Feed on Posts or Comments 24 July 2014

Category ArchiveFirst things . . .

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 14 Jul 2014

House Judiciary Chief Bob Goodlatte “Clueless on Impeachment”?

“‘We are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment,’ Goodlatte told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on ‘This Week’ Sunday. ‘The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the President of the United States. He has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that.’” — Kari Rea

Today constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy took Virginia’s Sixth District Representative Bob Goodlatte to task here in author McCarthy’s PJM post “GOP’s House Judiciary Chairman Clueless on Impeachment.”

Some key McCarthy points – -

  • The Beltway fixture that Republicans have placed in charge of the House Judiciary Committee—i.e., the committee that, by its own description, functions as ‘the lawyer for the House of Representatives,’ and claims an ‘infrequent but important role in impeachment proceedings’—is ignorant when it comes to the Constitution’s impeachment standard.”
  • “In point of fact, no ‘criminal acts’ are necessary before a president may be impeached.”
  • The concept conveyed by ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ is executive maladministration, whether out of imperiousness, corruption or incompetence. In that sense, it is more redolent of military justice offenses than criminal acts that violate the penal code. Like a soldier, one who owes fiduciary responsibility is liable for acts that would not be considered criminal wrongs if committed by an ordinary civilian. Dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, profound deceitfulness, and the failure to honor an oath, to take a few obvious examples, would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors even if they might not be indictable offenses if committed by one in whom high public trust was not reposed.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)

 McCarthy objects to impeachment of this president right now as a prudential  matter, but not because impeachment requires “criminal acts” –

“Consequently, it makes sense that the House is not ‘drawing up articles of impeachment,’ as Rep. Goodlatte took pains to assure George Stephanopoulos. Impeachment is a political remedy involving the stripping of political authority, not the proof of crimes. In that most important of senses, it is a matter of public will.
At the moment, there is not widespread popular support for impeaching President Obama; thus, as I argue in Faithless Execution, it would be counterproductive for the House to file articles of impeachment. If it took such a step—before building political support by focusing the public on the full extent of executive lawlessness and why it is such a threat to our liberties and our system of government—the president would easily prevail in a Senate trial. The administration and the media would spin that outcome as an endorsement of Obama’s imperial presidency. The result: those who had set out trying to rein in presidential lawlessness would inadvertently have encouraged more of it.”

Former Federal prosecutor McCarthy puts the president’s lawlessness into the larger picture–

“The precedents for executive domination that President Obama is setting will be available for exploitation by every future president, regardless of party. Goodlatte admits the president does not execute the laws faithfully—the president’s main domestic duty—but does not see that as a ground for impeachment. Got that? He’s not saying, ‘Look, we don’t have the political support necessary to proceed with impeachment’; he is saying rampant presidential lawlessness does not constitute a legal basis for impeachment.

Last month Andrew McCarthy recommended “a practical step” here in his NRO post “Boehner Issues Memo Explaining His Feckless Plan to Sue Obama”–

“I had a column on the homepage yesterday about a practical step congressional Republicans could take to combat the rampant presidential lawlessness I’ve documented in Faithless Execution — to wit, they can start impeaching subordinate executive branch officials who have been involved in either (or both) the IRS abuse of Americans over their political beliefs or the cover-up of that constitutional affront, which has involved misleading testimony, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.”

McCarthy also summed up what he saw as the GOP Establishment’s thinking–

“Boehner and Beltway Republicans are essentially saying, ‘We can’t use our power because Obama and his media friends would say mean things about us. But our lunatic conservative base is demanding action. So let us file a lawsuit so we can say we did something. Who knows . . . maybe in a year or two we’ll get lucky and get a favorable ruling against Obama that can’t be enforced without Obama’s help.’”

We agree with McCarthy when he declares that —

“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.”

But we also believe that the House GOP leadership does not want any serious “distractions” (from a quiet ride to the November 4 elections) arising from even second-level impeachment proceedings, from serious appropriations cuts that might “shut down the government,” or even perhaps from unexpected but blockbuster Benghazi revelations.

As we noted last Friday, Judiciary panel chief Goodlatte said on June 16  (here via Tony Lee at Breitbart)–

“Goodlatte acknowledged that if there is not an ‘an overwhelming majority’ of Republicans who support various amnesty and immigration bills, then ‘we have to have some Democrats come and support us.’
‘We’ve already passed four bills out of the committee,’ he said. ‘I believe that there is bipartisan support for those and for other bills that would come along behind those bills.

This is clearly chairman Goodlatte’s preferred path — to immigration “reform”.

Consequently he will continue blaming the president for the border crisis, but not push for a confrontation with the White House to stem the invasion.

Follow Bob Goodlatte’s nimble rhetoric as the border crisis comes to a crunch in the House!

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 11 Jul 2014

Borders & Sovereignty In Peril; But Are Top GOP Members Lost?

Most conservative citizens, Republican, Independent, or old-fashioned Democrat, are deeply troubled by the sovereignty crisis on our southern border and are eager to get as much news as possible to do what they can to help stem the invasion.

What Is REALLY Happening on Our Southern Border: Chapter and Verse

Read here Zack Taylor’s (The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, Inc.) “Independence Day 2014 Advisory to America”. 

