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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sotomajor Nomination: Principle vs Accommodation

With so much chatter about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court nominee, I have stayed away from commenting on the subject knowing that the subject is being adequately covered on the internet and by that sector of the media which still lays claim to veracity and objectivity.

But, given the serious nature of this subject, and the chastined GOP's reluctance to correctly and appropriately push back on this activist nomination, I felt compelled to at least address what the Republicans OUGHT to do despite their lingering cowardice and desire to accommodate their liberal antagonists.

The Chief Executive has announced to his liberal Senatorial brethren that he wants Sotomayor confirmed by August 7th, the day before a five-week break. So, what can the Republicans do to thwart the nomination and safeguard the Constitution?

For the Judiciary Committee to vet the nomination, minimum eight members must be present, two of whom must be members of the minority. Thus, if 6 of the 7 Republicans on the committee simply don't show up (sick, their legs fell off, nursing a hangover, whatever), the nomination cannot move forward. No gnashing of teeth, no heated arguments, no political posturing, and, most importantly, NO NOMINATION! For me, this approach has much to recommend it. Of course, the honorable Democratic leadership will be horrified to discover that a political party is willing to stoop to political tricks merely to achieve its legislative purposes, such tasteless tactics being so alien to their own lofty standards of conduct. But, womehow I think they would survive the trauma in fine shape.

Another "tactic" available to the minority party is the "committee filibuster". From the information I've seen, this is how such a filibuster would work: when a motion is made for a committee vote on the nomination, any member can invoke Rule IV which prevents a vote on the nomination until committee members first vote to end debate. To stop the filibuster, 10 of the 19 members (7 of whom are Republicans)--including one member of the minority--is required. THUS, if ALL 7 Republicans refuse to vote to end debate, the nomination cannot be reported out of committee and the nomination, for all practical purposes, is dead. Yes!

Problem: in the wake of Jim Jefford's defection to the Democrats in 2001 which rendered Republicans the minority party, an agreement reached by the parties at that time provided that even if a Supreme Court nominee were opposed by a majority of the committee that the nomination would still be submitted to the Senate.

So, the burning question is this: are Republicans on the committee willing to hang tough and true to their conservative values and beliefs despite their suicidal agreement with liberalism? Wallowing in self-doubt, hobbled by but a tepid allegiance to conservative principles, and, sadly, committed to political accommodation to ingratiate themselves to Hispanic voters, my guess is any unified GOP resistance will quickly evaporate, ushering in yet another "empathetic" liberal Supreme Court judge who will further weaken the court's Constitutional underpinnings. Just what we need to hasten our country's socialist transformation.

Someplace I read that one of the defining differences between a Democrat and a Republican--there being precious few differences these days--is that a Democrat goes down fighting, while a Republican goes down compromising. And so the GOP will yet again.

All we can do now is watch the kabuki theater play out, and pray that our Republic, under relentless assault from within as never before, can survive yet another affliction of liberal elitism and self-serving political expediency on both sides of the aisle.

Scared yet?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Single-Payer Health Care a Catastrophe in the Making

Published D&C 05/21/09

I have researched the issue of health care reform to the point of eye-bleed, and I can see no rational defense for a single-payer nationalized health care plan.

The current system clearly requires common-sense reform to bring down costs while maintaining patient-physician control, but nationalization is manifestly counterintuitive and self-destructive.

If government-run health care is such a spectacular idea, then we must demand that the president, Congress and all government bureaucrats be required to fully participate as well. No gold-plated exceptions whatsoever. No jumping ahead in line. No special treatment. If there is to be rationing and bureaucratic control over health services, then ALL Americans must be subject to the same limitations and "benefits". Remember "fairness", "leveling the playing field" and "equality"? Or are those just empty campaign rhetorical fluorishes for us simple-minded boobs?

Before we shortsightedsightedly ape the failed European model, let's first thoroughly and objectively explore a thoughtful, common-sense, free-market reform of the best health care system in the world today. Surely we're sufficiently innovative and savvy to apply American solutions to America's health care problems.

If we are determined not to learn from others' mistakes, then Americans deserve the single-pay er health care nightmare which awaits them.

More on this disturbing subject later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obama Ineligibility Concerns Hit the Billboards

Wearying of the irresponsible media blackout on the issue of Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be President as well as the reluctance of the political elites to soberly delve into the issue, a billboard blitz around the country is now underway.

