So it begins…

Yesterday, Harry Reid detonated the nuclear option in the Senate by arbitrarily changing the Senate rules concerning federal appointments, including the Judiciary. Before Reid’s act, appointments required a 60 vote super-majority. Reid changed that to a simple majority.

Immediately after the vote, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) called for more reforms—eliminating the filibuster for legislation. Harkin’s call for eliminating the filibuster was retaliation against Senator Ted Cruz’s and Rand Paul’s filibusters this year.

Reid’s act and Harkin’s call to eliminate all filibusters is a blatant power grab effectively making the Senate a democrat rubber stamp. The days of polite discussion, of gentlemanly discord are gone. The democrats have known this for decades. The ‘Pubs, hopefully, have finally realized the same. Politics has turned bloody. When will the ‘Pubs realize you don’t show up unarmed to a gun-fight?

I’ve said before, our current history appears to be a repeat of those days before the start of the Civil War in 1860. The issue then was not solely about slavery, although that was a very significant issue. A major issue at that time was the loss of political power by the Southern States to the more populous and economically powerful North. Tariffs and trade issues were passed that favored the North to the detriment of the South, issues that reduced the South’s trade with Europe. The result, when the South saw no other recourse,  was Secession.

Reid’s act yesterday followed immediately by Harkin’s call to eliminate all filibusters is another step that mirrors the conditions immediately before December, 1860. South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860. Is it coincidence that Reid’s elimination of 225 of Senate tradition, of a history of a balance of power, happened in November? Are we approaching a day like that of 153 years ago?

***

Positive Discrimination. What is that? It’s better known by its other name, Affirmative Action. Erick Erickson was invited to a debate on the issue at Oxford in the UK. The debate subject was “that positive discrimination is a necessary evil.”

Oxford Union Results: Winner

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  November 21st, 2013 at 08:03 PM

It is after midnight here in Oxford, UK as I write this.

Tonight, I debated in the Oxford Union — a society that has gathered each Thursday night for a black tie debate since 1823.

The proposition debated tonight was “that positive discrimination is a necessary evil.”

The side favorable to the proposition went first and vice versa to the end with me as the final speaker of the night. Each side had four participants — one student and three guests. The proponents included both Martin Castro and Ada Meloy, along with Carla Buzasi and Oxford student Toby Fuller. My side included Richard Kahlenberg, Heather McGregor, and Oxford student Martine Wauben.

I must thank Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for encouraging me toward talk radio. I spoke for 8 minutes unaided by notes, which would have been impossible, but for two years of doing a talk radio show consisting of just me talking with no script. If you’ve ever seen the British House of Commons, you know how it went. We all stood beside dispatch boxes given by Winston Churchill. We all were interrupted by points of information by opponents.

Everyone told me I should expect to lose. Just last week the Oxford Union voted against patriotism. I simply made the point that positive discrimination, or affirmative action, is still discrimination and evil is still evil. Likewise, I pointed out that the United States is 150 years removed from the Gettysburg Address, we have our first black President, and we still have people clamoring for positive discrimination. We cannot trust that those who benefit from it will ever say we need no longer have it.

Likewise, I pointed out that we have had and will always have racism. A government that claims we are equal under the law, but still sees racism is not a government we can expect to write a law to dramatically get rid of racism.

But we do know that those negatively affected by positive discrimination will be bitter and those who benefit from it will always be under a lingering doubt that they were chosen as tokens, not on merit.

I had a wonderful time, topped off by a pint of Guinness with my wife and friends. Thanks for the prayers along the way. A guy who sounds like me somehow convinced a group of Brits that affirmative action is wrong.

My side won by 9 votes.

I agree with Erick Erickson. Discrimination, positive and negative, is evil and must be abolished. I prefer a meritocracy, myself.

mer·i·toc·ra·cy  (mr-tkr-s)n.pl.mer·i·toc·ra·cies

1. A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.

***

An act of tyranny. The FEC by a 3-2 vote, refused to grant an exemption to the Tea Party Leadership Fund allowing them to keep their donar list private. The FEC has granted exemptions to the NAACP and the Socialists Worker’s Party but not the Tea Party.

Divided FEC rejects tea party group’s bid to conceal donors

Groups said disclosure opened door to harassment

By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times, Thursday, November 21, 2013

A sharply divided Federal Election Commission on Thursday denied a request from a leading tea party group for an exemption from disclosing its financial backers to protect them from harassment.

The FEC board voted 3-2 against a motion to exempt the Tea Party Leadership Fund. The fund will have to continue to disclose donors who contribute more than $200, despite its contention that its donors should be given an exemption given to special persecuted groups such as the Socialist Workers Party and the NAACP during the civil rights era.

FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, quoting Supreme CourtJustice Antonin Scalia, said “requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed.”

Commissioner Steven Walther, who also voted against the fund’s motion, said the group was “not a minor organization” requiring special protection from the normal rules of disclosure.

The TPLF “has a lot more muscle and a lot more money,” Mr. Walther said. “I don’t think the donors are really worried about threats to themselves and safety issues that plagued the Socialist Workers Party.”

