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Ted Cruz for President raised $2 million in first 3 days of campaign, nearly 10,000 online donations were $99 or less-USA Today

3/27/15, “Ted Cruz raises $2 million for White House bid,” USA Today, Fredreka Schouten

Sen. Ted Cruz, the first major Republican candidate to declare his White House candidacy, raised $2 million during the first three days of his presidential campaign — as his team deployed a mix of complex social-media strategy and behavioral analytics to reach and sway potential donors.

Hours before his announcement speech Monday in Lynchburg, Va., Cruz tweeted the news that he was running for president. That day, he had 5.7 million interactions on Facebook. So far, nearly two-thirds of his fundraising haul has flowed in through the Internet, aided behind the scenes by a team of data scientists who closely monitor social media and digital traffic to determine who’s reading their messages, who’s sharing them and who’s clicking through to his website and taking action.

The communication is two-way. Relying on marketing techniques common in the world of commerce, Cruz’s team has tailored its web advertising to reach seven different “psychographic” clusters — groups of people with similar attitudes, personalities and interests. It has crafted 17 different advertising messages to reach those potential donors.

For instance, pro-gun “traditionalists” saw online banner ads with a grandfather and grandson heading out to hunt, while another targeted people concerned about personal safety with an image of a home break-in. Another talked about “bringing … faith in God back to America” to attract religious conservatives. They all directed people to visit www.tedcruz.org….

The Cruz rollout is the latest sign that the world of data analytics is fast taking root in American politics — as candidates race to build out a digital strategy for a contest that will require each party’s nominee to raise at least $1 billion.

Increasingly, political campaigns are “targeting people based on their hopes, dreams, worries, fears and motivation,” said Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. However, all the data-crunching in the world would not succeed without Cruz also having a message and persona that appeals to some voters, she said.

“If this were all about high-altitude baking techniques, nothing would come of it,” Rutledge said. “He’s managed to tap into the underdog archetype.”…

Building a network of small donors will be crucial for Cruz, a Senate firebrand who has trailed behind other likely GOP contenders, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, in early polling. Small donors can be tapped repeatedly for contributions until they hit the $2,700 maximum contribution for the primary election.

Cruz’s decision to announce first allowed him to dominate political coverage for several days and quickly attract small donors. Nearly 10,000 of Cruz’s online donations came in amounts of $99 or smaller, according to figures released by his campaign.”…chart from USA Today, via Free Rep.

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95% of first million in donations to Ted Cruz for President came in amounts of $250 or less. Two thirds were under $100-US News

3/25/15, Ted Cruz’s Rollout Breaks the Rules, Scores a Quick Million,usnews.com, David Catanese

Cruz raised $1 million in just over the first 24 hours. Data analysts were crucial to maximizing return.”

Ted Cruz’s entire decision of whether to jump-start his presidential candidacy at the end of a fundraising quarter hinged on the ability to raise $1 million in the first week.

The Texas senator ended up hitting that milestone in just over a day.

Donations to Ted Cruz’s campaign during his presidential announcement.
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Fueled by a team of 10 data scientists who are tasked with conducting real-time analysis of prospective supporters, the reach of and return on Cruz’s rollout has already exceeded the initial expectations of even the campaign’s top advisers.

While initial media reports detailed Cruz raising $500,000 on the first day, the candidate actually reached the $1 million marker near 2:30 A.M. Tuesday, just past the first crucial 24 hours since the campaign’s launch on Twitter midnight Monday.

An avalanche of small dollar donations goosed the top line, according to data provided exclusively to U.S. News by the Cruz campaign.

Two-thirds of Cruz’s initial contributions were under $100. Checks of less than $250 amounted to 95 percent of Cruz’s rush to his first million.

Texas, unsurprisingly, was his top donor state, followed by California, Florida and Virginia.

Donations to Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, by location.
The darker the color, the higher the concentration of donors.

But it wasn’t only about shaking the money tree.

Because they were to be first to turn the ignition key on a 2016 candidacy, Cruz’s political brain trust also sought to expand the scope of its rollout, beyond the customary single day flurry of media coverage. His advisors mapped out a carefully planned succession of events designed to build on each other and churn over a week’s span of time.

On Saturday, word began to float out to reporters about an “important speech” Cruz would deliver on Monday at Liberty University. By Saturday night, Cruz’s hometown newspaper, The Houston Chronicle, had nailed down the scoop: Monday morning was go-time.

But first, the tweets.

