Posts Tagged ‘ Congress ’

Obama Flunked High School Civics

Bret Baier spars with the an Muhammed Ali-like President Obama

I’ve asked it before and I’m asking it again, why is it that anytime someone says, “let me be perfectly clear,” they proceed to be anything but. In the above interview, Obama reminded me of Muhammad Ali as he verbally danced like a butterfly around questions and attempted to sting like a bee by excoriating Baier for interrupting his long-winded attempts not to answer the questions.

The most amazing moment came, though, when the President flatly admitted that he doesn’t care how Congress passes the health bill as long as they do.  President Obama told Bret Baier of Fox News, “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate.  What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform.  And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform.  And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.” In the parlance of the web, WTF?!  So what is he saying?  I believe he’s saying, it doesn’t matter how they pass it, as long as I get to use that new pen I bought for the signing. He sounds to me like someone who didn’t pay attention in civics class.

Slaughter House Rules

When I first heard talk of the so-called “Slaughter Solution” I scoffed.  Really?  Even Nancy Pelosi knows you cannot subvert the Constitution.  Certainly, the President would refuse to sign an illegally passed law.  I could not image any Administration openly supporting the passage of a law that had not been properly voted upon.  The House and Senate bills are not the same bill.  The Senate rewrote and substantially changed the House bill.  According to tradition and my understanding of the Constitution the house must vote upon the Senate version of the bill.

As I listened to the debate I was heavily impacted by the Republican references to Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.  It was so obvious this tactic was unconstitutional.  However, I notice the quoted text was always abbreviated (as indicated by ellipses.)  The researcher I am, I decided to reread the Constitution.  Wouldn’t it be ignorant to based my opinion on an excerpt?  But hey, most Americans base their opinions on far less – ask any liberal and they tell you what they “feel” is right.

The Constitution Assumes Democracy

Unfortunately, this is where I piss off my conservative friends, but please keep reading, then research it and convince me I’m wrong or that there is a better Article upon which to base a Constitutional challenge.

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

This article appears to be talking primarily about overriding a Presidential veto.  I reread the entire Constitution excluding amendments to find any clear language regarding bills where the Senate substantially changes a House bill.  Clearly, over time Congress has established a long history of messing with bills and reconciling the versions into a new bill which is then passed by both houses.  But such procedures are not specifically spelled out in the Constitution.  It seems the details of how to originate a bill and pass a bill is largely left up to Congress.  When it says, “Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States,” it does not even mention their having voted on that bill.

Scary omission as we have always assumed they vote.  Today, we have Congress run by ideologues, who comb through the Constitution looking for loopholes and what they can get away with.  I believe the founding fathers took it for granted that common sense would rule Congressional procedure. They assumed any bill presented to the President was the same bill voted for by both houses of Congress, but the fact is, they forgot to spell it out for the idiots of the future. Oops.

The good news may be that the long-standing tradition of both houses voting on the same bill may sway the Supreme Court to nullify the health care law.  The bad news is that Article I, Section 5 reads, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings…” and this will likely be the basis for Pelosi’s defense.

If Republicans were in the majority and the Slaughter Solution were even discussed, the press would be circling like sharks, insinuation dictatorship, ect.  It might have even been nicknamed the “Final Solution.” Instead today we see editorials and sycophants in the MSM defending it and claiming it’s commonly done.  To that I must exclaim, BULLSHIT.

This is an affront to American political tradition, democracy, and freedom.  If we let them get away with this, there will be no bound to how far they will go the next time!

The Idiot quote of the Year

Comes from Nancy Pelosi.

“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it”

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NOW IS THE TIME!

If you care about this nation.  If you believe in innovation.  If you oppose rationing.  If you do not trust the government to make your health care decisions.  If you have a telephone, now is the time to act.  Yesterday the President used an emotional argument to sway wavering Democrats to support legislation they know is bad.  This bill is thousands of pages long and no one has completely read it or understands it. It is NOT that we want to do nothing – many great ideas have been put forward, only to be ignored and go unacknowledged.  Something should be done to encourage lower premiums, lower medical costs, and greater coverage but this bill will raise premiums, reduce access to care, and stifle innovation and research.

