Friday, January 30, 2015

Hard Starboard Radio: How 'bout Some Cornpone Politics?



Mike Huckabee is aesthetically irritating and electorally counterproductive; Mitt Romney isn't running, Jeb Bush is chortling with glee, and Chris Christie is falling down in more ways than one; meanwhile, Scott Walker is off and running and might as well be...riding a horse, like the last GOP POTUS to do so; The era of Big Obama Government is not over; The Senate GOP fires the first 2016-table-setting salvo at the White House by approving the Keystone XL pipeline; and Loretta Lynch proves herself, in the words of Odin, "UNWORTHY! UNWORTHY! UNWORTHY!" of confirmation as the next Attorney-General of the United States, and Senate Republicans have a duty to send her nomination down in flames.

Taking it all the way up to....



....on Open Thighs Friday at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

Mitt Romney: "I Won’t Run For President"

by JASmius



I never really did think he was running, but this "Run, Mitt, run?" boomlet ginned up some hope that maybe, just maybe, he would clog the "establishment" field for a change and open a straight shot to daylight for a conservative consensus candidate.

Alas, it is not to be:

After a three-week flirtation with a new campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.

"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee," Romney told supporters on a conference call.

Romney's exit comes after several of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would have served as Romney's most likely rivals for the support of the Republican Party's establishment-minded voters.

Although that's not to say that Mitt didn't dispense some surprisingly sage, and decidedly non-"establishmentarian" advice:

"I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee," Romney said. "In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case." [emphasis added]

No, Mitt wasn't endorsing Governor Walker.  At least, not yet - remember from where his 2012 running mate hails....



....But it seems he's sending a pretty clear message to Jeb to follow his get-the-tired-blood-the-hell-out-of-the-way example - or "stop looking to the past," as Walk himself put it - and that the GOP and the USA need a third Bush even less than a third Romney presidential run.

Not that Jeb is listening, of course; just look at his thinly veiled elation at Governor Romney's bowing-out announcement:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is expected to make a bid, was one of the first to issue a reaction. He described Romney as a "patriot" on his Facebook page.

"Mitt Romney has been a leader in our party for many years. There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has. Though I'm sure today's decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America's promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense.

"Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over. I look forward to working with him to ensure all Americans have a chance to rise up.

Translation: "Boo-ya!  Now all I have to worry about is that fat slob in Jersey, and once he has his coronary, I can just sit back and watch all those idiot Tea Partiers tear each other limb from limb. The GOP nomination is as good as mine!  <hyuk>"



Speaking of that fat slob from Jersey, he hasn't had a coronary - at least, not yet - and may he never suffer such a nasty fate, but Governor Chris Christie did recently guarantee that he will be forever remembered as the 21st century Gerald Ford:



I don't care what the Big Man ever hereafter does, I don't care what the Big Man ever hereafter says, he will never be taken seriously in this country again after this video.  Even losing two hundred pounds may not be enough to overcome it.  Hell, President Ford wasn't fat, and he was already in the White House, but after Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live got through with him, he was a national laughingstock, and down he went in 1976.  Okay, gaffeing that Poland wasn't part of the Warsaw Pact and pardoning his predecessor may have had something to do with it too, but stumbling down the steps of Air Force One didn't help.

If you don't want Bush III, my Tea Party friends, get on the Scott Walker bandwagon.  And in the meantime, try to make pictures like this go viral as well.



"If you think going #2 was good, wait'll you go #3!!"

First Scott Walker Ad: "Our American Revival"

by JASmius

If there's one thing you all know about us here at Political Pistachio, Constitution Radio, American Daily Review, and Hard Starboard Radio, dear audience members, it is that we don't pull punches on anybody.  We call 'em as we see 'em, and if members of our own "team" screw up, we'll light their boots on fire as well.

But we are also candid about the fact that we are "advocacy journalists".  We have a point of view - constitutional conservatism - and all our hard-hitting but witty and whimsical analysis flows through that ideological lens.

And we make no bones about the candidates we support in intramural scrums like Republican presidential nominating cycles.

