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This “executive orders” thing is perhaps the most dangerous thing being done by Obama

February 15, 2014

I’ve heard it said that President Obama has not issued more executive orders than his predecessor as an excuse for the ones he has issued. Playing the numbers game is merely a diversion from the problem – not the number of orders, but what they contain.

Case in point is the recent executive order that pushes back the implementation of Obamacare for a particular group of employers, those who have from 50 to 99 employees. This group is not singled out in the actual law; it is only defined in the order. This piece by Hank Adler in explains the unconstitutionality of the order point by point far better than I can. I invite you to read it.

I cannot believe that the President and/or his staff may be unclear as to the use of executive orders, but I do believe they think the general populace is. How many people really know what an executive order is used for? How many knew about the Supreme Court case referenced in the Adler piece, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer?

There are three reasons why the tar is not being heated and the chickens plucked. First, I think in general people are sick of Washington politics. Second, it looks on its face as if this executive order is “helping small businesses.” It’s not, but only deferring the inevitable. Third, there is this stupid mindset some folks have that “those people in Washington should just stop fighting and get things done!” Obama is playing to that quite often, complaining about Congress’ inability to provide him with the legislation he wants and threatening executive orders to bypass them.

Dear friends, I have always maintained and I always will maintain that the best thing for our people in Washington to do is nothing. With a very few exceptions (all of which are delineated in the Constitution), a national government is not the correct tool to provide solutions. Time and time again it has proven to be expensive, unwieldy, and to tend to produce unexpected outcomes. But I’ve heard so many people say that the two parties should get together to iron out their differences, and get things done.

I figured as long as they were arguing they weren’t messing with us any more…but this activist President sees that as an opening to make law himself, and for reasons that absolutely defy explanation, even by the standards of Washington, no one is opposing him. This is far more dangerous than the meddling done by Congress – I think Obama views the Congress as a diversion for the American people, pointing the blame at them while running the country by fiat.

And nobody stand up to it. Again, I believe the only way to begin to fix this is by voting every incumbent out of office. I wish Mark Levin’s plan was workable, but I don’t know how to implement it in the short term. I don’t see Congress, the executive branch, or the Supreme Court doing anything to check the progress of this juggernaut.

“Who Is John Galt?” Asked. Answered.

January 25, 2014

On my other blog I report what I’ve read about the casting for Part III of the “Atlas Shrugged” film series. Each film has had a different cast, and mostly, I don’t prefer this one. The film is going to be out just before the November 2014 elections.

OK, we don’t like what’s happening around us! But, what can we do?

January 10, 2014

Here’s a piece I found on civil disobedience and how we can fight back as the government tries to roll over us. Food for thought, citizens.

This is not a “representative democracy”

November 19, 2013

A recent discussion on Facebook (of course) led me to try to explain what the Framers intended our Congress to be. It’s really pretty simple – but it was not a direct “representative democracy,” for a few reasons.

First, Senators were to be selected by the state legislatures. This tied the states to the Federal government much more strongly than they are today. The passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 changed this. A major component of the  reasoning was that there was too much corruption in the election process and that direct election would make this less likely.

Senators were intended to be more of an American aristocracy. The Federalists were certainly not against such a class, but they though it would be beneficial because those men would be less prone to manipulation and more willing to look to the good of the country first. The aristocracy part they got right, but it was not the Framers’ plan that they become a permanent political class.

Second, the Federalists wanted to protect the rights of the minority. They knew that pure democracy was just as dangerous as monarchy – in a pure democracy the majority will always overrun the minority. The Anti-Federalists pushed the Federalists even harder for the protection of the minority, and the result was, among other things, the Bill of Rights.

Parts of the Constitution have been interpreted in ways never intended by the Framers. For example, I don’t think any of the Framers could have imagined how the Commerce Clause has been used to infiltrate every transaction make in the US. They purposely left the Federal government at the mercy of the states to provide funding; the Sixteenth Amendment (1913) established a Federal income tax and from that moment on there was no turning back. Activist government needed money, and there were no checks on the taxing power.

So on the one hand, we have lost a representative body that would have perhaps provided a little sanity in the legislative process. On the other hand, we have gained an enormous bureaucracy supported by our tax dollars, by taking our property without our consent.

But we elect our leaders, do we not? Yes and no. Gerrymandering has made it nearly impossible to flip many of the seats in the House of Representatives, making it a game of inches in that body in most elections. State populations have grown so large that a senator needs huge amounts of money to run, and that means large donors, and today, PACs. That makes senators beholden far too much to interests other than the people of the state, or even their party.

Incidentally, the Federalist/Anti-Federalist arguments begat the first political parties in the new government, before it was even born. The Federalists held power until Jefferson was elected, and by then the two-party system was already pretty well-established. However, a two-party system was not an intention of the Framers, but a by-product of the dynamic of political thought.

The second decade of the 20th century is very interesting, by the way – in many ways it was very much like today. “Progressives” advocated populist ideas in all possible arenas, from women’s suffrage (19th Amendment, 1920) to environmentalism (see Teddy Roosevelt) to socialism (See Eugene V. Debs, et. al.) Many of the same arguments were used then as now.

I’m not being as clear here as I would like to be. Some of these distinctions  – and their historical bases – take far more explanation than I have given here. I suggest two sources for those who would like to know more:

First, Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments. Not only does he talk about the Framers’ intentions, but he has concrete suggestions on how to get closer to their intentions.

Second, Joseph Kobylka’s course, Cycles of American Political Thought, part of the Great Courses series. This is a very enlightening series and I highly recommend it. It takes some time to get through, but the instructor does an excellent job of making the material engaging. I have the digital audio version.

Well, this is something I would never expect.

October 17, 2013

Did you know that the United States is the largest producer of oil? You would think that would be trumpeted from the rooftops. The reason, of course, is shale oil. And fracking.

No, silly, not frakking. Get your mind out of the gutter.

But the Media Hulk says, ‘fracking bad.” So it must be bad, right? This piece from, of all places, Scientific American, says we will be the world’s largest oil producer in about 2020. Well, that was off by a little bit.

The rest of the piece is the usual global warming bull hockey, except for bringing out the increased production of natural gas as well. This is a very good thing, because the Current Occupant of the White House has said, repeatedly, that he is going to kill off the coal-fired power plants in the US.

But the Scientific American article referenced above also says that US coal producers are selling coal like crazy to China and India. If anybody ought to be nailed for air pollution from industry, it’s China. (But they are now trying to fix that, apparently.)

The reason I’m bringing this up is because this should have a profound effect on public policy. This growth is occurring even with the crushing regulations of the Federal Government. What would things be like if regulations were eased, even a little? We could become totally energy self-sufficient in a very few years! The economy could take a huge jump – industry, exports, the stock market (just from an improved long-term outlook alone).

And this growth wouldn’t even involve any blue-sky advances in technology, either. Or relaxing the regulations on nuclear plants, although I think it would be a good idea. I don’t know if nuclear is as economically viable in a time of cheap natural gas, but new designs of nuclear power plants are far safer and less expensive than the aging ones we now have.

But then, it could go the other way, of course:



What is this from, you ask? Glad you asked that. This is Dagny Taggart, watching the oil fields of Colorado burning. Ellis Wyatt set fire to them just before vanishing into thin air. He was protesting the latest round of oppressive legislation of the Federal Government.

If President Obama would like to be remembered for doing something of lasting benefit for the people of the US, he should focus on encouraging those industries. But he won’t, of course. We’ll have to do it without him, or in spite of him.

Well, that bit of positivism was dashed in a hurry. And McConnell.

October 16, 2013

I said yesterday, after the House GOP leadership decided not to take a spending bill to the floor because they knew they didn’t have the support of conservatives, that maybe those conservatives were in the drivers’ seat after all. But today McConnell caved to Harry Reid and gave away the store. Now we know why:

The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) criticized U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Wednesday for allowing a $2 billion Kentucky earmark to be added to the debt deal he negotiated with U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins made the following statement:

“Americans are familiar with the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ that Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was given in exchange for his vote on Obamacare. Well now Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has an Obamacare earmark of his own.

“The McConnell-Reid deal not only funds Obamacare and suspends the debt limit, it also includes a provision in Section 123 that increases funding for the Olmsted Locks and Dam in Kentucky from $775 million to $2.9 billion.”

Yep. Plain old business-as-usual Washington politics. McConnell didn’t need to feel he should be loved by the Democrats in the Senate – they will just consider him weaker now. It can’t be because he felt he was doing the right thing. I think it was just because he wanted this liability the government slowdown was becoming to end, and fast, and if he could get a couple of billion dollars to ship back to the voters of Kentucky, well, that’s icing on the cake.

Yeah, a couple of billion dollars. Not a few million for a bridge to nowhere or something small like that. Why has no one else mentioned this? “Look, my fellow Kentuckians, I brought almost three billion dollars in new jobs to you in one quick stroke of the pen. You know you want to keep electing me over and over, right? No matter how much damage I do to your personal lives and livelihoods, or to the country.”

This is what I’ve said over and over. #1: Term limits for Congress. #2: somehow limit the amount of taxes that the government can extract. Now there’s no seniority and the end of the privileged political class. (Or at least close to it.)

But how do we get this through Congress? They would never deliberately take away their own gravy trains.

We don’t need to. The state legislatures can do it. See Mark Levin’s “The Liberty Amendments.” It can be done, as Ronald Reagan used to say.

And by the way, if you’ve not read it, read Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto.” It put so many things into context for me I still cannot believe it.

Looks like we might be in the driver’s seat, after all. Heh.

October 15, 2013

According to this piece on Fox News, the House Republicans had to cancel a vote today on a new budget bill. Sounds like they lost the support of the “Tea Party members,” whoever they might be. So the conservatives in the House are keeping the squishy ones honest, holding them to their original intentions.

The Senate is another story, since they have a Democratic majority. They could push anything through, of course. Then what? Still have to get something through the House sometime…and the hysteria about the debt ceiling limit is ramping up pretty fast. Two days to go for the deadline, which is of course far less of a problem than they want us to believe it is.