If You Voted Democrat, Was This What You Voted For?

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about some of the plans the Democrats have now that they will be the majority party in the House of Representatives. The dominant aspect of their plans has been obvious for a while–do anything they can to derail the Trump Agenda. That is rather logical considering that they are the opposition party, but I think some voters will be surprised at how far they are willing to go with this.

The article reports:

Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., revealed plans for House Democrats to investigate and impeach Justice Brett Kavanaugh for alleged perjury and investigate and impeach President Donald Trump for alleged treasonous collusion with Russia.

In post-election chats with various callers while riding the Acela train from New York to Washington, Nadler gave advice to a newly elected representative and discussed potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees with another. He also lamented identity politics and the thriving economy and worried about Democrats losing working-class voters while gaining elite former Republicans and suburban women.

Although I hesitate to give the Democrats good advice, I would like to remind them what happened when the Republicans impeached President Clinton–the American people did not view the efforts favorably and the Republicans lost Congress. If the Democrats want to take that chance, they are welcome to, but it is a fool’s errand. The House of Representatives needs a simple majority to impeach, but the Senate needs a two-thirds vote–67 votes. That is highly unlikely. A very wise man once said, “Do not strike the king unless you kill him.” The political repercussions of attempting to impeach a Supreme Court Judge and a President would be overwhelmingly negative.

There is one other aspect of this I would like to mention. In recent years, more government policy has been set by the courts than by Congress. The political left is well aware of that fact. The biggest danger to the left from President Trump is the fact that he is naming judges who will follow the Constitution. That is the reason for the attack on both President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh. Congress has given over so much of its power to the courts that Congress is very close to irrelevant.

Reality vs Practicality

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review about birthright citizenship. President Trump is considering ending birthright citizenship by executive order. Actually, it’s not so much a question of ending birthright citizenship as it is reviewing exactly what the 14th Amendment actually says.

The article explains:

My friend John Eastman explained why the 14th Amendment does not mandate birthright citizenship in this 2015 New York Times op-ed. In a nutshell, the Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The highlighted term, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was understood at the time of adoption to mean not owing allegiance to any other sovereign. To take the obvious example, if a child is born in France to a married couple who are both American citizens, the child is an American citizen.

If I am living in Britain on a work visa and have a child, that child is not automatically a British citizen. Why should America do things differently?

The article concludes:

Moreover, it seems to me that, because Congress has weighed in on citizenship by codifying the 14th Amendment, the courts will swat down any executive order on the ground that it exceeds the president’s authority. That is, the courts will not even have to reach the merits of what jurisdiction means for purposes of the 14th Amendment and Section 1401.

We have seen something like this in an area of more certain executive power. President Bush attempted unilaterally to set up military commissions in wartime under his commander-in-chief authority. Even though there was plenty of precedent supporting this, the Supreme Court invalidated the commissions and told the president he needed Congress’s statutory blessing. (Congress later enacted the Military Commissions Act.)

Consequently, if the president actually issues an executive order changing the birthright-citizenship policy, I doubt the sun will set before an injunction is issued. I am in favor of changing the current understanding of birthright citizenship, but I believe such a change must be done by statute to have any hope of surviving court-scrutiny . . . and even then, I give it less than a 50-50 chance.

Stay tuned.

Abandoning What You Probably Never Read

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted a commentary with the headline, “Democrats Abandon the Constitution.” Actually they did that a long time ago, which is why they were so upset at the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh–he might work to bring it back.

The commentary goes on to list some of the basic tenets of the Constitution that the Democrats are currently railing against:

Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has sparked a firestorm of outrage and recrimination on the left. Some attacks seem aimed at intimidating the justices into supporting progressive causes. “The Court must now prove—through its work—that it is worthy of the nation’s trust,” Eric Holder, President Obama’s attorney general, tweeted Oct. 6.

Yet the attacks go beyond ideology. Detractors of Justice Kavanaugh and President Trump are denouncing the Constitution itself and the core elements of America’s governmental structure:

  • The Electoral College. Mr. Trump’s opponents claim he is an illegitimate president because Hillary Clinton “won the popular vote.” One commentator even asked “what kind of nation allows the loser of a national election to become president.” The complaint that the Electoral College is undemocratic is nothing new. The Framers designed it that way. They created a republican form of government, not a pure democracy, and adopted various antimajoritarian measures to keep the “demos” in check.

The Electoral College could be eliminated by amending the Constitution. But proposing an amendment requires two-thirds votes in both houses of Congress, and the legislatures of three-fourths, or 38, of the states would have to ratify it.

  • The Senate. The complaint here is that the 50 senators who voted in Justice Kavanaugh’s favor “represent” fewer people than the 48 who voted against him. But senators represent states, not people.

Equal Senate representation for the states was a key part of the Connecticut Compromise, along with House seats apportioned by population. The compromise persuaded large and small states alike to accept the new Constitution. It was so fundamental that Article V of the Constitution—which spells out the amendment procedure—provides that “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” That means an amendment changing the structure of the Senate would require ratification by all 50 states.

  • Judicial independence. Commentators who disapprove of the Supreme Court’s composition have urged, as one law professor put it, “shrinking the power of the courts to overrun our citizens’ democratic decisions.” Some suggest limiting and staggering the justices’ terms so that a vacancy would come up every other year, ensuring that the court follows the election returns. That could be achieved via constitutional amendment, but it would go against the Framers’ wisdom. As Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 78, life tenure for judges is “the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright and impartial administration of the laws.”

What we have hear is a living example of what happens when you don’t teach American history and the principles of the Constitution in schools. The people calling for these changes have no concept of how our government was designed or the safeguards that were put in it. Their desire is to take those safeguards out and institute mob rule. That has not worked well in other places, and I seriously doubt it would work well here. It was what our Founding Fathers sought to avoid.

