Obama’s Poll Numbers Plummet to Below 30%

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americans level of confidence in the presidency by term year

Hat/Tip to Gallup.

Barack Obama is suffering from the Second Term Blues, and he has only himself to blame. Well, himself and Bush, I mean he blames Bush for everything. Well, Bush and Global Climate Warming Change. Well, Bush, Climate Change and the House Republicans.

I’d better stop before this Op-Ed begins to resemble a Monty Python skit.

Anyway, as Obama is embroiled in scandal after scandal, his numbers and popularity among us “bitter clingers” here in “fly over country” are in the basement. When you compare Obama’s numbers to that of Clinton and Bush at the same point in their Presidency, you quickly see how these “phony scandals” have cost him much political capital.

And the overall disgust and dissatisfaction with the government, doesn’t stop at the President’s door step, either. All three branches of government have lost the public’s trust.

americans level of confidence in three branches of governmentRead the full story here.

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Is Chief Justice John Roberts getting the band back together?

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Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts

Is Chief Justice John Roberts returning to his Conservative roots? It would seem so.

Two years after the court upheld President Barack Obama’s health-care law and a year after it bolstered gay rights, the five Republican-appointed justices are voting together again in the highest-profile cases.

In recent weeks that group, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, has joined to loosen campaign-finance limits, back government-sponsored prayer and let states ban racial preferences. Now, as the court enters the final month-and-a-half of its term, those justices may unite in cases involving contraception, abortion protests and separation of powers.

“When he’s got the votes, it seems Roberts can move the law exactly as quickly as he wants,” said Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center and a frequent critic of the Roberts court.

Roberts, 59, now in his ninth year as chief justice, has presided over legal shifts on a host of issues. The court has jettisoned longstanding legal protections for racial minorities; allowed unlimited corporate and union spending on political campaigns; given companies more power to force arbitration of consumer and employee grievances; and shifted power away from the federal government to the states.

If you only go by the latest round of SCOTUS rulings, then it looks like the band is back together.

For the most part, those rulings featured the same five- justice majority on the nine-member court: Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

But hold on, Roberts’ and Co aren’t going the whole nine yards when it comes to overturning precedent.

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As has been the hallmark of the Roberts court, the majority in each case stopped short of directly overturning a precedent. That approach has given Roberts court rulings an “ephemeral” quality in many areas of the law, according to Brian Fitzpatrick, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville.

“It’d be much more lasting if they’d just overturn some precedents now and again,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s moved fairly slowly.”

And they’ve got a loooong way to go to sway public opinion on how liberal court is.

So far the direction of the Roberts court has largely escaped public attention. In a survey released May 6 by the Pew Research Center, 31 percent of those responding called the court “liberal,” compared with 25 percent who labeled it “conservative.”

The perception comes at least in part from the blockbuster exceptions in the last two terms — health care and gay marriage. Roberts joined the four Democratic appointees in 2012 to uphold Obamacare and its requirement that Americans either buy insurance or pay a tax, salvaging the president’s biggest domestic initiative. Last year, Kennedy provided the fifth vote to strike down a law that denied federal benefits to married gay couples.

The health-care case especially resonated with Republicans, with the number expressing a favorable view of the court dropping 18 percentage points following the decision, said Carroll Doherty, Pew’s director of political research.

“That was a breakthrough decision,” Doherty said. “Not every decision moves the needle in that way.”

Read the full story here.

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No Religious Freedoms for Businesses?

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In a recent Op-Ed, Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr. tried to make the case that violating someone’s 1st Amendment rights is the same as the idea that one’s personal liberty ends where the next person’s begins.

Let me also use a quote to make my point.  “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” A direct quote correctly attributed to President Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Henry L. Pierce, April, 1859. In this letter, he was declining an invitation to speak at an event in Boston, honoring Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. Lincoln explained that Jefferson gave us, as a nation, a great gift which was the idea that all men are created equal in the eyes of their Creator. He said that Jefferson, “had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”
Hobby Lobby

That is precisely what those who propose that Hobby Lobby and other businesses forgo their 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion due to the onerous regulations of the Affordable Care Act are asking.

Mr. Pitts says that the “crazy part” is that under the ACA, those businesses can just opt out of offering their employees any insurance at all. So in his eyes, and in the eyes of many on the left, it is either kowtow to our wishes or just stop offering health benefits to your workers.

I say the “crazy part” is just what Lincoln said, that “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,” and this is exactly what the government is asking the Supreme Court to do. Uncle Sam wants the court to take away Hobby Lobby’s freedom of religion, yet what happened to Mr. Pitts’ quote about swinging your fist, but not hitting my nose?

Just saying that “If a Hobby Lobby executive has no interest in contraceptive care, good for her,” is on the face of it a rather crass statement and not germane at all to the discussion. The case before the court has nothing to do with personal preferences. That is why his argument that this creates a slippery slope where some future company can decide, for religious purposes not to hire women or persons of a particular faith, etc… doesn’t fly. The idea that adhering to the Constitution will lead to violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 is a straw man argument, at best.

If I were to obtain a job at the store of a Hasidic gem merchant, should I be upset that there’s no bacon in the cafeteria?

If I am a Mormon and there is tea and coffee in the break room, do I have the right to demand my employer removes them because in my faith, I abstain from those beverages?

Hobby Lobby’various birth control methodss owners believe that life begins at conception and that adhering to the regulations in the ACA violates their religious beliefs or forces them to either pay millions of dollars in fines or stop offering health benefits entirely.

The ironic part of this story is that Hobby Lobby offers SIXTEEN other forms of birth control listed in Obamacare.

While Mr. Pitts is absolutely entitled to his opinion, he damages his credibility when he calls Hobby Lobby’s desire to remain true to their religious tenets, “faintly Talibanesque,” and that allowing them to decline to cover certain contraceptives and abortifacients is “anathema to our ideals of individual liberty and yes, religious freedom.”

Really? So telling a business what they can and cannot do as it relates to their 1st Amendment rights is “faintly Talibanesque,” yet allowing the wishes of a few employees to be forced upon all businesses upholds the ideals of religious freedom?

Let us not forget that the right to swing a fist ending where someone else’s nose begins is a two way street.

To read Mr. Pitts’ article, click here.

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#TrestinsFast Update: SCOTUS Orders Gay Marriage to Stop Until Appeals Complete, FAST IS OVER!

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“God did this.”

Trestin Meacham

January 6, 2014

#TrestinsFast for traditional marriage, a fast in order to raise awareness regarding a federal judge over-ruling Utah’s Constitution, will end today.  The Supreme Court has placed gay marriages on hold until a federal appeals court rules.  The Washington Times has more…

The Supreme Court on Monday put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, pending a ruling from an federal appeals court regarding a judge’s decision to gut the state’s ban on such unions.

The Washington Times reported last month that a federal judge in Utah struck down a voter-passed ban on gay marriage, saying it violates gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights.

The decision came after the Supreme Court this summer struck down the federal law banning recognition of state gay marriage laws.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby said he could not find a compelling reason to permit Utah’s Amendment 3, passed by 66 percent of voters in 2004, to stand.

So, Trestin will end his fast in a while, and we will have any further statements from him.  This effort did what it was designed to do-it raised awareness, and allowed is to expose the hate and intolerance of it’s opponents.

