Keith Koffler has been around Washington, D.C., for a very long time, and he has a theory about Congress’s remarkable silence regarding both events in Syria and Obama’s huffery and puffery regarding events in Syria. Let me just say that his theory is not pretty. Indeed, it’s disgusting, and embarrassing, and really supports what many feel which is that, when it comes to Congress, we should dump anyone who’s been there more than one term in the Senate and more than two terms in the House.
In my earlier post today, I said that, in the wake of the lies the Gang of Eight told, followed by the Senate’s passage of a 1,200 page immigration bill that will go a long way to destroying the American working class, the Republicans have tearfully promised never to be fooled again. I doubt that promise. I likened them to the Charlie Brown scenario where he always believes that, this time, Lucy won’t pull the football. Having said that, I see that Trey Gowdy, a smart R from South Carolina, isn’t fooled. Maybe he can educate his fellow Rs. Plus, I like his sarcasm:
And a short anecdote regarding Gowdy’s monicker of “Trey.” When I arrived in Texas, I was overwhelmed by the number of guys I met who were named Trey. What an unusual name, I said. I’ve never heard it outside the South. My friends had a good laugh at my expense when they explained that Trey was a nickname for a guy who boasted the number III after his name (as in, he shared his name with both his grandfather and his father).
I wrote this for Mr. Conservative, but it works just as nicely here:
When the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred, Senator Dianne Feinstein ghoulishly whipped out of her filing cabinet a gun control bill that she’d had waiting for just such a moment. She shilled it endlessly. She schmoozed with British carpetbagger Piers Morgan, with both of them decrying how evil the gun owners and the NRA are. She assured Americans that all veterans suffer from dangerous PTSD, making them too mentally ill to own arms (a loathsome theory that the Veterans Administration is apparently acting upon). She even said that, in today’s America, it’s legal to “hunt humans.” She made all these statements despite being the kind of liberal hypocrite who thinks her life is worth protecting with guns – it’s your life that’s not worth protection.
In additional to almost delusional, and definitely selfish, behavior, Feinstein also put forward a nonsensical ban that attacked imaginary “military style assault weapons.” Her bill was a little bit of personal vendetta against certain guns and manufacturers, and a lot of fashion commentary about what a “bad” gun looks like. It was clear early on that her bill didn’t have a snowball’s chance of surviving.
Still, one has to give Feinstein credit for fighting on. Today, she made a last gasp push to shame her fellow Senators into voting for a bill that is meaningless, inconvenient, unconstitutional, and statistically unlikely to protect any of the nameless “families” to whom she called out:
I know how this is going to end — and the despair and the dismay of families standing out there whose safety we need to protect, and we don’t do it. I am really chagrined and concerned. If anybody cares, vote at least to prospectively ban the manufacture, the sale, the importation of military style assault weapons. Show some guts!
Fortunately, not only did those who believe in gun rights stand strong, but Democrats also recognized that, unless you’re lucky enough to be a Democrat Senator from California, voting for Feinstein’s bill would have been political suicide – proving that supporting Second Amendment rights saves lives, at least in the political sense.
I just don’t have a lot to say right now. Here are some posts I enjoyed today, though:
The Republican House’s passive-aggressive approach to Obama.
Core issues of evil regarding bombings, abortion, and the media.
And a question for you: Have you noticed that Obama and fellow Dems have been “shaming” people with the gun debate? Here are links to a bunch of speeches and hollers Dems use shaming as a form of bullying. I haven’t quite decided what to make of this, but I’d certainly be introduced in your thoughts and theories.
I could find more examples, but it seems to me that Progressives have been trying for decades to deconstruct away shame. Suddenly, though, when its an issue that impacts their “morals”, shame makes a big comeback. In that regard, this Victor Davis Hanson post about post-modern prudes seems very appropriate.
Lastly, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the people in West, Texas, a town that, long ago, I drove through more times than I can count.