It’s not pretty, but read it all. Below is an excerpt on one part of the threat–

“The equation is simple, cocaine and heroin are grown and produced outside of the United States then smuggled across our borders before being placed in the hands of trusted foreign representatives inside the United States for distribution to every hamlet, town and city in America through a network that could teach Wal-Mart a thing or two about distribution. America is the largest illegal drug and alien market in the world and transnational criminals have virtually unlimited resources to protect and enlarge their organizations. Illegal Immigration is a large part of how they accomplish their business model inside the United States which is likely why the War On Drugs failed in that they can replace gaps in the supply chain almost instantly through illegal or legal immigration. The preponderance of the violence in our cities is directly related to the supply of illegal drugs from foreign countries. The root problem is that this organized crime model of illegal immigration is ignored and allowed to flourish.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Too few House GOP members, however, propose any kind of concrete House of Representatives-driven solution.

The GOP rhetoric of many members, of course, is full of the obligatory blaming of the president (who richly deserves it), but overlooks the complicity of their own leadership in pushing Big Immigration.

We have this old-fashioned expectation that at least Republican nominees for — and incumbents in — the U.S. House of Representatives are there first to protect our liberties.  Here is their oath:

‘I, AB, do solemnly swear (or Affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’ (Underscoring Forum’s.)

GOP election pitches, explicit or implicit, which market the candidate’s deal-making skill and ability to “reach across the aisle” for “common sense solutions” seem tone deaf while the Republic is under siege.

Meanwhile, Back in Maryland and Virginia

Here is a local 10th Congressional District of Virginia GOP committee touting House nominee Barbara Comstock and suggesting she can hustle more for Loudoun County.

What can local Republican apparatchiks be thinking, pushing pork at a time like this?

In fairness, Mrs. Comstock is probably no different from too many other GOP House nominees or incumbents across America in having no discernible concrete proposals for the Congress to try to stem this threat to our citizens’ security. 

Only Virginia 7 GOP nominee David Brat has been addressing head-on the bi-partisan open-borders push and the consequences of that destructive policy.

Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte has a wish list for the president here but no specific recommendations for the House itself to act — to bring to bear its primacy of place in controlling the public purse, or its power of impeaching the president’s servants who can be held accountable for implementing lawless policies.

But we know where Mr. Goodlatte’s heart is.

As Judiciary panel chief Goodlatte reportedly said on June 16  (here via Tony Lee at Breitbart)–

“Goodlatte acknowledged that if there is not an ‘an overwhelming majority’ of Republicans who support various amnesty and immigration bills, then ‘we have to have some Democrats come and support us.’
‘We’ve already passed four bills out of the committee,’ he said. ‘I believe that there is bipartisan support for those and for other bills that would come along behind those bills.’ (Highlighting Forum’s)

Today we received a list here — “No Money Until President Obama Acts” — compiled by immigration-control experts, of 28 steps the president should take to address the border crisis.

The House GOP leadership must resolve to confront the Obama Administration by denying major funds and possibly by the impeachment of subordinate officials such as the Secretary of Homeland Security –  if we are effectively to protect our borders and our sovereignty. 

Without substantial public pressure, however, there is little likelihood that the House GOP leadership will risk any kind of confrontation before the November 4 election.  They didn’t climb this far up the GOP ladder to start acting like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher. They came here to learn how to do deals and to listen to donors.

Mark Levin’s Take

House GOP nominee Barbara Comstock has sought and received many endorsements, including, notably, that of Mark Levin.

Nationwide commentator and constitutional lawyer Levin weighed in strongly this week on what should be done about the chaos on our border and on the fecklessness of Speaker John Boehner.

Understand that Speaker Boehner’s proposal for a lawsuit is a dangerous substitute for taking Constitutional action, not a prelude to solving the problem. 

Readers can listen to Levin’s comments here and here thanks to the RightScoop.

Does Mrs. Comstock agree with former Reagan Justice Department official Mark Levin’s insights on Speaker Boehner’s proposed lawsuit  and on Levin’s recommendations about what should be done about the border crisis?

Does any Virginia GOP House incumbent agree with Mark Levin on these two critical concerns?

Does Maryland GOP House appropriator Andy Harris?

If we are looking for models of United States Representatives in action to stem the border invasion, consider Oklahoma’s Jim Bridenstine and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn proposed visit to Ft. Sill tomorrow here

“Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK) will visit the HHS facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) at Ft. Sill, on Saturday, July 12.  Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN) will accompany him.After being denied access on July 1st to the federal facility operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to house UAC at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Bridenstine notified HHS that he intends to visit the facility.  The HHS response included a list of restrictions including no questions during the tour, no contact with staff or children, and no recording devices or photography.  Both Congressmen have indicated that they plan to treat these restrictions just as the President treats laws passed by Congress, as ‘suggestions’.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Readers will recognize that the time-sensitive issues we are focusing on here are those of preserving our Constitution and the safety of our families, not ordinary policy disputes.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 04 Jul 2014

A Collect for Independence Day


--Elliott Banfield, Claremont Review

–Elliott Banfield, Claremont Review

“O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
– 1928 Book of Common Prayer

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 30 Jun 2014

Impeachments & Invasion: Straight Talk from House Members?