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Supreme Court Orders Obama Admin to Respond to Christian Homeschooling Family’s Appeal

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The Supreme Court has ordered the governemnt to respond to the appeal of a family of Christian homeschoolers that orignially was granted asylum, but the eric Ho;dre’s DOJ appealed. Here are some former posts on that subject.

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules That Christian Home Schooling Family Should be Deported

Obama Administration Attempting to Deport German Home School Christian Family

Here is current situation…

WASHINGTON – The United States Supreme Court has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to respond to a petition to appeal from a Christian homeschooling family that is fighting deportation to their homeland of Germany.

As previously reported, Ewe and Hannelore Romeike have been battling the matter in the courts for several years while continuing to raise their six children in rural Tennessee. The Romeike family fled to the United States in 2008 after German authorities demanded that they stop homeschooling in violation of national law.

Homeschooling was made illegal in the country in 1938 under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, and the law has never been repealed, but rather strengthened. In 2007, the German Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mandate that children be sent to public school is necessary to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

The German government has been known to remove the children from parents who home-school.

No consider this; our government allows repeat criminals, including sex offenders, who enter the country illegally, to stay here, while at the same time trying deport a Christian family that faces persecution for their faith?

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Supreme Court to Hear the Case of Hobby Lobby

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Hobby Lobby is a privately owned company, and it owners try to run their business based on Christian principals.  However, ObamaCare will force them to fund the “morning after pill.”   They have sued on the basis that this violated their religious beliefs.  The case has now gotten to the level that the Supreme Court is their last resort, and the Court has agreed to hear the case.  Moe Lane has more…

Not unexpected, but not before time, either.

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to review the lawsuit filed by Hobby Lobby against the federal government over the Obamacare mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage in their health plans.

Hobby Lobby, which is owned by an Oklahoma City family with strong Christian beliefs, says a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, protects the company from the mandate. The company is particularly opposed to paying for coverage that includes the morning after pill.

By ‘particularly opposed’ the paper means ‘will go out of business rather than pay for what it considers to be an abortifacient.’ Hobby Lobby is a privately owned company, run by committed pro-life Christians: the owners consider being required to cover the morning-after pill to be an intolerant affront to their religious beliefs – and, for that matter, their First Amendment rights thereof.  The administration’s response is pretty much War on Women, because yelling about War on Women is easier than, I don’t know, paying female staffers the same amount that you pay your male ones. I know that the above sounds cynical, and it is: but then, I’m reporting on the Obama administration, which is more cynical before breakfast than I can be all day.

So, the fate of Hobby Lobby, as well as any business that is owned by Christians, is on the line.  Please pray that the court rules justly, and does not force Christians to fund murder.

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Career Bureaucrats Are Far Worse Than Our Elected Politicians

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On the 15th of May, I wrote a post titled The Bureaucratic Swamp That Is D.C. (District of Corruption). It that post, I quoted from an article in the Washington Post by George Will who, in turn, used this quote from Christopher DeMuth (a Fellow of the Hudson Institute) at George Mason University:

Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.

My good friend and favorite satirist, Manhattan Infidel, left a comment saying: “it’s now the government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats“. I agree with him and I think both George Will and Christopher DeMuth do, as well. Now it appears the Johnathan Turley, the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University, also agrees. Professor Turley wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post the other day, in which he reflects on what he calls the fourth branch of government.

The good professor starts out his article by voicing the same frustration we all felt last week listening to senior government officials up to the President  explaining how they knew nothing of what was going o in the government they are supposed to be managing for the general welfare of all Americans. His comment was:

Clearly, there was a degree of willful blindness in these claims. However, the suggestion that someone, even the president, is in control of today’s government may be an illusion.

He goes on to say:

The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency. _ (Emphasis added)

Professor Turley cites that in 1790 the federal government had just 1000 non-military employees. Today it has 2,840,000 federal workers in 15 departments, 69 agencies and 383 non=military sub-agencies. Now please look at this excerpt:

This rulemaking comes with little accountability. It’s often impossible to know, absent a major scandal, whom to blame for rules that are abusive or nonsensical. Of course, agencies owe their creation and underlying legal authority to Congress, and Congress holds the purse strings. But Capitol Hill’s relatively small staff is incapable of exerting oversight on more than a small percentage of agency actions. And the threat of cutting funds is a blunt instrument to control a massive administrative state — like running a locomotive with an on/off switch.

The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws. The court went even further this past week, ruling that agencies should get the same heavy deference in determining their own jurisdictions — a power that was previously believed to rest with Congress. In his dissent in Arlington v. FCC, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.”

I’d say it is more like a locomotive without an off switch.  I highly recommend that you read the rest of what Professor Turley has to say on the subject. This why, dear friends, I said in my earlier post that you can’t fix a rotten egg. This why I do not believe our government can be fixed. When people talk about the Leviathan, it is not a euphemism. We could fill all three branches of government with right-wing conservatives and they could not kill this monster. They would need to fire the whole lot of bureaucrats and roll-back years worth of regulations and you know that is not going to happen. It would take a right-wing dictator to fix what is wrong in Washington and you know that isn’t going to happen either. The best we can do, in my opinion, is elect the most conservative people we can and slow the rotting process down.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Asylum Watch

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Another Reason to NOT Vote for Obama: Gun Grabbers on the Supreme Court

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In the next four years, one or two nominations will be made to the Supreme Court.  To emphasize the importance of this to gun owners, here are some comments by retired Justice John Paul Stevens…

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says your right to self-defense in your own home should be limited to a cellphone “at your bedside.”

Stevens, 92, served on the Supreme Court for 35 years before retiring in 2010. A liberal jurist, Stevens wrote the dissenting opinions on both the 2008 Heller ruling and the 2010 McDonald decision, both of which were 5-4 affirmations that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s civil right to keep and bear arms.

As the guest speaker during an Oct. 15 luncheon hosted by the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, Stevens offered a suggestion to millions of Americans who legally keep a weapon in their home for self-defense.

“Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you’re not used to using,” he said to laughter, according to an Oct. 16 article by Reuters. 
In addition to telling Americans to trade in their rifles for cellphones, Stevens said the Heller and McDonald rulings leave room for restrictions on the right to carry outside the home, bans on certain styles of firearms, elimination of carry rights in “sensitive” places and background-check requirements for private gun sales.

Note that both decisions were 5-4,which means that the legal status if many of our freedoms are hanging by a thread.  And, if Obama get’s to pick even one more justice, it is a safe bet that he or she will be a gun grabber.  So even if you’re a Democrat, your  rights are at risk.

Consider your vote wisely, because the court can allow the state to take your rights by reclassifying them as government granted  privileges.

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Who Says Wealth Redistribution Doesn’t Work? The Government, That’s Who

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American progressives, those way left of center statist like Obama, are forever pushing the Marxisy meme of the need to redistribute the wealth from those that produce it to those that didn’t produce it. Their goal, of course, is to bring about a utopia of equality of results.

