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…

Scooped’em!

OK, OK, I’m gloating a bit. I scooped the big boys with my post yesterday. I received notices my post yesterday was retweeted and has been shared, linked and reprinted by a number of conservative websites.

***

The dems, in particular Harry Reid, see their power waning in Washington. They’ve looked into their crystal balls and foresee a drubbing next year in the mid-term elections. The failure of Obamacare, not just the rollout, but the massive loss of insurance coverage by millions of working Americans will have an impact in the elections next year.

That means it is possible for the dems to lose the Senate. The ‘Pubs can’t pickup enough seat of have a veto-proof majority, there aren’t that many senate seats up for re-election, but Reid may not be Majority Leader much longer. That possibility has created in Reid a sense of desperation, leading him to threaten to invoke the ‘nuclear’ option to block ‘Pub filibusters and pack the federal court bench with liberal sycophants.

Why the threats at is time? Perhaps it is to distract the public’s—and the media’s, attention from the disaster of Obamacare to them and their party. That seems, to me, to be a more likely motive than the dems continuing attempt to pack the federal courts.

***

Who is the greatest lawbreaker in the country today? On this question, nearly everyone has an opinion. A growing number of those opinions say: Barack Obama.

Reining in America’s Greatest Lawbreaker, President Obama

By Mark J. Fitzgibbons, November 21, 2013

The Hill reports that Republican members of Congress are contemplating actions to combat President Obama’s lawbreaking methods of ruling from the Oval Office.

“GOP officials have long claimed that the president has violated the law and the Constitution through administrative actions on issues ranging from immigration to nominations to the U.S. military involvement in Libya,” writes The Hill.  Conservative Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah is quoted, “There are a lot of examples of this.”

A lot, indeed, and not just recently.  As reported at American Thinker last year in March, nine GOP state attorneys general issued a report on Obama’s unprecedented officious lawbreaking.

Obama has now reached the tipping point, however, with his illegal “fix” of Obamacare designed to overcome his lie that Americans can keep their health insurance.  The president’s open lawbreaking following his notorious lying puts Democrats’ electoral prospects at risk.  It frustrates the unquestioning goodwill and endless love of some members of the political establishment.

Obama has lied to the American people many times, which is unbecoming of his office.   But his unilateral actions in violation of the Constitution and even statutory law are so brazen that they seem calculated to undermine our very system of government, even to the point that they can be called “un-American” from the perspective of our heritage.

British Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan has a marvelous essay at The Wall Street Journal adapted from his new book, “Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.”   The topic of his essay helps us understand why Barack Obama is actually the greatest lawbreaker in American history.

If you consider that claim hyperbole, factor this:  No person, corporation, union boss or corporate CEO — no criminal — who has violated the law could count every American as their victims.  President Obama can.

Hannan’s essay describes how Americans and the British share an exceptionalism that has its origins in the law — the common law, to be precise.

We share a view of law that protects individual liberty and property rights through ideals and notions guaranteeing due process of law, jury trials, freedoms of speech and of publication, and so on.  The law punishes and remedies the wrong, of course, but this view of the law is that its purpose is also to protect our liberty and property rights.

That view of the law is contrary to the one held by progressives, which is that the law is to be used to coerce behavior of the people even at the expense of individual liberty and property rights.

As Hannan writes:

Above all, liberty was tied up with something that foreign observers could only marvel at: the miracle of the common law. Laws weren’t written down in the abstract and then applied to particular disputes; they built up, like a coral reef, case by case. They came not from the state but from the people. The common law wasn’t a tool of government but an ally of liberty: It placed itself across the path of the Stuarts and George III; it ruled that the bonds of slavery disappeared the moment a man set foot on English soil.

There was a fashion for florid prose in the 18th century, but the second American president, John Adams, wasn’t exaggerating when he identified the Anglosphere’s beautiful, anomalous legal system . . . as the ultimate guarantor of freedom: “The liberty, the unalienable, indefeasible rights of men, the honor and dignity of human nature . . . and the universal happiness of individuals, were never so skillfully and successfully consulted as in that most excellent monument of human art, the common law of England.”

 These ideals are of law emanating from the people to govern government itself — a republican form of government with controls on those who govern.  When the law governs government — when our government is bound down by the law — our liberty is best protected.

No list of the greatest documents of liberty is complete without the Magna Carta, wherein the King was told by the people that he would be ruled by law while he simultaneously ruled his people.  The Magna Carta established these principles, and the common law further evolved. 

The United States Constitution incorporates these common law principles and ideals, and affirms and institutionalizes even more such as checks and balances, and the separation of powers.  It is through these structures, institutions and ideals of law governing government that liberty is best protected.

And that is the purpose of the Constitution.  It is a law that doesn’t merely constitute or form our government; it governs government.  Violators of the Constitution are violators of law.

It is by the law that governs and controls government that we have the greatest liberty and equality under the law.  That is why America is exceptional.  Freedom breeds the most opportunity for the most people.  Opportunity allows for the greatest level of achievement. 

We are exceptional not by national origin, but because our national origin guarantees that we have law that rules the government that rules us. 

That is our English heritage.  President Obama is hostile to this view of the law, believing he can fundamentally transform America by undermining this law. 

Under Obama, we have ‘trickle-down lawbreaking,’ as with former IRS official Lois Lerner who read signals from the White House to violate the very laws she was supposed to enforce.  The signals for government bureaucrats to violate the law are everywhere in the Obama administration.

How, then, will congressional Republicans rein in Obama’s lawbreaking?

For all the criticisms directed at Senator Ted Cruz and other constitutional conservatives purportedly over tactics, establishment GOP leaders have demonstrated that they are not up to the mission.  Real leaders will stand up and call out President Obama as America’s greatest lawbreaker.

In six years, the democrats have changed this country from one of laws, to a country of lawlessness. The White House itself—Obama, his staff and all the agencies that report directly to the White House, engage daily in lawlessness. That was advantageous for them as long as they maintained power. Now, with the Obamacare fiasco affecting nearly everyone in the country, they foresee the possibility of them to losing power, leaving reams of regulations and liberal court decisions that could be used against them if/when the ‘Pubs, or anyone not a liberal, gains the White House and controls Congress.

That is what the dems and liberals fear: What goes around, comes around.

Palin Endorses Jacob Turk for Congress against Cleaver (MO-5)

Sarah Palin was in Kansas City last night to speak at a local fund-raiser.  Jacob Turk hadn’t the opportunity to speak with Palin but passed his card to her via an intermediary. Turk has been running against democrat Emmanuel Cleaver since 2006 and gaining ground with each election

In her keynote speech, Gov. Palin mostly avoided talk of politics:

But there was one exception: She acknowledged Jacob Turk, the GOP nominee for the 5th Congressional District seat now held by Democrat Emanuel Cleaver.

Palin said Turk had given her a business card that said elected officials must “listen to all, lead with integrity … and champion opportunity. That’s leadership, not politics.”

“I love that motto,” Palin said. She talked briefly about the growing influence of the tea party movement across the country and complained that the mainstream media were seeking to undermine the movement’s momentum.

Turk’s conservative political stance is printed on the back of his business cards. Turk has also been endorsed by local Tea Party organizations such as Political Chips.

Another for Saturday: Cartoon of the Week – Chuck Asay

Waiting to go to the doc again and I was browsing through my daily cartoons when I spied this one.  Perfect!