But Commissioner Matthew Petersen, one of the two Republican members of the panel who supported the exemption request, said the TPLF’s petition documenting past harassment justified the group’s request. The fund submitted more than 1,400 pages containing examples of harassment, ridicule and threats against tea party members from the media and the general public. The submission also noted the still-simmering scandal over whether the Internal Revenue Service deliberately targeted some conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status for special scrutiny and regulatory delays.

The case of the TPLF, Mr. Petersen said “is just as strong as, if not stronger than that of the Socialist Workers Party. I think [TPLF] is entitled to exemption.”

The FEC will grant exemptions to leftist, socialist organizations but not to conservative ones. This is what we get when Obama and the dems have unlimited power to appoint heads of federal agencies.

Tick…tick…tick…

Parades, Revelations, and Bread and Circuses

I think I’m recovered now. Our neighboring town had a Veteran’s Day parade on Saturday and I walked in it with Mrs. Crucis and some friends. The parade wasn’t too long, a mile and a half, perhaps, but the wind was strong and cool.  According to my pedometer, we walked about 3,000 steps. I normally walk 4,000 steps, almost two miles, three times a week.

But, if you’ve ever walked in a parade, you know it is not a steady walk. The parade bunches up and you’re standing around waiting for the group ahead of you to move. Then they do, and you’re almost running to catch up. Repeat for the duration of the parade.

I think it was the cool wind and the approaching cold front that did me in. Temperatures overnight dropped to 16, locally last night. But today I’m inside perched next to my heater in my office and all is right in the world.

***

The Obamacare news continues to get worse. According to Rasmussen, 55% of those polled want Obamacare to be repealed. The latest news, is that Obamacare, again, targets a specific segment of the country with less benefits than others—the military. One of the features of Obamacare that Obama and the libs have been bragging is that your adult children, until they are 26, can be added to your, the parents, health insurance. That’s true…unless you are active or retired military. Perhaps, that denial is a good thing.

Military members, veterans missing out on key ObamaCare provision

FoxNews.com

One of the most touted benefits of President Obama’s health care overhaul law is the provision allows parents to keep their adult children on their health insurance until age 26.

However, Trace Gallagher reported on “The Kelly File” Monday, this benefit is not being extended to a significant group of Americans: members of the U.S. military.

TRICARE, the Department of Defense program that provides health coverage to active duty and retired military members and their families, only covers young adult dependents up until age 21, or age 23 if they are enrolled full-time in college.

TRICARE recipients can then purchase a plan for their young adult dependents, according to their website.

Air Force veteran Eddie Grooms said he was disappointed to learn he could not add his 21-year-old daughter to his insurance provided by the military, as he thought he had been promised under the health care overhaul.

“It’d be nice if they leveled with everybody and let them know so that people could make plans, because this is going to hit all, I mean it’s going to hit thousands of retirees over time,” Grooms said.

Jessie Jane Duff of Concerned Veterans for America told Megyn Kelly the reason the benefit has not been extended to military members is the rates under TRICARE are very low because they are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

She said “unfortunately” this means adult children cannot be covered, saying there has to be some “give and take” for the reduced rates.

“We’ve been very fortunate because legislation was passed that exempted TRICARE from a lot of the ObamaCare standings, so that actually has benefited veterans to keep the rates that they’ve had,” Duff said.

***

If you’ve been watching the news from south of the border, Venezuela is back in the headlines. The communists are still in power and still as stupid as ever. Those of you who have read anything from Ayn Rand, will recognize the term, ‘looters.’ Venezuela has become a nation of looters supported in their looting by the country’s military.

In their latest adventure, the army seized some retail outlets and forced them to sell their merchandise at a loss. They now expect to do the same to other retailers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when a company is forced to sell at a loss, it will soon cease to exist. No profit, no company, and no jobs, either.

Venezuela Becomes A Nation Of Looters

IBD Editorial, Posted 11/11/2013 06:48 PM ET

Looters: Venezuelan troops storm a local electronics retailer in the name of enforcing “fair prices,” brazenly blaming the private sector for state policies. Sounds familiar — and not just because it’s a communist takeover.

With municipal elections just around the corner on Dec. 8, it’s no surprise to see Venezuela’s failing socialist government turning to pork-barrel handouts to lure voters — as it always has.

Shovel the goodies to the red-shirted low-information voters and gain just enough votes in upcoming elections to claim a dictatorship is really a democracy.

Not coincidentally, President Nicolas Maduro declared that Venezuela would celebrate the beginning of Christmas in October — to distribute goodies.

But there’s a new twist here: Venezuela is out of money to shovel pork. Its foreign reserves have fallen to $21.4 billion as oil prices slump. Instead of using its vast oil earnings to buy votes, as in the past, Venezuela’s Marxist government is now making do by stealing from Venezuela’s battered private sector.

Which is what brought the bizarre spectacle of the Venezuelan military occupation of Daka — the country’s five-store equivalent of Best Buy, loaded with the flat-screen TVs, computers and smartphones favored by looters everywhere.

