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Senator Mike Lee – How Congress Should Seize the Brexit Opportunity

June 26th, 2016

From The Daily Signal

The Brexit vote begins the process of Britain leaving the European Union—and creating opportunities to strengthen the special relationship with the United States. (Photo: Jean Nicholas Guillo/Le Parisien/Newscom)

This week, the people of Britain won a major victory for democracy and sovereignty by voting to leave the European Union.

Many on the left, along with their allies in the media, are predicting that this Brexit will lead to economic disaster for Britain, if not all of Europe and the rest of the world. These doomsayers should take a deep breath and a fresh look at the reality of the situation beyond the initial disruptions caused by this momentous decision.

To hear many American elites talk about the Brexit decision, you would think the EU is the equivalent of Europe’s version of the North American Free Trade Agreement—a liberalized commercial area for a small group of foreign nations in close geographic proximity designed to facilitate economic cooperation. But it is much more than that.

By submitting to the EU, Britons have been subjected to the laws, decisions, and regulations of a centralized legislature, court, and bureaucracy located in a distant capital and out of touch with the local needs and priorities of the people—an arrangement that many Americans would recognize as similar to our own over-centralized, unaccountable federal government.

 Moreover, the Brexit vote only begins the process of Britain leaving the EU. When announcing his resignation, Prime Minister David Cameron said his successor should decide when and how to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. And even after the next prime minister is elected, Article 50 provides a two-year process for Britain to negotiate both its own terms for leaving the EU and new trade deals with the rest of the world, including the United States.

That is what the United States should be doing now to support the people of Britain as they continue the work of disentangling themselves from the clutches of the EU’s centralized power structure in Brussels. We should be doing everything we can to negotiate new treaties with Britain to ensure a smooth, prosperous, and secure transition for both countries.

Prior to the Brexit vote, President Barack Obama indicated he wants to go a different path. Earlier this year, he threatened Britain that they would have to go to “the back of the queue” in any trade negotiations with the United States if they were to vote to leave the EU. This threat was ill-advised at the time and would be harmful to both countries if adhered to going forward.

Instead, Congress should pass new legislation both requiring the United States to honor our current agreements with the United Kingdom until new bilateral agreements can be negotiated, and directing the U.S. trade representative to begin negotiations on new bilateral agreements as soon as possible. There is no better way to honor America’s special relationship with Great Britain.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/06/25/how-congress-should-seize-the-brexit-opportunity/

ICYMI – Socialism for the Uninformed

June 18th, 2016

From townhall.com – Socialism for the Uninformed

Thomas Sowell
Posted: May 31, 2016 12:01 AM
Socialism for the Uninformed
Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.
While throngs of young people are cheering loudly for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, socialism has turned oil-rich Venezuela into a place where there are shortages of everything from toilet paper to beer, where electricity keeps shutting down, and where there are long lines of people hoping to get food, people complaining that they cannot feed their families.With national income going down, and prices going up under triple-digit inflation in Venezuela, these complaints are by no means frivolous. But it is doubtful if the young people cheering for Bernie Sanders have even heard of such things, whether in Venezuela or in other countries around the world that have turned their economies over to politicians and bureaucrats to run.The anti-capitalist policies in Venezuela have worked so well that the number of companies in Venezuela is now a fraction of what it once was. That should certainly reduce capitalist “exploitation,” shouldn’t it?But people who attribute income inequality to capitalists exploiting workers, as Karl Marx claimed, never seem to get around to testing that belief against facts — such as the fact that none of the Marxist regimes around the world has ever had as high a standard of living for working people as there is in many capitalist countries.

Facts are seldom allowed to contaminate the beautiful vision of the left. What matters to the true believers are the ringing slogans, endlessly repeated.

When Senator Sanders cries, “The system is rigged!” no one asks, “Just what specifically does that mean?” or “What facts do you have to back that up?”

In 2015, the 400 richest people in the world had net losses of $19 billion. If they had rigged the system, surely they could have rigged it better than that.

But the very idea of subjecting their pet notions to the test of hard facts will probably not even occur to those who are cheering for socialism and for other bright ideas of the political left.

How many of the people who are demanding an increase in the minimum wage have ever bothered to check what actually happens when higher minimum wages are imposed? More often they just assume what is assumed by like-minded peers — sometimes known as “everybody,” with their assumptions being what “everybody knows.”