The commentary concludes:

The anger and disappointment of Justice Kavanaugh’s opponents is understandable, as would be that of his supporters if the vote had gone the other way. They are perfectly entitled to pursue political remedies, including using his appointment as a campaign issue. They also are entitled to pursue amendments to the Constitution that would make our system of government more responsive to the popular will. What they cannot do is overturn the Connecticut Compromise guaranteeing each state equal representation in the Senate, or launch unconstitutional investigations or impeachment of a sitting Supreme Court justice. The Constitution protects all of us, even Supreme Court justices.

True.

This Says A Lot About How Things Work In Washington

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

A Democratic staffer arrested last week on charges that he revealed the personal information of several Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members was not an “intern” for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), as originally reported. The 27-year-old career staffer, Jackson Cosko, was, instead, reportedly a “fellow” paid by an “outside institution” who served as a primary adviser in Lee’s Congressional office.

This wasn’t some unpaid intern–it was an advisor in a Congressional office.

The article notes:

As the Tennessee Star points out, that raises questions: “It seems clear Cosko isn’t some unlucky and overzealous intern who got caught being a naughty boy. Rather, it seems Cosko might be a Democratic operative, paid by an outside organization, planted in an unpopular congresswoman’s office possibly so he could engage in exactly the type of behavior that just got him arrested.”

Cosko was arrested last week after federal investigators discovered he was responsible for editing a Wikipedia article revealing the personal names, addresses, and phone numbers of several Republican senators, almost immediately after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) concluded a fiery speech defending then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This is simply another example of totally unacceptable behavior by Democrat operatives. This creates a nightmare for the security details of these Senators. The Senators are considerably safer when the crazies out there don’t know where they live. How many attacks on Senators do we need before we admit the need for absolute secrecy regarding their home addresses?

Hopefully this paid operative will spend some time in jail.

This Is A Scary Statement

On Wednesday, The Independent Journal Review posted an article that included a very interesting quote.

The article reports:

Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) claims that having strong emotional reactions could be grounds to disqualify Judge Brett Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Booker said that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed, regardless of the conclusion of the FBI investigation.

“Ultimately — not whether he’s innocent or guilty, this is not a trial … have enough questions been raised that we should not move on to another candidate?” said Booker.

The senator questioned if the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh were enough to deny him a seat on the Supreme Court. He also brought up Kavanaugh’s emotional testimony and labeled it as shocking.

“Is this the right person to sit on the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment — when their credibility has been challenged by intimates, people that knew the candidate well as a classmate, when his temperament has been revealed in an emotional moment where he used language that, frankly, shocked a lot of us?” asked Booker.

So let me get this right. A man accused of a vicious crime with no supporting evidence reacts to the charges. Therefore he is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. Imagine if this set a precedent for future Supreme Court hearings. Find someone the person knew in high school and make up a great story. Professor Ford may have been telling the truth as she believed it, but it is telling that there were a few obvious lies in her testimony–she is obviously not afraid of flying, the front door was to run a business out of her house, and she had previously coached a friend for a lie detector test. Interestingly enough, that friend is a former FBI agent who was present at the hearing, sitting behind her. It is also interesting that all the people that she claimed as witnesses denied the story.

This whole charade was a little too much like the Salem Witch Trials to belong in today’s America. Hopefully there will be enough of a backlash so that the Democrats do not do this to the next Supreme Court nominee.

When Lawyers Are Willing To Disregard The Law

On Saturday, Townhall posted an article about a recent New York Times editorial. The editorial was written by former Obama White House lawyer Kate Shaw. Ms. Shaw argues that traditional due process protections such as “the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; the presumption of innocence; [and] the right to confront and respond to an accuser” are not necessary for the purposes of determining if Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasely Ford more than 35 years ago or whether he should serve on the Supreme Court. Seems as if she went to the same law school as Barack Obama–the law is whatever she decides it is.

The article at Townhall includes the following from the New York Times:

“It’s natural to place this sort of accusation within a criminal-justice framework: the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; the presumption of innocence; the right to confront and respond to an accuser. If Judge Kavanaugh stood criminally accused of attempted rape, all of that would apply with full force. But those concepts are a poor fit for Supreme Court confirmation hearings, where there’s no presumption of confirmation, and there’s certainly no burden that facts be established beyond a reasonable doubt.” emphasis added

…“What matters here isn’t law as much as politics — though not (or not just) partisan politics. Confirmation hearings are also about constitutional politics — the debate, involving both institutions of government and the polity, about what the Constitution means and requires.

“So what standard should the Senate use in evaluating the claims made by Dr. Blasey and in deciding how they bear on Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness for a seat on the Supreme Court? The Senate’s approach to its constitutional “advice and consent” obligation has always depended on context.A number of factors matter: the timing of the vacancy; the justice being replaced; the nominee’s likely impact on the ideological makeup of the court; even the popularity of the president (very popular presidents have always had more leeway when it comes to picking justices).” emphasis added

So what is this really about? The Democrats have used to courts for years to pass laws that Congress could not pass. Abortion never made it though Congress–it was decided by the courts. Gay marriage never made it through Congress–it was decided by the courts. Teenage boys in teenage girls’ locker rooms never made it through Congress–it was decided by the courts. So Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to that status quo. He would probably be the fifth vote on the Supreme Court who would bring common sense back into the picture. The fact that he believes in the Constitution is a major threat to the hold the liberal wing of the Democrat Party (is there any other wing?) has on the Supreme Court. That is what this is really about.

Is anyone taking odds as to whether Professor Ford is going to be present at her hearing on Thursday?

