Rand Paul Lets Loose, Airs His Grievances on “Festivus”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Today is Festivus, a made-up holiday introduced to the world in 1997 on an episode of “Seinfeld.” Read more about it here.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to Twitter this morning to “air his grievances” against the other candidates. Here were some of his best tweets:

On Donald Trump:

On Ted Cruz:

On Ben Carson:

On Chris Christie:

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Rand Paul Likens Fed to Soviet Politburo After Interest Rate Increase

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced that it was raising interest rates for the first time in seven years. Surprisingly, longtime critic of zero interest rates Senator Rand Paul skipped the expected sigh of relief, instead expanding his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s role in setting the value of money:

“Is it a good thing or a bad thing to raise the interest rate?” Paul asked. “Well, I’m kind of agnostic on it. It’s kind of like if you ask me: All right, should the Politburo raise the price of bread or lower the price of bread? I like both prices, but the real question should be: Should the government be involved with setting prices? What amazes me about the Federal Reserve setting interest rates is that almost to a person, conservative economists in our country will say, wage and price controls are a mistake.”

The Soviet references seem a little overboard, but it’s good to hear Senator Paul bring up the important question of whether the federal government should be in charge of setting the price of anything, much less the value of the dollar. Rand Paul has been a big advocate in Congress of reform packages like the Centennial Monetary Commission, which passed the House last month as part of the FORM Act. As 2016 heats up, I’m looking forward to Senator Paul continuing to lead a national discussion on the future of U.S. monetary policy.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Six Candidates Pledge to Sign First Amendment Defense Act Within First 100 Days

American Principles Project has joined together with Heritage Action for America, the action arm of the Heritage Foundation, and FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, to invite each of the candidates running for President to sign the following pledge:

If elected, I pledge to push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and sign it into law during the first 100 days of my term as President.

So far, six candidates have signed the pledge:

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
  • Dr. Ben Carson
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania)
  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas)

Four candidates did not sign the pledge but have expressed public support for FADA:

  • Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Florida)
  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
  • Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
  • Donald Trump

Four candidates did not sign the pledge and did not respond to our request to indicate support for FADA:

  • Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey)
  • Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio)
  • Former Governor George Pataki (R-New York)
  • Former Governor Jim Gilmore (R-Virginia)

The text of the letter sent to the candidates requesting support for FADA is below:

[T]he gathering concern around whether or not the Left will succeed in its ongoing efforts to force those who disagree with the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, prompts us to write to you and ask: will you commit to making it a top priority for you to ensure passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in the first 100 days of your administration?

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On the Tenth Day Before Christmas, the CNN Debate Gave to Me…

Photo credit: Teresa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The most keenly interesting element of the CNN GOP presidential debate was the clear split in sentiment among the candidates on how to handle the most pressing national security problem America confronts. They split between the tough doves, Cruz and Trump, massively leading in the polls, and five militant hawks, Bush, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, and Fiorina, who are lagging. And Dr. Carson, who talks like a dove but promises hawkish policy. Call him a partridge.

Most commentators focused on the social dynamics, such as Donald Trump’s very gallant praise for his most potent rival, Ted Cruz, as well as for his other rivals. And on the political dynamics, such as the commitment that Mr. Trump made to the Republican Party, withdrawing his threat to mount a third party run. Both were significant.

But neither were nearly as significant as the clear choice the candidates are giving voters on national security and defense policy.

On the main stage, Trump and Cruz, the two leading presidential contenders, plus Sen. Rand Paul, are taking a clear “Reagan Realist” stand for nonbelligerent strength — “peace through strength” in the phrase coined by Senator John F. Kennedy and appropriated, and featured, by Reagan. Trump, Cruz, and Paul — the three tough doves — rejected the “Forever War” and sending American troops back into the quagmire of the Middle East.

Note the anarchy caused by “regime change” that had been at the core of America’s intervention. Note how, as “nature abhors a vacuum,” the vacuum this created led to the rise of Daesh (i.e. Continue Reading

Republican Congress Thwarts American People, Passes Obama-Backed Education Bill

U.S. Capitol Building

Several Republican presidential candidates had a great opportunity over the last two weeks to take the lead on an issue critical to millions of conservatives – federal control over public education. A couple helped their cause, a couple did not, and one blasted further down into the crater he’s been in from the beginning.

On Wednesday, the Senate followed the House in passing the conference report reauthorizing No Child Left Behind. Propaganda for the new bill, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), trumpeted that it would return education control to the states, allow them to discard the Common Core national standards, and prohibit the Secretary of Education from dictating standards and assessments.

In fact, ESSA will have pretty much the opposite effect. It lays out particular requirements for state standards and uses code language throughout that gives the federal government the tools to pressure the states to stick with Common Core rather than risking their federal money by adopting something better. It maintains the federally dictated testing regimen and requires states to implement assessments that are expensive, that have been proven to be ineffective and unworkable, and that operate not by assessing students’ academic knowledge but rather by measuring their attitudes and dispositions.

Equally bad are ESSA’s new preschool program (extending federal tentacles over toddlers) and its institution of President Obama’s pet project, “21st-century community learning centers.” The latter means that schools will be expanded to replace family and church as the center of every child’s life, offering myriad “services” including mental-health programs. Continue Reading

Cruz, Rubio Among Candidates Voting to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham all voted in favor of the recent bill to cut major congressional spending geared towards the controversial Planned Parenthood.

The bill cut at least 89 percent of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding as well as major components of Obamacare: the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” and the “excess benefits tax.” Rubio made a statement to LifeNews.com about the importance of the passing bill for him and the American people:

I’m especially proud to support what this bill does to protect innocent unborn children, and increase funding for women’s health care by defunding Planned Parenthood and redirecting the taxpayer dollars it currently receives toward more worthy causes. Planned Parenthood has proven itself to be a morally bankrupt organization that shows little regard for the women they purport to serve and even less regard for innocent life. They do not deserve a dime of taxpayer money.

