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What we really need to know about nullification can be found in two places.  Many naysayers, who think they know, simply don’t know about nullification.  I am a proponent of state nullification of federal laws, rules, regulation, and executive orders when these exceed the federal government empowerment found in our Constitution.  You may think that I am a crack pot.  However, I have two allies in the nullification fight – Messrs Jefferson and Madison, the two chaps who are the principal architects of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Both these men have written on nullification and proposed it as far back as 1798.  Nullification was proposed for the Kentucky and Virginia state governments, and passed by both to refuse to honor two federal laws – the Alien and Sedition Acts at the time.

The first appearance of the right to nullify occurred in 1798, and the two collaborators in the Resolution of ’98 were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This duo should bring gravitas to the argument. Madison wrote of the right to nullify in the Virginia Resolution of 1798, wherein his document was adopted by the Virginia General Assembly and agreed to by the Virginia Senate in that same year. These were a nullification of the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress and signed into law by President John Adams.

Jefferson also very eloquently and clearly wrote of the right of a state to nullify in the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, where-in he cited Article I, Section 8’s enumerated powers and the tenth amendment. This collaboration, but mostly Jefferson resolution was adopted by the Kentucky legislature in the same year.

Nullification means that any state legislature can declare an act, regulation, or a law of the federal government not supported by the powers afforded the federal government, to be unconstitutional and nullified under the powers granted the states in the tenth amendment – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

This has been tried, but is not directly found in the Constitution. Nullification, that is not “constitutionalized” would be a sticky event. There is precedent provided by and arguments for nullification from the two rather influential and important founders mentioned above.  These two men were the quintessential constitutional scholars.

Nullification is a solution! These two very key founders were in favor of nullification. James Madison was a principal architect of the Constitution and the father of the Bill of Rights. He knew and understood better than any human on the planet, the intended relationship between a state, the states, and the federal government? Yes, Madison did late in life indicate that he did not intend for nullification, but his reasoning and words of the Resolution of ‘98 and Jefferson’s nullification argument can be used to prove that something nullification-like does fall to the states.

Nullification was also authored during the War of 1812 and with the Embargo of 1807 through 1809. Oddly enough, Jefferson was President for the Embargo; the federal government enacted an embargo of shipping, prohibiting all American ships from leaving American ports bound for any foreign port. This was to combat acts from Britain and France against America’s neutral rights on the seas. These are not the only examples of nullification in the history between the states and the federal government.

The following is taken from the website constitution.org and is the reprint of the text of resolution.  The website also states “The following resolution was adopted by the Virginia Senate on December 24, 1798, as a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress. It was authored by James Madison, in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson, who authored a set of resolutions for Kentucky.”

THE VIRGINIA NULLIFICATION RESOLUTION

RESOLUTIONS AS ADOPTED BY BOTH HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY.

1. Resolved, That the General Assembly of Virginia doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression, either foreign or domestic, and that it will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.

2. That this Assembly most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the union of the States, to maintain which, it pledges all its powers; and that for this end it is its duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles, which constitute the only basis of that union, because a faithful observance of them can alone secure its existence, and the public happiness.

3. That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare that it views the powers of the Federal Government as resulting from the compact, to which the States are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact, and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by the said compact, the States, who are the parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.

4. That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret that a spirit has in sundry instances been manifested by the Federal Government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that indications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which, having been copied from the very limited grant of powers in the former articles of confederation, were the less liable to be misconstrued), so as to destroy the meaning and effect of the particular enumeration, which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases, and so as to consolidate the States by degrees into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable result of which would be to transform the present republican system of the United States into an absolute, or at best, a mixed monarchy.

5. That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the “alien and sedition acts,” passed at the last session of Congress, the first of which exercises a power nowhere delegated to the Federal Government; and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government, as well as the particular organization and positive provisions of the federal Constitution; and the other of which acts exercises in like manner a power not delegated by the Constitution, but on the contrary expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power which more than any other ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been juslly (justly) deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.

6. That this State having by its convention which ratified the federal Constitution, expressly declared, “that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by any authority of the United States,” and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry or ambition, having with other States recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was in due time annexed to the Constitution, it would mark a reproachful inconsistency and criminal degeneracy, if an indifference were now shown to the most palpable violation of one of the rights thus declared and secured, and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the other.

7. That the good people of this commonwealth having ever felt, and continuing to feel the most sincere affection to their brethren of the other States, the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the union of all, and the most scrupulous fidelity to that Constitution which is the pledge of mutual friendship, and the instrument of mutual happiness, the General Assembly doth solemnly appeal to the like dispositions of the other States, in confidence that they will concur with this commonwealth in declaring, as it does hereby declare, that the acts aforesaid are unconstitutional, and that the necessary and proper measure will be taken by each, for co-operating with this State in maintaining unimpaired the authorities, rights, and liberties reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

8. That the Governor be desired to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolutions to the executive authority of each of the other States, with a request that the same may be communicated to the legislature thereof. And that a copy be furnished to each of the senators and representatives representing this state in the Congress of the United States.

The Kentucky Resolution as provided by pinzler.com

The representatives of the good people of this commonwealth [of Kentucky], in General Assembly convened, have maturely considered the answers of sundry states in the Union, to [the ongoing debate and discussion of]… certain unconstitutional laws of Congress, commonly called the Alien and Sedition Laws, would be faithless, indeed, to themselves and to those they represent, were they silently to acquiesce in the principles and doctrines attempted to be maintained…. Our opinions of these alarming measures of the general government, together with our reasons for those opinions, were detailed with decency, and with temper and submitted to the discussion and judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union…. Faithful to the true principles of the federal Union, unconscious of any designs to disturb the harmony of that Union, and anxious only to escape the fangs of despotism, the good people of this commonwealth are regardless of censure or calumniation. Lest, however, the silence of this commonwealth should be construed into an acquiescence in the doctrines and principles advanced… therefore,

Resolved, That this commonwealth considers the federal Union, upon the terms and for the purposes specified in… [the Constitution], conducive to the liberty and happiness of the several states: That it does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union, and to that compact… and will be among the last to seek its dissolution: That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact [the Constitution], by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, an annihilation of the state governments… will be the inevitable consequence: [That the construction of the Constitution argued for by many] state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extant of the powers delegated to it, stop not short of despotism ­ since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument [the Constitution] being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of the infraction; and, That a nullification of those sovereignties (sovereigntys), of all unauthorized acts done under the color of that instrument is the rightful remedy: That this commonwealth does, under the most deliberate reconsideration, declare, that the said Alien and Sedition Laws are, in their opinion, palpable violations of the said Constitution…. although this commonwealth, as a party to the federal compact, will bow to the laws of the Union, yet, it does at the same time declare, that it will not now, or ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitutional manner, every attempt at what quarter soever offered, to violate that compact…. This commonwealth does now enter against [the Alien and Sedition Acts] in solemn PROTEST.

So when you think about whether a state can nullify a federal law regulation, rule, or executive order, just consider that two men with more knowledge of the Constitution than the consummate knowledge of all the supreme Court justices since the first court combined, thought it was the right of every state to do so.  Challenge the premise and you are challenging two of the founders who brought us the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution with the Bill of Rights.  Remember, Madison wrote the constitution document and understood what was intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where will the progressives go next – tax free speech with a blog or a youtube tax or will they lay a gun/ammunition tax to control the right to bear arms?