So while we will cover the 2016 GOP primaries, and whack the 21st century Calvin Coolidge if and when necessary, you can consider this our endorsement of two-term, thrice-elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for President of the United States in 2016, and count on the fact that we will post every campaign ad and video that Walker-'16 churns out.

Cheers!



A Reaganesque breath of fresh air in an atmosphere that's been choking on foul Obamunist fumes for what seems like a lifetime, isn't it?

First critique, though: Don't reference Hillary Clinton, Governor.  You're just helping the Dems set the stage for their actual 2016 nominee, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  She certainly wouldn't fit under the label "looking to the past".  Remember, the vast majority of people aren't political junkies and ideologues like us,.and they'll always give a fresh face the benefit of the doubt, even though she pushes the same tired, Marxist-Alinskyist bilge we've had shoved in both earholes through our fingers for most of the past decade.  Do not, in short, preemptively start running the general campaign against a woman that is never going to get there.

Saudi Arabia Demands Men-Only Olympics

by JASmius



And "Muzzies" wonder why we think they all look alike.

This, though, may be what the opening and closing ceremonies, and every event in-between, of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad look like if Saudi Arabia and Bahrain win their 2020 hosting bid.  That, and they won't be co-ed:

Saudi Arabia has proposed holding a gender-segregated Olympic Games.

In comments made by Prince Fahad bin Jalawi al-Saud – a consultant to the Saudi Olympic Committee – it was suggested the country could bid jointly with Bahrain, which could host the women’s events.

“Our society can be very conservative. It has a hard time accepting that women can compete in sports,” the Prince told French website Francs Jeux.

“Wearing sports clothing in public is not really allowed. For these cultural reasons, it is difficult to bid for certain big international events.”

In recommendations for reform, published last November, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened the door to joint bids in 2020.

But it moved to quickly shoot down Saudi Arabia’s suggestion.

IOC President Thomas Bach released a statement explaining that Saudi Arabia would be denied the chance to bid, unless it complied with rules barring discrimination.

On the one hand, good for the IOC, and I am frankly surprised that they didn't even hesitate to reject the Saudis' demand for Olympic gender-segregation.  Furthermore, I'm more than a little shocked that they were even willing to entertain the notion of a women's competition at all.

On the other hand, there's still - what? a year and a half? - for the Muslim world to jump up and down on the Western political correctness manipulation levers to wear down the IOC into capitulating to the Saudis and Bahrainis' demands.  Because, after all, it would be "Islamophobic" to not give them an Olympiad, and not fully comply with all Muslim cultural customs in the process.  Even the "evening prayer" event.

Exit question: Just exactly how are the women's events going to work with all the competitors in burqas?  Won't the speed- and synchronized-swimmers drown?  Wouldn't the sprinters trip and fall on their faces?  And wouldn't the divers and hurdlers and high-jumpers be flashing the crowd with every flip and step?  I"m not sure Prince Fahad has thought this notion through sufficiently.

Texas Counter-Jihad

by JASmius

This is one brave lady. Also a dead lady who will be raped repeatedly before she's either beheaded or crucified, but that just speaks about her courage in interrupting a Texas Muslim rally with a heaping dose of truth:

Protesters disrupted speeches during Texas Muslim Capitol Day on January 29th, 2015.



Yeah, she's probably wrong about Islam never dominating America. But when it does, it will be over our dead, twitching bodies one way or the other, so why not go out on our feet instead of our knees?

Exit question: Can you believe that the Muslim to her left didn't grab her by the hair and drag her away someplace nobody would ever see her again when she yanked back the microphone? I figured she was a dead woman right then and there.

Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

by JASmius



It still has to go through conference committee, but the differences with the House version are minimal.  Which means we're going to see whether President No will back up his first veto threat.

Over/under on how long it will take him to do it: the number of seconds it takes for him to put down his scorecard pencil and pick up his veto pen:

The Senate passed legislation Thursday approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a looming veto showdown with the White House.