Our Marxist president once said, long before he was president, that Supreme Court judges had not done enough to bring about wealth redistribution. This same Marxist president has said that at some point, the rich have earned enough and they need to give some of their wealth back. Back to whom? Whom, we later learn are those that provided the roads and bridges and police forces and fire protection services that made it possible for those that built businesses to build them. Our Marxist president has become famous for the words: “If you got a business, you didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.” He was referring to the roads and bridges, and etc. What our Marxist president doesn’t tell the people is who did pay for those things. If he were pressed, he would have to admit that all taxes that governments use to provide services like roads and bridges and police and fire protection come from the only generators of wealth; businesses. They pay taxes and their employees pay taxes, without which, governments would have no funds to provide any services or to pay their employees. Wealth redistribution does not make society as a whole better off. It reduces future wealth creation from what otherwise would be.

Nothing that I said above is new to you. We conservatives have reported these truths to anyone who would listen for a very long time. Yet, our politicians, like our Marxist president, pretend they don’t know basic economics 101. But, they are lying. Their own number crunchers know that redistributing the wealth does not, for example, reduce poverty. Ten days ago I came across this revealing article that quoted  from an Adam Smith Institute  (ASI) article, which I found  at Motor City Times.  This is the full quote that Steve at Motor City Times used:

Now, I think it should be obvious to everyone that giving poor people a means to purchase food means that poor people are less poor. We would also assume that some who were poor before this distribution are not poor after it.

But here’s the interesting question. Fully 0.5% of GDP is being given to the poor in just this one redistribution programme. What difference does this make to the number of poor in the US?

The answer is, distressingly, absolutely not one iota. By the official statistics this redistribution does not lift one solitary person up out of poverty: in fact, does not even alleviate poverty in any way recorded by the official statistics. Further, this is true of all of the major US poverty alleviation programmes. Their Section 8 housing vouchers (roughly, housing benefit), Medicaid (health care for the poor), the EITC (working tax credits). Adding these together the US spends a good 4% or more of GDP on poverty alleviation. Yet apparently it alleviates no poverty at all.

So, dear readers, it is not that our Marxist president and his friends don’t know the truth. It is that they chose to ignore the truth that their own number crunchers give them. What the uninformed voters need to know is that their Marxist president does not care one iota about the poor. He and his ilk are only interested in making more people dependent on government and, there by, consolidate their power over all Americans.

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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The power still resides in the people…see the Founding Fathers

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Last week the constitution and our individual liberties took a beating.  Rumors that Justice Roberts switched his position because of pressure from outside forces are beginning to surface.  If this is the case, and John Roberts caved because he feared how he and the court would be perceived by the left, then we are in deep trouble as a nation.  Supreme Court Justices must remain above opinions of both the left and right and examine the law strictly based on its constitutional merit.  They must do this without fear of reprisal.  This is why the founders established life time appointments for Supreme Court Justices.  They didn’t want the Justices to feel intimidated by the other branches of government.  If a Supreme Court Justice’s decision is swayed by public opinion or is driven by how the court will be perceived if it rules one way or another, then our system cannot work.  If this is the place we find ourselves at then we must look back to the words of our founding fathers.

You see our founders knew the one thing that many have forgotten; that the power resides in the people.  We can change all of this if we choose to because we have the power to do so.  We have the power to throw out of office those who would claim to be our masters.  We deserve better than the likes of Nancy Pelosi who stumbles in the below clip about whether ObamaCare is a tax or penalty.

If our founders were alive today, they would be appalled by the actions of most of our elected representatives.  They would be disgusted with us and how we could allow the election of such a dimwit.  And yet that’s exactly what the people from her district do over and over again.  So in honor of our founding fathers I handpicked some quotes from them to help us regain our senses going into November.  Please take a few moments to read their words of wisdom.

“In these sentiments sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become to corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin, speech at the constitutional convention, Sept 1787.

“The powers reserved by the people under the constitution render them secure, and until they themselves become corrupt, they will always have upright and able rulers.”

John Hancock, Massachusetts ratifying convention, 1788

“The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”

James Madison, The Federalist Papers, 1788

“The written may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people: they fix too for the people the principles for their political creed.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1802

“No people will tamely surrender their liberties nor can they be easily subdued when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved.  On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders.”

Samuel Adams, 1775

“The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine the foundation of our confederated fabric…A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.”

Thomas Jefferson, Dec 1820

“It is very dangerous doctrine to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters if all constitutional questions.  It is one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1820

The power still resides in the people.  The Founding Fathers knew this and we need to exercise that power this November.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

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John Roberts: Missing the Mark or Right on Target?

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When I first heard that Obamacare along with the individual mandate was found to be constitutional I was shocked.  When I learned that one of our own, Justice John Roberts crossed over to the dark side in a 5-4 ruling I was appalled.  The end of liberty was at hand.  The great experiment had finally unraveled and the republic our founders gave us we could not keep.  I couldn’t believe Justice Roberts ruled that the individual mandate was constitutional because he interpreted that the penalty imposed was actually a tax and within the constitutional authority of the congress to levy on the people.  I needed to know how a conservative Justice who many consider to be an extremely brilliant man could veer so far off the conservative course.  This is a man who is no friend of Obama.  This is a man who has championed individual rights again and again in his rulings.  It just wasn’t passing the smell test.

As I sat at my desk I was trying to sort this ruling out in my mind I had an epiphany.  What is the greatest threat to our individual liberties?  Is it Obamacare or is it President Obama winning a second term?  In my opinion it’s Obama winning a second term.  A second term of President Obama will turn the republic on its head and cause irreparable damage to America.  Think about all the unconstitutional actions this man has done in the first term with the knowledge that he has to run for reelection.  Think of the President’s total disregard for the rule of law in the last three years.  He ignored the orders and was actually held in contempt by a federal judge when he failed to lift the moratorium on deep-sea drilling in February 2011.  Let’s not forget his recess appointments during a pro forma session of congress this past January, his unwillingness to defend DOMA, his signing of NDAA authorizing the indefinite detainment of America citizens, his kill list, his amnesty for 800,000 illegal aliens, his unwillingness to enforce immigration laws, his EPA imposing cap and trade around the congress, his use of executive privilege to protect Eric Holder in the fast and furious scandal, and so on.  He has shredded the constitution during his first term.  What would he do with a second term?  My guess is it will be much worse.  Like he whispered in the ear of the Russian President…he will have more flexibility after the elections.  What will he do with that flexibility?  Well more than likely he will appoint two or three Supreme Court Justices during a second term and that is something that cannot happen.  And the only way can make sure he doesn’t have an opportunity to appoint these Justices is to make sure he’s a one term President.  Justice Roberts helped with that this past Thursday.

So how exactly did Roberts help the cause?  Let me start off by saying the opinions I’m about to express are my opinions and I realize that many may disagree, but hear me out.  As I was reading through Justice Roberts’s opinion of the court, very early I read the following. “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

Justice Roberts tells us from the get go, we get the government we deserve and if we don’t like the consequences of it then elect people who will repeal the actions of it.  That’s all on us folks.  We have a responsibility as citizens to change out the people who infringe upon our liberties.

Below are five reason why I think this ruling empowered the states, shackled the government, will not only bring an end to Obamacare, but will ensure Obama is a one term President.