Where will this now unlimited ability for the federal government to tax its citizens as a behavior modification tool end?  If you wish to control free speech, tax certain types of blogs or youtube submissions and views.

Chief Justice John Roberts may not yet fully understand the full extent of the demise of this free Republic he has unleashed, with this unchecked ability for the progressives to tax, not to raise revenue, but to make behavior modification and pick and choose who is modified.

Can we now have an Article V Constitutional Convention by the states to take back the progressives 100 year assault on this Republic?

 

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Twist and turns from an unpredictable Chief Justice of the supreme Court of the land – what does it mean?  While the health care mandate is struct down as unconstitutional under the commerce clause, it is Phoenix rising from the ashes as a tax, under the authority of Congress to lay and collect taxes.

What does this mean?  Simple, the Affordable Health Care Act survives mostly intact, with medicaid in jeopardy.  States cannot be punished for not expanding medicaid.  The real meaning of the Affordable Care Act decision is that the democrats in Congress and President Obama insisted, promised, that this new Act is not a tax, but when they went to court they argued that it was a tax – gross misrepresentation, again from this administration!

Since the President was adamant that this mandate was not a tax, repeatedly over time and in all forums, then argued in federal court and in the supreme Court that the mandate was justifed as a tax, will he pay the price for this massive deception?  Did he win a battle and perhaps lose the war?  The majority of americans are opposed to the mandate, and it appears that they are not opposed because it is a violation of the commerce clause, and that it really was a tax.  Americans just don’t want to be mandated by our federal government to do anything and don’t care by what means this was accomplished.

Has Chief Justice Roberts, as the swing jurist in this decision, created a mine field for President Obama?  Does the president have to explain his supreme misrepresentation to the american people?  In addition, the hidden decision here is that the federal government has been reined in under the commerce clause, limiting its commerce clause power, but unleashed as a taxing giant to use taxes to control the behavior of the citizens of this nation?

I am sure the founders never dreamed of a free nation under the thumb of the central government created by its states to make the states, as a whole, stronger, but with “limited” powers.  It appears that the federal government under the right to lay and collect taxes to influence the behavior of its citizens is now unchecked with unlimited powers – thank you, President Obama for the deception!

 

 

 

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The question is: Whether the States should have access to immediately challenge the federal government’s enacting of laws and rules that fall outside the limited powers provided to the federal government by the States under the Constitution?

It appears that the federal government created by and empowered by the States has now trumped the collective States in matters of redress as redress pertains to the federal government’s enumerated powers.  For a State or States to challenge the federal government’s violation of its enumerated powers, it or they must go to the lowest federal court and get in line just as you or I might have to do.  The States created the federal government and empowered it in a limited way for the good of the collective states, yet States are routinely treated by Congress and the supreme Court (supreme is lower case as it is in the Constitution) as having the same status as an individual citizen.  Below is an excerpt from the Constitution and one from subsequent federal law.

Our United States Constitution, Article III Section 2, states: “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction…”

What is original jurisdiction? “original jurisdiction n. the authority of a court to hold a trial, as distinguished from appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from trial judgments.” (Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill.)

However, the United States Code (federal law) 28 USC § 1251 – Original jurisdiction;  states – see Cornell law:

(a)The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.

(b)The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of: 

  1. All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties;
  2. All controversies between the United States and a State;
  3. All actions or proceedings by a State against the citizens of another State or against aliens.

Why should the States, as the founders of the federal government and having only relinquished some of their powers – providing limited powers to the progeny of the union of the states – be relegated to normal and customary standing in the court system, when matters between the States and the federal government generally deal with sweeping Constitutional  issues of an immediate nature?

The relegation of the States to second class status versus the Federal Government began in 1877, when the supreme Court ruled it did not have exclusive original jurisdiction over matters between the states and the federal government, but that inferior courts (known as tribunals in the Constitution) also had original jurisdiction.  Since the supreme Court has no Constitutional authority over inferior courts (tribunals), this decision should have been challenged at that time by Congress and the executive branch – it was left unchallenged.

Per the Constitution only Congress can establish and ordain inferior tribunals (courts).  At that time and through today, the supreme Court had and has no authority to establish or ordain inferior courts as having original jurisdiction.  Subsequently in the late 30’s and early 40’s Congress which ordains and establishes these inferior courts decided to put this into the U.S. Code.  Upon seeing this in the U.S. Code, the supreme Court created its rule 17 – original jurisdiction.  They then cited U.S. Code, which was based on a supreme Court ruling as the reasoning.  The country had now created a circular firing squad.

Now let’s talk about standing. 

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary: “The right to file a lawsuit or make a particular legal claim. Only a person or entity that has suffered actual injury has standing to seek redress in court. For example, an advocacy group may not file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a statute on its own; there must be a plaintiff who has actually been harmed by the statute.”

While “standing” goes back to the Byzantine Empire and maybe prior, the use of standing in the United States has been defined by the supreme Court.

From the Cornell law website we find this excerpt (…At the Federal level, legal actions cannot be brought simply on the ground that an individual or group is displeased with a government action or law…).  Here is another case where the States cannot immediately seek redress against an action that is perceived to be outside the limited powers.  Instead, the States have to standby waiting for the federal action to actually cause damage which may affect millions of citizens and billions of dollars,  In fact, legal actions taken because the federal government is outside of the limited powers need to be allowed before the federal government’s actions become interwoven with the fabric of the nation. It is an exigent circumstance that only the States can rectify in the Court.  

Essentially, what the federal government, including the supreme Court, has done is find ways to preempt the States and preempt their limited powers.  Should not the States as the founders of the federal government in a limited way, be given “super-standing” in all matters related to the powers of the federal government under the Constitution, as the grantor’s of that power?  There is precedent that Congress has modified “standing” under federal law in the past.

We need one law, one amendment to the U.S. Code, granting the states permanent and perennial original jurisdiction in the supreme Court.  This is as provided under the Constitution.  We need to prohibit inferior courts from hearing any case or action where a State or States challenge the limited and enumerated powers of the federal government.  On behalf of the States, we also need to eliminate the need for standing created by damages, by providing the States with super-standing in all such matters – meaning they can bring a challenge at any time after enactment on behalf of their citizens. In the case of the States, we can modify standing to be based upon upon enacted law or regulation.

The supreme Court might continue to rule that inferior courts also have original jurisdiction with the States, in violation of the Constitution, but the federal inferior courts will not be able to act, under federal law.  Remember that Congress establishes and ordains the inferior courts and the supreme Court does not.  Thus the supreme Court will be forced to hear such actions as they will be the only remaining court in the land with original jurisdiction on matters between the States and the federal government in matters of enumerated powers. 

Again the question is: Whether the States should have access to immediately challenge the federal government’s enacting of laws and rules that fall outside the limited powers provided to the federal government by the States under the Constitution?  I think yes!

 

 

 

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The state of the nation, our nation, is not so complicated as one might think.  We now have “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) springing up almost out of nowhere, with no leadership, no funding, and no direction.  Believe this and I will sell you a bridge – call me, I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is available.

