End Of Day Report

Monday, December 30, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer


Late Friday afternoon, A&E announced that it would resume filming its hit reality show Duck Dynasty with the family patriarch Phil Robertson back on the set. A&E’s decision came five days after Cracker Barrel quickly reversed itself after facing an avalanche of customer complaints when it pulled Duck Dynasty merchandise off its shelves.

In a statement released to Fox News the Robertson family said, “We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through ‘Duck Dynasty’ and our many projects that we are currently working on.  The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”

This is a big victory, my friends. It shows what can still be done when men and women of faith speak up and make our voices heard!

But make no mistake about it — this is just one battle and the war continues to rage. The intolerant homosexual rights movement and the secular left are not about to give up. And we won’t either!

Your support is the only thing that keeps me in this battle. With just two days left to meet our year-end fundraising goal, please step up to the plate today so we can continue to fight the good fight for faith, family and freedom!

Jihad In Russia

Islamofascism’s war against Western Civilization is alive and well.

Suicide bombers have struck the Russian city of Volgograd twice in the past two days, killing more than 30 people and wounding scores more. These attacks have gotten most of the headlines, but jihadist violence is on the rise in Russia.

Three days ago, a car bomb exploded in Pyatigorsk, killing three. In October, a female homicide bomber killed five people in a bus bombing, also in Volgograd.

Many security experts fear this is just the beginning. The Sochi Winter Olympics are set to begin in a matter of weeks, and radical Islamists have made no secret of their intentions to strike. One jihadist leader compared the Sochi Olympic games to “Satanic dancing on the bones of our ancestors.” 

Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, warned, “Although fear of terrorist attack has been a staple of Olympics security for the past four decades, the back-to-back blasts yesterday and today, coupled with another attack in the same city in October, are likely intended to be the opening salvos in a sustained terrorist campaign.”

Benghazi According To The New York Times

The New York Times is taking heat today for some revisionist history on the Benghazi attacks. Four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, died when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under siege on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the Obama Administration abandoned them.

In a massive 7,000-word report, the Times declared that there is “no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault,” which the paper asserted, “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

This latest Times rewrite on Benghazi contradicts its prior reporting, and even the Obama Administration’s belated admissions. Fox News reports that “sources who were on the ground that night” are blasting the New York Times’ essay as “completely false.”

Benghazi is a huge stain on the credibility of the Obama Administration, including the credibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With speculation about 2016 growing every day, perhaps that is why the Times felt the urgent need to attempt to expunge the record.

By trying to resurrect the “blame the video” lie, perhaps the lefties at the New York Times thought they were doing Hillary Clinton a favor. Instead, they have only stirred up a hornet’s nest. Congressional Republicans pushed back yesterday on the Sunday talk shows. Even one California Democrat conceded, “…the intelligence indicates that al-Qaeda was involved.”

But if the New York Times wants to have this fight, bring it on. Let’s empower a select committee to issue subpoenas and hold public hearings. No more stonewalling. Let’s hear from the CIA and State Department witnesses who have been bullied into silence. Let’s finally get the answers that the families of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty deserve.


End Of Day Report

Friday, December 27, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Tehran Defies Obama

Remember Obama’s much-hyped nuclear deal with Iran, announced just before Thanksgiving? It was supposed to delay Iran’s nuclear program for six months, allowing time to negotiate a more comprehensive agreement. Predictably, the mullahs are using the time to their advantage.

The Associated Press reports that Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, announced yesterday that the Islamic Republic is developing “a new generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment.” Under the Geneva deal, Iran agreed to limit the number of centrifuges currently spinning in its enrichment program. But it is still permitted to develop new ones, and that is exactly what the Iranians are doing.

If no deal is reached in six months, it is a sure bet that these new centrifuges will be immediately included in Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. Obama’s agreement appears to have done little more than given Iran the green light to further advance its nuclear research and development efforts.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a bi-partisan coalition of senators (15 Democrats and 19 Republicans) is pushing legislation to tighten sanctions on Iran. It is important to note that members of Obama’s own party are leading the charge in opposition to Obama’s weak-kneed approach toward Iran.

The sanctions bill is being sponsored by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez. Liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer, usually a key Obama ally, said this week, “There are many of us, Democrats and Republicans in this Senate, who believe the best way to avoid war and get Iran to give up nuclear weapons is by ratcheting up sanctions, not by reducing them.”