Back in 1948, when inflation had rendered meaningless the minimum wage established a decade earlier, the unemployment rate among 16-17-year-old black males was under 10 percent. But after the minimum wage was raised repeatedly to keep up with inflation, the unemployment rate for black males that age was never under 30 percent for more than 20 consecutive years, from 1971 through 1994. In many of those years, the unemployment rate for black youngsters that age exceeded 40 percent and, for a couple of years, it exceeded 50 percent.

The damage is even greater than these statistics might suggest. Most low-wage jobs are entry-level jobs that young people move up out of, after acquiring work experience and a track record that makes them eligible for better jobs. But you can’t move up the ladder if you don’t get on the ladder.

The great promise of socialism is something for nothing. It is one of the signs of today’s dumbed-down education that so many college students seem to think that the cost of their education should — and will — be paid by raising taxes on “the rich.”

Here again, just a little check of the facts would reveal that higher tax rates on upper-income earners do not automatically translate into more tax revenue coming in to the government. Often high tax rates have led to less revenue than lower tax rates.

In a globalized economy, high tax rates may just lead investors to invest in other countries with lower tax rates. That means that jobs created by those investments will be overseas.

None of this is rocket science. But you do have to stop and think — and that is what too many of our schools and colleges are failing to teach their students to do.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2016/05/31/socialism-for-the-uninformed-n2171042

From the RPOF – The Landing Report

June 17th, 2016

The Landing Report

The Landing Report: Your End Of The Week Recap Of The Top Coverage Hitting The Airwaves.

National Radar | Florida Radar | Briefing Center | RPOF Tweets


Democrats end filibuster, announce GOP to hold gun votes

Politico: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and fellow Senate Democrats officially relinquished the floor early Thursday morning after spending nearly 15 hours straight talking about gun control, paving the way for high-profile congressional votes on restricting firearms just days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Despite the flurry of activity, though, the two sides appeared no closer to an agreement on gun legislation that can pass the Senate.

Leaked document shows the DNC wanted Clinton from start

NY Post: A document leaked by a hacker who took responsibility for the Democratic National Committee data breach appears to show the DNC working on behalf of Hillary Clinton from the start of the presidential campaign — just as Bernie Sanders has claimed. The document dated May 26, 2015 – a month after Sanders kicked off his presidential bid from the Capital lawn – described “our goals & strategy” are to “provide a contrast between the GOP field and HRC.”

U.S. admits 4,000 refugees

Washington Examiner: The U.S. has admitted about 4,000 Syrian refugees, the State Department said Wednesday. That’s a higher number than was believed, but still well short of the goal of 10,000 refugees by the end of September.State Department spokesman John Kirby said the number of refugees admitted is “up around 4,000 now.” The most recent number had been 2,500 refugees.

Obama Admin Rejects Funding for Israel’s Security Defense

FreeBeacon: The Obama administration is refusing to fully fund Israel’s security and defense, informing Congress in a letter on Tuesday it opposes efforts to provide the Jewish state with nearly $500 million for its top missile defense programs. Congressional supporters of Israel expressed outrage at the administration’s move, telling the Washington Free Beacon that Israel needs this funding to help it combat terrorist forces and perfect missile system technology that it jointly shares with the United States.

The Taliban now hold more ground in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001

The Military Times: The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan has submitted his first three-month assessment of the situation in the war-torn country and what it’s going to take to defeat the Taliban, a U.S. military official has told The Associated Press. And though the content of the review by Army Gen. John W. Nicholson is secret, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan received a major incentive this month.


President Obama Rips Gun Control Opponents After Meeting With Orlando Victims’ Families

ABC News: President Obama tore into opponents of gun control on a visit to Orlando Thursday, saying they should meet with the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre and “explain” their positions. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spent Thursday in Orlando meeting with survivors, the families of victims and first responders there, after the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history and the deadliest attack in the United States since 9/11.

Rubio suggests he’s reconsidering leaving the Senate

Yahoo: Sen. Marco Rubio confirmed Wednesday that he may reconsider his plans to leave the Senate at the end of this year and run for re-election instead. Rubio told reporters that he will let everyone know about any change of status next week after spending some time with his family. The filing deadline for the Florida Senate race is June 24 — a week from Friday.


#OrlandoStrong video

Paid for by the Republican Party of Florida and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. www.Florida.GOP


The Highlands County REC does not endorse or take sides in a Republican Primary Election. All are encouraged to become educated on the candidates before you vote.

