More California Insanity

As I write this, California is still part of America. The U.S. Constitution protects the rights of Americans who live in California. The military troops of America would defend California if necessary. However, it seems as if some Californians have forgotten that they are Americans.

Yesterday Fox News reported that the University of California-Davisstudent senate voted to allow the Stars & Stripes to be removed from its meetings. I wonder how much federal money supports the University of California-Davis. Would they notice if that money were gone?

The article reports:

Writing that “patriotism is different for every individual,” the student senate made the appearance of the flag optional.

Pete Hegseth pointed out that the senate appeared to say that there would be instances where the flag’s presence was inappropriate.

“We’ve got patriotism triggering people now,” Campus Reform reporter Cabot Phillips remarked.

In a statement, Student Senator Jose Antonio Meneses further clarified that the flag was not banned from meetings, but only had its mandated presence lifted.

Phillips said the vote was not an isolated incident, recalling a situation in New Mexico where a student was forced to remove a flag from his dormitory window.

What have we taught our children? Can America stand as a nation if its children are not even willing to tolerate or display its flag? Do the students realize that the flag was part of the freedom that allowed them to get an education and hold their meeting? It is time to start teaching the history and blessings of America in our schools. Obviously some of our students do not understand how fortunate they are to be here.

 

This Might Be Part Of The Reason Many Of Our College Students Are ‘Snowflakes’

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about Kevin Shaw, a student at Los Angeles Pierce College. Mr. Shaw was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution in November 2016. A college administrator told him he could not distribute the document outside the campus free speech zone, an area on campus that is approximately 616 square feet. Mr. Shaw has filed a lawsuit challenging the Los Angeles Pierce College and the entire LA Community College District’s policies that it claims restricts the free speech rights of students.

The article reports:

“Students like Kevin go to college to learn and grow in conversation with their peers, but a free speech quarantine like Pierce’s threatens to punish students who speak their minds in the wrong place,” said Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, the director of litigation for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, in a prepared statement.

“The law is clear: Public colleges like Pierce can’t force students into tiny slices of campus to exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Beck-Coon.

FIRE maintains the district’s unconstitutional policies are restricting speech on campus. Thirteen administrators are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

“This is a civil rights action to protect and vindicate Shaw and his fellow students’ rights to freedom of expression under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit states. “The District and Pierce College’s policies and enforcement practices unlawfully restrict these rights.”

Free speech is an important part of our representative republic. What do we gain by limiting the free expression of ideas on our college campuses? What would happen to students if they were exposed to a variety of ideas at college and forced to evaluate them logically? Is that even possible on today’s college campuses?

 

Some Random Comments On President Trump’s Budget Proposal

The first thing to keep in mind when viewing this budget is that President Trump made his money by negotiating real estate deals. He is a negotiator. I seriously doubt that his proposed budget will pass exactly as proposed. I suspect there is some wiggle room built into his budget. That being said, however, the budget moves in the direction of cutting spending, an anathema to lobbyists and professional politicians in Washington, but a necessary strategy to protect the financial futures of our children and grandchildren.

The Heritage Foundation has a number of articles analyzing the budget proposal. I chose the article posted yesterday for highlights.

Here are a few comments on President Trump’s proposed budget from The Heritage Foundation:

The new budget proposal put a high priority on national defense. While the FY18 defense boost would be fully paid for with cuts to nondefense programs, the proposal would raise the FY17 Budget Control Act caps by $10 billion. Boccia (Romina Boccia, Deputy Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute) suggests that the president “should set a precedent this year that budgeting is about prioritizing which means fully offsetting any new spending.”

All-in-all she says, “the proposed cuts to non-defense programs, together with executive actions to streamline federal agencies and cut waste, signal that this administration is serious about cutting the bloated Washington bureaucracy down to size. Congress should work with the administration to bring greater accountability to government and to eliminate federal programs that intervene in areas that are rightfully the domain of the private sector or state and local government.”

Two other experts comment on the State Department cuts:

Brett Schaefer (Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs) and James Carafano (The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies) weigh in on the budget cuts to the State Department, saying, “the cuts to the State Department budget proposed by the Trump administration largely represent a return to focusing taxpayer dollars on the business of true statecraft and away from funding global pet projects championed by the Obama administration.” 

Furthermore, they add “the State Department budget grew roughly 30 percent under President Obama, yet the jump in spending has failed to make the world safer for the United States or our allies. North Korea continues to threaten Japan and South Korea, Iran – further emboldened by a misguided nuclear deal – is destabilizing the Middle East, and Russia continues to exert itself over eastern Europe largely unchecked. The administration is right to refocus on supporting statecraft that will advance American interests and benefit our allies.” and James Carafano weigh in on the budget cuts to the State Department, saying, “the cuts to the State Department budget proposed by the Trump administration largely represent a return to focusing taxpayer dollars on the business of true statecraft and away from funding global pet projects championed by the Obama administration.”

The article also examines the changes in education spending:

“For the first time in decades, the Trump administration is significantly trimming the budget at the U.S. Department of Education, demonstrating a commitment to restoring federalism in education,” according to Lindsey Burke, Director of the Center for Education Policy at Heritage.

Burkes argues, “the budget correctly zeroes out funding for various programs, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and the Supporting Effective Instruction state grants program.” According to her, “ it is not appropriate for the federal government to fund high school counseling programs, after-school programs, teacher professional development and a myriad other programs it currently runs.”

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It seems that we have forgotten the Tenth Amendment when we produce federal budgets. It is time to get back to the country our Founding Fathers designed. That includes an end to career politicians and an end to the bloated federal government.

