Texas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is no stranger to controversy. Perry’s record as Governor is marred by numerous instances of increased taxation, lackluster job growth, and fiscal impropriety and outright corruption, all tied together by a common ethos of fiscal liberalism, Keynesian economics, and statism, a desire for increased governmental power. While Perry’s economic record and association with the Bilderberg Group ought to be of legitimate concern to true conservatives, another aspect of Perry’s record must also be scrutinized: his associations with the Islamist Aga Khan Foundation, which has been linked to incendiary anti-American and anti-Western rhetoric and has been identified as a source of funding to numerous terror groups.

 

As the Occupy Wall Street protests have gained momentum over the last few weeks, many have pointed out that the protesters' anger is directed at the wrong people. Critics of the movement, while understanding the frustration of the demonstrators, contend that their focus should be on a number of other sources: the Federal Reserve, for instance, and also the elected officials who continue to support government intervention in the free market and to pick and choose winners via regulations and the “too big to fail” philosophy.

Meanwhile, Wall Street is already gearing up to buy off another round of elected officials, solidifying the very collusion between Wall Street and the federal government that has both Occupy Wall Street protesters and their critics concerned.

The Center for Responsive Politics recently posted data regarding the financial contributions of Wall Street firms to each presidential contender’s campaign for the 2012 elections.

According to the data, Mitt Romney has received the most donations from Goldman Sachs — nearly $400,000 to date. The next closest is President Obama with $49,000, followed by Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul, the latter of whom received just $2,500 from the company.

The Republican candidates for President agreed at the October 18 CNN Las Vegas debate that, despite the federal deficit crisis, they wanted to continue foreign aid spending — with the exception of Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Asked where he stood on continuing foreign aid, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain responded that "we ought to continue to give foreign aid to our friends like Israel." Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann also agreed that foreign aid should be continued: "No, we should not be cutting foreign aid to Israel. Israel is our greatest ally." Frontrunner Mitt Romney acknowledged that "we're spending more on foreign aid than we ought to be spending," but he refused to call for an end to foreign aid. Texas Governor Rick Perry also declined to call for a complete end to foreign aid, though he offered that "I think it's time to have a very serious debate about defunding the United Nations."

Only Rep. Paul said the nation can no longer afford to borrow money with deficits in order to give taxpayers' money away. "Foreign aid, it should be the easiest thing to cut. It's not authorized in the Constitution," Paul countered. "To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries." Paul proposed a budget plan this week that would zero out foreign aid in year one, and cut a total of nearly $1 trillion in the first year of his presidency. The budget proposal would eliminate five cabinet-level agencies and balance the federal budget within three years without raising taxes.

Should American high school students be required to recite the pledge of allegiance? This is a question which has generated controversy over the years, but rarely if ever has the controversy centered on the notion that the students in question would be required to pledge allegiance to a foreign nation. Nevertheless, this was situation at the high school in the McAllen, Texas Independent School District, where students were required to pledge allegiance to Mexico.

McAllen is only a few miles from the Mexican border, so the question of loyalty to one’s own nation is particularly poignant as drug cartels run amok only a few miles away in the Mexican city of Reynosa. With Mexico in the midst of what amounts to a civil war, the pledge of loyalty to these United States should be a matter of honor to any Texan. According to press reports, the Mexican national anthem and pledge of allegiance were required on one occasion for students in the Spanish class taught by Reyna Santos.

Several of the basic facts do not appear to be in contention. On September 16, the students of Santos’ class were required to learn and sing the Mexican national anthem and to recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance. The implications of this action, however, are in dispute between the school and one family which was offended by the requirement. For Brenda Brinsdon and her parents, Santos’ actions were indefensible. However, as KRGV television reported, school officials endeavored to defend the teacher’s actions:
 

It has oft been a bone of contention by Ron Paul supporters nationwide that he has been either ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream media. Liberal comedian Jon Stewart devoted an entire montage to humorously and satirically underscoring the media’s deliberate — and at times blatant — efforts to ignore Paul’s top-tier status. Now a recent study by the highly respected Pew Research Center proves that Paul has indeed been blacked out by the mainstream media.