Let’s Take A Walk Down Memory Lane

First I need to say that times have changed since the 1960’s when I was a teenager. During the 1960’s, it was understood that girls were responsible for their actions. They were encouraged not to do stupid things. It was understood that there were young men out there who were not gentlemen, and that those young men should not be given an opportunity to behave badly. I am not trying to ‘shame’ victims, which is what you get charged with when you bring common sense into the picture, but the fact is that women are responsible for their actions. They are also responsible for deciding whether or not to take the identify of ‘victim’ for the rest of their lives. Sexual assault is a horrible thing, but there are ways women can protect themselves from it. Getting drunk at a high school keg party is not smart. Getting drunk at a college fraternity party is not smart. Going into a room alone or with a group of drunken young men is not smart. Without ‘shaming’ the victims, can we at least put some of the responsibility for their reckless behavior on them. Then we have the case of the new accuser of Judge Kavanaugh who can’t remember if it was him who did what he did, but came forward to show support for the other accuser after four witnesses denied the charge. In what universe does this make sense?

The charges against Judge Kavanaugh are starting to resemble the charges levied in Rolling Stone Magazine against a University of Virginia fraternity house that the fraternity house fostered a ‘rape culture.’ The article appeared in November 2014, and was apologized for in December 2014.

On December 5, 2014, CBS News reported:

Rolling Stone’s managing editor apologized Friday for a story the magazine published last month describing a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, saying its trust in the alleged victim “was misplaced.”

I don’t have to remind you about the Duke Lacrosse team story. Again, trust in the victim was ‘misplaced.’ That’s a polite way of saying ‘she lied.’

So let’s get back to the matter at hand. Yesterday PJ Media posted an article which included the following:

As Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lost all credibility, it was reasonable to assume there was a reason for all the stalling. Many believed that somewhere, somehow, leftists would find someone else to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh.

Earlier this evening The New Yorker published a story written by Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer proving that theory correct. This story centers on Deborah Ramirez, who has come forward (or was pushed to come forward) with a claim that while she and Kavanaugh were both students at Yale, they were both at a drunken dorm party where Kavanaugh allegedly exposed himself to her.

The article lists four reasons the new charges are not believable:

  1. Ramirez admits gaps in her memory and wasn’t certain it was Kavanaugh
  2. The New Yorker tried to find eyewitnesses… and failed
  3. Others alleged to have been involved deny it happened
  4. Ramirez’s former best friend challenges the claim

There seems to be a pattern here, and it’s not the one the Democrats want. The charges against Kavanaugh would never make it to court (even without a statute of limitations). No lawyer would take the case, and no judge would be willing to hear it.

If these women were actually sexually assaulted by someone, that is sad. However, they have both moved on with their lives and become successful. Why in the world would they want to take victim-hood as their identity? You really have to wonder about the motives here–there are numerous people the accusers claim as witnesses who have stated that the charges are not true. There are numerous people vouching for Judge Kavanaugh’s character. This is beginning to look more like the Salem Witch Trials than a Senate Confirmation process. Remember, the Salem Witch Trials had a lot to do with power, jealousy, and money. One wonders what is going on behind the scenes with the accusers.

Valid Perspective

Dennis Prager posted an article at American Greatness today that I believe illustrates the proper perspective on the charges against Judge Kavanaugh.

The article states:

Those who claim the charges against Judge Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford are important and worth investigating, and that they ultimately, if believed, invalidate his candidacy for the U.S. Supreme Court are stating that:

a) What a middle-aged adult did in high school is all we need to need to know to evaluate an individual’s character—even when his entire adult life has been impeccable.
b) No matter how good and moral a life one has led for 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years, it is nullified by a sin committed as teenager.

No decent—or rational—society has ever believed such nihilistic nonsense.

That about sums it up.

The article concludes:

In sum, I am not interested in whether Mrs. Ford, an anti-Trump activist, is telling the truth. Because even if true, it tells us nothing about Brett Kavanaugh. But for the record, I don’t believe her story. Aside from too many missing details—most women remember virtually everything about the circumstances of a sexual assault no matter how long ago—few men do what she charges Kavanaugh with having done only one time. And no other woman has ever charged him with any sexual misconduct.

Do not be surprised if a future Republican candidate for office or judicial nominee—no matter how exemplary a life he has led—is accused of sexual misconduct … from when he was in elementary school.

This is an important moment in American politics. If this accusation derails the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, we can expect to see similar actions in the future. No self-respecting judge in America will be willing to put himself or his family through this kind of garbage. The woman making the accusations cannot even remember the year it happened or how she got home the night of the party. Does this sound logical? How much had she had to drink, and how clear was her memory? The fact that these accusations were even made public is a disgrace. The Democrats should be ashamed of the fact that they are willing to destroy a good man’s reputation for political ends.

 

Looking At The Complete Picture

Every now and then someone comes along who sums up a situation beautifully–succinctly and with humor. Victor Davis Hanson has done that in an article posted at American Greatness yesterday. The article is titled, “The Circus of Resistance.”

Here are a few wonderful observations by Professor Hanson:

Democratic senators vied with pop-up protestors in the U.S. Senate gallery to disrupt and, if possible, to derail the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. U.S. SenatorCory Booker (D-N.J.) played Spartacus, but could not even get the script right as he claimed to be bravely releasing classified information that was already declassified. I cannot remember another example of a senator who wanted to break the law but could not figure out how to do it.

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Harvard Law Professor who still insists she is of Native American heritage, called for the president to be removed by invoking the 25th Amendment. Apparently fabricating an ethnic identity is sane, and getting out of the Iran deal or the Paris Climate Accord is insanity and grounds for removal.

…To cut to the quick, the op-ed was published to coincide with the latest Bob Woodward “according-to-an-unnamed-source” exposé, Fear. The intent of anonymous and the New York Times was to create a force multiplying effect of a collapsing presidency—in need of the Times’ sober and judicious handlers, NeverTrump professionals, and “bipartisan” Democrats of the sort we saw during the Kavanaugh hearing to “step in” and apparently stage an intervention to save the country.