Paid for by the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee
P.O. Box 7987, Sebring, FL 33872






Orlando Massacre Shows We Must Stop Teaching Children to Hate America

June 16th, 2016

From The Daily Signal

Everybody, but especially young men, needs to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, a sense that we’re all in this together. (Photo: Keith Lane/TNS/Newscom)

Despite signs everywhere that the Orlando massacre has failed to bring the country together, there seems to be a growing consensus on at least one point—considering a return to E Pluribus Unum.

This is a national debate that conservatives have long demanded and should relish having.

Sure, some are recalling the motto only to rebuke Donald Trump’s call for a suspension of immigration from Muslim nations. But that shouldn’t matter to conservatives, who should concentrate now on forcing the reopening of this discussion.

So, when Hillary Clinton says, “E Pluribus Unum, One—Out of Many, One—has seen us through the darkest chapters of our history,” as she did at her first major speech after Orlando, conservatives should say, “Bring it on.”

 Yes, let’s by all means return to that goal. Why did we ever abandon it in the first place?

Let’s debate how an American like Omar Mateen, born in Queens, New York, and raised in Fort Pierce, Florida, can turn into a terrorist bent on executing his compatriots. How does he grow up cheering the 9/11 attack in high school, thinking that women ought not to drive, and swearing allegiance to the Islamic State?

Everybody, but especially young men, needs to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.

Everybody, but especially young men, needs to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, a sense that we’re all in this together. If we as a society fail to give citizens national pride, we can be sure that some outside force will come along and do it.

The founders knew that the constitutional republic they were crafting required a single nation with one national identity smelted out of different ethnicities. Right away, in 1776 in fact, they came up with the concept of E Pluribus Unum.

To instill the new creed into the immigrants already flocking to America, they set an educational system that would create a nation with one national identity.

Starting in the early 1800s with the Common Schools and continuing later through the Ellis Island period, American schools Americanized new comers. As historian Mark Edward DeForrest put it, the Common Schools had,

a large role in assimilating and educating the offspring of the immigrants then moving into the United States from Europe. The schools did not simply educate students in the basics of the English language or the Three Rs. Rather, the schools were actively involved in promoting the values and beliefs that were considered part and parcel of the American experience.

Schools taught that being an American required a belief in individual liberty and that rights are granted to us by virtue of our existence, not through government action. These principles united all people who came to this country in deeply rooted patriotism.

For the past three decades, for reasons that will also require analysis (though at a later date), we have been doing exactly the opposite. The new model, exemplified by the bestselling historian Howard Zinn, is to present America as a spectacular experiment in oppression.

Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” set the stage for the grievance mongering that passes for history classes today, and is still widely used. It has sold over 2 million copies since it was first published in 1980 and continues to sell over 100,000 copies a year because it is required reading at many of our high schools and colleges. That’s a lot of young minds.

This is how Zinn described the founding:

Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.

And our educational authorities are doubling down today—even in the face of danger. The College Board’s leftist curriculum framework for Advanced Placement U.S. History—the courses that our best students take in high school—denigrates the founders’ assimilationist ethos and presses students “to think beyond national histories” and patriotic attachments.

The just released A.P. European History curriculum is no better. It presents religion only as an instrument of power, minimizes the evil of communism, and omits the importance of liberty.

As for the K-12 curriculum on the verge of being approved in the largest state in the Union, California, it is a blue print for redrawing America further still along multicultural lines. The assimilation required to attain E Pluribus Unum is “questionable by today’s standards that generally embrace having a plurality of experiences in the country.”

Assimilation, it adds, was the product of a mixture of “Social Darwinism, laissez-faire economics, as well as the religious reformism associated with the ideal of the Social Gospel.”

This is what is being taught to students, like Mateen once was, every day in our schools. So, yes, by all means, let’s have a discussion on why we should indoctrinate young minds in a way no society has ever done, why we should teach our young to “unlike” America.

Is this the approach we want to have, especially at a time when a force like the Islamic State will only be too glad to fill the patriotic vacuum, or should we teach again that America is an exceptionally free and prosperous nation that requires love and affection and constant attention?

The author Sebastian Junger, speaking at The Heritage Foundation this week about his new book, “Tribe,” reminded his audience that as bad as the Nazi Blitz on London was, its survivors missed afterward the sense of national pride they had felt while pitching in together.