Whew! I’m finally current on my email, a pleasant state of things that should last at least two days, or maybe four. I’m sufficiently self-aware to know that my chronic procrastination damages my life, not to mention my relationships. Despite that knowledge, though, I still procrastinate. It’s very frustrating to me that I can’t seem to sum up the will to abandon a habit that’s very, very bad for me. Although I don’t have any substance abuse problems, my procrastination abuse problem gives me a certain empathy for those who struggle against drug, tobacco, or alcohol addictions.
Ooops! I’m digressing, a bad habit that accounts for a lot of the time I spend procrastinating. Back to topic….
The material in this post sweeps up the last of the January email still lingering in my inbox. Not all are links. Some are just great ideas from readers.
Soldier4110 agrees with me that we cannot win the political and culture war if we’re already convinced that we’ve lost. To that end, Soldier4110 points to some cheering signs:
I recently left a comment on an article at any other website about Scott Walker’s win at the ballot box last November and the importance of that win. I agreed with the author and added that both Indiana and Wisconsin had wins in court last week for their right-to-work legislation. I also mentioned that the Republicans did well at the ballot box in gubernatorial races and in maintaining or winning statehouses.
Surprise, surprise, a bunch of people ‘liked’ the comment. This leads me to believe that currently Republican posters and readers are looking for good news, like you say they are.
Am thinking of a couple ‘good news’ topics:
The overwhelming win of the two seals at Benghazi who were able to kill 60 of the enemy before they died. These men began fighting after Stevens was already injured and the IT guy was killed. So they saved the lives of all the others in that situation. Almost like Bowie at the Alamo, they surely knew they would die. What Heroes!
Also, the Republicans have great ‘minor league’ prospects what with the numerous statehouses and governorships. The right-to-work laws in IN and WI (and MI) are a start, but let’s hear what’s going on in other state legislatures……the reason being that these successes, when multiplied, make a difference at the ballot box, too. Now Pennsylvania is able to use their voter ID law in the next election…..that’s a good example. Also, new Indiana Governor Mike Pence is pushing two initiatives: vocational training and cutting income taxes.
So let’s give our ‘farm teams’ some notoriety and keep the good news coming. Keeping the readership aware of successes in various states will perhaps lead readers to look for and report successes in their own states, which keeps them focused on looking for the positive.
Zhombre forwards an idea that should become sticky. Just because Congress has no interest in amending the Constitution doesn’t mean that the states don’t have the power to do so when a good idea comes along:
Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.
This is an idea that we should address.
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that passed … in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever . The self-serving must stop.
If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States …”
Obama’s Pentagon got rid of Marine General James Mattis, Chief of U.S. Central Command. Rumor had it that he was let go because he kept trying to force civilians to do silly things like look at the reality on the battlefield without wearing their usual ideological blinders, or to try to imagine what the military should do if the Obama administration’s ideological hopes and dreams didn’t pan out. Mattis is a warrior, not a politician, and the politicians who tasked him with being a warrior on their behalf couldn’t stand the heat, so they fired him from the kitchen. Okay. I get that. One of the glories of America is that our military is under civilian control, rather than vice versa. Good civilians make for a good military; bad civilians . . . well, the American people get what they asked for. In any event, if you’d like to know a bit more about the endearingly plain-spoken General Mattis, this will do it.
I’m too lazy to dig through my own posts to find it, but I did post somewhere that a British choirmaster says that boys’ voices are changing earlier, not because of climate change and pollution (the reason given for girls’ early menses), but because of our excellent Western diet, which is filled with vitamins, minerals, and proteins. One of you was kind enough to send me an email noting that, in a pre-climate change hysteria era (1999, which seems so long ago), scientists had a decidedly non-PC explanation for some early menses: A daddy in the household. Better yet, a loving daddy in the household. In other words, the proliferation of unwed mothers might affect girls’ biology. Fancy that!
The female draft is coming. I can feel it gathering steam right . . . about . . . now.