Had the Woodward book not been in the news, neither would be the anonymous op-ed. And of course, the Times, in times before 2017, would never have published a insurrectionary letter from an unnamed worried Obama aide that the president was detached and listless—playing spades during the Bin Laden raid, outsourcing to Eric Holder the electronic surveillance of Associated Press journalists, letting Lois Lerner weaponize the IRS, and allowing his FBI, CIA, and Justice Department to conspire to destroy Hillary Clinton’s 2016 opponent.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is beautifully written. The article takes the time to remind us of past events as well as the current lunacy. It also reminds us that although President Trump often refers to some members of the press as ‘fake news,’ he has not followed in the steps of the previous administration by monitoring on the sly the communications of Associated Press reporters or the private emails of a Fox correspondent, or using his Justice Department and FBI hierarchy to delude a FISA court in order to spy on American citizens.

President Trump was elected by ordinary people like you and me who decided that we wanted our country back. The elites who like running things their way instead of our way do not approve. We will continue to see evidence of that for as long as President Trump is in office.

Paid Protesting

These are two pictures of a person who was protesting at the hearings for Judge Kavanaugh being paid for her protest. The pictures were posted on Twitter.

What we are currently seeing in the hearings on Judge Kavanaugh is nothing more than Kabuki Theater. It is disgusting to see the process of appointing a judge to the Supreme Court become a circus. Some of the protests were so out of hand that Diane Feinstein apologized (and then was criticized by some of the more radical opposition for doing so). I hope we can complete this circus quickly. I don’t think it enhances the public’s view of our political process.

Misplaced Values

How much is a human life worth? We live in a world where some countries kill their elderly simply because they are a financial burden on the younger generation. In some countries it is legal to kill children because they have birth defects or other issues. Who decides which lives have value and which do not?

On Monday, CNS News reported:

At the event promoting opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the former First Daughter of President Bill Clinton credited legalized abortion for helping add trillions of dollars to the U.S economy because women who had abortions were more inclined to enter the labor force:

“Whether you fundamentally care about reproductive rights and access right, because these are not the same thing, if you care about social justice or economic justice, agency – you have to care about this.

“It is not a disconnected fact – to address this t-shirt of 1973 – that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right?

“The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”

Thus, no matter what other things Americans may care about, everyone should appreciate the economic value of legalized abortion, Clinton said:

“So, I think, whatever it is that people say they care about, I think that you can connect to this issue.

“Of course, I would hope that they would care about our equal rights and dignity to make our own choices – but, if that is not sufficiently persuasive, hopefully, come some of these other arguments that you’ve expressed so beautifully, will be.”

Could one on those aborted babies have grown up and found the cure for cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease? Who did we kill? Could one of those babies have grown up to find the key to nonpolluting green energy, preventing some valuable species from going extinct, or finding a key to longer, healthier living? How much would those discoveries have added to the economy?

The article at CNS News includes an update:

In response to tweets critical of her remarks, Chelesea Clinton declared that “Pro-choice is Pro-life” and that “Reproductive rights have always been about economic rights.”

We have sold our souls for a mess of pottage.

Using The Justice System To Get Revenge

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is again going after Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court after declining to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple.

The article reports:

On the same day the high court agreed to review the Masterpiece case, an attorney named Autumn Scardina called Phillips’ shop and asked him to create a cake celebrating a sex transition. The caller asked that the cake include a blue exterior and a pink interior, a reflection of Scardina’s transgender identity. Phillips declined to create the cake, given his religious conviction that sex is immutable, while offering to sell the caller other pre-made baked goods.

In the months that followed, the bakery received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, sexually explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. One solicitation submitted by email asked the cake shop to create a three-tiered white cake depicting Satan licking a functional 9 inch dildo. Phillips believes Scardina made all these requests.

Scardina filed a complaint with the civil rights commission, alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The matter was held in abeyance while the Supreme Court adjudicated the Masterpiece case.

Three weeks after Phillips won at the high court, the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination. In a somewhat strange development, the probable cause finding reads that Phillips violated state law, even though the proceedings are still in a preliminary stage.

The article cites Mr. Phillips’ response to all of this:

  • Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop fame is suing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
  • The Commission commenced new proceedings against Phillips on behalf of a transgender complainant just weeks after he prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Phillips’ attorneys say the Commission is engaged in a concerted campaign to destroy him, which is unlawful.

This has the appearance of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission using their power to target a specific person. The article notes that the baker was willing to sell Mr. Scardina a pre-baked cake, he was just not willing to use his artistic ability to support something that was against his religious beliefs. If we look at what is being said here, would you ask a Christian recording artist to record a song that praised the devil? Would you ask a painter who paints religious pictures to paint a picture glorifying the devil? Does an artist have the right to choose the direction of his art?

I believe that Mr. Phillips is correct to sue the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. It appears that after the ruling of the Supreme Court, the Commission has decided to use its power to personally harass Mr. Phillips.

People Get Angry When You Take Their Free Money Away

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about some recent activities by the Teachers’ Unions. The headline of the article reads, “Teachers’ Unions Plan to Become ‘More Political, Not Less Political'” This is in response to the recent Supreme Court decision that no longer allows them to take union dues from teachers who do not want to joint the union.

The article reports:

For unions, the stakes could hardly be higher. Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, warns that surveys show “many [teachers] see dues as too high” and “political activity as too leftist”; she also notes that “only half of all teachers voted for Hillary Clinton.” Internal documents from the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, anticipate that the union will lose a whopping 300,000 members. Things look even bleaker for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s other major teachers’ union, which has 15 of its 22 largest state affiliates in former agency-fee states — and already had fewer than half its members paying full dues.

