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Sen. Paul to Introduce ‘Trust but Verify’ and Additional Amendments to Immigration Reform Bill

June 5, 2013 in Politics & Elections

Sen. Rand Paul yesterday announced one of his amendments that he intends on offering to the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Reform Bill. The Paul amendment makes immigration reform conditional on Congress voting on whether the border is secure, requiring completion of a border fence in five years and a protection against the federal government establishing a national identification card system for citizens. Sen. Paul’s ‘Trust but Verify’ amendment requires Congress to write and enforce a border security blueprint rather than relying on bureaucracies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to come up with a plan. The amendment also would provide new national security safeguards to track the holders of student visas and those provided asylum and refugee status. The Paul amendment would put pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to finally follow through on the broken promise of a secure border and an effective visa tracking system.
In addition to Trust but Verify, Sen. Paul intends to offer the following amendments:
‘No New Pathway to Citizenship’ Amendment
Sen. Paul’s ‘No New Pathway to Citizenship’ amendment removes the new and exclusive visa category and pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The amendment expands existing work visa categories instead of creating a new Registered Provisional Immigrant status. This updated work visa will not give any individual a new pathway to citizenship; rather they will be treated as if they are in line in their home country. No preference will be given to those on a work visa over individuals who are in line and outside the borders of the United States.
‘Secure the Vote’ Amendment
Sen. Paul’s ‘Secure the Vote’ amendment ensures that individuals on work visas or given status under the bill are not allowed to vote in federal elections until they become citizens. The amendment will provide new procedures to encourage states to check that individuals gaining status or a work visa are not registered to vote.
‘Secure the Treasury’ Taxpayer Protection Amendment
Sen. Paul’s ‘Secure the Treasury’ amendment will provide further protections for taxpayers against individuals in a new immigration status from becoming dependent on the welfare state. This amendment will prevent individuals in Registered Provisional Immigrant status from getting access to Obamacare and welfare.

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul on Fox New's Hannity – 6/4/13

June 5, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Staff Favorite Films

June 5, 2013 in History

June 05, 2013 12:51 p.m.

This Fall, American Experience will celebrate its 25th anniversary. That’s 25 years of documentaries broadcast on PBS — 287 films, 399 hours of programming, and 428 nights of television. Everyone has a favorite, including all of us on staff at American Experience, and we want to share that with you. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we are going to publish a Staff Favorite Film blog post every month, starting today.

My favorite American Experience documentary premiered in 2010. It just so happens that two other staffers had the same favorite film as I did, so in an effort to be a little less boring I am going to choose something else. As the master of all things digital here at American Experience, I will side with the masses on this choice; every year, without fail, we have one legacy (read: old) film that people keep coming back to online. We update it, people keep coming back to it. We post about it on Facebook and Twitter, people keep coming back to it. We ignore it completely, people keep coming back to it. It’s the cockroach after the nuclear war — except that it’s very very popular. It premiered March 2, 1998, back when Natalie Portman looked like this and Seinfeld was battling ER for the most popular tv show of the year. It is Surviving the Dust Bowl.

We call it “The story of the farmers who came to the Southern Plains of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas dreaming of prosperity and lived through ten years of drought, dust, disease and death,” but surely it is more than that. It’s a story about probably the toughest Americans that ever lived. They were simple people. Mostly farmers. Doing what they were supposed to be doing. Working hard. Hands growing calloused while raising crops in the beautiful and bountiful Southern Plains. And not having any idea of how lucky they really were… until the rain stopped coming.

Today, stock market will have a bad day, the unemployment rate might grow for a month, housing prices don’t rise as fast as we’d like them to, and it’s front-page news. In 1931 the rain stopped for ten years. Ten years! Imagine it. Storms of dust. Dust coating every surface. Dust in your nose. Dust in your stomach. Dust pneumonia.

But this film is not called “The Dust Bowl.” It is …read more

Source: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

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Sen. Paul Appears on Fox's America's Newsroom with Martha Maccallum- 6/5/2013

June 5, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Paul’s Statement on Egypt’s Conviction of NGO Employees

June 5, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last year, Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor to present an amendment that would cut off the $1.3 billion given to Egypt annually in foreign aid until the illegally detained American citizens, all whom are non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, were released. As the Senate debated withholding foreign aid, the Egyptian government decided to lift the travel ban, allowing the NGO workers to leave the country.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Egyptian court convicted 27 of these NGO employees to five years in prison, five employees to two years in prison, and 11 were given one-year prison sentences. If the travel ban had not been lifted, these American citizens would currently have to serve foreign prison sentences.
‘If we had not threatened to cut off the $1.3 billion the United States sends in foreign aid, Egypt’s government would not have lifted the travel ban and these Americans would be in prison,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘US citizens who’ve committed no real crime shouldn’t be treated in this manner, especially as we continue to send that country billions of American taxpayer dollars. Not one more cent to Egypt. Not one more penny to countries that convict Americans of bogus crimes – not today, not tomorrow, not ever.’
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Source: RAND PAUL

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Take Obama at His Word? Which One — and When?