The fact that the Orlando massacre has failed miserably to be a bond for national unity, but has only exposed our fissures, should be a mighty sign of how divided we are. This debate is well overdue.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/06/15/after-orlando-we-must-stop-teaching-american-children-to-hate-america/



Pictures from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Candidate Forum Thursday

June 11th, 2016

Many thanks to the four candidates and the good number of Highlands County residents who turned out in the rain for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Candidate Forum Thursday evening.  The event held at the Sebring Elks Lodge was considered very successful!  It is always a good thing when extra chairs have to be brought in to a meeting particularly on a rainy night in June!  The event was part of the monthly Highlands County Republican meeting and was emceed by County Commissioner Don Elwell, who greatly added to the event with his excellent well-timed comments.  The presentations by the four sheriff’s candidates Paul Blackman, James Fansler, Candido Garcia, and James “Jimmy” Sottile and their answers to a large number of thoughtful questions from the audience received numerous rounds of applause.  The primary election will be held August 30th.


Highlands County Republican Chairman Kathy Rapp is pictured with the four candidates from left to right James Fansler, Paul Blackman, Candido Garcia, and James “Jimmy” Sottile.  Commissioner Don Elwell who emceed the forum is shown in the second picture.


IMG_4110[1]IMG_4105[1] IMG_4094[1]IMG_4111[1]




A County Commissioner Candidate Forum will be held at the start of the next Highlands County Republican meeting on July 14 at the Sebring Elks Lodge.  Candidates will include County Commission District 3 candidates Ron Handley and Madge Stewart.  Make plans now to attend that event at 6:30 PM on July 14th.

The Highlands County REC does not endorse or take sides in a Republican Primary Election. All are encouraged to become educated on the candidates.  Articles of interest will be posted to allow you to become as informed as possible.

Paid for by the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee
P.O. Box 7987, Sebring, FL 33872



72nd D-Day Anniversary: All Who Serve Are a Part of the Greatest Generation

June 6th, 2016

From The Daily Signal

D-Day at Omaha Beach. U.S. Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of German-occupied France. (Photo: CPHOM Robert F. Sargent/U.S. Coa/UPI/Newscom)

Stop your average American on the street and ask them “what happened on June 6?” Surprisingly—a few might recall that on a dreary morning while the low-tide lapped lazily on the rocky coast of Normandy, France, brave men in battle armor no thicker than a khaki shirt grimly headed toward Hitler’s Atlantic wall.

There is nothing special to mark the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. Nothing special—other than the men themselves.

That 18-year-old struggling up the steep bluffs of Omaha Beach while tracer rounds flashed overhead would be 90 years old now, eyes flickering still alive with the memories of that unforgettable day.

About 73,000 Americans landed onto the beaches on June 6, 1944. Almost 2,500 of our boys were killed.

Troops watch activity ashore on Omaha Beach as their LCVP landing craft approaches the shore on D-Day, June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of German-occupied France. (Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps/National Archives/UPI/Newscom)

Often forgotten is that the fight for Normandy did not end there. Some of the toughest fighting in World War II happened in the six weeks after D-Day as the allies battled to gain a foothold in France and set the stage for the campaign that liberated Western Europe.

These were battles and a war worth winning. If there was ever a war for freedom’s sake, World War II was certainly it.

Dictators never dreamed larger. Germany’s Adolf Hitler planned to colonize all of Eastern Europe, after exterminating or expelling the local population. He would rule the Reich from “Germania,” the world’s largest city, and construct the greatest bridge ever built by man, making San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge look like a freeway overpass.

Hitler would cleanse his lands of the handicapped, mentally challenged, gypsies, homosexuals, and Jews. They would all be killed. He would bring German immigrants back from America to repopulate the homeland.

The appetites of others were only slightly more modest. The fascist dictator of Italy Bonito Mussolini longed for a vast a Mediterranean empire mirroring ancient Rome.

Japanese Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo envisioned an imperium that stretched the width of the Pacific to Alaska and the coasts of Canada and the Northwest United States, a conception laid out in the “Land Disposal Plan in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” a 1941 document prepared by the Imperial Ministry of War.

If they had their way, all of humanity would have lived under an iron yoke.

In saving freedom’s future, the men and women who served in World War II justly earned the moniker the “greatest generation.”

But truth be told, every generation of Americans that serves in the armed forces to protect our safety and liberty are the greatest generation.

Last week nine American soldiers died during a driving accident at Fort Hood, Texas. Their vehicle rolled over in high-water.

The soldiers we lost in a stateside accident are every bit part of the greatest generation as the kids that clamored up the cliffs in Normandy. They died serving us.

We have Memorial Day to remember the honored dead. We have Veterans Day to remember the living.

But every day, on the anniversary of great moments of history like D-Day, and unremarkable days not recorded on stone monuments anywhere, Americans wear their nation’s uniform in defense of us.

We should remember them every day. 

