Tag Archives: Congress

My Response

Both Paul Ryan and Michelle Bachmann had their turns. This morning let me give my brief response to the President’s SOTU speech. First, like most Americans, I didn’t watch it. I had more important things to do, like putting kids to bed and leveling my hunter on WoW.

However, I have read the prepared remarks this morning. While political pundits and other observers will pick the address apart today, let me offer a much shorter analysis.

Get out of the way.

That, I think, is the message of this past November, and the proper response to the President and the 112th congress.

Much of the speech, it seems to me, described challenges that are caused or greatly enabled by government (although that’s not how it was presented) and then proposes looking to government for the solution to those challenges. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” Obama’s 13 references (according to The Hill) to investment are just that, subsidizing problems.

So, my take on the State of the Union is, I repeat, get out of the way. Quit regulating entrepreneurship out of existence. Stop subsidizing programs and policies that would not exist apart from government life support. I will grant that some innovation has found it’s start in government programs (the internet and NASA inspired technology come to mind), but it has been private enterprise and entrepreneurs that have driven those things to the success they enjoy. Regulation, by it’s nature, stifles such success. To quote Reagan once again, “Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” It has been said, accurately I believe, that the internal combustion engine could not be invented in today’s over-regulated environment.

Get out of the way. It’s the only way we, as a nation, can move forward.

But, Will It Pass?

It’s a great idea. It just makes me sad that a resolution would be needed to constrain legislators. They are already bound by this:

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

Many, myself included, feel that they don’t take their oath very seriously. The current administration seems to think it a distraction. In response, New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett will introduce a resolution today requiring legislators to cite the power in the Constitution that gives them the authority to create a piece of legislation.

“This bill grows out of ‘The Pledge with America,’ going across the country prior to the campaign and hearing what was important to the American public and what they have told us is that we need to — as they and we put it — restore the preeminence of the Constitution in law-making and we do that by, as the rule would say, passing a non-waivable rule that would require every bill and amendment to have a citation of the specific authority in the Constitution.”

The good news is that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the Constitution is a document that codifies the limits of government. For far to long we have allowed our government to institute laws that intrude further and further into our lives while ceding more power and control to the state — much more than the Constitution allows.

Anticipating the tactics members will try to employ,

Garrett’s resolution will prohibit members from manipulating the more ambiguous “general welfare clause” and “necessary and proper clause” and instead require members to isolate specific provisions which make their proposals Constitutional.

Beyond the disappointing fact that such a resolution is even necessary, here are my thoughts on it’s passage and implementation.

  • Can this pass? Prior to the seating of the next Congress, I’m not so sure. Both parties have proved to have a bigger thirst for power than they do for anything that would limit their power. Too often they have seemed to consider the Constitution the way that Captain Barbosa described The Pirate Code — “They’re more like guidelines.”
  • If it should pass, now or after the new Congress convenes, how will members act? I think that Congress will pull stunts that would make Cirque du Soleil proud as thy attempt to maneuver around anything that limits them. To many, the idea that government has limits, “does not compute.”
  • With the gains made by conservatives in the recent election, I hope that those newly elected come to Washington understanding that “We the People” are fed up with the extra-constitutional intrusions into our lives. If the Constitution doesn’t say you can do it, you can’t do it. Period.

Add your thoughts in the comments.

He Gets It

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, running for Congress in Florida district 22, really does get it. Watch, as he answers a marine’s question.

Dealing with a threat requires understanding the threat. Is there any doubt that Colonel West understands? I didn’t think so.

(h/t Rick at Wizbang)

I Will Not Comply

John Hood has written a very compelling article at the Carolina Journal that sums up the health control legislation’s end game. In discussing the legislative maneuvering, he makes this, I believe, accurate observation.

There is no conceivable way that the president or the leaders of Congress can legally enact their legislative monstrosity.

Instead, they are going to cheat.

And cheat they will. There’s no other way to describe it.