At 8:05 PM Sunday night, Cruz placed word on Twitter that “around midnight there will be some news you won’t want to miss.” Four hours and four minutes later, just after midnight Monday, he tweeted, “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!”

The tweet was viewed 1.1 million times and the ensuing Facebook post scored more than 800,000 views and reached 2.6 million….

Following the Liberty University announcement, which dominated most of cable news Monday and showed Cruz basking before a youthful, exuberant audience, the candidate hopped on a plane not to Iowa or New Hampshire — but New York. In addition to a fundraising event there, he did Sean Hannity’s radio show as well as sat for the full-hour on his Fox News Channel primetime television program.

The next morning, even as Cruz was headed to NBC’s Today Show for the first joint interview with his wife, Heidi, he still made the front pages of most of the major daily newspapers in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The outset of the Cruz endeavor is demonstrating how crucial analytics will be in building on his initial success. When Cruz sat for an interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly on Tuesday night, he pulled in 952 donors who contributed $70,486 as a result of the appearance, according to Cruz’s data crunchers.

The 10 staffers who hold PhDs in behavioral science or analytics monitored the profiles of those hitting the website during the Kelly interview and quickly redirected social media and Internet-based ad campaigns to maximize the output of their potential targets.”…

Charts above from US News via Free Rep.

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Imagine January 2017. Above kindly provided by a Free Republic commenter.

Security, distrust of Arabs, the left, and the media cited by young, first time voters key in Netanyahu victory-Haaretz

Remarkable in part because this appears in Haaretz, a radical left, anti-Likud Israel publication:

3/19/15, First-time voters in Israel explain why they chose Netanyahu, Haaretz, Avshalom Halutz

Young voters, who went on Instagram to share their election selfies, explain why they voted for Netanyahu: Security, security, security – and distrust of Arabs, the left and media.” 

Many Israelis woke up to quite a shock Wednesday morning, discovering that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had handily beaten challenger Isaac Herzog, despite opinion polls the previous weekend predicting a narrow victory for Herzog’s Zionst Union.”…

Subscription, balance of Haaretz article below from PamelaGeller.com. Click to enlarge below, these are screen shots. (More photos from Haaretz article at PamelaGeller.com):

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Image above from Haaretz via PamelaGeller.com. Caption: A young voter shows her support for Likud on Instagram.

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Comment: I used screen shots instead of copy and paste because PamelaGeller.com is among sites from which my computers are unable to copy and paste. Other examples are Democrats Against UN Agenda 21, Conservative Review.

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Science and media on beach in Bonaire paid for by multi-billion dollar Pew Charitable Trusts to steer US policy. Pew-selected media taught scientists to sell views to Science, Nature, masses. Coaches included NY Times, Economist, Time, US News. Pew fellow Lubchenco long urged fellow scientists to be global warming activists-Gloucester Times, June 2010 article

6/28/2010, Getting Help from the Press,” Gloucester Times, Nancy Gaines

For five days, esteemed scientists and elite journalists gathered on Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles, east of Aruba, to loll on the island’s fine beaches, sip cocktails at the Tipsy Seagull and perhaps marvel at the flamingoes for which Bonaire is famous.