  1. President Obama promised not to raise taxes on the American people making under $250,000.  Democratic leaders promised that the individual mandate was not a tax.  Well because of Justice Roberts and the court’s decision that’s exactly what the individual mandate is…a tax.  Congratulation President Obama, your lawyers made their case!  It’s a tax.  Not only is it a tax, it’s the largest tax in American history.  And for those who are worried this opens up a whole new way for the government to control our behavior through a “penalty” well it’s nothing new.  They’ve been doing it for years with “sin taxes” on tobacco and other undesirable products.   The only difference now, the SCOTUS has clarified that anything congress attaches as a penalty to can be viewed as a tax and it’s much more difficult to push bills through congress as a tax increase than bills that hide behind the commerce clause.  Additionally because the individual mandate has now been ruled a tax Republicans can use the budget reconciliation process to repeal the mandate with a simple majority.
  2. Judge Roberts’s argument against using the commerce clause not only brought more clarity to it, he greatly reduced the ability of congress to use this line of reasoning again to force us to engage in any activity they may view as commerce.  His opinion reflected the following:  “People, for reasons of their own, often fail to do things that would be good for them or good for society. Those failures—joined with the similar failures of others—can readily have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Under the Government’s logic, that authorizes Congress to use its commerce power to compel citizens to act as the Government would have them act.  That is not the country the Framers of our Constitution envisioned. James Madison explained that the Commerce Clause was “an addition which few oppose and from which no apprehensions are entertained.” The Federalist No. 45, at 293. While Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause has of course expanded with the growth of the national economy, our cases have “always recognized that the power to regulate commerce, though broad indeed, has limits.” Maryland v. Wirtz, 392 U. S. 183, 196 (1968). The Government’s theory would erode those limits, permitting Congress to reach beyond the natural extent of its author­ity, “everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” The Feder­alist No. 48, at 309 (J. Madison). Congress already enjoys vast power to regulate much of what we do.  Accepting the Government’s theory would give Congress the same license to regulate what we do not do, fundamentally changing the relation between the citizen and the Federal Government.”  This line of reasoning in essence shackles congress and expands liberty.
  3. Justice Roberts, Justice Kagan, and Justice Breyer all agreed that it was unconstitutional for thegovernment to deprive a state of all of its Medicaid funding for refusing to agree to the new expansion.  Roberts wrote the following.  “As for the Medicaid expansion, that portion of the Af­fordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding. Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer. The States are given no such choice in this case: They must either accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid, or risk losing all Medicaid funding. The remedy for that constitutional violation is to preclude the Federal Government from imposing such a sanction. That remedy does not require striking down other portions of the Af­fordable Care Act.”   So as you can see the states now have a choice.  This conclusion blazes the trail to limit the expansion of other federal programs imposed by the government on the states.  This was clearly a win for the states and states’ rights.
  4. Obamacare still remains a very unpopular law.  In fact those who oppose it still hover over the 50 percentile mark.  Mitt Romney raised more than $4 million within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare and we have Justice Roberts to thank for this.  While the Kool-Aid drinking liberals celebrate the Tea Party movement is charging up.  Once again average Americans are waking up and they are rallying around the battle cry to repeal Obamacare.  I personally received 10 emails from Tea Party Patriots; welcome back to the summers of 2009 and 2010.  This is the last thing President Obama and Democrats wanted to see four months out from a major election.  They wanted Obamacare to quietly fade into obscurity and be a nonfactor in 2012.  John Roberts threw a wrench into that machine and now once again it’s hanging around their necks going into November.  And you can’t tell me that Justice Roberts doesn’t read the polls.
  5. The last thing to mention is that the left is so caught up in the moment they didn’t even see this coming.  They didn’t even see how masterfully Justice Roberts played them.  And by the time they do Obama will be a one term President, Republicans will control the Senate and House, and 2016 will seem like a million years away.  Bub bye Obamacare and President Obama.

 

Mr. President…you’ve been punk’d and you don’t even realize it yet.  If Obamacare would have been found unconstitutional my guess is that the left would have been charged up and the right would be celebrating its demise and feeling they no longer had to vote for a candidate they’re already lukewarm towards…well not so much now.  I feel that Justice Roberts was right on target and it’s the left and conservative talking heads who are missing the mark. Let me know what you think.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post:  The Sentry Journal

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President Obama Darkly Threatens Supreme Court; Does His Behavior Fit Definition of Bullying?

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President Obama is a bully. Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, and this is exactly what President Obama is attempting to do with his latest speech in which he darkly threatened the Supreme Court regarding their impending decision regarding Obamacare, saying

I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

His behavior, as I have demonstrated on this blog repeatedly, is bullying, especially because it is habitual in nature (done many times, especially when he isn’t reading a prepared text) and it justified by what he believes is an imbalance of power- as his people once famously stated, ‘elections have consequences’ and now he believes that he has ‘the power’ and others do not. His target or victim changes with the issue, but consists of the Koch Brothers, conservatives, businesses, the Tea Party, and now the five judges on the Supreme Court that are about to use their longstanding power of judicial review to strike down a law that was narrowly passed using kickbacks, parliamentary gimmicks, ‘reconciliation,’ and backroom deals, which repulsed the democracy of our nation so much that in the next election Democrats were wiped out in a historic manner a mere two short years after Obama was elected.

A usual tactic involved in bullying is to socially isolate the victim of the attack, by separating them from the rest of society by describing them as different or ‘unelected’, and therefore then justifying the ensuing attack because they are not part of society. Language like ‘unprecedented’ is not meant to suggest that the Supreme Court using its power of judicial review is unprecedented- it has used it 1300 times over 200 years and a ‘constitutional scholar’ like Obama must know that- but rather it is used to attempt to isolate and separate the victim for the ensuing attack.

Even though I’ve had many workshops on bullying, I don’t pretend to be an expert on it, but I still recognize in Obama a need to dominate and even a casual and friendly observer would agree that the policies that he pushes are authoritarian in nature, which are characteristic of a bully. Other emotions that frequently are associated with bullies is envy and resentment, and this also fits with the profile that the Democrat President has been filling out over the last four years- someone who is filled with class envy and resentment at those who do well in society and desires to bring them down through the force of government- or as he stated recently, even if Congress doesn’t go along with his ideas, he is still prepared to use the power of his office to bully people into going along with his views.

Bullies also frequently desire to control their image, and we have seen quite clearly since Obama has been elected that he has a thin skin and does not take jokes very well. Many Presidents laugh at their own faults and make fun of themselves- such as George W Bush did at the correspondents dinner on many an occasion or George HW Bush did by inviting Dana Carvey to the White House- but President Obama uses comedy to belittle, demean, and attack his enemies, as has been documented on many a blog over the years.

It has often been suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood, and this leads me to wonder just what sort of childhood President Obama had. One can imagine him as a youth as either the target of bullying- and now responding in kind- or as the instigator of it. Adult bullying is characterized by administrative end-runs (like was does in passing Obamacare), well-planned and orchestrated attempts at character assassination (I think today he was going after Big Oil), or other less obvious yet equally forceful forms of coercion (such as darkly threatening Congress recently or the Supreme Court in this particular instance).

As a child I refused to be bullied, and as a blogger I’ve faced many attempts to bully me. And I’m not going to stand for the President of the United States attempting to bully our Supreme Court. I’m not a fan of judicial review and I don’t like activist judges, but the response that decent people would resort to would be arguing their views and policies more clearly and persuasively. President Obama is not a decent person- he is a bully- and so his response as it has always been is to intimidate, use force, threaten power, socially isolate, character assassinate, and bully away.