By happenstance, both unions held their big national conventions in July, providing a chance to scour the tea leaves for subtle hints as to how the unions might woo reluctant members, especially the hefty share who take issue with the leftist bent that has characterized the unions in recent decades. Even before the shock of Janus, unions worked in concert with Senate and House Republicans in 2015 to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act in a push to roll back many of the federal educational excesses of the Bush and Obama years, so a shift in approach seemed entirely possible.

It turns out that the tea leaves weren’t that hard to read, after all. At the NEA’s annual convention and representative assembly in Minneapolis, things kicked off on day one with Parkland survivor and woke gun-control activist David Hogg joining NEA president Lily Eskelsen García on stage to exhort the cheering throng, “There’s nothing more powerful in America than a pissed-off teacher.” The NEA also made time to award its Human and Civil Rights Award — given to those who have “demonstrated remarkable courage and conviction to stand up for racial and social justice” — to recipients including First Lady Michelle Obama and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

No political bias shown here.

The article concludes:

Somehow, the AFT’s new policies leaned further left than the NEA’s. The AFT unanimously endorsed a “public investment strategy for health care and education infrastructure,” which includes: universal health care, “whether single-payer health care or MediCare for All”; free tuition at all public colleges and universities, as well as “funding for wage justice for adjuncts”; universal, full-day, free child care; doubled per-pupil spending for low-income K–12 districts; and “taxation of the rich to fully fund” a raft of education programs. AFT further resolved that they would “call on our endorsed candidates to support these priorities, and toward that end we will embed these aspirations in our questionnaires to potential candidates seeking our support.” Swing-state Democrats, beware.

For those who didn’t get quite get the message, AFT president Randi Weingarten told reporters, “We’re becoming more political, not less political.” Let educators, would-be members, and public officials be forewarned.

Somehow they never tell you how they are going to pay for all this free stuff–after a while even the rich run out of money to pay their taxes.

Taking Advantage Of Those Who Can Least Afford It

The Daily Signal posted an article today about another battle in the war on the involuntary taking of union dues.

The article reports:

Sally Coomer of Seattle, who cares for her disabled adult daughter at home, doesn’t like the fact that union dues are deducted from the Medicaid payment she gets for her services under a Washington state policy.

“The money that is taken out in union dues, if it was not siphoned off, could be used to provide for more care,” Coomer told The Daily Signal about the Medicaid stipend given to home care providers.

“A lot of family members forgo careers to take care of family members and are working in situations where they are really financially struggling,” she said.

Washington is one of 11 states where the state governments work with public-sector unions to automatically deduct a portion of the Medicaid stipend and divert it to unions representing state employee unions.

The other states are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont, according to the State Policy Network, a conservative think tank that focuses on state issues.

Nine states take money from Medicaid home child care workers: Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Taking care of your child at home should not result in having union dues taken out of money you receive for the care of that child.

The Trump administration agrees:

However, the states face pushback from the Trump administration and, potentially, the courts in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down mandatory payments to public employee unions by employees who don’t belong to the union.

The rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would eliminate states’ ability to divert part of Medicaid payments from providers to a third party.

The article continues:

Caregivers may pay up to $1,000 per year in union dues, according to the State Policy Network, which says state governments are “dues-skimming” an estimated $200 million per year from home health providers and $50 million from child day care providers to give to unions.

Coomer’s daughter Becky, almost 28, has cerebral palsy and a disorder that causes seizures. She is blind and developmentally disabled.

Coomer, who has become an advocate for other families who don’t want to be forced to pay union dues, said many home care providers are not aware they have a choice in joining a union.

To qualify in Washington state, family members are required to go to an orientation run by the Service Employees International Union, which represents state government employees.

“At the orientation, they would tell people they are required to sign up,” Coomer said. “I don’t know what benefit we get from the dues. The only time I hear from the union is when they inundate me with a political agenda.”

The proposed new Medicaid regulation, announced July 10, is open for public comment.

Let’s hope that the practice of taking union dues from people caring for family members is ended quickly.

 

Common Sense In The Midst Of Hysteria

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that the Latino Coalition, a “leading, national non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers,” has released a statement in support of the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The article includes the statement:

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an exemplary individual and an extremely qualified legal constitutionalist with a record of ruling against the kind of regulatory overreach that can be chilling to America’s entrepreneurs,” said TLC Chairman and former U.S. SBA Administrator Hector Barreto. “The Latino Coalition urges the Senate to put partisanship aside in order to quickly confirm Judge Kavanaugh. We believe he will protect the rights of all Americans, including the small-business owners who suffer most when government goes beyond its constitutional bounds.”

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, liberal advocacy groups like Think Progress continue to proclaim the various ways in which the sky will fall if Kavanaugh is confirmed, as evidenced by this piece published Monday titled “If Kavanaugh is confirmed, you can kiss the right to vote goodbye.”

Does anyone actually believe the garbage about Judge Kavanaugh being put out by the political left?

Some Thoughts On Brett Kavanaugh

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about some of the reactions to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice. Some of the attacks on this man by the political left are so ridiculous they are funny.

The editorial cites one example of the attacks:

The Washington Post red-flagged the fact that Kavanaugh racked up nearly $200,000 in credit card debt to buy season tickets to the Washington Nationals baseball team and also for “home improvements.”

A big chunk of change, to be sure. But…what? It’s a bit hard to argue Kavanaugh wasn’t gainfully employed. The Post further makes a big deal that Kavanaugh’s most recent financial form shows less than $70,000 in assets. Sound poor? Does that disqualify him from service on the Supreme Court? Do we now have an asset test for all Court nominees?