There is, however, one very cogent message coming from the occupiers.  It is that the top 1% of wealth in this country controls the power.  Abraham Lincoln was apparently wrong, at least for our time, when he proclaimed at Gettysburg: :”…government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”

Today and for over one hundred years, we do not have a free and independent Congress, unions bought and paid for our current President, and our Supreme Court suffers from “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, no longer deciding cases on their merits, but instead using ideology.  Money derived from the 1%, dictates who our candidates are, dictates how our representatives vote, and attempts to shape populist opinion through a media void of integrity.  We have a government monetary system perennially dictated by Goldman Sachs alumni, regardless of the administration.  It should be no suprise that Goldman Sachs is the common hobby horse of the 1%.  It is where they play.

While the world has always been about wealth retaining and wielding power.  This country, with brief lapses, has muddle through despite the wealthy for 222 years [the Republic we know was officially started March 1, 1789] , because we are a republic with a great founding document.

Now an amalgamation of often disassociated factions has come together to bring us “Occupy Wall Street”, with the only overriding theme being capitalism does not work and the 1% control the world.  The solutions from these folks stem from eliminating money to pure distribution of wealth in a socialist system.  Is this really grass roots with no leadership?  If you believe so, then answer this question, how do they manage to have a finance committee?

Here is a good question.  Is this a quest for the uber 1% to gain even more power by throwing off the yoke of that restraining document, the Constitution?  Someone has to be orchestrating this supposedly grass roots event and providing the money, so much money that they have a finance committee.  We have seen reports that George Soros, a long time proponent of abolishing the Constitution and creating a one world government under a new world order, has his various tentacled organizations heavily involved.  George Soros is one of the 1% of the 1% worldwide.  Is this their, the 1% of the 1%, world conquest using ultimate financial power?  Remember, we have prepared the masses for this by dumbing down the schools, offering only radical socialist speak at universities, and by a radical transformation of the media – we no longer have a fourth estate to keep folks and government honest.

Do we break the yoke, involving both major political parties, of the 1%, and lurch toward a one world new world order, without our Constitution, under socialism led by George Soros, et al., through the amalgamation of disassociated factions in favor of the 1% of the 1%, or do we modify our Constitution to provide term limits, lobbying controls, and elimination of contributions by any organization: union, corporation, or association?  Do we, by a Constitutional amendment, continue to limit individual contributions, and allow political speak (ads) only from individuals?

While the OWS people are right only about the 1%, their methods and resources are absolutely the wrong way for this country to go.  Ask yourself, are the occupiers useful idiots of the devious 1% of the 1%.

 

 

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Tax the rich! The rich must pay their fair share! No more private jets! We keep hearing these refrains from our President and others on the left.  Is our debt problem caused by the rich?  Is our deficit problem caused by the rich?  Is our spending problem caused by the rich.  Recently, I happened upon an interview of a gentleman named Robert Frank.  He wrote a book call “Richistan”.

It seems that he took a pencil to paper to calculate the affect on our deficit and debt “taxing the rich”to solve our problem of spending would have.  His calculation is stunning and would suggest that our President and the left need to break out their calculators – their solution simply does not work. I have always believed that the left attended the voodoo school of economics and maybe I am correct.  Really, the far left progressives are not as much concerned about economics as they are about insuring that the few dictate to the many, how to live, how to work, and how to play – economics and facts just get in their way.

  • In the interview, Mr. Frank was asked “If we reverse the Bush tax cuts would that solve our problem.
  • His answer: this would yield $100B annually against our $1.65T annual deficit.

 

  • What if we taxed all those folks making $250,000 annually and up at a 100% tax rate – take all their earnings?
  • Answer: this would yield $900B annually, but would still leave us short of the $1.65T annual deficit.

 

  • What if we confiscated all the wealth of the Forbes list of wealthy Americans?
  • Answer: This would net $1.6T and would solve the deficit for only one year.  (deficit, under our spending ways is annual)

 

  • How about if we were to end that corporate jet depreciation?
  • Answer: This would yield a couple billion against a $1.65T deficit.

We owe more than $14 Trillion and add to that debt at the rate of $1.65 Trillion annually.  We are increasing our debt at nearly 12% per year.  When will the reckless spending end?  We need to end the spending before we have any hope of lowering our debt.  To lower our debt we need a surplus every year and not a $1.65T deficit.  In Washington they are wringing their hands over proposals that might yield $2Trillion over ten years.  They do the Irish Jig if they achieve a 1% cut from the spending growth rate.  These “great” plans will not solve our annual deficit.  More taxes will not solve our deficit.  Only sustained substantial spending cuts are the answer.

We, the federal government, should be taking from the economy – the taxpayers – just enough to provide the basic obligations of the federal government as found in the Constitution.

 

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Are our school districts/systems, run by educated education professionals, spending your money wisely?  Has the U.S. Department of Education had a positive impact on our kids?  Has too much money gone to support the teachers’ unions’ demands, and bigger government; has too little information gone into the area between the ears of our kids? You be the judge.

 

Many thanks to the brilliant folks at the Cato Institute for the work they have done on so many important issues.  This work was done by Andrew J. Coulson and the complete Cato article can be found at President to Call for Big New Ed. Spending Here’s a Look at How that’s Worked in the Past.  Charts republished with the permission of the Cato Institute.

Let’s start with the U.S. Department of Education, elevated from the Office of Education in 1979.  The Department’s website  states “The Department’s mission is to serve America’s students— to  by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”  How is this working for you?

It has a $67 Billion budget, over 4,000 employees and distributes another $100 Billion in education support.  By the way, this $167 Billion is derived from tax revenue taken from tax payers in the fifty states and territories.  If this money is left in the states, the states can then collect and use this money as they see fit and not as directed by educators with a progressive bent on how our children should learn.  There are almost 60 million students enrolled in K-12 education in this country.  The elimination of the Department of Education’s operating budget would ensure another $1,100 per student in education funding.  Would you contribute to a charity that had a 40% overhead rate as does the Department of Education?  How much of your district’s budget is spent on U.S. Department of Education compliance?  Add these compliance expenses to the overhead and the amount freed up for students climbs even higher.

The states do not need the U.S. Department of Education; the states’ PhD’s are just as smart as the PhD’s at the Department of Education.  The department has miserably failed its mission because we have an abysmal return on our Federal investment and a relatively zero increase in student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness, as is the mission since 1979.  There is no education excellence in our children.  We need to shut it down and despite numerous tweaks by Congress it is an abject failure and a gargantuan waste of money.

Is money the answer in itself – No!  Much of the money provided to the students has gone to support the teacher unions’ contracts.  We cannot remove a bad teacher, we cannot improve work rules, and the unions even call the shots on how our children are prepared for the future.  Unless you consider socialist propaganda prepared, they are simply not prepared for the future.  We are not making widgets here; these children are the nation’s greatest resource.  They are not a cog in the wheel of a union contract.  The unions have benefited financially from favorable union contracts; have the children benefited?  If you think so, look at the charts again.  Are there good teachers?  Yes of course.  Are these good teachers allowed to innovate, no!

Stop throwing money at the problem and change the paradigm.  We need to focus heavily on English, Math, Sciences, History, and Social Studies above all else.  Yes art and music and others have their place, but the Titanic is sinking, so let’s not rearrange the deck chairs.  First we need a good hard look at the content of the books and then we need to actually teach our kids that passing or failing is important in life.  The real world requires critical thinking skills and believe it or not in non-government or non-academic careers success matters, so why not truly prepare our kids for the future.

