Category: Taxes


What the Constitution Really Says About Race and Slavery

David Azerrad / December 28, 2015

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, the 13th Amendment officially was ratified, and with it, slavery finally was abolished in America. The New York World hailed it as “one of the most important reforms ever accomplished by voluntary human agency.”

The newspaper said the amendment “takes out of politics, and consigns to history, an institution incongruous to our political system, inconsistent with justice and repugnant to the humane sentiments fostered by Christian civilization.”

With the passage of the 13th Amendment—which states that “[n]either slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”—the central contradiction at the heart of the Founding was resolved.

Eighty-nine years after the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed all men to be free and equal, race-based chattel slavery would be no more in the United States.

While all today recognize this momentous accomplishment, many remain confused about the status of slavery under the original Constitution. Textbooks and history books routinely dismiss the Constitution as racist and pro-slavery. The New York Times, among others, continues to casually assert that the Constitution affirmed African-Americans to be worth only three-fifths of a human being.

Ironically, many Americans who are resolutely opposed to racism unwittingly agree with Chief Justice Roger Taney’s claim in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that the Founders’ Constitution regarded blacks as “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” In this view, the worst Supreme Court case decision in American history was actually correctly decided.

Such arguments have unsettling implications for the health of our republic. They teach citizens to despise their founding charter and to be ashamed of their country’s origins. They make the Constitution an object of contempt rather than reverence. And they foster alienation and resentment among African-American citizens by excluding them from our Constitution.

The received wisdom in this case is wrong. If we turn to the actual text of the Constitution and the debates that gave rise to it, a different picture emerges. The case for a racist, pro-slavery Constitution collapses under closer scrutiny.

Race and the Constitution

The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution—or in the Declaration of Independence, for that matter—are human beings classified according to race, skin color, or ethnicity (nor, one should add, sex, religion, or any other of the left’s favored groupings). Our founding principles are colorblind (although our history, regrettably, has not been).

The Constitution speaks of people, citizens, persons, other persons (a euphemism for slaves) and Indians not taxed (in which case, it is their tax-exempt status, and not their skin color, that matters). The first references to “race” and “color” occur in the 15th Amendment’s guarantee of the right to vote, ratified in 1870.

A newly freed African American group of men and a few children posing by a canal against the ruins of Richmond, Va. Photo made after Richmond was taken by Union troops on April 3, 1865. (Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)
A newly freed group of black men and a few children pose by a canal against the ruins of Richmond, Va., after Union troops took the city on April 3, 1865. (Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)

The infamous three-fifths clause, which more nonsense has been written than any other clause, does not declare that a black person is worth 60 percent of a white person. It says that for purposes of determining the number of representatives for each state in the House (and direct taxes), the government would count only three-fifths of the slaves, and not all of them, as the Southern states, who wanted to gain more seats, had insisted. The 60,000 or so free blacks in the North and the South were counted on par with whites.

Contrary to a popular misconception, the Constitution also does not say that only white males who owned property could vote. The Constitution defers to the states to determine who shall be eligible to vote (Article I, Section 2, Clause 1). It is a little known fact of American history that black citizens were voting in perhaps as many as 10 states at the time of the founding (the precise number is unclear, but only Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia explicitly restricted suffrage to whites).

Slavery and the Constitution

Not only does the Constitution not mention blacks or whites, but it also doesn’t mention slaves or slavery. Throughout the document, slaves are referred to as persons to underscore their humanity. As James Madison remarked during the constitutional convention, it was “wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.”

The Constitution refers to slaves using three different formulations: “other persons” (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3), “such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1), and a “person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof” (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3).

Although these circumlocutions may not have done much to improve the lot of slaves, they are important, as they denied constitutional legitimacy to the institution of slavery. The practice remained legal, but slaveholders could not invoke the supreme law of the land to defend its legitimacy. These formulations make clear that slavery is a state institution that is tolerated—but not sanctioned—by the national government and the Constitution.

Reading the original Constitution, a visitor from a foreign land would simply have no way of knowing that race-based slavery existed in America. As Abraham Lincoln would later explain:

Thus, the thing is hid away, in the Constitution, just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death.

One could go even further and argue, as Frederick Douglass did in the lead-up to the Civil War, that none of the clauses of the Constitution should be interpreted as applying to slaves. The “language of the law must be construed strictly in favor of justice and liberty,” he argued.

Because the Constitution does not explicitly recognize slavery and does not therefore admit that slaves were property, all the protections it affords to persons could be applied to slaves. “Anyone of these provisions in the hands of abolition statesmen, and backed up by a right moral sentiment, would put an end to slavery in America,” Douglass concluded.

Those who want to see what a racist and pro-slavery Constitution would look like should turn to the Confederate Constitution of 1861. Though it largely mimics the Constitution, it is replete with references to “the institution of negro slavery,” “negroes of the African race,” and “negro slaves.” It specifically forbids the Confederate Congress from passing any “law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves.”

One can readily imagine any number of clauses that could have been added to our Constitution to enshrine slavery. The manumission of slaves could have been prohibited. A national right to bring one’s slaves to any state could have been recognized. Congress could have been barred from interfering in any way with the transatlantic slave trade.

It is true that the Constitution of 1787 failed to abolish slavery. The constitutional convention was convened not to free the slaves, but to amend the Articles of Confederation. The slave-holding states would have never consented to a new Constitution that struck a blow at their peculiar institution. The Constitution did, however, empower Congress to prevent its spread and set it on a course of extinction, while leaving the states free to abolish it within their own territory at any time.

Regrettably, early Congresses did not pursue a consistent anti-slavery policy. This, however, is not an indictment of the Constitution itself. As Frederick Douglass explained: “A chart is one thing, the course of a vessel is another. The Constitution may be right, the government wrong.”

Congress and the Slave Trade

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called the African slave trade an “execrable commerce” and an affront “against human nature itself.” Because of a concession to slave-holding interests, the Constitution stipulates that it may not be abolished “prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1).

(Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)
Before the Civil War, Frederick Douglass said that nothing in the Constitution should be interpreted as applying to slaves. The “language of the law must be construed strictly in favor of justice and liberty,” he argued. (Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)

In the meantime, Congress could discourage the importation of slaves from abroad by imposing a duty “not exceeding 10 dollars on each person” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1). Although early Congresses considered such measures, they were never enacted.

Early Congresses did, however, regulate the transatlantic slave trade, pursuant to their power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). In 1794, 1800, and 1803, statutes were passed that severely restricted American participation in it. No American shipyard could be used to build ships that would engage in the slave trade, nor could any ship sailing from an American port traffic in slaves abroad. Americans were also prohibited from investing in the slave trade.

