Category ArchiveFirst things . . .
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 15 Jan 2015
“November was all about Obama’s liberty-strangling, crony-coddling, financially reckless agenda. Voters emphatically defeated these policies. The American people want them stopped. That is what they sent Republicans to Washington to do. That is the mandate from the midterms.
Consequently, it is also the clarion call of the Citizens’ Mandate from the November 2014 Elections, issued on Thursday by conservative leaders from across the United States. The title of the Citizens’ Mandate is straightforward: “Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America’.” –Andrew McCarthy today on NRO (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
“Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America: Citizens’ Mandate from November 2014 Election” is an essential manifesto that grass-roots groups, and state and local GOP units should consider in detail at their next meetings.
Conservatives should make full use of this road map as a tool to hold their own members of the Congress accountable.
Moving force Ginni Thomas explained that this rallying document is a “‘collaborative effort’ from a network of conservatives (there were probably 8 writers and 3 editors over the holidays!) representing the concerns of the citizens.”
“The November 2014 election was a repudiation of the complicity of the United States Congress in President Obama’s dramatic and unconstitutional expansion of government. America’s voters demanded that the new Congress:
Stop the President’s promised ‘Fundamental Transformation’ of the country,
End Executive branch overreach,
Restore Constitutional balance of power among the three branches of government,
Bring an end to the perennially unpopular Affordable Care Act,
Stop the President’s Executive Amnesty initiatives,
Hold the Executive branch accountable for its myriad abuses of power
and its national security failures both foreign and domestic, and
Put the interests of the United States of America first among nations.
The contentious vote for Speaker of the House the week of January 5, 2015 reflected the frustration of voters nationwide, who did not have confidence that last year’s Republican House Leadership would have the courage to carry out the voters’ mandate. A poll conducted in late December by Pat Caddell confirmed a growing rift between voters and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. A more detailed examination of the mandate follows.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
Click on the link below for the entire text.
And here is a hashtag for supporters–
Read all of Andrew McCarthy’s post of this morning!
“The Republican Congress Has a Mandate: It was not elected to make Washington ‘work’ but to keep Washington from working against Americans.”
And stay tuned for commentary on this manifesto from more conservative heavy hitters — coming very soon!
First things . . . Michael Giere on 04 Jan 2015
“Now the question for the entire eight-member Virginia Republican delegation – including newcomers Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat: will they vote on Tuesday to support national renewal with a new House Team — or more national failure by voting for John Boehner as Speaker?
Most often in Washington, “compromise” is a euphemism used by weak leaders to describe their own failure.
Most of us have worked for feckless bosses at some time or another.
These are people who might be fine men or women, but simply don’t have what it takes to be leaders.
They fail, they frustrate, and they invariably create more problems than they ever solve.
They may be bright enough; they may be capable in some things; they may be charming; or they may be great at public relations.
But, they aren’t leaders.
The 61st, and current Speaker of the House, John Boehner is such a fellow.
He is a failed Speaker by any standard, and he has caused much damage to his country and his party.
- He has extended and enabled a President who openly disdains the citizens he swore to defend and protect.
- The Speaker has folded like a cheap suit at every turn of major policy, while whining that he could do nothing.
- When called to lead, he has shrunk from his Constitutional oath and duty. The last two years should have been a nightmare of confrontation over principle for Barack Obama – instead a reckless and dangerous man has had virtually unchallenged power to “remake” a nation fitting his collectivist radicalism.
- Speaker Boehner is simply incompetent. Perhaps worse.
Now the question for the entire eight-member Virginia Republican delegation – including newcomers Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat: will they vote on Tuesday to support national renewal with a new House Team — or more national failure by voting for John Boehner as Speaker?
Virginians and all Americans deserve new Congressional leadership.
Leaders who put the interests of the working class citizens above the interests of the Washington potentates.
Republicans need to elect new leaders, preferably with real world experience, who understand that compromise is not a strategy, and is virtually never an effective negotiation tool unless it involves minor differences.
Most often in Washington, “compromise” is a euphemism used by weak leaders to describe their own failure.