The architect of this campaign, an entrepreneur named Joseph Farah, puts it this way: “As Obama transforms this country from [a] self-governing constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established that he is indeed a ‘natural born citizen’ as the Constitution requires. Obama’s promises of transparency have become a bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his birth certificate and his student records.”

And since the media, the so-called “fourth estate”, has avoided coverage of the issue, Mr. Farah, with the help of public donations, is now taking on that watchdog role. (Donations for the billboard campaign are being sent to “WND, PO Box 1627, Medford, OR 97501".)

You will recall that Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution stipulates that “no Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

“We the People”, the de facto plaintiffs in numerous lawsuits going forward around the country intended to compel Obama to produce documentary evidence of his presidential eligibility, have been continually stonewalled by Obama’s legal team. Thus, in the absence of documentary proof to the contrary, the logical conclusion remains inescapable: Obama is manifestly ineligible and is, therefore, a usurper.

To my way of thinking, this is not a shortsighted, self-serving partisan issue. The continual legal delays and needless foot-dragging constitute an obscene breach of faith on the part of Obama and his legal team and, as such, their callous obstruction presents a serious threat to our national security. (You are invited to read my previous posts on the eligibility issue.)

“Where’s the Birth Certificate?” billboard space is being negotiated in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Des Moines, Seattle and other areas around the country. As Mr. Farah remarked, “[Obama] must be asked to produce [his birth certificate] at every turn.” And at nearly every turn, so he will, it seems.

For the sake of our country, this monumentally serious constitutional matter must be properly put behind us once and for all. But, for that to happen the Obama Team needs to be forthcoming with the evidence of his eligibility. A very simple matter, really. But, tragically for the country and the Constitution, all along that has clearly not been their intention. Public opinion now appears to be the only possible remedy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

States Finally Resisting Federal Domination

What appears to be the beginning of a tectonic shift away from suffocating federal power is underway. At least that's my fervent hope.

Finally, the "silent majority" seems to have had enough. In the face of creeping federal usurpation, the political survival instincts of the States and of the People themselves have finally been awakened. Their natural instinct to protect themselves against odious federal encroachments on their liberties has finally taken hold, and none too soon.

The plethora of tea parties in April--with more planned for the future--has served to draw attention to the tyrannical overreaching of the federal government in our lives and has, in turn, sharpened a grassroots demand for a return to limited and responsible government.

As of May 7th, it has been reported that 28 states have passed state sovereignty resolutions whose purpose it is to put the feds on notice that their overreaching and loathesome profligacy will no longer be so routinely permitted.

It is well that we all recall that Article 2, Section 8 enumerates the specific powers of the federal government, while the 10th Amendment of the Constitution reserves all those powers to the states which have not been specifically delegated to the federal government. To wit, the 10th Amendment, a cornerstone of our separation of powers doctrine, stipulates that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People." Although for the past 80 or so years, the feds have all but ignored constitutional restraints on their power, it more clearly appears than ever before that such will no longer be tolerated. They've clearly stepped over the line in the sand.

Joining South Dakota, the first to successfully pass such a resolution, are Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Resolutions have also been introduced in Texas and Arizona and 23 other state legislatures as well, so the movement is anything but a flashpan affair. "We the People" and the States finally mean business. Our clear mandate to the federal government is to return to responsible constitutional governance as it was intended by our founders.

On the local front, there is also the Project 2010 and the Primary Challenge movements whose respective goals are to return NYS to fiscal responsibility and accountability and to convene a State Constitutional Convention to constitutionally remedy what afflicts the state. And, of course, there's the 912Coalition chapter which remains strongly attached to its mission of restoring sanity and responsibility to government. Thankfully, such restorative movements are multiplying at the local, state and national levels everywhere. Federal overreaching has, to coin a well-known Japanese Admiral's words, "awakened a sleeping giant".

Then there's Montana which recently passed HB 246 which lawfully asserts that clearly marked guns and ammunition manufactured for intrastate distribution and use cannot be regulated by the federal government--clearly, a justifiable assertion of state power which could dramatically alter how the feds exercise their power over interstate commerce in America. With both the 2nd and 10th Amendment solidly on Montana's side, the feds will be hardpressed to nullify or to otherwise successfully challenge this law. (After the law takes effect in October, can you imagine federal agents being arrested by Montana police for trying to enforce unconstitutional federal gun regulations in the state? Certainly within the state's rights to do so, but what then would the feds do to reassert their misplaced authority? Let's hope common sense and the rule of law prevail. Definitely worth watching developments there.) Alaska and Texas are also forging similar gun legislation, two more direct challenges to federal encroachments on state power.