Finally, on the very first day on which it was constitutionally permissible to do so—Jan. 1, 1808—the slave trade was abolished by law.

The law, which President Thomas Jefferson signed, stipulated stiff penalties for any American convicted of participating in the slave trade: up to $10,000 in fines and five to 10 years in prison. In 1823, a new law was passed that punished slave-trading with death.

Congress and the Expansion of Slavery

Banning the importation of slaves would not by itself put an end to slavery in the United States. Slavery would grow naturally even if no new slaves were brought into the country.

Although Congress could not prevent this, it could prevent slavery from spreading geographically to the territories from which new states would eventually be created.

Congress has the power “to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States” (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2), to forbid the migration of slaves into the new territories (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1), and to stipulate conditions for statehood (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2).

Regrettably, early Congresses did not prevent the spread of slavery. Between 1798 and 1822, Congress enacted 10 territorial acts. Only half excluded slavery.

As a result, seven slaveholding states and five free states were admitted into the union. The seeds of what Abraham Lincoln would later call the crisis of the house divided were sown.

Slavery in the Existing States

As for the existing slaveholding states that had ratified the Constitution, what could Congress do to restrict the growth of slavery within their borders? Here Congress had more limited options. After 1808, “the migration” of slaves across state lines could have been prohibited (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1). This was never done.

In principle, slavery could have been taxed out of existence. However, the requirement that direct taxes be apportioned among the states made it impossible to exclusively target slaveholders. A capitation or head tax, for example, even though it would have been more costly for Southerners, would also impose a heavy burden on Northerners.

While one could perhaps have circumvented the apportionment requirement by calling for an indirect tax on slaves—as Sen. Charles Sumner, R-Mass., would later do during the Civil War—such arguments were not made in the early republic.

There was one clause in the original Constitution that required cooperation with slaveholders and protected the institution of slavery. Slaves who escaped to freedom were to “be delivered up” to their masters (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3). The motion to include a fugitive slave clause at the constitutional convention passed unanimously and without debate. This would seem to indicate that all knew it would be futile to try to oppose such a measure.

The debate instead focused on the wording. Whereas the original draft had referred to a “person legally held to service or labor in one state,” the final version instead refers to a “person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof.” This change, Madison explains in his notes, was to comply “with the wish of some who thought the term legal equivocal,” as it gave the impression “that slavery was legal in a moral view,” rather than merely permissible under the law.

This remark by Madison captures the Constitution’s stance vis-à-vis slavery: permissible, but not moral. Legal, but not legitimate.

In no way can the Constitution be said to be pro-slavery. The principles of natural right undergirding it are resolutely anti-slavery. Its language conveys disapproval of slavery. And it contains within it several provisions that could have been and were at times used to prevent the spread of slavery.

This may not make it an anti-slavery Constitution. But even before the 13th Amendment, it was a Constitution that, if placed in the right hands, could be made to serve the cause of freedom.

 

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GOP Finally Showing Some Chutzpah Over Gay Marriage Ruling with HUGE New Bill
July 2, 2015 By Colleen Conley

Well, it’s about time.
After the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is the law of the land in all 50 states, concerns arose about the legal status and obligations of religious institutions which clashed with the LGBT agenda.

Specifically, would churches and other religious entities be forced to participate in something with which it’s teachings and dogma were at odds? And if these institutions refused to participate, what would be the consequences?

It seems the Republican party has finally awakened, and has shown some testicular fortitude in its efforts to stand up in favor of religious institutions’ First Amendment rights.

Just days after the court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would ensure nobody could be discriminated against based on their views on gay marriage.

Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) introduced a bill, H.R. 2802 Labrador, to “prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.”

The bill would protect the tax-exempt status of churches and organizations that believed in traditional marriage.

It would strictly forbid any attempt to “alter in any way the Federal tax treatment of, or cause any tax, penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or deny, delay, or revoke an exemption from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.”

Other things defined as discriminatory actions by the bill would be to “disallow a deduction for Federal tax purposes of any charitable contribution made to or by such person … withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any Federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or other similar position or status from or to such person … withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any benefit under a Federal benefit program from or to such person; or … otherwise discriminate against such person.”

The bill also provided avenues of judicial relief, essentially defining the process by which those wronged could seek redress.

With a clearly divided and passionate electorate, it will be interesting to see if Obama will advocate for the equal protection of believers, as he has the special interest groups that are part of the liberal base. Or are some groups more equal than others?

American Lands Council
Things are moving along throughout the western states as lawmakers learn about and educate constituents on the Transfer of Public Lands, and why it is the only solution big enough to restore the health, access and productivity of our lands. The following excerpts from a Salt Lake Tribune article summarize the latest step taken by Utah Lawmakers to compel Congress to transfer the public lands to the state, as was guaranteed in all states’ enabling acts.
Utah lawmakers inched closer to a possible lawsuit in the state’s push to seize control of federal lands with the selection Tuesday of two consulting firms that will prepare a legal strategy and attempt to sway public opinion in their favor.

A Utah legislative commission voted unanimously to pay up to $2 million for the work to a law firm and public policy research organization. New Orleans-based Davillier Law Group will prepare an analysis by year’s end of the historical and constitutional grounds for transferring the lands, said Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, chair of a commission for the stewardship of public lands.

Stratton said he only expects to use a fraction of the funds allotted for the work, but said that figure has not been set yet.

Davillier was selected because of its expertise in constitutional law while Logan, Utah-based Strata was chosen for its knowledge of public land issues and its “conservative mindset,” Stratton said. Strata will utilize social media and Utah State University students to make sure the public has the accurate facts about why the state wants to take over operations of about 31 million acres of federal lands, or about half of the state.

Utah passed a law in 2012 demanding the federal government hand over the lands by the end of 2014, arguing the state would be a better manager and local control would allow Utah to make money from taxes and development rights on those acres.

But that deadline quietly passed with no such transfer, something predicted by both critics and supporters of the state’s push for control. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose department is in charge of the federal land in Utah, has said it’s a waste of time and resources for Utah to debate taking over the land.

No matter, the GOP-dominated Utah legislature demonstrated once again Tuesday at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City that they are intent on charging forward even though they recognize that the ultimate decision about a lawsuit lies with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.

Reyes’ spokeswoman Missy Larsen said Tuesday that the office welcomes any serious legal analysis of this significant issue. The office has previously said they had begun drafting a potential lawsuit, but that there’s no timeline for pursuing it and that they are waiting to see what progress the state’s congressional delegation can make on the issue.

