In his recent weekend address, President Obama implores Congress to act on a bill to reduce college loans. While I can understand and appreciate the sentiment, I think the President is wrong how he wants to solve the problem.

This is Obama regarding college loans:

We know that one of the most important things we can do for our economy is to make sure that all Americans get the best education possible.  Right now, the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average.  Their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma.  So, if we know that a higher education is the clearest path to the middle class, why would we make it harder to achieve?

I have no problem with Obama saying college education is important. My father calls it a “union card” because most companies want college grads to work for them. I even had one boss say to me I couldn’t advance with the company unless I got a college degree.  So I’m very thankful I have one.

However, Obama ignores the fact that most people choose to get student loans. Yes the cost of college tuition is extremely high, but people decide to take the loan in hopes of getting out of college as quickly as possible. I know at least one person who took out a student loan so they could get ahead on their car payments. I’m not sure how many students decide to scrape and claw their way through college by taking three jobs and paying for each semester that way. Or how many students decide to apply for scholarships or grants, whether from their college or the government. I somehow get the feeling it’s not that many.

The President also ignores that the House passed a student loan bill in April. It never made it through the Senate because it eliminated part of the federal healthcare law. It almost didn’t pass in the House because there are Republicans who aren’t in favor of government subsidized loans. I don’t necessarily disagree with them because the Constitution says nothing about providing loans for students. Since the country’s debt is also spiraling out of control, I believe in reducing government expenses as much as possible.

However, there’s a more important part which the Washington Point pointed out: the student loan cut is a campaign gimmick. As the Post says, it was done to help Democrats take back Congress in 2006. The New America Foundation reports the cost will end up being $133 billion. Basically, Obama and the Democrats are reaping what they’re sowing by making short term policy, instead of focusing on the long term.

This happens time after time after time, and politicians hardly ever admit their mistakes. Why should they? Most of them see it easier to toss money at a problem, instead of ending it. I’m not sure why this is, but suspect it has to do with a politician’s desire to show they’re “doing something.” Plus if they keep getting re-elected, there’s no reason to change their ways at all. But I digress.

Obama ends his weekly address with this:

It’s not lost on any of us that this is an election year.  But we’ve got responsibilities that are bigger than an election.  We answer to the American people, and they are demanding action.  Let’s make it easier for students to stay in college…And let’s tell Congress to do their job.   Tell them it’s time to take steps that we know will create jobs now and help sustain our economy for years to come.

It’s fine as political rhetoric, but that’s all it is. The question is will the House blink or stand their ground.

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I haven’t read up enough on Fast and Furious, but I’ll post several links to people who have been on this story for a very long time.

Matthew Boyle has a great story on Eric Holder’s backtracking during Wednesday’s hearing.

Katie Pavlich, whose book on Fast and Furious I own but haven’t read (sorry Katie), has a statement from the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Terry was murdered by a gun sold to Mexican cartel members during Fast and Furious.

Michelle Malkin kept a running blog of the day’s events.

Breitbart’s Mary Chastain, who answered my questions on Fast and Furious during a late night Twitter session, has a whole archive on the scandal.

House Speaker John Boehner has released a statement, basically saying Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t been willing to release all the requested documents in the case.

The best words, though, have to be from South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy.

Looks like the fun is just beginning. Next week, the House votes on the Contempt of Congress charges against Holder. Here we go.

 


Although Friday’s confrontation between President Obama and Daily Caller White House correspondent Neil Munro is getting more attention, the actual reason for what happened can’t be ignore. There are two major problems with President Obama’s announcement that the federal government will stop deporting student illegal immigrant and give them work permits.

For one, it’s a purely political move and a lot like his announcement in May that he’s in favor of gay marriage. Obama is clearly looking to shore up support within the Latino community and to show he has their back. Mitt Romney is right on the money by saying the new policy is political.

The new policy also means Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s version of the DREAM Act is now scuttled. Rubio has no reason to present his bill because Obama has said the federal government won’t deport young illegals. It also means Congress now has two years to come up with some sort of immigration policy. Obama is hoping enough Democrats will take over Congress so he can get Democrat Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s DREAM Act passed. Essentially, the President has kicked the can down the road.

The second, and more troubling problem, is that this is completely in violation of the powers given to the President in the Constitution. Article Two, Section Three says the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

The federal government defines an illegal immigrant as someone who is attempting to enter at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers or has not been admitted to the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.” Despite a comment by Obama last year that he can’t stop student deportations, he actually is well within his rights to do so. That’s IF I understand the very complicated federal law on immigration correctly. If Obama had stopped there with his announcement, it would have simply been seen as political.

However, he CANNOT issue them work permits. This is beyond what the law allows. Work permits can only be given to those who have legally entered the United States or have had their employers file a non-immigrant petition. Giving them to illegal immigrants who are already in the United States is unconstitutional.

By going around Congress, the President has set a dangerous precedent with the executive order. It shows Obama will do whatever he can to appease supporters and get parts of his agenda put into place. Iowa Congressman Steve King is doing the right thing by threatening a lawsuit because this does violate the separation of powers.

Unfortunately, more people care about the Obama-Munro confrontation. Which is probably what the President is hoping for.