Proactive, productive negotiations, particularly with a hostile counterpart like Obama, must be collaborative in nature, where two parties competitively advance their positions, and finally co-operatively seek to find a way forward.
Anything less than that is capitulation.
For many of us, the choice seems clear for the incoming Congress: stand up with the working men and women of America and do the right thing, for the right reason.
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Blue Ridge Forum Contributor Mike Giere has written extensively on politics, foreign policy, and issues of faith. He is a former candidate for the U.S. House; worked for Ronald Reagan in 1976 & 1980; and served in both the Reagan and Bush (41) Administrations.
For readers with more questions about the how and why of replacing Speaker Boehner, here are two closely related stories:
Daniel Horowitz (Conservative Review) Myth vs Fact: Speaker’s Election
Richard Falknor (Blue Ridge Forum) John Boehner Enables Obama To Continue “Transforming America”
First things . . . Michael Giere on 24 Dec 2014
Christmas, I think, is a day for everyone.
Whether you’re a Christian or not.
Sure, it’s a day of special celebration that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
But it seems to me that God – as only God can engineer events – meant it for everyone.
That’s because God is primarily in the people business.
Regardless of how much we learn scientifically and intellectually about our universe and ourselves, somehow most of us end up back at God.
Pretty simple really. We love our parents because we can see that we are part of them and that they provided for us when we couldn’t do so for ourselves. We love them as the years roll by because we increasingly see ourselves in them.
Just so with God. He is obvious.
We can look around the world and can clearly observe that it is not random at all. It is an incredible symphony of material and physical creation, intricate and planned to the last molecule, the last cell, and the last atom.
We look at ourselves and see that we are each hand-crafted, molded with trillions of atoms and that we too are creators. Chips off the old block.
I believe the Christmas story.
I believe Christ was God, born into mankind as Savior and a perfect Sacrifice that would allow us to receive what we could not otherwise possess – forgiveness and life everlasting.
Christmas is also a celebration that carries across the days, the years, the centuries, and the millennia, a celebration of that which humans need most: Hope.
Hope in ourselves that we can reach for that which is bigger and better than what we are so often.
Hope that life has a meaning beyond ourselves.
Hope that the hard things we do mean that tomorrow will be better than the day we leave behind.
Hope that the evil that corrupts our own hearts and that we see in the world will someday end forever.
Hope. I think that is why we have a Christmas Day. I believe that’s why this is a day for everyone, and why the God of All Hope loves Christmas.
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Blue Ridge Forum Contributor Mike Giere is a member of the Falls Church Anglican in Virginia. He has written extensively on politics, foreign policy, and issues of faith. He is a former candidate for the U.S. House; worked for Ronald Reagan in 1976 & 1980; and served in both the Reagan and Bush (41) Administrations.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 12 Dec 2014
“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.” — Angelo Codevilla in Forbes
Last evening the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner put flesh and blood on the phrase “bi-partisan ruling class.”
He did so by openly working with a skilled revolutionary who is president of the United States to secure House passage of a massive appropriations bill called the Cromnibus.
The measure gives the president’s regime money to pursue its transformative goals for our society through next September 30.
The most salient of these goals is — by lawless executive action — regularizing millions of illegal aliens and likely putting them on a path to citizenship.
This is a means of diluting our votes with those of the new citizens whom president Obama anticipates — putative new voters who already expect big government and are little used to liberty and civic order.
But the administration will also use the money approved by the House yesterday to advance the president’s many other objectives, among them:
Obamacare will sink its roots further.
Federal agencies will — through administrative schemes–
- tell local police departments how to do their business,
- tell local schools whom they may punish by ethnicity,
- tell local zoning authorities how to exercise their powers for “fairness” in housing,
while seeking ways to curtail energy production and thus prosperity through “environmental” regulation.
Not least important, monies are made available for wars in the Middle East, whose objectives and means and metrics of victory have never been debated by the Congress.
For this president has established a reputation for injuring our allies and rewarding our enemies.
And the new 114th Congress will — thanks to Mr. Boehner and his circle — have no means of checking any of this administration’s missteps and overreaches — save for impeaching the president or his lieutenants.
So what is to be done?