…In a presentation to the commission, Thomas Vaughn of the office of legislative research and general counsel, touted the upcoming paper as one that would become the preeminent brief in the country about state control of federal land. He highlighted that Ronald Rotunda and John W. Howard — who he called constitutional law experts —will do work on the brief.

The land demand does not include national parks, wilderness areas and national monuments, with the exception of the roughly 3,000-square-mile Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah and its underground coal reserves.

…Stratton said the state is intent on protecting lands in Utah. Critics have argued cash-strapped states would be more likely to sell off public lands and close them to recreational activities.

“We need to recognize we have an $8 billion industry resting upon keeping our lands pristine and beautiful and desirable for the world to come and enjoy,” Stratton said. “I think we will find we agree on a lot more than we disagree on.”

Please contact your local officials, especially your Attorneys General, and let them know that you expect them to pursue the Transfer of Public Lands in your state. A simple email or phone call will do wonders to let them know that their constituents care.

American Lands Council
http://www.americanlandscouncil.org/
American Lands Council · 859 W South Jordan Pkwy, 100, South Jordan, UT 84095, United States
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Calif lawmakers advance aggressive climate change plans

climate_fastSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Wednesday pushed through an ambitious climate change package to further reduce the state’s carbon footprint and boost the use of renewable energy to 50 percent in 15 years.

The state Senate passed proposals to enact Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to curb greenhouse gas emissions by setting what the administration calls the most aggressive benchmark in North America over the objection of Republicans who characterized such regulation as coastal elitism that would kill working-class jobs.

California aims to boost statewide renewable electricity use to 50 percent, have drivers use half as much gasoline and make buildings twice as efficient under the proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. His bill, SB350, advanced to the Assembly on a 24-14 vote.

“California has demonstrated our global climate leadership over the last decade,” de Leon said, adding, “These policies will further cement our leadership, further strengthen our economy while protect the health of our communities.”

Senate Democrats also approved an overarching proposal to further reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Special Headline: Guess Who’s About To Go Bankrupt in America will Shock you

The goal is a mile marker on the way to cutting emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 that was set by Brown’s predecessor, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SB32 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, passed the Senate on a 22-15 vote.

“It is a big number – science-based number, however,” Pavley said, “what we have to do without reaching the tipping point regarding global climate change.”

California, which already has an aggressive plan to combat global warming, currently is on track to meet a goal of cutting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, partly by forcing companies to pay for their pollution.

The state’s cap-and-trade program, launched nearly three years ago, offers one of the few real-world laboratories on how to reduce heat-trapping emissions. It expanded this year to levy fees on companies that produce gasoline and other fuels, prompting predictions that consumers will see a spike in prices to cover the costs.

Pavley’s bill incorporates an executive order Brown issued in April to further emissions reductions – the equivalent of taking 36 million cars off the road, more than all the vehicles registered in California last year.

While the executive order lacked details, state officials have said it would require accelerated development of renewable energy and alternative fuel sources, and getting more electric cars and zero-emission heavy-duty trucks on the road.

GOP members said the package would mean the government will pick economic winners and losers, raise utility and gasoline prices, and drive out good-paying jobs just so California can feel good about leading an environmental fight.

They also said there is inadequate oversight of the rule-setting process.

“This is really a stab in the dark, and it’s unknown,” said Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. “Every new technology that has driven California has been when government got out of the way.”

Democrats argued that it’s not a choice between jobs and the environment. Rather, they say fostering clean-energy jobs will mean more people will drive electric vehicles and have solar panels on their homes.

Pavley, who authored the state’s 2006 global warming law, said more than $30 billion in venture capital has flowed into California as a result of establishing a marketplace for the private sector to compete.

The California Assembly also moved Wednesday on two climate change bills that are narrower in scope.

One bill, AB1288, would allow the state Air Resources Board to continue conducting market-based regulations beyond its 2020 authority, while the other, AB645, called for the state to require at least half of all energy come from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2050.

Associated Press writer Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.

This story has been corrected to show that California imposes fees, not fines, on its cap-and-trade program.

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/33147
Daily Digest
Feb. 13, 2015

THE FOUNDATION
“Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
The Selfie Debate Is Over1
A recent study2 at Ohio State University “showed that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy.” As Exhibit A, we submit the following:

The science is settled.

By the way, he played college frat boy with BuzzFeed on the same day Kayla Mueller was confirmed dead. Stay classy.

CNN Talkinghead: ‘Our Rights Do Not Come From God’3
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo debated Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over rights and marriage, particularly regarding the recent kerfuffle over same-sex marriage in the Heart of Dixie. When Moore explained that marriage is a matter of law and rights that come from God, Cuomo vehemently disagreed. “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man,” Cuomo insisted. Later he added, “That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.” What utter hogwash. As Moore aptly noted, the Declaration of Independence is the law of the land, and it begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” But Cuomo isn’t just mistaken. He and his deceased father, Mario, and his brother Andrew, former and current governors of New York, hold a typical leftist view that government and not God creates rights. Therefore, those rights are subject to the whims of politicians because, as Chris Cuomo insisted, “Times change. Definitions change.” Such views are dangerous and completely antithetical to the foundation of our country. More…4

Last Summer, Obama Partied With Terrorists5
By what we can gather, the wedding Barack Obama attended last August was the bomb. The wedding between MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and Sam Kass, a former White House chef, was kept hush-hush – probably because Obama was there with his pals and members of Weather Underground, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The Leftmedia rag Gawker, which got the scoop, reports pair, who cavorted with leftist terrorists that bombed federal buildings in the ‘70s, “were likely invited due to their connection to Kass. Though the nature of their relationship with him is unclear, Kass resided for several years in Chicago, where Ayers and Dohrn live, and appear to have close mutual friends. In 2012, for example, the trio attended the same 22-guest wedding at a San Francisco art gallery.” Furthermore, it’s unlikely Obama ignored the duo, as he started his 1995 Illinois Senate bid from their house. This is further evidence that Obama considers himself above scrutiny, as he doesn’t have a re-election to win. But imagine the resulting 24-hour outrage machine if George W. Bush had a friend who bombed abortion clinics. More…6

IRS to Give Tax Benefits to Illegals7
The administration that says this year’s tax refunds will be delayed8 has enough time to give tax benefits to illegal immigrants. In a House hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS will start paying refunds to amnestied illegals. Koskinen said, “To be eligible for the earned income tax credit, you have to work. … To be able to apply for it, you have to have a Social Security number.” Barack Obama’s executive amnesty gives illegals Social Security numbers, though the Obama administration never estimated the impact of the program. As Koskinen put it, “I haven’t talked to the White House about this at all.” In response to this admission, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Koskinen, “That’s just outrageous. If Congress had passed a law doing exactly what the president did, we would have had not only an estimate of the costs, but we would have also been required to propose ways to pay for the programs. This is just another example of the administration operating outside the rule of law.” Furthermore, Obama’s action muddles the line between citizen and non-citizen, all in a cynical play for more Democrat votes. More…9

