Category Archives: Politics

Rand Paul Has Consistently Railed Against Having Kids Outside Of Marriage

The Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate has been consistent on the issue he says is the “number one problem facing our country”.

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“There are so many things we can talk about,” Paul said. “It's something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath but over time: The breakdown of family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society.”

“This isn't just a racial thing; it goes across racial boundaries.”

“The No. 1 risk factor for poverty in our country is having your kids before you are married,” Paul said. “That's not me casting aspersions on anyone. It's just a fact, and we should tell our kids this and try to encourage them to make good decisions.”

“We need to be telling kids 'don't have kids until you're married,'” Paul said. “It's your best chance to get in the middle class is not to have kids. There's all kinds of ways, and we can debate … but there are all kinds of ways to stop having kids.”

“You know, but we have to teach our kids that. But some of that's sort of some tough love too. Maybe we have to say 'enough's enough, you shouldn't be having kids after a certain amount.' I don't know how you do all that because then it's tough to tell a woman with four kids that she's got a fifth kid we're not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer. Some of that's not coming from government. It needs to come from ministers and people in the community and parents and grandparents to convince our kids to do something different.”


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Scott Walker In 2008: Too Many "Poverty Pimps" Use "Cycle Of Dependency" For Political Control

“I think for too long — and I’ll say this, this is a fairly aggressive term — but I think there are too many poverty pimps in our society.”

Nati Harnik / Associated Press

Scott Walker said in 2008 that the government “needs to do more to give people freedom back” by fighting the “poverty pimps in our society,” referring to government officials and community-based organizations that, he said, use poverty for political power.

The Wisconsin governor is likely to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Sitting on a panel at the Future Wisconsin Conservative Conference, Walker, who at the time was the Milwaukee County Executive, was asked, “How do you get human services programs to be more productive as far as helping people get a jumpstart and then create wealth, not only for themselves but for society?”

“I think government needs to do more to give people freedom back,” Walker answered. “And I think that's true across the board, but particularly on this topic in that I think for too long — and I'll say this, this is a fairly aggressive term — but I think there are too many poverty pimps in our society. Too many government officials who rely on poverty as a way, a means of political control, too many community-based organizations who rely on their existence by perpetuating the cycle of dependency.”

When asked about Walker's 2008 remarks, AshLee Strong, the spokeswoman for the governor's Our American Revival PAC, told BuzzFeed News that Walker believes that citizens, not the government, know what is best for their future.

“From implementing programs to help individuals access job opportunities, to pushing for health care reforms that closed the coverage gap, to advancing inner city programs to support entrepreneurship, Governor Walker has continually fought for reforms that help Wisconsinites achieve independence,” Strong said.

“As Governor Walker often says, true freedom and prosperity don't come from the mighty hand of the government — it comes from empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destiny. Governor Walker understands that citizens know better than government bureaucrats how to spend their money, choose their healthcare, pick their child's school, and plan for the future. Americans know better than Washington how to make their dreams a reality.”

Ben Carson On PC Culture: Someone Got Offended When I Said Fashion Industry Encourages "Concentration Camp” Look

“Some people just seize upon things and they can’t hear anything else and they try to create a big deal about it and really that’s what [political correctness] does,” Carson said.

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Dr. Ben Carson, who announced his candidacy for president on Monday, often criticizes political correctness in speeches — including stories within stories.

In one 2013 speech, for instance, he told an anecdote about a Jewish man who took offense to Carson comparing fashion models to concentration camp victims.

“I was talking to a group about how the fashion industry has gotten young ladies to think they're supposed to be so skinny they look like they escaped from a concentration camp,” Carson said in one such speech posted on the Adventist News Network Vimeo account in February of 2013.

“A Jewish man got offended,” Carson continued. “He said, 'You can't mention concentration camps. That's way too sensitive. It would be as if I said something to you about slavery.' And I said, 'You can talk about slavery all you want. It doesn't bother me.'”

“Some people just seize upon things and they can't hear anything else and they try to create a big deal about it and really that's what PC does,” Carson said.

“As a physician, Dr. Carson feels strongly about the health of Americans, and all people. He is not the first nor the last person, fashion industry leaders among them, who has commented on the dangerous extremes many young women engage in to serve their modeling career,” a spokesman for his presidential campaign told BuzzFeed News. “It's very bad practice putting young lives in danger, and yes, many appear badly malnourished. BTW, check out the new laws in France.”

