Associated Press Poll: 65% of Republicans say immigration is the top issue.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted shortly before the shutdown began finds that both Republicans and Democrats are far more likely to include immigration in their list of top issues facing the country this year compared with a year ago.

Overall, 49 percent mentioned immigration in an open-ended question as one of the top five problems they hoped the government addresses in 2019. By contrast, 27 percent mentioned immigration in December 2017.

Partisan divides on the best solutions remain deep. Republicans continue to be more likely to cite immigration as a top issue than Democrats, an indication of the GOP’s greater intensity on the issue. But it’s an increasingly important issue to members of both parties.

The poll found that 65 percent of Republicans say immigration is one of the top five problems facing the country, up from 42 percent in 2017. Among Democrats, 37 percent cite immigration as a top issue, compared with just 2 in 10 a year ago.

Roughly two-thirds of those who named immigration as a top priority express little confidence in the government to make progress this year, including a third who say they are “not at all” confident. About a third say they are at least moderately confident in the government to make progress on immigration. This follows a year of intermittent deadlocked negotiations and standoffs between Trump and Democrats in Congress.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:  https://www.apnews.com/afe8b152156f4b9786832bdf957dbfa8

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Pastor Brad Winship: Why Political Paralysis?

The government shut down over the border wall stems from a greater error deeper than deficit spending and illegal immigration.  Our politicians are making policy based on personal gain.  This is the Biblical warning concerning unprincipled men.  When pragmatism and political expediency become the basis for government policy, democracy implodes.

 Scripture References:  Ecclesiastes 8:1 , 2:14 , 10:16 ; 1 Timothy 6:5 ; Psalm 15:4 ; Jeremiah 6:16 , 18:12 , 44:16 , Isaiah 28:12 ; 2 Peter 2:7 , 3:17 ; Deuteronomy 28:20 , 29

YouTube #58 Why Political Paralysis ?  

Pastor Winship can be heard at the following times:

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Leaked email: AFP plans to push DACA and screw Trump

Breitbart’s John Binder reports…

“The pro-mass immigration Koch brothers’ network of billionaire, donor class organizations will push an expansive amnesty for illegal aliens this year while vowing not to financially support President Trump’s 2020 re-election bid.

In a leaked email obtained by Time Magazine, the Koch brothers’ network of organizations — which includes Americans for Prosperity, the LIBRE Initiative, and Freedom Partners — have their sights set on an amnesty for the at least 3.5 million illegal aliens who are enrolled and eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Koch brothers’ organizations claim Americans have a ‘commitment’ to providing amnesty to DACA illegal aliens, though doing so would strain the country’s social safety net intended for U.S. citizens…”

“’We are making significant investments to unite the country and address critical issues that will help people improve their lives,’ Koch spokesman James Davis told TIME. ‘This starts with a major new initiative to fight poverty in America, and following on the success of the First Step Act in December continuing to build broad-based policy coalitions on issues from education reform to immigration.

These will include a significant investment to support policy champions in Senate, House and state races. This is where we can make the biggest difference for millions of Americans.’ [Emphasis added]

Most recently, the Koch network lobbied the Trump administration not to enforce an existing law whereby foreign nationals seeking to permanently resettle in the U.S. would need to prove that they will not become drains on the American taxpayer.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:  https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/01/02/billionaire-kochs-plot-daca-amnesty-vow-not-to-support-trump-in-2020/

In New Jersey, does “Republican” equal “conservative”?

Unfortunately, not even close.

After years of ignoring its base – and a series of losing election cycles – the New Jersey Republican Party is in the process of figuring out who it wants to be.  It doesn’t have a lot of time, because it faces yet another legislative election in which it will likely be at a disadvantage in terms of financial resources and motivated grassroots manpower.

There is a ready-made model.  It is called the Republican Party – the Republican Party that the rest of America believes in.

