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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HR 4946: Pushing Back Against Federal Overreach

In a recent column, Cal Thomas took note of a hopeful congressional development, a rarity these days in government: in league with Reps Bishop (UT), Manzullo (IL), Chaffetz (UT) and Rooney (FL), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced HR 4946, the 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act, which would grant legal standing to specific state executive leaders (Governor, Lt. Governor or Attorney General) or legislative leaders (Speaker, Majority Leader, or Minority Leader) to directly challenge in federal court regulations issued by federal administrative agencies. Finally!!!!

On March 25, 2010, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. Of course, how soon the bill will get out of subcommittee and be favored with a floor vote in both the House and Senate is anyone's guess. But, as Cal Thomas says, “it's a start.”

In light of George Soros' recent public advice to Obama to circumvent a Republican-dominated House by issuing executive orders and encouraging his regulatory bureaucrats to implement rules to advance his socialist agenda over the next two years, as well as reports that other far-left Obama supporters, stung by the GOP takeover in the House, are providing similar advice to the White House, Rep. Cole's legislative effort is, indeed, timely.

Coupled with the GOPs “Pledge to America” which will require specific constitutional justification for each bill introduced in Congress before being voted on, could it be that some semblance of constitutional order on the Hill might actually be forthcoming in the months ahead? Though much depends upon the GOPs virtue and integrity, we can certainly hope these actions mark at least a modest return to constitutional governance.

To justify passage, para 7 of the bill pointedly states that “The Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government often promulgate regulations contrary to the spirit and letter of the 10th Amendment. ” As poignantly, para 9 states that “It is the responsibility of Congress to safeguard the 10th Amendment and to recognize that it is as vital and valuable today as on the date of its ratification." Nothing like hitting 'em between the eyes. Yes, indeed!

If passed, the law would provide that whenever a federal agency proposes a rule for public comment, a designated State official may file a legal brief challenging its constitutionality at which point that challenge must be prominently posted by the proposing agency on its website. And if, despite the legal challenge, the agency still intends to implement the rule it must, within 15 days of the challenge's posting, issue a legal opinion as to why the proposed rule does not violate the 10th Amendment. A state designated official may then commence legal action in district court to invalidate the rule. Further, the bill calls for expedited review of the district court's ruling in the US Court of Appeals. How did we do without such a law for so many years?

So, while this bill does not impose an especially onerous requirement on federal agencies, it does compel those agencies to exercise due diligence, political caution and appropriate restraint before inadvertently or willfully attempting to overstep their constitutional authority. In short, it attempts to keep those agencies in check and truer to their constitutional limitations.

And what of blatant executive overreach, per se, occasioned by imperial Presidential executive orders? Well, suffice it to say that the Republican Congress still possesses the power of impeachment and the purse. And given the deep and growing public distrust toward the White House's current occupant and his socialist coterie, articles of impeachment is no longer unthinkable.

Let's hope that the threat of impeachment alone will be enough to restrain Obama's imperiousness, failing which another epic constitutional crisis for the country may well be in the offing. But, if impeachment is what it takes to properly restore the balance of power in DC, then in the immortal words of G W Bush, "Bring it on!"

Postscript: HR 4946 died in committee; reintroduced as HR 455 on 1/26/11 which also died in committe; reintroduced as S 1842 on 11/10/11, but dies in committee

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Midterms: A Reality Check

I simply can't shake my anxiety. Yes, the Republicans garnered historical gains in the House, and Conservatives have made important inroads in the body politic, but, as alluded to in my previous post on the subject, I am no less worried now than I was before the midterm elections. Here's the unfettered reason why.

In union with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), the Democratic Party's Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) still comprise a plurality of House Democrats, and until January 2011 they remain in control of many
key House committee chairmanships.

Organized around the socialist principles of social and economic justice, among the leftist groups supporting or otherwise closely linked with CPC/CBC are, Americans for Democratic Action, NAACP, ACLU, LULAC, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, La Raza, Hip Hop Caucus, Human Rights Campaign, Organizing for America, successor to the Obama for America organization, and the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs, most of which were participated in the October 2nd "One Nation Working Together" leftist rally in DC. (And, of course, media propagandists conveniently ignored the radicalism of the rally's participants and sponsors which included the Communist Party USA.)