First, recognize that the Beltway Republicans — those who speak for the GOP Congressional leadership and who try to shape the path to the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and who reflect the views of very large donors — simply do not share our conservative values.
Indeed, they disdain them.
Moreover, the Beltway Republicans have too effectively carried out their plans to purge conservative candidates from the GOP and to bar conservatives from leadership positions in the House and likely soon in the Senate.
In terms of policy, the Beltway Republicans are the megaphone of the “cheap labor” interests behind Mr. Boehner’s love for amnesty.
Also recognize that many in the House Republican Conference fear Mr. Boehner and his system more than their constituents.
Many House GOP members, moreover, simply do not see their first task as protecting Americans against a revolutionary regime — they don’t even grasp the extent of what we all face from the Obama Administration.
After yesterday’s votes, we must carefully verify before trusting any House Republican who did not vote here against the Rule on the Cromnibus. A few more “no” votes at that point would have forced major revisions.
But honor the 16 House Republicans here who did vote against the Rule which passed only 214-212.
Of the 67 Republicans who voted against the Cromnibus itself, four were from Virginia; none from Maryland.
Nationally, states with four or more Republicans voting against the Cromnibus were Texas (14), Florida (5), South Carolina (5), Arizona (4), and Virginia (4), the last represented by the Old Dominion’s David Brat, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, and Robert Wittman.
Second, give real thought to how effective national and state-level conservative organizations can get underway, soon.
Conservatives must organize–
- to cope with what John Boehner has bankrolled with our money;
- to have a strong voice in the 2016 presidential election;
- to aim at winning the next generation as well as the next few elections.
Stay tuned. We shall have more to say on this, and always welcome your own careful analyses.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 24 Nov 2014
“Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.” ––Angelo Codevilla (Highlighting Forum’s.)
We must now face hard facts: the conservative base and the GOP Establishment simply have significantly different aims.
The failure of the Congressional Republican leadership to respond effectively to the president’s executive amnesty last week makes this clear as Michele Bachmann explained here.
These lamentable developments constitute what are loosely called game-changers. For our country — our civic order, our public order, our sovereignty, our already over-expanded Federal and state welfare systems — will become radically “transformed” unless the Obama Administration’s immigration actions are reversed. Last evening Nicholas Stix in VDARE here posted “The Myth Of The 11 Million: Wall Street Analyst Estimates 21-25 Million Illegals Now In U.S.”
Whatever the differences are between the key immigration numbers-crunchers, the numbers of illegals the Obama Administration is regularizing — and likely will end up regularizing — are breathtaking.
A supine Republican Party — see Dana Perino, a Bush Dynasty voice, here – – will be of no use to any citizen who seeks to keep and strengthen our constitutional order.
We don’t see how the conservative base and the Establishment — without a prompt and significant change of course by the Republican Leadership — can much longer continue sailing under the same flag.
Consequently we must weigh a conservative alternative in time for 2016.
- One that embraces rank-and-file Republicans and Reagan Democrats.
- One that explicitly reaches out to working class Americans of all ethnicities.
- An American national patriotic party.
Here, for example, is some very troubling current mischief by the GOP Establishment: their effort (via Rush’s report) to deny Jeff Sessions the chair of the Senate Budget Committee.
Recall that senator Sessions last Friday had declared here that “President’s Immigration Orders Have Sold Out The Middle Class.”
From the Establishment’s point of view, however, their effort against Mr. Sessions is quite understandable.
Sessions has a long-term vision: he speaks of a humble and honest populism; he has deconstructed not only the facts and the law of the open-borders advocates, but also exposed who they are and how they operate in both parties and in the White House; and, very important, Sessions is a senator who is not running for president.
This allows him to be a traditional United States Senator, not having the understandable burden of constantly balancing the pressures of a national campaign with the exacting work and often controversial voting decisions of a conscientious senator.
It also makes him. as a major committee chair, relatively fireproof against the wiles of the Establishment.
For all these reasons, the Alabama senator is a threat to the incoming Senate GOP leadership unencumbered with principle, focused on short timelines, and only capable of deal-making, and to Speaker Boehner’s circle who have similar impairments.