The Republican Party – in which the NJGOP participates through two National Committee Members – has a wonderful, ready-made, polling and focus-group tested, set of principles for American renewal.  Here they are:

CONSTITUTION

Our Constitution should be preserved, valued and honored. 

ECONOMY

We need to start growing America’s economy instead of Washington’s economy so that hard-working Americans see better wages and more opportunity. 

BUDGET

We need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, make government more efficient, and leave the next generation with opportunity, not debt. 

HEALTHCARE

We need to start over with real healthcare reform that puts patients and their doctors in charge, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington. 

VETERANS

Our veterans have earned our respect and gratitude, and no veteran should have to wait in line for months or years just to see a doctor. 

SECURITY

Keeping America safe and strong requires a strong military, growing the economy, energy independence, and secure borders.  

EDUCATION

Every child should have an equal opportunity to get a great education; no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing school. 

POVERTY

The best anti-poverty program is a strong family and a good job, so our focus should be on getting people out of poverty by lifting up all people and helping them find work. 

VALUES

Our country should value the traditions of family, life, religious liberty, and hard work. 

ENERGY

We should make America energy independent by encouraging investment in domestic energy, lowering prices, and creating jobs at home. 

IMMIGRATION

We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy.

SOURCE: https://www.gop.com/principles-for-american-renewal

On its website, the Republican National Committee offers a survey that asks which of the above eleven principles are most important to the individual taking the survey.  Notice the tone and language used.  It is a very proactive message:  “This is what we believe in… where do you fit in?” 

Top of Form

When RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel laid out her vision for Republican leadership, she outlined the Principles for American Renewal.

These are the core principles that unite and drive the Republican Party. These are the core principles that inform and inspire our policymaking. And these are the core principles that we need to get our country back on track. 

SOURCE: https://www.gop.com/principles-for-american-renewal-survey/

Now compare it with the survey on the NJGOP website.  Notice the difference in tone and language…

The NJGOP is a diverse group of individuals and organizations, with multi-­faceted views on a variety of issues. As we develop a winning strategy for all 21 counties and 565 municipalities, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey and let us know what issues are most important to you!

What issues are most important to you? (Select all that apply)

Top of Form

Controlling government spending and reducing the debt

Improving health care

Strengthening New Jersey’s economy and protecting jobs

Improving education

Fighting crime and improving public safety

Keeping property taxes down

Improving New Jersey’s roads, bridges, and highways

Protecting the state from threats of terrorism

Protecting the environment and open space

Reforming government to make it more transparent and accountable

Other

SOURCE: https://www.njgop.org/issues-survey/

Instead of “this is what we believe in… where do you fit in” there’s a laundry list of “concerns”, most of which would be just as suitable on a Democrat Party website.  Instead of a unifying message and focus, it is as if the NJGOP were appealing to voters to “tell us who you want us to be.”

X

Improving health care

Strengthening New Jersey’s economy and protecting jobs

Improving education

Fighting crime and improving public safety

X

Improving New Jersey’s roads, bridges, and highways

Protecting the state from threats of terrorism

Protecting the environment and open space

Reforming government to make it more transparent and accountable

Other

In contrast, the message of Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Democrats couldn’t be clearer.  New Jersey Democrats have the sense of who they are that the NJGOP lacks.  In the video on their website, the Governor lays out the Democrats’ message – point by point, no bullshit.  Murphy nails it when he says, “We are who we told folks we would be.”  That is being straight with the voters and they are looking for that.

SOURCE: https://njdems.org/

New Jersey Republicans have fallen far since 2001 and are now in an existential crisis and a battle for survival.  The next three years will determine whether or not the NJGOP continues as a viable alternative to the Democrats – the Legislative elections of 2019, Congressional elections of 2020, and Gubernatorial election of 2021.  It’s life or death.  Time to be bold.

Suleiman didn’t learn the lesson of Charlie Hebdo?

All public figures must suffer the slings and arrows of humor.  Whether a politician or a celebrity… comedy adds a measure of humility into the lives of those proud souls who consider themselves to be “the great and the good.”