What’s absurd about the “assets” is they don’t include his six-figure income and generous pension from being a federal judge. Nor does it include the value of his home. We don’t know what those are, but we’re pretty sure the net value of both is well north of $1 million.

It gets worse:

The Post also “reported,” if that’s the word, that Kavanaugh proclaimed himself Treasurer of the “Keg City Club — 100 Kegs or Bust” in his high school yearbook, and referred to the “Beach Week Ralph Club” and “Rehoboth Police Fan Club.”

So, teenage hijinks are now a solid disqualification for service on the federal bench?

Of course, this is all recycled pap from Kavanaugh’s approval process to be a federal judge. It’s mostly all known. Why repeat it? Anything to sully a man’s reputation. After all, recall how both Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas were smeared by the left during their confirmation battles. Together, they were two of the most disgusting and unfair spectacles in American political history.

I that is all the dirt they can find on this man, he totally deserves to be confirmed in the next two months!

How Things Actually Work In Washington

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the confirmation vote that will eventually take place to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Judge. The article explains exactly how things work in Washington. If Judge Kavanaugh has enough Republican votes to be confirmed, he will probably receive a few votes from Democrats in favor of his confirmation. This has nothing to do with his qualifications or what those Democrats believe about his willingness to uphold the Constitution–it has to do with their election prospects in 2018. If there are enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh (and the votes of Democrats will not change the outcome), Democrat Senators from states that voted for President Trump will probably vote to confirm. If there are not enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanuagh, all of the Democrat Senators will vote against him. The good of the country or the man’s qualifications have nothing to do with the way they will be voting. That should give all of us pause.

The article includes a quote from Senator Joe Manchin on the vote:

“I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards, a family person who’s very involved in his community, has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated. And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed, and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does.

“Most importantly. . .I intend to hear from West Virginians. And during that period of time, I just announced, I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process. .”

The article notes:

A new poll released on Tuesday by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) found that 59 percent of West Virginia voters want Manchin to vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

I looks to me like Manchin will do so unless something is discovered that causes one or two Republican Senators to defect.

The same poll finds that 56 percent of Indiana voters want their Senator, Joe Donnelly, to vote to confirm the Kavanaugh. Sen. Donnelly has not, to my knowledge, praised the nominee the way Sen. Manchin has. But Donnelly echoed Manchin when he said, “I work for the people of Indiana and I want them to have a voice in this.”

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether Sen. Heidi Heitkamp begins to make mildly pro-Kavanaugh statements. The poll I cited above found that 68 percent of North Dakota voters want Heitkamp to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. If that number holds, the pressure on her to comply will be enormous.

Stay tuned.

Get out the popcorn!

America’s Genocide

Yesterday Jason Riley at The Wall Street Journal posted an article about a rarely mentioned item in the debate over President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

The article states:

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination tees up another national debate about reproductive rights, is it too much to ask that abortion’s impact on the black population be part of the discussion?

When the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, polling showed that blacks were less likely than whites to support abortion. Sixties-era civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Whitney Young had denounced the procedure as a form of genocide. Jesse Jackson called abortion “murder” and once told a black newspaper in Chicago that “we used to look for death from the man in the blue coat and now it comes in a white coat.”

I don’t know why Jesse Jackson changed his mind. It is very unfortunate that he did.

The article cites the impact of abortion on minorities:

What’s not in doubt is the outsize toll that abortion has taken on the black population post-Roe. In New York City, thousands more black babies are aborted than born alive each year, and the abortion rate among black mothers is more than three times higher than it is for white mothers. According to a city Health Department report released in May, between 2012 and 2016 black mothers terminated 136,426 pregnancies and gave birth to 118,127 babies. By contrast, births far surpassed abortions among whites, Asians and Hispanics.

Nationally, black women terminate pregnancies at far higher rates than other women as well. In 2014, 36% of all abortions were performed on black women, who are just 13% of the female population. The little discussed flip side of “reproductive freedom” is that abortion deaths far exceed those via cancer, violent crime, heart disease, AIDS and accidents. Racism, poverty and lack of access to health care are the typical explanations for these disparities. But black women have much higher abortion rates even after you control for income. Moreover, other low-income ethnic minorities who experience discrimination, such as Hispanics, abort at rates much closer to white women than black women.

Those are chilling statistics.

Many years ago (in the late 1960’s), I sat in the living room at a party that I was invited to because of the person I was visiting (those at the party were way above my pay grade!) and listened to some highly educated people express fear that the black population would overtake their city if the growth of that population was not checked. These were otherwise compassionate people who would have been offended at being called racists (although that’s what they were). This was a major southern city, and the people stating this opinion had no problem with what they were saying. These were people in their twenties who were among our best and brightest and probably became political leaders as they matured. Those statements have always stayed with me, and I wonder if they are happy with what has happened to the black population under Roe v. Wade. It seems to me that the pro-abortion people need to look at the damage abortion has caused to the black community before they start demonizing people who want to stop the genocide.

Surprising Sanity From The New York Times

The insanity of the political left has reached new heights in recent days, so it was a bit of a surprise when The New York Times posted a very rational article last night praising President Trump for the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice. Contrast this attitude with comments made by ABC’s Nightline before the nominee was named (from Newsbusters):

I suppose we should all be grateful that they at least corrected their initial statement.

At any rate, The New York Times article has a very rational suggestion about the hearings on Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment:

Fair questions would include inquiries not just about Judge Kavanaugh’s past writings and activities but also about how he believes various past notable judicial cases (such as Roe v. Wade) should have been decided — and even about what his current legal views are on any issue, general or specific.