Below is a list of wavering Representatives that NEED to hear from YOU.  Even if you are not a constituent call them.  Here are the phone numbers:

Rep. John Adler (NJ) 202-225-4765

Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) 202-225-2565

Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY) 202-225-3665

Rep. Brian Baird (WA) 202-225-3536

Rep. John Barrow (GA) 202-225-2823

Rep. Marion Berry (AR) 202-225-4076

Rep. Tim Bishop (NY) 202-225-3826

Rep. John Boccieri (OH) 202-225-3876

Rep. Dan Boren (OK) 202-225-2701

Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) 202-225-3861

Rep. Allen Boyd (FL) 202-225-5235

Rep. Bobby Bright (AL) 202-225-2901

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA) 202-225-6131

Rep. Chris Carney (PA) 202-225-3731

Rep. Ben Chandler (KY) 202-225-4706

Rep. Travis Childers (MS) 202-225-4306

Rep. Jim Costa (CA) 202-225-3341

Rep. Artur Davis (AL) 202-225-2665

Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN) 202-225-6831

Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN) 202-225-3915

Rep. Steve Driehaus (OH) 202-225-2216

Rep. Chet Edwards (TX) 202-225-6501

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN) 202-225-4636

Rep. Gabby Giffords (AZ) 202-225-2542

Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) 202-225-4231

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD) 202-225-2801

Rep. Baron Hill (IN) 202-225-5315

Rep. Paul Hodes (NH) 202-225-5206

Rep. Tim Holden (PA) 202-225-5546

Rep. Larry Kissell (NC) 202-225-3715

Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (FL) 202-225-2706

Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD) 202-225-5311

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) 202-225-5871

Rep. Dan Maffei (NY) 202-225-3701

Rep. Betsy Markey (CO) 202-225-4676

Rep. Jim Marshall (GA) 202-225-6531

Rep. Jim Matheson (UT) 202-225-3011

Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) 202-225-2731

Rep. Michael McMahon (NY) 202-225-3371

Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA) 202-225-4031

Rep. Walt Minnick (ID) 202-225-6611

Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ) 202-225-2190

Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA) 202-225-4276

Rep. Glenn Nye (VA) 202-225-4215

Rep. Bill Owens (NY) 202-225-4611

Rep. Collin Peterson (MN) 202-225-2165

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND) 202-225-2611

Rep. Mike Ross (AR) 202-225-3772

Rep. Mark Schauer (MI) 202-225-6276

Rep. Kurt Schrader (OH) 202-225-5711

Rep. Heath Shuler (NC) 202-225-6401

Rep. Ike Skelton (MO) 202-225-2867

Rep. Zach Space (OH) 202-225-6265

Rep. John Tanner (TN) 202-225-4714

Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) 202-225-5772

Rep. Harry Teague (NM) 202-225-2365

Rep. Dina Titus (NV) 202-225-3252

Rep. Charlie Wilson (OH) 202-225-5705

CNN backs Dems claim

CNN covers Obama’s campaign

Regardless of which side of the health care debate you may find yourself on, you should be very concerned about how any health care bill is passed.  Democrats claim that their proposed use of “reconciliation” to force their health care bill into law is nothing extraordinary, but rather a standard parliamentary move used repeatedly in the past and even used by Republicans. In the noon hour today, CNN’s Tony Harris repeated the Democrat claim, listing historical examples in-which “reconciliation” has been used.

The problem for me is that the procedure is not called “reconciliation,” rather it’s called, BUDGETARY RECONCILIATION”. The not-so-subtle difference is that the process was created to pass spending bills, NOT whole new laws.  The Democrats are not attempting to pass a budget or tax bill.  They are trying to fundamentally alter the American health care system and in effect, the economy.  I know my opinion may mean nothing to you, however, it is a fact that in nearly every instance in-which Budgetary Reconciliation has been employed it was to pass a budgetary or tax bill.  Where it has been employed otherwise it was an abuse of power – regardless of whether it was Democrats or Republicans who did it.

When Budget Reconciliation was used

So how has Budgetary Reconciliation been used in the past?  Let’s look at the historical uses of Budgetary Reconciliation and which party used it.