The Mud Puddle In Your Front Yard Is No Longer Under Government Control

In April 2015, The Heritage Foundation posted an article on the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

The article includes the following:

The proposed rule would assert jurisdiction over numerous types of waters, including “tributaries,” “adjacent waters,” and “other waters.” The definition for “tributaries” covers any water with a bed, banks, and ordinary high water mark that contributes flow, either directly or through another water, to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, territorial sea, or impoundment.[8] This definition is even broader than it sounds. As explained by the American Farm Bureau Foundation:

The agencies use the words “bed” and “bank” and “ordinary high water mark,” which sound like parts of a river or stream. In reality, though, the agencies’ explanation makes clear that those words just mean some kind of channel (land with higher elevation on each side of land with a lower elevation) plus any physical marks left by flowing water.

A broad interpretation of this law means that any mud puddle that forms in your yard in the spring has the potential of being under government control. The could impact your ability to build, landscape, or use your property in other ways.

On February 27, the White House issued the following statement about the Waters of the United States rule:

Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW, FEDERALISM, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
BY REVIEWING THE “WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES” RULE

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the Constitution.

Sec. 2. Review of the Waters of the United States Rule. (a) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator) and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (Assistant Secretary) shall review the final rule entitled “Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States,'” 80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (June 29, 2015), for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule, as appropriate and consistent with law.

(b) The Administrator, the Assistant Secretary, and the heads of all executive departments and agencies shall review all orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies implementing or enforcing the final rule listed in subsection (a) of this section for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and shall rescind or revise, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules rescinding or revising, those issuances, as appropriate and consistent with law and with any changes made as a result of a rulemaking proceeding undertaken pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c) With respect to any litigation before the Federal courts related to the final rule listed in subsection (a) of this section, the Administrator and the Assistant Secretary shall promptly notify the Attorney General of the pending review under subsection (b) of this section so that the Attorney General may, as he deems appropriate, inform any court of such review and take such measures as he deems appropriate concerning any such litigation pending the completion of further administrative proceedings related to the rule.

Sec. 3. Definition of “Navigable Waters” in Future Rulemaking. In connection with the proposed rule described in section 2(a) of this order, the Administrator and the Assistant Secretary shall consider interpreting the term “navigable waters,” as defined in 33 U.S.C. 1362(7), in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006).

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 28, 2017.

Thank you, President Trump. I support clean air and clean water. I don’t support government’s interference in the property rights of Americans.

There Are Still People Trying To Undo The Second Amendment

Yesterday I posted an article about the State of Connecticut‘s attempt to make gun ownership very expensive. Well, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has come up with its own idea of how to make using your gun very expensive.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday:

A gun bill in Massachusetts is looking to expand gun restrictions in the state through additional taxes on lawful gun owners.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Creem, is one of many she said she has filed every state senate session in order to “to make it harder and harder” to obtain a gun, she told Wicked Local Newsbank.

Not only would the bill impose a 4.75 percent surcharge “on sales at retail of all ammunition, rifles, shotguns, firearms or parts thereof” on top of the licensing fees, the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and the 11 percent federal excise tax; it would also require virtually all firearm sales to take place through a licensed dealer, with an additional charge for private gun sales, require gun owners to use fingerprint scanners to deactivate the weapon when the technology becomes available and bans .50 caliber weapons outright with a hefty fine and possible jail time if someone is found in violation of the law.

The money raised by this scheme would go into the Firearms Violence Prevention Trust Fund, which the bill establishes. Wow! Penalize gun owners to create more bureaucracy!

The article further reports:

Gun activists in the state are outraged by the sweeping legislation, especially since research shows that crime rates either are not affected or increase over time with more gun restrictions, according to the Crime Research Prevention Center.

“What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, told Wicked Local Newsbank. “Is it political, perceived or real? It seems it’s always been political.”

Frustration with the legislation also includes the belief that lawful gun owners seem to be punished for the transgressions of criminals, people who would find an illegal way to obtain a gun no matter what the law says.

Okay. Let’s look at this a minute. When law-abiding citizens cannot afford guns because the State Legislature has made it very expensive to buy or own one, do you think criminals will still have guns? This is Massachusetts’ attempt at an end run around the Second Amendment. The way our government was set up, the states have the right to disregard a law that is made that does not comply with the U.S. Constitution, but what do you do when the state itself is attempting to undermine a freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution?

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about some of former President Obama’s actions as he was leaving office. The actions are petty and in one case, dangerous to world peace.

The article reports:

Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. 

The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. 

The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office.

In addition to the $221 million for the Palestinians, the Obama administration also told Congress on Friday it was going ahead with the release of another $6 million in foreign affairs spending, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations, the congressional aides said. 

After these actions, it is difficult to view former President Obama as having any respect for the U.S. Constitution or the separation of powers included in that document. This was a slap in the fact to all Americans. Does anyone actually believe that the money given to the Palestinians will be used for anything other than terrorism against Israelis and Americans?

The disrespect shown to all Americans and to the American Constitution by former President Obama is breathtaking.

Raising Law-Abiding Citizens–Not!

America has a Constitution and is theoretically under the rule of law–equal justice for everyone. However, we evidently have people among us who don’t support the basic idea of enforcing our existing laws.

Andrea Dillon posted an article at American Lens today about guide that was emailed to employees of the Orange County (California) school system.

The article reports on the guide:

Employees within Orange County Schools recently received an email containing a document which demonizes the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The document also outlined how educators can instruct illegal immigrant children to evade law enforcement.