Senator Ted Cruz also sent out a statement on his feelings in light of the bill’s passing:

The vote we took today is a significant step towards repealing every word of Obamacare.  This bill repeals as much of that failed law as we can under arcane Senate rules and the narrow guidelines of the budget.  I am also encouraged that this bill prohibits taxpayer funds from going to abortion-providers.  This bill is a substantial improvement over the original House bill, and I’m grateful to Senate conservatives and Senate leadership for joining me in making it so.

This bill is the first of its kind and will have major implications for 2016. Continue Reading

Senators Cruz, Paul, Rubio — Here’s Your Chance

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

As the field of Republican presidential hopefuls narrows, the remaining candidates seek to distinguish themselves from the pack. They need an issue about which millions of grassroots citizens are passionate and that pits the grassroots against the establishment so as to capture the zeitgeist of this political season. Especially helpful would be an issue that so directly affects the well-being of children that grassroots parents would crawl over broken glass, as they say, to support the candidate who champions it.

Senator Cruz, Senator Paul, Senator Rubio – here’s your issue.

Yesterday, under the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan and his shiny-new “transparent” regime, the House passed a monstrous bill that will subject public education to at least four more years of federal control and dangerous progressive-education theories. This bill is called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A reauthorization of the failed and despised No Child Left Behind statute, ESSA is a “compromise” that blended the Senate and House reauthorization bills, ditched the conservative elements, and was served up in the form of a 1,061-page behemoth written in perplexing edu-speak.

ESSA was crafted behind closed doors by unknown parties. The American public was kept in the dark until November 30, at which point the gargantuan bill was posted online and set for a House vote only two days later. Pro-Constitution, anti-Common Core activists who have researched the progressive-ed Leviathan for years and who can cite chapter and verse of every unconstitutional scheme foisted on schoolchildren for the last thirty years, focused on different segments of the bill to try to assess how bad, and in many cases deceptive, the language was. Continue Reading

Rand Paul Rips Federal Reserve, Says Shrinking Dollar Hurts Poor

Rand Paul criticized Bernie Sanders for his “free college” plan Wednesday, pointing out that the money had to come from somewhere and predicting it would be from either taxpayers or the Federal Reserve.  Paul then pivoted to criticize the Fed’s monetary policy, saying that the falling value of the dollar and rising prices hurt the poor more than anyone else.  His full comments are below (starts around 1:10):

Somebody’s got to pay. The education will not be free. The professors will be paid; the buildings will be built; there’ll be electricity; there’ll be heat. There is an expense. Somebody will pay for the education. Maybe it’s going to be a plumber or a carpenter; somebody who didn’t go to college. Probably will be. Or maybe it’s going to be a couple that doesn’t have kids. Or maybe you are going to pay for it.

Well, ‘no, no, Bernie says it’s going to be free.’

Well, maybe we print up money. We have a Federal Reserve, and we print up money, and we give everybody money so they can pay for education.

Well, what happens? The value of the dollar then shrinks. In fact, over the last hundred years, 96 percent of the value of the dollar’s gone. So what happens when the value of the dollar shrinks? Your prices go up. So if gas costs more and food costs more, who do you think gets hurt the worst: the rich or the poor? The poor!

Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

WATCH THIS: What Is the Greatest Moral Threat to America?

Last Friday, seven GOP presidential candidates (Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum) descended on Iowa for The FAMiLY Leader’s Presidential Family Forum.  At one point during the event, each candidate was asked for their view on what constitutes “the greatest moral threat” to America.  You can watch their responses below:

FRANK LUNTZ: In two or three sentences, and then we’re going to explore it: what is the greatest moral threat — not economic, not national security — what is the greatest moral threat facing America today?

MIKE HUCKABEE: The greatest moral threat we have is the loss of God-consciousness. The fact that we don’t believe that we are ultimately accountable to somebody other than the people that we see. A world in which we believe that we ultimately answer to God is a world that we live differently because we know that our ultimate judge is not the editorial page of the New York Times; it’s not somebody who is going to cartoon us; it’s not a political opponent; it’s not some anonymous blogger – that one day we’re going to stand before a holy God who created us, and He will judge us not by what other people thought, but he will judge us by how we lived our life with integrity, and whether or not we truly self-governed. I think the last six words that we wanna hear in our lives – we wanna hear the Father say to us these six words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ And if we hear that, it doesn’t matter what anybody else said.

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Rand Paul Calls for Monetary Commission to Study Gold and Alternatives (VIDEO)

At a meet and greet in Altoona, Iowa, Rand Paul responded to Cruz’s suggestion we need sound money “ideally tied to gold”:

THE PULSE 2016: Senator Paul, monetary policy was injected into the last debate and was kind of your bread and butter. Senator Cruz talked about — actually during the CNBC debate, too — tying this to gold. As president, would you push a gold standard?

SEN. RAND PAUL: I think what we’d try to find out is to study the situation and see if we could have a currency that’s once again backed — when we did have a currency backed by a commodity, backed by gold or silver, the currency maintained its value. I think that there are many who argue that a stronger currency and a strong value is actually much better for an economy to grow, for real wages to grow, and for people to have real savings and not have their savings taken [inaudible]. So I do support the concept. How we get there is a more technical aspect, but I would definitely study it and see whether we could do it practically.

Shane Vander Hart is the online communications manager for American Principles in Action, a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com, and the editor of Iowa-based CaffeinatedThoughts.com. Continue Reading