered Democrat, has become an avid campaigner for Trump whose views and impulses increasingly echo those of the Republican candidate.

He sees the nation as beset by darkness and corruption, with voters split between “centrist nationalists” and “socialists.”

The divide has weakened the nation’s ability to grasp what he considers an existential threat from “a diseased component” of Islam. “There’s something going on in the Muslim world,” he said. “Why do we have heightened security at our airports? It’s not because the Catholic Church is falling apart.”

Flynn’s sudden political prominence represents a departure from a 33-year military career spent largely in the shadowy realm of military intelligence and Special Operations missions. Former colleagues said they could not recall Flynn ever discussing politics while in uniform or voicing the views he has embraced since his career came to an abrupt end.

The son of a World War II and Korean War veteran, Flynn was one of nine children in a close-knit Irish family in Rhode Island. His brother Charlie is a two-star general in the Army.

Flynn’s early years in uniform coincided with the end of the Cold War, but he made his mark after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as an intense officer with a string of important intelligence assignments.

He has held senior positions in the 18th Airborne Corps, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and at U.S. Central Command, which runs U.S. military operations in the Middle East. Throughout his career, he was viewed as a charismatic and unconventional officer with a talent for mapping terrorist networks — qualities prized by superiors. But his hard-charging approach was at times considered disruptive or undisciplined.

He is best known for his integral role in the lethal machine that McChrystal assembled in Iraq to eviscerate the al-Qaeda affiliate there. Together, they perfected an approach known as “find, fix, finish” that relied on the elite Joint Special Operations Command to carry out raids and then used intelligence from captured militants and materials to identify new targets at a blistering tempo.

When McChrystal was put in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he tapped Flynn again to serve as his top intelligence officer. Flynn used that job to position himself as a gifted strategist, helping to co-write a 26-page article, “Fixing Intel,” that depicted the intelligence-gathering mission in Afghanistan as a failing endeavor that was too focused on finding targets rather than understanding cultural complexities. Some in the military praised the article as insightful, but critics considered it grandstanding at the expense of his predecessors.

Some of Flynn’s other moves angered superiors. Former U.S. officials said he was scolded after traveling to Pakistan in 2009 or early 2010 and revealing to Pakistani officials sensitive U.S. intelligence on the militant Haqqani network accused of staging attacks on American forces. U.S. officials said that the move was aimed at prodding Pakistan to crack down on the militant group, but that Flynn exposed U.S. intelligence capabilities that only helped Pakistan protect an organization it used as a proxy ally.

Flynn also came under investigation by the Pentagon because of an allegation that he had inappropriately shared highly classified intelligence with Australian and British forces. “I’m proud of that one,” Flynn said in an interview. “Accuse me of sharing intelligence in combat with our closest allies. Please!”

The inquiry delayed but did not derail Flynn’s ascent through the ranks. Always pushing for a deeper understanding of terrorist networks, Flynn persuaded Clapper in 2011 to let him form a team to reexamine the materials recovered from bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, searching for clues overlooked by the CIA. In 2012, Obama tapped him for one of the highest positions a military intelligence officer can attain, running the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn arrived with a mandate for change. He began trying to reorganize the agency into regionally focused centers, station more analysts overseas and build a spying capability that could rival that of the CIA. In public remarks, he warned any employees who resisted his agenda that he would “move them or fire them.”

Almost from the outset there were concerns at the Pentagon that Flynn was struggling to execute his reform plans and that the agency was beset by turmoil. A career staff officer, Flynn had little experience running a large organization, let alone a plodding institution such as the DIA, with nearly 20,000 employees.

Former subordinates at the DIA said Flynn was so prone to dubious pronouncements that senior aides coined a term — “Flynn facts” — for assertions that seemed questionable or inaccurate.

The DIA job is ordinarily a three-year assignment. But early in Flynn’s second year, his bosses — Clapper and then-Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers — summoned him to a meeting at the Pentagon to tell him that he was being removed.

As the search for a replacement stalled, Flynn attempted an end-run around his superiors, appealing directly to the vice chief of staff of the Army to extend his tenure. The move infuriated Clapper, according to former officials who said the DNI warned Flynn that if he made any other attempt to circumvent the outcome he would be fired on the spot. Clapper declined to comment for this article, but several current and former officials confirmed the account.

Flynn disputed the account as well as the claim that he had shared sensitive intelligence with Pakistan, saying in an email that the claims are “all false.”

He characterizes his ouster as a political purge orchestrated by an administration unwilling to heed the warnings he was sounding about militant Islam. Asked for evidence, he said, “I just know!” adding that Clapper had once told him that the issue behind Flynn’s ouster was “not your leadership, or I would have removed you right away.”

The decision to remove Flynn was “about turbulence and a destructive climate,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official. “I don’t think anybody in the administration was even aware of his views” on radical Islam.

Flynn’s positions have become more strident since he left DIA and are increasingly aimed at Obama. He said he is “sick and tired” of the president taking credit for approving the 2011 mission that led to the death of bin Laden. “This decision to kill bin Laden . . . so what?!” he said. “What did it really do?”

Once firmly against waterboarding and other banned interrogation measures, Flynn now appears at least willing to consider supporting Trump’s threat to reinstate those methods, saying he would be reluctant to take options off the table. Asked on Al Jazeera in May whether he would allow the military to carry out Trump’s threat to kill any families of suspected terrorists, Flynn replied, “I would have to see the circumstances of that situation.”

In February, Flynn posted a video about a Pakistani terrorist group on his Twitter account with the comment: “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”

His views are difficult to reconcile with some of the prescriptions for fighting terrorism that he outlines in a recent book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies,” that he co-wrote with neoconservative analyst Michael Ledeen.

In the book, Flynn argues that the United States needs new partnerships with Middle Eastern countries and a deeper understanding of radical ideology. He said Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia should shoulder more of the responsibility for ridding themselves of terrorists, accept more Syrian refugees and deploy troops in Syria.

Asked whether his comments about Islam or Trump’s behavior — threatening to ban Muslims from entering the United States, vilifying the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier — might alienate those potential Middle East partners, Flynn said, “I don’t see it that way. I see a lot of Muslims who actually want this conversation. They want this point to be made.”

Greg Jaffe and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nearly-the-entire-national-security-establishment-has-rejected-trumpexcept-for-this-man/2016/08/15/d5072d96-5e4b-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html

 

Michael T. Flynn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Michael Flynn, see Michael Flynn (disambiguation).
Mike Flynn
Michael T Flynn.jpg
National Security Advisor
Designate
Taking office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump(Elect)
Succeeding Susan Rice
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
In office
July 24, 2012 – August 7, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Ronald Burgess
Succeeded by David Shedd(Acting)
Personal details
Born Michael Thomas Flynn
December 1958 (age 57)
Middletown, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Rhode Island, Kingston(BS)
Golden Gate University(MBA)
United States Army Command and General Staff College(MMAS)
Naval War College(MA)
Website Official website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1981–2014
Rank US-O9 insignia.svgLieutenant General
Unit Defense Intelligence Agency
Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Battles/wars Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal(2 oak leaf clusters)
Legion of Merit(oak leaf cluster)
Bronze Star Medal(3 oak leaf clusters)
Meritorious Service Medal(5 oak leaf clusters)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal(5 oak leaf clusters)

Michael Thomas “Mike” Flynn[1] (born December 1958) is a retired United States Armylieutenant general[2][3] who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and chair of the Military Intelligence Board from July 24, 2012, to August 2, 2014.[4] Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director of National Intelligence. Flynn co-authored a report in January 2010 through the Center for a New American Security entitled Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan,[5]

Flynn’s military career was primarily operational, with numerous combat arms, conventional and special operations senior intelligence assignments. He also served as the senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command. Flynn is a published author, with articles appearing in Small Wars Journal, Military Review, Joint Forces Quarterly and other military and intelligence publications.

In May 2016, he emerged as one of several leading possibilities to be the vice presidentialrunning mate for Republican nominee Donald Trump.[6][7][8][9] Flynn was not chosen as Trump’s running mate; the vice presidential pick was ultimately Indiana GovernorMike Pence.[10] At the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Flynn delivered what the Los Angeles Times called a “fiery speech”.[11]

On November 18, 2016, the Transition announced via press release that President-elect Donald Trump had named General Flynn his National Security Advisor.[12]

Early life and education

Flynn was born in Middletown, Rhode Island in December 1958,[1] the son of Helen Frances (Andrews), who worked in real estate, and Charles Francis Flynn, a banker.[13][14][15][16] The Flynns were an Irish Catholic family, Michael Flynn’s grandfather, also Charles Flynn, having been born in 1889 in Blacklands, Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, and later settling in Rhode Island after emigrating to the United States in 1913.[17][18][19][20]

Michael Flynn graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in management science in 1981 and was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He also earned a Master of Business Administration in Telecommunications from Golden Gate University, a Master of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.[3]

Flynn is a graduate of the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, Army Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and Naval War College.[3]

Career

1981 to 2001

Flynn’s military assignments after joining the Army in 1981 included multiple tours at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, and Joint Special Operations Command, where he deployed for Invasion of Grenada in Grenada and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.[21] He also served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.[3]

2001 to 2012

Flynn served as the assistant chief of staff, G2, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from June 2001 and the director of intelligence, Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan until July 2002. He commanded the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade from June 2002 to June 2004.[3]

Flynn was the director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command from July 2004 to June 2007, with service in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom). He served as the director of intelligence, United States Central Command from June 2007 to July 2008, as the director of intelligence, Joint Staff from July 2008 to June 2009, then the director of intelligence, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from June 2009 to October 2010.[3]

In September 2011, Flynn was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Flynn speaks during the change of directorship for the Defense Intelligence Agency on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.

On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Flynn to be the 18th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.[22][23] Flynn took command of the DIA in July 2012.[24] In October 2012, Flynn announced plans to release his paper “VISION2020: Accelerating Change Through Integration”, a broad look at how the Defense Intelligence Agency must transform to meet the national security challenges for the 21st Century.[25] It was meant to emphasize “integration, interagency teamwork and innovation of the whole workforce, not just the technology but the people.” [26]

On April 30, 2014, Flynn announced his retirement effective later in 2014, about a year earlier than he had been scheduled to leave his position. He was reportedly effectively forced out of the DIA after clashing with superiors over his allegedly chaotic management style and vision for the agency.[27][28] According to what Flynn had told in one final interview as DIA director, he felt like a lone voice in thinking that the United States was less safe from the threat of Islamic terrorism in 2014 than it was prior to the 9/11 attacks; he went on to believe that he was pressed into retirement for questioning the Obama administration’s public narrative that Al Qaeda was close to defeat.[29] According to the New York Times, Flynn exhibited a loose relationship with facts, leading his subordinates to refer to Flynn’s repeated dubious assertions as “Flynn facts”.[30] He retired as of August 7.

Post-retiremen

Consulting firm

Main article: Flynn Intel Group

Flynn, along with son Michael G. Flynn, runs Flynn Intel Group which provides intelligence services for business and governments.[31] Several sources, including Politico, have written that Flynn’s consulting company is allegedly lobbying for Turkey. A company tied to Erdogan’s government, which supports Muslim Brotherhood, is known to have hired Flynn’s lobbying firm.[32][33][34][35][36][37] On election day 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed calling for U.S. backing for Erdogan’s government and criticized the regime’s opponent, Fethullah Gulen; Flynn did not disclose that Flynn’s consulting firm had received funds from a company with ties to Erdogan’s government.[38]

Flynn sat in on classified national security briefings with then-candidate Trump at the same time that Flynn was working for foreign clients, which raises ethical concerns and conflicts of interest.[39]

Attendance of RT Gala Dinner

In 2015, Flynn attended a gala dinner in Moscow in honor of RT, a Russian government-owned English-language propaganda outlet on which he made semi-regular appearances as an analyst after he retired from U.S. government service. Before the gala, Flynn gave a paid talk on world affairs.[40][41] Flynn defended the Russian payment in an interview with Michael Isikoff.[41] Journalist Michael Crowley of Politico reported that “at a moment of semi-hostility between the U.S. and Russia, the presence of such an important figure at Putin’s table startled” U.S. officials.[40]

2016 U.S. presidential election

Flynn at a campaign rally for then-Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, in October 2016.

Having already been consulted regarding national security by candidates Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump,[42] Flynn was asked in February 2016 to serve as an adviser to the Trump campaign.[43] In July 2016, it was reported he was being considered as Trump’s running mate; Flynn later confirmed that he had submitted vetting documents to the campaign and was willing to accept the Republican vice-presidential nomination if chosen.[44][45]

As one of the keynote speakers during the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention Flynn gave what the Los Angeles Times described as a “fiery” speech, in which he stated: “We are tired of Obama’s empty speeches and his misguided rhetoric. This, this has caused the world to have no respect for America’s word, nor does it fear our might”;[11] he also accused Obama of choosing to conceal the actions of Osama bin Laden and ISIS.[46] Flynn went on to critically address political correctness and joined the crowd in a chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”. During the chants he told those in the audience, “Get fired up! This is about our country.”[11][47] During the speech, Flynn also joined chants of “Lock her up!”, referring to the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and stated that she should quit the presidential race.[48][49] He repeated in subsequent interviews that she should be “locked up”.[50] While campaigning for Trump, Flynn also referred to Clinton as the “enemy camp”.[48]

Flynn was once opposed to waterboarding and other extreme interrogation techniques that have now been banned; however, according to an August 2016 Washington Postarticle, he said at one point, in the context of Trump’s apparent openness to reinstating such techniques, that “he would be reluctant to take options off the table.”[48] In May 2016, Flynn was asked by an Al Jazeerareporter if he would support Trump’s stated plan to kill the families of suspected terrorists. In response, Flynn stated, “I would have to see the circumstances of that situation”.[48] In an interview with Al Jazeera, Flynn criticized the reliance on drones as a “failed strategy”, stating that “what we have is this continued investment in conflict. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict.”[51][52]

On November 18, 2016, Flynn accepted president-elect Donald Trump’s offer of the position of National Security Advisor.[53]

Political view

Flynn is a registered Democrat, having grown up in a “very strong Democratic family”.[54] However, he was a keynote speaker during the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention,[11] and he is a surrogate and top national security adviser for president-elect Donald Trump.

During a July 10, 2016 interview on ABC News’ This Week, when asked by host Martha Raddatz about the issue of abortion, Flynn stated, “women have to be able to choose.”[54][55] The next day, Flynn said on Fox News that he is a “pro-life Democrat”.[56]

Flynn has been a board member of ACT! for America[53] and sees the Muslim faith as one of the root causes of Islamist terrorism.[57] He has described Islam as a political ideology and a cancer,[57][58] and stated in Twitter that the “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL [sic].”[53] Initially supportive of Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US, Flynn later told Al Jazeera that a blanket ban was unworkable and has called instead for “vetting” of entrants from countries like Syria.[53]

In a review of Flynn’s book The Field of Fight,Will McCants of the Brookings Institution described Flynn’s worldview as a confused combination of neoconservatism (an insistence on destroying what he sees as an alliance of tyranny, dictatorships, and radical Islamist regimes) and realism (support for working with “friendly tyrants”).[59]

Awards

Flynn’s non-military awards and decorations include the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and National Security Agency Distinguished Service Medal.[60] His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal,[61]Defense Superior Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), and several service and campaign medals. Flynn also earned the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, and Joint Staff Identification Badge.[3]

Flynn is also the recipient of the Congressionally approved Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the 2012 Association of Special Operations Professionals Man of the Year award.