June 5, 2013 in Economics

By Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

In a somersault of a speech, President Barack Obama, sounding like he did when he first ran for the Oval Office, recently declared that “a free press is also essential for our democracy. That’s who we are” (“Obama, in Nod to Press, Orders Review of Inquiries,” The New York Times, May 24).

He subsequently ordered a review of his Justice Department’s subpoena of the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors during an investigation of national security leaks. This, of course, affects any of us who care about a free press.

“I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable,” the president orated.

It seems there are at least two Obamas — one who is wary of press disclosures of any leaks from the White House, and another who supports freedom of the press.

Even those Americans who still trust the president must have been jarred by his choice of who would conduct this review: Attorney General Eric Holder, who oversaw the Justice Department’s undermining of press freedom.

The New York Post’s Michael A. Walsh reminds us of what my First Amendment hero, Justice Hugo Black, once said: “Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government” (“The ‘Criminal’ Press,” Walsh, New York Post, May 23).

Even more jarring to continuing admirers of Obama, as well as his rising number of unbelievers, were the ground rules laid out for those representatives of major news outlets who were invited to privately discuss the proceedings with the attorney general.

Dig this: The meetings, concerning the administration’s government violations of the First Amendment, were to be “off the record.”

In other words, you citizens are not entitled to know what was said. How could a journalist, a member of what constitutionalists used to call “The Fourth Estate,” attend such a gathering, only to be utterly silenced?

Refusing to attend the meetings out of self-respect were the AP (of course), CBS News, Fox News, CNN, The New York Times and the New York Post.

So what are some of the news organizations that went, thereby agreeing to classify their reactions in accordance with the very government they were investigating?

The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and ABC News, which, in an ironic bow to the First Amendment, “would press for the meeting to be held on the record” (“Fox News, other media outlets refuse off-record meeting with Holder,” FoxNews.com, May …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Asia’s Story of Growing Economic Freedom

June 5, 2013 in Economics

First there was the “East Asian Miracle”; now comes the “Asian century.” The aftermath of the recent global economic crisis has reinforced a sense that the world is “shifting East”—to Asia. In a new paper, author Razeen Sally looks at the unprecedented expansion of economic freedom in Asia. “All over Asia, space is opening up for Smithian natural liberty,” argues Sally. “Policy, technology, and markets have unleashed animal spirits, particularly among the hungry, aspiring, hard-working younger generation. What a contrast with much of the West today, particularly in Europe.”

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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Noah Idea About the Austrians

June 5, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

It was nice of Noah Smith to mention the Austrian school in his recent Atlantic column on the poverty of mainstream macroeconomics. It would have been even better, however, if he had the slightest understanding of what Austrian economists do.

Smith rightly points out that mainstream economists are increasingly regarded as little better than witch doctors. “Surveys have shown that the public has very little confidence in their predictions. They argue bitterly on op-ed pages and can’t seem to agree on the most basic issues.” True enough. Most of contemporary macroeconomics is worthless. For Austrians, this is the predictable (pun intended) result of a slavish devotion to crude positivism. Smith, being unfamiliar with any other approach, thinks this is simply the nature of the beast:

Essentially, [economic theorists] make models, which are mathematical tools that are supposed to describe how the economy functions. The problem is that economists haven’t really built a model of the whole economy that works. A lot of smart people have spent a lot of time creating tools with names like “dynamic stochastic general equilibrium.” But as of this moment, those models can’t really forecast the economy like our meteorologists can forecast the weather.

Exactly. But instead of recognizing that human beings aren’t molecules and social systems aren’t like meteorological ones — which even Donald Kagan recognizes — Smith concludes that the best economists are those who admit they don’t really know anything. “[W]hen an economist tells you something that is based on a theory or a model, you should be very, very skeptical.” Well, I’m OK with that.

But Smith reserves special contempt for economists, like the Austrians, who think their theories are actually true. “[T]hough mainstream economists may not have it all figured out, they are far better than most of the groups who lurk outside the mainstream. For example, spend an afternoon reading the ideas of so-called ‘Austrian’economists, who believe that we only need logic to understand how the economy works, and that data and evidence are useless.” Smith links to a brief article on Mises’s apriorism, but is blithely ignorant of the context, which has to do with general statements about human action. Certainly no Austrian economists has ever maintained that one can provide a detailed analysis of actual business cycles, or monetary policy, or any aspect of applied economics without careful, detailed, empirical study. It might surprise Smith to know that Mises wrote detailed …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE