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The Dawn Patrol Susan Freis Falknor on 01 Sep 2013

“Liberty Amendments” Graphic!State Lawmakers Will Be Spearhead

And scroll down to our earlier posts on Mark Levin’s eye-opening road map for our country.

Click on graphic below for full size.

ToonLibertyAmendmnt6-7in

 

Get the details and some perspective – click on these links:

And stay tuned as the “Liberty Amendments” movement develops!

DawnPatrol1930(Picture via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 29 Aug 2013

UPDATED! “Liberty Amendments” Fight Will Revitalize the Grass Roots

UPDATES AUGUST 30! 
  • Rush Limbaugh to Mark Levin (click here): “I want to tell you where your book [THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS] is going to be…it will be in EVERY history book for the life of the country.  It will stand as the single most impactful representation of the opposition to Barack Obama and the leftists of the day. It will be hailed as the loudest, most penetrating and intelligent warning to the American people about what was happening to their country, and what to do about it. I’m not prescient enough to know if history will recount the warning as heard and acted on, or lament that it wasn’t.”
  • Readers who want to get a sense of the current national outrage of the base are invited to read RedState chief Erick Erickson’s “This is ‘Read My Lips’ All Over Again” (click here) – -“Last night, Heritage Action for America had another town hall on its Defund It tour. The fire marshal at their location had to keep the growing crowd at bay. This was not the first time that has happened this past month. All over the country, long lines have appeared at these events. Heritage Action has gotten bigger rooms for the events and still the crowds have filled the town halls. At first, Republicans in Washington claimed it was just the star attraction of Ted Cruz drawing people to the Heritage Action events. But the crowds have gotten bigger and bigger even without Ted Cruz there. . . . In Texas, tea party activists have had town hall meetings with a cardboard cutout of Congressman Pete Sessions, who has refused to meet with his constituents, given his strong opposition to defunding Obamacare.  The trend is growing, with other tea party groups doing the same — putting cardboard cutouts of their congressmen on a stage with a full house to berate the absent congressmen. . . . An hour after ForAmerica urged people to call Eric Cantor’s office, more than 1,000 people did. In one hour.And for the longer haul, putting the “Liberty Amendments” into our conservative conversation can be a unifying move as well as a learning opportunity for Republican delegates and state senators.

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“Liberty Amendments” Fight Will Revitalize the Grass Roots

 

On Tuesday Phyllis Schlafly declared (click here) that conservative authors (such as Mark Levin and his “Liberty Amendments”) “are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a ‘convention of states.'”

But constitutional scholar Rob Natelson in his “The Myth of a Runaway Amendments Convention” (American Thinker) explained (click here)–

“Phyllis Schlafly is a great American and a great leader, but her speculations about the nature of the Constitution’s ‘convention for proposing amendments’ are nearly as quaint as Dante’s speculations about the solar system. Those speculations simply overlook the last two decades of research into the background and subsequent history of the Constitution’s amendment process. They also ignore how that process actually has worked, and how the courts elucidate it.”

But let’s look at the larger, immediately pressing crisis:  the thrust of Levin’s argument is that we must engage delegates and state senators in a national effort to restore the Constitution. Levin gives us a place to start and maps out a path forward — using, as author Levin points out, the amendment path incorporated by the framers into the Constitution itself.

This effort will gather thoughtful Democrats and independents to our cause.

It will also throw in sharp relief the constitutional failures of recent Congresses as well as the expanding peril of the Administrative State.

By the time national popular support for constitutional restoration has grown sufficiently for a convention to be called to consider a specific agenda, the Congress will have little choice but to respond.  A future Congress itself might even send to the states for possible ratification one or two of the Liberty Amendments — no doubt cherry-picking the most popular and least threatening to that branch’s overreach.

We have already entered a post-constitutional time.

Whatever supposed dangers may attend Levin’s course of action are trivial compared to any more inaction to fix a Congress and a House GOP Leadership that is shamelessly Constitution-indifferent.

To declare that the Boehner-Cantor circle is supine in using the power of the purse to protect our liberties is to view them in the most charitable way.

More realistically, this Congressional cabal is likely guided by major donors (click here) and apparently believes they can have “understandings” with a president whose revolutionary politics they simply cannot grasp.

They believe “governing ” is about making “deals,” and seem to agree with senator John McCain that constitutional “niceties” and principled legislating are the concerns of “wacko birds.”

Virginia conservatives are in a strong position to rein in Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and to discourage Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte — whose panel handles immigration matters — from following the GOP Leadership on their devious path to amnesty.

Yet what Maryland or Virginia GOP elected officials or Party leaders are speaking up on the constitutional and policy abdication of the House GOP Leadership?

And Maryland Representative Andy Harris, this year appointed (click here) by this GOP Leadership to the House Appropriations panel, has just sponsored a Maryland fundraiser for the Speaker (click here).

Moreover this House GOP Leadership simply doesn’t see their job as expanding the circle of liberty.

Only Representative Frank Wolf — in fighting for a select committee on Benghazi — stands up to the Boehner Machine. Yet most Virginia Republican politicians don’t “get” even the national importance of revealing all the facts on what happened nearly a year ago next September 11. If they did, they might loudly talk up Wolf’s select committee proposal.

Making The Liberty Amendments part of the conservative conversation is already energizing our brothers and sisters badly demoralized by the GOP Leadership’s betrayal of the November 2, 2010 Tea Party-enabled House victory. 

And highlighting, then explicating, each of The Liberty Amendments enables the grass roots to see precisely where the Congress and the Court and the Administrative State have gone awry.  Levin’s well-crafted recommended amendments can serve as a unifying and positive program.

That is where our immediate efforts should focus — on explaining each proposed amendment and encouraging state lawmakers to make them part of their public back and forth.

We should not let the runaway-amendments-convention fear freeze us in place.