The effort to deny Sessions his Senate Budget Committee chairmanship should tell even the most fervent Republican loyalist of the deplorable state of the GOP leadership.
We should all prepare ourselves for tumultuous developments sooner than we might wish.
Neither the Obama Administration nor the responsibility-phobic GOP Establishment can likely cope with military, border, or public-health threats that can take on a life of their own right before our eyes.
We all have to think through how we respond as conservatives to today’s perils, and try to do so with a strong, united voice.
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Faithful readers may wish to revisit these posts – -
- New Year’s 2014 Imperative: Turn GOP In An American Direction
- Giant Amnesty: Will GOP Embrace Or Discard Blue Collar America?
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 11 Nov 2014
Even veterans — and by derivation, Veterans Day (once known as Armistice Day) — are now under attack by the Cultural Marxists.
Breitbart’s William Bigelow here points to one offending post of last Sunday in his post “Salon: ‘Forced Troop Worship and Compulsory Patriotism Must End.'”
Unless our military and related histories are part of our national conversation, however, Veterans Day will lose its meaning for emerging generations.
But the new “AP U.S. History (APUSH) Exam” will likely accelerate the disappearance of our common recollection of our history and sacrifices.
Stanley Kurtz chronicles in NRO this woeful anti-history effort here–
“Yet the most important reason for studying the Founders and the principles of our Constitutional system is that healthy republican government depends upon public knowledge of its historical and intellectual foundations. This was a central insight of the Founders, and of early American educators….” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
State and local politicians who would sail under the conservative flag must use the power of the public purse and the bully pulpit to reverse this menacing redesign of the American history curriculum.
Kurtz cites scholar Ralph Ketcham on what must be done–
“In response to the College Board’s attempt to impose so egregiously biased and civically impoverished a curriculum on the nation — in defiance of cherished traditions of state and local control – Ketcham and his co-authors recommend that ‘state boards of education, governors, and state legislatures . . . disallow public schools to use’ the College Board’s new APUSH Framework.”
The post below is ours from November 11, 2011. (The image we just added.) We hope that on November 11, 2015 we can report some progress.
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Readers likely lose patience with the endless on-line Veterans Day Weekend platitudes politicians and pundits view as obligatory around November 11. Consequently we’ll try to get right to the point.
Our civic life is in grave danger from the neglect of our American heritage by taxpayer-supported schools and worse, taxpayer-supported schools of education.
This education malpractice in transmitting our heritage is nurtured in political correctness or cultural Marxism.
This malpractice deprives coming generations of students of any serious understanding of the history of our freedoms and institutions, our religious tradition, our achievements in enterprise, invention, and agriculture, and our military victories and setbacks.
Such popular understanding is vital to maintain support for preserving our national sovereignty in the face of fierce globalist efforts to dilute it away.
But that is a subject for another day.
What we conservatives can do ourselves and do now is teach ourselves, our families, our children, about the victories, hardships, misadventures, and traditions of our fighting men and women since the colonial wars in New England and the beginnings of the Republic.
We can try to understand how Abraham Lincoln managed his generals – at least that Republican didn’t promise to “talk to his generals” before he could figure out his war aims.
We can remember the fearful price we paid in Korea from post-World-War-II neglect (scroll down) of our forces.
Most of all, we can appreciate the skill and endurance of our forces from Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War, to Washington’s crossing to Trenton, to Joshua Chamberlain at Gettysburg, to Torpedo Eight at Midway, and to the epic Marine breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.
All this military history and much more should be part of our national conversation – – not topics relegated to the archives of academics and locked away from school children.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 23 Oct 2014
Ottawa Jihadist Attack: Plain Words from Mark Steyn; Our Own Political Class Mumbles Like Bureaucrats In An Investigation
Our political class — that includes both parties — has such difficulty articulating the Islamist threat.
But if they can’t explain it in plain words — not sanitized “talking points” — members of the Congress can hardly meet their sworn duty to
And if they can’t explain the Islamist threat clearly, they also can’t legislate about it clearly.