Everyone would have to understand that in honestly answering, Judge Kavanaugh would not be making a pledge — a pledge would be a violation of judicial independence. In the future, he would of course be free to change his mind if confronted with new arguments or new facts, or even if he merely comes to see a matter differently with the weight of judgment on his shoulders. But honest discussions of one’s current legal views are entirely proper, and without them confirmation hearings are largely pointless.

The compromise I’m proposing would depart from recent confirmation practice. But the current confirmation process is badly broken, alternating between rubber stamps and witch hunts. My proposal would enable each constitutional actor to once again play its proper constitutional role: The Senate could become a venue for serious constitutional conversation, and the nominee could demonstrate his or her consummate legal skill. And equally important: Judge Kavanaugh could be confirmed with the ninetysomething Senate votes he deserves, rather than the fiftysomething votes he is likely to get.

A praiseworthy statement from The New York Times.

Their Concept Is Correct, The Patriotism Is Lacking

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about some recent comments by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin.

The article reports:

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was pressed on this “dilemma” that Democrats face as the 2018 midterms approach during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Staying united to stop the Supreme Court pick could cost you red state senators. Not fighting it as hard might allow the red state senators to get re-elected and get Democrats in control of the Senate. That’s your dilemma,” host Chuck Todd posited on Sunday.

Durbin conceded that it is a dilemma “in one respect,” but made that case for how it is a trade off Democrats are willing to make.

“It is a dilemma in one respect, but not in another. I will tell you, the men and women that I work with on the Democratic side really take this seriously. They understand it’s an historic decision. It’s about more than the next election,” he said, adding that the issue is about setting the future course for the country.

The balance on the Supreme Court has been slightly left on social issues because of the views of Justice Kennedy. Replacing Kennedy with a conservative justice who believes that the Constitution is the law of the land might change the court for generations. That might change many things. The main thing the Democrats are worried about is Roe v. Wade.

In 2013 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a very interesting comment about Roe v. Wade (article here):

Those more acquainted with Ginsburg and her thoughtful, nuanced approach to difficult legal questions were not surprised, however, to hear her say just the opposite, that Roe was a faulty decision. For Ginsburg, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion was too far-reaching and too sweeping, and it gave anti-abortion rights activists a very tangible target to rally against in the four decades since.

Ginsburg and Professor Geoffrey Stone, a longtime scholar of reproductive rights and constitutional law, spoke for 90 minutes before a capacity crowd in the Law School auditorium on May 11 on “Roe v. Wade at 40.”

“My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change,” Ginsburg said. She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights.

Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” Ginsburg said. “It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice…it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”

What the frantic pro-abortion people are not telling you is that overturning Roe v. Wade would not end abortion–it would simple give the states the right to decide the issue for themselves (in accordance with the Tenth Amendment) as was the case before 1973.

What the hysteria over this judicial pick illustrates is that we have wandered from the intent of our Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers envisioned the judiciary as the weakest branch of government–they were not elected and theoretically had little power–they did not make laws–Congress did. In 1803 Marberry v. Madison established the principle of judicial review, and the courts assumed power they were never intended to have. It is telling that American law students do not study the U.S. Constitution–they study case law.

President Trump has every right to have his nominee for the Supreme Court approved. Hopefully the Democrats will respect that right. Candidates should be judged on their qualifications–not their politics. Democrats pushed through some very left wing judges under President Obama after invoking the nuclear option. The Democrats demanded that the Republicans vote on qualifications rather than politics. It’s time for the Republicans to demand that same courtesy from the Democrats.

Sound and Fury

The following quote is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more, It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Actually it sounds like Democratic Party leaders complaining about the retirement of Justice Kennedy.

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately pushed back on Trump’s plan to get his nominee to replace Justice Kennedy confirmed before the midterm elections.

Schumer demanded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) abide by the ‘Biden Rule’ when deciding to confirm a Supreme Court Justice.

The ‘Biden Rule’ essentially calls for confirmations to be halted during an election year.

McConnell cited the ‘Biden Rule’ when deciding not to consider Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, before the 2016 election. Thankfully, McConnell opened the door for Justice Neil Gorsuch to be nominated by President Trump.

The Republicans should not acquiesce to the Democrats’ demands. Confirm President Trump’s next Justice nominee as soon as possible.

Schumer laughably said if the Senate confirms a Justice during the election year, it would be the “height of hypocrisy.”

Presidential election years are different from midterm election years. Obama’s second SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan was confirmed in August of 2010, an election year.

This is nothing more than political posturing in an attempt to motivate Democrat voters in the midterm elections. We can expect all sorts of scare tactics about the Supreme Court taking away our freedoms to follow the initial hysteria.

Whoever the new justice is, he has the possibility of moving us back toward a republic governed by a Constitution rather than by how certain justices feel on any given day.

 

 

 

A Victory For Freedom, A Possible Victory For Taxpayers

The Associated Press posted an article today about the Supreme Court’s decision that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

The article states:

A recent study by Frank Manzo of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Robert Bruno of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign estimated that public-sector unions could lose more than 700,000 members over time as a result of the ruling and that unions also could suffer a loss of political influence that could depress wages as well.

Alito acknowledged that unions could “experience unpleasant transition costs in the short term.” But he said labor’s problems pale in comparison to “the considerable windfall that unions have received…for the past 41 years.”

Billions of dollars have been taken from workers who were not union members in that time, he said.

“Those unconstitutional exactions cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely,” Alito wrote.

Kagan, reading a summary of her dissent in the courtroom, said unions only could collect money for the costs of negotiating terms of employment. “But no part of those fees could go to any of the union’s political or ideological activities,” she said.

The court’s majority said public-sector unions aren’t entitled to any money from employees without their consent.

There are two aspects of this decision that are going to make the political left very unhappy. Obviously this will severely limit the amount of money unions can contribute to Democrat political campaigns (to check union political donations, see opensecrets.org). But there is another issue here–pension funds. The other aspect of this decision is union retirement funds.