The official purpose of the October 2002 gathering of the
“Learn how to navigate the stormy waters of the media,” read the description of one Bonaire workshop. “Packaging your message is a key to success — whether talking to the media,
  • submitting a paper to Science or Nature (magazine), writing a grant proposal, or writing an op-ed for your local paper.”
But it wasn’t all business.
The workshops were followed by “barside discussions” as the sun-soaked setting
  • blurred the line that usually separates reporters and those they cover. So, too, did it blur the line between trainers and trainees.
The scientists being trained on Bonaire had a ready pool of journalists on which to practice what they were learning about working the media. The list of reporters invited to Bonaire was a
  • who’s who of science journalism: Cornelia Dean of the New York Times, Natasha Loder of the Economist, Charles Alexander of Time magazine and Tom Hayden of U.S. News and World Report, among others.
Dean (NY Times) told the Gloucester Daily Times her trip to Bonaire was paid for by Pew, the powerful nonprofit that uses its multi-billion-dollar endowment to steer public policy on the environment and other issues.
  • While the New York Times has strict standards against junkets, Dean said, an exception is made for “teaching,” and that’s what she was doing in Bonaire.
  • “My goal was to help scientists to speak more clearly to the public,” she said.
The scientists mingling with the journalists on Bonaire included beneficiaries of Pew money, like Steve Palumbi, Elliot Norse and Jeremy Jackson.
Another notable scientist on Bonaire was Daniel Pauly, the author last year of “Aquacalypse Now: The End of Fish,” and a professor whose fisheries center at the University of British Columbia has received some $15 million from Pew.
Pauly is a longtime prophet of doom for commercial fishing. In a 1998 article he co-authored for Science magazine, Pauly predicted that rapacious commercial fishermen would work their way down the marine food chain — eliminating predator fish such as tuna and swordfish, then setting their nets for the bait those fish feed on. In the end, nothing would be left on the menu but “jellyfish and plankton soup.”
The Bonaire conclave is just one example of the symbiotic relationship that has developed between
  • environmental advocates and scientists and some of the
  • big-media journalists who cover them.
The journalists are wined and dined by the advocates
  • and hired to train the scientists to use the media to advance their message.
The journalists, in turn, call on those same scientists as sources when writing about the advocates and their agenda.
  • In June 2003, eight months after Bonaire, Tom Hayden warned of the cataclysmic consequences of overfishing in a cover story for U.S. News and World Report,
The story, “Fished Out,” quoted 13 different concerned scientists and citizens coming to the same awful conclusion: Jellyfish might one day be fishermen’s only catch.
Although Hayden was virtually unknown in commercial fishing circles,
  • his story had the potential to influence the American public’s view of the fishing industry.
Hayden did not mention to his readers that, of the 14 sources he quoted for the article, 13 received their funding directly or indirectly from Pew, as Pew fellows or the recipients of Pew grants. The 14th was a restaurant chef.
  • Hayden’s Pew-connected sources included Pauly, the godfather of the jellyfish scenario, and Jeremy Jackson, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography ecologist.
Both Pauly and Jackson were on Bonaire with Hayden, who did not return several messages for comment on this story.
  • In fact, Jackson was on the agenda to go snorkeling with Hayden. Hayden’s U.S. News and World Report cover story quoted Jackson on jellyfish:
“Jellyfish have become a commercial fishery in many places,” Jackson says, “because that’s all that’s left. That and the bacteria.”
  • Hayden also quoted Jane Lubchenco, now head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent agency of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
‘Frame their messages’
Lubchenco, a Pew fellow and mentor of many other Pew fellows, wasn’t on Bonaire. But she appeared in a PBS-produced film shown at the event titled “Empty Oceans, Empty Nets,” another cautionary tale of overfishing, funded in part by Pew.
  • Lubchenco for years has urged her fellow scientists to become activists in the debate over issues like global warming and overfishing and
In 1997, as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Lubchenco called on fellow scientists to
  • join her in a new “social contract.”
Scientists must promote their ideas to politicians and the public in order to create a world that is “ecologically sound, economically feasible and socially just,” she argued.
  • A year after the speech, Lubchenco founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program to advance her activist vision.
The program trains chosen scientists in “talking points” to use with the media and other nonscientific audiences, according to its website. Through “role playing and small group interactive exercises,”
  • the scientists learn how to develop “specific, appropriate messages to stakeholders.”
Trainers hired to work with Aldo Leopold fellows have included
  • reporters for the New York Times, the Washington Post and National Public Radio, as well as leaders of environmental groups and
  • White House and
  • congressional staff members.
Lubchenco also helped organize two groups with a similar mission, SeaWeb and the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea — COMPASS.
  • Lead trainer for all three advocacy groups — Aldo Leopold, SeaWeb and COMPASS — is Nancy Baron, a zoologist and former science writer.
Baron has boasted to colleagues about her success in manipulating the media message — and the media.
  • In a 2005 e-mail — a copy of which has been obtained by the Times — she cited an article in The New York Times, and wrote:
  • “We worked with these scientists to help them frame their messages and talk about their study so it resonates with the wider public. Note their quotes in particular which are not just off the top of their heads …”
In 2008, referring to a story on damage to the ocean ecosystem written by Andrew Revkin for the Science Times section of The New York Times, Baron wrote: “This Science Times piece came out of AAAS (American Academy of Arts and Sciences) and our infamous marine mixer.”
  • The infamous mixer was a cocktail party hosted by COMPASS for members of the Academy and the press.
The networking that links activists and journalists was fully on display in the Washington Post story that broke the news of President-elect Obama’s decision to nominate
  • Lubchenco as head of NOAA in December 2008.
The story was written by the Post’s environmental writer, Juliet Eilperin, who has been both a panelist and participant in COMPASS events.
  • Eilperin cited “several sources” for the scoop and quoted one in praise of Lubchenco: Andrew Rosenberg.
The story did not mention that Rosenberg is an adviser to both Pew and COMPASS and has ties to Lubchenco that date to when she was a professor and he a grad student at Oregon State University. He lists Lubchenco as a reference on his resume.
  • Rosenberg is also a former high-ranking NOAA official who
  • now runs an environmental consulting company that has obtained
  • more than $12 million in NOAA contracts in the past decade.
Last fall, Lubchenco made him a White House consultant on ocean policy.”
Image above, Bonaire Beach from etraveltrips.com
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Despite massive US population increase of 26% since 1990, US CO2 emissions have only increased 6%-EU Commission Report Dec. 2014, global CO2 emissions trends