Flynn has an honorary doctorate from The Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC.[3]

Books

  • The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, with Michael Ledeen, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2016.[62]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_T._Flynn

Story 3: Will Trump Offer Mitt Romney The Secretary of State Position? Romney is A Progressive Interventionist, Trump’s First Big Mistake? — — Let Romney Cleanup The Mess At The Veterans Administration — Videos Videos

Image result for cartoon trump select romney of secretary of stateImage result for cartoon trump makes up with romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump makes up with romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for cartoon trump on romneyImage result for trump meets with romneyImage result for trump meets with romney

Mitt Romney leaves after meeting with Donald Trump in NJ. (11-19-16)

Romney: Veterans Hospitals Need Competition, Standards

Trump unveils plan to help veterans and reform the VA

Romney Donated Thousands of Pints of Milk Weekly to a Veteran’s Shelter for 2 Years ~ Anonymously

Published on Sep 25, 2012

Mitt Romney anonymously donated 7,000 pints of milk, at 1/2 price, weekly to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans for 2 Years. This homeless shelter for veterans is in an old VA hospital in downtown Boston. When the milkman retired he finally told the staff at the shelter that the donor was Mitt Romney. The former director of the homeless shelter, Ken Smith, tells the full story in an interview that aired on “The Blaze TV” on Friday, September 14, 2012. I hope to have that interview uploaded soon.

Donald Trump vows to ‘pick up the phone’ on VA …

Will Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and Laura Ingraham Join Trump’s Administration?

Rand Paul Explains Why Rudy Giuliani Or John Bolton Are Horrible Choices For Secretary Of State

Rand Paul on Donald Trump Appointing Mitt Romney

Rand Paul Considers National Security Possibles | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Mitt Romney Considered For Secretary Of State | MSNBC

Donald Trump Considering Mitt Romney For Secretary Of State | TODAY

And Suddenly Mitt Romney Is Back In Washington – The Factor (FULL SHOW 11/17/2016)

Mark Levin: Mitt Romney is now being considered for Secretary of State… (November 17 2016)

MittvMitt.com: The story of two men trapped in one body

Mitt Romney: Trump ‘A con man, a fake’ [FULL SPEECH]

Donald Trump’s Full Response to Mitt Romney Speech (3-3-16)

What Reince Priebus Did To Ron Paul.. Spin This One

Donald Trump’s Top 20 insults that are True

Mitt Romney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the American politician. For the American football player who went by the same name, see Milton Romney.
Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney
70th Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 2, 2003 – January 4, 2007
Lieutenant Kerry Healey
Preceded by Jane Swift (Acting)
Succeeded by Deval Patrick
Personal details
Born Willard Mitt Romney
March 12, 1947 (age 69)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ann Romney (m. 1969)
Children 5, including Tagg
Parents George W. Romney
Lenore Romney
Education Stanford University
Brigham Young University, Utah(BA)
Harvard University (JD/MBA)
Net worth ~ $250 million (2007)[1]
Signature
Website Official website

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and politician who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and was the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.

Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, by his parents George and Lenore Romney, he spent 2½ years in France as a Mormon missionary, starting in 1966. He married Ann Davies in 1969, and they have five sons. By 1971, he had participated in the political campaigns of both parents. He earned a BA at Brigham Young University in 1971 and a joint JD–MBA at Harvard University in 1975.

Romney entered the management consulting industry, and in 1977 secured a position at Bain & Company. Later serving as Bain’s chief executive officer (CEO), he helped lead the company out of a financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), he served during his business career as the bishop of his ward (head of his local congregation) and then stake president in his home area near Boston.

After stepping down from Bain Capital and his local leadership role in the LDS Church, Romney ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 Massachusetts election for U.S. Senate. Upon losing to longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Years later, a successful stint as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics led to a relaunch of his political career.

Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney helped develop and enact into law the Massachusetts health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, which provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and the closure of corporate tax loopholes. He did not seek re-election in 2006, instead focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He won several primaries and caucuses; however, he lost to the eventual nominee, Senator John McCain. His considerable net worth, estimated in 2012 at $190–250 million, helped finance his political campaigns prior to 2012.

Following his term as Governor of Massachusetts in 2007, Romney was the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He won the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first Mormon to be a major party presidential nominee. He was defeated by incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election, losing by 332–206 electoral college votes. The popular vote margin was 51–47 percent in Obama’s favor. Following the election, he initially kept a low profile, and later became more visible politically.

Early life and education

Heritage and youth

See also: Romney family

Willard Mitt Romney[2] was born on March 12, 1947, at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, Michigan,[3] one of four children born to automobile executive George W. Romney (1907–1995) and homemaker Lenore Romney (née LaFount; 1908–1998).[4] His mother was a native of Logan, Utah, and his father was born to American parents in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.[5][6] Of primarily English descent, he also has Scottish and German ancestry.[7][8][9] A fifth-generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), he is a great grandson of Miles Park Romney and a great-great-grandson of Miles Romney, who converted to the faith in its first decade. Another great-great-grandfather, Parley P. Pratt, helped lead the early Church.[10][11]

Romney has three elder siblings; Margo, Jane, and Scott (Mitt followed them after a gap of nearly six years).[12] His parents named him after a family friend, businessman J. Willard Marriott, and his father’s cousin, Milton “Mitt” Romney, a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears.[13] Romney was referred to as “Billy” until kindergarten, when he indicated a preference for “Mitt”.[14] In 1953, the family moved from Detroit to the affluent suburb of Bloomfield Hills.[15] His father became the chairman and CEO of American Motors the following year, soon helping the company avoid bankruptcy and return to profitability.[15] By 1959, his father had become a nationally known figure in print and on television,[16] and the youngster idolized him.[17]

Brick buildings facing a courtyard

Romney began attending Cranbrook School in 1959.

Romney attended public elementary schools until the seventh grade, when he enrolled as one of only a few Mormon students at Cranbrook School, a traditional private boys’ preparatory school.[14][18] Many students there came from backgrounds even more privileged than his.[19] Not particularly athletic, he also did not distinguish himself academically.[17] He participated in his father’s successful 1962 Michigan gubernatorial campaign,[20] and later worked for him as an intern in the Governor’s office.[17][21] Romney took up residence at Cranbrook when his newly elected father began spending most of his time at the state capitol.[18]

At Cranbrook, Romney helped manage the ice hockey team, and he joined the pep squad.[18] During his senior year, he joined the cross country running team.[14] He belonged to eleven school organizations and school clubs overall, including the Blue Key Club, a booster group he had started.[18] During his final year there, he improved academically but fell short of excellence.[17][19] Romney became involved in several pranks while attending Cranbrook. He has since apologized, stating that some of the pranks may have gone too far.[nb 1]In March of his senior year, he began dating Ann Davies; she attended the private Kingswood School, the sister school to Cranbrook.[19][26] The two became informally engaged around the time of his June 1965 graduation.[17][22]

University, France mission, marriage, and children: 1965–75

Romney attended Stanford University during the academic year of 1965–66.[17] He was not part of the counterculture of the 1960s then taking form in the San Francisco Bay Area.[17] As opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War grew, a group staged a May 1966 sit-in at the university administration building to demonstrate against draft status tests; Romney joined a counter-protest against that group.[17][27] He continued to enjoy occasional pranks.[nb 2]

In July 1966, he left the U.S. for a thirty-month stay in France as a Mormon missionary,[17][30] a traditional rite of passage in his family.[nb 3] He arrived in Le Havre, where he shared cramped quarters under meager conditions.[10][32] Rules against drinking, smoking, and dating were strictly enforced.[10] Most individual Mormon missionaries do not gain many converts[nb 4] and Romney was no exception:[32] he later estimated ten to twenty for his entire mission.[37][nb 5] He initially became demoralized and later recalled it as the only time when “most of what I was trying to do was rejected.”[32] He soon gained recognition within the mission for the many homes he called on and the repeat visits he was granted.[10] He was promoted to zone leader in Bordeaux in early 1968, and soon thereafter became assistant to the mission president in Paris.[10][32][39] Residing at the Mission Home for several months, he enjoyed a mansion far more comfortable than the lodgings he had elsewhere in the country.[39] When the French expressed opposition to the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, Romney debated them in return, and his views were reinforced by those who yelled and slammed their doors.[10][32]

1968 campaign poster showing a smiling George Romney
Mitt’s father George (pictured here in a 1968 poster) lost the Republican presidential nomination to Richard M. Nixon and later was appointed to the Nixon cabinet.
campaign button advocating Lenore Romney for U. S. Senate
Mitt’s mother Lenore (promoted here on a button) lost a Senate race in 1970, and he worked for her campaign.

In June 1968, an automobile he was driving in southern France was hit by another vehicle, seriously injuring him and killing one of his passengers, the wife of the mission president.[nb 6] Romney was not at fault in the accident.[nb 6] He became co-president of a mission that had become demoralized and disorganized after the May 1968 general strike and student uprisings and the car accident.[40] With Romney rallying the others, the mission met a goal of 200 baptisms for the year, the most for them in a decade.[40] By the end of his stint in December 1968, he was overseeing the work of 175 others.[32][41] As a result of his stay, Romney developed a lifelong affection for France and its people, and has remained fluent in French.[43]

At their first meeting following his return, Romney and Ann Davies reconnected and decided to get married.[44] Romney began attending Brigham Young University (BYU), where she had been studying.[45] The couple married on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in Bloomfield Hills.[46][47] The following day, they flew to Utah for a Mormon wedding ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple (Ann had converted to the faith while he was away).[46][47]

Mitt had missed much of the tumultuous American anti-Vietnam War movement while away in France. Upon his return, it surprised him to learn that his father had joined the movement during his unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign.[32] George was now serving in President Richard Nixon’s cabinet as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In a June 1970 newspaper profile of children of cabinet members, Mitt said that U.S. involvement in the war had been misguided – “If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is” – but supported Nixon’s ongoing Cambodian Incursion as a sincere attempt to bring the war to a conclusion.[48] During the U.S. military draft for the Vietnam War, Romney sought and received two 2-S student deferments, then a 4-D ministerial deferment while living in France as a Mormon missionary. He later sought and received two additional student deferments.[27][49] When those ran out, the result of the December 1969 draft lottery ensured he would not be selected.[27][49][50]

At culturally conservative BYU, Romney remained isolated from much of the upheaval of that era.[32][45] He became president of the Cougar Club booster organization and showed a new-found discipline in his studies.[32][45] During his senior year, he took a leave to work as driver and advance man for his mother Lenore Romney’s eventually unsuccessful 1970 campaign for U.S. Senator from Michigan;[22][46] together, they visited all 83 Michigan counties.[51][52] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with highest honors in 1971,[45]giving commencement addresses to both the College of Humanities and to the whole of BYU.[nb 7]

The Romneys’ first son, Taggart, was born in 1970[34] while they were undergraduates at BYU and living in a basement apartment.[45] Ann subsequently gave birth to Matthew (1971) and Joshua (1975). Benjamin (1978) and Craig (1981) would arrive later, after Romney began his career.[34]

Mitt Romney wanted to pursue a business career, but his father advised him that a law degree would be valuable to his career even if he did not become a lawyer.[55][56] Thus, he enrolled in the recently created joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration four-year program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.[57]He readily adapted to the business school’s pragmatic, data-driven case study method of teaching.[56] Living in a Belmont, Massachusetts house with Ann and their two children, his social experience differed from most of his classmates’.[46][56] He was nonideological and did not involve himself in the political issues of the day.[46][56] He graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school, in the top third of that class, and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class.[53][57]

Business career

Management consulting

Recruited by several firms, Romney joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reasoning that working as a management consultant for a variety of companies would better prepare him for a future position as a chief executive.[55][58][nb 8] Part of a 1970s wave of top graduates who chose to go into consulting rather than join a large company directly,[60] he found his legal and business education useful in his job.[55] He applied BCG principles such as the growth-share matrix,[61] and executives viewed him as having a bright future there.[55][62] At the Boston Consulting Group, he was a colleague of Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he formed a thirty-year friendship.[63]

In 1977, he was hired by Bain & Company, a management consulting firm in Boston formed a few years earlier by Bill Bain and other ex-BCG employees.[55][61][64] Bain would later say of the thirty-year-old Romney, “He had the appearance [sic] of confidence of a guy who was maybe ten years older.”[65] Unlike other consulting firms, which issued recommendations and then departed, Bain & Company immersed itself in a client’s business and worked with them until changes were implemented.[55][61] Romney became a vice-president of the firm in 1978,[14] and worked with clients such as the Monsanto Company, Outboard Marine Corporation, Burlington Industries, and Corning Incorporated.[58] Within a few years, the firm considered him one of their best consultants and clients sometimes sought to use him over more senior partners.[55][66]

Minor political issues

Two family incidents during this time later came to light during Romney’s political campaigns.[67][68] A state park ranger in 1981 told Romney his motorboat had an insufficiently visible license number and he would face a $50 fine if he took the boat onto the lake. Disagreeing about the license and wanting to continue a family outing, Romney took it out anyway, saying he would pay the fine. The ranger arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped several days later.[69] In 1983, on a twelve-hour family road trip, he placed the family’s dog in a windshield-equipped carrier on the roof of their car, and then washed the car and carrier after the dog suffered a bout of diarrhea.[46] The dog incident in particular later became fodder for Romney’s critics and political opponents.[68][70]

Private equity

For more details on this topic, see Bain Capital.