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(For more detail, readers may wish to revisit our August 16 post Restoring Our Republic: Quiz GOP Politicians on ‘Liberty Amendments’)

DawnPatrol1930(Picture via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 16 Aug 2013

UPDATED! Restoring Our Republic: Quiz GOP Politicians on ‘Liberty Amendments’

UPDATES
  • VIDEO “Hannity, Levin on ‘Liberty Amendments’: What Is the Second, Unused Method to Amend the Constitution?” (Click here for video via Breitbart)
  • “What Has Mark Levin Wrought?” asks James V. Capua in the American Thinker (click here) – “What he delivers…is a vast, potentially game-changing political arsenal that can be drawn upon by everyone from had-it-up-to-here Tea Partiers to Republican candidates at least sentient enough to know they need something more than budget and deficit talk. Want to tell Karl Rove that he and his white board have had their day? Want alternative arguments for attempting to convince wooden-headed Republican campaign contributors that they need to improve their selection standards? Want to find a framework to create a working political alliance between Conservatives and Libertarians for 2014 and 2016? Want a positive agenda to undergird a primary purge of inert Republican officeholders? Hell, want a platform for a broad-based third party of the Right, or just a useful new PAC to divert yet more conservative dollars from the lame RNC?” . . . . “One of the most malignant consequences of Republican betrayal of Tea Party exertions in 2010 has been its effect on conservative citizens’ morale. Nothing is more dispiriting than being played for a sucker. How then to rouse conservatives for the next battle? What about a principled yet tangible agenda that transcends the candidate and facilitates building a winning coalition?” . . . . “The Liberty Amendments offer a vehicle for creating a diverse constitutional restoration coalition, outside of the parties, but without actually attempting to replace one, with a common allegiance over and above policy notions and politicians’ beloved ‘plans’ to help single-parent families with children between the ages of seven and thirteen. Imagine the result — candidates for all levels of office, from local to national, endorsing, to coin a phrase, fundamental transformation, a transformation, moreover, for which the mediumprimarily state and local action — is also the message.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Restoring Our Republic: Quiz GOP Politicians on ‘Liberty Amendments’

“The nation has entered an age of post-constitutional soft tyranny.” – Mark Levin

Mark Levin’s new book  The Liberty Amendments may well spur the conservative movement to begin the restoration of constitutional government in earnest — just as Angelo Codevilla’s 2010 article on the Ruling Class helped everyone on the Right understand what the American polity had turned into.

But most important, Reaganite Levin lays out a roadmap to follow.

John Hayward (Human Events) here and Daniel Horowitz (Madison Project) here give us two fine reviews of Levin’s plan.

We need, however, to get his proposals into our conversation with GOP politicians and into their conversations with each other.

We can think of no more useful means of doing so than supplementing August Recess grass-roots questions about Giant Amnesty and Obamacare by querying GOP incumbents about author Levin’s specific proposals.

And as we prepare to do this by reading (and re-reading) constitutional expert Levin’s plain-words and relatively brief book, we will gain a real understanding of the issues with which the Framers wrestled and why they matter right now as we try to regain our freedoms from the Federal Leviathan.

And let’s include in this probing about the The Liberty Amendments, GOP candidates for Congressional seats, for statewide office, and for delegates and state senators!

After all, what we are really asking is whether the GOP incumbent or candidate seeks – to use Levin’s phrase – to expand the circle of liberty, or just to support political deals blessed by their party leaders for favored donors or organizations: doing what is today Congressional business as usual, but likely on an increasingly leaky ship of state.

Levin declares —

“Today Congress operates not as the Framers intended, but in the shadows, where it dreams up its most notorious and oppressive laws, coming into the light only to trumpet the genius and earnestness of its goings-on and to enable members to cast their votes.”

Talk-show host Levin points us to George Will’s Washington Post column here of Wednesday: “Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s.”

Will the Speaker dash back to Washington, D. C. to address this unlawful practice of rewriting laws when the president finds it convenient — which Mr. Obama himself described at his August 9 press conference?  How would House GOP members in our region — Andy Harris and Eric Cantor and Bob Goodlatte, just to pick three — move to cure this severe wound to our body politic? 

If GOP politicians won’t discuss the The Liberty Amendments in these grave times, they may be good Republicans by Beltway standards — but they are no friends of conservatives.

DawnPatrol1930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Picture via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 05 Aug 2013

UPDATED! Will Virginia’s Next AG Address SWAT Rules & Police Militarization?

UPDATES – –

  • AUGUST 8! Alfred Regnery explains (Breitbart) in “The Trivialization of SWAT” — “A couple of things going on in America are dramatically increasing the possibility of violence in these situations, which in the process undermines public support for legitimate law-enforcement tools. The first is the use of SWAT teams to serve search warrants on nonviolent offenders, enforce evictions, and otherwise get involved in cases where the use of force is unlikely to be necessary. The second is the growing use of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics by government agencies that have no business employing such methods. As mentioned, these include the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the National Fish and Wild Life Service, the National Park Service, and, perhaps the worst of all, the hated Internal Revenue Service. The last thing this country needs is gun-toting government bureaucrats with battering rams as they carry out a liberal agenda. Not only is this level of force entirely inappropriate for such government agencies in a free society, but it is almost certain to empower untrained amateurs to make huge mistakes with deadly consequences.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
  • AUGUST 6! Our goal in publishing this and closely related accounts (click here and scroll to bottom) is that the next Attorney General of Virginia — not just through developing statewide standards but through his own ‘bully pulpit’ – will make rogue or abusive or overreaching or simply grossly incompetent policing a rarity in the Old Dominion. Whether today’s serious police missteps result from inept leadership, or worse, a leadership without respect for ordinary citizens – much like what scholars have described as the attitude of today’s “Ruling Class” – these missteps are not limited to Virginia or Maryland. There is a growing awareness of them nationally. World Net Daily’s (WND) Chelsea Schilling, for example, asks (click here) “Why did cops kill this 95-year-old in walker? World War II hero Tasered, shot in stomach.” AG candidate Mark Obenshain, ironically, proposes an extensive roadmap (click here) to “Prevent and Prosecute Elder Abuse in Virginia.” Perhaps Obenshain’s plan needs an addendum to protect the elderly from police who believe they are a law unto themselves?