Keeping in mind that in an on-going effort to recruit new members, the DSA describes itself as "part of an international movement fostering solidarity across national borders in order to construct an
alternative to the current order" and that "as residents of the most powerful capitalist nation, we recognize that our greatest act of international solidarity is to build a vibrant, multicultural left in the United States," is it really so difficult to understand why so many knowledgeable and patriotic Americans are and ought to be profoundly concerned?

And when one understands that Barack Obama's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, picked Frank Marshall Davis, a CPUSA member, as his grandson's mentor and proxy father, and that the liberal talk radio host, Ed Schultz, Mr. Bombast himself, described Van Jones as a "great patriot", shouldn't it be crystal clear to any but the willfully ignorant that the members of these Caucuses--as well as a plethora of prominent media and other political types--are, indeed, clear and present dangers to us all?

On November 2nd, among the congressional cockroaches representing New Yorkers in Washington were "Hons" Yvette Clarke (11), John Hall (19), Maurice Hinchey (22), Carolyn Maloney (14), Jerrold Nadler (08), Charles Rangel (15), Jose Serrano (16), the insufferable Louise Slaughter (28), and Nydia Valazquez (12). Apparently through divine intercession alone, Hall lost his bid for re-election this time around; however, the nest of NYS vermin gnawing at the Republic's foundations in DC remains essentially intact, and the CPC/CBC still constitute an alien and menacing force in the House and in the nation.

Among the other more DC are lispy Barney Frank (Mr. Meltdown), Jim McDermott (Baghdad Bob), Pete Stark ("the federal government can do anything it wants"), Nancy San Fran Pelosi ("we have to pass it before we can see what's in it"), Ron Dellums, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Conyers, closely and unashamedly associated with the CPUSA and the DSA since 1982, and the inimitably noxious Maxine Waters. In the Senate are Senators Bernie Sanders (VT), who at least admits to his DSA affiliation, and Tom Udall (UT).

With the midterm defeat of 26 so-called moderate Blue Dog Democrats, the Democratic Party leadership and much of its rank and file have been effectively hijacked by the Republic's enemies within. Of late, this is precisely why I've been referring to the Democratic Party as the Democratic Socialist Party. No sense deluding myself or you. After all is said and done, I'd rather be an accurate detractor than a wishful thinker.

And here's the acutely painful irony. What's the cause of this once venerable party's transformation and takeover by the radical left? Sadly, the culprits are those millions of American voters out here who remain utterly clueless, willfully ignorant, in cahoots or simply in denial . And therein lies the fundamental cause of our nation's growing peril, our Republic's Achilles heel, if you will.

Obviously, this time I'm not attempting to be gentle in my criticism of these vermin. When someone is at my throat and threatening my country's very existence, pulling punches is an infuriatingly simple-minded and worthless indulgence I can no longer justify.

Though to some readers, this may appear an indelicate and scurrilous indictment of the Democratic Socialist Party, one should be mindlful that it is through the DSAs own odious behavior and  its own well-documented alien affiliations which have indicted them. I'm but a messenger drawing your attention to the unsettling facts. And, sadly, noone can authoritatively and honestly refute, dispute or otherwise disprove what I have said here. Authentication is readily accessible for us all to see.

So, again, we must remain vigilant and seriously engaged! The struggle to restore the Republic has only begun. If we are to restore constitutional order and traditional American values, Conservatives and their Republican allies must exert a herculean grassroots effort to educate and win over an unwitting electorate which has become its own worst enemy.

Ultimately, of course,Conservatives must be as successful in  transforming the Republican Party as the extreme left has been in transforming the old Democratic Party. Such a transformation would be well-worth the effort.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

GOP "Tsunami": A Word of Caution

After toiling 17 hours at the polling site and with five hours of sleep under my belt, I have groggily awakened to reports of a national GOP sweep of historical proportions. And thank God for that.

But, perhaps I'm just too hard to please, or far more cynical than even I thought I was capable of being, for, in truth, I have to say that I am decidedly unimpressed by the so-called GOP electoral "tsunami". Nonplussed and troubled would be more accurate. Though the biggest sweep since 1938, if my memory serves me, I still harbor some serious concerns.

While the Rand Paul and Mark Rubio upsets were particularly sweet, the Reid victory over Angle in Nevada, me-first Murkowski's apparent write-in victory in Alaska, Jerry Brown's thumping of Meg Whitman in California, and obscenely arrogant Boxer's win over Fiorina provided particularly disturbing counterpoints to the celebratory mood. And for me anyway, the disquieting closeness of many of the elections themselves, even in those races where GOP candidates "won", were alarmingly revealing.

