April 13, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“What do you think? Should Obama get impeached?” –KTRN
A new national movement has been launched to impeach President Obama based around five core issues which clearly demonstrate how Obama has flagrantly violated the Constitution.
The campaign, backed by director, producer, actor and writer Sean Stone, is a follow-up to North Carolina Republican Walter Jones’ efforts to bring the administration to account for launching unconstitutional wars without the authorization of Congress. Jones’ recently introduced resolution states that such actions represent “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”
The five core reasons for impeachment proceedings to be launched can be summarized as follows;
1) Despite promising otherwise, Barack Obama committed U.S. military resources to overthrow Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi without any kind of congressional authorization whatsoever and without citing any evidence that Libya under Gaddafi was a threat to the security of the United States. Furthermore, Obama brazenly undermined the power of Congress by insisting his authority came from the United Nations Security Council and that Congressional approval was not necessary. “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” Obama churlishly remarked.
2) On New Years Eve 2011, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act which includes provisions that permit the abduction and military detention without trial of U.S. citizens. Despite Obama claiming he would not use the provisions to incarcerate U.S. citizens, it was his administration that specifically demanded these powers be included in the final NDAA bill.
April 11, 2012
By Paul Craig Roberts
Growing up in the post-war era (after the Second World War), I never expected to live in the strange Kafkaesque world that exists today. The US government can assassinate any US citizen that the executive branch thinks could possibly be a “threat” to the US government, or throw the hapless citizen into a dungeon for the rest of his or her life without presenting any evidence to a court or obtaining a conviction of any crime, or send the “threat” to a puppet foreign state to be tortured until the “threat” confesses to a crime that never occurred or dies at the hands of “freedom and democracy” while professing innocence.
It has never been revealed how a single citizen, or any number thereof, could possibly comprise a threat to a government that has a trillion plus dollars to spend each year on security and weapons, the world’s largest navy and air force, 700 plus military bases across the world, large numbers of nuclear weapons, 16 intelligence agencies plus the intelligence agencies of its NATO puppet states and the intelligence service of Israel.
Nevertheless, air travelers are subjected to porno-scanning and sexual groping. Cars traveling on Interstate highways can expect to be stopped, with traffic backed up for miles, while Homeland Security and the federalized state or local police conduct searches.
I witnessed one such warrantless search on Easter Sunday. The south bound lanes of I-185 heading into Columbus, Georgia, were at a standstill while black SUV and police car lights flashed. US citizens were treated by “security” forces that they finance as if they were “terrorists” or “domestic extremists,” another undefined class of Americans devoid of constitutional protections.
These events are Kafkaesque in themselves, but they are ever more so when one considers that these extraordinary violations of the US Constitution fail to be overturned in the Supreme Court. Apparently, American citizens lack standing to defend their civil liberties.
Yet, ObamaCare is before the US Supreme Court. The conservative majority might now utilize the “judicial activism” for which conservatives have criticized liberals. Hypocrisy should no longer surprise us. However, the fight over ObamaCare is not worth five cents.
It is extraordinary that “liberals,” “progressives,” “Democrats,” whatever they are, are defending a “health program” that uses public monies to pay private insurance companies and that raises the cost of health care.
Americans have been brainwashed that “a single-payer system is unaffordable” because it is “socialized medicine.” Despite this propaganda, accepted by many Americans, European countries manage to afford single-payer systems. Health care is not a stress, a trauma, an unaffordable expense for European populations. Among the Western Civilized Nations, only the richest, the US, has no universal health care.
April 4, 2012
By Patrick Henningsen
“Obama taught constitutional law? Really?” –KTRN
Many a constitutional scholar were left with their jaws hanging near their ankles following Obama’s press conference on the White House lawn yesterday, where he railed against Supreme Court, describing their potential to overturn his Obamacare as that of an “Unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constitutional and passed law.”
According to the President, it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn his health care law. His preemptive strike against the Supreme Court should worry more people than opponents of Obamacare.