That is how out-of-touch Obama is when it comes appeasing the mullahs in Tehran. Sadly, Obama has vowed to veto the sanctions bill if it passes the Senate, making him, in effect, Tehran’s top lobbyist in Washington!

Obamacare Targeting Volunteer Groups

The unintended consequences of the poorly written Obamacare law continue to shock the country. Here are a few recent examples:

  • The New York Times reports that many AmeriCorps workers were told just last week that their health plans are not in compliance with Obamacare’s mandates and regulations. If they don’t buy new policies quickly, they may be forced to pay a penalty tax.
    This is somewhat ironic given that AmeriCorps is essentially a government program. One worker told the Times, “It’s as if the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. The Affordable Care Act has been on the books since 2010. Why are we hearing only now that our health plan is not compliant?”

  • Federally-funded volunteers aren’t the only ones feeling Obamacare’s ill effects. Fire departments and other emergency service organizations across the country are panicking over whether Obamacare may force them to raise taxes or fire their volunteers.
    For example, Clay County, Florida, employs 157 firefighters. But that force is supported by 60 volunteer firefighters. Current Obamacare IRS regulations appear to count the volunteers as employees eligible for healthcare coverage. That means the county must raise taxes in order to dramatically increase its budget for health insurance or to pay a fine for each volunteer it refuses to cover. Or it must fire all the volunteers.

  • And here’s one more example of just how badly congressional Democrats wrote the Obamacare legislation: The Washington Post writes that because of Obamacare, “…it will be literally impossible for an individual to buy a new policy in the Northern Mariana Islands, and difficult in other [U.S.] territories.”

More Bad News For Democrats

Yesterday I reported on a CNN poll that found Republicans had expanded their lead over the Democrats to five points in the generic ballot test for the 2014 congressional elections. Two months ago, Democrats were leading by eight.

But even that huge swing does not tell the whole story. Here’s more bad news for Obama, Reid and Pelosi:

  • There is a big enthusiasm gap. 36% of Republicans are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year. Only 22% of Democrats say the same.
  • Obama is a big drag on Democrats. While Republicans are generically ahead of Democrats by five points, voters overwhelmingly prefer candidates who will oppose Obama’s agenda. When asked whether they preferred to vote for a candidate who opposed Obama or one who supported Obama, 55% of voters said they were more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes him, while 40% said they were likely to vote for a candidate who supports him.

That last figure highlights a major contradiction in the liberal media’s reporting. Big Media’s mantra has been that the public overwhelmingly wants Washington to get along and work together. When liberal pundits say that, they generally mean that Republicans need to cave in to Obama’s demands.

But here is polling data clearly indicating that voters want more politicians who will fight Obama’s radical agenda. Again, don’t hold your breath waiting to hear this on the nightly news.

End Of Day Report

Thursday, December 26, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Baghdad Christmas Slaughter

Christmas in the Middle East was once again marred by violence from radical Islamists. Two car bombings in Baghdad, one targeting a church and the other targeting a market frequented by Christians, killed more than three dozen people and wounded 70 others.

PJ Media asked a number of columnists to name the most underreported foreign policy story of 2013. Andrew McCarthy wrote this in response:

    “The most underreported foreign news story of 2013 is the pogrom against Christians in Islamic countries. … The pogrom is the inexorable result of Islamic teaching and Western indulgence. It is, after all, directed at Christians because there are no more Jews left to persecute. The latter have long made their exodus from Muslim countries where Jewish communities once flourished. …

    “Sadly, we could have written this essay at the end of 2012, and the story will be no different at the end of 2014. If Muslim societies are not confronted about religious persecution, they are encouraged to persist in it. That is our shame.”

McCarthy is right. CNN reports that ten years ago there were as many as 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. Today it is estimated that only one-third still remain, the rest having fled growing violence and persecution.

The bombings in Baghdad are another reminder for American Christians to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East. But we must do more. Far too many politicians, who claim to be champions of tolerance and diversity, remain silent when it comes to religious persecution and the mass murder of Christians overseas. That ambivalence must end.