The document is titled, Immigrant and Refugee Children, A Guide for Educators and Support Staff.  The authors of the document are United We Dream, The National Immigration Law Center, First Focus and the AFL-CIO’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

This guide document talks about the increased level of ICE raids under the Obama administration, specifically targeting youth ages 18 and under.  The guide gives a variety of statistics on illegal immigrant children, who the guide refers to as ‘”unaccompanied children.”

Orange County Schools -AFT-ICE-GuideIncluded in the guide was a large picture, allegedly an ICE agent, towering over some children while wearing a scary mask. This portion of the image is pictured to the right.

I understand that there are issues concerning children who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own, but instructing these children and their families to fear ICE is not going to accomplish anything.

Seth Stephens, Communications Director for Orange County Schools, has stated that the document distributed was not approved by the school district. He also stated that the district will honor the law.

The article further states:

Stephens also commented that the district was having a difficult time ‘tracking down’ the original email suggesting distribution of the document.

Sources inside Orange County Schools tell American Lens that the document traces back to Sherita Cobb, Director of Student Support Services for the district.

The document was apparently forwarded on multiple times, including a blind carbon copy to American Lens staff. It is unclear why the document was sent out to other employees given the statement from Seth Stephens.

First of all, we need to secure our borders. Second of all, we need to find out who is here illegally. When we get a handle on the number of people here illegally, where they are from, and whether or not they are interested in assimilating and becoming part of America, then we can formulate a plan of action. A Somali refugee who does not want to live under the U.S. Constitution needs to be treated differently than an eighteen year refugee from South America old who does. It is time to get an accurate count of who is here illegally and where they are from. That would be a good starting point.

Sometimes You Just Have To Shake Your Head

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some recent remarks by President Obama.

The article states:

Obama told an audience in Greece today the world must guard against rise of “nationalism” (Trump).

Obama: We have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them. And I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict.

However, his actions are different than his words:

blacklivesmatter11152016Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights group. They are a black racist group that has undermined law and order in America and endangered the lives of policemen. President Obama has done more harm to race relations in America than any President in recent history. I seriously doubt that Donald Trump could be any worse for race relations in America than President Obama.

The contrast between President Obama and Donald Trump is the contrast between one-world government and American sovereignty. President Obama has shown during his eight years in office that he does not respect the U.S. Constitution and does not respect American sovereignty. The Iran Treaty is a perfect example of that. The treaty was never subjected to the Constitutional procedures for a treaty. Hopefully, Donald Trump will have a greater love for America and its Constitution.

What Does The Law Actually Say?

According to the Legal Resource Library, these are the requirements to vote in a federal election in America:

  • You are a U.S. citizen (either by birth or naturalization)
  • You meet your state’s residency requirements
  • You are 18 year old. (Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries or register to vote if they will be 18 before the general election).
You must be legally registered to vote in your jurisdiction in order to be able to vote in federal elections. State laws vary on voter requirements.

The U.S. Constitution gives citizens have the right to vote in elections. It does not give that right to non-citizens.

The following video was posted on YouTube on November 6:

This is the response to that video from Senator Jeff Sessions:

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) issued the following statement after President Obama‘s comments on illegal immigrants voting in U.S. elections:  

“I am shocked that the President of the United States—who is the chief law enforcement officer for the nation and to whom all federal law enforcement officers report—failed to strongly and immediately object to a statement by an interviewer that unlawful immigrants can and should vote in U.S. elections. The interviewer proposed a radical and illegal action, which the President had a duty to condemn.

The President must immediately issue a statement to make crystal clear that only citizens of the United States have the right to vote, and that any noncitizen who votes, and anyone who assists noncitizens to vote, does so illegally and is subject to prosecution. The failure to clarify this statement will only add further credibility to the public’s concerns about the integrity of this election.” 

For those of you who may argue that President Obama was not referring to illegal aliens, why then was he discussing the fear of being deported? American citizens do not have to fear deportation.

More Puzzles From Wikileaks

Wikileaks has released thousands of emails, many of which should have been made public as the result of various FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Some of these emails have confirmed suspicions already held, and some have raised more questions. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about one email concerning Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State.

The article quotes a released email:

From her own experience, and information obtained through [ ] and other agents, [ ] described a “stark difference” between [Condoleezza] RICE and CLINTON with regard to obedience to security and diplomatic protocols. RICE observed strict adherence to State Department security and diplomatic protocols while CLINTON frequently and “blatantly” disregarded them.

For example, it is standard security and diplomatic protocol for the Secretary of State to ride in the armored limousine with the local U.S. ambassador when traveling in countries abroad. It is seen as diplomatic protocol for the Secretary of State to arrive at foreign diplomatic functions with the local ambassador; however, CLINTON refused to do so, instead choosing to be accompanied in the limousine by her Chief of Staff, HUMA ABEDIN. This frequently resulted in complaints by ambassadors who were insulted and embarrassed by this breach of protocol. [ ] explained that CLINTON’s protocol breaches were well known throughout Diplomatic Security and were “abundant.”

[ ] explained that ABEDIN possessed “much more power” over CLINTON’s staff and schedule than other former chiefs of staff. [ ] believed that ABEDIN herself was often responsible for overriding security and diplomatic protocols on behalf of CLINTON.

If you follow the link above to the article, you can see a copy of the actual email. There are a few obvious things to learn from this email. For whatever reason, Hillary has very little knowledge or respect for diplomatic protocol. That seems rather odd for a Secretary of State. The other disturbing information here is the role of Huma Abedin. Ms. Abedin would most likely play a major role in a Clinton Administration should Hillary Clinton be elected. The problem with that is that Ms. Abedin has a strong family connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. The problem with that is that the Muslim Brotherhood in their own words (according to government exhibit 003-0085 in the Holy Land Foundation Trial) has intentions of supplanting the U.S. Constitution with Sharia Law. A vote for Hillary Clinton is vote for the end of American law as we know it. It is quite possible that Hillary Clinton would be the first woman to be President and the last President to serve under the U.S. Constitution.