“The Democratic Party is the ruling class’s ruling element, and its voters are the bulk of the beneficiaries. The Republican Party’s leadership, its associated business associates and consultants, are the junior partners.The mass of GOP and independent voters, having come to see themselves as disadvantaged and insulted by the ruling class, have increasingly supported anti-establishment candidates to challenge it in Republican primaries. Accurately, the Republican establishment sees this as a greater threat to themselves than any Democrats could be.”
– Angelo Codevilla in “
The Ruling Class Went Down to Mississippi”

Many thoughtful voters see our nation in increasing if not immediate peril, and most of them are likely struck by the dissonance between these pressing dangers and the bland, often murky rhetoric of many House GOP leaders.  

Codevilla’s analysis (read it all) of the Mississippi Republican debacle helps us understand why the House GOP leadership talks vaguely “right” with no intention of serious curative action in the current crisis.

Let’s look at just two flash points — there are many others, some relating to the Islamist threat and to national defense — to which we’ll return in a later post.

  • The president’s usurping of legislative powers, and his failure to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Andrew McCarthy in NRO declares “Boehner Is Bringing a Whistle to a Gunfight”  explaining that–

“The goal should be to create a political climate in which executive lawlessness is deeply discouraged; that could be accomplished if some defunding were accompanied by the impeachment of obnoxious subordinate officials who execute the administration’s lawless policies. It cannot be accomplished by a lawsuit that simply reinforces the president’s assessment that his opposition is unserious.”(Highlighting Forum’s).
  • The president’s reckless failure to protect our borders and thus our sovereignty.

Senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions reveals (via YouTube) “Senate Dems Go Home To July 4th Barbecues As U.S. Border Descends Into Chaos.”

John Derbyshire paints a transatlantic picture here (via VDARE)–

“For anyone who gives a fig about Western civilization there is only one story that matters in these years we’re living through:  The swelling flood of Third Worlders pouring into our countries.  Even some mainstream commentators are starting to get it.”

As for the Texas invasion, he explains–

“What this actually is, is a law-enforcement crisis, a Congressional accountability crisis, and a crisis of executive delinquency.” (Highlighting Forum’s).

And author Diana West has a plain solution here (also go here) to this invasion clearly intended as colonization–

“[P]lease don’t be fooled by the adverb “temporarily.” What we’re looking at is Washington’s effort to set up a network of Central American detention centers/orphanages/schools/? across the country that are likely to be as ‘temporary’ as the Arab-Palestinian ‘refugee camps’ created more than 60 years ago.
This must be reversed. They have to be deported, all of them.(Highlighting Forum’s).

But back to our House Republican incumbents here (Maryland) and here (Virginia).

Will these members publicly commit to moving promptly towardthe impeachment of obnoxious subordinate officials who execute the administration’s lawless policies” — as Andrew McCarthy recommends?

Will these members publicly commit to invoking the appropriations and impeachment powers of the House to turn back the current invasion of our southern borders?

As scholar and former senate staffer Codevilla keeps reminding us–

“The Mississippi primary confirmed yet again that, if America is to go in a direction other than the one of which some three- fourths of American disapprove, it is compelled to do so with a vehicle other than the Republican Party.”

If “Republican” politicians flinch from using their powers to support and defend the Constitution and to guard our borders — thus failing to provide for our common defense –there is simply no reason to support them for they themselves will have forsaken their oaths and their political tradition.








First things . . . Richard Falknor on 27 Jun 2014

UPDATED! A Border Crisis, Lawless Government & Feckless GOP Leadership

UPDATE JUNE 28! Andrew McCarthy here in NRO: “Boehner Is Bringing a Whistle to a Gunfight” “The goal should be to create a political climate in which executive lawlessness is deeply discouraged; that could be accomplished if some defunding were accompanied by the impeachment of obnoxious subordinate officials who execute the administration’s lawless policies. It cannot be accomplished by a lawsuit that simply reinforces the president’s assessment that his opposition is unserious.”

A Border Crisis, Lawless Government & Feckless GOP Leadership

“A week before the July 4th holiday, America can’t even protect its own borders, and what do our democratic colleagues wish to do? They want to adjourn this chamber, go home to their barbecues, work on their reelection campaigns…How can any of us relax at an Independence Day barbecue next week knowing at this very moment the nation’s sovereignty is being eroded?” –senator Jeff Sessions here June 26, 2014

Too many of our Republican House members also don’t see the need for prompt action to protect our sovereignty

Diana West made these grave points Wednesday here in her “Border Crashing and Population Replacement” post

“The local news from around the USA tells us that the U.S. federal government is not only enabling the mass invasion at our own border, it is doing nothing to repel it. It is, in fact, doing everything it can to make it permanent.”
“But we do seem to be witnessing a newly blatant phase in which the federal government is taking concrete measures to replace or displace or forever make strangers out of its own citizens with primitive alien blocs that will never be ‘assimilated,‘ but rather will forever change the towns and localities they are being foisted on. It is a crime without a name — call it nation-cide.”
“The front line of this war goes through every town council and planning commission across America, as we have already seen in Lawrenceville, VA, also Escondido, CA (below) and elsewhere.”
“What we’re looking at is Washington’s effort to set up a network of Central American detention centers/orphanages/schools/? across the country that are likely to be as ‘temporary’ as the Arab-Palestinian ‘refugee camps’ created more than 60 years ago.”
“This must be reversed. They have to be deported, all of them.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Author West continues here with a half-dozen examples of communities now being threatened by “population replacement.”