On the whole, then, I'd say we've much about which to be hopeful. If States' rights, our last line of defense, cannot be restored and upheld, then what? Rebellion? I don't think even this haughty administration would risk that, but I can no longer believe the feds are above any manner of mischief and recklessness. While we should always strive to be civil and reasonable, we must also remain on guard and deeply committed to a restoration of responsible republican governance.

In my life, I've not seen this level of invigorating and wholesome grassroots involvement in the political process. Once again the specter of tyranny is energizing patriotic pushback. Finally!

Power to the People!

Monday, May 4, 2009

FCC Undaunted: Silencing Talk Radio Number One Priority

As you know, earlier this year GOP attempts to legislatively proscribe the reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine (aka Censorship Doctrine) was quashed by Democrats in both the House and Senate. Clearly, the fight to block liberal reimposition of any insidious form of the Censorship Doctrine is not over. To be sure, liberal attempts to reimpose the doctrine in another guise, e.g. "diversity ownership" and "localism", are well underway with a vengeance.

With the vocal support and clandestine encouragement of the likes of Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the usual parade of other left wing nuts such as Chuck Schumer, Jeff Bingaman, John Kerry and Diane Feinstein, among other ignominious elites on the me-first left, the FCC's Henry Rivera, a strong proponent of the Censorship Doctrine, is meeting with the FCC's newly-formed Advisory Committee On Diversity For Communications on May 7th. (Forewarned is forearmed. If you value free expression on the air waves, keep your eyes on these unsettling developments, and push back fervently and frequently.)

Reportedly, participants in this advisory committee include no less than 12 left wing grievance organizations and but a sparse sprinkling of TV and radio companies. (So much for diversity when it doesn't serve the interest of the power elite, huh?) Participants who represent conservative defenders of the first amendment are, as might be expected, precious few and far between.

Under the rubric of the innocuous principle of "localism", the FCC's new purpose is to facilitate diverse ownership of/minority control over local broadcast stations. Relying upon "diversity" as its lofty rationale, Obama's FCC will expect broadcasters to better ensure that women and minorities are properly represented in broadcast media on the local level. (Gee, I wonder what mischief Obamaniacal community organizers might have in store for local broadcasters and their listeners?)

Of abiding concern to liberals is, as always, conservative domination of free market-driven talk radio. For the liberal elite, freedom of expression is tolerable, so long as the exercise of that freedom doesn't jeopardize their own political power. If eliminating competing viewpoints in the free market of ideas serves to promote their power, then freedom of expression will be ruthlessly, albeit stealthily, silenced. Make no mistake, folks: diversity of political opinions is anathema to the liberal elite, and, to them, conservative and Christian broadcasting are inimicable to their longer term goal of political domination.

For the most part, the printed media has been effectively co-opted by the left, rendering the media's credibility as objective dispensers of balanced information and reporting deeply flawed. No longer willing to speak truth to power and to act as responsible purveyors of the truth, the printed media is no longer a threat to the liberal elite, but broadcast radio remains a painful and annoying thorn in their side.

The last holdout for the free, open and diverse exchange and expression of opinion is unregulated conservative and Christian talk radio. It is now manifestly obvious that silencing opposing viewpoints remains a central objective of the progressive tyranny. If you want a free expression and exchange of ideas, you'll have to fight for them.

Conservative and Christian talk radio is now all we have left in our democratic arsenal to oppose the expanding tyranny. I urge everyone to continue to email/telephone their representatives and the FCC itself to keep government's intrusive hands off what remains of America's free press and free speech. If the leftist tyranny is able to silence talk radio, America is absolutely finished as a republic. Unsettling though the prospect may be, will secession be our only recourse to restoring a constitutional republic? I, for one, will NOT abide living under anyone's tyranny, whether it comes from the left or the right. None of us should tolerate the intolerable. We do so at our own peril.

("The security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." Thomas Jefferson, 1823)

("The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter..." Thomas Jefferson, 1787)