The Ottawa Attack
Early this morning New Hampshireman (and Canadian citizen) Mark Steyn gave us a plain words analysis of this “Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State” –
“Kevin Vickers is the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, which is, most of the time, a ceremonial role – he’s the fellow who wears a goofy looking hat and carries the mace into the chamber each day. But he knew enough to understand, in a split second, that the ceremonial role had turned real and to take down the western world’s latest Soldier of Allah. Many more of us will need to recover that primal survival instinct in the years ahead.
The sub-title of my new book is ‘Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned’. I have been writing for over a decade now about the west’s wannabe jihadists, often born and raised in Canada and America and Britain and Australia and Europe, some of them converts – or ‘reverts’, as they call them. Throughout that period, the multiculti delusionists have insisted that Islam’s contribution to the diversity mosaic is no less positive than that of Poles or Italians. Now we have pure laine Quebeckers and Nigerian South Londoners converting to Islam because it’s the coolest gang on the planet. And one consequence of that is that a relaxed, open capital city will descend into the same panopticon security state as Washington. I love Ottawa – I know every yard of that stretch of Wellington Street connecting Parliament and the Cenotaph: Chateau Laurier is where I always stay when in town; not so long ago I walked past the war memorial with a senior Minister of the Crown and we talked about how simple and dignified and profoundly moving it was; and during my battles with the ‘human rights’ commissions I had the honour of testifying to the House of Commons and strolling that same Centre Block corridor that that Allahu Akbar loon rampaged down today.
That security-lite Ottawa is gone, and that is a loss. But there will be others in the years ahead. Because the price of welcoming and incubating and growing Islam in the west is, ultimately, the loss of everything else.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Steyn revealed –
“In a detail almost too absurd, the Ottawa jihadist turned out to be the son of Susan Bibeau, the Deputy Chairperson of the Immigration Division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. Her (now ex-)husband was a ‘Libyan businessman.'”
Scroll down here to see the accompanying Steyn video in full.
For the safety of everyone within our borders, conservatives must contrive ways to get our bi-partisan Political Class to speak plainly about the Jihadist Threat so that we can deal with it effectively.
Be prepared, nonetheless, for a long push against very hard heads.
When five members of the House wrote, now over two years ago, the inspectors general of our security agencies to assess the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood influence in the IG’s respective departments, Republican leaders shamed themselves with a contrary uproar.
Andrew McCarthy, on the other hand, asked “why the other 430 members of the House [hadn’t] joined [the five members] — and why John McCain, John Boehner, and other Republican establishment luminaries are championing the Muslim Brotherhood’s side of the dispute.”
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 18 Oct 2014
The hand-lettered signs below — appearing on a roadside field in Loudoun County, Virginia — greeted Saturday drivers this morning.
It is just one measure — however unpretentious — of grass-roots outrage over the handling of the Ebola Crisis.
Former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy today in his National Review on Line post “Incompetence Meets Mendacity in Obama Administration’s Ebola Response” details here the danger to our institutions –
“It is a short step to incompetence when you lose sight of what you are expected to be competent at accomplishing. It is an even shorter step to mendacity for a ruling class that is schooled to believe the country is fatally flawed and, thus, that the pursuit of our national interests is evil. It turns out that when real crises rivet their attention, the rubes still expect the government to protect and defend them. At that point, the government must either attend to those basic duties, or lie.
This government has made its choice.”
And, McCarthy notes, Ebola drowns out other grave concerns–
“Ebola is causing such anxiety that even alarm over an outbreak of enterovirus D-68 — far more prevalent and linked to the deaths of at least four children — has been crowded out. Ditto news of the Islamic State’s rampage, a stock-price rollercoaster, and the impending midterm elections”
The Obama Administration is in office and in power; consequently they are responsible for their missteps.
As constitutional expert McCarthy declares, they have made their choice.
But there are doubtless many Democratic and Independent voters — and some Democratic politicians — who want flights to afflicted countries restricted, and borders secured — the latter right away, not in some ever-receding future.
On the other hand, there are some very rich Republicans who have been recklessly pushing open borders for cheap labor– technical as well as unskilled workers –while falsely claiming that we have some kind of STEM shortage.