Parents who care need to pressure their school boards to become totally transparent.  Put all budgets and salaries online.  Put the progress of each class online.  We need to measure our teachers by testing their classes at the start of the semester/school year and then again at the end of the semester/school year to judge whether the teacher has adequately promoted student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness. Since our children are important and our future lifeblood, we need to compensate our teachers based on quality control.  If they actually deliver student achievement  and prepare these kids for the global economy – pay them well.  General Electric became very successful after Jack Welch instituted a policy that each year the bottom 10% of managers were let go and replaced by new hires – remember this is the real world.  Why shouldn’t this real world accountability be applied to those entrusted to prepare our to children succeed for themselves and for this country?

 

 



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We have heard from those politicians, who need to join spenders anonymous, that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will default on our debt and plunge the country into chaos.  This answer to this is super simple.  We take tax revenue that continues to come in and use that to pay the debt and interest on the debt.  We take whatever is left and use it to run the country.  Yes, we will have to cut expenditures to make this smaller pot of gold work, we will not default, or lose our credit rating – it might even be strengthened.

We have heard that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling that our credit rating will drop – lie, lie, lie!!!

When creditors look at lending to you or the country, they look at your ability to repay – they do not look at an abritrary debt ceiling deadline that has been increased more than a dozen times in the recent past, just so we can borrow more money.

Either these politicians are just plain stupid or they are lying to you.  I will go with lying to you.  Remember, they are spendaholics and need spendaholics anonymous.  They like being spendaholics because they spend your money and other people’s money to buy votes and retain power.  Well, they have reached the rail head – their is no more track.  It is time to send these “We Must Raise The Debt Ceiling Or Collapse” liars to spendaholics anonymous or out of Washington and back home.

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We have reached the point of extreme absurdity with the refusal of the Democrats in Congress and the Democrat in the White House to address cutting our national spending in a meaningful way.  This country is drowning in debt.  This debt is retarding the improvement in unemployment rate and inhibiting the growth of GDP.  Yet, the President offers a total of $6.5 Billion in cuts – one day’s spending deficit – from a multi-trillion dollar problem and the Democrats in Congress believe that the $6.5 Billion is too much of a cut and attempt to reduce it to $4.7 Billion.  The biggest ship in the world, the U.S., is sinking and the Democratic Party’s Progressive Socialists are bailing with a tea cup.

I am sure that the Cowboy Poetry Festival held in Genoa, Nevada is a very nice event.  But this festival now serves as a giant symptom of just how rabidly incompetent the Democratic Party leadership in this country is.   The majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, is distraught that the Republicans want to cut federal funding from the Festival.  Are these Democrats delusional?

Harry Reid on the Senate floor actually called the Republicans “mean-spirited” for wanting to de-fund this festival as part of overall proposed cuts, insufficient as the proposed cuts may be.  These Democrats are in a national security dangerous and overwhelming denial as they simply refuse to cut anything and apparently believing that we can continue down this “spend, spend, more than you take in road –  forever”.  As pundits have been saying a whole lot lately: “You can’t make this stuff up.”

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Over the last 100 years and more specifically throughout the last 50 years progressives have infiltrated our media, unions as progressive socialists, universities under the protection of tenure, K through 12 school systems via the socialist teachers’ unions and tenure, judiciary, and a host of other key areas of society, especially the U.S. Congress.

Of little note was the infiltration of our state legislatures, with 49 separate houses (Nebraska has only one), by progressive candidates masquerading as moderate and liberal Democrats and Republicans, yes Republican in name only – RINO.  After the election of 2008 and the supreme take over of the U.S. Senate and the House, along with the White House, by the progressive socialists of America, now known as the Democratic party, these folks got pretty smug.  Nancy Pelosi truly thought she could ram unpopular legislation through the Congress and did just that.  President Barack Obama, stocked the executive branch with one communist or communist sympathizer after another to begin his quest for one branch rule of this nation,with the help of his union and other friends (by the way, who is on the other end of his Blackberry).  The new Congress promptly accommodated him by abdicating its role of law making to the executive branch.

These folks knew that in 2010, a limited number of Senate seats were up for election and that the way congressional districts have been defined by federal law a host of safe seats existed, insuring that the core progressive faithfull, many ranking members of committees, would be reelected, and they were.  Despite the historic turnover of Congress, Pelosi kept her role as the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Well surprise, the progressive playbook had a flaw.  It did not properly consider the role of the state legislatures.  2010 meant that nearly 700 democrat and democrat progressives were thrown out and replaced by Republicans, conservative Republicans to boot.  27 states currently have both houses controlled by Republicans.  Many more states have at least one branch and the executive branch controlled by Republicans with the other branch holding only a tiny majority for democrats.  Wisconsin replaced a progressive Democrat controlled Senate, Assembly, and Executive Branch with Republicans.

The movements bubbling up from the states offering a host of federal government push back are building steam.  These include efforts for state driven balanced budget, debt ceiling, nullification, and general states rights U.S. Constitutional Amendments.  A reassertion of the 10th Amendment, herculean efforts to stop Obama-care, reclaim land seized by the federal government, anti-public union give-aways, and a host of other anti-federal government legislation and lawsuits.

The war between traditional individual liberty, free market, limited government believers – the Tea Party types, and the progressive socialists who despise our Constitution and equal justice system – everyone has an opportunity not a promise to succeed way of life – is not over, but of late the progressives have been seriously outflanked.

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You may not hear this tonight from either side of the isle, so I thought I would summarize the current state of the union.

Our economy still struggles, but is picking up steam, but unemployment remains unacceptably high. How can the economy pick up steam and yet unemployment is a serious laggard? The Obama administration simply does not no how or does not wish to address the issues keeping unemployment high. Once you take a hard look at this administration, you will see that no one in the power level has ever built a business and through growth hired people – not even the GE Chairman, Jeffrey Immelt.

The Obama administration has been heaping hurdles and regulations on small businesses for two years, and since the small business segment creates 70% of the jobs, they will not hire. No small business owner will hire if he or she is faced with hire unemployment costs – yes “unemployment” costs. Businesses pay into the unemployment fund based on their experience level with unemployment – they are rated on how many have left the business and are in or have been in the unemployment income collection system. Extend unemployment for a year or two and your increase the rating for the business and its expenses.

Require small businesses to provide health insurance and you again increase their costs, thus they do not hire. Their are countless regulations adding cost to small businesses and when the future bottom line inclusive of future expenses is forecast, they do not hire.

Congress, regardless of which party is in power in each house will not make government smaller and more limited.  Ever since the seventeenth amendment was passed taking the appointment of senators from the states and giving the election of senators to the people of the various states, the states cannot control an out of control ever growing self perpetuating federal “central” government.  A little over one hundred years ago, the states could vote down unconstitutional growth in Washington, D.C.

Today, the states just stand by and wish the federal government would follow the eighteen enumerated powers it has in the Constitution.  Unless and until outside forces, such as the states are allowed to apply pressure on the Congress, it will just continue feeding on itself.  We no longer have a free market system and we can no longer call what we have capitalism, because the federal government has intruded for one hundred years, inhibiting how the free market is supposed to operate.