Here's the full speech:

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Coming To A Screen Near You This Primary Season: A Ron Paul Documentary

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WASHINGTON — Ron Paul is participating in a documentary about himself scheduled to come out during next year's primaries, according to a Kickstarter appeal posted online on Monday.

The planned documentary, “Empire of Lies,” is being made by Charles Goyette, a libertarian writer and commentator who hosts a podcast with Paul. According to Goyette's video appeal for funding, this is the first documentary Paul has agreed to participate in.

“Although Ron has been approached many times, he hasn't agreed to cooperate in a documentary until now,” Goyette says in the video.

Goyette makes clear in the video that the documentary is purposefully timed to coincide with next year's presidential primaries: “Our schedule calls for a release in the first half of 2016, when the presidential primaries are underway and people are paying close attention to politics.”

The timing might not be as fortuitous for Rand Paul, who is running for president and who has made an effort to distance himself from the more hardcore libertarian views of his father. He even physically kept him at a distance during his presidential announcement in Kentucky last month; while Ron was in the audience, he did not join Paul at any point on the stage.

Spokespeople for Ron Paul and Rand Paul didn't immediately return a request for comment.

California Democrat’s Pro-Trade Op-Ed Uses Talking Points Put Out By White House, Others

Rep. Ami Bera appears to copy from the Business Roundtable, Third Way, and the White House in rare instance of a Democrat offering President Obama full-throated support for fast-track trade authority.

WASHINGTON — A Sunday op-ed under the byline of Democratic Rep. Ami Bera backing President Obama's pitch for fast-track trade authority — an issue that has split progressives from the White House — appears to crib from pro-trade talking points posted online by business groups and conservative Democrats.

The op-ed, headlined “Rep. Bera backs giving Obama authority to negotiate trade deal,” ran in Sunday's Sacramento Bee. The public endorsement of Obama's pitch for fast-track authority is rare among Democrats these days, and opponents of the White House trade agenda among the president's base said the language similarities in Bera's op-ed and talking points from the Business Roundtable and moderate Democratic Third Way group — groups that back the president's trade agenda — prove their point that the deals are bad for the activist left.

“I don't know if this cut-and-paste job rises to the level of plagiarism,” said Jason Stanford, a top official at the Coalition To Stop Fast Track, a labor-backed effort to pressure Democrats to vote against the White House on trade, “but Congressman Bera sure comes across like someone whose spending more time listening to corporate lobbyists than speaking for the thousands of his constituents who have asked him not to vote for fast track.”

Bera's staff said the op-ed resulted from meetings with people on all sides of the trade debate.

“He's met with many different people, with many different opinions about this very important issue. He of course has spoken with the president and the White House. He's also spoken with local and national representatives from labor unions, think tanks and advocacy groups like Public Citizen and Third Way, environmental organizations, and many other constituents, policy experts, and stakeholders from all sides of this issue about how TPA will impact Sacramento County and this country,” Alison Teixeira, spokesperson for Bera, told BuzzFeed News in an email. “Rep. Bera made his decision to support giving the president the authority to negotiate a trade deal with strict requirements from Congress after many hours of research and deliberation, and based on what he believes will grow our economy, create good-paying American jobs, and protect workers and the environment. His piece encapsulates his views on the issue.”

Business Roundtable:

“With 95 percent of the world's population and 80 percent of global purchasing power outside of the United States, America's global competitiveness will increasingly depend on expanding U.S. trade and investment opportunities.”

Bera's op-ed:

With more than 95 percent of the world's population outside the United States, economic growth and jobs for the region and America will increasingly depend on expanding U.S. trade and investment opportunities in the global marketplace.”

Third Way:

“This TPA is the strongest deal yet on labor and the environment.”

Bera:

“The Trade Promotion Authority also requires the strongest deal yet on labor and the environment.”

Third Way:

“To add teeth, these labor and environmental standards are fully enforceable and allow for trade sanctions for violators.”

Bera:

“And unlike previous versions, this Trade Promotion Authority adds teeth to the standards, making them fully enforceable through trade sanctions for violators.”

Third Way:

“High standards like this are critical for the region. If the U.S. fails to set the rules, China will.”

Bera:

High standards like this are critical because if the U.S. fails to set the rules, China will.”