Take the time to read it all.

This is your America, but maybe not for very long.

The Boehner Memorandum: “either untrue or abject nonsense”

Former Federal prosecutor and constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy spells out (via NRO), in his “Boehner Issues Memo Explaining His Feckless Plan to Sue Obama” here, what is behind the Speaker’s proposed lawsuit –

“Boehner and Beltway Republicans are essentially saying, ‘We can’t use our power because Obama and his media friends would say mean things about us. But our lunatic conservative base is demanding action. So let us file a lawsuit so we can say we did something. Who knows . . . maybe in a year or two we’ll get lucky and get a favorable ruling against Obama that can’t be enforced without Obama’s help.’”

Author McCarthy gives us some constitutional specifics on the Boehner Memo

  • If no one is in a position to ‘challenge the president’s failure’ to follow the law, that is because no one has suffered a concrete personal injury that would provide the standing necessary for a court case — judges are not there to resolve power disputes between the political branches.
  • “There is an institution that ‘can challenge the president’s failure’ to execute the laws faithfully: It is the Congress.
  • “And there is a legislative remedy: Congress has the power to defund executive-branch activities and impeach lawless executive-branch officials, including the president himself.”
“Either of those responses would stop the president’s lawlessness in its tracks. And sure, the leader of the opposition party controlling the House may well be able to pass an ‘explicit House authorization for the lawsuit’ Boehner anticipates filing. After all, how hard is it to get a bunch of congressional Republicans to agree that punting to the courts is easier than rolling up their sleeves and doing their jobs? (See, e.g., Obamacare.)”

McCarthy recommends that Congressional Republicans–

“start impeaching subordinate executive branch officials who have been involved in either (or both) the IRS abuse of Americans over their political beliefs or the cover-up of that constitutional affront, which has involved misleading testimony, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.”

In an earlier NRO column last week, McCarthy urged–

“So, Republicans: Impeach them now, worry about prosecuting them later . . . and please stop whining as if you are powerless to do anything.”

Jeff Sessions: The Senate’s Republican Rock Against Big Immigration

And yesterday senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions warned here (via Breitbart’s Tony Lee)–

“Obama ‘has circumvented Congress and ignored the Constitution whenever it is convenient for the implementation of his agenda,’ and it is up to Congress to ‘work each day to reassert its constitutional authority and to rein in an Executive Branch that seeks to make its own laws.
This will not be possible merely by filing lawsuits: Congress must be willing to use its constitutional authority, including its appropriations powers, to protect the American people and the rule of law,’ he added.”

What’s In The Minds of the House GOP Leaders?

Andrew McCarthy reveals here (via PJM) more detail about the thinking of the House GOP leadership– 

“In essence, Boehner & Co. are fecklessly asking the courts to do their heavy lifting for them — a classic case of assuming the pose of meaningful action while in reality doing nothing. And tune in next week when Republicans get back to complaining about how activist judges are making the law rather than interpreting it.
Republican lawmakers will plead with the courts to do something about Obama’s imperiousness because there is political risk in using their own authority. If they employ these game-ending powers, the president will use the bully pulpit to bully them and his media loyalists will echo the demagoguery from here to Election Day.
Clearly, Republicans doubt their competence to win this debate, to make presidential lawlessness the defining issue of our political discourse. They prefer to cruise quietly into November, and hope — as they did in 2012 — that the unpopularity of Obama’s agenda will be enough to carry them through the election. But they also know their agitated base is demanding that they do something to stop or slow the dizzying pace of Obama’s ‘Change,’ which in just the last couple of weeks has given us: the VA scandal, ruinous EPA regulations, the release of top Taliban terrorists to return to the jihad, an invited invasion of thousands of illegal aliens across the Southern border, and revelations that executive officials destroyed key evidence in the IRS scandal.
So the GOP will substitute futile litigation for purposeful legislation. This, of course, is the same strategy that has saddled us with Obamacare: Take no real legislative action — in fact, continue funding the problem — and pray that the Supreme Court will be the grown-ups willing to strike down the law and bear the Obamedia wrath. That worked out well, no?”

As McCarthy emphasizes–

“The Constitution provides two avenues for reining in presidential lawlessness: Congress’s power of the purse and Congress’s authority to impeach the president. They are extraordinarily powerful remedies … but they are the only two available. Some lawmakers appear to think there is a third: Unwilling or unable to persuade their colleagues to use the constitutional powers available to the legislature, they hope to have the courts do the work for them – and to look, in the process of filing ballyhooed lawsuits against the administration, like they are mounting real resistance. It is, however, a feeble strategy.”