The Supreme Court no longer considers issues based on the law and the written Constitution.  Instead it relies on social interpretation of what is needed, believing itself to be a law making body.  It considers laws of other nations when it decides our legal issues of the day.  These are laws not made by any elected U.S. Senator or Congressman, but this is okay, since they believe that other nations are more enlightened.  Maybe it is the Court that need to be enlightened!  It has used the “Commerce Clause” to turn the limited federal government into an unlimited central planning socialist type of governance.

The Executive Branch now routinely writes regulations with the force of law.  I believe we will have to rename the executive branch – “Congress Lite”.

I would go on, but the list of things gone wrong is too depressing to continue.  You get the idea – the state of the union is dismal and in need of immediate repair by the citizens of this nation – who else will fix the problem?

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The following is an excerpt from the book-blog “U.S. Constitution: “Sine Die“.  It sets up what is now actually happening.  The list of executive branch regulations is growing exponentially and is heaping great cost on the fragile U.S. economy at a time when we need less regulation and lower cost to survive.

“Congress Abdicates Its Lawmaking Power”

In 1913, the progressive socialists destroyed the vertical checks and balance between the States and the federal government, with the seventeenth amendment.  Just as in 1913 with the action against the States, today, a critical milestone on the path to a socialist government and economy for the progressives was to destroy the horizontal checks and balance and the separation of powers among the branches of the federal government.  This has clearly picked up pace in the last eighteen months, with the progressive socialists chairing just about every committee in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.  With the extreme progressive socialist leadership of Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reed in the Senate, the progressives enabled the passage of two major bills with no one given time to read the bills – yet like lemmings fellow progressives and liberals voted for; a health care bill; and a financial regulation bill.  Neither bill was truly about health care or financial regulation.  These bills were all about progressives taking over the economy and collapsing the separation of powers in the federal government.

These bills, combined, create numerous new federal agencies and thousands of rules to be written by executive branch and independent agency bureaucrats appointed by the Executive Branch – not by Congress.  Bureaucrat written rules will now carry the force of law.  These new and existing executive branch and independent agencies are empowered to write unchecked regulations – they have been empowered to write a massive amount of invasive law.  Essentially the progressives in Congress just transferred, by law, their Constitutional legislative authority to the Executive Branch and to independent agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, also known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The Executive Branch and independent agencies now have the capability of writing law unchecked by your elected representatives and to selectively enforce existing law to control the future of this nation.

The horizontal balance brought about by the separation of powers and the checks and balances among the branches of the federal government are gone.  The vertical check on the federal government by the States is gone.  The executive branch and the CFPB are now able to control all aspects of our financial transactions, capital markets, and our health.  They will grow more powerful in 2012 as they write more new law.  The President and his appointee at the CFPB can now actually penalize one or more businesses or industries and even seize companies it considers a threat to our economy, without due process.  Where is the freedom from seizure found in the Bill of Rights?  As the new central government grows, our individual liberty will continue to shrivel until it is gone.

The progressives will now pick up the pace on their march to move us to failed socialism for the sake of power and world wealth redistribution.  The executive branch can and will engineer events that will continue to move our economy to total collapse and thus with a groundswell of despair from suffering citizens, the public will readily accept a totalitarian government’s help and an abandonment of what remains of the Constitution.  This will be the end game of the progressives and it is around the corner.  History repeats itself and if you look at how totalitarian government comes into power, you will find that it is by promising suffering citizens a bright future – “if you will just follow us”.  First, however, the progressives need to create the suffering and this is well underway.  Our economy is at a crossroads – continue the Obama and friends progressive socialist prescription, and they will have achieved this goal of extreme suffering.   Shall we rename this once great nation “The National Socialists of America” or “The EBCG of America” – “The Executive Branch Central Government of America”?-

It the last few months the Obama administration has enacted regulations:

  • severely limiting oil drilling in this country,
  • knocking on the door to impose a version of “Card Check”,
  • allowing an expansion of the use and volume of ethanol in a gallon of gas, despite its disruption of the food supply, increasing food prices, and being deterious to the engines it powers,
  • using the EPA to further regulate the biomass industry and requiring expensive controls on power company and industry emissions, raising energy costs when this country needs to seek cheaper energy to restart our manufacturing base,
  • adding to consumer product safety, and ear safety regulation and cost,
  • reinterpreting the laws on illegal immigration to minimize deportation on non-criminal illegal immigrants,
  • implementing “Net Neutrality” is the first step of taking over the internet,
  • opening up the opportunities for trial lawyers to sue the meat and the poultry industries, again adding to prices,
  • providing tax breaks for trial attorneys,
  • and instituting onerous and costly heavy truck fuel economy standards.

(Source: The American Spectator, December 2011/January 2011, pages 23 through 25)

So many of these federal regulations have been enacted over the overt objections of Congress, it is safe to say that we have lost our federal republic form of government.  We have gone from limited power with the states still in charge to unlimited power centered in the executive branch with a feckless Congress and powerless states.  This must change or we are doomed to a new form of government, with central planning at the executive branch, a continued weak economy, people dependent on the state, and loss of individual freedom in the free market: Socialism.

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Of the people, by the people, and for the people – apparently not!  When you look at the polls and look behind them you see an electorate (democrat, republican, libertarian, etc.) that is in such discontent, even spitting angry, over the politics and governance of this country.  Neither major party is held in high regard as both parties have placed party and special interests above country.

Look inside the Democratic Party, and you will find two very distinct parties.  The party has old line democrats who have not yet realized that their party has been taken over by left wing radicals – well there are so many “radicals” that perhaps we cannot call them radicals any longer.  Radical thinking is no longer radical when the number of proponents reaches a critical mass, and it has.  It is a movement of such strength that it can topple our Republic.

These radicals are the socialist, wealth, and health care re-distribution advocates.  Their climate change philosophy is centered on America literally paying monetary tribute to the less developed nations of the world. They claim we owe these underdeveloped nations our wealth since we have been successful and have destroyed the atmosphere with carbon dioxide –stuff plants and trees love.  This is the core driver of this crisis of climate change or global warming.

If we were to institute all the changes the climate change supporters want, we would see worldwide abject poverty grow and widespread food shortages.  The result will be that we will only affect man made climate change by about 1% in the next 100 years.  (This statement can be supported by many prominent scientists and economists, but this writing is not the place for this debate.  If you must digress into this argument then view John Stossel’s information on the topic or do your own research.) As we have recently seen with the exposed emails of leading climate change scientists, Jones (the UN’s key scientist for the IPCC) and Mann, among others, climate change is certainly not settled science and their manipulation of the data findings, destruction of the raw data, and their overt attempt to squelch professional, educated dissent makes this a political wealth distribution gambit and not science.

Climate change is a well disguised and well planned assault on our Republic and the free market system.  The current populist movement is fermented by those who seek national wealth redistribution and to expunge capitalism, because capitalism is supposedly a detriment to the people of the world.  This is also driven by these former radicals, now just far left believers.  Our President and many in Congress are drivers of this movement.

Capitalism is not the problem. The problem facing our Republic is the marriage of government and big business that enhances the corporate profit motive – largess for the elites at all cost is the result of this unholy alliance.  The relationship between our federal government and Goldman Sachs is almost incestuous.  The number of government officials in and around the White House and Treasury, who were Goldman Sachs executives, is staggering   – true under both the Obama and Bush administrations.  Why has our government become wed to these corporations?