They are going to employ some kind of legislative trickery to pretend to pass a bill that, they now realize, will never become law through constitutional means. They may use the now-infamous Slaughter Rule, which would allow House members to claim to have voted to amend the objectionable Senate bill without actually having passed it through the House. Or they’ll come up with an even-zanier scheme, including a subsequent reconciliation process in the Senate designed to overcome the very filibuster they’ve used to block conservative bills and nominees in the past.

Here is the course of action John plans to follow in the aftermath of this mess, a plan with merit.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding. I’m not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees.

I will not comply. If the government tries to make me comply, I’ll sue. And I’ll win.

Please read the whole article. If you agree, there is a Facebook Page here.

Find The Pea

The phrase that keeps popping into my head whenever I read anything about the health system takeover bill is, “how stupid do they think we are?” The rhetorical answer, sadly, is, “pretty stupid.”

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

You don’t need to know a thing about the details of this bill to know just how terrible it must be. The fact that Democrats are running such a shell game to get the bill on the President’s desk should tell you all you need to know.

But, you have to admit, the Democrats aren’t being sneaky. In fact, they are being brutally honest in their disregard for the will of the people and contempt for the Constitution.

Pelosi reportedly told liberal bloggers Monday that “nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” and so she’s strongly considering the non-vote vote.

“I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill,” she said.

Did you catch that? “I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” Thank you San Fran Nan for telling us that you’re willing to ignore the clear wording of our Constitution.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.

The phone lines, fax lines, and email on Capitol Hill have been burning up. Let’s continue that today.

Four Bells, Nancy

Admiral Farragut Pelosi has a wonderful idea, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue’s massive role in this election year.

Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program “This Week.”
We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”

Let me be honest here, I do agree with the Speaker that the role of our elected representatives is to, “do the job for the American people” rather than get elected to Congress with the sole goal of being reelected to Congress. Where she is wrong, totally wrong, is that the direction she is heading is 180 degrees from what the American people want. She seems willing to ignore that even while acknowledging the political price.

Her comments to ABC, in the interview released Sunday, seemed to acknowledge the widely held view that Democrats will lose House seats this fall — maybe a lot. They now control the chamber 255 to 178, with two vacancies. Pelosi stopped well short of suggesting Democrats could lose their majority, but she called on members of her party to make a bold move on health care with no prospects of GOP help.

“Time is up,” she said. “We really have to go forth.”

Conservatives, and anyone who is opposed to the unaffordable cost and government control issues inherent in this plan, need to continue their opposition and education. The Speaker is wrong on this as well.

Pelosi told CNN that “in a matter of days” Democrats will have specific legislative language on health care to show to the public and to wavering lawmakers. She predicted voters will warm up to the bill once they understand its details.

“When we have a bill,” she said, “you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie. But you have to have a pie to sell.”

OK, I’m not sure where pie fits into all of this, but I am confident in this; rather than warming up to the bill once they understand the details, smart, aware Americans will run from this monstrosity when they understand the details. It is up to us to continue to educate and inform people about the economy ruining, choice killing, innovation suppressing details of the coming legislation.

The actual quote, according to WikiAnswers is: “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Crayton, go ahead! Joucett, full speed!” Thus the title to this post.

Cross posted at The Regiment.

Say NO to Obamacare

The Conservative Outpost has provided a widget to help spread the word on saying “No” to Obamacare.

Barack Obama and liberals in Congress are moving quickly to pass health care “reform” that opens the door for a national, governement run health care system.

And Americans must speak out now and tell Congress “NO!” as loudly as possible.

There’s a “Get this widget” link that allows you to put it on your site. I’ve got mine.

Sarah Palin on The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End

Gov. Sarah Palin has an excellent article in the Washington Post looking at the President’s “Cap And Tax” legislation.

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.

[…]

There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.