Plain Talk

Constitutional activist McCarthy recommends the House act now to impeach senior officials who are enabling the regime’s lawlessness. His subtext is apparently that while the nation is not at this time ready for presidential impeachment, Internal Revenue Service (and, we would add, homeland-security officials) are very unappealing defendants in the court of public opinion which is where impeachment proceedings will ultimately be judged.

We certainly agree with his logic.  The obstacle, however, is that the House (and Beltway) Republican leadership simply do not want seriously to confront the White House on any major issue.  The leadership and their big-donor overlords have already gone to great expense and trouble to try to suppress the “base,” as we just saw in the Mississippi U. S. Senate primary election here. The GOP will, of course, happily give the “base” the kind of political theater described in the Boehner lawsuit memo.

But if conservatives want real action from the House Republicans, they are going to have to lean on the members they know in ways they have not been comfortable doing in the past and keep leaning until there is real action.  In short, conservatives must make a very big noise, and do it right away.

As we said, it’s your America, but maybe not for very long.









First things . . . Richard Falknor on 17 Jun 2014

Benghazi Accountabilty Coalition: “Restoring The Sacred Trust”

Yesterday the new Benghazi Accountability Coalition presented (and live-streamed) three panels of dedicated Americans who summarized our understanding of  this security disaster in plain words — what is already known, and what we must find out and tell the voters.

Click here to hear the panels. (Move cursor to start of YouTube.)

Why should you take the time to listen and make notes?

  • The American presidency went way off the tracks in failing to respond to this attack on our ambassador and our officials. We need to know the full extent of White House and agency missteps.
  • The morale and honor of our military was severely undermined by our failed response.
  • The House of Representatives leadership has come up short, until very recently, in their oversight and investigative responsibilities to address the Benghazi disaster.
  • The administration’s policies toward Jihadists and The Muslim Brotherhood — underlying our presence in Benghazi — must be publicly scrutinized, then corrected.  What, moreover, was Iran’s participation in the Benghazi attack?

What about the new House select committee under Representative Trey Gowdy?

The Coalition will labor to build the public support essential for the new panel’s success.

The Coalition will also help the new Gowdy Panel to stay on course.

Paraphrasing Lincoln Republican Carl Schurz in this regard — “when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.”

Readers can consider here meaty reports and wise counsel by Andrew McCarthy, Tom Fitton, general Thomas McInerney, Frank Gaffney, Joe diGenova, and Ken Timmerman, among the other top-flight experts.

These panels will not waste your time with the usual Beltway Baby Talk.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 11 Jun 2014

VA-10: Can GOP Nominee Comstock Learn From Dave Brat’s Win?

“And we have this Republican creed in Virginia in that the only problem with the Republican principles is no one’s following them. First one is a commitment to free markets. We don’t have any free markets in this country anymore, right? And then equal treatment under the law, and fiscal responsibility, constitutional adherence, peace through strong defense, and then faith in God, and strong moral fiber. That’s what I ran on, the Republican creed. But the press is just always out to have these exciting stories to sell papers. And the people actually do care about policy. When you’re serious — I give 30-minute stump speeches on policy, and the press made fun of me.”  — David Brat (via Hannity — but listen to the entire interview)

Barbara Comstock, the Republican nominee for Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District, touted Eric Cantor as one of her supporters here in 2009 when she was running for the House of Delegates in Virginia’s 34th District.

Horatius Brat Topples The Establishment From The Bridge

Horatius Brat Keeps The GOP Establishment Off The Bridge To Virginia’s 7th District (Heritage-Hist)

This year, the Majority Leader apparently was a significant attraction here (via the Washington Post’s Antonio Olivo) to her campaign–

“She secured backing early on from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and other high-profile Republican leaders, support that allowed her campaign to bring in $780,000 since January.
. . . . . . . . . .
“On Saturday, the money poured into getting out the vote among a relatively small subset of highly motivated Republican voters paid off. . . .In Loudoun, Bruce Bowen said he chose Comstock because he’s worried the Republican party is imploding amid a nationwide battle for control between tea party conservatives and so-called ‘establishment Republicans’ such as Comstock.”

Mrs. Comstock also has donors here some of whom could symbolize what David Brat terms “the fissure between Main Street and Wall Street.”

Laura Ingraham spells out the national significance of David Brat’s win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor yesterday (via 

“‘This was a cataclysmic upending of the old Republican Guard.  A strong, substantive, passionate, earnest conservative flattened an arrogant, out of touch, two-faced, moderate Eric Cantor,’ Ingraham told Breitbart News shortly after the Associated Press declared Brat the victor.”

Conservative commentator Ingraham explained

“‘Cantor had a chance to lead the party in a conservative direction. But most just saw him as weak and ineffective.  If anything, he was leading the party away from conservatism.  The Brat Pack won the battle,’ Ingraham said.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Breitbart’s Tony Lee underscored here a continuing theme in the Brat victory in his “Eric Cantor Primary Loss a Referendum Against Amnesty”–

“In the final weeks of the campaign, Brat made the race completely about amnesty and open borders, saying a vote for Cantor would be a vote for ‘open borders,’ and the seventh district primary would be the ‘last chance’ to stop amnesty.
Regarding amnesty legislation, voters told Cantor and Congress, ‘not so fast.’
After anti-amnesty Republican Ann Coulter endorsed Brat, Laura Ingraham, who has relentlessly fought for American workers against amnesty on her national radio program, campaigned for him last week. Brat said on Breitbart News Sunday that 700 people showed up to the event and some even parked in Cantor’s cul-de-sac.”