* * * * * * * * * *

Will Virginia’s Next AG Address SWAT Rules & Police Militarization?

Last Friday according to the Washington Post’s Laura Vozzella in her “Virginia candidates woo prosecutors” (click here)–

“All four candidates for Virginia governor and attorney general made a rare joint appearance Friday at a prosecutors’ convention, each making the case that he would do more to boost law enforcement than his opponent.”

Lamentably, as it seems from the Post story, neither of the Attorney General candidates talked about how to curb what Radley Balko as early as 2006 termed “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America.” (Click here.)

In our post of July 9, “Rogue Policing: Conservatives Must Put Ordered Liberty First” (click here), we pointed out that –

“The security of one’s family and property against misuse of state power must always be a central conservative concern.”

We declared–

“We don’t expect big-government zealots nor public-employee unions representing police officers to worry much about our traditional freedoms. But those politicians who sail under the conservative flag should be held accountable if they turn their back on such apparently growing practices.”

Most Recent Case in Point: VA ABC Enforcement Out of Control?

K. Burnell Evans (Daily Progress) reported last Friday “ABC official calls Charlottesville incident ’embarrassing’” (click here) –

“State Alcoholic Beverage Control agents erred in their arrest of a University of Virginia student wrongly suspected of buying beer while underage, an agency commissioner said Friday.” . . . . “It was the first public acknowledgement by ABC of errors in agents’ actions in the April 11 arrest of Elizabeth Daly, 20, who spent a night and an afternoon in jail after six plainclothes agents confronted her and two sorority roommates in the Barracks Road Shopping Center parking lot. The women were carrying sparkling water that the agents mistook for beer. One of the agents pulled a gun.”

Reporter Evans had earlier exposed (click here) the pork-lubricated mission creep of this state agency in her “ABC’s $750K mobile command unit loaded with extras”–

“The mighty machine stretches 45 feet, weighs 44,600 pounds and is equipped with more than $300,000 in extras. At Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, the vehicle is known as a ‘game changer,’ the terms an ABC official used to describe the mobile command unit unveiled at a May news conference in Richmond. Purchased with federal forfeiture money, the vehicle was designed for ‘large-scale events where alcohol enforcements are routine,’ according to ABC, the Prohibition-era state agency responsible for, among other things, policing moonshiners and underage alcohol sales.”

In another case (click here) in which Virginia police played a part, according to the Rutherford Institute

“Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was forcibly taken from his home on August 16, 2012, by FBI agents and police in Chesterfield County, Va. and placed in a psychiatric ward against his will. His crime? Posting personal political views and song lyrics to his Facebook page.” . . . . “Fortunately, in an unexpected ruling handed down on August 23 by Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, the government’s case against Brandon Raub was dismissed on the grounds that the petition for Raub’s detainment ‘is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.’  While The Rutherford Institute was able to help Raub win his freedom, we must ask ourselves why this happened in the first place.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

We learn that state senator (and GOP Attorney General nominee) Mark Obenshain told his audience last Friday–

“I want you to know that my door will always be open to the prosecutors and Commonwealth’s attorneys across the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Is falling back on nostrums like this the best he can do? We had asked last July 9–

 “Will Virginia GOP Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain tell conservative and other freedom-oriented voters about his plans to address these concerns as they touch Virginians before the November 5, 2013 election in the Old Dominion?”DawnPatrol1930

Click here to read our entire July 9 post. Note the conservatives weighing in not only on overcriminalization but also on rogue police activity.

Virginians deserve better: rational guidelines on SWAT use; a check on police militarization; and perhaps auditing Virginia overcriminalization in view of the now-well-established record of Federal overcriminalization.

Keeping our freedom is much too important to be left to the “professionals.”

 

 

(Picture via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 07 Jun 2013

Bill Bolling’s Picks: How Many Statists In The GOP Living Room?

UPDATES JUNE 12!
  • “In decisive fashion, LaRock ousts May in GOP primary” declares LoudonTimes.com’s Trevor Baratko here. “Dave LaRock established his political reputation around this time last year as he lobbied tirelessly for the local Board of Supervisors to opt out of the multi-billion dollar Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. It was all about taxes then, and it still is.”
  • The Winchester Star reports here “Republican primary voters have denied Del. Beverly Sherwood an 11th term in office.”
 

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Bill Bolling’s Picks: How Many Statists In The GOP Living Room?

“The choice for the Republican Party is whether to invest more in the 2010 strategy of this populist strain, to refine it and connect more policy proposals to it … or to embark on an effort to restore the party’s standing as the adult in the room – the competent, clean cut, good-government technocracy that sees the chief appeal of Republican politicians as combining agencies and seeking out efficiencies rather than rolling back government power and draining bureaucratic swamps. The GOP swung back to this technocratic approach on a national scale in 2012, and let’s just say the electoral results left much to be desired.” (Highlighting Forum’s)Ben Domenech

Virginia lieutenant governor Bill Bolling apparently aspires to a new role in the Old Dominion through his Virginia Mainstream Project.

Yesterday he endorsed (click here) long-time incumbent delegates Beverly Sherwood (District 29), Joe May (District 33), and Bobby Orrock (District 54). 

These members, notorious for their support of governor Bob McDonnell’s $6.1 billion tax hike, are facing energetic challenges in next Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Readers may wish to revisit, for more context, our Virginia Tea Partiers, Grass Roots On Trail of 3 Errant GOP Delegates

One senses that the good Mr. Bolling yearns for the era of Bob Dole – a former Republican senator then respected and popular inside the Beltway –whom some crass upstart called “the tax collector for the welfare state.”

