Obama foreign policy approval drops 12% among independents

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll find Obama's job approval rating on foreign policy has dropped 12 points in four weeks among the independent voters who will decide the Nov. 6 election.

Last month 53 percent of independents approved of Obama's handling of foreign policy.  This month Obama's approval on foreign policy has dropped to 41 percent among independents.

The drop comes after terrorist attacks on an unprotected Libyan consulate despite receiving prior warnings, Obama's decision to blow off intelligence briefings so he could attend celebrity parties, the storming of embassies in Egypt and other countries and the administration's initial response of sympathy to terrorists.

The drop likely would have been larger had the mainstream media not aggressively campaigned for Obama, covered up damaging stories and focused more attention on criticizing Republican Mitt Romney instead of the terrorists responsible.

Among the total electorate, Obama's foreign policy approval has dropped five points since last month, to 49 percent.

Rand Paul pushes Senate to cut foreign aid

Sen. Rand Paul today issued a Dear Colleague letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he urged them to pass a bill cutting all foreign aid to any country that fails to secure our embassies, as well as, demanding accountability from the countries of Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya, that were recently involved in the violence directed at our embassies. He issued a similar letter to his colleagues in the Senate, underlining his intention to filibuster any pending legislation until the Senate addresses these matters.


September 18, 2012

Dear Colleague:

As this is expected to be the final week of legislative session for both the House and Senate before an extended recess, I urge you to take immediate action to pass a much-needed bill demanding cooperation and accountability from the countries involved in the recent violence directed at our embassies and consulates.  The bill should send a strong clear message to these entities: You do not get foreign aid unless you are an unwavering ally of the United States.

This week is likely our last chance to address the ongoing violence, to promote security at our diplomatic facilities, and to take appropriate steps to ensure cooperation from the governments of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

First, we must demand accountability from the government of Pakistan, which receives over $3 billion from us every year, yet routinely plays both sides of some of the most important issues while openly thwarting our objectives in the region.  They should be subject to the same conditions applied to Egypt, Libya, and the others, and they should also release Dr. Shakil Afridi, the doctor who bravely stepped forward to help us in our efforts to identify the hiding place of Osama bin Laden.  Dr. Afridi remains under arrest for his role in finding bin Laden, and no country that arrests a man for helping to find bin Laden is an ally of the United States.  If Pakistan wants to be our ally-and receive foreign aid for being one-then they should act like it, and they must start by releasing Dr. Afridi.

At the same time, we must take steps to cut foreign aid to Egypt and Libya-or any other country which fails to secure our embassies-and we must make it clear that, unless there is full cooperation in bringing these attackers to justice, no foreign aid will be provided in the future.  A full investigation is necessary to determine who is responsible for these murders, and simply identifying the persons responsible is not enough.  We must insist that any country which expects assistance dollars from the United States cannot permit the growth and influence of violent ideologies within their borders-especially when the practitioners of these ideologies are intent on murdering our diplomatic personnel abroad.  All of these actions must be verified and certified before Congress considers resuming aid. 

While I believe the most effective tactic is to demand a full stop to the flow of foreign aid money to these countries until those responsible for the attacks on our diplomats are found, there are other options which can be considered.  For example, significant cuts that are less than the full amount of foreign aid could be considered, coupled with redirecting a portion of the money into the improvement of security at our diplomatic facilities.   If these countries cannot secure American lives and property, our increased cost of doing so must come out of the money set aside for aid.

The timing of this action by Congress is crucial.  There is no better time than now to send a clear message to the world that we will not send good money after bad any longer.  I have insisted on floor consideration and votes on these issues in the Senate, and will be engaged in a filibuster of the Continuing Resolution and any recess for adjournment until the Senate allows action on these vital matters.

I hope you will join me in this effort by passing a bill in the House of Representatives to address this ongoing crisis.


Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator

Newspaper ad revenues plunge to 1950 levels

That is a stunning graph.  Breitbart's John Nolte has the story.

Household income worse under Obama than during recession

“A new report put out by the Pew Research Center finds that the median income is worse now than it was during the Great Recession,” CBS reports.

“According to Pew, the Census Bureau showed that the median income for American households in 2009 – the official end of the Great Recession – was $52,195 (in 2011 dollars), while the median income dipped to $50,054 last year, falling 4.1 percent over two years,” CBS reports.

“The decrease in household income from 2009 to 2011 almost exactly equaled the decrease in income in the two years of the recession,” the Pew report stated. “During the Great Recession, the median U.S. household income (in 2011 dollars) dropped from $54,489 in 2007 to $52,195 in 2009, a loss of 4.2 percent. By this yardstick, the recovery from the Great Recession is bypassing the nation’s households.”

The report also finds the poverty rate and median household wealth are worse under Obama’s policies than they were under the recession.

Explosion in food stamps under Obama worries economists

A record number of Americans are on food stamps under Obama, and that has economists worried.  Three years after the recession officially ended “47 million people each month are using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” Manhattan Institute economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth reports.