Can Mrs. Comstock leave behind her political past with Mr. Cantor, come to a better mind, then connect with the grass roots in her district?

Presumably the nominee should want these conservatives to be energized and to want to help get out the vote for her.

It’s simply a question of how much she wants to win in November.

Here is a place for her to start: the consequences of  the Administration’s reckless disregard of our borders and immigration laws are not going away, even if the House GOP leadership abandons its Big Immigration schemes. 

Senior Republican senator Jeff Sessions has revealed

“There is now an unprecedented crisis unfolding at the border. The flow of illegal immigrant youth across the southern border is on track to reach 130,000 next year—a projected increase of more than 2,000% from 2011. The White House estimates the cost of ‘resettling’ these illegal immigrants in the United States will reach $2.3 billion in a single year.
This crisis is a direct and predictable result of the President’s sustained and deliberate campaign to dismantle immigration enforcement. His administration has announced to the world that our nation’s immigration laws will not be enforced and that, in particular, they will not be applied to foreign youth.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

And the senator declared today hereSessions Lambasts Secretary Johnson For Fostering Chaos, Violence At Border”

This is an exigent threat which will touch all our communities.

What concrete action does GOP nominee Comstock recommend to stop this invasion on our southern border?

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 08 Jun 2014

Tuesday’s VA-7 Primary: A Brat Win Will Help GOP Find Its Way

Ashland Strawberry Festival yesterday. Ed Hunter reports: "Sentiment was solidly pro-Dave Brat with many stickers and t shirts being worn by the crowd. Brat had the crowd lined to shake his hand. I don’t think the GOP has the slightest idea of how outraged popular sentiment is."

Ashland Strawberry Festival yesterday. Ed Hunter reports:”Sentiment was solidly pro-Dave Brat with many stickers and t-shirts worn by the crowd. Brat had the crowd lined to shake his hand. I don’t think the GOP has the slightest idea of how outraged popular sentiment is.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is infamous for jeopardizing our country by his energetic and reckless support of Big Immigration.

The good Mr. Cantor has a number of other public missteps some of which which we have cataloged here and here and here over the years.

But the House Republican leader’s advancing of Big Immigration is the worst.

As we have written

Stopping Cantor will send a very strong message.
Enacting amnesty and consequent Big Immigration, on the other hand, will not only result in losing “safe” Republican seats.  These massive changes will soon create a society where small government and constitutional principles have few adherents — and Tea Parties and grass-roots conservative organizations even fewer recruits. Forget about any incremental patriotic assimilation.
 Mark Krikorian and Phyllis Schlafly (at 03:30 here) detail amnesty’s consequences to our way of life in their video presentation, “Amnesty and Open Borders: The End of America – and the GOP,” taped March 6 at the National Security Action Summit.

Races like David Brat’s are not easy paths. 

This is because there are many Republican large donors — more than conservatives likely have recognized — who see the chief role of GOP politicians as being “business friendly.”

This is a polite phrase for “crony capitalism” and for “crony regulating” –  to use the government to snuff out smaller competitors who can’t meet the costs of compliance.

The opposite is “market friendly” –  limiting government intrusion into the marketplace and encouraging lots of c0mpetition and innovation.

Conservative culture scholar John Fonte explained here last December–

“…American business and its GOP allies who do not look beyond ‘economic man’ either silently accept or actively approve the dogmas of progressive orthodoxy – the diversity project, multiculturalism, radical feminism, globalism, mass immigration, environmentalism, and all of the progressive social issues.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

In the case of Big Immigration, many deep-pocketed Republican donors simply wish to import cheap labor — whether unskilled or high-tech.

As for the patriotic, security, and social costs — well, ordinary citizens can pick up that tab.

But these donors hardly favor smaller government. And why should they want to rein in the “administrative state”?  That is the system through which they prosper.

“A Humble and Honest Populism”

There is, however, a principled way for the GOP — a way that a Brat victory Tuesday would help advance.

John Fonte continues here 

“At National Review Online, [senator Jeff] Sessions urged the GOP to ‘adopt a humble and honest populism’ and distance itself from ‘the corporate titans who believe the immigration policy for our entire country should be modeled to pad their bottom line.’
The GOP lost the 2012 election, Sessions said, ‘because it hemorrhaged support from middle and low-income Americans of all backgrounds,’ and the party must now mount an ‘unapologetic defense of working Americans.’ He noted that Americans oppose by a two-to-one margin increasing low-skilled immigration and also strongly oppose any legalization of illegal immigrants before border security is in place. Sessions made the key political point that Republicans have a golden opportunity to appeal once again to Reagan Democrats, who are, as [Thatcher adviser] John O’Sullivan put it in a statement lauding Sessions, an ‘electoral bloc that dwarfs any other in numerical terms.’” (Highlighting Forum’s)

A Stern Warning from a Smart Woman

 And if the GOP will not correct course?

