Morning Briefing for June 20, 2012

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RedState Morning Briefing
June 20, 2012

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1. From Senator Pat Toomey: America vs. the Sugar Lobby

It’s not often conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, pro-growth conservative groups and the Teamsters agree on something. In fact, it’s almost unheard of.But when it comes to the federal government’s sugar program – one of the most egregious corporate welfare handouts in a long list of wasteful programs – these strange bedfellows have found common ground.For years, the federal government has kept the price of sugar high by capping domestic production, imposing a de facto government price floor, and mandating that USDA buy excess sugar to sell to ethanol producers at a loss. The U.S. government also places exorbitant restrictions on sugar imports. The cumulative effect of all these special protections is an artificial increase in the price of sugar for Americans relative to other countries.As a result, American consumers pay more for products containing sugar, and U.S. manufacturers of sugar consuming products are at a competitive disadvantage. Not surprisingly, many of these manufacturers have closed their doors or moved their factories to Canada and Mexico where sugar costs less than half the price. The Department of Commerce agrees, finding that for every one job protected by the sugar program, three others are lost in sugar using manufacturing industries.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. It’s On: Holder tries to play Issa on Fast and Furious, will be subject of contempt vote tomorrow

Republican members of the House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees have been turning up the heat on Attorney General Eric Holder over his obstructive and misleading testimony about Fast and Furious, the operation in which the ATF coerced American gun dealers into selling firearms to Mexican cartels, and then allowed them to “walk” across our southern border (all without a whisper to the Mexican government).After being threatened with a contempt of Congress vote (scheduled for Wednesday, June 20), Holder made a last-ditch attempt to avert what he has repeatedly referred to as a “constitutional crisis,” requesting a meeting with Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to “discuss [the Department of] Justice’s knowledge of the controversial ‘gun walking’ tactics used in Fast and Furious, including information about whistleblowers.” Issa agreed to the meeting, but informed Holder that nothing less than full disclosure – including the handover of all documents related to the program, its cover-up, and the action taken against ATF whistleblowers – would be acceptable.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. From Rep. Michele Bachmann: The Case for Medicaid Audits to Prevent Fraud

Minnesotans are proud people. We’re proud to boast of our 11,842 lakes and the fact that we can survive subzero temperatures for months straight. But one thing Minnesotans can’t be proud of is our state’s questionable handling of Medicaid dollars.The House Oversight Committee recently reported, “Minnesota provides a stunning example of how states are failing to properly ensure the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars spent on Medicaid managed care.”So how did Minnesota end up with this disappointing designation?Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. WaWa and Kerry: A Tale of Two Memes

Yesterday saw two trial balloons floated by the Obama campaign and its surrogates in their ongoing struggle to define Mitt Romney as someone who should not be president. The first was centered around a Romney campaign stop in Pennsylvania over the weekend, the second about an announcement, of sorts, to the media over who has been selected to act as Romney in Obama’s debate rehearsals.Let’s examine them both and what they mean in the context of this presidential campaign.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. California State Bar Recommends Law License for Illegal Immigrant

I am probably a good deal squishier than most conservatives on the immigration issue – I broadly favor a set of immigration reforms that would probably be (inaccurately) called “amnesty” by most people who read this blog. But this story right here really chaps my hide.Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. Jared Polis May Have Violated House Rules Following High Park Fire Visit

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) may have violated House ethics rules last week when he used his official .gov website to broadcast the details of his visit to the High Park Fire Command Post, which is located outside of the congressional district Polis’ currently represents. Both the House ethics and administration committees have issued clear guidance prohibiting the use of official resources for out-of-district events. The recently completed decennial redistricting process added new territory to Polis’ district, but he will only represent the new areas if he is re-elected in November.Ethics committee guidelines, which are based on House rules that forbid the use of taxpayer dollars for what are effectively campaign activities, also prohibit members of Congress from using official resources, including staff time, to solicit donations for external organizations.Please click here for the rest of the post.



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