Journalism.org explains that the study “combines traditional media research methods with computer algorithms to track the level and tone of coverage of candidates for president.”

Pew compiled a list of 52 mainstream news sources, ranging from newspapers to television, and discovered that Paul has received significantly less media coverage than all of the other candidates — including Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race as a result of his lack of adequate progress, and Jon Huntsman, who has one of the lowest approval ratings of all the GOP presidential contenders.

 

President Obama is venturing to charm American voters this week during an East Coast bus tour that will intersect parts of North Carolina and Virginia. Beginning Monday, the three-day junket will traverse through suburbs, rural towns, and several cities, as the trip spans two key electoral states that could prove essential for Obama’s 2012 campaign pursuits. In considering the tour’s seemingly strategic route and voter-targeted audiences, observers contend that the East Coast excursion is clearly an attempt to resurrect the President’s waning support support in two southern states that Republicans controlled before the 2008 election.

The tour’s supposed objective is for the President to promote job creation measures by urging voters to pressure Congress to pass a series of job-creation bills. But Obama’s jobs package has yet to win congressional approval, as Senate Republicans blocked the proposal last week, requesting separate votes on specific provisions in the bill over the next few weeks.

In a seemingly direct ploy for political gain, the President accused Senate Republicans on Monday of voting against putting teachers back to work and ignoring the employment needs of military veterans. Further, he derided a Republican jobs proposal which seeks to eliminate ObamaCare and abolish financial and environmental regulations that hinder American businesses from creating jobs. The GOP package calls for "dirtier air, dirtier water and less people with health insurance," Obama declared.

Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) unveiled a balanced budget proposal, Plan to Restore America, October 17 that would cut nearly $1 trillion — $981 billion — from the President's budget proposal in the single fiscal year of 2013 and eliminate the annual deficits completely two years later.

No other presidential candidate has revealed a balanced budget in any number of years, including the incumbent President Barack Obama. And no sitting congressman or senator has proposed a budget plan that would balance the budget in less than 30 years other than Congressman Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (whose proposal would balance the budget within five years).

 

Forbes magazine's Richard Miniter claimed Congressman Ron Paul has the Fifth Amendment wrong on Obama's assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, but the example of George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion reveals that it's Ron Paul who got it right.

Congressman Paul condemned the September 30 drone strike ordered by the Obama White House against Awlaki and fellow U.S. citizen Samir Khan, noting that the Fifth Amendment says that the U.S. government can't allow persons to "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Paul added in comments the day of the killing: "I think what would people have said about [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh? We didn't assassinate him, who we were pretty certain ... had done it. Went and put through the courts then executed him. To start assassinating American citizens without charges, we should think very seriously about this."

Miniter claimed in his October 13 article that Ron Paul's argument "contains a lot of pernicious nonsense" and that "While seemingly sensible, more due process is actually a dangerous and unconstitutional idea. President Obama, a former constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago, actually got the balance right." Miniter admitted,

Among the eight or so GOP presidential candidates, Mitt Romney is “the frontrunner,” the establishment darling whom the media has all but assured us will be Barack Obama’s rival come next year. 

Considering that the rubbing together of two wet stones stands a better chance of generating sparks than does Romney’s candidacy, it is indeed fascinating that, from the outset, it is this former Governor of “the bluest” state in the Union that has garnered greatest support from Republicans. After all, just ask yourself: Outside of the circle of establishment talking heads on Fox News and elsewhere, when do you recall encountering so much as a hint of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney?

Let us be honest with ourselves: Politically speaking, Romney hasn’t a conservative or libertarian instinct in his body. But the situation for genuine conservatives and libertarians is actually much worse than this. It would be bad enough if Romney were just a committed leftist; in truth, though, it is clear with all eyes to see that he is actually a leftist conspicuously lacking in conviction. The regularity with which he undergoes political conversions, to say nothing of their timing, makes this verdict all but impossible to circumvent. 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for October 17-23, 2011.

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