As troops stood by, crowds looted one Daka store, stripping its shelves bare. Call it government by looting.

Or in reality, call it communism. Because such destruction of private property in the name of redistribution has been a feature of every communist takeover from Russia to China, to Vietnam, to Cuba.

Defending his government-of-looters, Maduro officially blamed the store for charging “unfair prices,” a preposterous statement since Daka’s prices weren’t inconsistent with the official inflation rate of 56% in an economy that must pay for 90% of its goods imports, including consumer electronics, with dollars.

There is even some speculation, by bloggers such as Miguel Octavio of the Devil’s Excrement, that the viciousness of the government action could be due to the company engaging in high-profit arbitrage on the country’s two-tier exchange rates.

There’s also no doubt the government was sending a message to other retailers not to raise prices by making an example of one of them. Message received.

But the bottom line is, horrendous government policies forced retailers to do what they have. It wasn’t Daka that created price controls or a corrupt two-tier exchange system that made the resulting inflation.

The black market currency rate is now 10 times higher than the official rate, meaning they’re on the verge of hyperinflation due to a government that can’t stop spending. This explains why imported basic commodities, such as chicken, milk and toilet paper, are now scarce, just as in the old Soviet Union, or in today’s Cuba.

Were Venezuela a true democracy, such a destructive economic record would bring down the ruling party.

But this is Venezuela. It has benefited not just from having the U.S. as its top oil customer and consumer goods supplier, but also from a lot of White House love — from President Obama’s and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s embrace of late strongman Hugo Chavez at a 2009 summit, to ex-President Jimmy Carter’s dishonest endorsement of Venezuela’s fraudulent 2004 recall, which the Bush White House meekly accepted.

And now the results: Venezuelan troops occupy electronics retailers while yelling about “fairness.”

Doesn’t this tale sound familiar? If you substitute Obama ‘phones, welfare EBT cards and Food Stamps, isn’t our federal government doing much the same? Delving into history, I hear the refrain, “BREAD and CIRCUSES!” The Roman emperors kept the Roman mob satisfied with bread and circuses—food and entertainment, (now you understand why the liberal elite controls Hollywood,) while looting the empire to pay for the bread and the circuses, and to quiet the mob. In the end, the empire could no longer pay, having been picked clean by Roman tax collectors and the Roman empire collapsed to the barbarians outside the empire…and the barbarians within.

Now, with Obama’s Redistribution of Wealth, we’re facing the same situation as did the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire is just a memory from history, its cities are a pile of rubble, some carefully preserved but most destroyed for the materials in them.

What will the United States be in a few hundred years? A viable nation leading the world, or a pile of picked rubble, destroyed by the liberal tax collectors and the Washington mob?

Emboldened Tea Party

Today’s title is taken from a headline that appeared in the Washington Times. The dems and leftists think the Tea Party was heavily damaged in the debacle that just occurred in Washington. Boehner’s and McConnell’s surrender was evidence of that, thought the dems.

They were wrong.

If anything, the antics of Boehner, McConnell and Reid helped clear the decks for 2014. We, the Tea Party and conservatives, now know who is committed to conservative principles and who are only committed to themselves.

Boehner thinks he is in a ‘safe’ district. The dems keep him in office just as much as the GOP establishment clique that prevents any strong opposition to Boehner. That could easily change if a strong independent or GOP candidate could get on the ticket—preferable a GOP opponent who could remove Boehner in a primary election. Boehner is blessed with not one, not two, but, now, three opponents seeking to oust him, two in the upcoming GOP primary election.

One such opponent, J.D. Winteregg, is a school teacher from Troy, Ohio. Winteregg has received a number of endorsements from local Tea Party organizations.

Boehner to face Tea Party challenger in Republican primary

Staff Reporter- Dayton Business Journal

A third local person has thrown a hat in the ring to challenge John Boehner, R-West Chester, for Congress in 2014.

J.D. Winteregg, a school teacher from Troy, Ohio, announced his campaign against Boehner this month.

Active in local tea party groups and having received the endorsement of board members of several north Cincinnati Tea Party groups, Winteregg says his limited political experience means “his ideas truly represent the people in (Ohio’s eighth Congressional district).”

Among his political positions, Winteregg advocates for defunding Obamacare, a limited free market Capitalist system approach to the economy, and says the government should focus on forming public-private partnerships to shift dollars supporting economic growth from tax money to private investment.

Winteregg is the third local person who has announced his plans to challenge Boehner in the May 2014 primary. Matthew Trisler, a truck driver from Tipp City, is running on a constitutional conservative platform, while Butler County businessman Eric Gurr also announced he would challenge Boehner in the Republican primary.

McConnell has opposition, too.

Senate Conservatives Fund endorses Matt Bevin over Mitch McConnell

Oct. 18, 2013 11:22 AM

The Senate Conservatives Fund said Friday it has endorsed Republican Matt Bevin over U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The group has been toying with the endorsement for some time. It has aired television commercials critical of McConnell as not conservative enough and it recently polled its members asking if it should officially back Bevin, a tea party-favored Louisville businessman.