What is most amazing is that this statement comes from someone who purports to have taught Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. One might come to conclusion that Obama had someone else take his law exams, not least because the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn such legislation hasn’t been “unprecedented” since Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Even more disturbing than his individual display of legislative incompetency, or the chief executive’s own summary ignorance of history, is an inability to grasp the over arching concept of separation of powers, also known as “checks and balances”, which is the keystone of an American constitutional republic. The Constitution does not explicitly say whether any branch of government should rule over another, but James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, did hint that “it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.”
March 27, 2012
By Steve Watson
Appearing on Bloomberg News today, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul said he suspects that the Supreme Court will rule it is Constitutional for the government to uphold a mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance.
Oral arguments begin this week on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ‘Obamacare’. All the GOP candidates have pledged to repeal the law.
“I suspect they’re going to rule it constitutional, but that is a big guess out of thin air,” Paul said, adding, “this Supreme Court is slightly better than in the past, [but] they haven’t done a real good job in defending the free market and the original intent of the Interstate Commerce Clause.”
Government lawyers are using the commerce clause as an essential part of their argument for the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which would take effect in 2014.
Paul, who has called Obamacare an “unconstitutional monstrosity”, told Bloomberg that it would “be a real tragedy” if the Supreme Court were to support the law.
During the interview, the Congressman also addressed the ongoing GOP nomination race and defended his vow to stay in the race right up to the national convention.
“Why should we quit and say, ‘OK, it’s getting late, so we all have to get together and quit debating the issues’? No, I think the debate should go on,” he said. “It’s not like this is the first time they didn’t have a candidate by this time in the cycle. The Democrats didn’t have one by this go-around, didn’t happen until June. I don’t think it hurts to debate the issues.”
Paul added that he will not drop out because he is the only candidate “really discussing the alternative to our foreign policy, monetary policy or our financial crisis and spending” as well as “militarism overseas.”
March 27, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
Now that Obama’s unconstitutional monstrosity – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare – has reached the Supreme Court, it is time for Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself.
As solicitor general of the United States, Kagan headed up an office that formulated the Obama administration’s legal defense of the legislation.
She is obliged under Section 455(b)(3) of Title 28 of the U.S. Code to recuse herself from cases where a justice has “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.”
In February, Senator Jeff Sessions cited United States v. Gipson, a decision made by the Tenth Circuit that held judges who have “previously taken a part, albeit small, in the investigation, preparation, or prosecution of a case” must disqualify themselves.
“Previously undisclosed e-mails that the Justice Department has released pursuant to court order demonstrate Kagan’s direct involvement in the administration’s defense of the president’s health law from the very beginning,” writes Sessions. “In January 2010, she assigned her chief and only political deputy, Neal Katyal, to the matter — the legal equivalent of a firm’s senior partner delegating work to a junior associate. That same month Katyal wrote in an e-mail to the associate attorney general’s office that ‘Elena would definitely like OSG [Office of Solicitor General] to be involved in this set of issues.’ These actions alone constitute personal participation in the preparation of the case, and that is all §455(b)(3) requires to trigger mandatory recusal.”
“Justice Kagan’s involvement in the preparation of the government’s defense of the health-care law began at least as early as January 2010, four months before her nomination and two months before the bill became law. That she would not follow the same course in the health-care case is dubious. These facts require recusal,” Sessions concludes.
December 28, 2011
By Kelly Kennedy
In a year that included an attempted House repeal of the federal health care law, several court cases challenging its constitutionality and Republican candidate debates proposing a replacement plan, it can be difficult to dig through the rhetoric to determine just what the 2010 health care law has done.
The 2,400-page document and a multiyear and multistep implementation don’t help with the confusion.
Proponents and foes say big pieces of the law have been enacted and have already affected millions of people’s lives.
“It’s complicated, but there are very many benefits affecting millions of people,” said Don Berwick, who served as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services until the beginning of December. “They will not know it’s the Affordable Care Act, but it is.”
In 2011, the law targeted specific groups of people — mostly the young and senior citizens — while the most argued about pieces won’t come until 2014. Then, assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t rule against the “individual mandate,” the provision that requires most Americans to buy health insurance, millions more people will be affected.