Vote Republican in 2012 and throw this bully out of office.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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If I Could Be Dictator Instead Of Obama

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I don’t think there is much doubt that President Barack Obama wants to be a dictator. He has behaved very dictatorially ever since he was sworn into office. He started by forcing through the Affordable Care Act the people didn’t want. He ignored orders from a federal judge on his moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, he intentionally makes appointments of his czars when the Senate is out of session and can not approve his selections as the constitution envisioned, he tells his DOJ not to enforce laws he doesn’t agree with and, he uses fiat powers of the Executive Branch to circumvent Congress either by Executive Order or by ordering his agency heads to implement laws that Congress has not passed.

Now Obama’s pride and joy, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has been challenged and the Supreme Court has heard the arguments pro and con and will announce their decision later this summer. Obama is worried because his Solicitor General was not able to put up much of a defense of Obamacare. Our dictator issued a warning to the Supreme Court against striking down Obamacare. From this Fox News story Obama

…questioned how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law approved by  Congress.

I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an  unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a  strong majority of a democratically elected Congress

You have to wonder what Harvard Law School teaches about the constitution or what their standards are for giving their students passing grades. Maybe if I were dictator instead of Obama, I wouldn’t allow Harvard Law graduates or any Ivy League law graduate to sit on the Supreme Court. I’ll have to think more about that. To be sure, if I were dictator instead of Obama, I would make changes to the structure and function of the Supreme Court.

Today’s post, however, was not inspired by Dictator Obama’s latest demonstration of his ignorance of the constitution. It was inspired by the scholarly blogger John Galt of the America’s Chronicleblog (aka Robbing America). In John’s article, he asks the question: “Should There Be A Limit On The Time of Service of Supreme Court Judges?”  It is an excellent article that I highly recommend. My immediate reaction was to agree with John; but then I thought, if we are going to make changes to the constitution about the Supreme court, let’s make some real changes. You see, that is what good dictators do and I, of course, would be a good dictator. Not like Barack Obama who is, in my humble opinion, a bad dictator. So, let me explain how I, a good dictator, would change the constitutional language that refers to the Supreme Court.

Under my dictatorship, the Supreme Court would be made up of two panels of four judges each. One panel would be called the New Law Panel (NLP) and the other would be called the Old Law Panel (OLP). As a good dictator, I would not select the judges myself.  The Democrats and the Republicans in the House would each select two judges for each panel and they would serve for ten years or life, which ever came first.

The New Law Panel (NLP)

Before any new law passed by Congress and signed by the President/Dictator goes into effect, the law must first be reviewed by the NLP to determine if it is constitutional. Only laws that receive a unanimous approval will be come laws in fact. That should slow down the growth of the Federal government.

The Old law Panel (OLP)

Each year the Democrats and Republicans in the House will each nominate twenty five existing laws or regulations to be reviewed by the OLP to decide if they are in fact constitutional. Unless there is unanimous approval by the OLP, these laws or regulations will be stricken from the books. That should over time cut the Federal government down to size.

I’m beginning to see why dictators like to be dictators. This could be fun. I suspect that most if not all of you would prefer not to have a dictator; even a good one. I understand that. But, if you change your minds, I will be available for a limited time. All us old folks are only available for a limited time.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Some Thoughts on Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

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I’ve had some major distractions as of late, so I haven’t been hitting the news as much as I’d like.  However, I have to share some thoughts on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.  For starters, let’s take a look at what The Other McCain is thinking.

Joan Kloppenburg has declared victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election – apparently winning by a margin of 204 votes – and thus dies whatever hope there had been for the state’s economic and political future.

Gov. Scott Walker and the newly-elected Republican majority in the legislature had begun the only possible reform that could have saved Wisconsin: The disestablishment of the government employee unions that were strangling the state’s economy. Now, with a cleverly orchestrated campaign, the AFL-CIO has replaced state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser with a pro-union hack to block implementation of the GOP’s reform agenda.

It appears that nearly 400,000 people who voted for Walker in November simply stayed home on Tuesday. With their state’s future on the line, they were MIA.

Thus ends — gone! gone forever! – all hope of liberating Wisconsin from the job-killing government-union stranglehold.

I have to agree.  There was a letdown here.  Here are my thoughts…

1.  Stacy McCain is right.  People stayed home, and frankly, they are going to end up suffering for it.

2.  There are already indications of some voting irregularities…

For some reason one of the counties in the state is destroying ballots that ‘were not counted’ yesterday. Apparently this is a very bizarre and egregious move.

There is now a call for an injunction to preserve the ‘discarded’ ballots:

I have filed a Wisconsin Open records request with the City of Mequon demanding any ballot
submitted but not cast in yesterday’s election, including any remnant of a shredded ballot. We
have received reports Mequon poll workers destroyed submitted ballots before poll closing time, demanding a driver’s license number from the absentee voter. This request is unusual and the destruction of ballots is of grave concern, given the closeness of the state Supreme Court election. I will consider seeking an injuction to back up my request if Mequon officials are not copperative [sic].
Mark Belling,
April 6, 2011

Mark Belling is apparently a local radio host.

To keep up with updates, make sure to follow us on Twitter or subscribe.

This also comes as over 10,000 more ballots were cast for the Supreme Court race in Dane (Madison) than for the County Executive race there.

OK, have people been caught flat footed here?  Have people forgotten that fraud is not an occasional thing for the left, but STANDARD FREAKING OPERATING PROCEDURE???  Given all that is at stake for the unions that there wouldn’t be something fishy going on?  Why does part-time blogger from PA have to point this out at all?

3.  Related to the last item, any election within a point or two will be won by the Democrats due to fraud.  It’s a time tested “rule,” and no one seemed to heed it.

4.  Without the ability to stop the public sector unions, Wisconsin is toast.  There will be no way to contain the costs.  Of course, the Democrats will propose raising taxes on the “rich.”  That will cause the “rich” to leave, and end up losing money, but at least they’ll follow the narrative.

5.  This will embolden the unions to engage in more of the same anywhere that people resist them.

6.  Maybe the only plus is that the unions spent tremendous sums of cash.  They paid for the rent-a-mob, the fleabaggers,  this election, and God knows what else. That is money that they will have to recoup somehow, or they will be short on paying for Obama’s 2012 run.

This is disappointing and disgusting.  We the people dropped the ball here.  We can’t rest.  We, all of us, have to keep on standing up for the Republic, or we won’t have one to stand up for.

 

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The Real Reason Obama Chose Elena Kagan: Revisited

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Note: This is one of Jackie’s best articles.  Since Ms. Kagan is being questioned in committee, I thought it was a good idea to revisit it.  -Matt

I believe the key to understanding Obama’s decision is looking at Ms. Kagan’s position as Associate White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy under President Bill Clinton from 1995 – 1999.    Then take some time to read her article entitled “Presidential Administration” in the 2001 Harvard Review.