For the government, mostly made up of democrats, this means that small business enterprise can be squeezed out and unions supporting the democrats will prosper.  Unions do not do well when small business creates 70 plus percent of the jobs in this country.  When the government eliminates small business as a major jobs grower, the government will grow, foster more pro democrat union memberships, and the democrats will have a built in support system to simply stay in power.  Take a look at the government payrolls.  The salaries of government workers average nearly double those of the private sector.  Remember this is tax payer money being paid in large grants to those who economically produce nothing for the country.  The nature of government work is to manage government and not to produce goods and services.

For corporations this means government capital availability and big profits.  This also means special interests rule Congress and no longer is “What is good for the nation” the top agenda item.   “What is good for the small echelon of corporate elites” moves to the top of the Congressional legislative calendar.  This means that Congress no longer represents the people – can we say it is official now?– that the goal of Congress is to make more than half the nation beholden to the Democratic Party and to raise money from the corporate elites.  We are seeing a government coup occur center stage as we look on.  The Congress through the last stimulus bill, omnibus bill, and now the health care bills has written enough empowerment to bureaucratic regulators and entitlements for the tax takers of America that what has been done, might never be undone.  Government bureaucrats continue to be given the ability to make law, without Congress’ approval and the requisite signature of the President.  Entitlements are targeted to those who pay little or no taxes, but have a vote.  Current decisions by our government, mostly against the growth of small business, are focused on keeping the number of tax takers at a voting majority level and yes, keeping them beholden to the Democrats.

By now you are thinking this writer is just bashing the Democrats.  Well, it is the Republican’s turn.  Two Congresses ago, the Republicans attempted the same un-American plan that the Democrats are carrying out with perfection, they just did not know how to do it well.  Look through the ranks of the Republican Party leadership and you will find a host of Congressman and Senators who also regularly put party ahead of country.  The problem is that too many Republicans are dependent on democrat voters and special interest money – they may wear different uniforms in the Congress, but they sell their souls to the same devil.  No longer is it “Damn Yankee!” – it’s now “Damn American!”  The powerful moneyed special interests are Lola and “What Lola wants Lola gets.”  Climate change just serves to make them richer.

How did we get here?  Well the Constitution has and had a number of protections against this coup that is taking place, but sadly some powers are lost and new ones need to be enacted.  First, the states, you know, those sovereign powers that created the United States Government in 1787 and actually super cede the Federal Government under the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8 and the Tenth Amendment, need to push for a repeal of the 17th amendment.

The Founders looking for a way for the states to control a centralized Federal Government created a control rod for the states, called the Senate.  Senators were appointed by the states’ legislatures and not directly elected by the people.  This made the Senators accountable only to the states’ legislatures and governors.  The states, via the Senate, were given the power to provide advice and consent on appointees, including judicial, and to ratify treaties with two thirds of the Senate voting in the affirmative.  Most importantly, the states through the Senate were given the power to keep the House of Representatives in check and continue the rights which their sovereignty brought them.

The 17th amendment removed the Senate as an arm of the states in 1913.  This was a crucial mistake by the Congress and the states ratifying the amendment.  Senators were now subject to the money and power of specials interests, instead of the one special interest they represented – their state.

What if this “angry electorate” votes out the incumbents?  Will this change the special interests’ impact?  Will the elite corporate echelon disappear? No! They will just have new meat to work with, new people to make rich.  Members of Congress have learned that entry into the club of representative government means that they can retire rich, give us our own money to buy votes, and provide for a cushy retirement and a wonderful lifetime medical plan.

Unless and until we successfully remove the money and largess of riches bestowed on our lawmakers nothing will change.  We are told that term limits already exist – called voting for the other guy.  Well, sitting Representatives have the decked stacked in campaign contributions and in name recognition, so that they are returned to Congress over 90% of the time.  Does this sound like to you what the Founders intended for the “People’s House”?

Our Republic founded in 1787 , with its “People’s House” and its upper house, the Senate, formerly representing the states, is in serious danger of morphing into what it was never intended to be, an inefficient socialist  economy and an oligarchy government with no real representation of the people.  It was intended to be the best form of government possible – not perfect, but better than all the rest.

Ill conceived changes to our Constitution and 21st century forces from corporate greed and special interest money, never anticipated by the Founders, are seriously threatening this grand and successful form of republican government.

If you want to vote out the incumbents go ahead, but then unceasingly demand of your candidate a constitutional amendment that will:

  • prohibit any campaign money received by a congressional candidate from any source other than a source predominantly domiciled in the candidate’s district;
  • prohibit all earmarks, limiting all appropriations to openly debated expenditures;
  • prohibit a congressional representative from accepting gift funds or in-kind services  from any person or organization, until five years after leaving office;
  • repeal the 17th amendment;
  • establish Congressional term limits at three terms;
  • prohibit retirement from the House; and
  • prohibit Congressional medical benefits one year after leaving office.

If your candidate commits to this amendment, then vote him or her in, otherwise find and support a candidate who will.

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Professional Congressmen – Why?  Today there are 251 members of the House of Representatives serving for more than ten years or five terms.  This is nearly 58% of the House of Representatives.  Remember the House is the people’s house and the representatives serving in this house were intended by our founding fathers to be of the people and from the people.  When representatives serve in the House for more than two terms they become insolated from the people.  They begin to work the system for their own benefit and not for the benefit of their constituents.  Mostly this is caused by the treatment they receive from lobbyists and the personal wealth they begin to obtain.  The more time in the House, the more power they can build and the more they can build an organization that will keep them being reelected, by making contribution connections – contributions most often originating out of their district.  This means that they are now representing contributors of other districts and not the people of their district.  The old adage that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is simply how our Congress works.

The numbers about tenure become more frightening as you look at the more senior members of the House.  Today there are 42 Democrats and 20 Republicans serving for more than twenty years.  Nineteen representatives, fifteen Democrats and four Republicans, are now serving for more than thirty years or an unconscionable fifteen terms.  Two Democratic representatives are serving for more than forty years.  The number and dollar amount of earmarks is almost in a direct ratio with the time in Congress and the power achieved. As a Congressman delivers more earmarks, they build a contribution base and name recognition to aid them in reelection.  Remember that many of these earmarks are payback to political contributors and are not in the best interest of the district, the state, or the country.

Still not convinced that this professional Congress needs to change?  Consider that these people represent old thinking, with little recent real world experience or real world business or management skills, and a heavy dose of cronyism.  Most committee chairs are based on longevity and have the power and connections to kill bills or fast track bills on their own.

The Senate, the upper house with longer six years terms, suffers it own brand of professional legislator.  Ten Democrats and zero Republicans are now serving for more than twenty-four years or four terms in the senate (update – 9 with the loss of Senator Kennedy).  Of this group, three members are serving for five terms or thirty years and three are serving for more than thirty-six years or six terms.

Only fifty-four members of the House are freshman representatives (32 Democrats and 22 Republicans).  This group represents little more than 12% of the House.  In reality, there are enough members of the House of Representatives serving longer than most members of the Senate that determining which body is the upper house or the lower house is difficult.  Statistics indicate that voters (that’s us) return their Congressman and Senator to Congress at an alarming repeat rate of over 90%.  Does this absurd unrealistic return rate represent a love affair of the voter with his or her representation or does it reflect a broken system where power makes it nearly impossible for an incumbent to lose and allows little opportunity for new blood?