In the article Gov. Palin clearly lays out the problems in the plan passed by the house, and now before the Senate.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

She doesn’t just point out the negative consequences of this bill, but also makes the case for a responsible energy policy.

We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

We have a choice, which she describes very well.

Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.

The article is well worth reading. I particularly enjoyed this humorous observation:

The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

If this becomes law, we all will.

Living In Government Housing

Living in government housing used to be limited to military personnel (I still remember visiting my uncle and his family at Ft. Dix) and, what we used to call, “the projects”. Not anymore.

I bet you thought that if you bought a house, you actually own it and can, with reasonable exceptions, do with it what you want. You probably think that if you want to live in a log cabin, with wood stoves that belch smoke into the air for heat, and an old washer and dryer that don’t have those little EnergyStar stickers on them you can because it’s your life and your property. You paid for it with money you earned with the sweat of your brow and what the heck is America anyhow if a body can’t live in the home they want furnished with the appliances they want?

Ah, silly you. You didn’t reckon on the Democratic Party’s desire to control every minuscule aspect of your life.

Jimmie Bise’s post is a sobering and disturbing look at just one section of passed-without-reading Waxman-Markey mess. It’s section 304, and it says, in part:

(A) preparation, and public disclosure of the label through filing with tax and title records at the time of–

(i) a building audit conducted with support from Federal or State funds;

(ii) a building energy-efficiency retrofit conducted in response to such an audit;

(iii) a final inspection of major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit issued by a local government entity;

(iv) a sale that is recorded for title and tax purposes consistent with paragraph (8);

(v) a new lien recorded on the property for more than a set percentage of the assessed value of the property, if that lien reflects public financial assistance for energy-related improvements to that building; or

(vi) a change in ownership or operation of the building for purposes of utility billing; or

(B) other appropriate means.

As Bise notes, “Pay close attention to (iii), (iv), and (vi) because those hit you right where you live.” You need to read his whole post. If your head doesn’t explode (I make no guarantees) head over to this post by Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson and read about 49 other little tidbits of nanny state delight, including:

43. Waxman-Markey also enables Obama to indulge his persistent desire to use the tax code to transfer wealth from people who pay taxes to people who don’t — i.e., from likely Republican voters to likely Obama voters. The bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow certain low income taxpayers a refundable energy tax credit to compensate such taxpayers for reductions in their purchasing power, as identified and calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resulting from regulation of GHGs (greenhouse gases).”

44. Not only will Waxman-Markey slip more redistribution into the tax code, it will establish a new monthly welfare check. It will create an “Energy Refund Program” that will “give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act.”

45. Another new class of government dependents will be created by Waxman-Markey: Americans put out of work by Waxman-Markey. The bill establishes a program to distribute “climate change adjustment assistance to adversely affected workers.”

The bottom line is you are going to have less (much less) on your bottom line. Beyond that you are going to have less (much less) personal freedom and rights.

It’s passed in the House. We can not allow it to move forward in the Senate. The amount of damage this bill can do between now and 2010/2012 is mind-boggling. Make no mistake, this bill will do nothing to stop “climate change” (how can you fix a hoax?), but will do plenty to stop prosperity and replace capitalism with government redistribution of wealth.

If this doesn’t scare you, you’re just not paying attention.

Putnam on HR 2454

I received a response from my rep. Adam Putnam when I wrote regarding the Cap and Tax bill. He voted against it, as I expected, but one paragraph from his email was very striking.

Fundamentally, the bill fails to ensure that an adequate amount of renewable or alternative energy sources are developed and deployed to compensate for the bill’s declining cap on fossil fuel emissions, as well as foster development of clean nuclear power. Instead, it would impose 397 new regulations and 1060 new mandates on the American public.

Wow! No wonder they didn’t want anyone to read it before they voted. It has hard to imagine a more intrusive, destructive piece of legislation (although I’m sure they’ll try). We must stop this in the Senate. Call, write, fax, email your Senators today.