Long-time Virginia pol Bolling makes his political approach clear:

“The Virginia Mainstream Project supports candidates who understand what it takes to govern Virginia effectively, candidates who will keep their focus on responsible public policies to control spending, create a pro-business environment in Virginia and find bi-partisan solutions to the most important issues facing our state.  I am pleased to give my support and the support of VMP to these candidates, who have proven throughout their public service careers that you can stand strong for conservative values and work with Republicans and Democrats to actually get things done in Richmond.”

The problem is, all this sounds like crony-capitalism (pro-business, not pro-market) with a big emphasis on deal cutting with the Other Team — a powerful faction committed to transforming not just Washington, D. C., but Virginia and all the states. 

Whatever the Other Team’s many faults, they do have discipline and a vision – however revolutionary. This is why they are dangerous. Does the lieutenant governor believe the Other Team is led by Reagan Democrats?

Mr. Bolling doubtless speaks the same language as Big Virginia – big business, big education, big health industry, big developers, big transportation, big planners —  and other enemies of free markets, universities free of diversity bureaucrats, consumer choice and power, and low regulation.

Big Virginia’s bet apparently is to survive by serial accommodation with the Other Team. The Other Team, however, likely will charge continually higher policy prices.

As for “getting things done in Richmond,” we prefer getting the giant tax hike “undone.”

Big Government  Crashes Into Scandal Around Us,
Yet Bolling Is Still a True Believer

Bill Bolling’s approach does not even have the scent of  a “conservative” program.  With the administrative state at all levels out of control, we doubt that he has given much thought to reining it in. We just don’t see any emphasis on freedom, but a great deal of weight given to the priorities of the Richmond Political Class.

Which is why he supports Beverly Sherwood, Joe May, and Bobby Orrock.

And why Virginia conservatives should support challengers Dr. Mark Berg, Dave LaRock, and Dustin Curtis.

DawnPatrol1930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 01 Jun 2013

VA Tea Partiers, Grass Roots On Trail of 3 Errant GOP Delegates

The typical Tea Partier, in our experience, believes in right-sizing government: not just in Washington, D.C. but on the state and local levels, and, particularly in Virginia, in its mega-counties like Fairfax or Loudoun.

More often than the “official” Tea Party organizations (sometimes co-opted by the GOP Establishment, or guided by very large donors with very narrow vision) want to concede, Tea Partiers and allied grass-roots conservatives are also often strong adherents of traditional values (pro-life and pro-curriculum reform).

Many other Tea Partiers are concerned  about homeland defense (especially those in Virginia about the peril of militant Islam), immigration enforcement (opposed to the Schumer-Rubio-Paul Ryan amnesty), and are strong defenders of the Second Amendment.

Almost all Tea Partiers put a high value — as an action item — on preserving our freedom.

The economically vigilant are wary of being “business friendly” (aka “crony capitalist”) as opposed to advancing market friendly policies.

Jim Pethokoukis explains the difference:

“Yet while a pro-business agenda may intersect at points with a pro-market one, they are not the same thing. Pro-market public policies make markets function fairer and more efficiently for everyone. They encourage competition and ‘creative destruction’ and entrepreneurial capitalism. Pro-business policies often shift taxpayer money and other government goodies to favored companies, raise barriers to entry and otherwise defend the status quo. . . . It’s clear the 11,000 registered lobbyists working in Washington aren’t all there to foster competition and boost market forces. Their job is to gain an edge for specific corporate paymasters.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

A Breaking Point? The Giant Virginia Republican Tax Hike

Delegate Joe May, a long-serving Virginia state legislator and committee chair, is one of apparently only three incumbent GOP delegates (out of  total of 35 Republicans voting yes) facing a  primary challenge June 11 (click here and scroll down) — largely because of their support for governor Bob McDonnell’s historic tax hike of $6.1 billion dollars this February. (Click here for vote.)

Dustin Curtis (challenging incumbent delegate Bobby Orrock because of his votes for the tax hike and enabling Medicaid expansion) was chairman of the Fredericksburg Tea Party Patriots. Curtis reports raising $30,000 from 70 donors.

Mark Berg in the Winchester area is challenging GOP incumbent Beverly Sherwood Dr. Berg is a member of the Apple Valley Tea Party, and the Lynchburg Tea Party is helping the candidate with volunteers.

As we declared at the time the transportation bill was approved — 

$6.1 Billion VA Tax Hike? Kudos To Governor Mitt R. McDonnell

Said the Wall Street Journal editorial pages —

A Cavalier Fiasco: Virginia Republicans try to elect the next Democratic Governor.

noting that . . .

“The big winners are unions, real estate developers and the transit lobby.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

“LoudounOptOut”: David LaRock Emerges as Grass-Roots Leader

Veteran delegate Joe May’s challenger, Dave LaRock, mobilized grass-roots opposition to the extension of the Silver Line (Metrorail to Loudoun) through his LoudounOptOut website (click here).

At the time, we asked “Metrorail: Is Loudoun Losing Control of Its Future?” (see whirlpool graphic below, and click here for story.

old-sow-whirlpool-300x200

Businessman LaRock was almost successful — but for Loudoun County supervisor Ken Reid’s last minute defection to big-government voices (click here) in the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).

Long-time transportation expert Peter Samuel summed up the situation (click here) in his “Rail in medians of Dulles Toll Road & Greenway wins 5/4 in Loudoun Co as leading opponent flips” –

“Contrary to the view that the Silver train line will bring great development to Loudoun County is that it will be so slow and inconvenient with trip-end mode changes, and stopping every ‘station’  – compared to the near door-to-door cars, vans or buses – that it will attract little patronage and little development. And in this view the tax and toll burdens of supporting the loans needed to pay for the $5.6b Line and the train’s operating losses will make it a serious net detriment to the corridor. New sensing and control technologies heavily favor flexible and customized rubber-tired modes (cars, vans, buses etc) over trains on 19th century steel rails with their old ‘switches’ and ‘stations.’ Road-based vehicles provide the more personalized door to door modes, offering a range of price/service options, versus the train’s one service, no options. The Google car and other self-driving vehicles offer the prospect of major improvements in the convenience, efficiency and safety of road travel, while there are no similar scenarios for improvement in mass transit.”