Today’s Obamacare Headlines

Obamacare continues to be a major headache for millions of Americans and the Obama White House. Here are the latest problems making headlines:

  • Obama is touting figures suggesting that as many as one million Americans have signed up for Obamacare. But industry experts are saying that far fewer people are technically enrolled. While people are filling out applications online, some insurance companies report that only 10% of applicants have actually paid their premiums. And if you don’t pay, you’re not enrolled.
  • Why aren’t people paying their premiums? Sticker shock. According to this analysis from USA Today, “More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable — by the government’s own definition…” Obama’s Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was sold on a myriad of lies, one of the biggest being that it would be “affordable.”
  • In what the New York Times labeled as a “vague announcement,” the Obama Administration moved the goal posts yet again Tuesday, declaring a “special enrollment period” for anyone whose policy was cancelled and who experiences trouble with the glitchy healthcare.gov site. Even the left-wing Times conceded that Obama’s constant unilateral changes to the law “amount to a sweeping exercise of executive power…”
  • Politico labeled the ongoing disastrous rollout of Obamacare a “PR nightmare,” and compared its many problems to a monster in a horror film that just keeps coming back.

Obamacare Is Dashing Democrats’ Dreams

For decades, Democrats have believed that socialized medicine was their ticket to power. If the polls are right, many Democrats will have their dreams dashed in November 2014.

Two months ago, during the debate over the government shutdown, CNN’s polling found that registered voters preferred Democrat candidates for Congress over GOP candidates by an 8-point margin. Last month, as Obamacare started to unravel, voters started to turn on Obama and his party, favoring GOP candidates by two points.

Today, CNN reports that voters now prefer Republican congressional candidates over Democrats by five points. That’s a 13-point swing in two months.

CNN notes that the biggest reason for the Demcorats’ collapse is a major decline of support among men. If Big Media were doing its job, there would be many articles in the days ahead asking what is causing men to flee Obama’s party.

Is it his wimpy foreign policy? His constant pandering to the homosexual movement? His inability to be an effective manager? It’s probably all of the above. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for these articles to appear.

Instead, I’m sure we’ll see a steady stream of liberal claptrap on the GOP’s growing gender gap and why it must further compromise on conservative values in order to attract more female voters.

End Of Day Report

Monday, December 23, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Duck Dynasty Controversy Continues

The battle for America continues on two fronts: On the legislative front in Washington over Obamacare, growing socialism, the Obama Administration’s attack on religious liberty, while the battle for our culture rages across the country. All too often in the culture war, we are on our own with little-to-no political support.

The most recent and obvious example of America’s culture war is the attack on Phil Robertson, the head of Duck Dynasty clan. Just like the attack on Chick-fil-A had nothing to do with chicken, the attack on Duck Dynasty has nothing to do with ducks. This is not a distraction or a sideshow.

You should care about this controversy, whether you are the pastor of a church, a homeschooling mom or a conservative Christian who may not get too involved beyond voting. Even if you have never heard of “Duck Dynasty” or could care less about the show, you should care about this fight.

Why? Because the attack on Robertson is part of a well-funded organized campaign to make much of the belief system of Bible-believing Christians, and for that matter Torah-believing Jews, unspeakable in American public life.

The economic challenges confronting America are incredibly important. But nations, including America, have suffered economic collapses and recovered from them. Let’s hope we don’t have to go through that again.

What is not recoverable is when a nation abandons the essence of what it is. And the essence of America was summarized in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence when our Founding Fathers declared to the world that our liberty comes from God.

They believed America would be a shining city upon a hill, and based the foundation of our nation on Judeo-Christian thought. That is why this battle is so important.

Grassroots Backlash

There is a little evidence — and I stress a little — that the radical gay rights movement and its big media supporters may have overstepped this time. Several major gay personalities and activists have said, “Wait a minute, count me out.” They have referred to the attack on Robertson as “fascism,” “bigotry” and “Stalinism.”

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which launched the attack against Phil Robertson, admitted that it has gotten more pushback on this than any other battle it has been in. Even corporate America, where bowing to the demands of the homosexual rights movement has become routine, has taken notice.

Cracker Barrel, which announced Friday that it was eliminating merchandise with Robertson’s picture on it, quickly reversed course. More significantly, Cracker Barrel apologized last night. Here’s an excerpt of the company’s statement:

    “When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

    “You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. … You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened.

    “Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you.”

A passing note to the GOP consulting class, pollsters and politicians: Twice now in the last two years (the Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty controversies), we have witnessed an outpouring of activism among grassroots conservatives that the Republican Party can only dream about. Neither had anything to do with economic issues.