In a Breitbart interview with Michael Patrick Leahy, “Laura Ingraham Emerges As Top GOP Primary Warrior,” commentator Ingraham points out, here

“The question is do you want to live in a country run by, essentially, 100 families or do you want to live in a country where the middle class has a real chance to have a better life and leave a better life for their kids,’ she explained.
‘Right now,’ Ingraham said, ‘I think we are edging closer to that country where just the rich and powerful have a consistent say. They have an alliance with the far left groups that have their own agenda to bolster union membership and swell the ranks of the Democratic Party.’
‘I think this will not end well for the capitalists. If they think this is going to be a good ride, it’s not going to end well. History is replete with examples of the perpetually impoverished rising up against the fat cats.’”(Highlighting Forum’s)

Voters in the VA 7 GOP primary should weigh the national consequences of their selection on Tuesday.






First things . . . Richard Falknor on 25 May 2014

Memorial Day: Time To Reacquaint Ourselves With Our History

“We must abandon the naive faith that with enough money, education, or good intentions we can change the nature of mankind so that conflict, as if by fiat, becomes a thing of the past. In the end, the study of war reminds us that we will never be gods. We will always just be men, it tells us. Some men will always prefer war to peace; and other men, we who have learned from the past, have a moral obligation to stop them.” —Victor Davis Hanson

Barbary Wars 1804: Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur Boarding Tripolitan Gunboat by DM Carter. (Click on image.)

Barbary Wars 1804: Navy Lieutenant & Eastern Shore Native Stephen Decatur Boarding Tripolitan Gunboat by DM Carter. (Click on image.)

Conservative thinker Victor Davis Hanson wrote in his “Why Study War”  (click here)–

“Military history teaches us about honor, sacrifice, and the inevitability of conflict.”

Classicist and historian Hanson explains –

     “democratic citizenship requires knowledge of war—and now, in the age of weapons of mass annihilation, more than ever.”

But, says professor Hanson here, about today’s widespread absence of college courses in military history–

“Those who want to study war in the traditional way face intense academic suspicion, as Margaret Atwood’s poem ‘The Loneliness of the Military Historian’ suggests:
‘Confess: it’s my profession
hat alarms you.
This is why few people ask me to dinner,
though Lord knows I don’t go out of my
way to be scary.’”
Chosin Reservior:Chinese Prisoners

Chosin Reservoir: Chinese Soldiers Taken Prisoner by the U.S. 7th Marine Regiment, December 9, 1950, Photo by Sgt. Frank C. Kerr/USMC/National Archives and Records Administration via Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

Much of this we posted last Memorial Day. Today the pillars of our culture are under even greater siege. As time passes, our military and constitutional traditions seem more frail, in large part because too few Main Street Americans have been taught them in any serious way. 

Perhaps this 2014 Memorial Day can be a time for conservatives to contrive ways to restore the study of our military history, our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers to taxpayer-supported curricula.  Surely no one should leave high school today without the grounding that Americans of 1914 had in these basics of self-government.

Too great a task to fight the Education Cartel and local school boards?  Vastly easier than the one these brave Americans faced in Korea at the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.

Where To Continue, Or To Begin Our Study?

For citizens and teachers in universities, in high schools, among home-schoolers, and in all walks of life– scroll to the bottom of Hanson’s City Journal article here to read his helpful guide –

  “Studying War: Where to Start”
“While Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, a chronicle of the three-decade war between Athens and Sparta, establishes the genre of military history, the best place to begin studying war is with the soldiers’ stories themselves. E. B. Sledge’s memoir of Okinawa, With the Old Breed, is nightmarish, but it reminds us that war, while it often translates to rot, filth, and carnage, can also be in the service of a noble cause. Elmer Bendiner’s tragic retelling of the annihilation of B-17s over Germany, The Fall of Fortresses: A Personal Account of the Most Daring, and Deadly, American Air Battles of World War II, is an unrecognized classic.”

To understand how the American constitutional system – the commander-in-chieftaincy of the U.S. president – can work effectively in wartime, the narratives on Abraham Lincoln in Eliot A. Cohen’s Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (another Hanson recommendation) are eye-openers even for those otherwise knowledgeable about American history.

In addition to Hanson’s magisterial list, we would recommend two challenging books–

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully;
The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II by John Mosier.

 In our view, the study of war, together with our Constitution, is a lifelong march for citizens, but one essential to the freedom of our Republic.

 * * * * * * * * * *

Readers may wish to visit these earlier Memorial Day posts –

Memorial Day 2011: Honoring A Fading History?
To Keep Faith, We Must Teach Our History
Telling the WWII stories of so many valorous Americans | Scroll down to update!
Bataan Airfield 1942. 24th Pursuit Group. P-40E Warhawk.

Philippines. Bataan Airfield 1942. 24th Pursuit Group. P-40E Warhawk.(Click on image.)

“We’re the battling bastards of Bataan;
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam.
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces
And nobody give a damn
Nobody gives a damn.”
–Frank Hewlett 1942

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 06 May 2014

UPDATED! Benghazi Select Panel: Will Speaker’s Qualms Constrain Inquiry?

