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From the Chair: National Security Before Politics

With the deadline looming to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security without interruption, millions of American citizens are growing increasingly concerned about the safety of our nation. In the face of continuous terrorist threats, the prospect of the government department most directly tasked with preventing their execution being de-funded over a policy unrelated its central mission is unthinkable to the vast majority.

Coming soon to an island near you...

Aloha fellow Whigs and Veterans!  I will be traveling this week to Lihue, Kauai, HI from February 12th to February 17th, 2015.  Any veterans or party members in that area who wish to sit down and discuss issues/ideas please email me at veteransmodernwhig [dot] org and leave a good contact phone number.  Between SCUBA diving and hiking around the rain forest, I'm sure I can find time for some face-to-face meetings in a setting where I don't need to wear my parka.

Note: After posting the above, I noticed that the email address did not come across as intended.  The email address should be "veterans" followed by the "at" symbol "modernwhig" dot "org.

 

American Sniper and Legislation We Need To Support

Modern Whig Party Deputy Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs Matthew Benedict shares his views on the effect of the Movie American Sniper and on pending legislation to support veterans.  His post follows this introduction:

 

An Update on the Veterans Volunteer Initiative

This is the time of year when many are making those New Year’s Resolutions for self-improvement, or to help others.  Jason Decker, our NY State Vice Chair has made the commitment, as have I, to do volunteer service with our local branch of the Veterans Administration in order to give something back to those who have paid dearly for our freedoms.  In the three plus years I have been doing volunteer service, I have found it to be interesting and rewarding, and always appreciated.  Jason has gone the extra distance and made a short video explaining the process that he went through while starting his own volunteer service.  You can view the video by following the link here:

Veterans Burial Information From Matthew Benedict, Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs, MWP

     The following information has been provided by Modern Whig Party Deputy Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs, Matthew Benedict.  Matthew works for the Veterans Administration, specifically with the National Cemetery System.  This information has been provided in order to assist family and friends when the inevitable happens.  We hope it is of benefit.

 

 

Burial and Memorial Benefits for Veterans

 

In the Forums

I Have Arrived.

Hello! Im Logan L. Linseisen, Former Tea Party Patriot now a fellow Whig member. Im 14 & from the Houston, Texas area. I'm part of a Youth in politics group and i'm somewhat skilled in politics. I joined the whigs because I no longer fit the Tea Party. I would be glad to answer any questions you have for me and maybe debate? Cheers!

John from Philadelphia.

Hi, I joined this group primarly to network. I have worked as a paralegal and have a good amount of legal exp. I am just posting here to tell everyone that I am tired of this poor economy. I wouldn't mind working on some small projects to help contribute to the social good of this country.

Ultimate Resource list for Veterans

I am a former Navy Corpsman and retired San Diego Police Officer. One of my retired collegues sent this and asked that I forward it to anyone that needs it. Someone put a lot of work into this. If it helps one Vet, it was worth the effort.

From MWP Economic Policy Committee - The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan.

Book Review – The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan, professor at Dartmouth College.

We are “paralyzed by plurality.” Prof Wheelan reinforces problem solving “101”, which is also included in our Whig Academy Leadership course.
Top down: 4 to 5 Senate seats to effectively ensure all legislation must meet “muster” of the 4 to 5 centrist votes. ( MWP has said 10 Senators is what we really need!)

His laundry list of ills are as follws:
1. Unsustainable trajectory of entitlement in maintain a proper safety net.
2. Inefficient delivery of health care
3. Crumbling infrastructure
4. Nothing to effect climate change ( he states climate debate is an example of a “faith-based” debate)
5. Stagnation of human capital ( !!!! the reviewers emphasis)

Raise the Fuel tax to get infrastructure back on track.

Currently the National Fuel tax is 18.4 cents on gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel. This tax was last raised in 1993, when the taxes accounted for more then 25% of the cost of fuel (not including state taxes). It has never been raised since, nor is it indexed to inflation, which is why our infrastructure is falling apart. Since 1993 the states have had to raise their own fuel taxes and compete with each other just to keep the highway system operational, but the highway system is bankrupt which is why toll roads are increasing and roads are falling apart.

You can find a summary here: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes_in_the_United_States

Or more detailed information here: 

Recent comments

  • John from Philadelphia.   2 days 13 hours ago

    Welcome to our party.  There will be work coming in the neer future that I think you would like to work in.  Please share our party with everyone you know.  Ask them to study our party and then ask them to join us as you did.

     

  • From the Chair: National Security Before Politics   2 days 18 hours ago

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  • From the Chair: National Security Before Politics   3 days 8 hours ago

    I agree that these two facets should be decoupled, but I disagree about the impotance of the DHS. It's clear that Homeland Security can provide an important part of the defense of our nation, but as I understand it, the department is currently not very effective in its proposed goals.

    The CATO institute has analyzed them and found them wanting (http://www.cato.org/events/does-homeland-security-work-evaluating-dhss-efforts-make-us-safer), and Sen. Jim Jeffords (an Independant) has gone on record saying that the department does little more than "giv[ing] the American people a false, false sense of security."

    A report by Debbie Schussel on the 10th anniversery of the department's creation clearly demonstrates that it is an out-of-control spending monster and that its functions are much better handled by the FBI, (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/59861/homeland-securitys-tragic-10th-anniversary-america-less-safe-than-before-dhs-exclusive-details-jihadists-know/). I think that it is quite true that many Americans feel that it is a somewhat useless and expensive department created out of a sense of urgency and fear right after the 9/11 attacks, and has not born out it's usefullness in the American safety apparatus.