Dec. 2014, Trends in global CO2 emissions 2014 Report,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, EU Commission Joint Research Centre

US population since 1990: +26%
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US CO2 since 1990: +6%
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p. 17, “United States 2.2.2
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When comparing long term trends, we note that while the United States saw a relatively high annual population increase 26% since 1990, its CO2 emissions increased by 6% in this period (for more details see Section 2.3)”

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Rep. David Brat, R-Va: “While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for Speaker….Our party’s leadership has strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government.”

1/4/15, “Exclusive–David Brat: Next House Speaker Must Tackle Trillion-Dollar Problems,” Rep. David Brat, Breitbart

Whoever runs for the Republican leadership of the U.S. House on Tuesday must communicate on paper how Congress is going to lead on the big issues. The American people elected us to solve trillion-dollar problems, not to kick the can down the road with only symbolic votes. My district expects any leader to clearly outline bold solutions on the major issues of our day, such as:

· How he or she will defend the Constitution and challenge President Obama’s repeated illegal overreach into areas of congressional authority, particularly his unconstitutional amnesty by presidential decree;

· How he will end Washington’s out-of-control spending and debt addiction that is mortgaging our children’s future and promises to cripple our economy within the next decade;

· How he will defund Obamacare to stop skyrocketing insurance premiums on struggling families as well as the destruction of jobs it’s causing;

· How he will stop excessive regulations like the EPA’s overregulation of farms and small businesses – regulations that have made it prohibitively expensive to run a business and create jobs.

These are not just my priorities. These are the priorities that the American people expressed loudly and clearly on November 4th. And these need to be the priorities of the leaders of this next Congress.

These are reasonable positions. So when reason is losing the argument, it’s clear that something else is taking its place – personal interests over what’s in the best interest of the country. The American people know they are being shortchanged, and they want action, not talking points.

Our current leadership was recently tested when Mr. Obama attempted to circumvent Congress and the law by unilaterally granting amnesty to illegal immigrants by presidential decree. His decree provides illegal immigrants with work permits, legal status, and free federal entitlements. But on a much more significant front, his action shows a complete disregard for our constitutional system where Congress makes the laws and the president’s duty is to enforce them.

The House leadership and every member of Congress took an oath to defend the Constitution, and we have a duty to stop the president when he ignores it. The most powerful remedy the Congress has in these situations is the power to defund his illegal action.

We had an opportunity to do that last month when Representatives Mick Mulvaney, Matt Salmon, and I led in co-sponsoring an amendment to the CRomnibus spending bill that would have stripped it of funding for executive amnesty. We were joined by 64 other House members, but were told that there was no time to amend the bill before the vote. That meant the CRomnibus bill passed and provided the president with the funds for his scheme.

Why was there no time to amend the bill? Because the leadership hid the 1,774-page CRomnibus from members of Congress and the public until the last minute, giving us just 48 hours to try to read through it before voting on it. Further, why did the leadership allow funding for illegal amnesty to be included in the bill in the first place? And why was the leadership willing to whip votes with the president and the House Democrats to pass the bill, but not willing to work with House Republicans to stop the funding of an illegal act?

But the CRomnibus didn’t just fund illegal amnesty. It was a $1.1 trillion spending bill that did nothing to reduce spending or work toward balancing the budget. It also funded Obamacare when the House had pledged to repeal it. And it funded the economy-killing overregulation of agencies like the EPA, which are destroying American jobs when we have millions looking for work.