“Food stamp participation has always increased during a recession and in the initial stages of a recovery…levels seen since the end of this recession are far higher than in prior recoveries. While the 36 month periods following the recessions of the early 1980s saw decreases in food stamp usage, the recessions of the early 1990s and in 2001 saw increases between 1 and 2 percent over the same period, in comparison with an increase of 3.5 percent following the recession ending in 2009,” the report finds.

The difference appears to be the result of changes by politicians to incentivize welfare enrollment.  ” In addition to the difficult job market, this is because of changes in the program that began in October 2008, including expansion of benefits and elimination of the cap for child care expenses.”

“The increase in participation in 2008 was caused by a combination of widened benefit eligibility, the recession, and a concerted effort to expand access to benefits. The 2008 Farm Bill changed the name of the program from the Food Stamp Program to SNAP, in an effort to reduce the social stigma associated with receiving benefits. As of October 1, 2008, the minimum benefit and standard deduction for households were increased. The cap for child care expenses was also eliminated. There were also changes aimed at combating fraud, including disqualification of people who sold benefits or food obtained with SNAP benefits for cash, and the bill allowed the USDA more flexibility in setting consequences including fines and disqualification periods for retailers who engaged in food stamp fraud.”

Boehner: Obama's War on Coal claims 1,200 jobs

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources announced today that it is “eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania,” The Associated Press reports. Company officials cite “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal” for the closures, adding to the growing list of American energy producers who say the Obama administration’s excessive red tape has contributed to thousands of recent layoffs.  Here’s more:
  • “Murray Energy's Ohio Valley Coal Subsidiary Lays Off 29 Hourly Workers” “Ohio Valley Coal Co., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. in Pepper Pike, said it has laid off 29 hourly workers at its Powhatan No. 6 Mine in Belmont County, Ohio — a move it blames on ‘the excessive and unnecessary regulatory actions of the Obama administration.’ … He [Ronald Koontz, general manager of Ohio Valley Coal] continued…‘The failed energy policies of the Obama administration and the ‘war on coal’ that the president and his Democrat supporters have unleashed are the direct cause of this layoff.’” (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 7/20/12)
  • “Two Coal Companies Downsize” “Two area coal companies announced layoffs Friday, saying weakened coal demand and an aggressive regulatory structure forced the idling of several mines. … ‘[T]he escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced [energy] regulations and interpretations have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry,’ he [PBS President and CEO D. Lynn Shanks] said in the statement.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/20/12)
  • “Coal Jobs Cut; Consol, Others Scaling Back” “[C]ompany officials are laying off 318 West Virginia coal miners, citing pressure from federal environmental regulators. Consol is not alone in reducing its coal operations in West Virginia, as Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources also announced recently plans to cut back their work forces throughout the Mountain State. All three companies blame [federal regulations] for causing a downturn in coal demand, citing this as the reason for reducing their coal operations.” (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, 7/8/12)
  • “Coal Industry Sheds Jobs, Leaving Eastern Kentucky Economy in Tatters” “The impact of an estimated 2,000 mining layoffs this year is hitting home across the mountainous coal counties of Eastern Kentucky. … Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said whether the rules are in place or coming, ‘the uncertainty they have created in the industry and the reduction they will cause in our power generation market have already begun to take their toll.’ Utilities are deciding to retire coal-burning power plants because of the costs they would face to keep them in service under pending emissions rules, Popovich said.” (Lexington Herald-Leader, 7/29/12)
  • “Arch Coal to Cut 750 Jobs” “Arch Coal announced it is idling several operations and reducing production at others. The company said these and other recent changes will result in a total workforce reduction of about 750 full-time employees. … That, combined with what coal officials say is an uncertain regulatory environment…is a driving force behind the recent job cuts.” (Charleston Daily Mail, 6/21/12)
The Obama administration’s war on coal is costing jobs and forcing American energy producers to shift “their attention to markets overseas, where coal-fired power plants are being built faster than they are being abandoned in the United States,” says The New York Times.  House Republicans are taking action on the Stop the War on Coal Act this week to protect American jobs by blocking some of the Obama administration’s most damaging new regulations and holding the administration accountable for the economic impact of several others.  The House has already passed numerous bills aimed at eliminating the excessive regulations that are blocking American energy production and costing jobs. It is up to Senate Democrats to act on these and the more than 30 other bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills they are stalling.

From the office of the Speaker of the House

Rand Paul: Obama just banned 1 million firearms

Dear fellow Patriot,

Nearly 1 million American firearms.

Banned by a stroke of Barack Obama’s pen.

In a move unprecedented in American history, the Obama Administration quietly banned the re-importation of 600,000 American made M1 Carbine rifles.

And I've just discovered Obama may be blocking as many 300,000 1911 Colts too!

That's nearly one million pieces of American history denied to the American people.

The M1 rifle, developed in the late 1930’s, carried the United States through World War II seeing action in every major battle.

General Patton at the time called the M1 “the greatest battle implement ever devised.”