Fjordman paints the underlying forces here in “When will Ebolaphobia become a hate crime” (Gates of Vienna)–
“The doctrines of anti-racism, tolerance and diversity seem to mutate and spread to every section of Western societies. Perhaps this mental virus is what should concern us the most. If we still had a healthy society with a functioning immune system, we could be dealing more rationally with the viruses that confront us. Both physical viruses such as Ebola and ideological viruses represented by the Jihadist doctrines of the Islamic State (ISIS). The number one priority would have been to quarantine those affected and restrict travel from those regions and countries where these diseases are most widespread. That is simply common sense. Sadly, Western ruling elites in this age seem to be devoid of common sense. Their First and Only Commandment is: Diversity and open borders über alles.”
Are you an Ebola racist? Fjordman continues–
“To Western elites, Multicultural ‘diversity’ is more important than life itself — literally.
Abby Haglage is a reporter at The Daily Beast, a major American news and opinion website with millions of readers. She wrote an article about the apparently horrible thought that people from West Africa might face certain restrictions on traveling to Western countries when a deadly and escalating epidemic of one of the world’s nastiest viruses is plaguing West Africa. Haglage dubbed this ‘Ebola racism.'”
The Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last in his “Six Reasons to Panic” here goes straight to the root of the borders-and-protection-of-our-sovereignty matter.
“Ebola has the potential to reshuffle American attitudes to immigration. If you agree to seal the borders to mitigate the risks from Ebola, you’re implicitly rejecting the ‘open borders’ mindset and admitting that there are cases in which government has a duty to protect citizens from outsiders. Some people on the left admit to seeing this as the thin end of the wedge. Writing in the New Yorker, Michael Specter lamented, ‘Several politicians, like Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, have turned the epidemic into fodder for their campaign to halt immigration.’ And that sort of thing just can’t be allowed.
What would happen in the event of an Ebola outbreak in Latin America? Then America would have to worry about masses of uninfected immigrants surging across the border—not to mention carriers of the virus. And if we had decided it was okay to cut off flights from West Africa, would we decide it was okay to try to seal the Southern border too? You can see how the entire immigration project might start to come apart.
So for now, the Obama administration will insist on keeping travel open between infected countries and the West and hope that they, and we, get lucky.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout this post.)
President Obama has taken the open-borders world view to a jaw-dropping extreme.
Consequently he and his administration are fair game for the kind of criticism appropriate for a president who continues to put his country in grave danger.
But conservatives must stay vigilant about the well-bankrolled forces in the GOP who have long sought a trans-nationalist agenda.
For these “transies” share responsibility for the damage already inflicted through our open border with Mexico.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 16 Sep 2014
In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Congress (click here) “to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.” The next year, their request became public law signed by president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
A Connecticut DAR chapter explained last year (click here) in their “Bells Across America to Ring on September 17″–
“The Daughters of the American Revolution encourage churches, schools, courthouses, fire houses, Veterans homes, city governments and individuals to ring bells on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution 226 years ago.
From May 1787 to September 17, 1787 the debate on wording of the document and the establishment of the 3 branches of government was fiercely debated. It was the Connecticut Compromise which proposed the two houses of Congress – one with proportional representation (the House of Representatives) and one with equal representation (the Senate) which enabled the delegates to agree. And on Sept 17, 1787 the Constitution was signed. At 4:00 when the delegates emerged from what is now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, all the bells rang to celebrate the signing of the Constitution. Ringing of the bells at 4:00 p.m. is encouraged but any time September 17 is fine.”
Whether you are a “new” citizen or one from many generations of Americans, consider urging your place of worship to ring their bells tomorrow to mark the signing of our Constitution.
Our readers understand more than most that preserving and protecting and defending our Constitution is paramount in these very dangerous times.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 07 Aug 2014
“More important is that the Republican leadership, by acquiescing in the practice of funding the government by Continuing Resolutions rather than by individual appropriations has emasculated the most virile means by which mankind has ever limited government.” –Angelo Codevilla, Continuing Appropriations Resolutions Subvert Limited Government.