Remember The Constitution

The following is from the U.S. Senate website explaining the U.S. Constitution:

Article II

Section 2

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. The Constitution gives the Senate a share in foreign policy by requiring Senate consent, by a two-thirds vote, to any treaty before it may go into effect. The president may enter into “executive agreements” with other nations without the Senate’s consent, but if these involve more than minor matters they may prove controversial.

The president must also submit judicial and major executive branch nominations to the Senate for its advice and consent. The Constitution makes no provision for the removal of executive officers, which has remained largely at the discretion of the president.

The boldface type was added by me.

The Washington Times is reporting today:

Deliberately sidestepping Congress, President Obama formally entered the U.S. into an international climate-change agreement Saturday with China and dozens of other nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

In a ceremony in Hangzhou, China, Mr. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping deposited each country’s official “instrument of acceptance” with U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to join the agreement.

“Some day we may see this as the moment when we decided to save our planet,” Mr. Obama said. “History will judge today’s efforts as pivotal.”

Separately, Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi agreed on a side deal aimed at curbing other pollutants in the U.S. and China. They committed to “freeze” the production of hydrofluorocarbons, the chemicals often used in air conditioning and refrigeration, and cut aviation emissions by an unspecified date, possibly as early as 2021.

The U.N. climate-change pact cannot take effect until 55 nations representing 55 percent of worldwide carbon emissions formally ratify the agreement. The U.S. and China, the world’s two largest emitters, represent about 38 percent of total global emissions.

Man-made climate change is a hoax. There is no agreement by scientists on this matter. The reason many scientists support the concept is that supporting the idea of man-made climate change results in grant money. If you claim a crisis, you get money. One of the best sites on the Internet for good climate change information is wattsupwiththat.com. I strongly recommend that anytime you read an article in the mainstream media about climate change you check that site.

Meanwhile, the President is openly violating the U.S. Constitution. Is the Senate going to push back? If the Senate Republicans do not protect the Constitution (as they have sworn to do so in their oath of office), they deserve to be voted out of office. The Democrats cannot be expected to protest because they put politics first. I would be totally surprised if more than five Senators protest. This lack of action on the part of the Senate is the reason for the success of Donald Trump as a candidate. Many (if not most) Americans are tired of politicians who do not uphold their oath of office.

Let’s see if any Senators protest this move.

Misquoting The Constitution For Your Own Gain

It’s amazing to me how some politicians ignore the U.S. Constitution until they want to make some sort of attack on their opponents. Then they freely misquote it. We have seen a lot of recent examples of this, but there is one that really bothers me.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today illustrating how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton either misunderstands or chooses to misuse the U.S. Constitution.

The article reports:

Of all the ignorant pronouncements in the 2016 presidential campaign, the dumbest may be that the Constitution forbids a “religious test” in the vetting of immigrants. Monotonously repeated in political speeches and talking-head blather, this claim is heedless of the Islamic doctrinal roots on which foreign-born Islamists and the jihadists they breed base their anti-Americanism. It is also dead wrong.
The clause said to be the source of this drivel is found in Article VI. As you’ll no doubt be shocked to learn, it has utterly nothing to do with immigration. The clause states, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (emphasis added). On its face, the provision is not only inapplicable to immigrants at large, let alone aliens who would like to be immigrants; it does not even apply to the general public. It is strictly limited to public officials — specifically to their fitness to serve in government positions.

Just a few personal observations…If your religion requires that your religious rules supersede the U.S. Constitution, maybe you should find another place to live. If your religion has its own set of strict rules that condone honor killing, female genital mutilation, stoning of rape victims, marriage of women under the age of thirteen, and killing of homosexuals (all against American laws), maybe you should not come to America and expect to follow your religious rules. The obvious question here is, “What is the difference between a religion and a political movement?” Which is Islam?
The article concludes:
Promotion of assimilation and fidelity to the Constitution have been historical bedrocks of immigration policy. Indeed, before immigrants are naturalized as citizens, they must swear what is pointedly called an “oath of allegiance.” It calls on them to renounce any foreign sovereigns by whom they have been ruled, and to honor our Constitution — principles that are inimical to sharia supremacism. We should resist a categorical ban on Muslim immigration; but nothing in the Constitution prohibits the commonsense vetting of immigrants for beliefs that are antithetical to our principles, regardless of whether the immigrant perceives such beliefs as religious or political in nature.
We should welcome immigrants who embrace our principles, seek to assimilate into our society, and are value-added for — rather than a strain on — our economy. But if, in an era of jihadist violence, we cannot seriously vet immigrants to determine whether they fit this bill, it would be better to have a categorical ban. And if, based on an illiterate construction of the Constitution, the political class insists that its fictional “no religious test” rule forbids not only a categorical ban but the heightened scrutiny of Muslim aliens, it would be better to prohibit immigration across the board.
The United States government’s first obligation is to shield the American people from foreign threats, not to shield foreign threats and render the American people defenseless.

We should welcome refugees who want to come here and become Americans. We should encourage those who want to bring their culture with them and not assimilate to immigrate to a country with a culture similar to the one they left.