The consensus of the party establishment this year is “caution.” Just play it safe and all will be well, or so the Beltway crowd thinks. But every time they let these cultural battles play out without any encouragement from the party, they are further alienating themselves from their most ardent supporters.

I was part of a small group of conservative leaders who met with Mitt Romney last year just as the Chick-fil-A battle was exploding. We offered a way for him to tap into that energy with virtually no downside. The reaction was ambivalence. Then Election Day came and Team Romney was caught by surprise. Meanwhile, Obama does not miss a day to feed, organize, encourage and energize his base.

Karl Rove can run $500 million in ads in 2014 and 2016 giving us lectures on economics. But if he and other party leaders can’t figure out what makes the hearts of their best supporters beat strongest, they will fail again.

Obamacare Deadlines & Democrat Disarray

For the millions of uninsured Americans and those whose policies have been cancelled, today was supposed to be the deadline to sign-up for Obamacare coverage that will be effective January 1st. The White House has extended the deadline for 24 hours — just in case healthcare.gov crashes again.

Unfortunately for the White House, enrollments are just a few million short of expectations.

As the Associated Press reports, sticker shock from the so-called “Affordable Care Act” is likely a big part of the problem. And it is undoubtedly a major factor in Obamacare’s cratering public support. According to a new CNN poll, just 35% of Americans, a record low, now support Obamacare, while 62% oppose it.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Maryland Democrats, embarrassed by the disastrous rollout of the state’s Obamacare exchange, are openly fighting among themselves and attacking one another over the program’s epic failures.

In addition, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) warned yesterday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Obamacare could still “meltdown” and “fall of its own weight.” Manchin suggested that Obamacare could well cost Democrats the Senate majority in next year’s election.

I certainly hope so! Taking away Obama’s rubber stamp Senate would be big step toward recovering from the excesses of the Obama era.

End Of Day Report

Friday, December 20, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Duck Dynasty Fights Back

Last night, Duck Dynasty’s Robertson clan issued a statement responding to A&E’s suspension of Phil Robertson, who expressed his biblically-based values on marriage and human sexuality in an interview with GQ. Here are a few excerpts of the family’s statement:

    “We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. …Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.

    “We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”

While Phil Robertson has been the focus of this furor, the real attention should be directed to the intolerant homosexual rights movement and its totalitarian left-wing allies in Big Media.

Even lesbian writer Camille Paglia is appalled by the attack on Phil Robertson. She blasted the reaction of the left calling it “punitive [political correctness], utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist.”

She is right! The culture war is real and it strikes at the very heart of this nation.

Let me summarize it for you:

The same cultural forces trying to make sure that no nativity scene is displayed in a public square;

The people who tried to destroy the president of Chick-fil-A for the “crime” of supporting traditional marriage;

The bureaucrats in the Obama Administration who are trying to force Catholic and evangelical business owners to subsidize abortion and pay for other medical services and products that violate their religious values;

The radicals who demand that a small, Christian-owned bakery be forced to cater a same-sex “wedding;”

The same people who are purging our history books and replacing the text with anti-American history — it is all part of the radical left’s jihad against America’s cultural norms and our Judeo-Christian values.

The culture war has been going on for decades. But the election of Barack Obama has unleashed the left, making it more aggressive than ever.

Sadly, on our side, the resistance is often too weak. Too many churches are AWOL, too many politicians are cowering in fear, too many people are afraid to speak up.

I believe America, this great experiment in ordered liberty under God, will survive or fall based on how we handle these issues, not whether billionaires pay higher taxes or if the chained consumer price index is adjusted.

Obama Waives Individual Mandate

The disaster-drama that is Obamacare continues to unfold. Last night, the Obama Administration was forced to waive the individual mandate for people who have had their insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare. According to columnist John Fund, that is “at least the 14th unilateral change to Obamacare that’s been made without consulting Congress.” 

A couple of points come to mind.

First, it was only a few weeks ago that Obama and his Democrat allies shut down the government over their refusal to delay the individual mandate. Now Obama has tacitly conceded that Senator Ted Cruz and House Republicans were right to demand such a delay.

Second, Obamacare was supposed to solve the problem of too many Americans being uninsured. A key element in the Democrats’ scheme was the individual mandate, forcing people to buy health insurance.