In the article she addresses the President’s role in controlling the administration activities of the Executive Branch agencies such as the EPA.  She discusses this in light of the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, noting that Reagan exercised this control by creating the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that would review all major regulations of the executive branch agencies as a means to deregulate; whereas, the Clinton OMB was sympathetic to regulatory efforts.

On page 4 of the article (p.2248 of the Review), it says:

This Article will show presidential control of administration, in critical respects, expanded dramatically during the Clinton years, making the regulatory activity of the executive branch agencies more and more an extension of the President’s own policy and political agenda.  Faced for most of his time in office with a hostile Congress but eager to show progress on domestic issues, Clinton and his White House staff turned to the bureaucracy to achieve, to the extent it could, the full panoply of his domestic policy goals.  Whether the subject was health care, welfare reform, tobacco, or guns, a self-conscious and central object of the White House was to devise, direct, and/or finally announce administrative actions – regulations, guidance, enforcement, strategies, and reports – to showcase and advance presidential policies.  In executing this strategy, the White House in large measure set the administrative agenda for key agencies, heavily influencing what they would (or would not) spend time on and what they would (or would not) generate as regulatory policy.

The Article is written in five parts.

  • Part I – is groundwork material that describes non-presidential methods of control over the administration.  It addresses efforts to rely on Congress, substantive experts, interest groups, and courts to produce appropriate administrative decisions.
  • Part II – gives a historical account of increased presidential control over administration, looking at the beginnings of the OMB oversight under President Reagan
  • Part III – describes the current (as of 2001) and near-term future of presidential administration as shaped by President Clinton.
  • Part IV – provides a sympathetic view of both the legality and the wisdom of this system of presidential control.
  • Part V – focuses on how the courts should respond to this system of presidential control and suggests ways that legal doctrine can promote and improve the new practices of presidential administration.

She acknowledges the basic separation of powers doctrine that says Congress must authorize presidential exercises of lawmaking functions and that when the President is directing agency officials as to what to do (or not to do) they are in essence performing such functions.  However, in defense of Clinton’s practices, she looks to statutory predicate (Supreme Court decision in Myers vs. The United States – 1926) underlying the conventional view.  In other words, when Congress passes laws granting discretion to executive branch agency officials, that they are, in addition, leaving ultimate decision-making authority in the hands of the President.  She says, “This rule of statutory construction appropriately derives from an effort to determine congressional intent as well as, given some uncertainty in doing so, an effort to promote good lawmaking practices.”

As an analogy, she uses an example of a set of military regulations given to the captain of a Navy ship giving him broad authority to make decisions about the ship’s operation.  She says that people would not think that this means the captain’s direct superior would not be able to instruct the captain as to matters about the ship’s operation.

In her defense of Presidential administration, she asks that it promotes accountability in “two principal and related ways.”  First, it enhances transparency (as we have seen in Obama’s administration that is truly a joke) and it establishes an electoral link between the public and bureaucracy.  She says, “The presidentializing of the bureaucracy (executive branch agencies) is to at least some extent the publicizing of the bureaucracy, with respect alike to outcomes and processes.”

She looks to the reasoning of Jerry Mashaw in an article he wrote defending presidential control of executive branch administration.  He said that more bureaucratic, instead of legislative, decision-making “would actually improve the connection between governmental action and electoral wishes.”  He points out that Presidents are popularly elected by a national constituency rather than local constituencies thereby having “a democratic pedigree purer even than Congress’s in our system of government.”

Kagan believes the enhanced presidential control of administration is more effective in handling regulatory issues.  By more effective, she talks about cost-effectiveness, consistency, and rational priority-setting.  She believes that due to the fact that the President is a unitary actor, “he can act without the indecision and inefficiency that so often characterizes the behavior of collective entities.  And because his ‘jurisdiction’ extends throughout the administrative state (or at least, the executive branch), he can synchronize and apply general principles to agency action in a way that congressional committees, special interest groups, and bureaucratic experts cannot.”

Another reason that she feels presidential control of administration is needed is due to the ever increasing polarization between congressional parties and the decreased capacity for “concerted action to meet national needs”.  She says the system increasingly has succumbed to gridlock.  This she feels has created a need for “institutional reforms that will strengthen the President’s ability to provide energetic leadership in an inhospitable political environment.”

Though she agrees that the president should have control of administration agencies, she believes that he shouldn’t have control exclusive of Congress, bureaucratic experts and constituency groups but stresses their continued participation in various contexts and for various purposes.

In her conclusion, she says, “I have urged the modification of certain administrative law doctrines in ways that will promote presidential control of administration in its most attractive, which means it’s most public, form while still appropriately bounding the presidential role.”

I feel that in her defense of more Presidential control over administrative agencies, she walks a slippery slope to tyranny.  With someone like President Obama in the White House who clearly has a personal socialistic agenda, he will have to use some of this control to get his agenda pushed through agencies instead of Congress, especially if the balance of Congress shifts significantly to the right with the fall elections.

With her nomination to the Supreme Court, he knows he has an ally on the court, should some of his “agency” policies get challenged and make their way to the Court.  I don’t know how the other judges on the Supreme Court feel about this issue, but we do know how she feels.

Here is the article if you want to read it:
http://www.harvardlawreview.org/media/pdf/vol114_kagan.pdf

Original Post: Faithful in Prayer

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Major Win for the Second Amendment: A Lesson From History

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First off, I’m pleased…damn pleased, to be honest, that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Second Amendment.  This reaffirms that the Second is an individual right, spoiling the chief attack against it, and us.  Many blogs have covered this, and  what I gather is that most everyone on our side is happy with the win, but worried about the margin.  The thought that four members of the SCOTUS apparently goes against history, as well as the founders, is very alarming.  This is a reminder of how very important SCOTUS nominations are.

Beyond that, I got curious, and decided to look up the actual decision.  I had never done that before, and I was very surprised by what I saw.  This wasn’t a “legalese” tome that is unreadable outside of a law school.  Instead, it was a history lesson.  Here is a long excerpt, but rest assured, it is well worth the read.

Note: In the interest in accuracy, I have preserved the formatting  of the original document, including the footnotes.  Every time you see “Opinion of the Court,” that is the top of another page.  I left the footnotes as they appear in the original, as they expand on the understanding of the text.

The most explicit evidence of Congress’ aim appears in§14 of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1866, which provided that “the right . . . to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal, including the constitutional right to bear arms, shall be secured to and enjoyed by all the citizens . . . without respect to race or color, or previous condition of slavery.” 14 Stat. 176–177 (emphasis added).22 Section 14 thus explicitly guaranteed that “all the citizens,” black and white, would have “the constitutional right to bear arms.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27, which was considered at the same time as the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, similarly sought to protect the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms.23 Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act

—————— cally interfered with.” Joint Committee on Reconstruction, H. R. Rep.No. 30, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 3, p. 140 (1866). 22The Freedmen’s Bureau bill was amended to include an express reference to the right to keep and bear arms, see 39th Cong. Globe 654(Rep. Thomas Eliot), even though at least some Members believed thatthe unamended version alone would have protected the right, see id., at 743 (Sen. Lyman Trumbull). 23There can be do doubt that the principal proponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 meant to end the disarmament of African Americans in the South. In introducing the bill, Senator Trumbull described itspurpose as securing to blacks the “privileges which are essential tofreemen.” Id., at 474. He then pointed to the previously described Mississippi law that “prohibit[ed] any negro or mulatto from having fire-arms” and explained that the bill would “destroy” such laws. Ibid. Similarly, Representative Sidney Clarke cited disarmament of freedmen in Alabama and Mississippi as a reason to support the Civil RightsAct and to continue to deny Alabama and Mississippi representation inCongress: “I regret, sir, that justice compels me to say, to the disgrace 27 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