In recent days and weeks, I have given careful consideration as to how I would cast my vote for Speaker of the House. I do not cast this vote as an individual, but on behalf of the citizens of Virginia’s Seventh District who sent me to Washington to act as their representative. While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for Speaker.

Washington is broken in part because our party’s leadership has strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government, constitutional conservatism. We are at a crucial turning point in our country’s history – do we truly want free markets, or does cronyism remain in place? Do we want the rule of law, or will amnesty for cheap illegal labor win the day?

In my campaign, I heard over and over from my constituents that they don’t feel Washington is working for them. They feel like they are always on the losing end of most every deal struck inside the beltway – that somehow the ordinary working man and woman keep drawing the short straw. And year after year, government gets bigger, the debt swells, and the bureaucracy engulfs the citizen a little bit more. The scope of the problem is in the trillions, but the solutions offered so far have only been in the billions – not even scratching the surface of what needs to be done to get this country back on track. The people hope for a Republican leader to step forward and help fellow members fight on these issues – and for the very future of America.” via Free Rep.

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Comment: Rep. Brat mentions “defunding ObamaCare” and spoke earlier about defunding executive amnesty. The House has 100% unilateral ability to defund gov. spending without approval of Senate or White House. As CNS News reported, the GOP seems to be attempting to nullify the Constitution’s Power of the Purse provided to the House absolutely as well as trying to convince the public that the Constitution doesn’t say what it does:

11/21/14, “Will Boehner’s House Unilaterally Nullify Its Power of the Purse? CNS News, Terence P. Jeffrey

The Constitution is unambiguous about which branch of the federal government has the authority to make laws governing immigration and control all money spent from the Treasury. It is Congress.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 gives Congress the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

For President Obama to succeed in carrying out his plan to unilaterally change the status of illegal immigrants, two things must happen:

1) He must usurp the constitutional authority of Congress to make immigration laws, and

2) Congress must decline to use its constitutional power of the purse to stop him.

Now a third thing could happen: The Republican-controlled House, led by Speaker John Boehner, may not only decline to use its power of the purse to stop Obama from usurping authority over immigration laws, it may also try persuade the nation it does not actually have that power when it comes to immigration laws.

On Thursday, a New York Times blog published a statement from the House Appropriations Committee that suggested Congress had no control over the funding of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and that therefore the agency could “expand operations as under a new executive order” no matter what Congress said in a continuing resolution to fund the government.

I contacted the committee via email to confirm the statement published by the Times and to ask if the committee believes that Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution applies to CIS.

The committee sent me verbatim exactly the same statement that had been published by the Times. It said:

“The primary agency for implementing the president’s new immigration executive order is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications. Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘de-fund’ the agency. The agency has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new Executive Order, without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.”

Responding on background, an Appropriations Committee aide said in an email: “You could ‘defund’ the CIS, but it would take an authorization/change to underlying statute that impacts their use of fees. This is an authorization issue, not an appropriations issue.”

“Even if such an authorization change were to be attached to an omnibus bill via a rider, the president would veto the bill, and the government would shut down,” said the aide. “At that point, the CIS would still not be defunded and would continue to operate, given that it is fee-funded.”

I followed up by sending the staffer a passage from Justice Joseph Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.” Story was named to the court by President James Madison, a leading Framer of the Constitution.

“The object is apparent upon the slightest examination,” Story wrote about the Article 1, Section 9 power of the purse. “It is to secure regularity, punctuality, and fidelity, in the disbursements of the public money. As all the taxes raised from the people, as well as the revenues arising from other sources, are to be applied to the discharge of the expenses, and debts, and other engagements of the government, it is highly proper, that congress should possess the power to decide, how and when any money should be applied for these purposes. If it were otherwise, the executive would possess an unbounded power over the public purse of the nation; and might apply all its monied resources at his pleasure.”

I asked: “Is it not a different thing to say the president would veto it than to say the committee does not have the power to stop the expenditure of funds on this? Also, does the committee reject Joseph Story’s interpretation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 when he said that it applied to “all the taxes raised from the people, as well as the revenues arising from other sources”? … Does the committee believe that fees collected by a federal agency and then drawn from the Treasury and spent are not covered by its power under Article I, Section 9, Clause 7?”

Speaking again on background, the committee aide responded via email: “As per the underlying statute, CIS is funded outside of appropriations. The fees are collected and spent according to the underlying authorization (The Immigration and Nationality Act), and are not subject to the appropriations process. Congress can indeed change CIS’s ability to collect and spend fees, but it would require a change in the authorization.”