The rifle is largely credited with giving American soldiers the advantage and securing victory for the allies.

During the Korean War, nearly one million of these rifles were brought to South Korea and left with the South Korean government afterward.

Now, South Korea wants to give American gun collectors the chance to get their hands on this unique piece of history.

A piece of American history that Barack Obama would like to see go down the memory hole.

That’s why I want as many Americans as possible to put themselves on record opposing this gun ban by signing the Official Firearms Freedom Survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

Will you please join me?

After World War II, the United States government sent millions of these rifles overseas to our allies and friends.

That includes 950,000 M1 Garands, 1.2 million M1 Carbines, and 300,000 1911 Pistols.

Over the past 50 years, many of the countries we lent them to returned them to America to be bought and sold by firearms collectors.

This is nothing new.

Make no mistake; these firearms were made in America, by Americans, for Americans, to defend freedom on foreign shores.

As a part of our history, they are greatly sought after by American shooters and collectors.

But according to Hillary Clinton’s State Department there is a danger they might “fall into the wrong hands.”

That they might, possibly, one day be used in a crime.

No mention of the hundreds of thousands of gun owners deprived of the opportunity to own an integral part of American history.

The State Department’s outrageous claims are nothing more than a thinly veiled ploy to distract from the real issue:

President Obama’s deep seated hatred for gun rights.

While his gun-grabbing base is giddy with praise at this back-door gun ban, law-abiding citizens across the United States are crying foul.

Let me be clear: at no time in U.S. history has the ownership of these firearms -- or any part of these firearms -- been illegal, restricted or banned.

Americans have collected World War II M1 rifles for decades.

Now they are sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

You can even purchase a newly manufactured model from Springfield Armory that was made just a month or two ago.

And the M1’s caliber or capacity is no more dangerous than the millions of modern firearms owned by Americans across the country today.

As you can see, there is absolutely no justification for this unconstitutional gun ban.

This is just the latest in a series of anti-gun schemes from the Obama Administration:
*** A new so-called “Assaults Weapon Ban" -- targeting ALL semi-automatic rifles and shotguns -- which, unlike the Clinton ban, would NEVER expire;
*** An outright BAN on “high capacity” magazines -- banning the sale and manufacture of magazines holding more than just a handful of rounds;
*** A National Concealed Carry “Standard” -- designed to make it even more difficult for law-abiding citizens to carry a gun to protect themselves and their families from assault;
*** Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Catch-All Gun Control Scheme” -- to create a national “cannot buy registry,” allowing citizens to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights on a Justice Department whim, effectively banning all private gun sales.
That’s why it is essential that Americans like you and I take a stand against the M1 rifle and 1911 gun ban!

It has been common practice since the end of World War II to re-import these American made rifles from the foreign allies they were lent to during the war.

But the Obama Administration departs radically from the American tradition.

In fact, on top of banning American citizens from owning these historic firearms, Obama’s State Department is arranging for the destruction of nearly one million of them -- ironically, at a time of ballooning federal deficits.

It’s an outrage!

These firearms -- truly pieces of American history -- rightly belong in the hands of U.S. citizens.

That’s why I was glad to hear that the National Association for Gun Rights is helping fight this power grab in the U.S. Senate.

Do you believe the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment are the supreme law of the land?

Do you believe that President Obama banning the re-importation of these historic firearms is an unprecedented and unconstitutional power grab?

Do you support Congress forcing President Obama to reverse his ban and save these American made firearms from destruction?

If you said “Yes” to these questions, please sign the Firearms Freedom Survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

Your survey will put you squarely on the record AGAINST Barack Obama’s Gun Ban.

And along with your signed survey, I hope you’ll send a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35 to help finance this battle.

With your generous contribution, the National Association for Gun Rights will continue contacting Second Amendment supporters to turn up the heat on targeted U.S. Senators.

Not only that, but they’re preparing a massive program to launch the designed to force President Obama to reverse this ban.

Direct mail.  Phones.  E-mail.  Blogs.  Guest editorials.  Press conferences.  Hard-hitting internet, newspaper, radio and even TV ads if funding permits.  The whole nine yards.

Of course, a program of this scale is only possible if the National Association for Gun Rights can raise the money.

But that’s not easy.

So please put yourself on record AGAINST Barack Obama’s Rifle Ban by signing NAGR’s Firearms Freedom Survey.

But along with your survey, please agree to make a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35.

And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, your help will still make a difference.

Thank you in advance for your time and money devoted to defending our Second Amendment rights.

For Freedom,

Rand Paul
United States Senator

P.S. In a move unprecedented in American history, Barack Obama secretly banned the re-importation of nearly a million American made M1 Carbine rifles and 1911 pistols.

The M1 rifle, developed in the 1930’s, carried the U.S. through World War II seeing action in every major battle.

So please put yourself on record AGAINST the Barack Obama’s Gun Ban by signing NAGR’s Firearms Freedom Survey.

But along with your survey, please agree to make a generous contribution to the National Association for Gun Rights of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35.

And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, your help will still make a difference.