_____________________________________________________

Opinion of the Court

guaranteed the “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens.” Ibid. This language was virtually identical to language in §14 of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, 14 Stat. 176–177 (“the right . . . to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal”). And as noted, the latter provision went on to explain that one of the “laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal” was “the constitutional right to bear arms.” Ibid. Representative Bingham believed that the Civil Rights Act protected the same rights as enumerated in the Freedmen’s Bureau bill, which of course explicitly mentioned the right to keep and bear arms. 39th Cong. Globe 1292. The unavoidable conclusion is that the Civil Rights Act, like the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, aimed to protect “the constitutional right to bear arms” and not simply to prohibit discrimination. See also Amar, Bill of Rights 264–265 (noting that one of the “core purposes of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and of the Fourteenth Amendment was to redress the grievances” of freedmen who had been stripped of their arms and to “affirm the full and equal right of every citizen to selfdefense”).

Congress, however, ultimately deemed these legislative

—————— of the Federal Government, that the ‘reconstructed’ State authorities of Mississippi were allowed to rob and disarm our veteran soldiers and arm the rebels fresh from the field of treasonable strife. Sir, the disarmed loyalists of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are powerless to-day, and oppressed by the pardoned and encouraged rebels of thoseStates. They appeal to the American Congress for protection. In response to this appeal I shall vote for every just measure of protection, for I do not intend to be among the treacherous violators of the solemn pledge of the nation.” Id., at 1838–1839. 28 MCDONALD v. CHICAGO

_____________________________________________________

Opinion of the Court

remedies insufficient. Southern resistance, Presidential vetoes, and this Court’s pre-Civil-War precedent persuaded Congress that a constitutional amendment was necessary to provide full protection for the rights of blacks.24 Today, it is generally accepted that the Fourteenth Amendment was understood to provide a constitutional basis for protecting the rights set out in the Civil Rights Act of 1866. See General Building Contractors Assn., Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U. S. 375, 389 (1982); see also Amar, Bill of Rights 187; Calabresi, Two Cheers for Professor Balkin’s Originalism, 103 Nw. U. L. Rev. 663, 669–670 (2009).

In debating the Fourteenth Amendment, the 39th Congress referred to the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right deserving of protection. Senator Samuel Pomeroy described three “indispensable” “safeguards of liberty under our form of Government.” 39th Cong.Globe 1182. One of these, he said, was the right to keep and bear arms:

“Every man . . . should have the right to bear arms for the defense of himself and family and his homestead. And if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enters for purposes as vile as were known to slavery, then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world, where his wretchedness will forever remain complete.” Ibid.

Even those who thought the Fourteenth Amendment unnecessary believed that blacks, as citizens, “have equal

—————— 24For example, at least one southern court had held the Civil Rights Act to be unconstitutional. That court did so, moreover, in the course of upholding the conviction of an African-American man for violating Mississippi’s law against firearm possession by freedmen. See Decision of Chief Justice Handy, Declaring the Civil Rights Bill Unconstitutional, N. Y. Times, Oct. 26, 1866, p. 2, col. 3. 29 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

_____________________________________________________

Opinion of the Court

right to protection, and to keep and bear arms for self-defense.” Id., at 1073 (Sen. James Nye); see also Foner258–259.25

Evidence from the period immediately following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment only confirms that the right to keep and bear arms was considered fundamental. In an 1868 speech addressing the disarmament of freedmen, Representative Stevens emphasized the necessity of the right: “Disarm a community and you rob them of the means of defending life. Take away their weapons of defense and you take away the inalienable right of defending liberty.” “The fourteenth amendment, now so happily adopted, settles the whole question.”Cong. Globe, 40th Cong., 2d Sess., 1967. And in debating the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Congress routinely referred to the right to keep and bear arms and decried the continued disarmament of blacks in the South. See Halbrook, Freedmen 120–131. Finally, legal commentators from the period emphasized the fundamental nature of the right. See, e.g., T. Farrar, Manual of the Constitution of the United States of America §118, p. 145 (1867) (reprint1993); J. Pomeroy, An Introduction to the Constitutional Law of the United States §239, pp. 152–153 (3d ed. 1875).

It’s a great win, to be sure.  But, the court also provided us with a valuable resource in decision itself.  This is the legal history of this nation, and you’ll never see any of it on the MSM, or in the schools.  I recall that at the Constitutional Convention, some wanted the Second to be the First.  They argued that without the ability to defend the other rights, they would be rendered irrelevant.  The founders knew that some level of government would eventually attempt to control and dominate the individual.  If the people are unable to defend them, all will be lost.  Thankfully, this court (at least a thin majority of them) understand this.

Image H/T: Vision Forum

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NRA deal opens the way for DISCLOSE Act

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Well it finally looks like the way is clear for the controversial DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175) to be brought to the House floor.

On Monday, Democratic leaders cleared the bill’s way by cutting a deal with the NRA, exempting the massive gun-rights organization from the Act’s requirements. Democrats in moderate districts were wary of crossing the NRA by trying to limit its campaign ads.

You can read more about the NRA deal here.

Democratic leaders now believe they can ram the bill, H.R. 5175, through the House without any opposition to stop it.

This bill is so loosely crafted that it’s an absolute train wreck that not only threatens free speech in America, but could indirectly impact the current free exercise of speech bloggers enjoy.  See my May 20 post on this subject.  The bill was originally written to counter the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United V FEC.  The court ruled that provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law restricted corporations and nonprofit groups from running political advertising were unconstitutional.  This was in my opinion a huge win for free speech.  Not so much for the Democrats who face a tough political landscape this November.  So what do they do instead of addressing our serious economic concerns, our skyrocketing debt, our out-of-control spending, our falling dollar; they take the time to craft a bill that will place serious limitations on free speech rights guaranteed by our Constitution’s 1st amendment before an election cycle…sweet!

Americans for Tax Reform and over 50 other groups, including The American Conservative Union, CatholicVote.org, the Center for Competitive Politics, and Citizens Against Government Waste, have sent a letter to Congress calling the bill “an unequivocal ban on free speech, masquerading as an exercise in accountability.”

Below is a list of the new rules if the DISCLOSE Act becomes law.

It would expand the window for “electioneering communications,” which was 30 to 60 days under   McCain-Feingold, to 90 days before a primary or caucus. During that period, corporations and nonprofits would face stringent procedures for any corporate advertising. The electioneering window, once opened, would continue through to the general election. So because presidential primaries fall well before the election, the restrictions could conceivably be in place for over a year.

The bill requires a mountain of paperwork, because companies must submit a list to the FEC of all donors who contributed more than $600. “In the 1950s, the NAACP went to court to say it should not have to disclose its membership list,” Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans Von Spakovsky says. He contends the provision to disclose members’ names poses constitutional problems “because it interferes with their right to associate.” It prohibits any company that received government contracts, or that received TARP bailouts, from spending any money on election advertising.