Three observations:

1) If Obama spends “fees” collected into the Treasury by CIS to implement unilateral executive actions he is not acting on the “underlying authorization,” he is defying it.

2) It does not matter whether the government brings money into the Treasury through a tax, a fee or selling debt to the People’s Republic of China, the Constitution says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

3) It appears that Republican congressional leaders do not want to take any effective action to protect either the constitutional authority of Congress to make the immigration laws or the power of the purse that protects Americans against a president spending money from the Treasury “at his pleasure.””

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Rep. Dave Brat, R-Richmond, the economist who defeated Eric Cantor, supports power of the purse to defund Obama executive order:

“Brat acknowledged that the agency is self-funded through immigration application fees, but that the appropriations committee voted in August to determine how the agency spends those fees.”…

11/21/14, Brat: ‘Not one thin dime’ for Obama’s immigration plan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, by Allison Brophy Champion Culpeper Star-Exponent

The 7th District’s newly elected Congressman vowed via Twitter Thursday night that he supports, “Not one thin dime,” to fund the proposed actions outlined by President Barack Obama to deal with the broken immigration system.

I support using the power of the purse to defund Obama’s amnesty,” tweeted Rep. Dave Brat, R-Richmond, the economist, replacing Eric Cantor, who recently took office in Washington….

Brat said he would not vote to fund a program “that subverts the law or encourages tens of thousands more people to risk their lives illegally crossing our border. He said the U.S. House should “use its power of the purse” to defund in the current budget bill “Obama’s illegal executive action.”

“We must fund the rest of government with a short-term bill while, in a separate bill, defund the appropriations for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services programs that the president intends to use to carry out this act,” Brat said.

The newly elected 7th District representative called the presidential action an “attempt to give amnesty to five million illegal aliens,” saying it was unfair to others “waiting in line to become citizens the right way.” Brat said the president’s actions would encourage more children to attempt to illegally enter the U.S.

“In addition, crony insiders will now get the amnesty they lobbied for to provide a cheap supply of labor while millions of Americans remain unemployed,” he said.

A statement Thursday from the House Appropriations Committee indicated that Congress could not use the budget appropriations process to cut funding for the president’s proposed actions through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Brat acknowledged that the agency is self-funded through immigration application fees, but that the appropriations committee voted in August to determine how the agency spends those fees.

The committee said in its statement Thursday that the immigration services agency could continue to collect its fees, operate and expand operations under the president’s new executive order “without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.””…

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Comment 2: Speaker Boehner has never allowed a standalone, up or down vote to defund ObamaCare to come to the floor. The GOP E has never wanted to stop ObamaCare. They’ve had the power to do so for 4 years–since Jan. 2011 with the huge majority we gave them in Nov. 2010. House votes to “repeal” ObamaCare, or to defund part or all of it combined with other measures are different and can’t be done by the House alone.

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Parents weep in Florida to stop rash of standardized school tests promoted by Jeb Bush and Common Core. Parents across all spectrums say tests are destroying children and society. Miami-Dade Supt. says tests threaten fabric of real accountability-NY Times

11/9/14, “States Listen as Parents Give Rampant Testing an F,” NY Times, Lizette Alvarez, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.

Florida embraced the school accountability movement early and enthusiastically, but that was hard to remember at a parent meeting in a high school auditorium here not long ago.

Parents railed at a system that they said was overrun by new tests coming from all levels — district, state and federal. Some wept as they described teenagers who take Xanax to cope with test stress, children who refuse to go to school and teachers who retire rather than promote a culture that seems to value testing over learning.

My third grader loves school, but I can’t get her out of the car this year, Dawn LaBorde, who has three children in Palm Beach County schools, told the gathering, through tears. Her son, a junior, is so shaken, she said, “I have had to take him to his doctor.” She added: “He can’t sleep, but he’s tired. He can’t eat, but he’s hungry.” 