Don’t Worry, We Still Have Six Middle East Embassies10
Despite the closure of the U.S. embassy in Yemen, which follows the abandonment of embassies in Syria and Libya, the Obama State Department says not to worry. A reporter asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “Is there a broader concern that you’re being – the U.S. is being run out of town in the Arab world?” Pish posh, she responded: “We certainly don’t look at it in that way. I would remind you that we were not the only country that moved our staff out of Yemen last night (so did the UK and France), and we have to take precautions to protect the men and women who are serving on our behalf. There’s no question that in each of the countries you’ve mentioned there’s a great bit of volatility, but that’s – the fact is that that’s what’s happening on the ground. It’s not a reflection of the United States and our engagement. It’s a reflection of the trouble and challenges happening in these countries.” On the contrary, it absolutely is a reflection of Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy.

For more, visit Right Hooks11.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
GOP Still Stymied by Democrat Filibuster12
The Republican plan to roll back Barack Obama’s immigration actions appears on the verge of collapse thanks to intra-party squabbling and a united Democrat opposition.

GOP congressmen originally called for passing a budget for the Department of Homeland Security that stripped out funding for immigration enforcement. The House passed its version of the bill last month with 10 Republicans joining all but two Democrats in opposition. The legislation is now mired in the Senate, where the GOP has failed to reach cloture three times. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try again – perhaps three more times.

But there is virtually no possibility they can pick up the Democrat votes needed to overcome the filibuster before the Feb. 27 deadline for funding, and the Senate adjourned Thursday for a 10-day recess.

That’s why some House Republicans want the Senate to deploy the nuclear option and eliminate the filibuster so they can pass the bill. Not that such a move would win Obama’s signature. And few, if any, Senate Republicans support such a move, which they decried when Harry Reid did it for non-Supreme Court nominations.

Before calling for more cloture votes, McConnell began looking to House Speaker John Boehner to fix the situation. “We can’t get on it, we can’t offer amendments to it,” McConnell lamented. “And the next step is obviously up to the House.”

House Republicans see things differently. “I think the speaker’s position is that the House has already acted. It’s time for the Senate to act,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

That’s putting it mildly. Boehner himself was far more colorful, saying, “The House has done its job. Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their a– and do something?”

The House GOP opposes restoring immigration funding to the bill. They appear motivated to challenge Obama’s abuse of power – as he clearly overstepped his constitutional authority when he made changes to immigration policy. Senate Republicans, however, are more interested in getting a DHS funding bill passed. Talk of considering some Democrat concessions has been circulating, but Democrats feel the wind at their backs and they’re likely to accept nothing less than a fully funded bill.

If appropriations run out, the DHS won’t be able to perform some of its functions – an unwelcome situation in a time of heightened terrorist activity. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said, “If there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown – we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans.’”

But what’s far more likely to happen is the Leftmedia and the public will blame Republicans. No matter the circumstances, no matter who’s in the majority, the Leftmedia does its job effectively in turning public opinion against the GOP.

Hence, the bickering going back and forth between House and Senate Republicans is unfortunate. To be at loggerheads on strategy this early into their majority doesn’t instill confidence in Republicans’ ability to lead. But the truth is, Obama will veto any bill that doesn’t preserve his amnesty. Republicans need to use that to their political advantage by putting the focus on Obama’s unconstitutional actions, even if they’re unable to stop him.

Inability to overcome the Democrat filibuster is something the 54 Senate Republicans will either have to get used to or find a strategy to surmount. They need to get things ironed out or their majority will be a short one. And the White House will grow further from reach as well.

Closer to Capitulation on Iranian Nukes13
The long-running game of nuclear cat-and-mouse between Iran and the rest of the world seems to be nearing its conclusion. Both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif say talks won’t be extended past the March 31 deadline. Then again, Barack Obama has long played fast and loose with deadlines when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.

There are serious concerns about this prospective deal. Speaking from the left side of the aisle, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) worried such a pact could be enacted without the Senate’s approval and warned, “[T]he end result [of these negotiations] is more likely to be a North Korean situation.”

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, criticized the talks14 in remarks before the Senate Armed Forces Committee. “Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option,” he recounted. “They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability through an agreement that sets a hypothetical limit of one year on an assumed breakout. The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.”

In short, Obama has conceded the main point as he’s led from behind.

Yet Obama has come up with a new excuse for allowing Iran to get its way. He’s now sufficiently blinded by Islamophilia15 as to take Iran’s supreme leader at his word that “it would be contrary to their faith16” for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. That nonsense fits well with the narrative he’s still trying to sell about Islam being the Religion of Peace™, but history has repeatedly shown just the opposite – Obama’s ridiculous lecture about the Crusades17 notwithstanding.

The U.S. has eased sanctions against Iran, while the mullahs kept working on their nuclear program under the guise of peaceful use. It won’t be long before sanctions are gone and Iran has its nuclear bomb. Kissinger fretted that other Middle East nations could then engage in a nuclear arms race. It’s not inconceivable that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey could quickly follow Iran. If Iran has nukes, these nations will reason it’s in their own security interests to obtain them in order to balance their regional foe.

Nor should we forget the effect this would have on Israel, which is calling the nuclear deal with Iran “bad and dangerous.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned us before about Iran18, saying, “Iran is not your ally. Iran is not your friend. Iran is your enemy. It’s not your partner. Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel.” (He could have added the part about the “Death to America” chants that are a staple of Friday prayers in Tehran.)

Netanyahu has allies in Congress, where the sentiment to expand sanctions against Iran is much stronger. In the past, Israel has threatened to go it alone in destroying Iran’s nuclear program, and it may yet come to that. We’ll see what the Israeli leader says when he addresses Congress in March.