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/06/05/72nd-d-day-anniversary-all-who-serve-are-a-part-of-the-greatest-generation/

From The Daily Signal – Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day Speech

May 29th, 2016

‘They Stood For Something and We Owe Them Something’: Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day Speech

America’s beloved 40th president, Ronald Reagan, spoke at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in 1986. His speech reminds us to be thankful for the valor of others and that Memorial Day is a time to remember the “splendor of America” and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/05/29/they-stood-for-something-and-we-owe-them-something-reagans-1986-memorial-day-speech/

Reminder – Salute to Naturalized Citizens Dinner Saturday June 4th at Sebring Elks Lodge

May 27th, 2016

final naturalized flyer 2016_Image

Please support this Salute to Naturalized Citizens dinner by purchasing tickets or by donating tickets today.  Please RSVP by calling 863 382-1346 or by email to Kathy Rapp at rapp1422@gmail.com or 863 381-1390.  The RSVP time has been extended to May 29th.

Pictures from meetings in May and schedule of upcoming meetings in June

May 20th, 2016
Pictures from recent meetings in May:
1) RPOF Spring Quarterly Meeting May 13th and 14th in Tampa at the Hilton DoubleTree.

Trump Hat Pic

RPOF State Committeemen and State Committeewoman in a show of unity for the presumptive nominee Donald Trump at the conclusion of the State Committeeman/State Committeewoman caucus Friday May 13th at the Republican Party of Florida Spring Quarterly Meeting.

2) Highlands County Republican Monthly Meeting Monday May 16th

931197_117691235099417_381330850_n Monday May 16th Monthly Highlands County Republican Meeting at 6:30 PM at the Sebring Elks Lodge. Special Guest Speakers were the announced candidates for Highlands County School Superintendent, Mr. William “Pep” Hutchinson III and Dr. Brenda Longshore.  The speeches and Q&A session were moderated by HCREC Vice Chairman Virgil Beato.



Upcoming Meetings in June
931197_117691235099417_381330850_n  Tuesday May 31, 2016 – HCREC Board Meeting, Republican Headquarters, Sebring, 5 PM.
HRWN-LogoSaturday June 4th – Salute to Naturalized Citizens – 5 PM Social Hour, 6 PM Buffet Dinner, 7 PM Program at the Sebring Elks Lodge, 2618 Kenilworth Blvd. Sebring sponsored by the Highlands Republican Women’s Network . $25/person, RSVP by May 27th by calling 863-382-1346.  “Heritage Page” Ad – $10, Ticket Sponsors, $25, Sponsorships starting at $100.

 931197_117691235099417_381330850_n  Thursday June 9th – Monthly Highlands County Republican Meeting at 6:30 PM (optional dinner service 5 – 6:15 PM) at the Elks Lodge 2618 Kenilworth Blvd. in Sebring.  Special Guest Speakers will be announced Republican candidates for Highlands County Sheriff, Paul Blackman, James Fansler, Candido Garcia, and James Sottile.  The sheriff’s forum event will be moderated by Commissioner Don Elwell.
Note:  The Highlands County REC does not endorse or take sides in a Republican Primary Election. All are encouraged to become educated on the candidates. Meeting announcements and articles of interest will be posted to allow you to become as informed as possible before you vote.
Paid for by the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee P.O. Box 7987, Sebring, FL 33872

Pictures from today’s National Day Of Prayer Observance at 11 AM on the Highlands County Courthouse lawn

May 5th, 2016


It was  a picture perfect day for the Highlands County Clerk of Courts National Day of Prayer Observance on the courthouse lawn! The annual event organized initially back in the early 90’s by former Clerk of Courts, L.E Brooker, and continued annually by him and now his able successor Bob Germaine was very well-planned and organized.  The posting of the colors by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Honor Guard and the singing of our National Anthem added to the beauty of the day.


The rousing music by the “Fire and Steel Band” comprised of student’s from Walker Memorial Academy and the uplifting music by the Wings of Faith Choir from the Wings of Faith Church and by Joe Lewis with his magnificent voice set the tone.  Heartfelt messages and prayers for our nation were voiced by several local pastors including Pastor Robert Shannon of Wings of Faith Church, Pastor Steve Trinkle of Whispering Pines Baptist, and Worship Pastor Jezimar Nuno Norberto of First Baptist Sebring. IMG_3559IMG_3562IMG_3554IMG_3558IMG_3563IMG_3541IMG_3557



    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Virgil Beato
    Ida Jackson
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Joan Hartt