Mr. LaRock was, in short, a paladin for the freedom of Loudoun County families from the likely endless demands of a voracious metropolitan transit establishment.

Here and here, respectively, are the latest reports on the campaign funds that incumbent May and challenger LaRock have raised, and the individual donors behind these totals.

Can This Party Be Saved?

So why, for example, is a Virginia Republican primary contest encompassing parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties of wider interest?

Certainly Loudoun County, one of the most affluent in America, is a northern Virginia political bellwether.

The LaRock challenge to incumbent delegate May, as we noted, is one of three primaries mounted against GOP delegates largely because the three incumbents supported the historic McDonnell tax hike and eased Medicaid expansion.

But these contests may be harbingers of larger conflicts within the RPV, paralleling the current national struggle for the soul of the GOP.

On the national level, the question is: Can the Beltway GOP continue to make political orphans of the voters who brought the House of Representatives to Republican hands on November 2, 2010, or will the Ted Cruz Reformation bring the national GOP to a smaller government, pro-freedom posture?

In the meantime, Virginia conservatives might wish to point out to any low-information Republican friends —

  • The Republican Party of Virginia(RPV) managed to chill dissent over the tax hike (only lieutenant-governor GOP primary candidate Susan Stimpson ignored the RPV‘s ‘crime-think’ code to denounce the malefactors by name)But across the spectrum of national conservative-libertarian writers, many were volubly dismayed by the governor’s foolishness.
  • As for the effect of the governor’s giant tax hike on family budgets, consider that effective July 1, northern Virginians will pay an additional levy of $750 to the Commonwealth when, for example, they sell a house valued at $500,000. Of course, when the property has a higher value, their additional levy above current rates will be even more. (Click here and scroll to bottom to “Regional Congestion Relief Fee.”)

 Stay tuned!

DawnPatrol1930

(Via Wikipaedia)

 

 

 

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 18 May 2013

The Whole Story? Andy Harris & The Weekly Republican Address

UPDATE AFTER PRESS TIME! Andy Harris (click here) says “This has been a great week to be a Republican”. You may be the expert on that, Dr. Harris, but it has not been a good week for America: the IRS and the Department of Justice running wild and for some time, the House struggling to get a handle on the Benghazi disaster after eight months, the Pentagon at war with Christians in our military, and now the Obama Administration trying to shut down free speech in our universities.  Too bad Republicans do not control the House of Representatives with its power of the purse and investigative tools.  Then the GOP surely could have stopped or exposed much of this, and shown the president to be the anti-constitutional zealot he is.

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House Speaker John Boehner chose Maryland’s sole Republican Representative, Andy Harris, to give the Weekly Republican Address released this Saturday morning, May 18 (click here for entire text and audio).

Dr. Harris said, in part–

“This week marked the third time in three years that the people’s House has listened to the people and voted for full repeal of the health care law.  Now it’s time for the Senate to listen to the people as well.”

Dr. Harris doubtless is a dedicated legislator. Here you can see him questioning Attorney General Eric Holder.

But did Dr. Harris’ prepared text this morning have to pass muster with the Speaker’s staff? In short, is it simply the House GOP Leadership’s party line?

No Time for Beltway Doublethink  in Our Present Peril

We are in a national crisis where our liberties as well as our pocketbooks  are gravely threatened. 

This is not only because of the revolutionary drive of president Barack Obama and his mind-meld network in and out of government. 

It is also because the Beltway GOP — and the House GOP Leadership in particular — neither recognize Mr. Obama’s ‘transformational’ challenge for what it is, nor understand how to cope with it. Nor do they have a demonstrable commitment to right-sizing government, to expanding the circle of liberty, and to preserving our culture.

Among conservatives from distinguished talk radio voices to ordinary citizens in Tea Parties across the nation, these truths – sadly– are now commonplace.

As Mark Levin revealed (12:16 in video) to Sean Hannity, The Landmark Legal Foundation brought the current IRS scandal to the Congress last year — but instead was only able to induce the crucial Treasury Department IG to investigate. 

Former Reagan Justice Department official Levin wonders why House committee chairman didn’t start calling witnesses before the election. He speaks of Congress’ “passivity and timidity.” They were relatively “dismissive.” At that time, he recalls,  Congress only “fired off” a few letters of inquiry  and asked a few questions.  

Was there an enemies list, asked Hannity? “There was an enemies list, but it only had one enemy on it: conservatives and specifically the Tea Party,” replied Levin.

We wonder what members of the House and Senate (of either party) were egging the IRS on against this ‘enemy’.

Obviously Fortitude Is Not the House GOP Leadership’s Strong Point.

Bear in mind that from the time Republicans took back the House in 2011, the Leadership’s mantras have been “we won’t shut down the government” and “we are only one-half of one-third of the government.” 

Constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy addressed these timid arguments here:

“In weaving their story that Obama alone is the catalyst of our crisis, the Republican establishment counts on the constitutional illiteracy of the electorate. The inescapable fact, however, is that all taxing and spending bills enacted by the federal government must originate in the House. The GOP’s all purpose abdication mantra, ‘We’re only one-half of one-third of the government,’ would be laughable if our straits were not so dire. When was the last time you heard the left-leaning bloc of Supreme Court justices say, “We can’t impose our policy preferences on the country. After all, we’re only one-half of one-third of the government”? When was the last time President Obama restrained himself from issuing executive orders conferring, say, privileges on illegal aliens, by explaining that he is only is only one-third of the government (a third, mind you, with zero constitutional authority to confer anything). In constitutional law, the pertinent issue is never what percentage of total power is allocated to a branch. The question is: Which branch is given supremacy over the relevant subject matter. On the subject matter of taxing and spending – including the task of setting the parameters of the government’s authority to borrow and spend – Congress is supreme and the House has pride of place.”  (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Dr. Harris’ official text today suggests the House is doing all it can to get rid of Obamacare:

“This week marked the third time in three years that the people’s House has listened to the people and voted for full repeal of the health care law.  Now it’s time for the Senate to listen to the people as well.  Together, we can fix our healthcare challenges to build a new generation of prosperity and opportunity for ourselves and our children.”