In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to cofound the spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital.[71] He had initially refrained from accepting Bill Bain’s offer to head the new venture, until Bain rearranged the terms in a complicated partnership structure so that there was no financial or professional risk to Romney.[55][65][72] Bain and Romney raised the $37 million in funds needed to start the new operation, which had seven employees.[58][73] Romney held the titles of president[74] and managing general partner.[75][76] The sole shareholder of the firm, publications also referred to him as managing director or CEO.[77][78][79]

Initially, Bain Capital focused on venture capital investments. Romney set up a system in which any partner could veto one of these potential opportunities, and he personally saw so many weaknesses that few venture capital investments were approved in the initial two years.[55] The firm’s first significant success was a 1986 investment to help start Staples Inc., after founder Thomas G. Stemberg convinced Romney of the market size for office supplies and Romney convinced others; Bain Capital eventually reaped a nearly sevenfold return on its investment, and Romney sat on the Staples board of directors for over a decade.[55][73][80]

Romney soon switched Bain Capital’s focus from startups to the relatively new business of leveraged buyouts: buying existing companies with money mostly borrowed from banking institutions using the newly bought companies’ assets as collateral, then taking steps to improve the companies’ value, and finally selling those companies once their value peaked, usually within a few years.[55][65] Bain Capital lost money in many of its early leveraged buyouts, but then found deals that made large returns.[55] The firm invested in or acquired Accuride Corporation, Brookstone, Domino’s Pizza, Sealy Corporation, Sports Authority, and Artisan Entertainment, as well as some lesser-known companies in the industrial and medical sectors.[55][65][81] Much of the firm’s profit was earned from a relatively small number of deals; Bain Capital’s overall success-to-failure ratio was about even.[nb 9]

Romney discovered few investment opportunities himself (and those that he did, often failed to make money for the firm).[83] Instead, he focused on analyzing the merits of possible deals that others brought forward and on recruiting investors to participate in them once approved.[83] Within Bain Capital, Romney spread profits from deals widely within the firm to keep people motivated, often keeping less than ten percent for himself.[84] Data-driven, Romney often played the role of a devil’s advocate during exhaustive analysis of whether to go forward with a deal.[55][80] He wanted to drop a Bain Capital hedge fund that initially lost money, but other partners disagreed with him and it eventually gained billions.[55] He opted out of the Artisan Entertainment deal, not wanting to profit from a studio that produced R-rated films.[55] Romney served on the board of directors of Damon Corporation, a medical testing company later found guilty of defrauding the government; Bain Capital tripled its investment before selling off the company, and the fraud was discovered by the new owners (Romney was never implicated).[55] In some cases, Romney had little involvement with a company once acquired.[73]

Bain Capital’s leveraged buyouts sometimes led to layoffs, either soon after acquisition or later after the firm had concluded its role.[61][72][73] Exactly how many jobs Bain Capital added compared to those lost because of these investments and buyouts is unknown, owing to a lack of records and Bain Capital’s penchant for privacy on behalf of itself and its investors.[85][86][87] Maximizing the value of acquired companies and the return to Bain’s investors, not job creation, was the firm’s fundamental goal.[73][88] Bain Capital’s acquisition of Ampad exemplified a deal where it profited handsomely from early payments and management fees, even though the subject company itself ended up going into bankruptcy.[55][80][88] Dade Behring was another case where Bain Capital received an eightfold return on its investment, but the company itself was saddled with debt and laid off over a thousand employees before Bain Capital exited (the company subsequently went into bankruptcy, with more layoffs, before recovering and prospering).[85] Referring to the layoffs that happened, Romney said in 2007: “Sometimes the medicine is a little bitter but it is necessary to save the life of the patient. My job was to try and make the enterprise successful, and in my view the best security a family can have is that the business they work for is strong.”[72]

In 1990, facing financial collapse, Bain & Company asked Romney to return.[71] Announced as its new CEO in January 1991,[75][76] he drew a symbolic salary of one dollar[71] (remaining managing general partner of Bain Capital during this time).[75][76] He oversaw an effort to restructure Bain & Company’s employee stock-ownership plan and real-estate deals, while rallying the firm’s one thousand employees, imposing a new governing structure that excluded Bain and the other founding partners from control, and increasing fiscal transparency.[55][58][71] He got Bain and other initial owners who had removed excessive amounts of money from the firm to return a substantial amount, and persuaded creditors, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to accept less than full payment.[89] Within about a year, he had led Bain & Company through a turnaround and returned the firm to profitability.[58] He turned Bain & Company over to new leadership and returned to Bain Capital in December 1992.[55][90][91]

Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital from November 1993 to November 1994 to run for the U.S. Senate.[46][92] During that time, Ampad workers went on strike, and asked Romney to intervene. Against the advice of Bain Capital lawyers, Romney met the strikers, but told them he had no position of active authority in the matter.[93][94]

By 1999, Bain Capital was on its way towards becoming one of the foremost private equity firms in the nation,[72] having increased its number of partners from 5 to 18, with 115 employees overall, and $4 billion under its management.[65][73] The firm’s average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent[58][95] and its average yearly return to investors was around 50–80 percent.[82]

Romney took a paid leave of absence from Bain Capital in February 1999 to serve as the president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee.[96][97] Billed in some public statements as keeping a part-time role,[96][98] Romney remained the firm’s sole shareholder, managing director, CEO, and president, signing corporate and legal documents, attending to his interests within the firm, and conducting prolonged negotiations for the terms of his departure.[96][99] He did not involve himself in day-to-day operations of the firm or investment decisions for Bain Capital’s new private equity funds.[96][99] He retained his position on several boards of directors during this time and regularly returned to Massachusetts to attend meetings.[100]

In August 2001, Romney announced that he would not return to Bain Capital.[101] His separation from the firm concluded in early 2002;[96] he transferred his ownership to other partners and negotiated an agreement that allowed him to receive a passive profit share as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds.[84][1] The private equity business continued to thrive, earning him millions of dollars in annual income.[84]

Personal wealth

As a result of his business career, Romney and his wife have a net worth of between $190 and $250 million,[1][102] including their retirement account, worth between $20 and $100 million.[103] Most of that wealth has been held in blind trusts since 2003, some of it offshore.[1][104][105] An additional blind trust, valued at $100 million in 2012, exists in the name of their children.[106][107] In 2010, Romney and his wife received about $22 million in income, almost all of it from investments such as dividends, capital gains, and carried interest; and they paid about $3 million in federal income taxes, for an effective tax rate of 14 percent.[108] For the years 1990–2010, their effective federal tax rates were above 13 percent with an average rate of about 20 percent.[109]

Romney has tithed to the LDS Church regularly, and donated to LDS Church-owned BYU.[10][11][110] In 2010, for example, he and his wife gave $1.5 million to the church.[108] The Romney family’s Tyler Charitable Foundation gave out about $650,000 in that year, some of which went to organizations that fight diseases.[111] For the years 1990–2010, the Romneys’ total charitable donations as portions of their income averaged 14 percent.[109]

Local LDS Church leadership

During his business career, Romney held several positions in the local lay clergy. In 1977, he became a counselor to the president of the Boston Stake.[112] He served as bishop of the ward (ecclesiastical and administrative head of his congregation) at Belmont, Massachusetts, from 1981 to 1986.[113][114] As such, in addition to home teaching, he also formulated Sunday services and classes using LDS scriptures to guide the congregation.[115] After the destruction of the Belmont meetinghouse by a fire of suspicious origins in 1984, he forged links with other religious institutions, allowing the congregation to rotate its meetings to other houses of worship during the reconstruction of their building.[114][116]

From 1986 to 1994, Romney presided over the Boston Stake, which included more than a dozen wards in eastern Massachusetts with almost 4,000 church members altogether.[66][115][117] He organized a team to handle financial and management issues, sought to counter anti-Mormon sentiments, and tried to solve social problems among poor Southeast Asian converts.[114][116] An unpaid position, his local church leadership often took 30 or more hours a week of his time,[115] and he became known for his considerable energy in the role.[66] He earned a reputation for avoiding any overnight travel that might interfere with his church responsibilities.[115]

Romney took a hands-on role in general matters, helping in domestic maintenance efforts, visiting the sick, and counseling burdened church members.[113][114][115] A number of local church members later credited him with turning their lives around or helping them through difficult times.[114][115][116] Others, rankled by his leadership style, desired a more consensus-based approach.[114] Romney tried to balance the conservative directives from church leadership in Utah with the desire of some Massachusetts members to have a more flexible application of religious doctrine.[66] He agreed with some requests from the liberal women’s group that published Exponent II for changes in the way the church dealt with women, but clashed with women whom he felt were departing too much from doctrine.[66] In particular, he counseled women to not have abortions except in the rare cases allowed by LDS doctrine,[nb 10] and encouraged single women facing unplanned pregnancies to give up their baby for adoption.[66] Romney later said that the years spent as an LDS minister gave him direct exposure to people struggling financially and empathy for those with family problems.[118]

1994 U.S. Senatorial campaign

Man smiling at right with sign in background and parents holding toddler at left

Campaigning for U.S. Senate in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1994

For much of his business career, Romney did not take public, political stances.[119][120] He had kept abreast of national politics since college,[32] though, and the circumstances of his father’s presidential campaign loss had irked him for decades.[22] He registered as an Independent[46] and voted in the 1992 presidential primaries for the Democratic former senator from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas.[119][121]

By 1993, Romney had begun thinking about entering politics, partly based upon Ann’s urging and partly to follow in his father’s footsteps.[46] He decided to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, who was seeking re-election for the sixth time. Political pundits viewed Kennedy as vulnerable that year – in part because of the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress as a whole, and in part because this was Kennedy’s first election since the William Kennedy Smith trial in Florida, in which the senator had suffered some negative public relations regarding his character.[122][123][124] Romney changed his affiliation to Republican in October 1993 and formally announced his candidacy in February 1994.[46] In addition to his leave from Bain Capital, he stepped down from his church leadership role in 1994.[115]

Radio personality Janet Jeghelian took an early lead in polls among candidates for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat, but Romney proved the most effective fundraiser.[125][126]He won 68 percent of the vote at the May 1994 Massachusetts Republican Party convention; businessman John Lakian finished a distant second, eliminating Jeghelian.[127] Romney defeated Lakian in the September 1994 primary with more than 80 percent of the vote.[14][128]

In the general election, Kennedy faced the first serious re-election challenger of his career.[122] The younger, telegenic, and well-funded Romney ran as a businessman who stated he had created ten thousand jobs and as a Washington outsider with a solid family image and moderate stances on social issues.[122][129] When Kennedy tried to tie Romney’s policies to those of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Romney responded, “Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to take us back to Reagan-Bush.”[130] Romney stated, “Ultimately, this is a campaign about change.”[131]

Romney’s campaign was effective in portraying Kennedy as soft on crime, but had trouble establishing its own consistent positions.[132] By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be approximately even.[122][133][134] Kennedy responded with a series of ads that focused on Romney’s seemingly shifting political views on issues such as abortion;[135] Romney would respond on the latter by stating, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.”[136] Other Kennedy ads centered on layoffs of workers at the Ampad plant owned by Romney’s Bain Capital.[122][137] The latter was effective in blunting Romney’s momentum.[80] Kennedy and Romney held a widely watched late-October debate that had no clear winner, but by then, Kennedy had pulled ahead in polls and stayed ahead afterward.[138] Romney spent $3 million of his own money in the race and more than $7 million overall.[139][nb 11] In the November general election, despite a disastrous showing for Democrats nationwide, Kennedy won the election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney’s 41 percent,[55] the smallest margin in any of Kennedy’s re-election campaigns for the Senate.[142]

The day after the election, Romney returned to Bain Capital, but the loss had a lasting effect; he told his brother, “I never want to run for something again unless I can win.”[46][143] When his father died in 1995, Mitt donated his inheritance to BYU’s George W. Romney Institute of Public Management.[54] He also joined the board, as vice-chair, of the Points of Light Foundation,[101] which had incorporated his father’s National Volunteer Center. Romney felt restless as the decade neared a close; the goal of simply making more money was becoming inadequate for him.[46][143] Although no longer in a local leadership position in his church, he still taught Sunday School.[113] During the long and controversial approval and construction process for the $30 million Mormon temple in Belmont, he feared that, as a political figure who had opposed Kennedy, he would become a focal point for opposition to the structure.[114] He thus kept to a limited, behind-the-scenes role in attempts to ease tensions between the church and local residents.[113][114][116]

2002 Winter Olympics

For more details on this topic, see 2002 Winter Olympics.

In 1998, Ann Romney learned that she had multiple sclerosis; Mitt described watching her fail a series of neurological tests as the worst day of his life.[46] After experiencing two years of severe difficulties with the disease, she found – while living in Park City, Utah, where the couple had built a vacation home – a combination of mainstream, alternative, and equestrian therapies that enabled her to lead a lifestyle mostly without limitations.[144] When her husband received a job offer to take over the troubled organization responsible for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Salt Lake City in Utah, she urged him to accept it; eager for a new challenge, as well as another chance to prove himself in public life, he did.[143][145][146] On February 11, 1999, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 hired Romney as their president and CEO.[147]

Photograph of Romney standing with microphone in middle of curling lanes

Romney, as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, speaking before a curling match

Before Romney took the position, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue goals.[147] Officials had made plans to scale back the Games to compensate for the fiscal crisis, and there were fears it might be moved away entirely.[148] Additionally, the image of the Games had been damaged by allegations of bribery against top officials including prior committee president and CEO Frank Joklik. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee forced Joklik and committee vice president Dave Johnson to resign.[149] Utah power brokers, including Governor Mike Leavitt, searched for someone with a scandal-free reputation to take charge of the Olympics, and chose Romney based on his business and legal expertise as well as his connections to both the LDS Church and the state.[146][150] The appointment faced some initial criticism from non-Mormons, and fears from Mormons, that it represented cronyism or made the Games seem too Mormon-dominated.[38] Romney donated to charity the $1.4 million in salary and severance payments he received for his three years as president and CEO, and also contributed $1 million to the Olympics.[151]

Romney restructured the organization’s leadership and policies. He reduced budgets and boosted fundraising, alleviating the concerns of corporate sponsors while recruiting new ones.[143][146] Romney worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by coordinating a $300 million security budget.[145] He oversaw a $1.32 billion total budget, 700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers.[147] The federal government provided approximately $400 million[146][152][153] to $600 million[154][155]of that budget, much of it a result of Romney’s having aggressively lobbied Congress and federal agencies.[155][156] It was a record level of federal funding for the staging of a U.S. Olympics.[153][156] An additional $1.1 billion of indirect federal funding came to the state in the form of highway and transit projects.[157]

Romney emerged as the local public face of the Olympic effort, appearing in photographs, in news stories, on collectible Olympics pins depicting Romney wrapped by an American flag, and on buttons carrying phrases like “Hey, Mitt, we love you!”[143][146][158] Robert H. Garff, the chair of the organizing committee, later said “It was obvious that he had an agenda larger than just the Olympics,”[143] and that Romney wanted to use the Olympics to propel himself into the national spotlight and a political career.[146][159] Garff believed the initial budget situation was not as bad as Romney portrayed, given there were still three years to reorganize.[146] Utah Senator Bob Bennett said that much of the needed federal money was already in place.[146] An analysis by The Boston Globe later stated that the committee had nearly $1 billion in committed revenues at that time.[146]Olympics critic Steve Pace, who led Utahns for Responsible Public Spending, thought Romney exaggerated the initial fiscal state to lay the groundwork for a well-publicized rescue.[159] Kenneth Bullock, another board member of the organizing committee and also head of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, often clashed with Romney at the time, and later said that Romney deserved some credit for the turnaround but not as much as he claimed.[143] Bullock said: “He tried very hard to build an image of himself as a savior, the great white hope. He was very good at characterizing and castigating people and putting himself on a pedestal.”[146]

Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up with a surplus of $100 million.[160] President George W. Bush praised Romney’s efforts and 87 percent of Utahns approved of his performance as Olympics head.[23][161] It solidified his reputation as a “turnaround artist”,[146][162][163] and Harvard Business School taught a case study based around his actions.[61] U.S. Olympic Committee head William Hybl credited Romney with an extraordinary effort in overcoming a difficult time for the Olympics, culminating in “the greatest Winter Games I have ever seen”.[146] Romney wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games, published in 2004. The role gave Romney experience in dealing with federal, state, and local entities, a public persona he had previously lacked, and the chance to relaunch his political aspirations.[143]

Governor of Massachusetts

2002 gubernatorial campaign

In 2002, plagued by political missteps and personal scandals, the administration of Republican Acting Governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift appeared vulnerable, and many Republicans viewed her as unable to win a general election.[161][164] Prominent party figures – as well as the White House – wanted Romney to run for governor[165][166] and the opportunity appealed to him for reasons including its national visibility.[167] A poll by the Boston Herald showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points.[168] On March 19, 2002, Swift announced she would not seek her party’s nomination, and hours later Romney declared his candidacy,[168] for which he would face no opposition in the primary.[169] In June 2002, the Massachusetts Democratic Party challenged Romney’s eligibility to run for governor, noting that state law required seven years’ consecutive residence and that Romney had filed his state tax returns as a Utah resident in 1999 and 2000.[170][171] In response, the bipartisan Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission unanimously ruled that he had maintained sufficient financial and personal ties to Massachusetts and was, therefore, an eligible candidate.[172]

Romney again ran as a political outsider.[161] He played down his party affiliation,[173] saying he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.[174] He stated that he would observe a moratorium on changes to the state’s laws on abortion, but reiterated that he would “preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose” and that his position was “unequivocal”.[136][175] He touted his private sector experience as qualifying him for addressing the state’s fiscal problems[169] and stressed his ability to obtain federal funds for the state, offering his Olympics record as evidence.[153][156] He proposed to reorganize the state government while eliminating waste, fraud, and mismanagement.[173][176] The campaign innovatively utilized microtargeting techniques, identifying like-minded groups of voters and reaching them with narrowly tailored messaging.[177]

In an attempt to overcome the image that had damaged him in the 1994 Senate race – that of a wealthy corporate buyout specialist out of touch with the needs of regular people – the campaign staged a series of “work days”, in which Romney performed blue-collar jobs such as herding cows and baling hay, unloading a fishing boat, and hauling garbage.[176][178][179] Television ads highlighting the effort, as well as one portraying his family in gushing terms and showing him shirtless,[178] received a poor public response and were a factor in his Democratic opponent, Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, leading in the polls as late as mid-October.[176][179] He responded with ads that accused O’Brien of being a failed watchdog for state pension fund losses in the stock market and that associated her husband, a former lobbyist, with the Enron scandal.[173][179] These were effective in capturing independent voters.[179] O’Brien said that Romney’s budget plans were unrealistic; the two also differed on capital punishment and bilingual education, with Romney supporting the former and opposing the latter.[180]

During the election, Romney contributed more than $6 million – a state record at the time – to the nearly $10 million raised for his campaign overall.[181][182] On November 5, 2002, he won the governorship, earning 50 percent of the vote to O’Brien’s 45 percent.[183]

Tenure, 2003–07

The swearing in of Romney as the 70th governor of Massachusetts took place on January 2, 2003.[184] He faced a Massachusetts state legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation.[185][186] He declined a governor’s salary of $135,000 during his term.[187] Upon entering office in the middle of a fiscal year, he faced an immediate $650 million shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year.[173] Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in new federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2–1.5 billion.[188][189] Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes,[188] the state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during Romney’s last two full fiscal years in office, although it began running deficits again after that.[nb 12]

Mitt Romney resting on a wooden desk, flanked by an American flag, a picture of his wife, a lamp, and a painting of mountains

Massachusetts State Houseportrait of Governor Mitt Romney, by artist Richard Whitney, with Ann Romney pictured to the right

Romney supported raising various fees, including those for drivers’ licenses and gun licenses, to raise more than $300 million.[173][188] He increased a special gasoline retailer fee by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue.[173][188] Opponents said the reliance on fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford them.[188] Romney also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years and over $300 million for his term.[173][194][195] He did so in the face of conservative and corporate critics who viewed these actions as tax increases.[194][195]

The state legislature, with the governor’s support, cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns.[196] The cuts also included a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education, which led state-run colleges and universities to increase fees by 63 percent over four years.[173][188] Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget; a heavily Democratic legislature overrode all the vetoes.[197]

The cuts in state spending put added pressure on localities to reduce services or raise property taxes, and the share of town and city revenues coming from property taxes rose from 49 to 53 percent.[173][188] The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney’s governorship.[173] He did propose a reduction in the state income tax rate that the legislature rejected.[198]

Romney sought to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state. This came after Staples founder Stemberg told him at the start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help people.[199] Another factor was that the federal government, owing to the rules of Medicaid funding, threatened to cut $385 million in those payments to Massachusetts if the state did not reduce the number of uninsured recipients of health care services.[175][200] Although the idea of universal health insurance had not come to the fore during the campaign, Romney decided that because people without insurance still received expensive health care, the money spent by the state for such care could be better used to subsidize insurance for the poor.[199]

Determined that a new Massachusetts health insurance measure not raise taxes or resemble the previous decade’s failed “Hillarycare” proposal at the federal level, Romney formed a team of consultants from diverse political backgrounds to apply those principles. Beginning in late 2004, they devised a set of proposals that were more ambitious than an incremental one from the Massachusetts Senate and more acceptable to him than one from the Massachusetts House of Representatives that incorporated a new payroll tax.[175][186][200] In particular, Romney pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level.[20] Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal health coverage his life’s work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with Romney,[201] gave the plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to cooperate.[175][200] The effort eventually gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the legislature.[175][200]

On April 12, 2006, the governor signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called “Romneycare”, which requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as the loss of their personal income tax exemption.[202] The bill also established means-tested state subsidies for people who lacked adequate employer insurance and whose income was below a threshold, using funds that had covered the health costs of the uninsured.[203][204] He vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a controversial $295-per-employee assessment on businesses that do not offer health insurance and provisions guaranteeing dental benefits to Medicaid recipients.[202][205] The legislature overrode all eight vetoes, but the governor’s office said the differences were not essential.[205] The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney’s term in office.[175][nb 13]

At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, but advocated tolerance and supported some domestic partnership benefits.[175][207][208] A November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision required the state to recognize same-sex marriages (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health).[209] Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment in February 2004 that would have banned those marriages but still allowed civil unions, viewing it as the only feasible way to accomplish the former.[209] In May 2004, in compliance with the court decision, the governor instructed town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, citing a 1913 law that barred out-of-state residents from getting married in Massachusetts if their union would be illegal in their home state, he said no marriage licenses were to be issued to those people not planning to move to Massachusetts.[207][210] In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, stating that it confused voters who opposed both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[207] Instead, he endorsed a ballot initiative led by the Coalition for Marriage and Family (an alliance of socially conservative organizations) that would have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil unions.[207] In 2004 and 2006, he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.[211][212]

In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from the pro-choice positions expressed during his 1994 and 2002 campaigns to a pro-life one in opposition to Roe v. Wade.[175] Romney attributed his conversion to an interaction with Harvard University biologist Douglas Melton, an expert on embryonic stem cell biology, although Melton vehemently disputed Romney’s recollection of their conversation.[213] Romney subsequently vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that expanded access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies (the legislature overrode the veto).[214] He also amended his position on embryonic stem cell research itself.[nb 14]

Romney used a bully pulpit approach towards promoting his agenda, staging well-organized media events to appeal directly to the public rather than pushing his proposals in behind-doors sessions with the state legislature.[175] He dealt with a public crisis of confidence in Boston’s Big Dig project – that followed a fatal ceiling collapse in 2006 – by wresting control of the project from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.[175]After two years of negotiating the state’s participation in the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that instituted a cap-and-trade arrangement for power plant emissions in the Northeast, Romney pulled Massachusetts out of the initiative shortly before its signing in December 2005, citing a lack of cost limits for industry.[215]

During 2004, Romney spent considerable effort trying to bolster the state Republican Party, but it failed to gain any seats in the state legislative elections that year.[173][216] Given a prime-time appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, political figures began discussing him as a potential 2008 presidential candidate.[217] Midway through his term, Romney decided that he wanted to stage a full-time run for president,[218] and on December 14, 2005, announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term.[219] As chair of the Republican Governors Association, Romney traveled around the country, meeting prominent Republicans and building a national political network;[218] he spent all, or parts of, more than 200 days out of state during 2006, preparing for his run.[220]

The Governor had a 61 percent job approval rating in public polls after his initial fiscal actions in 2003, although his approval rating subsequently declined,[221] driven in part by his frequent out-of-state travel.[221][222]Romney’s approval rating stood at 34 percent in November 2006, ranking 48th of the 50 U.S. governors.[223] Dissatisfaction with Romney’s administration and the weak condition of the Republican state party were among several factors contributing to Democrat Deval Patrick‘s 20-point win over Republican Kerry Healey, Romney’s lieutenant governor, in the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.[222][224]

Romney filed to register a presidential campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on his penultimate day in office as governor. His term ended January 4, 2007.[225]

2008 presidential campaign

Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president on February 13, 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan.[226] Again casting himself as a political outsider,[227] his speech frequently invoked his father and his family, and stressed experiences in the private, public, and voluntary sectors that had brought him to this point.[226][228]

Mitt Romney addressing an audience from atop a stage

Holding an “Ask Mitt Anything” session in Ames, Iowa, in May 2007

The campaign emphasized Romney’s highly profitable career in the business world and his stewardship of the Olympics.[218][229][nb 15] He also had political experience as a governor, together with a political pedigree courtesy of his father (as well as many biographical parallels with him).[nb 16] Ann Romney, who had become an advocate for those with multiple sclerosis,[235] was in remission and would be an active participant in his campaign,[236] helping to soften his political personality.[237] Media stories referred to the 6-foot-2-inch (1.88 m) Romney as handsome.[238] Moreover, a number of commentators noted that with his square jaw and ample hair graying at the temples, he physically matched one of the common images of what a president should look like.[71][239][240][241]

Romney’s liabilities included having run for senator and serving as governor in one of the nation’s most liberal states and having taken positions in opposition to the party’s conservative base during that time.[218][229][236] Late during his term as governor, he had shifted positions and emphases to better align with traditional conservatives on social issues.[218][229][236] Skeptics, including some Republicans, charged Romney with opportunism and a lack of core principles.[121][175][242] As a Mormon, he faced suspicion and skepticism by some in the Evangelical portion of the party.[242]

For his campaign, Romney assembled a veteran group of Republican staffers, consultants, and pollsters.[229][243] He was little-known nationally, though, and stayed around the 10 percent support range in Republican preference polls for the first half of 2007.[218] He proved the most effective fundraiser of any of the Republican candidates and also partly financed his campaign with his own personal fortune.[229][244] These resources, combined with the mid-year near-collapse of nominal front-runner John McCain‘s campaign, made Romney a threat to win the nomination and the focus of the other candidates’ attacks.[245] Romney’s staff suffered from internal strife; the candidate himself was at times indecisive, often asking for more data before making a decision.[229][246]

During all of his political campaigns, Romney has avoided speaking publicly about Mormon doctrines, referring to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of religious tests for public office.[247] But persistent questions about the role of religion in Romney’s life, as well as Southern Baptist minister and former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee‘s rise in the polls based upon an explicitly Christian-themed campaign, led to the December 6, 2007, “Faith in America” speech.[248] In the speech Romney declared, “I believe in my Mormon faith and endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs.”[11] Romney added that he should neither be elected nor rejected based upon his religion,[249] and echoed Senator John F. Kennedy‘s famous speech during his 1960 presidential campaign in saying, “I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.”[248] Instead of discussing the specific tenets of his faith, he said he would be informed by it, stating: “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”[248][249] Academics would later study the role religion had played in the campaign.[nb 17]

Casual photograph of Mitt and Ann Romney outdoors with wind blowing her hair

The Romneys on Mackinac Island at the September 2007 Republican Leadership Conference

The campaign’s strategy called for winning the initial two contests – the January 3, 2008, Iowa Republican caucuses and the adjacent-to-his-home-state January 8 New Hampshire primary – and propelling Romney nationally.[252] However, he took second place in both, losing Iowa to a vastly outspent Huckabee who received more than twice the evangelical Christian votes,[253][254] and losing New Hampshire to the resurgent McCain.[253] Huckabee and McCain criticized Romney’s image as a flip flopper[253]and this label would stick to Romney through the campaign[229] (one that Romney rejected as unfair and inaccurate, except for his acknowledged change of mind on abortion).[237][255] Romney seemed to approach the campaign as a management consulting exercise, and showed a lack of personal warmth and political feel; journalist Evan Thomas wrote that Romney “came off as a phony, even when he was perfectly sincere.”[237][256] The fervor with which Romney adopted his new stances and attitudes contributed to the perception of inauthenticity that hampered the campaign.[61][257] Romney’s staff would conclude that competing as a candidate of social conservatism and ideological purity rather than of pragmatic competence had been a mistake.[237]

A win by McCain over Huckabee in South Carolina, and by Romney over McCain in childhood-home Michigan, set up a pivotal battle in the Florida primary.[258][259] Romney campaigned intensively on economic issues and the burgeoning subprime mortgage crisis, while McCain attacked Romney regarding Iraq policy and benefited from endorsements from Florida officeholders.[258][259] McCain won a 5 percentage point victory on January 29.[258][259] Although many Republican officials were now lining up behind McCain,[259] Romney persisted through the nationwide Super Tuesday contests on February 5. There he won primaries or caucuses in several states, but McCain won in more and in larger-population ones.[260] Trailing McCain in delegates by a more than two-to-one margin, Romney announced the end of his campaign on February 7.[260]

Altogether, Romney had won 11 primaries and caucuses,[261] receiving about 4.7 million votes[262] and garnering about 280 delegates.[263] He spent $110 million during the campaign, including $45 million of his own money.[264]

Romney endorsed McCain for president a week later,[263] and McCain had Romney on a short list for vice presidential running mate, where his business experience would have balanced one of McCain’s weaknesses.[265] McCain, behind in the polls, opted instead for a high-risk, high-reward “game changer”, selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.[266] McCain lost the election to Democratic Senator Barack Obama.