(Source: NYT, “S”=Senate “H”=House, Controlling parties only updated when there was a change.)
  • 1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act     (S-R    H-D)
  • 1982 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1982 Tax Equity & Fiscal Responsibility Act
  • 1985 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1986 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act     (S-D    H-D)
  • 1990 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1996 Personal Responsibility & Work Opportunity Act   (S-R    H-R)
  • 1997 Balanced Budget Act     (S-D    H-D)
  • 2001 Economic Growth & Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (S-D   H-R)
  • 2003 Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act  (S-R    H-R)
  • 2005 Deficit Reduction Act
  • 2005 Tax Increase Prevention & Reconciliation Act
  • 2007 College Cost Reduction & Access Act  (S-D    H-D)

So we can see that in 30 years this procedure has been used 15 times.  In all but two (2) uses it was used properly to pass budget or tax acts.  Only twice has it been employed to pass non-budget items, in 1996 when Republicans pushed through welfare reform and in 2007 when Democrats rammed through a student aid program.  If you will open the NYT graphic linked above, you can see reconciliation wasn’t even needed in most of these cases.  In eight of the 15 cases the bills were passed with clear super-majorities.

American History: Protecting the Minority

Why should Congress even waste time with super-majority votes?  Shouldn’t a simple majority be all we ever need?  I mean, we elect Presidents and every other official with simple majorities, right?  However, the founding fathers set the government up to protect minorities. What? You’re surprised?  It’s likely you are, as liberals have polluted our understanding of American history, portraying our ancestors as murderous bigots.

True the founding fathers, for the most part, didn’t have Africans or Native Americans in mind, but they did protect minorities.  The House of Representatives directly represents the population and in theory it should reflect the will of the people.  However, the Senate does not reflect population, as every state no matter it’s size, has exactly two votes.

They established the House  as the LOWER body of Congress, not the upper body.  The minority was empowered to stop bills through the process of filibuster and it requires a super-majority of 2/3 to prevent or stop it.  You see they wanted to provide a process whereby the minority can stop legislation that may be harmful or disadvantageous to them.

In 1974, Democrats in Congress, established Reconciliation as a method to pass spending bills.  Effectively undermining the minority.  I find the entire procedure to be counter to the intentions of the founding fathers.  (A note to the gotcha-crowd, a super-majority is not required to pass legislation – only to prevent or stop a filibuster.)  What they are attempting now is what Democrats have become very comfortable doing, crushing opposition by prohibiting the opposition from speaking.

Closing Observations

It is worth noting that my family has been touched by cancer as well.  I understand the high price of health care and the current problems with insurance.  I am currently trapped and unable to voluntarily change jobs as my wife’s history of cancer make her a high risk.  I know the cost of cancer.  I was lucky, my “Cadillac” health insurance covered the vast majority of our costs.  I am sensitive to the plight of Natoma Canfield.  I listened to her tell her own story on CNN (BTW, who else thinks CNN could be on the Obama payroll?) Natoma’s story underlines the need to do something but does that mean doing something stupid, reckless, or dangerous to national solvency?

Perhaps the most amazing statement made supporting the use of Reconciliation to pass this health care bill came from the President just moments ago (as I was writing.)  The President emotionally and forcefully said, “They don’t want us readin’ polls.  …  they want us to show courage and act now.”  Wow, if you are a thinking person what would you think this meant?  Is the President saying the majority of Americans want this bill passed without regard to polling data?  What would that mean and why would the majority care since, if indeed the majority wanted this bill passed, then the polling data would simply back that fact up.  Ah, but the polling data shows – even in the MSM – that the majority don’t want this bill.  Rather, I believe what the President is actually saying is, damn the majority, I want this bill passed because some Americans including and especially me want it passed. This is signature rhetoric from a radical ideologue.

Democrats defy logic and the public

At least we see people are starting to get it.  Unfortunately, the administration looks at polls and dismisses them.  They are undounted.  Let’s review:  Health care that will raise a family’s health insurance cost while at the same time requiring that coverage under penalty of prison is not welcome by the American public.  The administration and the leadership in Congress flip America the bird and push harder.  Global warming is revealed to be a hoax complete with intentionally destroyed data and explicit written evidence of number tampering.  Does the Administration pause and investigate?  No they defiantly press harder, seeking an international treaty that would crush what’s left of American industry, impose a global tax on Americans, then pour salt on U.S. industry by announcing CO² a hazardous waste to be regulated. Stand-by for the breathing tax, trust me it’s coming. Meanwhile unemployment remains in the double digits.  Does any of this create jobs for Americans?  Not really.