“We have interviewed a lot of candidates this year and Matt Bevin is one of the very best. He’s principled, passionate, and has Ted Cruz-like courage,” said Matt Hoskins, the group’s executive director, referring to Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas, who led the fight to shut down government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The endorsement comes just days after McConnell, the Senate minority leader, brokered a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, to reopen government and raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. defaulted on its debt.

In response to the McConnell-Reid deal, Bevin said Wednesday: “When the stakes are highest, Mitch McConnell can always be counted on to sell out conservatives.”

The group lambasted McConnell the same night as the shutdown-ending vote, accusing him of receiving a “Kentucky kickback” because the bill contained a higher $2.9 billion spending limit for the controversial Olmsted Dam and locks on the Ohio River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Congressional leaders later rebutted that accusation.

Boehner and McConnell are not the only two RINOs who are receiving opposition in the coming primaries. All of those who voted to support Obama, Reid, and Obamacare, like our MO Senator, Roy Blunt, have marked themselves. Blunt still has a number of years left to his term. Others, however, do not.

A call to arms: Emboldened tea party moves to finish off weak Republicans

Mississippi senator first to face challenge

By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times, Thursday, October 17, 2013

Far from chastened by the debt debate, tea partyers and conservative groups signaled Thursday they’ve concluded they didn’t lose, but rather were sabotaged from within by weak Republicans — and they took the first steps to oust one of them.

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced he would challenge U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary next year, a day after the GOP’s senior senator voted to end the 16-day government shutdown and grant President Obama more borrowing authority.

Mr. McDaniel immediately saw a flood of support from the outside groups that had rallied against this week’s debt and spending agreement.

“Our country can’t afford any more bad votes that stem from old friends and back-room deals,” said Daniel Horowitz, deputy political director of the Madison Project. “And as witnessed from the recent budget battle against Obamacare, we cannot win against Democrats if we don’t grow our conservative bench in the Senate.”

For the past two weeks, the deep divisions within the GOP have been on very public display.

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and their allies pushed to withhold all government spending unless Mr. Obama agreed to cancel Obamacare, while party leaders called that a losing strategy and tried to come up with alternatives.

On Thursday, the GOP accepted defeat, passing a bill that gives Mr. Obama a “clean” bill to reopen government through January, and to raise debt through at least February.

A majority of Republicans supported the deal in the Senate, but the situation was reversed in the House, where Cruz allies refused to sign off on a series of plans put forward by GOP leaders to end the stalemate.

The article continues on a second page noting Sarah Palin’s support for change in the “permanent political class” in Washington.

The result of the acts in Washington this month, while a setback for conservatives, is not capitulation. Instead, it is just the beginning. The Tea Party was fundamental is winning the House in 2010. Now, our goal is to widen that control in the House, eliminating the establishment stalwarts, replacing them with strong conservatives and to take the Senate from dem control,  dumping Harry Reid into the waste-bin of history.

Friday Follies for October 4, 2013

I feel vindicated. Earlier this week, I created a scenario for the creation of a new political party. Today, I saw the article below that appears to mirror those first steps I formulated on this post.

House and Senate conservatives have formed a caucus all their own, separate and apart from moderate Republicans and their own GOP leaders. Their meetings, held in person and over the phone, have helped the relatively small band of lawmakers maintain a united front and outsize influence in a budget debate that led to a government shutdown.

At the meetings, they have shared information and ideas, developed strategy and discussed how to frame the fight over Obamacare as part of a larger budget debate. They met in person most recently last Monday evening, according to Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa — just hours before the government shut down.

The private pow-wows have enabled conservative lawmakers to coalesce around some of the hallmark proposals of the government-funding fight, including the notion that they could fund government programs one at a time. — The Washington Examiner.

On Monday, I speculated that Congressional conservatives from both houses would form a caucus in defiance of the leadership of both parties. It appears now that my speculation was accurate.

***

The new conservative coalition of Senators and Representatives have clout, as Harry Reid found out this week. Reid was disappointed that Boehner reneged on a secret deal he had made with Reid. Reid thought Boehner would support funding Obamacare in the CR in return for some nebulous promises from Reid. But, when the time came for Boehner to betray his party and House members, he didn’t. The pressure from House and Senate conservatives was too great.

Harry Reid puts John Boehner and his speakership in the crosshairs

By STEVE CONTORNO | OCTOBER 3, 2013 AT 1:35 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday accused House Speaker John Boehner of reneging on a deal reached in September to fund government and said the Republican leader has put his political future ahead of the country.

Reid said that when he and Boehner met in early September, the Republican leader wanted a clean continuing resolution to fund government at $988 billion, or sequestration levels. The Nevada Democrat said Boehner then backed away from that agreement after conservatives in the GOP caucus flipped.

“We didn’t like it. But we negotiated, that was our compromise. The exact bill that he now refuses to let the House vote on, that was our negotiation,” Reid said. “I didn’t twist his arm. He twisted mine a little bit to get that number. Now he refuses to let his own party vote because he’s afraid to stand up to something he originally agreed to.”