Activity between presidential campaigns

Romney supported the Bush administration’s Troubled Asset Relief Program in response to the late-2000s financial crisis, later saying that it prevented the U.S. financial system from collapsing.[267][268] During the U.S. automotive industry crisis of 2008–10, he opposed a bailout of the industry in the form of direct government intervention, and argued that a managed bankruptcy of struggling automobile companies should instead be accompanied by federal guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing from the private sector.[269]

Following the 2008 election, Romney laid the groundwork for a likely 2012 presidential campaign by using his Free and Strong America political action committee (PAC) to raise money for other Republican candidates and pay his existing political staff’s salaries and consulting fees.[270][271] A network of former staff and supporters around the nation were eager for him to run again.[272] He continued to give speeches and raise funds for Republicans,[273] but fearing overexposure, turned down many potential media appearances.[255] He also spoke before business, educational, and motivational groups.[274] From 2009 to 2011, he served on the board of directors of Marriott International, founded by his namesake J. Willard Marriott.[275] He had previously served on it from 1993 to 2002.[275][nb 18]

In 2009, the Romneys sold their primary residence in Belmont and their ski chalet in Utah, leaving them an estate along Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and an oceanfront home in the La Jolladistrict of San Diego, California, which they had purchased the year before.[255][278][279] The La Jolla home proved beneficial in location and climate for Ann Romney’s multiple sclerosis therapies and for recovering from her late 2008 diagnosis of mammary ductal carcinoma in situ and subsequent lumpectomy.[278][280][281] Both it and the New Hampshire location were near some of their grandchildren.[278] Romney maintained his voting registration in Massachusetts, however, and bought a smaller condominium in Belmont during 2010.[280][282] In February 2010, Romney had a minor altercation with LMFAO member Skyler Gordy, known as Sky Blu, on an airplane flight.[nb 19]

Casual photograph of Mitt Romney indoors seated and signing books

Romney signing copies of his new book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness for service members at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in March 2010

Romney released his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, in March 2010, and undertook an 18-state book tour to promote the work.[286] In the book, Romney writes of his belief in American exceptionalism,[287] and presents his economic and geopolitical views rather than anecdotes about his personal or political life.[287][288] It debuted atop The New York Times Best Seller list.[289] Romney donated his earnings from the book to charity.[102]

Immediately following the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Romney attacked the landmark legislation as “an unconscionable abuse of power” and said the act should be repealed.[290] The antipathy Republicans felt for it created a potential problem for the former governor, since the new federal law was in many ways similar to the Massachusetts health care reform passed during Romney’s term; as one Associated Press article stated, “Obamacare … looks a lot like Romneycare.”[290] While acknowledging that his plan was an imperfect work in progress, Romney did not back away from it. He defended the state-level health insurance mandate that underpinned it, calling the bill the right answer to Massachusetts’ problems at the time.[290][291][292]

In nationwide opinion polling for the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries, Romney led or placed in the top three with Palin and Huckabee. A January 2010 National Journal survey of political insiders found that a majority of Republican insiders and a plurality of Democratic insiders predicted Romney would be the party’s 2012 nominee.[293] Romney campaigned heavily for Republican candidates in the 2010 midterm elections,[294] raising more money than the other prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates.[295] Beginning in early 2011, Romney presented a more relaxed visual image, including more casual attire.[257][296]

2012 presidential campaign

Photograph of Romney working a lunch counter line, with citizens and press photographers crowding around

Romney making an appearance in Livonia, Michigan, days after his June 2011 formal campaign announcement

On April 11, 2011, Romney announced, via a video taped outdoors at the University of New Hampshire, that he had formed an exploratory committee for a run for the Republican presidential nomination.[297][298] Quinnipiac University political science professor Scott McLean stated, “We all knew that he was going to run. He’s really been running for president ever since the day after the 2008 election.”[298]

Romney stood to benefit from the Republican electorate’s tendency to nominate candidates who had previously run for president, and thus appeared to be next in line to be chosen.[272][299][300] The early stages of the race found him as the apparent front-runner in a weak field, especially in terms of fundraising prowess and organization.[301][302][303] Perhaps his greatest hurdle in gaining the Republican nomination was party opposition to the Massachusetts health care reform law that he had shepherded five years earlier.[296][298][300] As many potential Republican candidates with star power and fundraising ability decided not to run (including Mike Pence, John Thune, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels), Republican party figures searched for plausible alternatives to Romney.[301][303]

On June 2, 2011, Romney formally announced the start of his campaign. Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he focused on the economy and criticized President Obama’s handling of it.[304] He said, “In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it – because I have lived it.”[300]

Mitt Romney sitting outdoors during daytime, with crowd behind him holding up blue and white "Romney" signs

Giving an interview at a supporters rally in Paradise Valley, Arizona

Romney raised $56 million during 2011, more than double the amount raised by any of his Republican opponents,[305] and refrained from spending his own money on the campaign.[306] He initially pursued a low-key, low-profile strategy.[307] Michele Bachmann staged a brief surge in polls, which preceded a poll surge in September 2011 by Rick Perry who had entered the race the month before.[308] Perry and Romney exchanged sharp criticisms of each other during a series of debates among the Republican candidates.[309] The October 2011 decisions of Chris Christie and Sarah Palin not to run effectively settled the field of candidates.[310][311] Perry faded after poor performances in those debates, while Herman Cain‘s ‘long-shot’ bid gained popularity until allegations of sexual misconduct derailed it.[312][313]

Romney continued to seek support from a wary Republican electorate; at this point in the race, his poll numbers were relatively flat and at a historically low level for a Republican frontrunner.[310][314][315] After the charges of flip-flopping that marked his 2008 campaign began to accumulate again, Romney declared in November 2011: “I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be.”[316][317][318] In the final month before voting began, Newt Gingrich experienced a significant surge – taking a solid lead in national polls and most of the early caucus and primary states[319] – before settling back into parity or worse with Romney following a barrage of negative ads from Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney Super PAC.[320]

In the initial contest, the 2012 Iowa caucuses of January 3, election officials announced Romney as ahead with 25 percent of the vote, edging out a late-gaining Rick Santorum by eight votes (an also-strong Ron Paul finished third).[321] Sixteen days later, however, they certified Santorum as the winner by a 34-vote margin.[322] A week after the Iowa caucuses, Romney earned a decisive win in the New Hampshire primary with a total of 39 percent of the vote; Paul finished second and Jon Huntsman, Jr. third.[323]

In the run-up to the South Carolina Republican primary, Gingrich launched ads criticizing Romney for causing job losses while at Bain Capital, Perry referred to Romney’s role there as “vulture capitalism“, and Sarah Palin pressed Romney to prove his claim that he created 100,000 jobs during that time.[324][325] Many conservatives rallied in defense of Romney, rejecting what they inferred as criticism of free-market capitalism.[324]During two debates in the state, Romney fumbled questions about releasing his income tax returns, while Gingrich gained support with audience-rousing attacks on the debate moderators.[326][327] Romney’s double-digit lead in state polls evaporated; he lost to Gingrich by 13 points in the January 21 primary.[326] Combined with the delayed loss in Iowa, Romney’s admitted poor week represented a lost chance to end the race early, and he quickly decided to release two years of his tax returns.[326][328] The race turned to the Florida Republican primary, where in debates, appearances, and advertisements, Romney launched a sustained barrage against Gingrich’s past record and associations and current electability.[329][330] Romney enjoyed a large spending advantage from both his campaign and his aligned Super PAC, and after a record-breaking rate of negative ads from both sides, Romney won Florida on January 31, gaining 46 percent of the vote to Gingrich’s 32 percent.[331]

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan seen in medium distance on an outdoor stage, with large crowd around them

With running mate Paul Ryan in Norfolk, Virginia, during the vice presidential selection announcement on August 11, 2012

Several caucuses and primaries took place during February, and Santorum won three in a single night early in the month, propelling him into the lead in national and some state polls and positioning him as Romney’s chief rival.[332] Days later, Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference that he had been a “severely conservative governor”[333] (while during his term in 2005 he had maintained that his positions were moderate and characterized reports that he was shifting to the right to attract conservative votes a media distortion).[334] Romney won the other five February contests, including a closely fought one in his home state of Michigan at the end of the month.[335][336] In the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses of March 6, Romney won six of ten contests, including a narrow victory in Ohio over a vastly outspent Santorum. Although his victories were not enough to end the race, they were enough to establish a two-to-one delegate lead over Santorum.[337] Romney maintained his delegate margin through subsequent contests,[338] and Santorum suspended his campaign on April 10.[339] Following a sweep of five more contests on April 24, the Republican National Committee put its resources to work for Romney as the party’s presumptive nominee.[340] Romney clinched a majority of the delegates with a win in the Texas primary on May 29.

Polls consistently indicated a tight race for the November general election.[341] Negative ads from both sides dominated the campaign, with Obama’s proclaiming that Romney shipped jobs overseas while at Bain Capital and kept money in offshore tax havens and Swiss bank accounts.[342] A related issue dealt with Romney’s purported responsibility for actions at Bain Capital after taking the Olympics post.[97][99] Romney faced demands from Democrats to release additional years of his tax returns, an action a number of Republicans also felt would be wise; after being adamant that he would not do that, he released summaries of them in late September.[109][343] During May and June, the Obama campaign spent heavily and was able to paint a negative image of Romney in voters’ minds before the Romney campaign could construct a positive one.[344]

In July 2012, Romney visited the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland, meeting leaders in an effort to raise his credibility as a world statesman.[345] Comments Romney made about the readiness of the 2012 Summer Olympics were perceived as undiplomatic by the British press.[346][347] Israeli Prime Minister (and former BCG colleague) Benjamin Netanyahu, embraced Romney, though some Palestinians criticized him for suggesting that Israel’s culture led to their greater economic success.[348]

On August 11, 2012, the Romney campaign announced the selection of Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate.[349]

On August 28, 2012, the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, officially nominated Romney as their candidate for the presidency.[350] Romney became the first Mormon to be a major-party presidential nominee.[351]

In mid-September, a video surfaced of Romney speaking before a group of supporters in which he stated that 47 percent of the nation pays no income tax, are dependent on the federal government, see themselves as victims, and will support President Obama unconditionally. Romney went on to say: “And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”[352][353][354] After facing criticism about the tone and accuracy of these comments, he at first characterized them as “inelegantly stated”, then a couple of weeks later commented: “I said something that’s just completely wrong.”[355] Exit polls published following the election showed that voters never saw Romney as someone who cared about people like them.[344]

Colored map

County-by-county results of the election, shaded by percentage won: Obama in blue, Romney in red

The first of three 2012 presidential election debates took place on October 3, in Denver. Media figures and political analysts widely viewed Romney as having delivered a stronger and more focused presentation than did President Obama.[355][356] That initial debate overshadowed Obama’s improved presentation in the last two debates later in October, and Romney maintained a small advantage in the debates when seen as a whole.[357]

The election took place on November 6, and Obama was projected the winner at about 11:14 pm Eastern Standard Time.[358] Romney garnered 206 electoral college votesto Obama’s 332, losing all but one of nine battleground states, and 47 percent of the nationwide popular vote to Obama’s 51 percent.[359][360] Media accounts described Romney as “shellshocked” by the result.[361] He and his senior campaign staff had disbelieved public polls showing Obama narrowly ahead, and had thought they were going to win until the vote tallies began to be reported on the evening of the election.[361] But Romney’s get out the vote operation had been inferior to Obama’s, both in person-to-person organization and in voter modeling and outreach technology[362] (the latter exemplified by the failure of the Project Orca application).[344] In his concession speech to his supporters, he said, “Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead this country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader.”[363] Reflecting on his defeat during a conference call to hundreds of fundraisers and donors a week after the election, Romney attributed the outcome to Obama’s having secured the votes of specific interest groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, young people, and women, by offering them what Romney called “extraordinary financial gifts.”[364][365][366] The remark drew heavy criticism from prominent members of the Republican party.[367][368]

Political positions

Romney and Obama shaking hands

Romney meeting with President Obama after the 2012 presidential election.

In addition to calling for cuts in federal government spending to help reduce the national debt,[369] Romney proposed measures intended to limit the growth of entitlement programs, such as introducing means testing and gradually raising the eligibility ages for receipt of Social Security and Medicare.[369] He supported substantial increases in military spending and promised to invest more heavily in military weapons programs while increasing the number of active-duty military personnel.[370][371] He was very supportive of the directions taken by the budget proposals of Paul Ryan, although he later proposed his own budget plan.[372][373]

Romney pledged to lead an effort to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and replace it with a system that gives states more control over Medicaid and makes health insurance premiums tax-advantaged for individuals in the same way they are for businesses.[374] He favored repeal of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act and intended to replace them with what he called a “streamlined, modern regulatory framework”.[375][376]

He also promised to seek income tax law changes that he said would help to lower federal deficits and would stimulate economic growth. These included: reducing individual income tax rates across the board by 20 percent, maintaining the Bush administration-era tax rate of 15 percent on investment income from dividends and capital gains (and eliminating this tax entirely for those with annual incomes less than $200,000), cutting the top tax rate on corporations from 35 to 25 percent, and eliminating the estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax.[377][378] He promised that the loss of government revenue from these tax cuts would be offset by closing loopholes and placing limits on tax deductions and credits available to taxpayers with the highest incomes,[378] but said that that aspect of the plan could not yet be evaluated because details would have to be worked out with Congress.[379]

Romney opposed the use of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions to deal with global warming.[317] He stated that he believed climate change is occurring, but that he did not know how much of it could be linked to human activity.[317] He was a proponent of increased domestic oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), building more nuclear power plants, and reducing the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.[380][381] He believed North American energy independence could be achieved by 2020.[382]

Romney labeled Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe”,[383] and asserted that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability should be America’s “highest national security priority”.[384] Romney stated his strong support for Israel.[385] He planned to formally label China a currency manipulator and take associated counteractions unless that country changed its trade practices.[386] Romney supported the Patriot Act,[387] the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists.[387] Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, although he favored domestic partnership legislation that gives certain legal rights to same-sex couples, such as hospital visitation.[388] In 2011, he signed a pledge promising to seek passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.[389]

Since 2005, Romney described himself as “pro-life”.[390] In that year, he wrote: “I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother.”[391][nb 10][nb 14] During his 1994 campaign for the senate, Romney had said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country,” a stance he reiterated during his 2002 campaign for governor.[136][394] While Romney would prefer to see passage of a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion, he did not believe the public would support such an amendment;[395] as an alternative, he promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would help overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing each state to decide on the legality of abortion.[396]

Romney said that he would appoint federal judges in the mold of U.S. Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito.[397][398] He advocated judicial restraint and strict constructionism as judicial philosophies.[398][399]

Subsequent activities

During the first year following the election defeat, Romney generally kept a low profile,[400] with his ordinary daily activities around San Diego being captured via social media glimpses.[401] In December 2012, he joined the board of Marriott International for a third stint as a director.[402] In March 2013, Romney gave a reflective interview on Fox News Sunday, stating, “It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done”. He again expressed regret at the “47 percent” remark, saying “There’s no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign.”[403][404] (He was still echoing both of these sentiments a year later.[405]) Romney began working as executive partner group chairman for Solamere Capital, a private capital firm in Boston owned by his son Tagg.[406] He was also involved in supporting several charitable causes.[406]

Mitt and Ann Romney share a moment with his former running mate, Paul Ryan, as they witness the election and ascension of Ryan as the 54th Speaker of the House of Representatives on October 29, 2015