But some folks don’t take too well to humor – especially when it is directed at them or those they feel a kindred nature with.  They seek to restrain or codify free expression, and in doing so they kill the very nature of comedy itself.

 Imagine what would happen if the Federal Elections Commission took comedy seriously and began requiring Saturday Night Live or Jimmy Kimmel to count their comedy routines as corporate-sponsored paid political advertisements?  What would become of the humor once it was codified and restrained in such a way?

Earlier today, a political figure – the top Democrat Party official in Atlantic County – asked a small, local newspaper to take punitive action against a journalist for engaging in the high crime of humor.  In this case, the journalist made a joke at the expense of United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, about something that she choose to focus the world’s attention on… namely, her self-identification as a native American or, in the parlance that she was brought up with, an “American Indian”. 

Yes, yes, we all now have endlessly heard that “American Indian” is somehow “incorrect”, but it is a matter of historical perspective isn’t it?  The same way that “British” somehow became the correct form over “English” and an American is a “Yank” in Britain, even if he’s from Alabama, and someone of Italian-ancestry is an “Englishman” to an Amishman, simply because he doesn’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch.  Understanding takes away the offense (unless one is seeking to be offended). 

So this journalist (and the United States Supreme Court has given wide leave as to who can be called a “journalist”) made a joke aimed at Senator Warren, who earlier had announced her intention to run for President of the United States in 2020.  And this prominent Democrat politician – Michael Suleiman – responded, not with his own joke, but with a call for brutal repression.  How uncool.

We’ve seen this before.  In Europe. 

On February 9, 2006, the French-language humor magazine Charlie Hebdo published an article titled “Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists” in which it added its own cartoons and reprinted twelve cartoons previously published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.  In response, the top politician in France – President Jacques Chirac – condemned the journalists for their “overt provocations”.  The politician argued against Freedom of Expression, saying:  “Anything that can hurt the convictions of someone else, in particular religious convictions, should be avoided.”  It should be noted that Monsieur Le President comes out of the notably authoritarian traditions of bureaucratic France.

The Grand Mosque of Paris, the Muslim World League, and the Union of French Islamic Organizations condemned the humor as “racist”.  It should be noted that Charlie Hebdo (Hebdo is French for “weekly”) is a decidedly Leftist publication and that its humor is more generally aimed at the National Front and Catholicism.  It describes itself as “secular, skeptic, atheist, far-left-wing, and anti-racist.”  But it does believe in comedy and in the right to Free Expression – and, as a result, it got into trouble with the political thought police.

What happened to Charlie Hebdo is an important reminder of what happens when you can’t take a joke and escalate humor into something it’s not.  Some offended parties brought a legal action against the publication, with the publisher memorably stating:  “It is racist to imagine that they can’t understand a joke.”

When the legal action was tossed out, the anti-comedy crowd took it further, they firebombed the offices of Charlie Hebdo and hacked its website.  But Charlie Hebdo, true to its traditions of free expression, refused calls for “self-censorship” and went on its merry way. 

Then… on January 7, 2015… two terrorists who clearly had no sense of humor, two determined repressors of comedy, forced their way into the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and proceeded to murder journalists, cartoonists, editors, and staff – plus two police officers – twelve dead in all and eleven wounded.  It was an act of terror justified by the offense taken at a joke. 

America today is at a crossroads.  Do we use humor to combat humor… or do we oppress it every time someone is offended?  The latter equals the end of humor, for as all great comedians have recognized, the core of humor is transgressive – somebody is going to be pissed off.   

This is why what this politician – Michael Suleiman – has done is so dangerous.  By asking the newspaper publisher to take punitive action against a journalist for publishing a joke, he has placed himself with those who are at war with comedy and free expression.  If you want to “get back” at a joke you don’t like, undo it with a better joke of your own, don’t seek to harm those engaged in the free expression of humor. 

We hope Democrat Chairman Suleiman will withdraw his silly complaint.