Conservatives have until Monday, September 8, to bring the House GOP members they know to a new mindset determined to defund promptly the implementation of the president’s current and future “executive actions” on immigration.
Last Friday the House passed H.R. 5272 here, a bill to check the president’s policy of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has contributed to the invasion of our southern border.
As senator Sessions suggests, via Matthew Boyle’s “Exclusive–Jeff Sessions: New Media Leading Way to Defeat Establishment’s Amnesty,” it will be a (necessary) struggle to get the Obama-Administration-led Senate to take up this crucial measure.
In the meantime, a solution to realizing at least some of the objectives of this measure would be to defund future DACA activities in the pertinent FY 2015 (starting October 1, 2014) appropriations bills, and to defund the issuing of work permits to any alien not lawfully admitted into the United States in line with the House-passed H.R. 5272.
Last week, we asked–
“What would be the larger result of failing to stop the president’s executive actions?
Living in a society where the rule of law has suffered a near mortal blow — and not just on immigration matters.
Andrew McCarthy has declared —
‘Our Washington ruling class does not see itself as bound by our quaint Constitution. When a Republican eventually wins the White House, expect the same rule by decree.’
Explained senator Jeff Sessions–
‘Congress has repeatedly rejected amnesty legislation, and that is why Obama has ‘no power’ to enact executive amnesty that is ‘breathtaking in its overreach.’
Calling for a ‘public refutation’ of Obama’s proposed actions, Sessions said the American people, when ‘on alert and when they speak out,’ can stop Obama from enacting unilateral actions that would be ‘plainly and utterly unlawful and unconstitutional were he to do so.’
Sessions said if ‘Obama eviscerates plain law’ by enacting more executive actions, the next president can say that, declare that even more people can come to the country illegally.
‘This goes to the very core of law,’ Sessions said. ‘And if we allow that to occur and if the president does such a thing, there is no moral authority to enforce any law in the future and all of our laws will be weakened.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
The House of Representatives has two sovereign remedies to cope with runaway presidents: 1) the power of the purse, and thus of withholding appropriations for specific activities, as Angelo Codevilla explains here; and 2) the impeachment power, which, as Andrew McCarthy points out here, might first be exercised on subordinate executive branch officials, even if there is not (yet) sufficient support for impeaching the chief executive.
Author and former Senate staffer Codevilla illuminates the current appropriations process — how we fail to use the power of the purse — and why we need to return to “regular order” in considering national legislation.
“Until circa 1990, Americans had taken seriously the relationship between appropriations and democracy. House and Senate used to divide the Executive departments’ requests for funds and programs into multiple categories and sub-categories. Then many committees and subcommittees held hearings on each item, followed by ‘mark-up’ sessions in which each would be modified and voted on. Thereafter, the full House and Senate would debate, amend, approve or disapprove them, one by one. This was “regular order” – more or less as described in civics books.
This changed at first gradually in the 1980s, when Democrats (and Republicans) who were resisting the Reagan Administration’s efforts to trim government figured out that individual appropriations bills delayed until the end of the fiscal year could be rolled together into ‘omnibus’ bills. These could be advertised as merely ‘continuing’ the current year’s programs and spending levels. In reality, these all-in-one bills 1) protected current programs from scrutiny, amendment, or repeal 2) were stuffed with new favors, programs, provisions and priorities that could not have survived an open process. Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).
This especially empowers Presidents and the interests aligned with him. So long as his allies control at least one house of Congress, they can make regular appropriations impossible, force the government to operate under CRs, and shape the CRs with the threat of a Presidential veto of any that contain items of which he disapproves. Then he can accuse those who insist on displeasing him with ‘shutting down the government,’ without entering into the substantive merits of the programs at issue. Incidentally, CRs also empower governmental bureaucracies and their clients. Thus, they effectively transfer sovereignty from the people to the government.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
The Speaker of the House, of course, plans on keeping the “continuing resolution” model. The Hill’s Cristina Marcos reported on July 24 —
“House leaders had discussed voting on a short-term spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), as soon as next week. Boehner said he expected the funding bill would keep the government operating into the lame-duck session after the midterm elections.”