UPDATE MAY 8! YouTube “McCarthy: Let the Benghazi Facts Speak for Themselves” via National Review

* * * * * * * * * *

 “But, as Jed [Babbin] urges, neither Representative Gowdy nor anyone else should accept the assignment without assurances of the committee’s ability to conduct an investigation that follows the facts wherever they go and for however long it takes to get through the formidable Obama stonewall. A proper select committee is vital; a poorly conceived select committee would be worse than what we have now.” (Highlighting Forum’s.) – Andrew McCarthy

The Heritage Foundation here lays out some basic facts — including legal expert Hans von Spakovsky’s illuminating comments about a select committee — in their “Does a Benghazi Select Committee Matter?” –

“House Republicans are moving to set up a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks. The House could vote this week on establishing the panel, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said would be led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor.”
No more "see, hear, and speak no evil" with new Benghazi committee's serious probe? (Image:Alex Johansen)

No more “see, hear, and speak no evil” with new Benghazi committee’s serious probe? (Image:Alex Johansen)

Judicial Watch’s digging here finally shamed the House GOP leadership into withdrawing their opposition to a Select Committee. 

Representative Frank Wolf, in the teeth of the Speaker’s opposition, had earlier collected here over 180 members of the House Republican membership to co-sponsor his H.Res. 36 to set up a Select Committee –  and addressed that chamber frequently on the need for such a panel. 

Accuracy in Media set up its Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi which published its revealing interim report, “How America Switched Sides in the War on Terror” here, on April 22.

(Obviously careful, probing, day-in day-out oversight and investigations — once the aspiration of many House members of an earlier era — have fallen out of favor. Perhaps its too much work for members unless there is some immediate media payoff; and certainly not half as much fun for some as shaking down businesses and trade associations for campaign money, as Peter Schweizer has pointed out here.)

 GOP Leadership: Why The Foot Dragging?

A January 6, 2014 letter to speaker John Boehner, Benghazi victims’ families, conservative leaders demand Boehner create Select Committee, released by Judicial Watch, declared in Cromwellian tones

“While the White House repeats false and misleading information, you continue to ignore claims, documented by Rep. Frank Wolf, of intelligence officers being intimidated with multiple, punitive polygraph examinations and harassing non-disclosure agreement demands.  If Benghazi is ‘phony’ why are intelligence officers being threatened not to speak and subjected to polygraph exams? Why do you stand by passively?
Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of the ‘Super 8.’ [*] You may possess ‘guilty knowledge.’  We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of ‘amnesia’ concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’– later termed ‘torture’ for political purposes.  Are you in the same position as your predecessor?  Are you dodging a legitimate, thorough, coordinated investigation of Benghazi because it will damage your political position as Speaker?”   (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The January 6 letter continued–

“Rep. Mike Rogers and the Intelligence Committee seem to act as defense counsel for the Obama administration.  A recent Intelligence Committee weekly update note stated as fact that no arms shipments were being run from Libya, and that no intelligence officers were being coerced not to speak.  There is substantial evidence to the contrary on both counts.  Why does Rep. Rogers parrot the discredited falsehoods of the so-called ‘Accountability Review Board’ (ARB)?” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Last March 10, we reported here--

This morning on WMAL former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova here expressed outrage over what he called the “disgraceful” conduct of House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers here on the Benghazi investigation. Rogers, he said, has played an “obstructionist” role in blocking any serious accounting of events. Listen to diGenova here–

According to the Washington Post here,Rep. Mike Rogers to retire, launch national radio show.”

This morning  of Breitbart supplied more background detail here, in his “Will Boehner Appoint Issa To Benghazi Select Committee?”

Spiering summed up–

“The emails from Judicial Watch kicked the investigation back into the headlines after two years of Republican efforts to uncover the truth about the administration’s activities behind the attack.
‘We’re pleased he got out of the way, so to speak, to allow a select committee to proceed,’ Fitton said, in response to Boehner’s announcement, pointing out that 180 Republicans and a coalition of grassroots groups had been calling for a committee for months.
But there are worries that the Boehner-appointed committee may not be permitted to do its work.
Fitton said the committee will succeed ‘if it’s allowed to do it’s job. If it’s manipulated for political purposes, by either party no.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy puts the matter in perspective here

“The scandal lives only because Americans are outraged by it. To most of us, it has to do with accountability and little or nothing to do with 2016 politics. Personally, I doubt Hillary Clinton is going to run for president, and if she does run, I think she’ll be even less appealing than in 2008, when she was stronger but Democrats rejected her. The reason for pursuing Benghazi is not to remind people of Mrs. Clinton’s disgraceful performance; it is to establish how and why our people were killed in order to reverse the government policies that led to the empowerment of Islamic supremacists; it is to hold accountable the government officials who designed those policies and then abused their power in covering up the foreseeable results.”  (Highlighting Forum’s.)

* * * * * * * * * *

*Representative Louie Gohmert explains (scroll down in previous link) “the Super 8, as they are sometimes referred to . . . the top Republican and Democrat on the Intelligence Committee in the House and in the Senate and the Republican leader in the House and the Democratic leader in the House and the Democratic leader in the Senate and the Republican leader in the Senate.”

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