Two days after I wrote my post about a Sunset Amendment that would require all laws to expire in twenty years unless Congress affirmative renewed them, I found this story about raisin farmers who are being forced to turn over 50% of their full production to the government. Why? Because of an obscure Depression-era law. If there was a Sunset Amendment, this specific type of government overreach (harassing people with obscure, outdated laws) wouldn’t happen.
The problem isn’t guns. The problem isn’t mental illness. The problem isn’t violent movies. The problem is liberalism. Really:
(To win over the electorate, conservatives have to be seen as a party with fresh ideas that benefit all Americans. This is the first in a series of Tipping Point posts, promoting ideas that will appeal to all voters, while becoming signature initiatives for conservatives and Republicans.)
Did you know that the Code of Law of the United States (USC), which contains all the operative federal laws affecting your life is around 200,000 pages long and that, if one doesn’t count case annotations, it takes up about 6 feet of shelf space? And did you know that the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contains all the rules that agencies have enacted in order to apply thid federal law, occupies four times as much shelf space as the USC itself. In other words, in the absence of a page count, one can be reasonably sure that the CFR far exceeds 800,000 pages.
America’s common law has always held that “ignorance of the law is not excuse.” That’s all well and good, but do you actually know your federal law? I didn’t think so and, in all seriousness, nobody else does either. We all know the big laws — don’t murder people, don’t cheat on your taxes, don’t download music without permission — but the devil for everyone is in the details. The result is that citizens who believe they are law-abiding, may suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of a federal investigation.
The previous sentence implies that federal employees do know all this law. They don’t. They are reasonably conversant with the law in their area of expertise, and therefore do have that advantage over the ordinary citizen who cannot hire 24/7 legal counsel. Otherwise, no, they don’t know it any better than you do.
What actually happens at the federal level is that a person or business comes to the government’s attention because of citizen complaints, political vendettas, or because the person or business is engaging in a specifically identifiable, but hard-to-prosecute illegal activity. When that happens, the government looks at the person’s or business’s activities and then, through legal research, tries to see if those activities match anything prohibited under the federal laws and rules.
Sometimes, this random approach to federal law is a good thing. For example, back in the 1920s everyone knew that Al Capone was a mobster responsible for all manner of crimes. The problem was that he was too wily for law enforcement, and they could never make any charges stick. Some bright person in the federal government suddenly realized that, if the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, Mohamed must go to the mountain — and to that end, rather than trying to mesh Capone’s violent and offensive actions with some criminal law, decided to bring the tax code to Capone.
Capone was duly prosecuted for tax violations, and went to Alcatraz for seven years. Although this wasn’t a long sentence, considering his terrible crimes, it was long enough that, by the time he came out, his rivals had taken over his criminal syndicate, leaving him with nothing but mental decline from the syphilis he acquired during his glory days.
Certainly we can celebrate laws that bring dangerous criminals to heel. As often as not, though, the labyrinth of federal laws operates, not to haul in wily criminals but, instead, to trap the unwary.
In addition to keeping a sword of Damocles over every citizen’s head, the plethora of unknown and unknowable federal laws has two profound effects on American society as a whole: The first effect is that American’s are unable to rely on their legal system when they conduct their every-day activities. The law, instead of being a reliable framework that allows people to plan for a stable, legal, and profitable future, instead becomes an arbitrary and capricious force, stifling economic activity.
If it will cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to assemble the legislative information necessary to start a new business that won’t potentially land me in jail, I might decide that no business is worth that kind of start-up cost. Nor is starting up a new business worth the risk that if, despite knowing the the laws that affect my business, I can still be undone by other areas of legislation and regulation that seem to touch upon my activities only marginally.
The second effect of laws and regulations that run into the millions of pages is that people lose their respect for the law. Law should be seen as both the infrastructure for a stable, civil society and the lubricant that enables people to rub along next to each other without resorting to violence. These basic functions only work, however, if people are capable of knowing the law.
What has happened in America, though, is that federal law has become an impenetrable maze that allows loopholes by the thousand for those rich enough or well-connected enough to exploit all those openings. At the same time, federal law has becoming a meaningless background buzz for the ordinary citizen, who suddenly becomes aware of it only if he or she is unlucky enough to get trapped by one of its random, unknowable prohibitions or mandates.