The legislation passed on a 62-36 vote, after lawmakers spent weeks considering amendments. The House passed a similar bill earlier this month, though there are slight differences that have to be ironed out before the bill can go to President Obama’s desk.

The vote nevertheless marked the first time the Senate has voted to approve the controversial Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure.

“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said before the vote. “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”

Russ Girling, CEO of the company behind the project TransCanada, said in a statement Thursday afternoon the firm was “encouraged” by the “strong bipartisan” showing in the Senate.

And Barack Obama will veto it because he doesn't want billions pumped into our economy from anyplace except the federal treasury, he doesn't want plentiful domestic energy, he doesn't want people to be able to afford to drive their cars more instead of the unicycles and hippety-hops he demands we use for transportation to make every American city look like friggin' Hanoi, and he doesn't want any American living anywhere outside the cave with Moon Watcher praying the killer leopard doesn't show up to eat them.  And since since both the House (13) and Senate (4) vote tallies were short of veto-proof majorities, the Keystone XL pipeline bill isn't going to become law in this Congress.  Indeed, WTH sagely points out that the nine Senate Democrats who did vote "yea" probably did so to be able to be on record as having supported Keystone XL (this time) while knowing that their demigod was going to kill it and the votes aren't there for an override.  And we also know that the Canadians aren't going to wait around forever for their southern neighbors to get this done.

But this is what the 114th Congress must do for the next year-plus: Pass one popular conservative bill after another and make the rigid, inflexible leftwing zealot at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue kill every last one of them, throwing another backhoe full of dirt on his party's 2016 coffin with each swipe of that veto pen.  Well, actually, Boehner and McConnell won't have to "make" O launch his fusillade of vetos, as he's pretty much already done so preemptively.  Which is why those really weren't veto "threats" he issued.

Keystone XL was the GOP's first salvo.  Hopefully the DHS appropriation showdown next month doesn't misfire and blow up the "gun".

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Books by Douglas V. Gibbs -- America's Authority on the United States Constitution

Books by Douglas V. Gibbs -- America's Authority on the United States Constitution


During the Summer of 1787, a brilliant assembly of American Patriots created the Constitution of the United States. After a tumultuous start, the elder statesman, Benjamin Franklin, reminded the delegates in attendance of the need to seek a firm reliance on divine Providence. The stormy convention birthed dramatic debate, unexpected compromises, and incredible changes of minds. Ideas clashed, and tempers flared. And during it all, James Madison took painstaking notes as the conciliatory Benjamin Franklin added his wisdom here and there, and George Washington often sat silent while James Wilson argued that liberty can only survive if the government of the United States is limited in its scope and power. Despite the heat and the political clashes, what emerged was a masterpiece - the greatest document ever conceived in history, save for the Holy Bible. They created a working government that would be a powerful lion to external issues, yet caged and restrained regarding the internal issues... creating a federal government given the task of promoting, preserving, and protecting the union of States, and the autonomous sovereignty of the individual States.

The Basic Constitution is written like a textbook, but in a manner that is comprehensible to every person who journeys through its pages. The book includes a glossary of terms, index, bibliography listing the resources used, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution of the United States.


In the United States the Law of the Land is the U.S. Constitution. The Originalist viewpoint of the document is one that holds to its meaning at the time it was created. Over time, however, the original intent has been hijacked, twisted, and subverted by statist politicians, judges using case law as the basis for Constitutional Law, a progressive education system, and a media that is complicit in a real effort to render the Constitution meaningless in its original form. In a unique style of defense of originalism, Douglas V. Gibbs examines the myths that have emerged as a result of a leftist onslaught against this nation as it was founded, maintaining that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to in its original intent. The enforcers, and final arbiters, of the Constitution, however, is not the Supreme Court, but We The People.

The author addresses the most common myths in a clear and instructive manner, while recognizing and responding to any possible objections.