The Romneys bought a home again in the Deer Valley area of Park City, Utah,[407][408] followed by a property in Holladay, Utah, where they plan to tear down an existing house and build a new one.[406] They also gained long-sought permission to replace their La Jolla home with a much bigger one, including a car elevator that had brought some derision during the 2012 campaign.[406][409] In addition, Romney and his siblings continue to own a cottage in the gated community called Beach O’ Pines located south of Grand Bend, Ontario, which has been in the family for more than sixty years.[410] With the new acquisitions the couple briefly had five homes, located near each of their five sons and respective families, and the couple continued to spend considerable time with their grandchildren, who by 2013 numbered 22.[406][409] They then sold the condominium in Belmont and decided to make their main residence in Utah,[405] including switching voter registration.[408] The 2014 documentary film Mitt showed a behind-the-scenes, family-based perspective on both of Romney’s presidential campaigns and received positive notices for humanizing the candidate and illustrating the toll that campaigning takes.[405][411][412]

Romney himself thought he might be branded a “loser for life” and fade into an obscurity like Michael Dukakis[405] (a similar figure with no obvious base of political support who had lost what his party considered a winnable presidential election)[413] but, to the surprise of many political observers, that did not happen.[414] Romney re-emerged onto the political scene in the run-up to the 2014 U.S. midterm elections, endorsing, campaigning, and fundraising for a number of Republican candidates, especially those running for the U.S. Senate.[415][416]

External video
Mitt Romney at 2012 CPAC.jpg
Watch Mitt Romney’s full March 3 speech: ‘Trump is a phony, a fraud’, 17:49, see 2;40-10:00, PBS Newshour[417]
Donald Trump responds to Romney’s comments at Maine rally, 43:25, see 7:50-10:00, PBS Newshour

By early 2014, the lack of a clear mainstream Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election led some supporters, donors, and pollsters to suggest Romney stage a third run.[412] Regarding such a possibility, Romney at first responded, “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no.”[412] Nevertheless, speculation continued: the continuing unpopularity of Obama led to buyer’s remorse among some voters; the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine made Romney’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe” remark look prescient; and an August 2014 poll of Iowan Republicans showed Romney with a large lead there over other potential 2016 candidates.[418] A poll conducted in July 2014 by CNN showed Romney with a 53 to 44 lead over Obama in a hypothetical election “redo.”[419][420] By early 2015, Romney was actively considering the idea and contacting his network of supporters.[421][422] In doing so he was positioning himself in the invisible primary – the preliminary jockeying for the backing of party leaders, donors, and political operatives – against former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who had already set a likely campaign in motion and would be a rival to Romney for establishment Republican support.[422][423] Despite support in some quarters for a third bid for the presidency, there was a backlash against him from conservatives who wanted a fresher face without a history of presidential losses,[424] and many of Romney’s past donors were not willing to commit to him again.[425] Romney announced on January 30, 2015 that he would not run for president in 2016, saying that while he thought he could win the nomination, “one of our next generation of Republican leaders” would be better positioned to win the general election.[426][427]

As the Republican presidential nomination race went into the primaries season, Romney had not endorsed anyone but was one of the Republican establishment figures who were becoming increasingly concerned about the front-runner status of New York businessman Donald Trump.[428] Romney publicly criticized Trump for not releasing his taxes, saying there might be a “bombshell” in them.[429] Trump responded by calling Romney “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.”[428] Then Romney gave a speech on March 3, 2016, at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, that represented a scathing attack on Trump’s personal behavior, business performance, and domestic and foreign policy stances. He said Trump was “a phony, a fraud … He’s playing members of the American public for suckers” and that “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”[430][431] In response Trump dismissed Romney as a “choke artist”.[431] Romney’s speech represented an unprecedented attack by a major U.S. party’s most recent presidential nominee against the party’s current front-runner for the nomination.[431][432][433] Romney encouraged Republicans to engage in tactical voting, by supporting whichever of the remaining rivals had the best chance to beat Trump in any given state,[434] and as such Romney announced he was voting for, although not endorsing, Ted Cruz for president prior to the March 22 Utah caucus.[435] As the race went on there was some evidence of tactical voting occurring, and some partial arrangements were formed among candidates,[436][437] but by May 3 Trump had defeated all his opponents and became the party’s presumptive nominee. Romney then announced that he would not support Trump in the general election, saying, “I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices”.[438]

In June, Romney said that he wouldn’t vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton either, saying: “It’s a matter of personal conscience. I can’t vote for either of those two people.”[439] He suggested that he may vote for a third-party candidate, or write-in his wife’s name, saying she would be “an ideal president”.[439] When pressed on who of Trump and Clinton was more qualified to be President, Romney quoted P. J. O’Rourke: “Hillary Clinton is wrong on every issue, but she’s wrong within the normal parameters.”[439] He considered voting for the Libertarian ticket of former Republican Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld, saying that he would “get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone who I could end up voting for”, adding that “if Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president.”[440]In September he called for Johnson to be included in the presidential debates[441] and in October it emerged that Independent candidate Evan McMullin was using an email list of 2.5 million Romney supporters to raise money.[442] McMullin’s chief strategist said that it was purchased from Romney for President and that “we’ll let other folks discuss what that may mean and certainly never speak for [Romney]”.[442] A spokeswoman for Romney said that the list had been “rented by several political candidates in the presidential primary, and by countless other political and commercial users in the time since the 2012 campaign”[442] and Romney made no public comment on McMullin’s candidacy.[443] Romney and his wife cast early ballots in Utah, but he declined to say who he voted for.[443] After Trump won the election, Romney congratulated him via phone call and on Twitter.[444]

Awards and honors

Romney has received a number of honorary doctorates, including in business from the University of Utah in 1999,[445] in law from Bentley College in 2002,[446] in public administration from Suffolk University Law School in 2004,[447] in public service from Hillsdale College in 2007,[448] and in humanities from Liberty University in 2012.[449] He also received one from Southern Virginia University in 2013[450] and ones in 2015 from Jacksonville University,[451] Utah Valley University,[452] and Saint Anselm College.[453]

People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list for 2002,[454] and in 2004, a foundation that promotes the Olympic truce, gave him its inaugural Truce Ideal Award.[455] The Cranbrook School gave him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.[18] In 2008, he shared with his wife Ann, the Canterbury Medal from The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, for “refus[ing] to compromise their principles and faith” during the presidential campaign.[456] In 2012, Time magazine included Romney in their List of The 100 Most Influential People in the World.[457]

Published works

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitt_Romney

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The Pronk Pops Show 721, July 20, 2016, Story 1: Trump Over The Top — Videos — Story 2: Hillary Clinton The Fix Is In But Will It Hold With President Trump? — American People Find Clinton Guilty — Videos — Story 3: Our Enemy The State Under The Two Party Tyranny — Garbage In Garbage Out — You Have A Choice — Vote or Stay Home — Free To Choose — Videos

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Our Enemy, The State
by Albert J. Nock – 1935
His Classic Critique Distinguishing ‘Government’ from the ‘STATE’.

In Memoriam

Albert Jay Nock
1870 – 1945

Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6

In Memoriam
Edmund Cadwalader Evans
A sound economist, one of
the few who understand
the nature of the state


Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression, and by aggression. — Herbert Spencer, 1850.

This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention, the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State; that is to say, of spontaneous historical action, which in the long-run sustains, nourishes and impels human destinies. — Jose Ortega y Gasset, 1922.

It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men. — Henry L. Mencken, 1926.


PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

When OUR ENEMY, THE STATE appeared in 1935, its literary merit rather than its philosophic content attracted attention to it. The times were not ripe for an acceptance of its predictions, still less for the argument on which these predictions were based. Faith in traditional frontier individualism had not yet been shaken by the course of events. Against this faith the argument that the same economic forces which in all times and in all nations drive toward the ascendancy of political power at the expense of social power were in operation here made little headway. That is, the feeling that “it cannot happen here” was too difficult a hurdle for the book to overcome.

By the time the first edition had run out, the development of public affairs gave the argument of the book ample testimony. In less than a decade it was evident to many Americans that their country is not immune from the philosophy which had captured European thinking. The times were proving Mr. Nock’s thesis, and by irresistable word-of-mouth advertising a demand for the book began to manifest itself just when it was no longer available. And the plates had been put to war purposes.

In 1943 he had a second edition in mind. I talked with him several times about it, urging him to elaborate on the economic ideas, since these, it seemed to me, were inadequately developed for the reader with a limited knowledge of political economy. He agreed that this ought to be done, but in a separate book, or in a second part of his book, and suggested that I try my hand at it. Nothing came of the matter because of the war. He died on August 19, 1945.

This volume is an exact duplication of the first edition. He intended to make some slight changes, principally, as he told me, in the substitution of current illustrations for those which might carry less weight with the younger reader. As for the sequel stressing economics, this will have to be done. At any rate, OUR ENEMY THE STATE needs no support.

Frank Chodorov
New York City, May 28th, 1946


Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6


Books By Mr. Nock

  • Jefferson
  • On Doing the Right Thing; and other essays
  • The Theory of Education in the United States, (The Page-Barbour Lectures for 1930)
  • The Urquhart-Le Motteux Translation of the Works of Francis Rabelais, with introduction, critical notes and documentary illustrations (Edited, with Catherine Rose Wilson)
  • A Journal of These Days
  • A Journey into Rabelais’s France
  • Our Enemy, the State Paperback Reprint Edition Available (September 1983) Hallberg Pub Corp; ISBN: 0873190238 from Amazon.com $9.95

http://www.barefootsworld.net/nockoets0.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 444, April 13, 2015, Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East — Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

Posted on April 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Communications, Consitutional Law, Corruption, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, European History, Foreign Policy, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Middle East, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Success, Taxation, Taxes, United States Constitution, Videos, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East —  Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

marco rubio cartoonrubiorubio immigrationrubio cartoon immigrationrubio cartoon 2marco-rubio immigration Rubio puppet
rubio-immigration-cartoon

Sen. Marco Rubio announces presidential run

Sen. Rubio: Yesterday is over; we’re never going back

Sen. Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid • 4/13/15 •

Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid

Sen Marco Rubio announces presidential bid

Michelle Malkin calls out Marco Rubio for “posing as a Tea Party spokesman”

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz fight on the Senate floor

Marco Rubio says he’s ‘learned’ from past immigration mistakes

Senator Marco Rubio on Immigration at CPAC 2015

Jeff Session Mocks Gang Of Eight & Special Interest Forces. Immigration Debate

Laura Ingraham Confronts Marco Rubio Over Immigration Reform: ‘Stop Dividing The Republican Party’

Ann Coulter blasts immigration bill, Rubio – Rubio is the Jack Kevorkian of the Republican Party

Ann Coulter trashes Marco Rubio

Brit Hume and Laura Ingraham argue about Marco Rubio

Mark Levin grills Marco Rubio on immigration proposal

A Conversation with Senator Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio (American Neocon) on Iran “No option should be off the table”

Marco Rubio Is a Polished Performer, but He’s Out of Position

Why You Should NOT Vote For Marco Rubio In 2016

Marco Rubio Grills Hillary Clinton About Benghazi (Testimony)

Mark Levin: “I despise the neocons! I am not a neocon!”

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea (Cato Institute Book Forum, 2011)

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Rubio tells supporters he is running for White House

By PHILIP ELLIOTT and BRENDAN FARRINGTON

Hoping to turn his youth into a benefit, Sen. Marco Rubio entered the presidential race Monday with a promise to move the nation beyond the politics of the past, a jab at both Democratic favorite Hillary Rodham Clinton and his one-time Republican mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Standing in front of a banner that proclaimed “A New American Century,” the 43-year-old Cuban-American used his first speech as a presidential candidate to take on two of America’s political dynasties. In doing so, he bet heavily on the electorate’s frustrations with Washington and his ability to change how his party is seen by voters.

“This election is not just about what laws we will pass,” he said Monday evening. “It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be.”

He said it’s also a choice between the haves and have-nots, nodding to his own upbringing by working-class parents. “I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

(AP) Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gestures as he announces that he is running for the…
Full Image

Rubio spoke first to his top donors a day after Clinton announced her bid for the Democratic nomination and as she was traveling to Iowa on her first trip as a candidate. Rubio, a first-term Republican from Florida, told his most generous backers that he feels “uniquely qualified” to pitch his party as one that will defend the American Dream.

Rubio said the dream is slipping away for too many families and young Americans face unequal opportunities to succeed. He’s banking on the hope that he, alone among many GOP rivals, can make inroads with groups that have long eluded Republicans — young people, minorities and the less affluent.

“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” he said.

Clinton’s entrance into the race with an online video Sunday is robbing some attention from Rubio’s splash into the race. But Rubio saw an opportunity to cast the presidential contest as one between a fresh face representing a new generation of leadership and familiar faces harking back decades — namely, the 62-year-old Bush and the 67-year-old Clinton.

“Too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” he said pointedly in his evening speech. “The time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American century.”

The swipe at Bush was implied; with Clinton, he was more direct.

“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow,” he told donors.

Supporters began lining up in 87-degree heat three hours before the public kickoff at Freedom Tower, the Miami landmark that was the first stop for tens of thousands of fleeing Cuban exiles during the 1960s and 1970s.

Standing in line outside, 50-year-old Kelly Steele and her 18-year-old son wore tie-dyed Rubio T-shirts as they shuffled toward what was expected to be a packed ballroom.

“We have had a lot of Bushes,” Kelly Steele said, comparing Rubio to a youthful John Kennedy.

“Sen. Rubio kind of reminds me of JFK,” she said. “He’s got that energy and desire and momentum and excitement.”

Hours before his rally, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, criticized Rubio as just another establishment Republican with no new ideas.

“He’s a follower, peddling the same tired Republican playbook,” she told reporters. “Marco Rubio has pandered to the Republican base throughout his whole career.”

To counter views of him as a neophyte, Rubio has outlined specific policy proposals both on foreign and domestic issues. He plans future presentations as his campaign gets underway.

On Tuesday, on his first day as a candidate, he is set to return to Washington to join a Senate hearing on a proposed deal with Iran on its nuclear ambitions.

Rubio faces steep challenges to the nomination, including a well-funded one that Bush is expected to offer. The son of one president and brother of another, Jeb Bush was governor while Rubio was speaker of the Florida House. The two formed a close bond, but a presidential campaign was certain to test the strength of their friendship.

Rubio is the third major GOP contender to declare himself a candidate, after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a field that could grow to 20 or more.

Rubio could make history as the nation’s first Hispanic president — as could Cruz.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150413/us–gop_2016-rubio-3471817028.html

Rubio jumps into White House race with jab at Hillary Clinton

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday entered the race for the White House, telling donors on a conference call that he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the Republican Party into battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio told the donors, according to The Associated Press.

Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.

“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call.

“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”

Rubio is expected to officially launch his candidacy Monday evening in Miami against the backdrop of the Freedom Tower, a setting that will give him a chance to tout his heritage as the son of Cuban parents who fled to America in the 1950s.