Why Supreme Court Justices Matter

Theoretically the Supreme Court is the third part of the checks and balances in our Representative Republic. They are sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and make decisions according to that Constitution. Unfortunately there are Americans who either do not understand the Constitution or choose to ignore it. Right now the Supreme Court is balanced four to four in terms of conservative and liberal interpretations of the law. The next President will have the responsibility of choosing the Justice that will decide cases involving gun rights, voting rights, medical care, religious freedom, and other important issues. A recent case illustrates how important the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice will be.

The Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece on Tuesday about a recent Supreme Court decision. The case illustrates the problems police face when trying to keep us safe when dealing with the drug problem in America.

The piece reports:

The Supreme Court term is ending on a whimper of narrow decisions without Justice Antonin Scalia. But you wouldn’t know it from the overwrought progressive outrage after a 5-3 majority issued a common-sense ruling Monday concerning the so-called exclusionary rule for admitting evidence in criminal cases.

In Utah v. Strieff, police stopped Edward Strieff on his way out of a building after a tip that it was a drug-dealing location. After discovering an outstanding arrest warrant against Mr. Strieff, a police officer searched him and found methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. Mr. Strieff claims the police lacked reasonable suspicion to stop him under the Fourth Amendment, so the evidence of his law-breaking should be dismissed.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Clarence Thomas and stated that the discovery of the outstanding arrest warrant required the police to arrest and thus search Mr. Strieff.

There was, however, a different opinion.

The article reports;

The outlier was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who went off the deep end with an extended polemic about police misconduct, events in Ferguson, Mo., and race in America. “Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. And although Mr. Strieff is white, “it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny.”

The Justice is getting huzzahs on the left, but her opinion is troubling for her insistence on dragging racial politics into a case that had nothing to do with race. This dissent continues her habit of wandering far from the law or precedent to decide cases based on her personal political and policy views. Her colleagues showed more judicial wisdom.

There are a few things to note here. Mr. Strieff was leaving a place where it was suspected drugs were being sold. Didn’t the police have a responsibility to investigate a tip about a location where drugs were being sold? Shouldn’t that investigation include stopping people leaving that location? If there was an outstanding arrest warrant for Mr. Strieff, didn’t the police have an obligation to arrest him? It is very possible that I am naive, but I believe that Mr. Strieff would have been treated the same way regardless of what color he is. Everything is not about race, and in the majority of cases, police are merely attempting to keep our communities safe and free from illegal drugs and the crime that goes with the drug trade. Bringing race into a situation where it is not relevant only divides Americans–it does not help us solve our problems.

A Different Solution To America’s Spending Problem

The national debt has doubled since 2007.  It is now approximately $19,000,000,000,000. Congress has not been successful at stopping spending, and the economy is struggling along with the burden of debt and over-regulation. One Congressman has a proposal that will deal with at least part of the problem.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a proposal by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The article reports:

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) joined Lee to formally introduce the Article I Regulatory Budget Reform Act, which would require Congress to cast a vote on the “total regulatory burden” federal agencies are able to enforce on the private sector each fiscal year.

“Federal regulations come with a cost, albeit a hidden one. The American people can look up in the federal budget and see a monetary cost for the IRS and the EPA. They should also be able to look up what the regulatory cost for these agencies are as well. Beyond making the cost of federal regulation transparent, a regulatory budget will help restore accountability for the cost of regulation onto the people’s elected representatives,” Hensarling said at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington.

“With a regulatory budget, it would become so much more difficult for members of Congress to simply pass the buck and blame the faceless, nameless bureaucrats for the cost of regulations on the American people’s families and their businesses,” he added.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress is charged with making laws. They are supposed to be held accountable for the laws they pass. Unfortunately, we have wandered into a system where unelected bureaucrats are making our laws, and we can’t vote them out of office.

The article adds:

Lee argued that most of the major bills Congress has passed only “establish aspirational guidelines,” which gives the executive branch the power to determine the specifics. He said Congress should establish “regulatory-cost limits” for federal agencies to follow.

“For the rule-writing bureaucrats, these open-ended laws are gifts that keep on giving. For instance, in the years since Congress first passed the Clean Air Act in 1977, federal bureaucrats have used the law to enact more than 13,500 pages of regulations – roughly 30 pages for every page of legislative text,” Lee said.

“But for the American people, this kind of government without consent is a violation of the social compact at the heart of our republic and exactly why they no longer trust the federal government,” he added.

The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document. The government it established works. Unfortunately we have altered that government to the point where it barely works and is not trusted by the American people. We need serious reform in Washington. Senator Lee’s proposal might be a good place to start.

Free Money Is Rarely Free

Breitbart.com posted an article today illustrating the impact President Obama’s threats regarding the ‘bathroom’ (should be called ‘locker room’) bill. Even homeschoolers are worried.

The article reports:

Tina Hollenbeck, a homeschooling parent in Wisconsin, tells Breitbart News, “If homeschoolers take vouchers or any other form of government funding ‘help’ – even an ‘educational expenses credit’ on their taxes – they are enslaving themselves to government mandates.”

“And by choosing to entangle themselves, they jeopardize homeschooling freedom for all,” she adds. “That’s because of the very simple economic principle that ‘he who pays gets the say.’”

Hollenbeck – the developer of the Homeschool Resource Roadmap –explains that if homeschooling families accept any taxpayer funding from government entities at any level, the government then has the right to demand “accountability” from them.

“And it doesn’t matter if it’s merely a credit on their own taxes because the minute money makes its way into government coffers, the bureaucrats consider it to belong to the government and act accordingly with their rules and (unconstitutional) laws,” she asserts.

Karen Braun, an activist homeschooling parent who is the lead content writer for the Stop Common Core in Michigan website, observes the costs of accepting federal funding with an administration that “shreds local and state control.”