Does all federal law trump all State law? Are the three branches of government supposed to be co-equal? Can the courts legislate from the bench? How about executive orders? What was the true intent behind the Commerce Clause, and the General Welfare Clause? Is the separation of church and state in the Constitution? Where do our rights come from? Is the United States a democracy? What is the role of government regarding issues like social justice? What is the true definition of Natural Born Citizen? Is the Constitution a living document? What are implied powers, and are they constitutional? Does the President have to ask Congress before he can wage war? What would the founders think about Income Tax, and the Internal Revenue Service? Are the courts authorized to interpret the Constitution in the way they do?

25 Myths of the United States Constitution is an important contribution to literature on originalism, and the perfect book for the average person to read to begin their journey in learning the Constitution.

After reading this book, you will look at the Law of the Land, and the world of politics, with a renewed sense of confidence. Being informed, after all, is a large part of the duty we have as Americans in regards to our involvement as an effective electorate. And, being informed makes you less likely to be fooled by the crafty politicians

The Constitution is only ink and paper if we don't defend it.


In 1967 a young woman, alone in a small motel room, clung to life because of the sweet baby boy in her life.

In a rocky relationship, a woman turned her back on her husband so that she could abort their child. . . losing him forever.

Lying in a clinic, watching an ultrasound of her unborn baby, a young woman decided to change her mind about aborting her baby.

An old man, haunted by the roar of a train barreling down the tracks, remembers the horror of genocide.

Our rights are natural, God-given; so is it possible for abortion to be a right?

George Washington sat in silence as the framers of the United States Constitution debated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - concepts that could only survive if the government of the United States was limited in its scope and power.

Douglas V. Gibbs, Constitutionalist, Christian, and Political Advocate, provides arguments in "Silenced Screams" that reveal the truth behind the numbers, the lies behind the veil, and the reality of the culture of death that will make even the most ardent supporter of abortion stop for a moment, and seriously reconsider their position on the issue.

The book, "Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous Society," is a Pro-Life examination of the issue of abortion, seeking understanding of the age old issue by examining history, the United States Constitution, Christianity, and our sacred humanity.

Temecula Constitution Class: Final Amendments

Constitution Class Handout – January 29, 2015, 6:30 pm
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
douglasvgibbs@reagan.com


Faith Armory
41669 Winchester Road.
Temecula, CA 92590


Final Amendments


Amendment 22: Presidential Term Limit

The 22nd Amendment was passed in 1951.  It was designed to ensure no president could seek a third term. Though the Constitution did not limit the number of terms a president could serve prior to this amendment, many consider the fact that George Washington chose not to seek a third term as evidence the Founding Fathers recognized two terms should be the expected standard.

George Washington’s popularity would have easily enabled him to be President for the rest of his life, and many even tried to encourage him to be king.  However, Washington saw himself as no different than everyone else, and recognized the presidency as a privilege to serve.  He felt that more than two terms opened the opportunity for abuse of power by an Executive, which would hinge on the idea of a monarchy.

Following George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe also adhered to the two-term principle.  No Presidents afterward sought a third term, with the exceptions of Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  No President achieved a third term until FDR.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 became the only President to be elected to a third term.  World War II has often been cited as the reason.  The public was not fond of the idea of a change in Commander in Chief during such a crucial event in history.  In 1944, while World War II continued to rage, Roosevelt won a fourth term.  He died before he could complete it.

The 22nd Amendment was proposed and ratified during the Truman presidency.

The failure of the Founding Fathers to establish a term limit on the President in the early articles of the United States Constitution aligns with a prevailing opinion the Framers held that term limits were the responsibility of the voter.  Their belief hinged on a reliance on the people and the Electoral College, and that electorally a third term would be prevented, unless a third term was absolutely necessary.

Under the 22nd Amendment, the only President who would have been eligible to serve more than two terms would be Lyndon B. Johnson.  LBJ was the Vice President of the United States at the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and after serving the remainder of JFK’s term, Johnson had only been President for fourteen months.  The 22nd Amendment provides that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  Why do you think the Founding Fathers believed two terms were adequate for the President?

2.  What is the cited reason for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s continued re-election as President?