What’s the reality? Millions of Americans have lost their existing health insurance plans and now Obama is waiving the mandate!

Third, the Obama Administration is legislating at whim, threatening our system of checks and balances.

Given all the other abuses and scandals in this administration, the results of a new Gallup poll are not at all surprising: 72% of Americans — a new record high — say that Big Government is a threat to the country.

House Republicans Fighting Back

Seven House Republicans, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting a criminal investigation of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Their request stems from testimony Clapper gave to Congress in March about the NSA’s data collection efforts. Clapper was asked directly whether the agency was collecting bulk electronic data of American citizens, and he assured members of Congress that it was not doing so. We now know that Clapper’s answer was false, and a federal court has just declared the program unconstitutional.

In their letter, the House Republicans write, “There are differences of opinion about the propriety of the NSA’s data collection programs. There can be no disagreement, however, on the basic premise that congressional witnesses must answer truthfully.”

I got a lot of angry feedback about the recent budget deal that cuts military benefits, including those for our disabled veterans. You will be pleased to know that Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced legislation to fix this outrage.

Their bill is similar to the Session amendment, which would restore funding for the benefits by closing loopholes that have allowed illegal immigrants to fraudulently receive billions of dollars in child tax credits. The Roby/Fitzpatrick bill currently has 45 co-sponsors, 44 Republicans and only one Democrat.

End Of Day Report

Thursday, December 19, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Defend The Duck Commander!

As many of you know by now, A&E, the Arts & Entertainment Network, has “indefinitely” suspended Phil Robertson from its highest-rated show, “Duck Dynasty.” Why? Because Robertson dared to speak openly about his biblically-based values on marriage and human sexuality during a GQ interview.

When asked by GQ about his views on homosexuality, Robertson quoted Scripture and, as his many fans appreciate, he elaborated in his own colorful way.

The militant homosexual movement immediately went on the attack, demanding Robertson be fired from the show. This movement, which has wrapped itself in the language of tolerance, is in fact intolerant of men and women of faith and is determined to punish anyone who dares to speak up for biblical values.

Just ask Christian photographers, florists, bakers or college administrators who have been raked over the coals, taken to court and essentially persecuted for their faith. You can add Phil Robertson to that growing list.

A&E’s knee-jerk reaction caused even one homosexual columnist to ask, “Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them?” He added, “I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.” I couldn’t agree more. In addition, Senator Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh all spoke out in defense of the Duck Dynasty star.

Men and women of faith must stand up and defend our First Amendment rights of free speech and religion!

TAKE ACTION: Petitions defending Phil Robertson are great, but A&E needs to hear from you now. Contact them at aefeedback@aenetworks.com.

Obama Calls In Left-Wing Hatchet Man

A major theme of Obama’s presidency is his claim to unity. He rose to fame after delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Democrat National Convention in which he talked about values that unite us. But as we have learned time and time again — most recently with his now infamous Obamacare pledge being labeled the “Lie of the Year” — what Obama says can’t be trusted.

Reeling from falling poll numbers, the Obama White House has decided to do what previous White Houses have done — bring in someone new. After his party got shellacked in the 1994 elections, Bill Clinton famously brought in Dick Morris, who pushed Clinton to the political center.

So who did Obama bring in to help “right the ship”? John Podesta. For those who don’t follow D.C. personalities, Podesta’s reputation is not that of a consensus builder, but rather a left-wing hatchet man.

Previously, Podesta ran the far left Center for American Progress, a George Soros-funded outfit. And his brother, Tony, was a founding president of the radical group People for the American Way.

His new appointment does not bode well. In fact, one reporter wrote that Podesta’s hiring “represents the clearest sign to date of the administration’s interest in shifting the paradigm of Obama’s presidency through the forceful, unapologetic and occasionally provocative application of White House power.” As if there hasn’t already been enough of that!

Not surprisingly, Podesta is already in hot water for recent remarks comparing congressional Republicans to the murderous and suicidal cult led by Jim Jones. A few months ago, Podesta said that the Obama White House should “focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.” In 1978 more than 900 of Jones’ followers, including at least 300 children, were poisoned in a mass suicide in Guyana.

Podesta’s outrageous remarks speak volumes about the instincts of the left. Obama has compared the congressional GOP to hijackers and terrorists. Why should the remarks of his new counselor surprise us?