Where once these frustrations were voiced in murmurs, this year not only parents but also educators across Florida are rebelling. They have joined a national protest in which states have repealed their graduation test requirements, 
postponed the consequences of testing for the Common Core — 
national standards in more than 40 states — and rolled back the number of required exams.
In August, Education Secretary Arne Duncan added to the chorus when he wrote in a blog post that “testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools,” and that teachers needed more time to adapt to new standards and tests.
Last month, state school chiefs and the heads of large city districts were the latest to express their concerns by committing to review the panoply of tests students must take.
In Florida, which tests students more frequently than most other states, many schools this year will dedicate on average 60 to 80 days out of the 180-day school year to standardized testing. In a few districts, tests were scheduled to be given every day to at least some students.
The furor in Florida, which cuts across ideological, party and racial lines, is particularly striking for a state that helped pioneer accountability through former Gov. Jeb Bush. Mr. Bush, a possible presidential contender, was one of the first governors to introduce high-stakes testing and an A-to-F grading system for schools. He continues to advocate test-based accountability through his education foundation. Former President George W. Bush, his brother, introduced similar measures as governor of Texas and, as president, embraced No Child Left Behind, the law that required states to develop tests to measure progress.
The concerns reach well beyond first-year jitters over Florida’s version of Common Core, which is making standards tougher and tests harder. Frustrations also center on the increase this year in the number of tests ordered by the state to fulfill federal grant obligations on teacher evaluations and by districts to keep pace with the new standards. 
The state mandate that students use computers for standardized tests has made the situation worse because  
  • computers are scarce and easily crash….
School districts across Florida have started to pare back the number of district-mandated tests. Palm Beach County announced recently that it would cut dozens of tests this year.
“This is the proverbial perfect storm of testing that has hit not only Florida but all the states,” said Alberto M. Carvalho, the influential superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools, the fourth-largest district in the country, who was named the 2014 national superintendent of the year.
Mr. Carvalho has joined other superintendents and school board members in the state in calling for a delay in the use of new tests, including the not yet validated Florida Standards Assessment — a Common Core variant, with tougher standards than the last assessment used — to grade the state’s schools, teachers and students.
Despite continued support in the Republican-dominated State Legislature for high-stakes testing, there are signs that Florida is headed for a showdown with opponents of an education system that many say is undermining its original mission: to improve student learning, help teachers and inform parents.
Responding to the growing outcry, Gov. Rick Scott in late August called for Education Commissioner Pam Stewart to investigate standardized tests, many of them state-mandated.
Robert A. Schaeffer, the public education director for FairTest, a standardized-test watchdog organization, said, “The numbers and consequences of these tests have driven public opinion over the edge, and  
politicians are scrambling to figure out how to deal with that.”
Much has changed this year in Florida. As part of the federal Race to the Top grant obligation, the state will require end-of-the-year tests for every subject to help evaluate teachers whose pay and job will be tied to scores. In Miami-Dade County, there are 1,600 courses. School districts are obligated to write the course exams, but the Legislature did not give them money for the task, so districts are far behind in developing them.
On top of routine classroom tests, students face an increase in district-led diagnostic tests to keep tabs on student progress. Some teachers are testing children biweekly. This is in addition to high school Advanced Placement, SAT and ACT tests.
But there is another requirement that has made testing more difficult in Florida.  
The state ordered all students, including those in elementary school, to take standardized tests on computers as of this year. But again, the state did not give districts extra money for computers or technology help.
Because schools do not have computers for every student, tests are staggered throughout the day, which translates to more hours spent administering tests and less time teaching. Students who are not taking tests often occupy their time watching movies. The staggered test times also mean computer labs are not available for other students.
The overlay of this year’s tougher Common Core-like standards which has led to drops in test scores in cities like New York — also has students in a panic over falling grades. Teachers, too, are worried about how the scores will affect their evaluations.
In Florida, students who fail the test can be held back in third grade or fail to graduate from high school.
The frustration over testing has spilled across the state. The Lee County School Board led the charge in August when it voted to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing during an emotional meeting in Fort Myers.
  • It rescinded the vote shortly after it learned of the penalties the district would face.  
Miami-Dade just canceled one set of district-ordered interim exams to allow teachers and students more time in the classroom.
In Gainesville, one kindergarten teacher, Susan Bowles, explained to parents on her Facebook page that she would refuse to give state-ordered diagnostic reading tests. The kindergartners were obligated to take the tests one by one on a computer. After the first go-round, Ms. Bowles calculated it would eat up three weeks of teaching time.
Her public stance galvanized even more parents and educators. Not long after her posting, Ms. Stewart, the education commissioner, suspended that particular test for younger pupils. Parents and teachers across the state began to air their grievances, detail by detail.
The emotional effect on students, teachers and parents has been damaging; the manifestation of sadness and frustration is real,” Mr. Carvalho said of the headlong rush into more tests. “And the state should pay attention to it.””
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