On Wednesday, Reid offered Boehner an out by promising to negotiate a host of Republican objectives, like tax reform and the health care law, in a bicameral budget committee after the House passed a measure to fund government with no strings attached. Boehner immediately turned it down as a disingenuous proposal.

“I thought we had something he couldn’t refuse,” Reid said Thursday.

Reid’s Don Corlene tactics failed. Boo. Hoo.

***

The IRS has been targeting selected conservatives for some time. Evangelist Franklin Graham, and conservative Christine O’Donnell are two from that list. Now, another conservative has been audited by the IRS, suddenly, after his famous speech before Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Ben Carson.

The long line of conservatives targeted by the IRS

By John Solomon and Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times, Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tea party groups, Franklin Graham, Christine O’Donnell, a pro-marriage group. And now Dr. Ben Carson.

The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious.

The latest revelation came Thursday from Dr. Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon who told The Washington Times that he was targeted for an audit just months after he gave a speech in front of President Obama that challenged America’s leadership. The agency requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit.

In the end, the IRS found no wrongdoing, Dr. Carson said, but it raised his suspicions about being singled out for his speech.

“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS,” Dr. Carson said in an interview. “But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion.”

The article continues at the website.

***

For weeks, since the last debt limit fight, Obama has threatened to take unilateral action to raise the debt limit citing Section 4 of the 14th Amendment as justification. He’s threatening to take action again to remove Congressional power of the purse.

If Congress Won’t Raise the Debt Ceiling, Obama Will Be Forced to Break the Law

Wouldn’t it be better to save the nation from default by invoking the Fourteenth Amendment, than to stand by and do nothing?

Back in 2011, I found myself writing (and writing and writing and writing and writing) about Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment. Afterwards, it seemed like a bizarre interlude: The brief crisis about the debt ceiling surely would not repeat itself in our lifetimes. After all, President Obama was handily reelected, the Democrats held onto the Senate, and the Republicans must surely have learned their lesson.

Or not so much.

Regardless of how the current shutdown crisis ends, it seems there will be a second debt-ceiling crisis two weeks from now. And the questions are flying again: Is the debt-ceiling statute unconstitutional? Can Obama “invoke” Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment and assert authority to breach the debt ceiling to pay “the public debt of the United States, authorized by law”? Or can one party, decisively defeated in a nationwide election and controlling only the lower house of the legislature, threaten the full faith and credit of the United states — and the health of the world economy — in pursuit of its short-term partisan advantage?

The world has heard enough from me on this subject, but three nuanced analyses are worth looking at. The first, by Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, notes that the debt-ceiling crisis threatens not just the president’s constitutional duty to make payments on the public debt but also the accompanying requirement that he spend money lawfully appropriated by Congress, either as part of a yearly budget or as part of statutes authorizing “entitlement” payments like Medicare or veterans’ benefits.

Failing to do any of these things would be a default on the president’s duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The president may not be able to obey all three sources of law; if so, Aaron argues, he should make the payments and ignore the debt ceiling. “The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose,” he writes. “If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.”

Aaron’s argument echoes the elegant analysis last fall by law professors Neil Buchanan of George Washington University and Michael Dorf of Cornell. These two prominent scholars concluded that paying appropriated monies and interest on the debt represents the “least unconstitutional” option open to a president when Congress refuses to approve a debt-ceiling increase.

The writer above is a liberal, as you probably noticed. Like all liberals, he sees the Constitution as an impediment—unless it can be twisted to their advantage. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment gives the President NO POWER to unilaterally raise the debt, nor spend federal funds not authorized by Congress, specifically by the House of Representatives. To do so would eliminate the Balance of Powers in the Constitution; the balance deliberately designed to constrain the excesses of government.

If Obama and the congressional dems follow this path, it can only be corrected by counter-balancing force. I would much prefer we don’t go there!

Trends and Portents

Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments, has triggered a lot of discussion on the state of the nation, the Constitution and the constant violation of the Constitution by the federal government. Just scanning national opinion pieces this morning led to these headlines. One is a piece on the state of the government, another is on national trends and polls, still another proposes the country is in a pre-revolutionary state.

What Has Mark Levin Wrought?

By James V Capua, August 18, 2013

In The Liberty Amendments Mark Levin has delivered more than advertised. He promises a credible agenda for reinvigorating constitutional government based on an approach to the amendment process which avoids the liabilities of better known options.

Continued here

Obama Flouts the Law

By Clarice Feldman, August 18, 2013

From his first presidential campaign to the present, the president, his party and his administration have openly flouted existing laws, and it doesn’t seem there is any legal means of stopping him short of impeachment.

Continued here

America’s Tyranny Threshold

By Eileen F. Toplansky, August 19, 2013

As he finishes up his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, Barack Obama would be well-served to recall the fiery words of Jonathan Mayhew, who is famous for his sermons “espousing American rights — the cause of liberty, and the right and duty to resist tyranny.”