This is not optimism, but dissembling.

Something can and will change — but only when the Speaker decides to play hard-ball with the Obama regime by passing and sticking to a continuing appropriations resolution that contains policy riders to defang Obamacare.

Wanted: An Alternative Harris Report

Perhaps Dr. Harris had to put his name and give voice to the official Boehner position in today’s Weekly Republican Address.

But now he should consider giving his own “independent” report to his many fans across Maryland.

He might address whether Speaker Boehner plans in the next appropriations bill (must-pass legislation)  to–

  • defund or at least defang Obamacare;
  • defund major job-killing EPA regulations;
  • defund HUD and DOT programs enabling “smart growth” in Maryland;
  • defund Federal programs supporting abortion.

Dr. Harris has a big values following in Maryland. 

He should also talk about whether the House Armed Services Committee will seriously probe the Pentagon’s war on Christians (click here).

Yes, he and others have signed a letter (click here and scroll down) protesting what the Pentagon is doing against Christians. But that should be a prelude to pushing for a major committee investigation, not a substitute for doing more.

A Major Assault on Our Free Speech

Dr. Harris has a long affiliation with a Maryland institution of higher learning – the Johns Hopkins University.

He should therefore promptly speak to one of the very recent enormities of the Obama Revolution reported in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal “Feds to Students: You Can’t Say That: The Justice and Education departments issue a dangerous new speech code for colleges” click here.

This Administration is intent on ultimately curtailing speech for everyone. Countering these projects is what we mean by protecting the circle of liberty.

How do we check this move against free speech in higher education?  Cut off Federal money that supports formulating and enforcing speech codes.

But all the talk about protecting life, getting rid of Obamacare, encouraging jobs and stopping stifling regulation, is so much “Professor Luftmensch” — without confronting the Obama Leviathan over appropriations.

Of course, Representative Harris shouldn’t be expected to do it all by himself. Even with the help of other like-minded House members, it will be an uphill push against a GOP Leadership with governmentalism in their DNA and whose Washington, D. C. megaphone is aided by their many political consultants.

But Andy should be frank with us when the House GOP Leadership again decides to flee from a confrontation with the White House. 

And whatever the Leadership’s position, he should try to cut next fiscal year’s money in ways to expand the circle of liberty. 

After all, he is now on the  Appropriations Committee — and thereby a “cardinal” of the House.

DawnPatrol1930

 

(Via Wikipaedia)

 

 

 

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 02 May 2013

UPDATED! Candidate Corey Stewart And The Strange Company He Keeps

UPDATE MAY 2 AFTERNOON! Readers will be anxious to learn what weight the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation gave to “spine” and to membership in the Virginia “Fight Club” in their “high-information” evaluation of statewide GOP candidates.  This morning RedState chief Erick Erickson (click here) in his “Rush Limbaugh and the Need  for Spine” showcased these qualities: “The way I see it, Rush Limbaugh is a fighter. The guys who have taken to actually fighting on values like Rush does, i.e. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul have been putting all the points on the board. They’re keeping the fight against Obamacare alive just as the GOP is trying to cave and public animosity for the law grows. But for those three, we’d have gun control legislation. On the House side, the Republican Fight Club of Congressmen Amash, Bridenstine, Broun, Gohmert, Huelskamp, Jones, Massie, Pearce, Salmon, and Yoho have been the only ones leading the fight to stop the Republicans from expanding government at a time distrust of government is a commonly held sentiment.”  We would not want to think of the Old Dominion’s Federation as Karl Rove Tea Partiers. (Highlighting Forum’s)

* * * * * * * * * *

As many readers know, Corey Stewart is a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor (click here).

He has just been endorsed (click here) by The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation.

And as many Virginia readers should also know, shariah and civilization jihad are major threats to western society. 

More than a few of the folks who are behind these dangerous practices and initiatives now live in northern Virginia. (Click here for Andrew McCarthy’s National Review article “For a preview of the Ground Zero Mosque, check out Virginia.”)

Consequently we were troubled when sources sent us this Muslim American Citizens Coalition & Public Affairs Council (MACCPAC) program from March of last year where Mr. Stewart was a panelist. (Click here.) An extract follows–

“The breakfast session was addressed by national and local Muslim leaders including Congressman Keith Ellison, US Deputy Special Envoy to OIC Arsalan Suleman, and Muslim leaders such as Asma Hanif (Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations), Corey Saylor (Council on American-Islamic Relation), Dr. Abubaker Al Shingieti (International Institute of Islamic Thought), Naeem Baig (Islamic Circle of North America; and American Muslim Taskforce), Haris Tarin (Muslim Public Affairs Council), Imam Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci (Islamic Association of North Texas), Dr. Aziz Siddiqi (Islamic Society of Greater Houston), Dr. Mohammed Riajul Islam (Muslim Ummah of North America; and Muslim Forum of the Pacific North West), and Wasim Entabi (Virginia Muslim Civic Coalition).”

. . . . . . . . . .

“The second panel was titled ‘All Politics is Local’. Moderated by Rafi Ahmed, the panel speakers were Corey Stewart (Prince William Board of County Supervisors), Attorney Asim Ghafoor (Former Legislative Assistant to Congressman Ciro Rodriguez), Attorney Salman Cheema (Board member of Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee). It was followed by an interactive discussion on Virginia Anti-Shariah Legislation by Robert Marro (Govt. Relations Advisor, MACCPAC). The panel was followed by an enthusiastic speech by special guest speaker Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).”