When did serving in Congress become an occupation? When did it stop being a noble calling of fellow citizens who put real careers on hold to serve their country for a limited time?

If we are to have a country of the people, by the people, and for the people, then we must make changes.  Congress will not change on its own.  We need term limits applied to both the House and the Senate. We need to limit both Congressional Representatives and Senators to no more than two consecutive terms – but how?  We need a constitutional convention called by the states with two goals.  The first is to limit congressional terms and the second is to make changes to reinstate state’s rights over a massive out of control incompetent federal government.  Return this country to the vision of the founding fathers.

Contact your representative to your state’s legislature (not your U.S. representative) and push for your state to call for a constitutional convention to achieve these two goals.

Listed below are the twenty year plus Congressmen and women who have been in power far too long and need to move on to a real job, if they are able.  They are grouped by state with party affiliation and district following the name.  Those with 30 and 40 years in Congress are so indicated.  Click on the name and see a summary of the rereprsentative’s background and congressional status, including committee assignments.

If you wish to breakdown your Congress by other attributes than term go to Contacting the Congress: Power Search.

Twenty Years Plus
Representative Don Young (R – Alaska At Large) 30 Yrs
Representative Wally Herger (R – CA02)
Representative George Miller (D – CA07) 30 Yrs
Representative Nancy Pelosi (D – CA08)
Representative Fortney (Pete) Stark (D – CA13) 30 Yrs
Representative Elton Gallegly (R – CA24)
Representative David Dreier (R – CA26)
Representative Howard L. Berman (D – CA28)
Representative Henry A. Waxman (D – CA30) 30 Yrs
Representative Jerry Lewis (R – CA41) 30 Yrs
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA46)
Representative Cliff Stearns (R – FL06)
Representative C. W. (Bill) Young (R – FL10) 30 Yrs
Representative John Lewis (D – GA05)
Representative Leonard L. Boswell (D – IA03) 30 Yrs
Representative Jerry F. Costello (D – IL12)
Representative Peter J. Visclosky (D – IN01)
Representative Dan Burton (R – IN05)
Representative Harold Rogers (R – KY05)
Representative Richard E. Neal (D – MA02)
Representative Barney Frank (D – MA04)
Representative Edward J. Markey (D – MA07) 30 Yrs
Representative Steny H. Hoyer (D – MD05)
Representative Dale E. Kildee (D – MI05) 30 Yrs
Representative Fred Upton (R – MI06)
Representative Sander M. Levin (D – MI12)
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D – MI14) 40 Yrs
Representative John D. Dingell (D – MI15) 40 Yrs
Representative James L. Oberstar (D – MN08) 30 Yrs
Representative Ike Skelton (D – MO04) 30 Yrs
Representative David E. Price (D – NC04)
Representative Howard Coble (R – NC06)
Representative Christopher H. Smith (R – NJ04)
Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D – NJ06)
Representative Donald M. Payne (D – NJ10)
Representative Gary L. Ackerman (D – NY05)
Representative Edolphus Towns (D – NY10)
Representative Charles B. Rangel (D – NY15) 30 Yrs
Representative Eliot L. Engel (D – NY17)
Representative Nita M. Lowey (D – NY18)
Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D – NY28)
Representative Marcy Kaptur (D – OH09)
Representative Peter A. DeFazio (D – OR04)
Representative Paul E. Kanjorski (D – PA11)
Representative John P. Murtha (D – PA12) (update – now deceased) 30 Yrs
Representative John M. Spratt, Jr. (D – SC05)
Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. (R – TN02)
Representative Bart Gordon (D – TN06)
Representative John S. Tanner (D – TN08)
Representative Ralph M. Hall (R – TX04)
Representative Joe Barton (R – TX06)
Representative Lamar Smith (R – TX21)
Representative Solomon P. Ortiz (D – TX27)
Representative Rick Boucher (D – VA09)
Representative Frank R. Wolf (R – VA10)
Representative Norman D. Dicks (D – WA06) 30 Yrs
Representative Jim McDermott (D – WA07)
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R – WI05) 30 Yrs
Representative Thomas E. Petri (R – WI06)
Representative David R. Obey (D – WI07) 30 Yrs
Representative Alan B. Mollohan (D – WV01)
Representative Nick Joe Rahall, II (D – WV03) 30 Yrs

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Have you ever thought that the actions of your Representative in the House or by your Senators defy reason? Have you ever wondered why Congress can’t act on clear cut initiatives? Have you ever wondered why the voice of the people appears not to be heard? Well, here is why.

Welcome to Lobbying 101!

There are 22,000 registered government lobbyists. Tom Daschle (Barack Obama’s campaign co-chair) , his wife, and his son are registered lobbyists. These lobbyists do not just lobby Congress. They also lobby The White House, and all White Houses offices, including the Office of the Vice-President, and all Executive Departments. Incredibly they even lobby The White House’ National Security Council. These lobbyists not only saturate Capitol Hill, they also lobby the numerous Government Agencies reporting to Congress. Here is a partial list of the number of lobbyists by client industry:

  • Agriculture / Agronomy – (corn ethanol included here) 453
  • Banking / Finance 755
  • Energy / Electricity 685
  • Environment / Conservation 691
  • Foreign Relations 685
  • Governments and Government Related (this included your city and state) 896

The lobbying information was courtesy of http://www.lobbyists.info/

The Government and the Government Relations lobbies are my favorite. Congress and the Executive Branch are so tied up by lobbyists, your tax dollars have to pay for 896 lobbyists hired by your city, county, and state with your tax dollars just so you can be heard in Washington D.C. Just how mixed up are we?

My second favorite is the lobby of the National Security Council – these NSC folks make recommendations to the President on matters of National Security – just what does a lobbyist do here and why are they entitles to interfere. Again, just how mixed up are we?

Just how much money do these 22,000 people and their firms give to Senate and House campaigns every two and six years? How much pressure against your best interest comes from the lobbyist when they, their family, and their firm have contributed to your Representative or Senators? How much are your Representative or Senators selling their soul when they very subtly point out to a lobbyist that they did not see their name on the campaign donor list? You see it is illegal to ask a lobbyist directly for campaign contributions, while in government buildings or on government property. Are we sure that some of the very plentiful quasi-secret earmarks are not going to lobbyist projects to pay the lobbyist back for a contribution? Rest assured your Senators and Representative are literally selling their services. The good ones have no choice but to partake because they must keep up with the corrupt ones to stay in office. They are on a never ending fund raising carousel.

If we are to ever take our country back from the special interests represented by these lobbyists, we must take the money out of the lobbyist’s game. The Federal Elections Commission website lists individual contribution limits as follows:

To each candidate or candidate committee per election To national party committee per calendar year To state, district & local party committee per calendar year To any other political committee per calendar year[1] Special Limits
Individual
may give
$2,300* $28,500* $10,000
(combined limit)
$5,000 $108,200* overall biennial limit:

  • $42,700* to all candidates
  • $65,500* to all PACs and parties[2]

For more from the Federal Elections Commission on limits click here.