Third Way:

“This TPA bulks up Congressional oversight and power. TPA 2015 ensures the highest level of consultations and collaboration with the legislative branch — requiring all Members of Congress to be regularly consulted by USTR and provided with access to the negotiating text.”

Bera:

“The Trade Promotion Authority also requires significant congressional oversight and unprecedented levels of public transparency. In fact, it requires all members of Congress to be regularly consulted and given access to negotiating text and even allows Congress to withdraw the Trade Promotion Authority if the deal does not meet the established standards.”

White House:

“TPP will constitute the largest expansion of enforceable labor rights in history, more than quadrupling the number of people around the world covered by enforceable labor standards.”

Bera:

“That would mean the largest expansion of enforceable labor rights ever, more than quadrupling the number of people protected by enforceable labor provisions.”


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Ben Carson’s First Campaign Ad Features Stock Images From Foreign Photographers

“We need to revive the exceptional spirit that built America.”

Ben Carson began his campaign for the presidency on Monday, including posting his first ad on YouTube.

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The over four-minute advertisement titled “Heal Inspire Revive” is composed almost entirely of stock video and images playing while a narrator talks about the current state of American society. Many of the people and groups featured in the ad, however, appear to come from foreign-based photographers who sell their content on websites like Shutterstock.

Political ads frequently use stock images and video. Rand Paul's website briefly used stock images taken by a German-based photographer on a map showing endorsements for his presidential campaign.

In addition, work from Italian and Polish photographers was featured in an advertisement created by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's “Our American Revival” political action committee.

This image of a guy at a microphone at 0:27 is from Hafakot, an Israeli company.

This image of a guy at a microphone at 0:27 is from Hafakot, an Israeli company.

Via youtube.com

The footage of a young child playing the piano at 0:37 is by a user called Raywoo. The contributor’s Shutterstock account says they live in Guangzhou, China.

The footage of a young child playing the piano at 0:37 is by a user called Raywoo. The contributor's Shutterstock account says they live in Guangzhou, China.

Via youtube.com


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DNC Finance Chair: Julian Castro Deserves To Be On Shortlist For Vice President

Henry Muñoz wants to be a force in the Latino finance world during the presidential campaign. He spoke to BuzzFeed News before a Latino Victory Foundation event about Castro, the LIBRE Initiative, and Latino representation.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The man who helped raised tens of millions of dollars for Barack Obama in 2012 says Hillary Clinton needs to look in the direction of HUD Secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as a vice presidential pick.

“Certainly Julian Castro deserves to be on the short list for vice president of the United States,” Henry Muñoz told BuzzFeed News in an interview ahead of an event for the Latino Victory Foundation, which has worked with donors to fund Democratic candidates. “Much can happen — 18 months is a lifetime — but he is an important leader in our community, he along with other names like Ken Salazar deserve to be considered.”

Now serving as the finance chair for the Democratic National Committee, Muñoz helped raised more than $30 million in 2012 through the Futuro Fund. Muñoz, who is gay, introduced Castro at Outgiving, an event for LGBT donors, in Dallas last week and praised him for passing a nondiscrimination ordinance when he was mayor that he called “historic.” Castro was in attendance at the Monday event, too, speaking on stage with Eva Longoria about Latino education.

Castro told BuzzFeed News that the VP talk is flattering and that he plans to get involved in the campaign later on.

“At the moment I'm focusing on my role as HUD Secretary, at the right time later on down the road I anticipate getting involved. It's clear both parties are going to speak to the Latino community in this cycle. What's also clear is only the Democratic Party has embraced policies that have improved the economic prospects for the Latino community,” he said citing immigration, health care, and education policy as challenges for Republicans.

The Latino Victory event also spotlighted a 2016 priority for the organization: the Nevada Senate race, in which Harry Reid has already indicated he would support Catherine Cortez Masto to be his successor. The organization has made helping her get elected as the first Latina U.S. senator in history a major 2016 priority.

Muñoz said this focus on Latino and Latina elected officials was what was missing in previous fundraising efforts aimed at the community.

“From the very beginning, the discussions around (the Latino Victory Foundation), we have pointed out to ourselves and the rest of the country how wrong it is that the number of Latinas elected to office is abysmal,” he said.