According to a website entitled Federal Education Policy History:

The U.S. established a Department of Education first in 1867.  This original department, however, was not a cabinet level agency, and within a few years was replaced with a bureau and then an office.

On October 17, 1979 President James E. Carter signed the Department of Education Organization Act (P.L. 96-88; 93 Stat. 668).  It replaced the Office of Education with a department proper, and installed a secretary at its head.

The Department of Education was made a cabinet position as a reward for the teachers’ union’s support of Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential election.

According to the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We have come a long way from that concept, and our nation is failing because of that.

The article at Breitbart.com concludes:

Hollenbeck, however, asserts that parents’ right to provide that safe place to learn at home is compromised in our current political environment.

“Once bureaucrats get a foothold into controlling some homeschoolers, they’ll find ways to extend that to all,” she warns. “Thus, the only way to maintain all homeschoolers’ independence from government overreach into our homes is by everyone refusing any and all offers of government-sponsored financial ‘help.’ When we pay, we get the say – as it should be.”

Breitbart News reached out to Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to ask how the organization believes the Obama administration’s gender identity “decree” will affect homeschooling in the United States.

“We expect that this will drive up the numbers in homeschooling the same way that Common Core did,” responded Michael Farris, Jr. of HSLDA Media Relations. “Parents want to have the final say in their children’s education, not have the federal government do it for them.”

Once the camel gets his nose inside the tent, there is no telling where he will end up.

Effectively Using The Power Of The Purse

Theoretically, the House of Representatives can limit executive power by using its control of the purse strings. According to the U.S. Constitution, the government cannot spend money unless that spending is authorized by the House of Representatives. We haven’t seen the House of Representatives use that power as much as I would have liked under the Obama Administration, but the power is there. In fact, there was one recent incident where the House of Representatives successfully used that power.

In October I posted a story about the Obama Administration attempting to spend money that was not allocated by Congress. At issue were payments to insurance companies to alleviate their losses under Obama.

As reported by the Daily Signal in October:

In January, Sessions’ committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee had identified that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lacked an appropriation for bailing out insurance companies through the risk corridors. They asked the Government Accountability Office to look into the matter. That September, the GAO issued its legal opinion: the administration would need an appropriation from Congress to make outgoing payments.

Today The Los Angeles Times reported:

A federal judge ruled for House Republicans on Thursday in their suit against President Obama and declared his administration is unconstitutionally spending money to reimburse health insurers without obtaining an appropriation from Congress.

The judge’s ruling, though a setback for the administration, was put on hold immediately and stands a good chance of being overturned on appeal.

The ruling upholds the Constitution, why would it be overturned on appeal?

The article at The Los Angeles Times reports:

The Constitution says “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,” said Judge Rosemary Collyer, yet the administration has continued to pay billions to insurers for their extra cost of providing coverage for low-income Americans.

“Paying out Sec. 1402 reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution,” she wrote. “Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”

Stay tuned to see if the Constitution will be upheld.

Fighting Back

The Alliance Defending Freedom posted an article on its website about actions it will be taking regarding North Carolina‘s bathroom bill.

The article reports:

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing students and parents at North Carolina public schools and universities filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. departments of Justice and Education for making federal student aid and educational funding dependent on students sharing restrooms and locker rooms with the opposite sex. The suit is similar to one ADF filed against the two agencies on behalf of parents and students in Illinois last week.

The DOJ disregarded student privacy and safety when it issued letters threatening the suspension of federal funding for North Carolina’s schools and university system, as well as federal financial aid for North Carolina’s university students, unless the state government repudiated the law known as House Bill 2. That law ensures that government facilities and public schools protect personal privacy by maintaining sex-specific restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. The DOJ then filed suit against the state on Monday, the same day that the governor and the General Assembly each sued the agency over its illegitimate demands.

“The administration shouldn’t condition the ability of women to receive an education on their willingness to shower with members of the opposite sex,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “On behalf of North Carolina students and families—and by extension all students and families across the nation affected by the DOJ’s and DOE’s overreach—we have filed suit to stop both agencies from bullying schools and universities. The agencies must stop using falsehoods about what federal law requires to threaten student access to educational opportunities and financial assistance.”

Do you want boys allowed in your high school or college daughter’s locker room?

Before you sign on to support the idea of men in women’s locker rooms, please watch the following video posted on YouTube by the Alliance Defending Freedom:

If the ‘right of privacy‘ is somehow enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, why are we taking that right away from the women of America?

Is American Sovereignty Important?

America is now more than two hundred years old. The U.S. Constitution that we began with is still in place. We are still a sovereign nation. Most of us take our freedom and national sovereignty for granted, but what are some of the forces working against our freedom and against our sovereignty and what are we doing to stop them?

Well, one U.S. House of Representatives member has come up with a good place to start. Alabama’s Representative Mike Rogers on March 2, 2015, introduced H.R. 1205: American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2015 into the House of Representatives. The bill has about a 1 percent of being passed, but at least it was introduced. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill would end the United States’ membership in the United Nations. Why would we want to do that? Because the United Nations as of late has become a sounding board for tin horn dictators who want to take money from free countries who have earned it and give the money to other tyrants who have not. Part of their objective is to undermine the sovereignty of free western countries and set up a worldwide government that will control everyone and be run be a few elites who will establish the rules but not have to live by them. I just happen to have a few examples of what the United Nations has done in recent years that should be cause for alarm.

Some comments from the Washington Times about the UN Arms Trade Treaty:

The criteria that arms should not be used to “prolong” or “aggravate” instability is troubling. China could use such a provision to label U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as a violation of international law. In 1941, such a treaty would have made illegal the U.S. lend-lease program to aid Britain before Pearl Harbor.