Based on this chart, if each lobbyist gives the maximum to each candidate, then combined all candidates would receive $939 Million. Each lobbyist is restricted to giving a combined $42,700 to all candidates and more if spouses were not registered lobbyists. Of course, all lobbyists are not going to give to all candidates and all spouses are not going to give. However, let’s consider the Banking and Finance lobby. This lobby can give each member of the House Committee on Financial Services and the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking $2,300. Combined, assuming that only one third of the Senate committee is up for election, the 77 committee members up for election might receive $134 Million or $1.7 Million each ($2,300 x 755 lobbyists x 77 members). Ask yourself why we are in a mortgage crisis?

SOLUTION?

The only solution to reigning in the Federal Government and our lost representation is to take the money out of Congressional election campaigns. This will need to be done with two or more Constitutional amendments.

The first would be the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment, which stripped the States of their right to have a say in the Federal Government. Senators, until 1913 were elected by your state legislature and not by the people. This meant that the U.S. Senators answered to your state house and not lobbyists on your behalf.

The second would be to severely restrict ALL House campaign contributions to INDIVIDUALS PRIMARILY RESIDING in the district for that campaign. Only individual constituents, you, may contribute. You will not be competing with any influences from outside your district. All candidates will have to dip into the same pool, whether it be a wealthy or a poor district. When your Representative gets to Congress, you will have that person’s undivided attention.

Contact your state representatives and ask them to have your state legislature require Congress to call a Constitutional Convention to consider these changes. When two thirds of the states request the Convention, the amendments can be ratified by a three fourths vote at the Convention or a polling of the states and Congress will have nothing to say about it.

Read more about the proposed amendments and why we need them at: Why Is Congress The Way It Is?

We can either take back our Congress or continue to watch this nation’s ruination. We no longer have representation in Congress – it was not supposed to be like this. In the interim, you might start by NOT voting for any incumbents, no matter how good you might think they are. This will place 468 new fannies into the House and the Senate – it is a start.

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What’s wrong?

  • Gas at the pump soaring!
  • Food used as fuel – ethanol – adopted without an understanding of its impact – pushed by lobbyists!
  • Oil Companies still receive federal subsidies!
  • Food prices soaring!
  • Congress intentionally slowing completion of the border fence.
  • Earmarks costing the taxpayers billions!
  • Congress using earmarks to return favors to campaign contributors.
  • Lobbyists / special interests contributing to Congressional campaigns, heavily influencing your Representatives.
  • Congress regularly deferring to lobbyists over the voter.
  • Seniority system in Congress fueling almost absolute power to a select few Senators and Representatives.
  • Congress riddled with ethics violations, both rule violations and moral violations.
  • Rampant disregard of the public trust.
  • Senators and Representatives entering Congress with little personal wealth and leaving with great personal wealth.
  • Partisan politics nearly always trumps what is good for America and good for the American people.
  • Funds wasted on earmarks and redundant Federal programs.
  • America’s sovereignty and national security at risk due to oil.
  • America’s oil independence abdicated by Congress in favor of lobbyists.
  • Congress is 38% lawyers.

This list should be enough of an indictment on Congress and how it functions to warrant changes – big changes. Today’s Congress does not run as was intended by the founding fathers. Why should your Representatives be listening to and acting upon requests from constituents of other Districts and States and not you? Why would a Senator or Representative take actions contrary to the well being of their constituent and nation? It is all about money! Money for reelection to perpetuate this non-representation of constituents. Money to be able to leave Congress very wealthy. Congress has become a lure for those who seek power and money from that power. Lobbyists provide the money to power campaigns in all sorts of devious ways. Senators and Representatives repay campaign contributors with un-debated and often weakly disclosed earmarked projects. Congress is almost the definition of broken government or more aptly corrupt government. Our Congress often makes the Iraqi and Mexican Parliaments look like a Boy Scout Jamboree.

Why is it wrong?

The Senate: The founding fathers placed checks and balances in the Constitution for the States to control the Federal Government. This was done to ensure that the States remained an equal partner. It was also done to keep power from being concentrated. In 1913, Congress, after years of trying to make Senate elections direct and not serve the legislatures, with the help of a powerful newspaper chain (Hearst Newspapers – Randolph Hearst felt he could control elections of Senators if they were directly elected, by swaying public opinion about the candidates) pushed through the Seventeenth Amendment – the House Joint Resolution 39 and the Ratification process are still questioned today as whether the Constitution was followed. The Congress with a strong popular movement by the voters due to the wide reaching Hearst chain’s agenda journalism was in an absolute rush to push the amendment through.

What did the amendment change? From the founding of this nation until the Seventeenth in 1913, Senators were elected by the States’ Legislatures and represented the States. Senators were obliged to mind the wishes of the States’ Legislatures. The Senate, the upper house, was the voice of the States in the Federal Government. The only lobby the Senators could really listen to was the lobby that elected them – their legislature. After the Seventeenth Amendment, the Senate was elected by directly by the voter, but this made them subject to the growing threat of lobbyists. Senate campaigns now run between ten million and one hundred million dollars, depending on location. This requires money from people, PAC’s, and corporations, not of your state, seeking to influence future votes on matters concerning them that may be contrary to your state’s needs. The direct election of Senators removed any control your State had over the growth of and the operation of the Federal Government.

The House of Representatives: The founding fathers intended the House to be the lower house, made up of citizen legislators. It was not to be a permanent home for Representatives serving for up to 50 years, as is the case of Representative John Dingell. These citizen legislators were to be the direct representative of the people of their district, serving the needs of the people of their district, and listening only to the people of their district. Today, to run for the House of Representatives, it will cost upwards of $5 Million for both the primary and general elections. This money primarily comes from outside your Congressional District. It comes from lobbyists in devious ways, corporations, again in devious ways, and from political parties. Since most of the money for the campaign does not come from the District, you do not get represented, the contributors do. Someone or some entity in Florida does not contribute to a campaign in a Texas District, without expecting votes in return. Votes often not in your best interest.

What do we do about it?

First, fix the Senate and return checks and balances back to your State. Push, plead with, and prod your State Legislature, through a Constitutional Convention, to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

Second, return your House Representative to his or her role of Citizen Legislator. Take the big money out of the job. Remove the overarching influence on these Representatives away from people and entities not in your District. Push, plead with, and prod your State Legislature to, through that Constitutional Convention, to amend the Constitution to restrict campaign contributions to House candidate campaigns. Require candidates for the House of Representatives to only accept campaign contributions of money, property, or services in kind from INDIVIDUALS PRIMARILY RESIDING in the candidate’s district. No money from lobbyists outside the District, no money from Corporations, and no money from political parties. The cost of a campaign will drop dramatically, creating a level playing field for candidates. The elected representative from your District, will only have you the voter/constituent to serve.

Third, at that Constitutional Convention, push, plead with, and prod your State Legislature to, through the Convention, propose a Constitutional Amendment that restricts all spending bills to be of like nature, military, agriculture, health, etc, and spending provisions may not be including in an amendment – it must be in the main body of the bill and clearly disclose in the bill if it is a targeted expense to one District or to one State and not a broad based spending bill. This will eliminate earmarks.

Fourth, Simply do not vote for an incumbent in November. This will replace 468 sitting Senators and Representatives for the 111th Congress in 2009. How is that for a message to Congress?

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