Continued here

And finally, this one. Its subject is one few want to discuss all the while its one that is being discussed more every day.  Is a second American Revolution on the horizon?

Time for a New American Revolution?

By Richard Winchester, August 19, 2013

The United States of America was born in revolution. The Declaration of Independence asserted that people have a right of revolution. According to The Declaration, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [such as “life,” “liberty,” “the pursuit of happiness,” and “the consent of the governed”], it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The Declaration acknowledged that people should not, and will not, seek to overturn “long-established” governments “for light and transient reasons.” After “a long train of abuses and usurpations,” however, which are clearly aimed at establishing “absolute Despotism,” people have not only the “right,” but the “duty,” to “throw off such Government, and provide new guards for their future security.”

The U.S. has not experienced a successful revolution since the one between 1775 and 1783, despite Thomas Jefferson’s hope that “[t]he tree of liberty should be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Some think it’s time for a new American revolution. Moreover, many of the preconditions for a revolt exist.

Continued here

One of Levin’s common quotes is that we are living in a post-Constitutional era. In other words, government, at least at the federal level, Congressmen and the Supreme Court no longer follow the constraints of the Constitution. The Obamacare decision forced by Chief Justice Roberts is a prime example of that latter segment of government. There was NO Constitutional basis for his decision. But, with his vote, he joined the liberal Justices and overrode the strenuous objections of the remaining Justices. Roberts followed the liberal diktat that the Constitution is whatever the Court says it is.

That is a lie. Few, however, were reluctant to stand up and say so.

Perhaps one of the best statements of the condition of our government and the accelerating discussion of revolution, is this article by In her article she cites the acts of Obama and the democrats in government that supports Levin’s premise that we no longer have a governing Constitution.

Today’s post as turned into a long one. I’ll close with this from Betsy McCaughey.

King Obama vs. Rule of Law

By on 8.14.13 @ 6:08AM

Have we ever seen such presidential contempt for constitutional principles and our nation’s history?

At an August 9 press conference, President Barack Obama said that when Congress won’t agree to what he wants, he will act alone. That statement, which he has made before, should send shivers through freedom-loving Americans.

The President was asked where he gets the authority to delay the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, even though the law states that the mandate “shall” go into effect January 1, 2014. The Obama administration had announced the delay on July 3, without seeking Congress’s help in changing the law.

In response, Obama said that “in a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law… so let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do.” 

But Obama explained that he took a different route because Republicans control the House of Representatives and ardently oppose Obamacare.

Obama’s statement reveals how disconnected this president is from this nation’s history and constitutional principles. Divided government is the norm in the United States. Most modern presidents have had to govern with an uncooperative Congress or at least one house of Congress controlled by the other major party. With the exception of Richard Nixon, these presidents — from Eisenhower, to Reagan, to Clinton, and both Bushes — have not tried to exempt themselves from the Constitution.

Article II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution commands the president to faithfully execute the law.

Courts have consistently ruled that presidents have little discretion about it. President Obama can’t pick and choose what parts of the Affordable Care Act he enforces and when. 
 

The framers duplicated the safeguards their English ancestors had fought hard to win against tyrannical monarchs. Most important, the English Bill of Rights of 1689 barred an executive from suspending the law. 

The tug and pull between the president and an uncooperative Congress is what the framers intended. It’s checks and balances in action. Obama has no patience for this constitutional system. In June 2012, the President announced that he would stop enforcing parts of the nation’s immigration laws, because “We can’t wait” for Congress to offer relief to young illegal immigrants brought into the country by their parents.

Now the President is rewriting the Affordable Care Act. Delaying the employer mandate is not a mere “tweak.” Because individuals will be required to have insurance as of January 1, 2014 or pay a penalty, some ten million currently uninsured or underinsured workers who would have gotten coverage at work under the employer mandate will now have to pay the penalty or go to the exchanges. That means more people enrolling on the exchanges, more dependence on government and a bigger bill for taxpayers. It’s not the law that Congress enacted.

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has urged Congress to vote against any continuing resolution to fund the federal government after September 30, as long as it funds this distorted version of Obamacare.

“Laws are supposed to be made by Congress, not… (by) the president,” Lee explained. If the administration is not prepared to fully enforce Obamacare as enacted, including the employer mandate, it should agree to delay the entire law and remove its funding from the budget.

Sadly most members of Congress are too busy looking out for themselves to stop the president from chipping away at the Constitution. Last week Republicans and Democrats conspired with the president to weasel out of Sect. 1312 of Obamacare, which requires members of Congress to get health coverage on the newly created exchanges. Congress was happy to let the President unconstitutionally give them a special taxpayer funded subsidy that no one else in America earning $174,000 would get.

Such self-dealing brings to mind what Benjamin Franklin warned about, as he and his fellow framers finished writing the Constitution. It’s a republic, said Franklin, “if you can keep it.”

If Congress refuses to use its power to restrain the Executive branch, we then reside in a dictatorship. No one with the ability to enforce constraints is willing to do so and thus participate in the dictatorship.