The implication is absurd: If giving arms to an ally fighting a tyrant prolongs the conflict, the only “legal” option for the ally is to surrender.

Another problem is the draft’s invocation of “international human rights law.” Unfortunately, liberal activists often claim that strict gun control is a “human right.” This reference, then, could be interpreted in ways that infringe on Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Why should we care what some U.N. treaty says? Just ignore it, you say, because our Constitution trumps everything. Well, not if the U.S. signs and the Senate ratifies it. At that point, the treaty carries the weight of U.S. domestic law.

Forbes Magazine posted the following about The Law of the Sea Treaty:

Then there’s the currently proposed, Obama-endorsed, Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would subordinate U.S. naval and drilling operations beyond 200 miles of our coast to a newly established U.N. bureaucracy. If ratified by Congress, it will grant a Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA) the power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, seabed mining, and fishing rights. As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries.

The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free. And who are those lucky international recipients? They will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

Both of the above articles are from 2012. This is not a new thing.

According to the website appinsys.com:

On November 14, 2010 the NZZ Online had an interview with Ottmar Edenhofer (Edenhofer is joint chair of IPCC Working Group 3 and deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology).

Mr. Edenhofer stated:

  • …“Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore … But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Last night I went to see the movie “Climate Hustle.” There was a lot in the movie that I was already aware of, but it was nice to see it organized and in one place. I don’t know if and when the movie will be shown again, but it is worth seeing.

Representative Rogers H.R. 1205: American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2015  may never get out of committee. That in itself illustrates the need for change in Washington. If we don’t change our representatives in Washington, we may lose our sovereignty as a country and our lifestyle.

The Current Administrative Branch Of Our Government Is Ignoring The Constitution

President Obama has played fast and loose with the U.S. Constitution since he took office. All of the executive orders issued altering ObamaCare after it was passed were not constitutional, and many of his other actions were not. The lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution runs rampant through the Obama Administration. The latest example can be found in the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on actions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in February, the EPA is going ahead with a key part of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

The article reports:

The EPA submitted a proposal to the White House for green energy subsidies for states that meet the federally mandated carbon dioxide reduction goals early. The Clean Energy Incentive Program would give “credit for power generated by new wind and solar projects in 2020 and 2021” and a “double credit for energy efficiency measures in low-income communities,” according to Politico’s Morning Energy.

Generally speaking, ‘clean energy’ is more expensive than traditional electricity-generating sources. Companies involved in green energy are generally heavily subsidized by the government and could not exist without those subsidies. If green energy is ever going to be a reality, we have to let the free market come in and play a role in the industry. That way, inexpensive technology may develop that will give us reasonable green energy.

The article further reports:

EPA has been moving forward with aspects of the CPP despite the Supreme Court’s decision. After the court’s February decision, EPA began signalling it would continue to work with states that want to “voluntarily” move forward.

“Are we going to respect the decision of the Supreme Court? You bet, of course we are,” McCarthy told utility executives in February. “But it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing we’re working on and it doesn’t mean we won’t continue to support any state that voluntarily wants to move forward.”

Likewise, the head of EPA’s air and radiation office, Janet McCabe, has also suggested the rule will eventually be upheld.

“EPA utility rules have been stayed twice before, and ultimately upheld,” McCabe said while participating in a panel discussion in Bloomington, Ind., last week. “It’s only smart for states to keep working on this.”

“We stand ready at EPA to help any state that wants to move forward with their planning activities,” McCabe said, noting that some states pledged to cut CO2 after the Supreme Court stayed CPP.

Whether or not the EPA’s plan is valid is not the point–the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional. Does anyone in the Obama Administration listen to the Supreme Court?

The Obama Administration’s War On Guns

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the efforts of Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to unravel the government’s Operation Choke Point.

The article reports:

“Under President Obama’s reign, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House,” Cruz said. “The Obama administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don’t align with the president’s political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.”

The bill, called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, bans federal agencies that oversee banks from requesting or ordering banks to terminate customer accounts “unless the regulator has material reason.”

The measure also requires banking regulators to put in writing any “formal or informal” requests for account termination, and requires those regulators to file an annual report to Congress regarding those requests. To scale back Operation Choke Point or any similar initiatives, the bill also amends the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

I have written articles about the impact of Operation Choke Point before. You can use the search engine at the top of the page to find them. Operation Choke Point is an obvious example of government overreach. Gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and the government has no right to interfere with that right. Operation Choke Point is one of several back door methods the Obama Administration used to attempt to take guns away from lawful gun owners. Had they come up with a plan to take guns away from unlawful gun owners, I might have been willing to listen.

The article further reports:

An identical version of the bill passed the House of Representatives 250-169 in February with bipartisan support.

According to government documents, Operation Choke Point was designed by the Justice Department in 2012 to “attack Internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”

The Justice Department carried out the program by using its investigative powers and partnering with federal regulating agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that provide formal guidance to banks.

Since the program’s inception, many gun sellers, pawn shops, and short-term lenders reported their bank accounts being shut down.

…If the bill passes the Senate, it will then head to Obama’s desk for approval.

Hopefully one of the first things the next President will do (regardless of who is elected) will be to cut back on some of the abuses of power that have gone on during the Obama Administration.

When Tolerance Is A One-Way Street

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about George Mason University. The University has announced that the University’s law school will be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. Steven Hayward notes that this is surely going to cause a reaction among the students.