I’ll give Obama kudos, he does not craft his agenda by following polls.  President Clinton seemed obsessed, chasing  polls, however Obama seems obsessed by ideological fervor.  I’ve heard him called an empty suit and while I have not come to any solid conclusion on that, I doubt it.  I do believe he is a front man for greater powers, but I think he is completely in line with those who sponsor him.  He has a clear agenda to socialize America.  He was raised and mentored by communists, by his own admission he chose to associate himself with radicals and communist professors while in college, why then should it surprise anyone when his administrative agenda is aggressively socialist?

I’ll answer that.  I believe it is due to two things.  Continue reading

Death and Taxes

Soon these words may be linked by more than the phrase coined by Ben Franklin nearly 200 years ago. If Obama is successful in passing the health care and cap and trade legislation the government may be not only raising your taxes but deciding who dies and when that decision will help keep taxes from rising even higher.

It’s been a busy summer.  While you have been vacationing, (or is that looking for work after being laid-off), wasting fossil fuels, and over-consuming all kinds of unhealthy foods, the White House has been ramming its agenda through Congress.  Congress has been emotionally debating major pieces of legislation without reading or knowing what’s in them.  Even though passage of either or both of these will have a greater impact on the American way of life than all the laws passed since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

A Common Sense Approach to Disaster

“Common sense approach” is a phrase I have heard President Obama use more than once, yet the approach being employed to push his primary agenda has been anything but common sense.  Common sense would not have a bill written so complicated it requires a team of lawyers to interpret it.  Common sense would not push through legislation that would benefit 8% of the population while punishing the other 92%.  Common sense would not encourage Congress not to read legislation by restricting the time they have to read it.  Common  sense does not rush through society-changing legislation by setting deadlines.

  Obama complained about legislation rammed through by the Bush Administration, yet he is employing the same tactic now.  I suppose if it was successful then it should be now.  This is another example of the ends justify the means, hypocrisy be damned.

Capping and Trading the Future

First up we have H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, (ACESA), aka Cap and Trade. Not one representative read it.  They couldn’t read it.  In the middle of the night, hours before the vote 300 pages were added to the bill.  They were not simple inserted pages or an addendum but a complex set of insertions that contained strange annotations like “insert page 15 after paragraph 8.”  Following the House passage of this moronic bill, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has had time to study the bill and its implications. By the way, the EIA is a non-partisan entity and is very well regarded as fair, honest, and policy-neutral.

Report # SR-OIAF/2009-05 paints a bleak picture.  The report concludes that “Cap and Trade” would certainly raise energy prices.  (The report compares costs in 2007 dollars and make predictions out as far as 2030.  In fairness we all should know such predictions are faulty since unknown and unintended factors will likely alter the actual course of events.  However the trends should be fairly accurate representations.) Following the excel sheet we can see crude prices shooting up 200% and electricity up nearly 50%, mostly between 2025-30.  For those of us who have been paying attention this comes as no surprise.  Obama told the SF Chronicle in 2008, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”  No one listened or apparently cared because we were operating under intense fear of the economy.  People still are not listening only now it’s because the legislation is too complex.

Furthermore, the EIA reports that “ACESA increases the cost of using energy, which reduces real economic output, reduces purchasing power, and lowers aggregate demand for goods and services. The result is that projected real gross domestic product (GDP) generally falls.”  In other words, if we’re losing jobs now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  It seems this bill reduces pollution not by creating alternatives but rather by raising the price of current energy sources.  The increased prices reduce demand and inhibit production through lower national production.  CHANGE WE NEED?

Destroying Health Care

Next up, Health care.  I’ve written about this scam before and little has changed.  The plan laid out by the house is a single payer system regardless of how many times Obama repeats his blatant lie that it is not.  Again I refer you to page 16 of H.R. 3200.  If you have the brain power and the caffeine I recommend you continue reading.  You’ll find old people being encouraged to forgo life-saving treatment and accept hospice or comfort care.  Presumably to save tax-payers money.