But read the entire MACCPAC program here.

Here are cameos by experts on just some of the organizations or people (or both) who took part in this session–

For Keith Ellison click here.

For “OIC” click here.

For “Council on American Islamic-Relations” click here and  here.

For “International Institute of Islamic Thought” click here.

For “Islamic Circle of North America” click here.

For “Muslim Public Affairs Council” click here.

For “Sheila Lee Jackson” click here.

What was a Republican politician — subsequently ‘vetted’ and endorsed by a large Tea Party network for statewide office — doing by blessing this gathering through his participation? 

On a deeper level, where does Mr. Stewart stand on whether Shariah is compatible with our Constitution? 

Does he understand the real dangers behind the civilization jihad?

Does he understand the current danger the OIC poses to free political speech? Does he believe criticism of Islam should remain protected by the First Amendment?

Alarmingly, what did he promise his hosts?  What did they ask him for?

Conservatives considering supporting Corey Stewart need to insist that he go fully on the record on how he views these troubled waters in which he has been fishing. 

And How Long Has Stewart Kept This Kind of Company?

From another source came this apparently 2008 extract (click here) from Muslimlinkpaper.

“Corey Stewart, Chairman of Prince William County, was not up for election this year, but stated, ‘I support the Mosque expansion and many of the other plans that the Muslim Association of Virginia have in mind for the future.’”

Readers will want to weigh (click here) any “Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques.”

One wonders what kind of a ‘vetting’ process (click here) these Tea Partiers allowed themselves to be drawn into.  Providentially they were not in Texas or we might not have a senator Ted Cruz. And who vet these vetters? As the founders would ask — quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

 

DawnPatrol1930

(Via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 29 Apr 2013

Conservative Is As Conservative Does: VA’s Susan Stimpson Gets It

A campaign post from Republican lieutenant-governor primary candidate Susan Stimpson last week (click here) highlights a serious problem in the mindset of so many Virginia GOP apparatchiks. 

Stafford County Board of Supervisors chairman Stimpson explained–

“Recently I spoke at a local Republican committee’s dinner.  The Chairman gave his remarks before the candidate speeches began.  He proceeded to warn us not to question our fellow Republicans for raising taxes and opening the door to Obamacare expansion.
He said that we need to remember that we can disagree but we are all Republicans and even the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat.
He also said we have to keep building our coalition so we can win elections.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Countered Simpson —

“The candidate speeches began.  Getting glares from the Chairman to my right and the Delegate to my left, I introduced myself, talked about my husband Dan being a career Marine and how the first fifteen years of our marriage as a military spouse shaped and tested me.
. . . . . . . . . .
Fellow Republicans, as painful as it is to say this, the Republican leadership of Governor McDonnell, Speaker Howell and Senator Norment is wrong for raising our taxes and expanding entitlements.  They didn’t do what they said they’d do.
And now we have the largest tax increase in Virginia’s history and we have put Medicaid expansion on the table by taking the authority out of each General Assembly member’s hands and giving it to a super committee.  If you don’t believe me, then why did every single Democrat Senator vote for this ‘transportation plan’ and 15 Republican Senators vote no?
Needless to say, my words were not what they wanted to hear.  But it needed to be said.
The lesson here: don’t dare and shame the people into silence.  I will speak out on their behalf.
In the speeches that followed from my fellow candidates, there was deafening silence on the tax increase.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

In candidate money-raising, Mrs. Stimpson is not leading the race.

Below is an extract from VPAP’s latest report on Republican lieutenant governor candidates–

“Totals reflect amounts raised by each candidate’s primary campaign account. At least one candidate in this race raised additional money through another type of committee. Show all committees

Candidate

Raised

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (Republican)

$412,819

Earl Walker Jackson, Sr (Republican)

$140,848

Scott Lingamfelter (Republican)

$262,503

Steve Martin (Republican)

$55,920

Pete Snyder (Republican)

$452,739

Corey A Stewart (Republican)

$703,892

Susan B Stimpson (Republican)

$211,884

Current through 03/31/2013”

But for carrying the conservative banner fearlessly during a contested Virginia primary election, Susan Stimpson stands out.

This is a time when candidates typically hide under a smokescreen of bloviation. They certainly don’t bell the statist cats who are prominent Republican incumbents.

Nor is it enough to denounce the giant tax hike and Medicaid expansion without naming their authors and enablers.  These big-government incursions were not put into place by Martians.

Conservatives among the six other GOP candidates in this race still have time — before May 18 –to follow the Stimpson example.

 DawnPatrol1930

(Via Wikipaedia)

The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 19 Apr 2013

MD GOP’s Choice: A Truly Conservative Party? Or “RMS Titanic”?

Yes, the Louis PopeDiana Waterman team  may muscle their way to victory at the state GOP convention tonight and tomorow. 

That is, with Mr. Pope’s help, Mrs. Waterman may well be elected in her own right as Maryland’s next GOP chairman.

Consequently Mr. Pope will then remain on the key Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee. There he had been complicit in serious political mischief last August by helping ram through the Romney rules changes (click here and go to 2:27:54 on the CNN tape to hear John Sunnunu praise Pope’s role) in Tampa during the Republican National Convention. (See Glynis Kazanjian’s Maryland Reporter account of Pope’s incendiary reappointment to the Rules Committee here.)

We don’t pretend to have a crystal ball telling us this weekend’s outcome.

But we don’t need one to know that the cost of a Pope-Waterman victory could be an even more irrelevant state GOP.

And winning the loyalty and releasing the energy of the grass roots is not the strongest suit of these two Maryland figures.

But let’s look at this state election as part of the larger national context.