He also said his work with the Futuro Fund, the DNC 2012 effort, is getting underway, with organizational calls and activities to be announced in the coming months — and emphasized what he called the difference between real outreach to Latinos and those who want to say they are engaging the community but have little to show for it.

Although he said he was not referencing LIBRE Initiative — a conservative, Koch-funded Latino group, which BuzzFeed News reported the DNC is warning Democrats about — he did downplay their effectiveness.

“[Latino Victory] work is not responding to the LIBRE Initiative,” he said. “This is a community of activists, people that have organized themselves in our community. The election results and the inclusion that has taken place bears that out. But I am aware that there are others that are sitting there and willing to write big checks in order to buy the Latino community, to say one thing and do another, but I'm not sure there is a real connection on what is important to Latinos.”

Cristóbal Alex, president of Latino Victory, who has tangled with LIBRE before, said during his speech at Monday's event that Latino representation is crucial to future success for the community.

“I've said it before, if we're not at the table, then we're probably on the menu.”

Mike Huckabee Officially Enters 2016 Race

The former Arkansas Governor announced Tuesday that he will seek the presidency for the second time.

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Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced Tuesday that he will seek the presidency in 2016.

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Huckabee quit his popular show on Fox News earlier this year to explore the possibility of running for president, saying at the time that he felt he might need to “leave a zone of comfort to engage in the conflicts that have almost destroyed the bedrock foundations of America.”

Huckabee ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, winning a surprise victory in the Iowa caucus. Huckabee, however, struggled to raise money in his previous presidential effort. He did not seek the nomination in 2012.

An ordained Southern Baptist minister, he is deeply popular among social conservatives, the base of the Republican Party that propelled him to early success in 2008. This time around, however, Huckabee faces more stiff competition in winning over that base, with candidates like Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz also vying to assume the mantle of champion of the religious right.

This Is The Warning The DNC Is Presenting To Democrats About The Koch-Funded Latino Group

Democrats and liberal donors have been sounding the alarm about the LIBRE Initiative. BuzzFeed News obtained a copy of the presentation the DNC shared with Democrats over the weekend and again on Monday.

The Democratic Party is taking the threat from the LIBRE Initiative, a Latino group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, seriously.

The Democratic Party is taking the threat from the LIBRE Initiative, a Latino group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, seriously.

DNC presentation

BuzzFeed News obtained a copy of the presentation shown to Democrats by political director Raul Alvillar in San Francisco this weekend and by Albert Morales Monday in Washington.

BuzzFeed News obtained a copy of the presentation shown to Democrats by political director Raul Alvillar in San Francisco this weekend and by Albert Morales Monday in Washington.

DNC presentation

The presentation explains the key states with large Latino populations where LIBRE is working.

The presentation explains the key states with large Latino populations where LIBRE is working.

DNC presentation

And how they combine this work with espousing conservative principles to Latinos.

And how they combine this work with espousing conservative principles to Latinos.

DNC presentation


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Lindsey Graham: If Court Rules Marriage Bans Unconstitutional It Will Be Time To "Move Forward As A Society"

“If the Supreme Court rules sometime this year that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, then that will be a defining moment in that debate. It will be time for us to move forward as a society.”

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is expected to announce a presidential bid, says if the Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, then it will be time for Republicans to move on.

Graham told Boston Herald radio on Monday that society is changing and a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman is no longer possible.

“Well, can you be for traditional marriage? Yes. Am I for traditional marriage? Yes, I believe marriage has stood the test of time between a man and a woman, ordained by God, and that's — most societies have been organized around that concept,” Graham said.

“Things are changing, so at the end of the day, being for traditional marriage without animosity is where I stand. If the Supreme Court rules sometime this year that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, then that will be a defining moment in that debate. It will be time for us to move forward as a society.”

Graham added he didn't see how a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman was possible.

“I just don't see how you get a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman ratified by 3/4 of the states given the way the lay of the land is today. So the courts gonna hear the case,” he said. “People who are social conservative, hold your head up high. Be proud of speaking for the unborn, I'm a pro-life guy with exceptions of rape and incest. When a woman is raped, it is not the will of God, it is a crime, and the perpetrator should be punished accordingly. The woman will make that decision about what to do after being the victim of a crime.”

Graham concluded that at the end of the today the changing “social structure” is a normal part of democracy.

“But at the end of the day, this whole social structure that's changing is part of democracy, is part of society,” Graham said.