 

A Whiff of Grapeshot

The title of today’s post is attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte when, following orders of the revolutionary convention in 1795, he used cannon and grapeshot to clear the narrow streets of Paris and ended a Royalist insurrection.  The tactic has been used several times—once, during the riots in Paris in 1848 and again, in 1863, to end the draft riots in New York City.

Today’s American Thinker e-newsletter has two articles concerning civil insurrection, the weaknesses of government and portents of revolution. The articles struck a cord because they mirror my own concerns and observations.

One article concerns the riots in Stockholm, Sweden.  There, the constabulary stood aside and didn’t intervene—until counter attacks occurred by those defending their lives and property. SwedishHotdogRoast2WebCR-5_28_13-thumb-600xauto-3185Then the constabulary intervened—not against the original rioters but against those defending their homes, lives and property.

 

 

Riots and Liberals

By Christopher Chantrill

After a few nights of “youth” riots in Sweden, the ordinary Swedes had had enough. So they took to the streets to protect their property. Fortunately the police knew just what to do. They attacked the “vigilantes.”

You can see the logic of that for our modern liberal ruling class. It’s one thing for youths to riot in their welfare ghettos. Nothing much you can do about that except search for root causes and implement midnight basketball programs.

But when the crypto-fascists in the middle class start a sensible and practical effort to defend themselves from mayhem, that’s different. There is no excuse for taking the law into your own hands.

Nobody in the ruling class is telling the rioters that their behavior will be stopped and their rebellion crushed by any means necessary. That would be racist, or classist, or anti-religious bigotry. No, the ruling class immediately clamped down on the ordinary people that were responding to the age-old problem that when seconds count the police are minutes away.

The article is long and meanders a bit but it is an indictment against socialist government that has become too steeped in its own rhetoric. I urge you to follow this link and read the entire column.

The second article hits closer to home. The theme of it can be isolated with this single sentence. “Most regimes began to fall when they lose legitimacy.”

The reference is toward the Czarist Regime before the 1917 revolution in Russia. The statement, taken alone, applies to many regimes from the that of Louis VIII to our own, each suffering purposeful, liberal mismanagement.

The thoughts of regime failure engage me because of what I see as a continual separation of elites from ordinary people in Western democracies.  There are many facets in our own polity where this occurs, from the economic meltdown laced with fraud and greed, for which no executive has been held accountable, to the current administration’s seizure of the institutions of government to harass and hinder legitimate political opposition, to make journalism a crime, and to apparently  lie about it with impunity, as the attorney general appears to have  in the case of James Rosen. — The American Thinker.

The loss of legitimacy can occur not only by what the government does, but also by what it does not. The column continues with these observations.

…I am more concerned about Western regimes denying the fundamental internal threat to security — the rise in our midst of radical Islam and the refusal to grapple with it.  There are the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, the beheading of a Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich, in broad daylight; a similar attack in France where the perpetrator prayed before he stabbed a French soldier in the throat, the Muslim riots in Sweden, still ongoing as of this writing, similar to riots in France, and the creation of Sharia no-go areas in Amsterdam and London. 

Throughout each of these episodes and earlier ones going back to 09/11, the public is told that this has nothing to do with Islam.  We are told that the massacre at Fort Hood by a Muslim fanatic is workplace violence, that an Afghan Muslim who drove from his neighborhood in Fremont, California some forty miles through heavy urban traffic to run people down near San Francisco’s Jewish Community Center was simply a deranged individual, that the shooting by an Egyptian Muslim of the El Al ticket counter at LAX had nothing to do with Islam, and neither did the shootings by a Muslim at the Jewish Federation in Seattle

It is beginning to sound as if the Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, and the Reformation had nothing to do with Protestantism.   Such nonsense does not make us feel safer; it makes us feel that the government has deserted us. — The American Thinker.

It is that last sentence that affects us more…that the government has deserted us. Our immediate security concerns is not just Islamic infiltration but includes our open borders and the refusal of government to enforce existing immigration law.

The essence of low intensity conflict is to make a people feel that the government, corrupt, inefficient, and inattentive, cannot protect the people. Guerrilla warriors go to great lengths to create this message, but in the Western world, the government itself is formulating this message at the expense of its own credibility and ultimately its legitimacy.

When British Prime Minister David Cameron says that the beheading of a British soldier is an insult to Islam, when the police stand by in Stockholm while Muslim youth burn cars, and when President Barack Obama tells us that the Fort Hood massacre was an example of workplace violence, the inadvertent messages they send is that they are more concerned about protecting Islam than protecting everyone else.  And the mixture of silence and euphemism with which a compliant media advances these ideas only reinforces public cynicism.

In each of these actions, the government tarnishes and diminishes its own legitimacy. In doing so, it paves the way for an alternative political narrative, one that will say: the truth is what you are not being told; the truth is what is obvious to you but hidden from the public agenda by corrupt elites who will not protect you from the next act of violence perpetrated by radical Muslims.  