Regardless, by continually appeasing this rogue regime, Barack Obama has further destabilized the situation and once again shown his reverse Midas touch in world affairs.                                                                                                                                  OPINION IN BRIEF

Mark Twain (1835-1910): “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Russia pushes deep into eastern Ukraine. The Islamic State burns to death a Jordanian pilot. Iran extends its hegemony over four Arab capitals – Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sanaa. And America watches. Obama calls the policy ‘strategic patience.’ That’s a synonym for ‘inaction,’ made to sound profoundly ‘strategic.’ Take Russia. The only news out of Obama’s one-hour press conference with Angela Merkel this week was that he still can’t make up his mind whether to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons. The Russians have sent in T-80 tanks and Grad rocket launchers. We’ve sent in humanitarian aid that includes blankets, MREs and psychological counselors. How complementary: The counselors do grief therapy for those on the receiving end of the T-80 tank fire. … America was once the arsenal of democracy, notes Elliott Abrams. We are now its linen closet. … The line between the Washington prayer breakfast and the Ukrainian grief counselors is direct and causal. Once you’ve discounted your own moral authority, once you’ve undermined your own country’s moral self-confidence, you cannot lead. If, during the very week Islamic supremacists achieve ‘peak barbarism’ with the immolation of a helpless prisoner, you cannot take them on without apologizing for sins committed a thousand years ago, you have prepared the ground for strategic paralysis. All that’s left is to call it strategic patience.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “At an event in London on trade policy, Scott Walker was asked about evolution. … As my National Review colleague Kevin Williamson notes, ‘Everybody wants to know what Scott Walker and Sarah Palin think about evolution, but almost nobody is asking what Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama think about homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and the like.’ Even though such remedies have been given elevated legitimacy under the Affordable Care Act. Presidents have become avatars in the culture war being fought across the Internet and the airwaves, and nothing gives secular liberal journalists more of a buzz than exposing the alleged backwardness of those they consider backward. It’s a cultural wedge issue used by the very people who claim they hate cultural wedge issues. … When Barack Obama was asked when life begins, he responded that such questions are above his pay grade, even though a president is in fact paid to make myriad decisions which hinge on precisely that question. But liberal politicians are allowed such dodges precisely because liberal journalists know what the politician really believes.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “NBC has suspended Brian Williams for six months without pay. Williams said he’s not worried, because soon his veteran’s benefits will kick in.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33125
http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/01/06/hey-guys-posting-a-lot-of-selfies-doesn’t-send-a-good-message/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33119
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/18968
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33143
http://gawker.com/obama-secretly-partied-with-bill-ayers-last-summer-1684584845
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33137
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31877
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/11/irs-pay-back-refunds-illegal-immigrants-who-didnt-/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33113
http://patriotpost.us/
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33144
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33135
http://www.wsj.com/articles/kissinger-on-iran-1423527223
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/33080
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/09/obama_according_to_irans_supreme_leader_it_would_be_contrary_to_their_faith_to_obtain_a_nuclear_weapon.html
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33004
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/netanyahu-iran-is-not-your-friend-iran-is-your-enemy/
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33117
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33132
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33129
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33126
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33131
http://patriotpost.us/opinion

Misunderstanding ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate could be Costly for Small Businesses
BY ASHTON ELLIS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 08 2013

[W]hen it comes to the employer mandate, the key number is not whether there are 50 full-time workers – it’s whether the total number of hours worked for an employer is the equivalent of 50 full-time workers…

What if Congress amends a key part of ObamaCare, but doesn’t fix the underlying problem?

That could very well be the case if either of two bills passes to change the health law’s definition of a full-time employee.

As written, ObamaCare defines “full-time” as “an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week.” A company that employs 50 such workers or more becomes subject to the law’s employer mandate, which levies fines ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 for every full-time employee not offered health insurance.

To avoid the mandate and its fines, many small businesses are planning to cut employee hours to stay below the 50/30 threshold. One study by the University of California Berkeley Labor Center estimates that as many as 2.3 million Americans working hourly jobs in the restaurant, retail and services, and nursing home industries can expect fewer hours (and less pay) as employers increase reliance on part-time staff.

Still, the business community is chaffing at the 30 hour definition since the normal standard for full-time employment is working 40 hours per week.

So, in order to make ObamaCare fit reality, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) have introduced identical pieces of legislation to amend the law’s full-time definition to 40 hours per week.

Both are called the “Forty Hours Is Full Time Act of 2013,” and would replace “30 hours” with “40 hours,” but retain the 50 full-time workers trigger.

The idea behind the amendment push is to “keep the usual 40 hour full-time work week in place without sacrificing the goal of providing affordable, quality health to Americans,” Lipinski said in a statement.

If only it were that simple.

Because of media reports about the shift to part-time workers and legislative bills like those proposed by Collins and Lipinski, there is a widespread misperception that ObamaCare’s employer mandate applies only to individuals who themselves meet the definition of a full-time employee, however many hours it is.

This misperception creates the impression that all a company needs to do to avoid the employer mandate is reduce its full-time workforce and spread out its work to a greater number of part-timers.

But a careful reading of the law reveals a different story.

The text of ObamaCare and subsequent regulations say there are two ways a company can reach the dreaded 50 full-time employee (FTE) threshold. One way is to have 50 individuals, each employed full-time.

The other way is to add the number of full-time positions to the total number of part-time hours worked. Every time the number of part-time hours worked is equivalent to one full-time employee, ObamaCare will treat those combined part-time hours as one full-time equivalent employee. If enough part-timers can be aggregated into the number of full-time equivalent employees needed to reach 50, then the employer mandate will apply.

In other words, “Switching from full-time to part-time workers of equal total hours worked may not avoid the employer’s responsibility for offering its workers health insurance,” notes Andrew Kurz of HealthReformTrends.com.

The problem with the Collins-Lipinski solution is that it ignores the fact that ObamaCare’s employer mandate is really a tax on business formation and growth, not just jobs. What the FTE count means is that there will now be a practical limit to the amount of hours a small business can pay for before it is hit with massive increases in compliance costs. For example, under the current 50/30 formula, the threshold that triggers the employer mandate becomes 1,500 hours of work paid a week.

Passage of the Collins-Lipinski bill does not fix this problem. Instead, all it does is increase the practical limit of pre-mandate business growth by a third. By changing the formula to 40 hours, but keeping the 50 full-time employee and FTE measures, the bill raises the triggering threshold to 2,000 work hours a week.

Any work paid for at or beyond this threshold brings with it tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in either fines or increased insurance costs.

Imagine the consequences. Depending on the business, once the mandate applies, it will take hiring many additional employees just to start making a profit again. This amounts to a huge tax on business growth as employers are forced to create new firms rather than expand an existing one, or forego expansion altogether. It could even stifle enterprise formation if the number of working hours necessary to make a business go falls between 50 full-time workers and a higher staff level that doesn’t escape the mandate’s profit-killing effects.

Either way, when it comes to the employer mandate, the key number is not whether there are 50 full-time workers – it’s whether the total number of hours worked for an employer is the equivalent of 50 full-time workers, however defined.

None of this is surprising if you remember that the whole point of the employer mandate is to force the private sector to pay for an expensive benefit that the government can’t afford.

That’s the essential problem with the employer mandate, and why the only economically prudent reform is to repeal it outright.

Uh oh: New York Times creates big trouble for tax-dodging Obama ally Al Sharpton
POSTED AT 7:21 PM ON NOVEMBER 18, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

On Tuesday, The New York Times took its readers inside the city’s exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant where Al Sharpton celebrated his 60th birthday party at what was dubbed his “party for a cause.”

“Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo hailed him as a civil rights icon,” the profile of New York City-based activist and MSNBC began. “President [Barack] Obama sent an aide to read a message commending Mr. Sharpton’s ‘dedication to the righteous cause of perfecting our union.’ Major corporations sponsored the lavish affair.”

It is a spectacular raise for an agitator who began his career inciting race riots outside of Freddy’s Fashion Mart, ruining the lives of the men who were falsely accused of raping Tawana Brawley, and serving as an FBI informant after affiliating with the mafia and expressing interest in securing a hefty amount of cocaine.

Sharpton has been described as Obama’s “go-to man on race” by the well-connected Politico reporter Glenn Thrush. He was contacted directly in August by Valerie Jarrett amid spiraling violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and was deployed to deescalate the situation. Well before Obama’s reelection, Sharpton emerged as one of the president’s most valued outreach figures. In 2010, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Sharpton was tasked to tamp down the “increasingly public criticism in the black community over his economic policy.”

The value Sharpton represented to the Obama White House perhaps made it easier to overlook the fact that, as The Times reported, the MSNBC host is a serial tax evader and violator of the public trust.

“Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligation most people see as inevitable,” The Times reported, “like taxes, rent, and other bills.”

Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.
“With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as ‘abusive,’ or ‘potentially criminal,’ if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful,” The Times report continued.

This is just the kind of economic treason that the president spent much of his reelection campaign railing against, only the public was lead to believe that Obama the populist crusader was railing against businessmen and women who exclusively voted Republican.

The Patriot Post
Immigration Executive Order — All Smoke and Mirrors
The Demos’ REAL “Immigration Reform” Strategy
By Mark Alexander

Nov. 19, 2014

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” –George Washington1 (1783)

So, the Imperial President2 claims that, because Republicans are not passing the immigration “reform” legislation that best suits the Democratic Party’s3 political agenda, he is going to bypass Congress and issue an executive order (EO).

Don’t believe it.

Oh, Barack Obama is going to center stage Thursday night to set up his EO play, and sign that diktat Friday in Las Vegas – a fitting venue for a gutless gamble by a “big hat, no cattle” dude rancher. But what is the Demos’ real strategy?

In leftist parlance, “immigration reform” means providing a jackpot to illegal aliens – giving them official status so they can work and receive all associated taxpayer-subsidized services like housing, schooling and medical care. Once integrated, the second step is to provide a fast-track to citizenship. In other words, for Democrats, immigration reform means, first and foremost, seeding a large constituency.

But is Obama really attempting to give millions of illegal immigrants worker status?

In 2008, then President-elect Obama declared, “I can guarantee that we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.” In 2009 and 2010, Obama had the benefit of Democrat Party control of both the House and Senate, however, his congressional Demos never passed an amnesty bill and thus he did not sign one.

Why?

Because he and his fellow Democrats were just pandering to Latinos; they had no intention of passing legislation to provide worker permits for five to 10 million illegal immigrants.

Why?

Because another larger and more critical Democrat voter constituency is composed of low-income Americans4, whom the Left baits with class warfare rhetoric5 centered on issues like “living wages” and increasing the minimum wage.

As my daughter, a university student working toward a business degree, framed this issue, “Labor inflation results in wage deflation.” In other words, the Democrats really don’t want to dump millions of immigrant laborers, who are willing to take low wages, onto their dependable American low-income constituency, because that will, in effect, drive wages even lower.

This is a fundamental supply-and-demand equation.

Just before Democrats were shellacked during the midterm “Republican wave6,” Obama borrowed a line from The Gipper for a national campaign interview: “Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office.” But according to BO, the problem is the American people “don’t feel it,” and he insisted, “The reason they don’t feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up.”

Of course, the reason for wage stagnation is that Obama’s economic “recovery” policies7 have been a colossal failure. On top of that, the influx of cheap illegal immigrant labor effectively caps any increase in wages for unskilled workers.

Democrats argue raising the minimum wage will protect their low-wage constituents, but that is a fabrication. As the Congressional Budget Office made clear, artificially increasing wages will decrease employment8.

The issue of immigrant labor undermining the ability of low-income earners to achieve a “living wage” is nothing new. A primary reason Abraham Lincoln did not emancipate slaves at the onset of the War Between the States is that the influx of black labor into northern markets competing for jobs held by white laborers would have undermined Lincoln’s political support9 from the latter.

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass was so angry with Lincoln for delaying the liberation of some slaves that he scarcely contacted him before 1863, noting that Lincoln was loyal only “to the welfare of the white race.” Apparently, more than a few Latino politicos are equally disenchanted with Obama’s failure to provide immigrant work permits.

So what of Obama’s EO?

The Demo strategy is to craft that EO in such a way that Republicans can successfully chip away at it, primarily by defunding and de-authorizing key components of its implementation, as well as by issuing legal challenges. Thus, Democrats will receive credit from both their legal and illegal Latino constituencies for, ostensibly, attempting to provide them with nine million10 Permanent Residency or Employment Authorization cards. Then they can blame those “obstructionist” Republicans for blocking them.

This week, Senate Democrats, in a letter to Obama supporting his EO plan, made clear their intent to share in the political fruits of this charade.

Obama, as we’ve often noted, is a master of the BIG Lie11, and, just like the litany of lies12 that he and his party used to deceive Americans into supporting ObamaCare13, they are also deceiving millions of Americans into believing Democrats support both “living wages” and “immigration reform.”

Apparently, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) got it right when he interrupted Obama’s 2009 introduction of ObamaCare to a joint session of Congress and the nation. “You lie! You lie!” Wilson memorably yelled.

Indeed, “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter,” in the words of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber14, are also applicable to Obama’s low-wage and Latino constituencies in regard to amnesty by EO. Of course, there is plenty of evidence that Obama constituents are too ignorant to know they’re being duped – after all, they elected him. Twice.

Not only do Democrats assume their constituents are too stupid to understand Obama’s amnesty EO subterfuge, but Obama is willing to, once again, turn constitutional Rule of Law15 on end to accomplish this deceit.

Last week, Obama declared his intent to issue the immigration EO: “I indicated to Speaker Boehner several months ago that if in fact Congress failed to act I would use all the lawful authority that I possess to try to make the system work better.”

Of course, “lawful authority” is whatever Obama defines it to be at a given time. He was against unlawful executive orders16 before he was for them.