Yes, the gubernatorial and state legislative sweeps were hopeful signs of a grassroots resurgence of republicanism which will surely benefit the GOP (re-districting) and the country in the future, but the lingering concern to me is the incredibly gigantic number of Americans--MILLIONS OF THEM--who again cluelessly voted for their Democratic Socialist overseers. To any thinking American who really wants his country back, this has to be an acutely troubling realization.

So, while I am pleased that conservative Tea Party winners may prove to be an influential countervailing political force on the Hill who might even be capable of helping to substantively shape the GOP agenda, of intense concern to me is the fact that our government and its suffocating bureaucracy is still dominated by unvetted neo-Marxist czars and other ruthlessly committed Progressives who are still capable of perpetrating terrible damage over the next two years. Thus, the GOP resurgence simply doesn't provide the solace or sense of security for which I had hoped. (NB: having lost only 3 of their 80 members in this election, the radical congressional Progressive Caucus is still very much in charge of a notoriously uncompromising Democratic Socialist Party which will continue to exert unrelenting pressure on Obama, already ideologically compatible with the Caucus's aims, to reject accommodation and to push for more socialist programs and policies one way or the other.)

What will the GOP-dominated House do to live up to our expectations after December? Indeed, what can they do? God only knows. But, to prevent the GOP's implosion and yet another toxic Progressive resurgence in 2012, it absolutely behooves the GOP establishment not to violate our trust yet once again. No more accommodating Progressivism either within or without its ranks, no more mindless "going along to get along", and absolutely NO more compromising on principle. (During my formative 70's negotiating experience with Communists in Asia, I quickly learned that compromising with tyrants is viewed by them as appeasement; thus, even when done in good faith, compromising will invariably prove to be counterproductive and utterly unredeeming.)

Long overdue and carefully targeted congressional investigations covering a plethora of Progressive corruption, blatant constitutional violations and executive overreach MUST go forward with professionalism, dignity and determination. At long last, Progressive vermin must be drawn into the light of public scrutiny and exposure. Of course, the GOP must be sure that the public fully understands what is happening and why; that the investigations are not merely vengeful politically-motivated witch-hunts, but restorative remedies to what has been an out-of-control federal government. Though these critically important probes will be cynically and predictably characterized by the Democratic Socialist Party as mean-spirited politics as usual, in the interests of the Republic they must go forward with all deliberate speed.

Among the other promises contained in the "Pledge to America", the GOP must uncompromisingly follow-through with its pledge requiring that all legislation contain a citation of constitutional authority. Such would be an effective way of restoring some semblance of constitutional order, failing which that order will be fundamentally no better after December than it was before the GOP "sweep".

And since the House is in charge of originating revenue bills, the GOP must cripple implementation of Obamacare and work toward a common sense reform of health care before more serious damage is done to the best health care system in the world. To avert economic collapse, reformation of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security--but also Tax Reform and reigning in the Federal Reserve--must also be courageously pursued.

In short, the GOP's responsibility is nothing short of GARGANTUAN! And, frankly, I'm not at all confident they're up to the challenge. In any event and come what may, the GOP must start treating American voters--even the hard-boiled and unwitting leftists among us--as adults. We must no longer be lied to, placated with giveaways we can no longer afford, and mislead with meaningless rhetorical pablum designed merely to get the party elites re-elected. With our country on political and economic life support, much depends upon the wisdom, sobriety, courage and, above all, principle of the GOP. And, frankly, we'd all better get it right this time, or it really will be all over.

Oh, yes, and no bailouts for the People's Republic of California or New York! They voted for Socialist dominion, so let them solve their self-inflicted socialist malaise themselves. We must now insist that both state and federal governments get their houses in order by unleashing the vibrant laboratory of innovation which the free exercise of state sovereignty so beautifully provides.

Finally, the GOP must allow common sense, constitutional order, public trust and personal responsibility dictate its course of action going forward. In essence, then, it is our civic duty to ensure this GOP sweep is not yet another pyrrhic victory.

My suggestion: remain as vigilant and engaged as ever!

"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions. The Eyes of all our Countryment are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny mediated against them." George Washington