Amid such perceptions, social movements arise outside of the political mainstream.  Fear is the appropriate motivator and hate is the great unifier. The two reinforce each other.  If the mainstream political system is unraveling, the consequence of that interaction is an alternative political reality, an alternative more credible explanation of events and, most of all, a more credible interpretation of the otherwise inexplicable behavior of elites.

Revolutions are not made by those who desire them, but — as  Tocqueville notes — by the stupidity of those who least want them to occur. — The American Thinker.

The column concludes with this paragraph. It addresses “Western Democracies” as a whole. Taken out-of-context, it can apply equally to our situation here in the US.

The legitimacy of mature democracies is strong, but it is not unbreakable. Whether those who view themselves on the periphery will be mobilized is ultimately not up to those willing to go into the streets, but up to those who control the levers of power.  Regimes blunder into revolution.  It remains to be seen what course Western democracies follow in confronting the challenges presented by the Islamists.

We still, here in the US, have time and means to alter, or at least defer, this drift towards revolution—if we choose. We must also be aware that our foes are not just liberals and the democrat party but includes the entire establishment entrenched in Washington and in the states of both parties.

Does the Rule of Law still exist?

I was listening to the news this morning and heard that a group of illegal “immigrants” were protesting outside the office of the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.  Their complaint? Kobach insists on upholding the law and helps other states, like Arizona, formulate legislation to curb illegal entry into this country.

This particular group, some from within Kansas and others imported from out of state, want Kobach to resign because he enforces existing law. While they were protesting, ICE did not appear.

“We the People…”

This post, however, is not about illegal immigration, per se. It is about the failure of government to uphold and enforce existing law. The example above and the refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, are just two of many failures by the federal government. If such actions, the refusal to enforce selected law and legislation, becomes institutionalized by the FedGov and the states, what are the consequences?

Let’s take an example from the international stage. Last February, Obama was in a lather accusing Communist China of not following international trade law. Obama called, “the soon to be president of the a country that is the world’s second most powerful and that highly values “face” (pride,dignity) a cheater.” In light of Obama’s actions these last four years, that statement was the height of hypocrisy.

Clyde Prestositz, the author of the sentence quoted above defines the failure to enforce the rule of law as playing with the rules.

The phrase “all must play by the same rules” implies that all are playing the same game, but in actuality they are not. In many instances there are no rules or the rules are vague, untested, and unclear. Even where there are rules, many countries have been ignoring them for a long time and there is thus strong precedent for not playing by the rules or even for interpreting the rules such that they are actually said to bless the apparent violations.

The rule of law operates under the assumption that all parties have the same understanding of the law. If that is not so, how can any commonality of thought exist?

A long time ago, there was a science fiction short story about a murder case…the willful killing of a peaceful extraterrestrial alien. The killer proudly admitted killing the alien because it wasn’t human and was therefore a “varmint”. Killing a “varmint” was not illegal (in that story.)  The story ends with the Sheriff approaching the killer, pistol in hand, and tells the killer, “We’ve just redefined the description of ‘varmint’.”

Several of the protesters outside Kris Kobach’s state offices admitted to being in the United States illegally. They protested publicly confident the FedGov, in the form of ICE, would not intervene. They were correct. The federal government is actively redefining immigration law. When there is no commonality of thought—definition of law in this case, there is no law and the rule of law cannot exist.

When the federal government creates new law, whether through the normal passage through both Houses of Congress, or by edict in the form of federal regulations, how can the government reasonably expect the public to adhere to those laws when the federal government itself does not? It cannot.

Anarchy is the result.

I, personally, do not wish to live in a state of anarchy. If this trend of government, the failure to adhere to the rule of law, continues, we will have anarchy and that leads to civil war.

As an engineer, it was part of my job to perform risk assessments. To look, not at the best case, but at all cases including the worse case. Truly, civil war, is the worse case but I see it approaching if we continue on our current path. Along with risk assessments, I also looked at means for mitigation of those risks.

One mitigation is to establish, or perhaps re-establish the rule of law. If we cannot coerce the federal government to do so, then we must do so within ourselves, within our communities and states. Next, would be to extend the commonality of thought, the same rule of law to other communities and states and establish alliances to enforce commonality of law within our communities and states. Call it the Red States Alliance.

Numbers count. When we have sufficient numbers, individuals, communities, states, with the same commonality of thought, the same rules of law, we can then pressure the federal government to conform to our definitions, our rules, our commonality of thought, our rule of law.

Failure to ally ourselves with others of common thought and purpose means we must conform to the rules, the redefinition of the FedGov’s rules of law. That path leads to an authoritarian United States and the Constitution ceases to exist as our standard. It has already been grievously damaged but it is not yet irreparable.

To answer the question in my post title, does the rule of law still exist? Unfortunately, as much as I wish it weren’t so, it does not. When the federal government fails to enforce law, redefines law to make that law conform to an agenda contrary to its intent, the rule of law no longer exists. It’s not too late to reinstate the rule of law but the time is approaching when that option, too, ceases to be possible. Then our choice can only be to create new rules and impose them on the federal government.