On March 31, 2008, candidate Obama said, “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

But having failed to pass immigration reform in his first two years in office when he owned the House and Senate, and then having lost control of the House in the 2010 midterm election, Obama repeatedly pleaded in Latino forums17 that he had no power to implement the changes he’d promised. Rebuffing calls that he legislate by executive order, Obama insisted, “I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

Obama may not have implemented his immigration policies by EO, but he certainly suspended enforcement of immigration laws with an executive order.

But by 2014, with his singular centerpiece legislation – ObamaCare – falling apart, and Democrats putting as much distance between him and them as possible, Obama believed the only way his party could stave off a resounding defeat in the midterm election was if he delivered Latino votes.

He began the year promising, “Where Congress isn’t acting, I’ll act on my own. … I’ve got a pen … and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.” In other words, when Republicans don’t give Obama what he wants on immigration, he will pull an executive order end run.

Obama has broadly demonstrated his willingness to end-run our Constitution via EO, most notably his so-called “climate change18” policies and his repeated rewrites of ObamaCare13.

Asked about his revised position to implement amnesty by executive order, Obama regurgitated this spin: “Well, actually, my position hasn’t changed. When I was talking to the advocates, their interest was in me, through executive action, duplicating the legislation that was stalled in Congress. … There are certain limits to what falls within the realm of prosecutorial discretion in terms of how we apply existing immigration laws.”

Of course, that is just more constitutional obfuscation.

Despite his faux devotion to our Constitution, Obama has wantonly violated his oath to “to Support and Defend19” it.

Though Obama claims to be a “professor of constitutional law,” a genuine constitutional scholar, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has issued severe criticism20 of Obama’s “über presidency,” his abuse of executive orders and regulations to bypass Congress.

According to Turley, “When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done, is very problematic. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws [and] has effectively rewritten laws through active interpretation that I find very problematic.”

He continued: “What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency. … When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in the establishment of our tripartite system of government. … Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. … What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. … We are now at the constitutional tipping point21 for our system. … No one in our system can ‘go it alone’ – not Congress, not the courts, and not the president.”

When asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly how he would respond “to those who say many presidents have issued executive orders on immigration,” Turley responded, “This would be unprecedented, and I think it would be an unprecedented threat to the balance of powers. … I hope he does not get away with it.”

Over on Obama’s MSNBC network, even leftist commentator Lawrence O’Donnell finds the prospect of Obama’s executive amnesty diktat daunting. He asked Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) about Obama’s authority to issue an EO22 giving work permits to millions of illegal immigrants: “No one at the White House has been able to give me the legal justification for the following component of the president’s plan. … Has the White House told you – what is the legal justification for the president to create a new category of beneficiaries for work documents? How can that be done without legislation?”

Of course, Welch could not answer O’Donnell, because there is no such authority.

Before the midterm election, Obama declared, “Make no mistake, [my] policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” Make no mistake: The American people resoundingly rejected his policies on November 4.

That notwithstanding, Obama has dismissed the election results23. Perhaps he believes his immigration EO artifice will deliver enough Latino voters to Democrat candidates in 2016 to hold the presidency and regain the Senate, and somehow that will restore his “Dear Leader” status. After all, more than a million illegal immigrants24 were unlawfully registered to vote in the midterm election, particularly in states where Democrats have thwarted efforts to require voter IDs25.

The bottom line for Republicans is that they need to drive home four points.

First, the “immigration reform” pledges by Obama and his Democrats are disingenuous because they would undermine the Left’s entire “living wage” platform. But Democrats believe their low-income and Latino constituencies are too stupid to understand this ruse. Remember: “Labor inflation results in wage deflation.”

Second, as Dr. Turley noted, Obama is willing to trash the Constitution in order to advance his ruinous policies. Republicans need to use his abject abuse of power and the threat it poses to Liberty as a constitutional teachable moment.

Third, any debate about immigration26 is useless unless it begins with a commitment to securing our borders first27. As Ronald Reagan28 declared, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” Likewise, it must address the issue of so-called “birthright citizenship29,” which is a gross misinterpretation of our Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

And last, Republicans need to embrace the fact that Liberty is colorblind30. It’s not a “white thing.” Essential Liberty31 is timeless. And because it transcends all racial, ethnic, gender and class distinctions, it will appeal to all freedom-loving people when properly presented.

Time to see what the incoming House and Senate Republican majorities are made of!

Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis

Links
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/12704
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/27481
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/9235
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/14816
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22892
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/30689
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/19290
http://patriotpost.us/articles/28852
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3181
http://patriotpost.us/articles/30185
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22209
http://patriotpost.us/articles/30967
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22065
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31072
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/7324
http://patriotpost.us/articles/30958
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31089
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/25733
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3192
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31094
http://jonathanturley.org/2014/03/10/the-constitutional-tipping-point/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31090
http://patriotpost.us/posts/30710
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/30609
http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/29/latest-reason-oppose-amnesty-voter-fraud-2/
http://dailysignal.com/2014/11/13/10-point-immigration-plan-obama-follow/
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2762
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/8891
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/6932
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/23173
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3467

SEATTLE’S MINIMUM WAGE CRASH: $15 to ZERO! Profits Tumble!
November 16, 2014 By Bill Chandler

Seattle, Washington, one of the strongest remaining bastions of liberal philosophy left in the country, passed a phased-in $15 minimum wage law earlier this year. The highest minimum wage in the country. The vote was unanimous and the throng outside cheered, but for many this is a loss from which they will never recover. It is a blow to the profitability of businesses that they just can’t take.

Even the left-leaning Seattle Times expressed concern wondering if Seattle had indeed “gone too far.”

According to the National Review Hotline, Kathrina Tugadi owner of Seattle’s El Norte Lounge, no longer hires musicians for her restaurant, she said she can’t justify expenses that don’t directly “add to the bottom line.” And, she says, hours will have to be cut: El Norte Lounge plans to stop serving lunch and only serve dinner.

“I am concerned about my business and others in the community, but it isn’t just about any one business. It’s about how the entire economic community,” she said. El Norte may be unable to remain open once the ordinance is fully in effect, she said. Even Pagliacci Pizza, a Seattle-area pizza chain, is moving its call center and some of its production facilities outside the city. That’s a lot of job loss, a lot of new people with a new wage of ZERO.

Socialist Council-member Kshama Sawant was the main proponent of the $15 ordinance. She and her supporters denied that the policy change would hurt businesses in the city. In one interview, Sawant said there need be “no unintended consequences.”