The update of the article includes the following reaction by a student:

Please Tell Me GMU Law School Is Playing a Really Sick April Fools Joke

It’s bad enough that GMU’s Mercatus Center is a Koch-sucking far-right-wing organization (e.g., see this New Yorker article, which discusses how “the Koch family foundations have contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center”).  But now….this??? Let me remind everyone that Antonin Scalia was a corruptbigoted extremist. Why would anyone in their (far) right mind want to name anything after that guy, let alone a law school? Has GMU gone completely off its rocker or what? Or, as ThinkProgress Justice Editor Ian Millhiser puts it, GMU can now “stop pretending to be anything other than a conservative policy shop with students.” Ugh. I mean, what’s GMU going to do next, the Trump School for Ethics and Tolerance?

I seem to remember that many of our university students were asking for ‘safe spaces’ where their ideas would not be questioned or challenged. How horrible that our students at higher learning institutes might be forced to think through or defend their ideas. At any rate, this reaction does not seem to be very tolerant. Does the student understand that the money donated by the Koch family is partially responsible for making his/her education possible? Has it occurred to the student who wrote the above to consider the political leanings of The New Yorker when reading their comments about the Koch family? How does this student feel about the money George Soros pours into American politics?

It is a shame that this particular student does not respect the role Antonin Scalia played in defending the U.S. Constitution at the Supreme Court. It seems that a major part of the student’s civic education is missing.

Who Is Actually Running America?

Jay Sekulow has published a book entitled, Undemocratic: Rogue, Reckless and Renegade: How the Government is Stealing Democracy One Agency at a Time. The book deals with the fact that unelected federal agencies have formed the fourth branch of our government. These agencies are passing laws that are not going through Congress and are not subject to voter approval.

CBN News posted an article about Jay Sekulow’s new book. The article reports:

Sekulow says that the federal bureaucracy has become the fourth and largest branch of the government, and it’s the only branch not in the U.S. Constitution.

Our federal bureaucracy violates the rights of Americans without accountability. It harasses adoptive parents, denies veterans quality healthcare, discriminates against conservatives and Christians for partisan purposes, and damages our economy with job-killing rules, according to Sekulow.

Americans are bullied by the very institutions established to protect their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Sekulow claims our nation’s bureaucrats are on an undemocratic power trip. But he and the ACLJ have a plan to fight back.

Electing a new President is not going to stop this unless the new President decides to begin to limit the size and power of the bureaucracy. We are not currently operating as the Founding Fathers intended. Congress was supposed to make the laws and be held accountable for those laws by the voters. It is time to get back to that model. Voters need to again be able to hold their representatives accountable for the laws we all have to live under. It is time for a change.

Telling It Like It Is

The Hill reported Tuesday that Representative Justin Amash has endorsed Ted Cruz. Representative Amash previously supported Rand Paul.

The article reports Representative Amash’s comments published in an op-ed piece in the Independent Journal:

“It’s easy to withdraw from politics when the positions and priorities of the candidates do not precisely mirror our own,” Amash wrote in an op-ed published by the Independent Journal.

“But we owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard,” he added.

“Ted is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be. But he is a principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel.”

America needs to get back to the Constitution. Ted Cruz is the candidate who can take us there. If we do not return to the structure of the Constitution, our government will disintegrate into a group of crony capitalist elitists who have total disregard for the wishes and general welfare of the American people. We may already be there, but Ted Cruz would be the President with the best chance of leading us out.

The Election In November Just Got Even More Crucial

My San Antonio posted an article today reporting that Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, age 79, was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas.

The article reported the statement by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution.”

“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

The Associated Press quoted Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts:

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

The Associated Press also quoted former President George W. Bush:

“Laura and I mourn the death of a brilliant jurist and important American, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation’s highest court. He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country.”

The National Review reported:

It’s been more than 80 years since a Supreme Court justice was confirmed in an election year to a vacancy that arose that year, and there has never been an election-year confirmation that would so dramatically alter the ideological composition of the Court.
[Update: I’ve encountered some mistaken quibbling on Twitter with the first half of the sentence above. Yes, Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in February 1988, but to a vacancy that arose in June 1987. He was nominated in November 1987 — after the Democrats’ defeat of the Bork nomination. The last justice to be confirmed in an election year to a vacancy that arose that year was Benjamin Cardozo — confirmed in March 1932 to a vacancy that arose in January 1932.]

Justice Scalia was an important figure on the Court. He believed in the U.S. Constitution and took his oath to uphold it seriously. He will be missed. It is also easy to predict a contentious battle over whether or not President Obama should be able to appoint a new Justice before leaving office. Letting the next President fill the vacancy would be the gentlemanly, appropriate thing to do, but I am not expecting miracles.

A Reasonable Plan To Balance The Federal Budget

According to the U.S. Constitution, all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives. Therefore, constitutionally the House of Representatives controls government spending. In recent years, voters concerned about the amount of government spending and the rapidly increasing federal deficit have sent people to Congress that promised to shrink government and cut spending. Evidently there is something in the water in Washington, D.C., because as soon as those elected representatives get to Washington, they forget why there were elected. There are a few exceptions, but they are few. One Representative may have the answer to this problem.

On Friday, the Daily Caller posted an article about legislation introduced on Friday by Iowa Republican Rep. Rod Blum.

The article states:

Iowa Republican Rep. Rod Blum introduced legislation Friday that would decrease congressional members’ salaries annually until the national budget is balanced.

Lawmakers’ pay would be docked 5 percent the first year and an additional 10 percent each year after, according to the legislation. The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2016 would restore compensation levels upon the closure of the deficit.

Representative Blum explained that there need to be consequences when Congress mismanages resources. In the private sector, there are consequences. Thus far, in Congress there are not consequences. That needs to change.