In a precedent-setting exemption, the Disclose Act for the first time would restrict the activities of nonprofits and companies, but not unions in some cases. Opponents point out that unions recently spent over $10 million in an unsuccessful bid to defeat Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary. “This is the empower-labor-unions-over-everybody-else act,” says Norquist. “It’s making it illegal for Americans to participate in politics.”

It bans any advertising from foreign companies, including domestic companies that have 20 percent or more foreign control.

The names of all donors who give $1,000 or more to an organization must be disclosed to the FEC, if the organization spends more than $10,000 on political advertising. Labor unions are included in this provision.

It requires CEOs to appear on camera stating they “approve this message.” Those familiar with how political fund-raising work say this alone would scare away political speech by the vast majority of companies and associations. Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, one of the groups that signed the anti-Disclose Act letter, tells Newsmax: “I see this as a threat especially to conservative nonprofits, but really to nonprofits in general, because that’s ultimately where the corporate spending that is being attacked here is coming from. Donors very often ask about anonymity. That’s important to them. I could see the groups losing a lot of donations. It’s meant to have a chilling effect, and it will have a chilling effect. I think it’s going to have a horrible effect on nonprofits groups….”

The top donor to the organization, who might not have donated any money for that particular ad, would be required to appear in the commercial to provide the public with information on those funding the commercial. Also, a TV ad would have to list the top five funders to the organization, and radio ads would have to disclose the top two funders. Disclose Act opponents point out the additional time required for the burdensome disclosures would make the ads prohibitively expensive.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What part of this does Congress not understand?

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post & Image H/T: The Current

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The Real Reason Obama Chose Elena Kagan

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I believe the key to understanding Obama’s decision is looking at Ms. Kagan’s position as Associate White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy under President Bill Clinton from 1995 – 1999.    Then take some time to read her article entitled “Presidential Administration” in the 2001 Harvard Review.

In the article she addresses the President’s role in controlling the administration activities of the Executive Branch agencies such as the EPA.  She discusses this in light of the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, noting that Reagan exercised this control by creating the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that would review all major regulations of the executive branch agencies as a means to deregulate; whereas, the Clinton OMB was sympathetic to regulatory efforts.

On page 4 of the article (p.2248 of the Review), it says:

This Article will show presidential control of administration, in critical respects, expanded dramatically during the Clinton years, making the regulatory activity of the executive branch agencies more and more an extension of the President’s own policy and political agenda.  Faced for most of his time in office with a hostile Congress but eager to show progress on domestic issues, Clinton and his White House staff turned to the bureaucracy to achieve, to the extent it could, the full panoply of his domestic policy goals.  Whether the subject was health care, welfare reform, tobacco, or guns, a self-conscious and central object of the White House was to devise, direct, and/or finally announce administrative actions – regulations, guidance, enforcement, strategies, and reports – to showcase and advance presidential policies.  In executing this strategy, the White House in large measure set the administrative agenda for key agencies, heavily influencing what they would (or would not) spend time on and what they would (or would not) generate as regulatory policy.

The Article is written in five parts.

  • Part I – is groundwork material that describes non-presidential methods of control over the administration.  It addresses efforts to rely on Congress, substantive experts, interest groups, and courts to produce appropriate administrative decisions.
  • Part II – gives a historical account of increased presidential control over administration, looking at the beginnings of the OMB oversight under President Reagan
  • Part III – describes the current (as of 2001) and near-term future of presidential administration as shaped by President Clinton.
  • Part IV – provides a sympathetic view of both the legality and the wisdom of this system of presidential control.
  • Part V – focuses on how the courts should respond to this system of presidential control and suggests ways that legal doctrine can promote and improve the new practices of presidential administration.

She acknowledges the basic separation of powers doctrine that says Congress must authorize presidential exercises of lawmaking functions and that when the President is directing agency officials as to what to do (or not to do) they are in essence performing such functions.  However, in defense of Clinton’s practices, she looks to statutory predicate (Supreme Court decision in Myers vs. The United States – 1926) underlying the conventional view.  In other words, when Congress passes laws granting discretion to executive branch agency officials, that they are, in addition, leaving ultimate decision-making authority in the hands of the President.  She says, “This rule of statutory construction appropriately derives from an effort to determine congressional intent as well as, given some uncertainty in doing so, an effort to promote good lawmaking practices.”

As an analogy, she uses an example of a set of military regulations given to the captain of a Navy ship giving him broad authority to make decisions about the ship’s operation.  She says that people would not think that this means the captain’s direct superior would not be able to instruct the captain as to matters about the ship’s operation.

In her defense of Presidential administration, she asks that it promotes accountability in “two principal and related ways.”  First, it enhances transparency (as we have seen in Obama’s administration that is truly a joke) and it establishes an electoral link between the public and bureaucracy.  She says, “The presidentializing of the bureaucracy (executive branch agencies) is to at least some extent the publicizing of the bureaucracy, with respect alike to outcomes and processes.”

She looks to the reasoning of Jerry Mashaw in an article he wrote defending presidential control of executive branch administration.  He said that more bureaucratic, instead of legislative, decision-making “would actually improve the connection between governmental action and electoral wishes.”  He points out that Presidents are popularly elected by a national constituency rather than local constituencies thereby having “a democratic pedigree purer even than Congress’s in our system of government.”

Kagan believes the enhanced presidential control of administration is more effective in handling regulatory issues.  By more effective, she talks about cost-effectiveness, consistency, and rational priority-setting.  She believes that due to the fact that the President is a unitary actor, “he can act without the indecision and inefficiency that so often characterizes the behavior of collective entities.  And because his ‘jurisdiction’ extends throughout the administrative state (or at least, the executive branch), he can synchronize and apply general principles to agency action in a way that congressional committees, special interest groups, and bureaucratic experts cannot.”

Another reason that she feels presidential control of administration is needed is due to the ever increasing polarization between congressional parties and the decreased capacity for “concerted action to meet national needs”.  She says the system increasingly has succumbed to gridlock.  This she feels has created a need for “institutional reforms that will strengthen the President’s ability to provide energetic leadership in an inhospitable political environment.”

Though she agrees that the president should have control of administration agencies, she believes that he shouldn’t have control exclusive of Congress, bureaucratic experts and constituency groups but stresses their continued participation in various contexts and for various purposes.

In her conclusion, she says, “I have urged the modification of certain administrative law doctrines in ways that will promote presidential control of administration in its most attractive, which means it’s most public, form while still appropriately bounding the presidential role.”

I feel that in her defense of more Presidential control over administrative agencies, she walks a slippery slope to tyranny.  With someone like President Obama in the White House who clearly has a personal socialistic agenda, he will have to use some of this control to get his agenda pushed through agencies instead of Congress, especially if the balance of Congress shifts significantly to the right with the fall elections.

With her nomination to the Supreme Court, he knows he has an ally on the court, should some of his “agency” policies get challenged and make their way to the Court.  I don’t know how the other judges on the Supreme Court feel about this issue, but we do know how she feels.

Here is the article if you want to read it:
http://www.harvardlawreview.org/media/pdf/vol114_kagan.pdf

Original Post: Faithful in Prayer

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