To me the kicker is that all this “crisis” in health care is primarily being marketed as a push to insure 47 million uninsured Americans.  In fact that number includes 10 million illegals and if we weed out the 18 million who don’t want health insurance we’re down to 19 million.  Let’s bump it up to 25 just to give the whiners a break.  There are 320 million Americans.  A quick tap on my calculator tells me all this is to fix health insurance for 7.8% of the population. And we’ll ALL pay higher taxes to pay for it.  While Glibb and Obama deny it, Geithner laid the groundwork with his Sunday test balloon.

I like my insurance.  I pay $200 a month for my family of 5.  When I see my doctor I pay less than $20, slightly more for a specialist.  A hospital visit runs about $100.  Sometimes I pay for tests.  I like it, it’s not perfect but it is darn close.  I know many people pay more and I feel blessed.  Would I like those people to have better?  Sure but I don’t want to pay for it.  Especially when you look at Massachusetts.  Their premiums are 3 times what I pay and their deductible is far higher.  Would I trade my plan so less than 8% of the population gets coverage?  No!  Should Medicare be fixed to provide them coverage?  Yes.

Dissidents Beware

Rasmussen did a poll of MA residents asking if they liked their state-run health plan.  26% liked it and only 10% think health care got better.  New York Times liberal editorialist, Paul Krugman, called the poll a lie.  He offered no counter polling data just condemned the data because he didn’t like it.  Some of his readers called outright for thought police.  Liberals are getting scarier everyday!

The President is far scarier.  First the administration paints those of us who want to keep our health care as mere puppets or worse employees of the insurance companies.  Our opposition is called “manufactured” so people on the fence won’t take us seriously.  He repeats the lie that you can keep the plans you have.  However, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), freely admits that “single-payer” is the goal of the legislation.  When he says, “it could lead to single-payer and that is the best way to reach single-payer,” he says that knowing that under page 16 it is only a matter of time before private insurance dries up.

Back to Obama…  In a move that brings forth images of the Soviet Union and the KGB, a posting on the official White House Blog, call for supporters to report e-mails and websites that are negative towards his health care bill.  I expect there is a Czar somewhere ordering my blog be tracked and soon there will be a midnight pounding on my door.  I suppose rendition could be in my future.  If I ever doubted Obama was a classic socialist, he has removed all my doubts since January.

A Foreshadowing of Clunkers to Come

ClunkerFinally, for those of you who are so desperate for change that you fantasize about a wonderful state-run health care plan that cost you nothing or less than you pay now, I direct you to Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program.  This is a simple program not a bloated complex scheme like Health Care or Cap & Trade.   The idea simple, the government pays for you to trade in the gas-guzzler and buy a nice new car.  In theory the environment gets a bumps as well as the economy.

It’s not working out that way, folks.  Turns out the environmental impact is nill.  Aside from that the government can’t administer the program.  Naturally there is a huge demand for the program.  let’s face it – free money and a new car is pretty dang appealing.  So a program that was promised to only cost $1 billion dollars has to be “bailed out” with $2 billion more. To make matters worse, dealers aren’t getting their money from the government.  In Atlanta mega-dealer, Jim Ellis, is no longer offering the deal to its customers.

So when the President tells you his health care will only cost “$50 and $65 billion a year when fully phased in,” don’t believe him.  At a minimum triple the number.  In 1966 the government estimated Medicare would cost only $12 billion by 1990, (adjusted for inflation.)  When 1990 arrived Medicare cost $107 billion.  With such a track record who in their right mind would ever believe a President when they tell you how much something will cost them.  Furthermore, hearkening back to “common sense,” how can a national health care system that covers all 320 million of us cost less than Medicare that only covers a portion of the population.  I believe it’s because he’s telling us how much more it will cost than it will charge for premiums.

READ THE BILLS!

I’m closing with this.  Before Congress votes on this or any plan they need to not only read it but have their attorneys read it and explain it to them.  Unfortunately there is no law requiring them to do so but there should be.  Listen to Representative John Conyers (D-MI) scoff at those who would demand they read the bills.