Health insurance exchanges for people who don’t receive insurance through their employers will start working as Medicaid expands through federal funding to include more people who can’t afford insurance. Lower-income Americans will receive help paying their premiums.
November 8, 2011
By Jeremy Pelofsky and Lisa Lambert
“We’ve been had. Apparently it’s constitutional to force you to buy health coverage or face a penalty. How about that freedom!” –KTRN
President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law got a boost on Tuesday when a U.S. appeals court agreed with a lower court that dismissed a challenge and found the law’s minimum coverage requirement was constitutional.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that had found it constitutional to require Americans to buy healthcare insurance coverage by early 2014 or face a penalty and had dismissed a lawsuit challenging it.
“It certainly is an encroachment on individual liberty, but it is no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race … or that a farmer cannot grow enough wheat to support his own family,” wrote Judge Laurence Silberman in the majority opinion, citing past federal mandates that inspired legal fights.
“The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local — or seemingly passive — their individual origins.”
It was the latest victory for the Obama administration, which sought the new law to try to stem the soaring costs of healthcare and to increase coverage for the more than 35 million Americans without healthcare insurance.
October 26, 2011
By Art Carden
Somewhere, there are two graduate students in the social sciences who need dissertation topics. Those students should be watching the Occupy Wall Street movement with keen eyes because as it evolves, it’s going to provide us with an interesting set of applications, illustrations, and tests of different principles in the social sciences. One student should study the on-the-ground evolution of the Occupation camps themselves. Another should look at the evolution of perceptions of the Occupations and how they have changed as data on the Occupiers’ views have emerged.
Former Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen has done a valuable service by assembling a poll—which he discusses in the Wall Street Journal—that “probably represent(s) the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.” According to Schoen, the Occupiers are united by “a deep commitment to left-wing policies.”
I agree with the Occupiers when we both answer “no” to a question like “should we bail out large financial institutions that have made a lot of bad investments?” The more radical Occupiers lose me with demands that we “smash capitalism” and “abolish private property.” It isn’t at all clear to me that they have thought through exactly what this would entail.
Perhaps they see this as the beginning of an anti-capitalist, anti-commercial revolution, but to a certain extent we have already had this conversation. The twentieth century was a long (and bloody) debate about alternative modes of social organization. Even in its present corrupted and cronyized form, “modern capitalism”—which Deirdre McCloskey defines loosely as “private property and unfettered exchange”—is a goose that lays golden eggs, and not merely for the super-rich. If you disagree, ask yourself how many of those claiming to speak for “the 99%” have smart phones, which Louis XIV couldn’t have bought for all the gold in France. The problems the Occupiers blame on “capitalism” were not caused by “private property and unfettered exchange.” They were caused by institutionalized interference with “private property and unfettered exchange.”
At the margin, a little more government intervention isn’t likely to make a huge difference. I expect long-run problems that won’t surface until long after its main proponents and sponsors are out of office, but ObamaCare by itself isn’t going to turn the US into North Korea. Nonetheless, we can’t discard what economics has to teach and expect civilization to endure. Ludwig von Mises, one of the twentieth century’s most prominent defenders of the classical liberal order, finished his magnum opus Human Action with this:
The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built. It rests with men whether they will make the proper use of the rich treasure with which this knowledge provides them or whether they will leave it unused. But if they fail to take the best advantage of it and disregard its teachings and warnings, they will not annul economics; they will stamp out society and the human race.
Things were much darker when Mises wrote that (1949) than they are today, but we are only a few years away from graduating the first class of college seniors that hadn’t yet been born when the Soviet Union collapsed. It has been said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. We would do well to study the intellectual, political, social, and economic history that made Mises write with such urgency and passion lest we be doomed to repeat it. Tragically, that’s exactly what will happen if those who urge us to “smash capitalism” and “abolish private property” get their wish.
October 19, 2011
By Paul Steinhauser
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is proposing to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget in his first year in office and eliminate five cabinet level federal departments, if elected president.