The goal of Establishment Republicans at all levels: keep control of the party “apparatus” at all costs — and avoid sharing power with Tea Partiers and other distasteful outsiders. 

The serial capitulations to the Obama Administration of the current House GOP leadership after the historic Tea Party victory of November 2010 are no secret. And the wiles of Mr. Boehner’s circle to keep power among House Republicans are a case study in how to maintain GOP Establishment control (and, of course, big-donor primacy) even after a national electoral victory in the House that would have been impossible without the populist grass roots.

As Angelo Codevilla wrote last January in a Forbes article (click here) –

“By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans. In short, at the outset of 2013 a substantial portion of America finds itself un-represented, while Republican leaders increasingly represent only themselves.” (Italics in original; highlighting Forum’s.)

Bloggers Begone!

Michael Dresser (BaltSun) put it very well Thursday when he declared in his post “Maryland GOP lays down the law on bloggers” (click here) –

It seems curious that an organization that struggles to get media attention in a Democratic-dominated state would try to limit coverage in any way, but, hey, those bloggers are in some cases renegade Republicans who have the temerity to think the party could be run a bit better. Anyway, here’s the memo.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Read the entire post to see the Maryland GOP memorandum in question.

Savvy GOP operatives, on the other hand, would instead be reaching out to conservative and libertarian bloggers with ‘special blogger briefings’ – not shunning them – especially if these GOP apparatchiks wanted to market their differing point of view.

What Happened in Tampa Didn’t Stay in Tampa

Last August 29, we wrote in our “Tampa: Couldn’t They Wait Until 11/7 To Trample The Grass Roots?” about the Republican National Convention (click here) –

Freedom Works Dean Clancy in his “Romney’s ‘RNC Power Grab’: What Really Happened” concludes “The noes clearly had it, but the party bosses gaveled the dissenters down anyway.”
Here are a few excerpts from analyst Clancy’s post
  • “Yesterday, the Republican National Committee in Tampa adopted some rules changes that shift power from the state parties and the grassroots to the RNC and the GOP presidential nominee. Former Governor John Sununu of New Hampshire touted the new rules as providing ‘a strong governing framework’ for the party over the next four years. But in fact the the new rules should be very troubling and disappointing to conservative grassroots activists, because they move the national Republican Party away from being a decentralized, bottom-up party toward becoming a centralized, top-down party.”  (Underscoring Forum’s.)
  • “The Romney rules effectively disenfranchise grassroots delegates, and will thus tend to weaken and splinter the party over time. They specifically represent a blow to the Tea Party and the Ron Paul movement, and force grassroots conservatives of all stripes to contemplate their future within the GOP.”
  • Party sage and long-time RNC member (and conservative activist) Morton Blackwell led a last-minute effort to stop the changes — an effort the FreedomWorks For America strongly supported, together with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Phyllis Schlafly and RNC for Life also got involved, while Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh helped sound the alarm.  But the Romney camp and RNC insiders won the day, successfully imposing their will with the help of their control of the gavels and superior knowledge of the process, and perhaps some dirty tricks.” (Today we have added the highlighting.)

But let’s bring this lamentable account up to the present.

Last Monday veteran Virginia National Committeeman Morton Blackwell wrote members of the Maryland Republican Central Committee

“Mr. Pope and Mrs. Waterman have made clear that they support the radical, destructive power-grabs that occurred at the national convention.  
You would be well-served to elect a principled Chairman who works in the interest of the conservative grassroots.  
Don’t you want a Chairman who will work to make the Republican Party about the grassroots ultimately telling the RNC how to operate, instead of the other way around?” (Underscoring in original.)

Readers should consider the entire Blackwell letter here.

We don’t mean to point to Mr. Pope and Mrs. Waterman as the sole authors of the Maryland GOP’s disarray. Other Party notables also bear significant responsibility for the catastrophic (in our view) failure of the Maryland GOP to secure, then spend significant resources to defeat the same-sex marriage law and the so-called Dream Act which were referred to the ballot — through extraordinary effort — last November. A major push to kill these two measures would have brought many independents and conservative Democrats into the Republican fold. (Here is our chart showing how much better the statewide opposition to these measures did — even with barely visible state Party support — than Mitt Romney.) Former governor Bob Ehrlich’s discomfort (to put it charitably) with conservatives and with smaller government (click here and here) hardly helped advance the Maryland GOP. And the bizarre support given to the 2009 Senate confirmation of the now-besieged Thomas Perez for assistant attorney general by the current House of Delegates GOP leader (click here) and by Mr. Ehrlich’s state chairman (click here) further muddied the Maryland GOP waters.

A visiting Martian anthropologist could reasonably ask exactly what this alien Republican tribe stands for?

As GOP state central committee members gather today and tomorrow to shape their Party’s future, they would do well to consider Angelo Codevilla’s counsel (click here) about the need for conservatives — what he calls the ‘country class’ — to fashion a party of  “disparate elements acting all [for] one and one for all.”

“There will be no alternative to all the country class’ various components acting jointly on measures dear to each. For example: since the connection between government and finance, the principle that large institutions are ‘too big to fail,’ are dear to America’s best-connected people who can be counted on to threaten ‘systemic collapse,’ breaking it will require the support of sectors of the country class for which ‘corporate welfare’ is less of a concern than the welfare effects of the Social Security system’s component that funds fake disability and drug addiction – something about which macroeconomists mostly care little – and vice versa. Similarly the entire country class has as much interest in asserting the right of armed self-defense as does any gun owner, because the principle of constitutional right is indivisible. Nothing will require greater unity against greater resistance than ending government promotion of abortion and homosexuality. Yet those whose main concerns are with financial probity cannot afford continuing to neglect that capitalist economics presupposes a morally upright people. All this illustrates the need for, and the meaning of, a political party: disparate elements acting all [for] one and one for all.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Stay tuned.

* * * * * * * * * *

(Via Wikipaedia)

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