It’s true they don’t have the time, but that fact must change.  We should put the brakes on Congress and allow them time to shut up and read the darn bills they are so passionately supporting or opposing.  Maybe if they read the bills there actually might be bipartisanship since they would start voting on what is right and not simply how their ignorant party leadership is telling them to vote.  And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Sotomayor: It’s not what I believe…

Today Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) questioned Judge Sonia Sotomayor about the 2nd Amendment.  She defended her stance on the Second Amendment saying “it applies to Federal Government regulation.”  She went on to say that in Maloney the question was, “was that right incorporated against the states?”    She then claimed that in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court had said, “it’s not.  So it’s not fundamental in that legal doctrine sense.  That was the court’s holding.”  I think she thought she could pull that one over on us, but Coburn was versed on the case and he didn’t let her get away with it.  He asked, “Did the Supreme Court say that it definitely was not or did they just fail to rule on it?”  Sotomayor began to back pedal and Coburn pointed out that “there’s a very big difference there.”  In fact, Heller, held that local laws cannot violate the Second Amendment, only regulate for the purposes of public safety.

The United States Constitution is the Supreme law of the land.  It trumps all Federal, State, and local laws.  It even trumps foreign treaties and Presidential executive orders.  The Supreme Court can find any of these unconstitutional if they infringe on the rights of the people or anything covered in the Constitution.  So why does Sotomayor argue that any right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution might not be incorporated against the states?  Obviously she opposes gun ownership.  If the High Court were to find or create a loophole such as deciding the Second Amendment does not protect citizens from State laws the amendment would effectively be rendered null and void.

Coburn pressed her on this issue asking, “What we have today, as the law of the land, as you see it, is I do not have a fundamental incorporated right to bear arms?”  She attempted to deflect the questions by responding, “It’s not how I see the law…”  Coburn underlined the question to counter her deflection, “As you see the interpretation of the law today, in your opinion of what the law is today, is my statement a correct statement?”  She did not want to answer this question.  It was a straight-forward question, an important question, a critical question.  But no, she deflected, “No, it’s not my interpretation, I was applying both Supreme Court precedent in deciding that question and Second Circuit precedent that had directly answered that question and said it’s not incorporated. The issue of whether or not it should be, is a different question and that is the question that the Supreme Court may take up?”

And that is precisely why Judge Sotomayor must answer the question.  We should not have a Supreme Court Justice who does not fully respect the supremacy of the Constitution.  But Sotomayor keeps trying to put her decisions off on others even at the expense of warping SCOTUS rulings as she did in insinuating that Heller maintained the right to bear arms is not incorporated against the states.  A Supreme Court Justice decides how the Constitution is applied.  They do so from precedence as well as their own interpretation of what the Constitution says.  Many times they agree with precedence but they are not bound to precedence.  Often the Court has overturned previous Supreme Court rulings, as Sotomayor has pointed out in these proceedings.

So when Sotomayor says, “It’s not what I believe, it’s what the law has said about it” she is evading the question.  It is indeed what you believe since you will have a voice in deciding and influencing other members of the Supreme Court.  Senator Coburn then repeated the question yet again.  This time, as one might ask a child, spelling out the question, “I claim to have a fundamental guaranteed spelled out right, under the Constitution, that as an individual and applies to me the right to own and bear arms.  Am I right or am I wrong?”  Her response astounded me.  People should demand Democrats take a second look at this nominee.  Exasperated she replied, “I can’t answer the question of incorporation, other than to refer to precedent.  Precedence says, as the Second Circuit interpreted the Supreme Court’s precedent, that it’s not incorporated.”  In this answer, she answers in such a way that the press will gloss over it in an uncritical manner.

Heller, as I, a layman, read it never offers any precedence saying the Second Amendment does not apply to state law.  In fact, Heller appears to me to support gun ownership while allowing for limitations that protect the public safety.  Senator Coburn wonderfully countered Sotomayor’s obfuscation when he said, “In the Constitution, we have the right to bear arms.  Whether it’s incorporated or not it’s stated there.  I’m having trouble understanding how we got to the point where the right to privacy, which is not explicitly spelled out but is spelled out to some degree in the Fourth Amendment, which has set aloft and is fixed and something such as the Second Amendment which is spelled out in the Constitution and is not settled law and settled fixed.”