The longtime congressman from Texas unveiled his proposals Monday as part his “Plan to Restore America,” which also pledges to balance the budget over three years, and slashes regulations and taxes.
“A lot of people will say, well, cutting a trillion dollars in one year, that sounds radical. But I have been under the assumption that the radicals have been in charge way too long,” Paul told a receptive audience at a campaign event at the Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo and Convention Center, site of Tuesday’s CNN Western Republican presidential debate.
Paul proposed eliminating the departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education, as well as abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners. Paul also called for reducing the federal workforce by 10%, slashing Congressional pay and perks, and curb what he called excessive federal travel.
“In many of the departments that we cut, there are some important places there that we just don’t close down. Many of those important parts of each of those departments will be held in another department. So nobody gets laid off immediately, they get laid off through attrition,” Paul said.
Paul’s proposals also call for abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels. In an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room”, Paul told anchor Wolf Blitzer that he will cut $200 billion from military spending in his first year, if elected, and “over a period of time, drastically lower.”
“I don’t cut anything from defense. I cut from the military. There’s a big difference,” added Paul. “We need a stronger national defense, not a weaker one. Just spending money doesn’t necessarily help us.”
Paul is also pledging that, if elected, he would take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker. Paul is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, extend all Bush-era tax cuts, abolish the so-called “death tax,” and end taxes on personal savings.
According to his plan, Paul would also repeal two major pieces of legislation passed under Pres. Barack Obama, the president’s health care reform law, known by Republicans as “ObamaCare,” and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.
Paul, who’s making his third bid for the White House, places third or fourth in most recent national polling in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
October 19, 2011
By Lucy Madison
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued to defend his Massachusetts health care plan in Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, reiterating for the umpteenth time his pledge to repeal “Obamacare” if elected and disputing charges that he lacks conservative credibility on the issue.
“You just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare,” charged fellow candidate Rick Santorum during a heated exchange in Las Vegas. “Your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you’re going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that that we can trust you that you’re going to do that.”
Romney argued that the law he signed while Massachusetts governor was specific to the state – and that he never believed that it or anything like it should necessarily be imposed on the nation as a whole.
GOP debate in Vegas: Winners and losers
“I was in interviews in this debate stage with you four years ago. I was asked about the Massachusetts plan, was it something I’d impose on the nation? And the answer is absolutely not,” Romney told Santorum. “It was something crafted for a state. And I’ve said time and again, Obamacare is bad news. It’s unconstitutional. It costs way too much money, a trillion dollars. And if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal it for the American people.”
The former Massachusetts governor added that voters in his state supported his health care program three-to-one, and that the plan was a response to a state-specific need.
“We dealt with a challenge that we had; a lot of people that were expecting government to pay their way,” he said. “And we said, you know what? If people have the capacity to care for themselves and pay their own way, they should.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also hammered Romney for his health care plan, noting that while likening “Romneycare” to “Obamacare” was “not a fair charge,” the Massachusetts plan was essentially “one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system, which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment.”
“There’s a lot as big government behind Romneycare,” Gingrich added. “Not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.”
Referencing the Newt Gingrich-affiliated Heritage Foundation’s onetime support for the individual health care mandate, Romney fired back: “Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you!”
“That’s not true,” responded Gingrich. “You got it from the Heritage Foundation.”
Gingrich added: “What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.”
“And you never supported them?” Romney pressed on: “Let me ask, have you supported in the past an individual mandate?”
“I absolutely did with the Heritage Foundation against Hillarycare,” Gingrich said.
“OK. That’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation,” Romney concluded.
“OK,” Gingrich conceded. “A little broader.”
Romney’s support for the Massachusetts health care plan has been a constant source of criticism throughout his campaign, and he has repeatedly tried to distance himself from the accusation that President Obama used Romney’s plan as the basis for his own controversial law.
On Tuesday, he continued his efforts to deflect that criticism.
“The best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises,” he said. “What we did was right for our state, according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is, if people don’t like it, they could change it.”