“No Unintended Consequences?” Who is she kidding? There are always consequences. In this case the consequences are the businesses that are downsizing, closing and failing, jobs that are lost, and most of all, people whose new hourly wage is ZERO. No unintended intended consequences? Are our politicians really that . . . stupid? Yes, I said it, Stupid. Do they really think taxes are irrelevant, businesses are omnipotent and that they can be drained in the name of politics without “any intended consequences?”

Do our politicians really not understand that our standard of living is the direct result
of one thing . . . the vitality of our businesses?

She went on to state that “any additional costs could come out of ‘extravagant profits’ rather than consumers pockets.” You have got to be kidding me . . . squared! Extravagant profits? Tell that to all the entrepreneurs out there who are trying desperately to make ends meet. Explain that to the mortgage companies they are trying to pay. And please pass that on to those on the street who’s job no longer exists. And, by the way:

where do you think every paycheck every employee has ever received came from?

Yes, Kshama, they came from business, all of them. And where do you think these businesses came from? They came from regular people like you and I who took a chance, rolled the dice, worked hard and were able to provide the people with something of value. All of them, that is where every single business you deplore came from.

You may think there are no intended consequences, but survey results tell a different story. Seattle Time contracted with a survey research firm to contact businesses in a broad range of industries likely to be impacted by the law. These are not businesses you’d describe as extravagant. Not surprisingly, nearly 70 percent of respondents in Seattle said that the $15 minimum wage is causing a “big increase” in their labor costs, and over 60 percent planned to pass on what they could to customers through higher prices.

But, according to Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, “price increases are not a silver bullet. After all, were businesses able to raise their prices at will without reducing sales, the minimum wage would be an afterthought. Customers have a choice: If prices increase, they could dine out less often or see one fewer movie a month. That’s why businesses are forced to adapt to a compulsory wage hike in other ways.”

In Seattle, 42 percent of surveyed employers were “very likely” to reduce the number of employees per shift or overall staffing levels as a direct consequence of the law. Similarly, 44 percent reported that they were “very likely” to scale back on employees’ hours to help offset the increased cost of the law. That’s particularly bad news for the Seattle metro area, where the unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is already more than 30 percent — due in part to Washington state’s already-high minimum wage.

Perhaps most concerning about the $15 proposal is that some businesses anticipated going beyond an increase in prices or a reduction in staffing levels. More than 43 percent of respondents said it was “very likely” they would limit future expansion in Seattle in response to the law. One in seven respondents is even “very likely” to close a current location in the city limits.

Yes, it it always sounds good to give people more free stuff, but once again, everything has a price. I asked a group of sixth graders what they would do. It only took them a few minutes to determine that their only choices were to; fire some employees, raise prices, or go out of business. They also concluded that people won’t come to your store if you charge too much. If sixth graders grasp this, what is wrong with our politicians?

Seattle is the first city in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage. Survey results suggested it will be the first city to find out why it was such a bad idea.

No matter how badly we would like it to be otherwise, there are always a consequences,
and 2+2 will always equal 4.

The U.S. Government Is Borrowing About 8 Trillion Dollars A Year
By Michael Snyder, on September 29th, 2014

National Debt – Public DomainI know that headline sounds completely outrageous. But it is actually true. The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this. When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months. And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014. But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year. When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off. This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts. In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued. The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames. For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year. So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep “rolling it over” again and again and again.

This strategy has indeed saved the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, but it has also created a situation where the federal government must borrow about 8 trillion dollars a year just to keep up with the game.

So what happens when the rest of the world decides that it does not want to loan us 8 trillion dollars a year at ultra-low interest rates?

Well, the game will be over and we will be in a massive amount of trouble.

I am about to share with you some numbers that were originally reported by CNS News. As you can see, far more debt is being redeemed and issued today than back during the middle part of the last decade…

2013

Redeemed: $7,546,726,000,000

Issued: $8,323,949,000,000

Increase: $777,223,000,000

2012

Redeemed: $6,804,956,000,000

Issued: $7,924,651,000,000

Increase: $1,119,695,000,000

2011

Redeemed: $7,026,617,000,000

Issued: $8,078,266,000,000

Increase: $1,051,649,000,000

2010

Redeemed: $7,206,965,000,000

Issued: $8,649,171,000,000

Increase: $1,442,206,000,000

2009

Redeemed: $7,306,512,000,000

Issued: $9,027,399,000,000

Increase: $1,720,887,000,000

2008

Redeemed: $4,898,607,000,000

Issued: $5,580,644,000,000

Increase: $682,037,000,000

2007

Redeemed: $4,402,395,000,000

Issued: $4,532,698,000,000

Increase: $130,303,000,000

2006

Redeemed: $4,297,869,000,000

Issued: $4,459,341,000,000

Increase: $161,472,000,000

The only way that this game can continue is if the U.S. government can continue to borrow gigantic piles of money at ridiculously low interest rates.

And our current standard of living greatly depends on the continuation of this game.

If something comes along and rattles this Ponzi scheme, life in America could change radically almost overnight.

In the United States today, we have a heavily socialized system that hands out checks to nearly half the population. In fact, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government each month according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And it is hard to believe, but Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone. At this point, the primary function of the federal government is taking money from some people and giving it to others. In fact, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to “dependence-creating programs”, and the government runs approximately 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” right now. But the big problem is that the government is giving out far more money than it is taking in, so it has to borrow the difference. As long as we can continue to borrow at super low interest rates, the status quo can continue.

But a Ponzi scheme like this can only last for so long.

It has been said that when the checks stop coming in, chaos will begin in the streets of America.

The looting that took place when a technical glitch caused the EBT system to go down for a short time in some areas last year and the rioting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri this year were both small previews of what we will see in the future.

And there is no way that we will be able to “grow” our way out of this problem.

As the Baby Boomers continue to retire, the amount of money that the federal government is handing out each year is projected to absolutely skyrocket. Just consider the following numbers…

-Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

-When Medicare was first established, we were told that it would cost about $12 billion a year by the time 1990 rolled around. Instead, the federal government ended up spending $110 billion on the program in 1990, and the federal government spent approximately $600 billion on the program in 2013.

-It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

-At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years. That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.

-In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits. Today, that number has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.

-Right now, there are approximately 63 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits. By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.

-Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

-The U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities during the years ahead. Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.

Yes, things seem somewhat stable for the moment in America today.

But the same thing could have been said about 2007. The stock market was soaring, the economy seemed like it was rolling right along and people were generally optimistic about the future.

Then the financial crisis of 2008 erupted and it seemed like the world was going to end.

Well, the truth is that another great crisis is rapidly approaching, and we are in far worse shape financially than we were back in 2008.

Don’t get blindsided by what is ahead. Evidence of the coming catastrophe is all around you.