The Florida senator, who is serving in only his first term, is entering an increasingly crowded GOP field that already includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A host of other candidates are waiting in the wings, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

It had long been thought that Rubio would not run for the White House against Bush, given their personal history and shared base of support in the Florida Republican Party.

But much like Obama in 2008, Rubio appears willing to gamble his political future on the notion that his party will be looking for a fresh face, particularly given the GOP’s difficulty in attracting minority voters in the last two presidential elections.

If elected, Rubio would become the first Hispanic president in American history.

Rubio told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday that he believes he’s “absolutely” the best candidate for the Oval Office.

“I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction,” he said.

Rubio is trying to generate buzz for his presidential campaign the day after Clinton jumped into the race with an online video where she declared her desire to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.”

While Clinton’s rollout could overshadow Rubio’s, it could also play to his advantage by allowing him to draw a contrast with the former secretary of State, who has been a presence on the national stage for nearly three decades.

Thus far in the race, Rubio is polling outside the top tier of Republicans hopefuls.

But Rubio, a staunch conservative who was deemed a rising star after his election victory in 2010, is very well liked among Republican voters. Recent numbers from Democratic Public Policy Polling found that 55 percent had a favorable view of him, the highest of any potential GOP candidate.

Still, in order to win the nomination, Rubio will have to assure conservatives who were turned off by his involvement in the Senate’s failed immigration reform effort in 2013.

Rubio helped write a bill with Democrats that passed the Senate but died in the House after an outpouring of conservative opposition.

He has tried to make amends for his role crafting that bill, telling activists in February that he’s “learned” from the experience that securing the border must come first.

“You can’t just tell people you’re going to secure the border. … You have to do that, they have to see it, they have to see it working, and then they’re going to have a reasonable conversation with you about the other parts, but they’re not going to even want to talk about that until that’s done first,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Rubio is expected to make foreign policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign, and has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Following his campaign launch, Rubio will return to Washington for Senate business, including a high-profile Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran.

On Friday, he’ll head to New Hampshire for a full day of campaigning in the critical primary state.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/238595-report-rubio-announces-candidacy

Mitt Romney warms to Marco Rubio as young senator cultivates relationship

By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

Sen. Marco Rubio has been cultivating a relationship with Mitt Romney and his intimates, landing some of the 2012 Republican nominee’s top advisers and donors and persistently courting others as he readies an expected 2016 presidential campaign.

In a crowded field of contenders, the imprimatur of Romney could help clear Rubio’s path into the top tier. Since Romney announced in January that he would not run for the White House again, he and Rubio have had at least two lengthy phone calls in which Romney encouraged and mentored the 43-year-old Florida senator about the political landscape, according to a Romney associate.

[ Rubio is the ‘upside’ candidate of 2016 ]

Rubio and Romney have built a warm and trusting rapport, in contrast to the frostiness that exists between Romney and the two current GOP front-runners, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When Romney said in January that it was time to turn to the “next generation of Republican leaders,” it was widely interpreted as a swipe at Bush and a boost to a fresher face, such as Rubio.

In one-on-one meetings and communications with members of Romney’s inner circle, Rubio has impressed them with what they see as his compelling personal story, his depth and positions on policies, and his respect for Romney and his legacy in the Republican Party.

For Rubio, winning over key elements of the Romney ­coalition could give him a stronger foundation for a competitive campaign. But the support from Romney’s team alone would not guarantee Rubio success against Bush’s well-funded juggernaut or Walker’s grass-roots appeal.

Rubio has signed up two prominent former Romney officials in recent weeks. Rich Beeson, Romney’s 2012 national political director, has been tapped as Rubio’s likely deputy campaign manager, while Jim Merrill, Romney’s longtime New Hampshire strategist, is on board to play the same role for Rubio.

“For me, his substance, his skill and his story really stuck out,” Merrill said. “I always said if Mitt had decided to run again, I’d be with him. But when he decided not to go, I took a careful look at the field, and Marco represents the next generation of Republican leadership.”

Rubio’s courtship has been particularly intense with Spencer Zwick, who served as national finance chairman of Romney’s $1 billion campaign and is seen as the keeper of the Romney flame. Zwick said in an interview that the senator solicits advice from him regularly in phone calls, e-mails and text messages.

Rubio asks Zwick about how to assemble a campaign infrastructure and win the nomination, about lessons learned from Romney’s 2012 loss. Both fathers of young children, the two men talk about their families, too.

Zwick said he remains unaffiliated in the 2016 sweepstakes, but heaped praise on Rubio.

“Have you watched him speak?” Zwick asked. “This guy gives a message about the American dream that is compelling. People can say, ‘Oh, it’s the same speech every time,’ but you know what? Ronald Reagan did that, too, and it happened to work.”

Zwick called Rubio “an astute politician and a genuine person,” saying he “is universally well-liked by donors.”

Still, Bush has established himself early as the 2016 field’s fundraising dynamo, signing up many of Romney’s biggest bundlers, especially in New York and Florida, where he threatens to squeeze Rubio out.

A handful of former senior Romney aides and advisers have fanned out to work for an array of likely candidates besides Rubio, including Bush, Walker, former Texas governor Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The biggest Romney fundraiser helping Rubio is Wayne Berman, a fixture in GOP fundraising circles and a co-chairman of Romney’s 2012 national finance committee. Many Romney loyalists — including friends and associates from Bain Capital, the Mormon Church or the Salt Lake City Olympics — have stayed unaffiliated and are looking for signals of Romney’s preference.

Romney is unlikely to endorse a candidate anytime soon and has invited most of the GOP 2016 field to his annual policy summit with top donors and business leaders in June in Park City, Utah, where Romney has a home.

Rubio also has roots in the Mountain West. Although he was born into the Catholic Church, Rubio lived for several years of his childhood in Las Vegas and, during that time, was baptized in the Mormon Church. In his teen years, he and his family returned to Florida and rejoined the Catholic Church, although many of Rubio’s cousins remain affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some Romney loyalists harbor bad feelings about several candidates. Privately, they say Bush was not as active in his support as they expected in 2012 and that they think he tried to muscle Romney out of the 2016 race in January.

They hold a grudge against Walker for sharply criticizing Romney in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” for doing “a lousy job” connecting with voters. And many Romney insiders were steamed at Christie for his high-profile embrace of President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in the final week of the campaign.

By contrast, Romney’s allies almost universally praise Rubio, who was vetted as a possible vice-presidential pick and worked on Romney’s behalf during the campaign. They singled out his prime-time speech — introducing Romney — at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“He was an exceptional surrogate,” said Matt Waldrip, a former Romney finance aide and Zwick associate. “When he went to events, people showed up. He packed the house, whether fundraising or otherwise. He did whatever we asked him to,
clearly interested in helping the cause and helping the ticket.”

On Tuesday, Rubio met at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for an hour with Lanhee Chen, Romney’s former policy director, who remains an adviser and friend. Chen said he was impressed by Rubio’s preparation for the meeting, which focused on foreign and domestic policy, as well as his depth on the issues.

“Senator Rubio has spent the last several years developing thoughtful conservative policy solutions, and he has a personal story that makes those solutions even more compelling,” Chen said.

Rubio’s camp has been in touch with other Romney associates, includingPeter Flaherty, a former Boston prosecutor who for years was Romney’s chief liaison to conservative movement leaders. Those talks have been informal, and Flaherty, like Chen and Zwick, remains uncommitted to a 2016 candidate.

“It’s elbow grease,” said one Romney confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Rubio’s outreach. “Marco’s actually picking up the phone and calling people, saying, ‘Listen, I want to introduce myself and tell you who I am and what I stand for.’ It’s good politics.”

Terry Sullivan — who ran Romney’s South Carolina primary campaign in 2008 and for years has been a top Rubio adviser — has been helping him facilitate his outreach into Romney’s world. Sullivan is executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and is his likely campaign manager. Rubio’s Senate chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, was a Florida-based adviser to Romney’s campaign in 2012.

Rubio is expected to formally launch his presidential bid next month, although aides stressed this week that no final decision has been made on the timing or venue. His advisers are preparing for a long and steady race, with a focus on laying the groundwork in the early-voting states.

Although he has been overshadowed recently by Bush and Walker, Rubio has generated some buzz among Republican insiders. His speeches at recent donor conclaves, including at the Club for Growth last month in Palm Beach, Fla., drew rave reviews.

Rubio has said he can raise the funds needed to mount a serious presidential bid. Norman Braman, a billionaire South Florida auto dealer, is expected to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and his anticipated super PAC.

Rubio has his own national donor network, which he began cultivating in his upstart 2010 Senate campaign. The group includes donors who participate in the political network organized by industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose California meeting Rubio addressed in January.

But Rubio is making inroads elsewhere, too. He dined alone last week in Washington with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Romney in 2012.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who was Romney’s liaison on Capitol Hill in 2012, recently explained why so many Republican insiders find Rubio appealing.

“I often have a vision of Marco in the cloakroom of the Senate, when not much is going on, trying to watch his son’s football games on his smartphone,” he said.

Blunt then used a descriptor that few would have applied to Romney: “humanizing.”

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Pronk Pops Show 304, July 29, 2014, Story 1: Senator Jeff Session To Congress: Stand Up To Obama’s Lawlessness and Nullification of Immigration Law and Be Counted — American People Massively Call Congress — Stand Up With Sessions And Call Your Representatives and Senators! — Videos

Posted on July 29, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Regulation, Scandals, Security, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 297: July 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 296: July 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 295: July 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 288: June 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 287: June 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 286: June 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 285 June 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 284: June 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 283: June 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 282: June 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 281: June 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 280: June 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 279: June 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 278: June 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 277: June 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 276: June 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 275: June 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 274: June 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 273: June 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 272: June 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Story 1: Senator Jeff Session To Congress: Stand Up To Obama’s Lawlessness and Nullification of Immigration Law and Be Counted — American People Massively Call Congress — Stand Up With Sessions And Call Your Representatives and Senators! — Videos

 

Sessions to Congress: Block Obama’s Executive Orders on Amnesty, or Face Cantor’s Fate

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 7.28.2014 Obama’s Executive 

US Senate 7.24.2014 Jeff Sessions & Ted Cruz enter a collique on Obama’s executive amnesty

VIDEO: Judge Jeanine’s Incredible Allegations About Barack Obama & Illegal Immigration

Poll: 33% say impeach Obama

 

JEFF SESSIONS ON OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE AMNESTY: CONGRESS FACES ‘TIME OF CHOOSING’ AT ‘PERILOUS HOUR’

by

It’s now or never for opponents of President Barack Obama’s lawlessness on illegal immigration.

 

Saying America faces a “perilous hour,” and members of Congress are entering a “momentous week” when it comes to the future of the separation of powers, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) urged his colleagues on Monday to “be counted” and “stand up” to Obama’s “lawless actions, and sponsor legislation that will block him” from granting amnesty to millions more illegal immigrants.

He also urged colleagues to “oppose any border supplemental that does” not prevent Obama from using federal money to implement more executive actions on immigration. Simply put, Sessions said, there is “no middle ground” when it comes to Obama’s potential nullification of federal immigration laws.

Obama has indicated that he will enact more executive actions and grant work permits–in contravention of federal law–to possibly eight million more illegal immigrants once Congress leaves for its August recess after this week. Sessions has been urging Congress to support bills like Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) that would prevent Obama from granting temporary amnesty to future illegal immigrants.

“Our response now is of great import,” Sessions said on the Senate floor. “It will define the scope of executive and congressional powers for years to come. If President Obama is not stopped in this action, and he exceeds his powers by attempting to execute such a massive amnesty contrary to law, the moral authority for any immigration henceforth will be eviscerated.”

Saying every member of Congress will face “a time of choosing” this week in which they will be asked to support or oppose legislation that would block Obama’s executive amnesty, Sessions asked, “Will we answer that call? Where will history record each of us stood at this important time?”

“No lawmaker should support any border bill that does not expressly prohibit these planned executive actions by the president and that prohibits any expenditure of funds to implement them,” Sessions said.

He reminded lawmakers in Congress that, “all of us were elected by Americans to serve them and to serve and honor their Constitution,” and Congress’s message to the American people should be clear: “We stand for law, we stand for Constitution, we stand for an honorable, lawful immigration system that treats everyone fairly and serves the national interest of the people of the United States.”

To Sessions, that means marking an end to “this Congress’s acquiescence to executive overreach.” He emphasized that those who refuse to take simple action to stop Obama’s executive amnesty will have voted to enable Obama’s lawlessness.

Sessions said it is a “stark” and “perilous” hour and emphasized that he has never seen “a situation in which a president–weeks in advance–has announced that he’s going to take action that clearly violates law.” Sessions said Obama is taking America into “exceedingly dangerous waters” and a constitutional crisis by “preparing to assume for himself the absolute power to set immigration law in America” with the mentality of, “I’ll just enforce what I wish to enforce” and “determine who may enter and who may work, no matter what the law says, by the millions.”

Sessions said Obama’s actions “would undermine the very sovereignty of the nation” and amount to an “open borders” policy that even the National Journal said would be “explosive.”

“Anyone the world over will get the message: get into America by any method you can, and you will never have to leave,” Sessions said.

He also said Americans “will not accept nullification of their laws passed by their elected representatives,” and that is why “it’s not too late” to stop Obama’s lawlessness.

“It is absolutely not too late for us to restore a lawful system that treats applicants who come to America fairly and serves the national interest,” Sessions said. “This can be done.”

He also said that recent election results have shown Americans are getting “roused up” because of illegal immigration and “once activated, their power will be felt.” Sessions noted that Americans have been begging Congress for 40 years to enforce its immigration laws, and “they will not sit back and allow Obama to implement through unlawful fiat what they have defeated through the democratic process.”

Sessions said ultimately preventing Obama from enacting more executive amnesty “will be good for the president, really, because it will stop him from taking a step that will mar permanently his presidency and the office of the president.”

Saying that the wheels were spinning off the Obama administration’s policies all over the world, Sessions said blocking Obama’s executive actions “will avoid a major government disruption at a time the nation faces many threats” and “protect the rule of law and the constitutional order whereby Congress makes the laws and the president executes them, whether he likes them or not.”

Sessions said the last thing the country needs while it faces so many crises abroad is a “major, internal battle with the president over illegal actions that he’d like to take.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/28/Jeff-Sessions-on-Obama-s-Executive-Amnesty-Congress-Faces-Time-of-Choosing-at-Perilous-Hour

 

‘God bless Jeff Sessions,’ Rush Limbaugh says: Today in Alabama politics

Alabama lawmaker Jeff Sessions’ ongoing battle against the Obama administration’s immigration policies continue and his efforts are garnering attention from the leading conservative radio talk show host in the nation.

On Monday’s radio show, conservative icon Rush Limbaugh singled out Alabama’s junior Senator for his efforts to prevent any plans by Obama to expand amnesty programs to millions of those in the country illegally.