    While again, I agree that it is strange that immigration policy is tied up with the DHS, the existence of this department is unnessecary, and seeing it defunded would do little if anything to endanger Americans.

     

  • From the Chair: National Security Before Politics   3 days 17 hours ago

    If the Whig party stands for anything it should stand for constitutional government, with each branch of the government staying in its own lane to avoid collisions with the other branches.  Washington is broken because this principle is being routinely and willfully violated.

    It is very clear which branch of government is crossing the center line in this case.  Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to decide immigration law, not the president: 

    "The Congress shall have Power...to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...."

    DHS is violating the Constitution by taking the uniform rule of naturalization established by Congress and enforcing that uniform rule in a very un-uniform way.  They are arbitrarily not enforcing immigration law for certain groups to create a de facto naturalization of about 5 million people.

    If Congress does not assert its constitutional prerogative here it could be argued that they are at least passively violating their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.  Not to mention the president, who actively created a constitutional crisis by ordering DHS to do this, and did so immediately following an election in which voters clearly opposed his actions.  Moreover, the Republicans ran explicitly in 2014 on a pledge to block any amnesty.  Why shouldn't they keep that promise to the people who elected them now, whether or not we agree with it?  Shouldn't politicians keep their promises, and why are we condemning them for doing so?  Isn't the fact that most politicians don't keep them a major reason Washington is so dysfunctional?

    Enforcing immigration law is a vital part of keeping the country secure, and some of the 9/11 hijackers -- some present on fraudulent visas -- had lived in the US long enough to qualify under Obama's amnesty if they had also managed to get a woman pregnant while here.  And terrorism isn't the only matter of national and local security that DHS touches, as immigrants commit crimes at rates far higher than citizens.  Some of these crimes are committed in relation to the slow-motion civil war on our southern border between rival drug cartels, and the cartels and Mexican government, which has already killed between 60 and 120 thousand people depending on who is doing the estimating.  That de facto civil war, and its millions of economic refugees flooding the southern US border, and the drug cartels' operatives procuring weapons and money in this country, is about our national security too.  So it is unclear whether Congress blocking DHS' non-enforcement is upholding the nation's security more than it is degrading it by furloughing a few non-essential DHS personnel -- how do we know there isn't a single terrorist sleeper cell hidden in that haystack of 5 million amnestied immigrants?  How do we know there aren't key operatives of brutal drug cartels included in that group?  Most DHS personnel are deemed essential and will therefore still come to work whether DHS is funded or not.  

    There is a long history of Congress using its constitutional power of the purse to assert its will on matters of national security.  The Case-Church Amendment to an appropriations bill blocked the president from further military action in Vietnam without congressional approval, thus ending US involvement in that conflict and dooming South Vietnam.  The geopolitical position of the US suffered when Vietnam fell, but Congress decided that the costs in lives and treasure by continuing the war were worse, and was within its constitutional prerogative to do so, whether or not we agree with its geopolitical assessment.  The Clark Amendment blocked the US government from aiding the UNITA forces in the Angolan Civil War (the Soviet Union and Cuba being on the other side).  Congress refused to fund the Nicaraguan contras fighting the Soviet-backed Sandinista regime by attaching the Boland Amendment to defense appropriations bills.  The Reagan administration's covert attempts to thwart Congress' will by evading the Boland Amendment with legally murky end-arounds triggered the Iran-Contra constitutional crisis.

    If it is true that the national security mission of DHS is too important for Congress to include policy riders imposing congressional will on immigration in DHS funding bills, then its mission is also too important for the president to direct DHS to warp immigration law for partisan political purposes, including the eventual acquisition of millions of new voters swelling the ranks of a core Democratic constituency.  In which case any Whig party pronouncement on the matter condemning irresponsible and partisan actions should at least be symmetric between the two parties.  

  • I Have Arrived.   1 week 5 days ago

    Logan,

    Welcome to the party.

    Wesley

    Wisconsin MWP Chair.

  • News from Massachusetts   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Hello Pat MacGuire. You left me a rude message on facebook. I'm still going to register with the Modern Whigs in MA despite that.

    http://thebucci.com/images/pat.png

  • Mergers with other Parties...   5 weeks 1 day ago

    You mean us or opposition HQ?  As far as MWP not being active, have you noticed we've gone from 13 to 45 state coverage in less than a year? It may not seem like much, but we are working our tails off behnd the scenes. Certainly gives many of us no chance to pop in here anymore. That's a shame. There will soon be quite visible efforts afoot! Thanks for the heads up Duffy!

  • Mergers with other Parties...   5 weeks 1 day ago

    This I think is a suitable way to ally with other parties. May not be worth much, this party has not been to active of late.

    http://www.oppositionhq.com/

    An alliance of Independant parties, working on one single issue. To crack open the political process and free the constraints imposed by the Republcan and Democrat Partys on the Political System.

  • From MWP Economic Policy Committee - The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan.   6 weeks 5 days ago

    You are so correct, which is why our mission is not just winning elections, but changing the conversation from the hubris of ideology to the pragmatic real life issues we need to solve. This will require a new way of thinking by WE the peeps and a new way of communicating by our citizen-representatives, both of which will meet to reframe the very nature of political participation.

  • From MWP Economic Policy Committee - The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan.   6 weeks 6 days ago

    I completely agree with most of this, but our politicans and most people do not care about looking at the "root" problems, and are simply looking to patch the "symptoms" of the disease. You can only take cough medicine for so long to reduce your cough, but it won't actually ever solve the problem of pnesumonia.

    My post on highway tax shows exactly why our infrastructure is falling apart, and yet no one is willing to stand up and fix the problem. 

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