What’s really tragic is that so many of these laws and regulations are useless or outdated. To the extent that they have no current purpose, they exist only as traps for the unwary. Until the trap is sprung, no one cares about these superfluous laws and rules and, if the trap springs in the government’s favor, the government has no incentive to purge them from the books.
Presidential candidates periodically announce that they’re going to trim back the CFR (I recall Al Gore getting this task in the 1990s), but it’s a boring job, so it never comes to anything — and meanwhile, Congress just keeps passing more and more laws, and the agencies enact more and more regulations.
That’s where the idea of a Constitutional Amendment inserting a sunset provision in all federal laws (and their accompanying regulations) comes into play. The Sunset Amendment would mandate that all federal law and their accompanying regulations automatically expire twenty years (or some other set time) after they go into effect. The only way to preserve the laws and regulations would be for Congress to act affirmatively to vote on each law and reinstate it before it expires.
Three things should happen: First, legislators will think twice about enacting laws that they’ll have to review again (and fight about again) in twenty years time. Second, legislators will take more care writing the laws, since they and their aides will be tasked with wading through them and learning about their effects, along with working on current matters. (Imagine if a Sunset Amendment had been in place when Obama’s Congress enacted all 2000+ pages of ObamaCare.) Third, rather than undertaking the tedious work of reviewing patently irrelevant, obsolete, or failed laws, Congress will simply allow them to lapse without any discussion.
Of course, a Sunset Amendment would have to include a clause dealing with those laws and rules that are already on the books. A practical approach would be to require that a specific number or percentage of laws and regulations would have to be reviewed and, if necessary, re-voted every year after the Amendment’s passage, for a set number of years, until each existing law and regulation has been voted upon or been allowed to expire.
Although cleaning up Federal laws and regulations is an issue that all Americans should embrace, and a burden that legislators should willingly shoulder as part of their job (not to mention a reasonable amount of work considering their salaries and pensions), it especially behooves Republicans and other conservatives to push for a Sunset Amendment. The whole notion of “smaller government” makes sense only if we clean up old laws, in addition to enacting fewer, and less onerous new laws — and then we make sure that the law books don’t get cluttered up all over again.
If you think this is a good “sticky” issue to help Americans reach a tipping point that turns them towards smaller government, please take this idea and run with it: talk about it on Facebook or Twitter; post it at your blogs (feel free to reprint this whole post, although I’d appreciate attribution); contact your Senators or Congressman; and bandy it about at the water cooler. Good ideas make a difference only if people spread them around and then act upon them.
(Thanks again to Mike Devx for coming up with this good idea.)
I don’t have the time (or, frankly, the inclination) to do full posts on each of these links, but they are all worthy contenders for your attention:
John Steele Gordon compares Obama’s contempt for Congress with LBJ’s respect for that institution and willingness to collaborate with it to achieve his political goals.
On a related note, Charles Krauthammer contends that Obama is not negotiating with the House in good faith. Instead, he’s trying to split it and leave Republicans to take the blame for all bad things. I agree with Krauthammer that the only reasonable thing for Republicans to do is walk away.
I do not like rap. At all. But I discovered today that I do like a rapper named Big Boi. Read this and see why.
Do you have any flotsam or jetsam to add to the list?
For many years, I have counted Andrea Shea King — the Radio Patriot — as one of my closest blog friends. By this I mean that, although I haven’t met her, I’ve corresponded with her for so many years that I’ve come to know her well and to respect her greatly. I therefore have no hesitation in passing on to you this press release Dave Weldon, Andrea’s friend and someone she strongly supports for the U.S. Senate. I’m not personally familiar with Dr. Weldon, but I urge my Florida readers to take your lead from Andrea and review his candidacy carefully to see if he is someone for whom you can cast your vote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Contact J. B. Kump, (321) 543-1608, email@example.com
POLL SHOWS WELDON LEADING NELSON
Orlando, FL – In a remarkable development Dr. Dave Weldon, retired 7-term Congressman from Florida’s 15th District has beaten incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson in the key 18 – 34 age group of most likely voters in the general election.