On October 19, 2012, I posted the following (here):

In a column in the Washington Examiner in April, Mark Hemingway pointed out that the average union pension plan had only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial obligations.  Pension plans that are below 80 percent funding are considered “endangered” by the government; below 65 percent is considered “critical.”  Union membership is declining, which means that less people are paying into these funds.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

According to Wikipedia:

The PBGC was created to encourage the continuation and maintenance of voluntary private defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at the lowest level necessary to carry out its operations. Subject to other statutory limitations, PBGC’s insurance program pays pension benefits up to the maximum guaranteed benefit set by law to participants who retire at 65 ($60,136 a year as of 2016).[2] The benefits payable to insured retirees who start their benefits at ages other than 65 or elect survivor coverage are adjusted to be equivalent in value.

In fiscal year 2015, PBGC paid $5.6 billion in benefits to participants of failed single-employer pension plans. That year, 69 single-employer pension plans failed. PBGC paid $103 million in financial assistance to 57 multiemployer pension plans. The agency’s deficit increased to $76 billion. It has a total of $164 billion in obligations and $88 billion in assets.

On 03/23/2010, Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania introduced S3157.

The summary of S3157 at congress.gov states:

Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act of 2010 – Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) permit multiemployer pension plans to merge or form alliances with other plans; (2) increase Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guarantees for insolvent plans to increase participant benefits; and (3) increase from $8.00 to $16.00 the annual premium rate payable to the PBGC for each individual who is a participant of a multiemployer plan after December 31, 2010. (The underline is mine)

The bill was referred to committee and died there. So what is my point? The danger to the unions in this Supreme Court decision is that they will not have the money to pay their union pensions. The danger to the taxpayers in this decision is that they will be asked to pay the union pensions.

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting.

 

Following The Law And Not The Judge’s Bias

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court vindicated President Trump’s final iteration of his so-called “travel ban” order in Trump v. Hawaii this morning. The ruling was 5-4. Although the plaintiffs prevailed in the lower courts, the Supreme Court’s rational wing was unimpressed by the arguments ginned up to frustrate Trump’s executive order. The ruling left Trump free to be Trump and interred the Court’s 1944 Korematsu decision upholding Japanese internment by the Roosevelt administration to boot.

It also reminds me again to thank the Senate Republicans who toughed it out to leave the appointment of the successor to Justice Scalia to the winner of the 2016 election. Thanks especially to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. They took a lot of abuse from the media in an early preview of the hysteria we have endured since Trump improbably won.

The law is as follows:

Section 212(f) of the INA is arguably the broadest and best known of these Authorities . It provides, in relevant part, that

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate

The President is ultimately responsible for national security. The buck stops with him. For the courts to undermine the President’s ability to protect America is simply unbelievable. We have reached the point where to some people politics is more important than national security.

A Small Step To Insure The Integrity Of The Vote

Reuters is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled today in a 5-4 decision that Ohio has the right to purge its voter rolls of infrequent voters.

The article reported:

The state said the policy was needed to keep voting rolls current, clearing out people who have moved away or died.

Under Ohio’s policy, if registered voters miss voting for two years, they are sent registration confirmation notices. If they do not respond and do not vote over the following four years, they are purged.

Republican President Donald Trump’s administration backed Ohio, reversing the stance taken by Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration against the policy.

“This decision is validation of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voter rolls and now with the blessing (of the) nation’s highest court, it can serve as a model for other states to use,” Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said the court was not deciding whether Ohio’s policy “is the ideal method for keeping its voting rolls up to date. The only question before us is whether it violates federal law. It does not.”

Periodically purging voter rolls is common sense. People move, people die, etc. I personally know of one instance where a registered voter decided to check who was registered to vote claiming her home as a residence. She discovered that there were three people registered to vote at her address who she had never heard of.

In September 2010, I posted the following about efforts in Houston to uncover voter fraud:

According to the American Thinker:

“A group of people took it upon themselves to work at polling places in 2008 and observed – and were shocked – by what they perceived to be voter fraud. Their next step was to create a citizen-based grassroots group to collect publicly available voting data and analyze what they found (with the help of donated computers and volunteer helpers). They admit they did not know what they were doing at first but where there is a will there is a way.”

Fox News tells what happened next:

“”The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them” Engelbrecht said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. “Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .

“”But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking.”

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”

“Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”

Voter fraud is real in America. Purging voter rolls is not the entire solution, but it is a valid first step.

 

 

One Decision, But Not Really A Resolution Of The Issue

In 2012, Jack Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig. In 2012. Same sex marriage was not legal in Colorado, and the Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the issue. It was a very different time. The State of Colorado charged Mr. Phillips with discrimination, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled today. The Washington Times posted the story today.

The article in The Washington Times reports:

Mr. Phillips had argued as a Christian, he could not be forced to create a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple, citing his First Amendment rights, though he said he offered to sell one of his standard cakes to them.

Colorado said his refusal broke the state’s public accommodation law prohibiting businesses from refusing service to anyone based on religion, race, sexual orientation and national origin.

During proceedings before the state’s civil rights commission one commissioner complained that freedom of religion had been used to “justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.” The commissioner called Mr. Phillips‘ beliefs “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric.”

Justice Kennedy said those statements undermined the state’s case against Mr. Phillips.

The Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 in favor of Mr. Phillips. The two judges who ruled against Mr. Phillips were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Mr. Phillips is essentially a cake artist. The question becomes whether or not a person can be forced to use his art for something he fundamentally disagrees with. Artists are usually commissioned. If the charges against Mr. Phillips were allowed to stand, does that mean that an artist does not have the right to refuse to do a commissioned work? I think that is the ultimate question–does a person running a business have the right to choose their clientele?