Has The Senate Read The Constitution?

Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This is a YouTube video of Diane Feinstein questioning appeals court nominee Amy Barrett during Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing:

This line of questioning is unconstitutional and inappropriate. This is a religious litmus test. This is not anything new. During the 1960’s, there was a lot of reporting about the fact that John Kennedy was Catholic when he was running for President. He was elected in spite of that. We need to remember that the roots of our judicial system are Judeo-Christian. The people who founded and supported this nation in the early days of the republic were Christians and Jews. In the early days of America, weekly church services were held in the Capitol building.

The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

Questioning a judicial nominee on her religious beliefs is totally inappropriate and not in alignment with the founding documents of America.

 

A Grown-Up Perspective

The media has been focused on the Senate Intelligence Report released by the Democrats on the committee yesterday. I am sure that almost everyone is tired of hearing the Monday-morning quarterbacking of the decisions made and the actions taken.

There is, however, one statement that stands out in the noise. The quote is in a Washington Times article posted yesterday.

The article reports:

The real point of the report, however, was not to blame Mr. Bush, but rather to say he was clueless about the program. A New York Times story alleged that Mr. Bush was purposely kept in the dark and that he was “once again been misinformed” about the effectiveness of the program (sticking with the meme that the Yale and Harvard graduate is a Texas hayseed).

Yet even that was wrong. He wrote in his book “Decision Points”: “I knew that an interrogation program this sensitive and controversial would one day become public. When it did, we would open ourselves up to criticism that America had compromised our moral values. I would have preferred that we get the information another way. But the choice between security and values was real. Had I not authorized waterboarding on senior al Qaeda leaders, I would have had to accept a greater risk that the country would be attacked. In the wake of 9/11, that was a risk I was unwilling to take.”

And he closed with this: “My most solemn responsibility as president was to protect the country. I approved the use of the interrogation techniques. The new techniques proved highly effective.”

The article concludes:

Perhaps there’s a lesson in that passage for the current president as Islamic terrorists continue to behead Americans. He planned to “talk” with America’s enemies, but sometimes, a president needs to do more to protect Americans.

I think we need more grown-ups in the room.

Distraction Or Scorched Earth Policy?

Today is the day that Jonathan Gruber is expected to testify at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee (The Hill), today is the day that Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein is scheduled to release a report on CIA interrogations of terrorists after the events of September 11, 2001 (The Washington Post), and to top it off, it has now been reported that President Obama has not actually issued an executive order to grant amnesty to up to five million immigrants (World Net Daily).

Which story is supposed to have the attention of the American people and which stories are we supposed to ignore? I am definitely feeling manipulated.

The Hill reports on the scheduled hearings:

After the videos went viral last month, President Obama dismissed Gruber as “some adviser who was never on our staff,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she didn’t even know who he was.

Opponents of ObamaCare say Democrats are changing their story.

They note that Gruber has been to the White House 21 times and met with multiple members of the administration, including Obama, according to visitor logs. Pelosi’s office also cited his work in a 2009 policy analysis.

“Why was Mr. Gruber called an ‘architect’ of ObamaCare by The Washington Post, someone who was lauded by President Obama and cited by then-Speaker Pelosi, and is now just ‘some advisor’? ” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

As Gruber steps into the line of fire on Tuesday, he might find little protection from Democrats who once paid him nearly as much as the presidential salary for his consulting work.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee’s top Democrat, said he would use the hearing to mount a defense of the healthcare law, not Gruber.

Regardless of what Mr. Gruber says about the stupidity of the American voter, we need to get rid of ObamaCare. It may take a circus to wake up the American voter (however, when you consider that half of the Democrats who voted for ObamaCare lost their seats in the last election, Americans may already be awake).

The Washington Post reports on the release of the CIA interrogation report:

With the apparently imminent release of the Feinstein report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, let’s consider the situation of intelligence personnel who have been involved, not in that program but in drone strikes against terrorists, conducted in a variety of countries around the world.

They have four sources of direction and protection: Their strikes are authorized by the president, briefed to Congress, deemed lawful by the attorney general and determined useful by the CIA director.

Yet people in the drone program know that co-workers involved in enhanced interrogation had these assurances as well. And the drone program has some distinctive characteristics. Instead of employing waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation, the targets are killed (sometimes with collateral damage to the innocent). President Obama dramatically expanded the use of drones, increasing the proportion of attacks that are “signature strikes” — meaning those authorizing attacks don’t know the identities of the targets, just their likely value.

Some may argue a subtle moral distinction between harshly interrogating a terrorist and blowing his limbs apart. But international human rights groups and legal authorities generally look down on both. The main difference? One is Obama’s favorite program. A few years from now, a new president and new congressional leaders may take a different view.

That is a very good point. Congress had been briefed on these interrogations when they happened. There is no reason to release this report. The report endangers Americans overseas and will cripple the CIA in dealing with future terrorism threats. I wonder how the restrictions put on the CIA today would compare to any restrictions put on the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.

Meanwhile, about amnesty, World Net Daily quotes Senator Jeff Sessions:

In remarks made at the Washington office of the government-watchdog group Judicial Watch, Sessions said: “I guess they just whispered in the ear of (DHS Director) Jeh Johnson over at Homeland Security, ‘Just put out a memo. That way we don’t have to enforce the law.’”

The news that Obama had not signed an executive order to carry out the policy he announced to the nation in a televised address Nov. 20 was broken by WND Senior Staff Writer Jerome Corsi last week.

As a result of the president’s use of a memo instead of an official order, the senator observed: “We don’t even have a really significant, direct, legal direction that we can ascertain, precisely what the president is doing. It’s a stunning event in my view.”

…The senator dropped a bombshell last week when he revealed he had learned the Obama administration is opening a facility in Crystal City, Virginia, to implement the president’s amnesty plan.

Sessions discovered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is hiring 1,000 full-time and permanent staff members to quickly approve illegal immigrants’ applications for amnesty.

Sessions also learned the administration will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security and Medicare to illegal immigrants.

He noted that all of those benefits for illegal immigrants had been rejected by Congress.

The Obama administration had initially indicated illegal immigrants would not be eligible for Social Security benefits, but officials were forced to admit the plans after Sessions revealed them.

Welcome to Monday morning under the Obama Administration.