“At just over 7 weeks into this campaign, it is gratifying to see this kind of result,” said Weldon. “We still have work to do to get the message out to voters all across the state, but this amount of ‘traction’ shows the people who have a stake in the outcome are willing to choose my Conservative leadership over the failed liberalism that prevails in the U.S. Senate today.”
A practicing Internist who voluntarily retired from Congress in 2008, Weldon has been endorsed by such leading political figures as former Senator and Kansas Governor, Sam
Brownback and Florida Congressman Bill Posey. Also, National Conservative figures including Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, Wallbuilders David Barton, and Citizen’s United David N. Bossie.”
The scientific poll, performed by independent pollster Magellan Strategies, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.77% at the 95% confidence level. The group of 674 voters
sampled were composed of “most likely” (85%) and “very likely” (10%) voters (Republican 39% and Democrat 42%) called between July 11 and 12, 2012.
Weldon has been campaigning across Florida and has been using innovative, web-based technologies intended to energize his grass roots base. “I believe my message and my record of Conservative leadership is widely welcomed by Florida voters,” said Weldon. He encouraged all of his supporters with a “We can do it,” message recently and encouraged them to continue to work hard to get the message to all Florida voters.”
P.O. Box 361845 • Melbourne, FL • 32936-1845
Paid for By Dave Weldon for Senate
I’ve now had the chance to digest myriad analyses of the Roberts decision on ObamaCare. I think I can sum up the various conclusions that liberal and conservative pundits have reached. Here goes:
The decision is a victory for Obama and the Democrats because it keeps ObamaCare on the books. However, it’s a victory for Mitt Romney and the GOP because it reminds Americans that Democrats like to tax them. The only problem with the latter view is that Americans aren’t paying attention to things like ObamaCare and taxes and these credulous citizens will just role with whichever side looks victorious, which is either the Democrats and the Republicans.
The only exception to the rule that Obama’s role with the winner is the Tea Party, which is likely to be galvanized into action. Naturally, though, the Tea Partiers are too demoralized to do anything constructive, other than riot in the streets. We know from past Tera Party events that the smiling grannies togged-out in matching red, white, and blue outfits are especially dangerous.
ObamaCare will never be repealed because the Republicans cannot get a majority in 2012, let alone win the White House. This is a “true fact” as long as you take into consideration that Mitt Romney will almost certainly win the 2012 election on an anti-tax platform and that the House will stay Republican. The Senate, of course, can go either way, with Republicans getting either 51 seats (enough to reverse a tax) or 60 seats (enough to prevent President Obama, who will definitely win in 2012, from vetoing a repeal.
If the Republicans take over both Congress and the White House, which won’t happen, they can fully repeal ObamaCare, which won’t happen. However, if they only keep the House, they can refuse to fund ObamaCare, which is great, because it leaves it useless, except for all of the mandates that continue to exist.
Over the long haul, of course, Americans are more free because the decision restricts the Commerce Clause. This, however, ignores the fact that they’re less free, because they can be taxed for anything, including breathing or, as the case may be, not breathing.
John Roberts is someone who is suffering from a seizure disorder and is probably being blackmailed. Neither of these factors really matters, though, because the Chief Justice is clearly a Machiavellian bridge, chess, or poker player who is taking the long view and setting the Republicans up to win in 2012 on the issue of higher taxes. Or he’s taking some sort of really long view that enables Obama to do a victory dance in November 2012 because his signature legislation survived. In a second Obama term, with a Democrat House and Senate, people will really learn to hate those tax-and-spend Democrats. Those few remaining Americans who have not been sent to re-education camps or have not been disenfranchised by a vote transferring all citizenship rights from native-born Americans to illegal aliens, will have the opportunity in 2016 to make all 48,739 of their voices heard.