Democrats can call Sotomayor moderate but I call her position dangerous.  For me, this is the heart of what qualifies one to sit on the Court; how highly do you value the words, as they are written, in the Constitution?  When you, as a judge, start deciding in your mind or in your judgments that a part of the Constitution, with which you disagree, isn’t valid on any level, you are an activist judge.  The Constitution is fixed (unless amended) and it is the supreme law of the land.  There should be no debate on this.  Senator Coburn asked a simple and valid question and 20 minutes later he was still struggling to get Sotomayor to answer it straight.  However, she answered it in her Second Circuit ruling and she answered it wrong.

Senator Coburn landed a solid hit on Sotomayor and I fully expect him to be personally attacked by the left and naturally the press.  Even as I wrote those words, I saw an AP story pop up entitled, Senator Ricky Ricardo? Coburn evokes Lucy show.  When I heard him make the reference, I got it, but thought in light of the scenario it was funny and innocent.  Now I expect it will be the basis of a concerted effort to distract ordinary Americans – who value the Second Amendment – from the issue.

Should we trust those who can’t read to lead?

US Health OverhaulWho would buy a car without reading the sales contract?  Who would sign a business parnership without reading the contract and discussing the details with an attorney?  Simple, anyone in our federal government, from Representatives to Senators to the President.  So far this year the House and Senate have voted before ever read a word of the bills they so passionately supported or opposed.  Pelosi and Reid seem proud of this fact.  The Cap and Trade Bill our incompetent House recently passed was 1,500 pages long and had 300 pages of additions and alterations emailed to Representatives hours before being required to vote on the bill.

pelosi-fistWhy would they do this?  Simple, the leadership does not want the bills read for fear of informed opposition.  How can you argue against something you never read?  Apparently it’s easy to argue for things you’ve never read.  You just make it up.  President Obama did just this when he argued what the Health Bill did and did not do in his Wisconsin townhall rally.  The bill had not even been written yet he was telling us what it would and would not do.  Even during his ABC television infomercial he had not read the legislation and was speaking based on what he’d been told.

Currently there is a Bill destined to die in a hostile and apparently illiterate House of Representatives, entitled Read the Bills Act.  The Act would require:

  • Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
  • Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
  • Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.
  • Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.
  • Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.
  • Congress cannot waive these requirements.

CNS recently asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) about this legislation and he laughed at it.  He considers reading legislation impractical and unnecessary.  He told CNS, “If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes.”  I cannot think of a better proposition.  This would slow down a Congress clearly out of control.  Overall lawmakers think the idea of reading legislation before voting comical.  It’s not just Rep. Hoyer, some Democrats in the House mockingly hired a speed reader to read aloud another bill.  They think something as sensible and logical as knowing what you are voting on is a joke.

Unfortunately, common sense legislation rarely, if ever, succeeds.  Our government appears to be irrevocably dysfunctional.   With idiots controlling both the House and the Senate there is little hope for our Democracy.  The government is controlled by a faceless few who write extremely lengthy legislation to discourage careful consideration.  Then votes are garnered based on catchy phrases, political arm twisting, and partisan loyalties.

Listen, if you are too busy to read a bill then perhaps you should not be an elected representative since clearly you are not doing the job you were elected to do.  If you are not given enough time to read a bill you should be smart enough to smell a rat.  This is not the way to maintain our democracy.  Conspiracy nuts, as I often think of them, have long contended that there was a shadow government running the country.  Whether this proves them correct or not I do not know, but I do know this has been going on for years but seems intensified by conspiring leaders like Pelosi and Reid.  If a conspiracy ever existed now it is more possible than ever.  It is absolutely unconscionable that anyone would vote on a bill that they have not read.  It is even more so that the leadership would not allow ample time for reading and careful consideration and actually demand uninformed voting.

I would encourage anyone reading this blog to call their elected officials and demand they read and vote for the Read the Bills Act.  This is common-sense legislation.  Normally I would argue you don’t need a law to tell you to do something that by nature seems a “no-brainer,” but we have cultivated a government of brainless morons.  The majority of Congress can now honestly claim the title “American Idiot.”

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