Speaker John Boehner’s office was furious about Podesta’s White House assignment. A spokesman for Boehner told reporters, “For those who’ve forgotten, a Democratic member of Congress was murdered in Jonestown and a current one, Rep. Jackie Speier, was shot five times during the same incident. If this is the attitude of the new White House, it’s hard to see how the president gets anything done again.”

Steel yourselves, my friends. It’s going to be a rough ride.

End Of Day Report

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

The Clock Is Ticking…

The clock is ticking on American Values’ year-end matching gift campaign. Please don’t wait. American Values needs your support right now.

Rep. Wolf Retires From The House

Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), a true “warrior” in defense of religious liberty, has announced he will not run for re-election in 2014. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the congressman made it clear that he was not leaving the battle but only leaving the House.

The statement released by Rep. Wolf makes it clear where his heart is. He said:

    “As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom — both domestic and international — as well as matters of the culture and the American family. My passion for these issues has been influenced by the examples of President Ronald Reagan, former Congressmen Jack Kemp and Tony Hall, Chuck Colson, and the life of 18th century Member of Parliament William Wilberforce.”

Frank Wolf has been tireless in fighting Christian persecution here and abroad. He has regularly confronted the threat of radical Islam. He took on the violation of human rights in Russia, China and everywhere else where the “boot of oppression” robs human beings of their rights and dignity. He will be missed in Congress, and he will be missed wherever political prisoners suffer in the jails of tyrants.

While it meant alienating some business leaders, Rep. Wolf stood firmly against giving the communist Chinese “most favored trade” status. More recently, he has led the fight for a thorough investigation of the Benghazi scandal.

Even the liberal Washington Post praised him this morning, reminding readers that Rep. Wolf regularly put his own safety at risk by visiting hot spots to champion “decency and democracy.” The Post noted, “He led the first congressional delegation to Darfur and returned repeatedly to Sudan to call attention to the mass killing there.”

Our oldest daughter Elyse has worked for the congressman for years on religious liberty issues. I can’t think of a better man for her to serve. And while he will be irreplaceable in Congress, I know Frank Wolf will continue the battle outside the confines of government.

Deal Disses Disabled Vets

As you know, I have felt that the rhetoric from Speaker John Boehner and others suggesting that the Ryan/Murray budget deal was some big improvement on the deficit was exaggerated. I also feel that some of the rhetoric from my fellow conservatives that the deal is a betrayal was overheated. It was likely the best deal that could be cut with Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.

I can’t help but notice that Democrats who do not like the cuts — as minor as they are — and Democrats who wanted major tax increases are being much more careful in their rhetoric than our side. This constant airing of our differences, the near-reflexive instinct for Republicans to form a circular firing squad and the overblown rhetoric is a big problem that we must overcome.

That said, the “deal” is more flawed than anyone knew.

It turns out that in spite of assurances from Paul Ryan and others, the deal not only cuts veterans’ benefits, it also cuts the benefits of our disabled heroes.

What is wrong with this bill is not the miniscule “savings.” The real offense is that it was negotiated and agreed upon behind closed doors and outside of the normal process, something Speaker Boehner and others said they weren’t going to do anymore.

The American people had virtually no opportunity for input. The vote was rushed, no doubt resulting in many House members without their knowledge voting against disabled veterans. I guarantee the left will use it against them in next year’s campaign.

Last week polling suggested that the public was happy there was a deal because the public is so fed up with Washington’s infighting. I guarantee the public won’t be happy when Americans coast-to-coast learn that disabled vets have been hurt by this deal.

By the way, how is it that there were assurances they wouldn’t be hurt? Paul Ryan is a good man. I don’t believe he would knowingly lie. Did someone lie to him? Events like this contribute to the growing sense that no one in Washington can be trusted.

Reps Save Vets; Dems Choose Illegals

After learning about the danger to disabled veterans, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) offered an amendment to restore that funding and get the savings by closing welfare loopholes that have allowed illegal immigrants to fraudulently collect billions of your tax dollars in child tax credits. The Sessions amendment was tabled on a largely party line vote. Only one Senate Democrat voted in favor of the Sessions amendment.

As frustrated as we get about the Republican Party not fighting hard enough sometimes, this vote proves why it is just not true that there is no difference between the two parties. When given the choice of siding with disabled vets or illegal immigrants, 54 Senate Democrats sided with illegal immigrants, while every Senate Republican sided with our heroes.