In the end, insane, brilliant, diseased, medicated, blackmailed, weak-spined, far-sighted, Machivellian Chief Justice John Roberts simultaneously built up and tore down American liberties. Moreover, he also ensured that both Obama and the Democrats, on the one hand, and Romney and the Republicans, on the other hand, can claim a clear victory, both today and in the November 2012 elections.
I hope everyone understood this lesson. There will be a test tomorrow.
I assume that you all know by know that President Obama has issued an executive order granting amnesty to young illegal immigrants. It’s a clever move. Marco Rubio had already proposed something similar, so Obama can say that at least some smart Republicans are already on board with the idea. The move will presumably cement Hispanic voters to his side, which could be a very big deal in Florida, where some Jewish voters are looking askance at Obama. Any Republican objections will be touted as Republican racism.
There are some downsides, though. Congress might get testy at having Obama’s challenge to its authority. The question is whether Democrats in Congress will be sufficiently testy to challenge their President in an election year. My guess is that they will not, so the only “nay” voices will come from Republicans — who will then be charged with covert racism that they’re hiding behind a thin procedural screen. Never mind the Constitution, of course. Only racists care about that document anyway.
There are two demographics, though, as to which Obama might have been too smart by half: blacks and unions. As to both, cheap Hispanic labor is a threat. In a time of seemingly intractable unemployment, for Obama to pour new competition into the market, rather than to create new jobs, might be a mistake. I’m sure, though, that the Obama-ites have already examined this problem and concluded that any potential black voter or union hemorrhage is more than offset by increases in Hispanic votes.
I said in the post caption that this is an Open Thread and I meant it. What’s your take?
We can expect tomorrow night’s State of the Union address to be an action-packed hour (or so) of vitriol and self-pity. Obama will cherry-pick a few numbers about the 1% and then whine about how he’s been trying really hard to destroy that same 1%, but that a vast array of insurmountable obstacles — Congress, Republicans, the media, the American people, the Jews — have prevented him from doing so. In a most-read piece, Joseph Curl explains what Obama will be hiding:
The unemployment rate when Mr. Obama was elected was 6.8 percent; today it is 8.5 percent — at least that’s the official number. In reality, the Financial Times writes, “if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”
In addition, there are now fewer payroll jobs in America than there were in 2000 — 12 years ago — and now, 40 percent of those jobs are considered “low paying,” up 10 percent from when President Reagan took office. The number of self-employed has dropped 2 million to 14.5 million in just six years.
Regular gasoline per gallon cost $1.68 in January 2009. Today, it’s $3.39 — that’s a 102 percent increase in just three years. (By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, gas was $1.40 a gallon when George W. Bush took office in 2001, $1.68 when he left office — a 20 percent increase.)
Electricity bills have also skyrocketed, with households now paying a record $1,420 annually on average, up some $300.
Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as “low-income” or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.
And that’s not even the half of it. You can read the rest here.
In this target-rich environment, the tone-deaf Mitt Romney is attacking . . . Newt. This is why Newt is surging. While Mitt attacks him, Newt, although he too has taken too many time-outs for vicious internecine warfare, hasn’t forgotten that the American people care about the economy and national security. Even Newt, though, could step up the attacks on Obama. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
And here’s a judo-style suggestion for dealing with all of Obama’s victim talk:
President Obama claims that the media misrepresents him, Republicans are evil, Congress is obstructionist, and the American people are lazy. These are the reasons, he says, that he has been unable to implement his agenda. It’s not his fault; it’s everyone else’s fault.
Well, let’s assume, solely for the sake of argument, that everything the President says about the obstacles facing him is true. That assumed truth leads to one, and only one possible question: What the heck type of a leader is President Obama? By his own admission, he is unable to handle anyone or anything that stands in his way. This isn’t just an inability to handle the 3 am phone call. Instead, this is the inability even to pick up the phone.
The man who occupies the highest leadership position in the land — indeed, in the world — has repeatedly conceded that he isn’t up to the job. Since he’s not going to quit, it’s up to you, the American people, to fire him. And when you replace him, I’m the man for the job because….