Conservative website Breitbart reported Limbaugh’s comments:

“If we’re going to have open immigration and borders, when Jeff Sessions – God bless Jeff Sessions – is begging everybody to call their congressmen and senators to stop what Obama is planning on doing just by the stroke of his pen of legalizing 5 to 6 million immigrants – this border crisis now, just saying, ‘To hell with it.’ Just granting amnesty. Sessions claims Obama is going to effectively end immigration enforcement. He’s going to nullify immigration law – just wipe it out, and in the process fundamentally change the United States.”

Limbaugh’s comments come just days after Sessions and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,called on Americans to flood Capitol Hill with calls to oppose any efforts to expand amnesty efforts.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/god_bless_jeff_sessions_rush_l.html

 

FEARING OBAMA UNILATERAL AMNESTY THREATS, TEA PARTY JAMS CONGRESS’S PHONE LINES

The phone lines are jammed.

The American people have risen up in response to a rallying cry from Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), overloading the phone lines on Capitol Hill to pressure their members of Congress to fight against President Obama’s planned executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

“I was on hold with the Capitol Hill switchboard about a minute or so each time I called my Representative and my two Senators,” Catharine Trauernicht, a Tea Party activist in Virginia, told Breitbart News Monday. “Typically, my calls are answered right away, but I always know that citizens have sprung into action when the switchboard recording comes on and says, ‘All of our operators are assisting other callers at this time.’”

When called by Breitbart News Monday at about 1:30 p.m., the Capitol Hill switchboard line was similarly busy.

“This shows the American people are going to resist,” a Sessions aide told Breitbart News. “The crescendo will grow. They are only beginning to be heard. They will get louder in the coming days.”

The calls are coming in response to Sen. Sessions, who last week asked the American people to rise up and pressure their elected leaders to stop the president from moving forward with any new executive amnesty. Obama has already granted executive amnesty to upwards of 800,000 illegal aliens through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which was initiated in 2012, and this year Obama is threatening to expand DACA to five to six million illegal aliens.

“The American people have begged and pleaded for years for our laws to be enforced,” Sessions said in his statement calling for the American people to rise up. “We have people in our own country living in violence, fear and poverty every single day. They have demanded an immigration policy that puts their jobs, wages and communities first. Every citizen should pick up the phone and ask of their congressional representative: where do you stand?”

The deluge comes after Sessions’s call to melt the phone lines was reported and picked up by the Drudge Report over the weekend.

Sessions specifically has called on lawmakers to back legislative efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Cruz and Blackburn have offered Senate and House companion bills that Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has called on all members of Congress to back, and if they won’t Sessions says they are “complicit in the nullification of our laws and basically the nullification of border enforcement.”

Cruz and Blackburn have introduced legislation in the Senate and House respectively that would block President Obama’s administration from expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that administratively granted amnesty to upwards of 800,000 illegal aliens who say they arrived in America as minors. Their bill would bar funding of the documents the administration needs to produce to carry out such an order.

Their argument is that the current border crisis—in which about 60,000 illegal alien minors are being sheltered in U.S. facilities around the country—is a direct result of the promise of amnesty the illegal aliens expect they will get if they get inside America’s borders successfully.

After Sessions’s call for citizen action, Cruz joined leaders from the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots to echo the call during an organizing conference call Sunday evening. Cruz called on Tea Partiers nationwide to back the Sessions plan to ask citizens to call their lawmakers.

Tea Party Patriots has, on its Facebook page Monday, published a 1-800 number that directs callers to the Capitol Hill switchboard.

“Call Congress NOW,” Tea Party Patriots posted, “and tell your Representative not to give Obama a dime to solve his border failures until Congress stops funding Obama’s executive amnesty!” Tea Party Patriots posted on its Facebook page.

NumbersUSA, a grassroots group against amnesty, similarly directed two million of its three million members to call Congress Monday morning. The group, like Tea Party Patriots, made a 1-800 number for its members to call.

On Monday morning, Sandy Rios the host of Sandy Rios in the Morning on American Family Radio talk—a show syndicated across 150 stations to five million listeners nationwide—backed the Sessions call, pushing Americans to call their members of Congress.

“Bankrupting your country, undermining its health and security is not a Christian virtue,” Rios told Breitbart News. “In spite of Bible verses taken out of context by misguided members of the Evangelical Immigration Table, the Bible is clear that people are responsible first to take care of their own.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/28/Fearing-Obama-Unilateral-Amnesty-Threats-Tea-Party-Jams-Congress-Phone-Lines

 

GOP internal debate: Is party repeating mistakes of 1998?

By Byron York

 

For anyone who was around, it’s hard to compare 1998 — the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Starr Report, and Bill Clinton‘s impeachment — with any other year. Yet there are reasons both Republicans and Democrats are thinking about 1998 as they head into this fall’s elections.

It’s the second midterm of a two-term Democratic president. Republicans scored a big victory in the president’s first midterm but failed to stop his re-election bid. Now, the GOP is increasingly frustrated by the White House; there are accusations of lawlessness and rumors of impeachment. There’s talk of making the midterms a referendum on the president.

That’s what scares some Republican strategists. Back in 1998, there was an intense internal debate among Republicans over how much to make the midterms about President Bill Clinton. The strategists who favored attacking the president won the day, but in the end their strategy didn’t work out. Now, there is an intense internal debate among Republicans over how much to make the 2014 midterms about President Barack Obama.

Of course, there were crazy circumstances in 1998. Bill Clinton, under investigation for all sorts of misdeeds, had been caught lying, both under oath and to the American people, about a sexual relationship with a White House intern. In September of ’98, independent counsel Kenneth Starrsent a report to the GOP-controlled Congress that was essentially a road map for impeachment.

Congress followed the map. But before impeachment came the midterms. Many top Republicans felt that all GOP candidates had to do was run ads bashing Clinton and tying him to Democratic candidates. Victory would follow.

But other Republicans — including some close to Rep. John Boehner, who at the time was still a relatively junior member of the House — felt Republicans should campaign on their accomplishments since winning the majority in 1994.

“Boehner was of the opinion that we need to prove what we had done in the last four years as a majority,” says one strategist involved in the discussions. “Unemployment going down, growth going up, the budget balanced.” Republicans on Boehner’s side put together a document known as “the playbook” to sketch out an issue-based campaign.

But the people who ran the party’s central campaign apparatus had other ideas. They wanted a Clinton-focused campaign based on whether the scandal-plagued president should be “rewarded” with midterm victories. And that’s what they got.

“In every election, there is a big question to think about,” said one ad run by the National Republican Congressional Committee. “This year, the question is: Should we reward … Bill Clinton? And should we reward not telling the truth?”

The Republican majority barely survived the election. Some top party strategists expected a GOP pickup of 20 seats in the House. Instead, Democrats picked up five seats, leaving Republicans still in charge but by the thinnest of margins.

Democrats had successfully argued that Republicans were so obsessed with getting Clinton that they weren’t paying enough attention to the concerns of the American people.

Now, 16 years later, Republicans are again arguing among themselves. Of course, some circumstances are different; among other things, 1998 was a time of general prosperity and growth, Clinton’s job approval rating was far higher than Obama’s is today, and Obama hasn’t had an independent counsel building an impeachment case against him.

Still, the GOP base is infuriated with Obama, particularly his abuse of executive power. And although Speaker Boehner has shown zero interest in the topic, a few Republican lawmakers are mentioning impeachment. Some party veterans worry that an Obama-focused midterm campaign will yield the same lackluster results as 1998.

Of course, Democrats would love to see Republicans blow their own chances. From the White House down to the party fundraising machine, Democrats have been trolling 24-7 in a transparent effort to goad Republicans into a self-destructive impeachment attempt. “They are desperate to reprise ’98,” says the GOP veteran of his Democratic adversaries. “Not just impeachment, but this whole idea that we’re going to make it all about the president again.”

Dissatisfaction with Barack Obama will play a role in November. A president’s job approval rating is a key factor in midterm results, and Obama’s now stands at just under 42 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. But voters know why they’re unhappy with the president. They’d be more likely to vote for Republicans if they felt GOP candidates had a clear plan to address the problems, especially the economic woes, that still beset millions of Americans.

 

Illegal immigrants protest outside White House, with little fear of repercussions

Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.

“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told FoxNews.com.

Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases — those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a pass to other undocumented residents.

This is why illegal immigrant activists can protest outside the White House without worrying too much about ICE.

They did so at lunchtime on Monday, marching across Lafayette Park to the White House and advocating a reprieve for illegal immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. – and whose children have benefited from a separate reprieve issued in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security.

According to The Washington Times, illegal immigrant protesters also planned to demonstrate outside the White House on Monday afternoon, to call on immigration groups to boycott any administration meetings until illegal immigrants are included in those talks.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/28/illegal-immigrants-protest-outside-white-house-with-little-fear-repercussions/

 

Becoming the Party of Work 
How the GOP can help struggling Americans, and itself. 

 

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, seven in ten voters believe that the Republican party is “out of touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today.”

What follows is a plan for how the GOP can win back their trust — and a build a conservative majority in the process.

But first, a little history.

 

When Americans went to the polls in 2012, the following was true: Work-force participation had sunk to its lowest level in 35 years, wages had fallen below 1999 levels, and 47 million Americans were on food stamps. Yet Mitt Romney, the challenger to the incumbent president, lost lower- and middle-income voters by an astonishing margin. Among voters earning $30,000 to $50,000, he trailed by 15 points, and among voters earning under $30,000 he trailed by 28 points.

 

And what did the GOP’s brilliant consultant class conclude from this resounding defeat? They declared that the GOP must embrace amnesty. The Republican National Committee dutifully issued a report calling for a “comprehensive immigration reform” that would inevitably increase the flow of low-skilled immigration, reducing the wages and living standards of the very voters whose trust the GOP had lost.

Over the past four decades, as factories were shuttered and blue-collar jobs were outsourced or automated, net immigration quadrupled. Yet the corporate-consultant class has pronounced that an insufficient level of immigration is the problem. A more colossal misreading of the political moment has rarely occurred.

Perhaps the most important political development now unfolding in the U.S. is the public’s growing loss of faith in our political and financial elites of both parties. To open the ears of disaffected voters, the GOP must break publicly from the elite immigration consensus of Wall Street and Davos. Republicans have a clear path to building a conservative majority if they free themselves from the corporate consultants and demonstrate to the American public that the GOP is the only party aligned with the core interests, concerns, and beliefs of everyday hardworking citizens.

But the immigration “principles” offered by House GOP leaders imply that record immigration levels must be increased further to meet “the needs of employers.” One such GOP proposal — to provide the food industry with half a million low-skilled workers each year — was polled by Rasmussen. Nearly 70 percent of independent voters opposed it.

“Most business leaders have long favored more open immigration. Different businesses want different kinds of people,” a prominent GOP fundraiser declared on TV. “A restaurant may want waiters and cooks; a hospital wants nurses and doctors; a university wants physicists; a business like Exelon needs more engineers.” Asked by the interviewer about hiring U.S. workers for open jobs, he replied that many of those now unemployed are “unable to compete for them.”

Is that the message of a winning party? It might win a majority of votes at a dinner party in a gated community in Bel Air, but it is an act of profound delusion to think that plan can form the basis of a nationwide Republican resurgence.

Democrats in Washington have already cast their lot. A recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that all net employment gains from 2000 to 2013 — a period of record legal immigration — went to immigrant workers, and yet the immigration plan championed by the White House and congressional Democrats would triple the number of immigrants given permanent legal status over the next decade, and it would double the annual flow of guest workers to compete for jobs in every sector of the U.S. economy. The Democrats’ plan delivers for international corporations, open-borders groups, and even workers now living in other countries — all at the expense of American workers.

So Republicans have a choice. They can either join the Democrats as the second political party in Washington advocating uncontrolled immigration, or they can offer the public a principled alternative and represent the American workers Democrats have jettisoned. Republicans can either help the White House enact an immigration plan that will hollow out the American middle class, or they can finally expose the truth about the White House plan and detail the enormous harm it will inflict.

Republicans could then illustrate how, on every policy front, the Left embraces an agenda that benefits only the fortunate few. Their agenda includes: energy restrictions that destroy jobs and drive up costs; maze-like administrative rules that only the largest companies can navigate; nationalized health care that shrinks the work force; Federal Reserve stimulus, which helps big firms at the expense of small savers; taxes and regulation that close plants and send work overseas; massive spending that makes Washington a boomtown while impoverishing the nation; bureaucratic interference in schools and homes; intrusive government; a surging welfare state; endless deficits; and an increasingly open-borders immigration plan. Each of these policies directly harms working Americans. Each of these policies serves the political interests of Democrats while entailing lower pay, fewer hours, and higher unemployment for dedicated American workers.

Wherever the policies of the Left have been faithfully implemented, as in Detroit, human tragedy has followed. The future offered by the Left — a shrinking work force struggling to fund a growing welfare state — is not only unsustainable but uncompassionate. Compassion demands that we spare no effort in helping millions now jobless to realize the dream of financial independence. This is the urgent economic task of the 21st century.

Too often, Republicans have offered a passive reply to the Left’s refrain that the GOP does not care for those in need. The usual GOP responses — that the Left is engaged in “class warfare,” or is not presenting “credible solutions,” or is “kicking the can down the road” — fail to rebut the underlying slander. Instead, Republicans should hold the Left accountable for the social and moral harm its policies have inflicted on every community that has suffered for decades under its disastrous policy regime.

The GOP cannot win a bidding war with Democrats, carried from election cycle to election cycle in perpetuity, about who is willing to embrace the most generous amnesty and the most expansive immigration policy. Moreover, polling shows that by a margin of two to one Americans wish to see immigration curbed, and that by a margin of three to one those earning under $30,000 — the very group the GOP is hemorrhaging — favor a reduction over an increase.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373230/becoming-party-work-senator-jeff-sessions

 

Jeff Sessions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions official portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Alabama
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Serving with Richard Shelby
Preceded by Howell T. Heflin
44th Attorney General of Alabama
In office
January 16, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Governor Fob James
Preceded by Jimmy Evans
Succeeded by William H. Pryor, Jr.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama
In office
1981–1993
Personal details
Born Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
December 24, 1946 (age 67)
Selma, Alabama
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Blackshear Sessions
Children Mary Abigail Sessions, Ruth Walk Sessions,
Sam Sessions
Residence Mobile, Alabama
Alma mater Huntingdon College (B.A.)
University of Alabama (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Religion Methodist
Website www.sessions.senate.gov
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Reserves[1]
Years of service 1973–1986[1]
Rank US military captain's rank.gif Captain
Unit 1184th United States ArmyTransportation Terminal Unit[1]

Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the junior United States Senator fromAlabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party. He serves as the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee.

From 1981 to 1993 he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. President Ronald Reagannominated him to a judgeship on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 1986, but he was not confirmed. Sessions was elected to Attorney General of Alabama in 1994. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and easily re-elected in 2002 and 2008. He and his colleague Richard Shelby are the state’s first two-term Republican Senators since Reconstruction.

Sessions was ranked by National Journal