Once I got a hold of Twitter support they were big help. Nice to be out of Twitter Gulag. It exists. It needs to end. Free speech is free speech. Even if you don’t agree with it.


Ever since President Obama announced he was personally in favor of gay marriage, I have been challenged by social conservative friends to explain how I can be a Christian and, as a libertarian, believe gay marriage shouldn’t be outlawed or be made legal. My ideas have been called “very dangerous because they lead to decay,” “charging against windmills…when there are dragons to be fought” and “letting the culture of the country decay.”

 It’s an extremely touchy subject and I appreciate my friends’ willingness to challenge me on the subject.

 I want to tackle this in two parts: the constitutionality of it and then the religious side of it.

 The answer can be found in the 10th amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

 Since the decision regarding marriage isn’t left up to the federal government, it is up to the individual states to decide on issues such as this. If a state chooses to allow gay marriage, it is their choice. If they decide to outlaw it, it is their choice as well.

 Under the 10th amendment, social conservatives can lobby either their state legislators or the other voters to outlaw gay marriage. Most states have done that. Since the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government authority on marriage it is an issue for the states. If a state legislature approves a bill that appears to be against the will of the people, petitions can be circulated in hopes of getting the issue on the ballot. That way, the registered voters can decide whether an issue is allowed or not. States like California, Colorado, North Carolina and Texas have done so. Other states, like Washington, are considering a potential ban on gay marriage. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has also said he wants voters to decide on gay marriage. I have no problem with this at all.

 Another important part of the Constitution is the First Amendment, which says:

 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 In other words, Christianity is welcome in the U.S. but so is deism, atheism, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Wiccan, Paganism, etc. People are allowed to freely engage in religions, as long as all state laws are followed.

 The First Amendment has been used to point out there won’t be a “state church.” While this is true, the First Amendment more importantly means the federal government cannot tell the church what do to or how to operate. Marriage is a church issue. This is why the federal government getting involved in gay marriage is unconstitutional.

 I’ve argued before that government should get out of the marriage business entirely and leave it up to the individuals to decide. This might be an archaic view of marriage, but I’ve seen it as an agreement between two Christians and God. Or, for non-believers, an agreement between two people. If the government wants to keep a list of marriages and divorces that’s fine.

 The point of all this is simple: As a Christian, I understand and agree with social conservatives on gay marriage. However, in looking at the Constitution it is obvious gay marriage isn’t a federal issue. It is a states’ issue and should be decided there.

Addendum: Special thanks to Leah from Misfit Politics and Chad Kent for their help on constitutional law and grammar.


I don’t always agree with John Nolte because I think he looks for controversy and liberal bias a little too much. But this May 16th article is right on the money. Wish Twitter saw it that way. Yes my account is still suspended.

Someone I agree with a lot is Matt K. Lewis, who had a fantastic article last week regarding the dangers of compromise. He’s absolutely right on this.

Dana and Chris Loesch also have a horrific article, and video, on a big incident with the TSA. I’ve personally had nothing but good issues with TSA, but situations like this need to stop. Actually, the entire DHS needs to be dismantled but that’s a post for another time.

Chris has been a big help with the Twitter Gulag situation and is a good dude.

All three of these articles are worth going out of your way to read.

Thankfully there’s still Internet access in the Twitter Gulag. Just not access to Twitter. 😉


Dear Messrs. Costello, Dorsey, Williams, Stone and the entire Twitter staff,
I would first like to congratulate you all on the creation and use of Twitter. It is a fantastic website and social networking tool. I have chatted with authors, actors, political commentators, news reporters and bloggers since I created my @eyedesertblog account in late April/early May of this year.
However, I am extremely concerned, and admittedly frustrated, regarding an incident on May 31st. Much like hundreds of accounts per day, my account was suspended. This suspension was unjustified and much like the suspensions of @ChrisLoesch, @GOPFirecracker, @OrwellForce, @GlockandPearls, @gingtreshall, @JJumpJoy, @FaerieRealms and dozens of others. I am not one for conspiracy theories, but all of these accounts are run by either conservative or libertarians. Now, your support team has done a very good job in freeing some accounts which have been placed in what’s now known as the “Twitter Gulag.” I am still very concerned that these users could be being targeted by an unknown group looking to keep them silent.
My frustration comes from the fact I have appealed my suspensions three times, twice on June 1st and once on June 8th, and have, sadly, not heard one word from the support staff.  I am hoping the fourth one, filed on June 9th will be the last I have to file. I understand how busy the staff is and believe they are doing their best at filtering out the justified suspensions from the unjust ones.
My concern is the fact that twice, my replies appealing my suspension have been bounced back to my email account. The email address I am receiving my replies from is from a <NAME-REDACTED>@twitter.zendesk.com, which I believe is the correct address. The other time I appealed my suspension I did not hear at all from the Twitter support staff after a week of waiting.
I am very concerned there may be a flaw in your reporting system and other Twitter users may have fallen within this problem as well. I am hoping this letter will encourage you to check into this problem and fix it.
Again, I think Twitter is a fantastic social media tool which I hope is around for years to come. I believe cases like mine are rare, but my frustration has gotten to the point where I am considering halting all appeals and letting my account expire. I ask you to again, please look into this situation and make sure there are not other users running into this situation.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
A very frustrated, and still suspended, user.