3.  How could an unlimited allowance of terms for President be dangerous?

Resources:

Andrew M. Allison, Jay A. Perry, and W. Cleon Skousen, The Real
George Washington; New York: National Center for Constitutional Studies (2010)

Catherine Drinker Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787; Boston: Atlantic
Monthly Press (1966)

Donald Porter Geddes (ed.), Franklin Delano Roosevelt - A Memorial;
New York: Pitman Publishing Corporation (1945)

James Srodes, On Dupont Circle: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and
the Progressives Who Shaped Our World; Berkeley: CounterPoint Press (2012)

James Thomas Flexner, Washington: The Indispensible Man; Boston:
Back Bay Books (1969)

John Morton Blum, The Progressive Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt,
Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson; New York: W.W. Norton & Co. (1982)

Willard Sterne Randall, George Washington: A Life; New York: Henry
Hold & Co. (1997)


Amendment 23: Washington, D.C., Receives Electoral Votes

The rallying cry during the American Revolution, as we have been taught, was “No taxation without representation.”  Yet, despite that famous call for revolution, after the United States became a nation, there were those who were taxed without representation in the United States Government.  The most famous case was Washington, D.C.  The movement for representation for Washington, D.C., led to the proposal, and ratification, of the 23rd Amendment.

Washington, D.C., is a ten mile by ten mile section of land donated by Maryland and Virginia to serve as the seat of government.  The land was easy for those two States to let go of because it was undesirable.  While it is popular to say that Washington, D.C., sits on swampland, it is actually a tidal plain, land that was a mix of thickly wooded slopes, bluffs and hills, crop land, and several major waterways.  The location was chosen by George Washington because of its central location between the northern and southern States as a compromise between Alexander Hamilton and northern States who wanted the new federal government to assume Revolutionary War debts, and Thomas Jefferson and southern States who wanted the capital placed in a location friendly to slave-holding agricultural interests.

The District was not supposed to be a city in the sense that we see it today.  The District of Columbia was not supposed to have a population, for the creation of the district was for the sole purpose of being the seat of the United States Government.  The Congress was given full power over the functioning of the city, and the inhabitants were supposed to only be the temporary visitors of government officials, or employees.  The Founding Fathers envisioned Washington, D.C., to be the seat of the federal government, and a vibrant commercial center.

As time passed, Washington, D.C., attracted residents, eager to partake in the opportunities offered in the way of government jobs.  The incoming population largely consisted of Free Blacks prior to the beginning of the American Civil War, and after the abolition of slavery in the District in 1850.  After the War Between the States, the growth of Washington, D.C.’s population exploded.

John Adams, the second President of the United States, did not like Washington, D.C.  He viewed it as hardly being a city at all, and nothing more than a clump of dirty buildings, arranged around “unpaved, muddy cesspools of winter, waiting for summer to transform them into mosquito-infested swamps.” 

As the population of Washington, D.C., grew during the twentieth century, it became glaringly apparent to the residents that their taxation did not accompany representation.  At one point, “Taxation without representation” became such a rallying cry that Washington, D.C., license plates even held the phrase.

After the cries for representation reached a crescendo, the Twenty-Third Amendment was proposed and ratified, allowing the citizens in Washington, D.C., to vote for Electors for President and Vice President.  The amendment was ratified in 1961.

Since Washington, D.C., is not a State, the District is still unable to send voting Representatives or Senators to Congress.  However, Washington, D.C., does have delegates in Congress that act as observers.

The amendment restricts the district to the number of Electors of the least populous state, irrespective of its own population.  That number is currently three.

Terms:

Seat of Government - The location of the government for a political entity.  The seat of government is usually located in the capital.

Commercial Center - A central location of commercial activity; an environment for commerce, or business activity.

War Between the States - The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Seven Southern slave States seceded from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America.  The "Confederacy" grew to include eleven States.  The war was fought between the States that did not declare secession, known as the "Union" or the "North", and the Confederate States.  The war found its origin in the concept of State’s Rights, but became largely regarding the issue of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.  Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, and much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed.  After the War, Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were proposed and ratified to abolish slavery in the United States, and to begin the process of protecting the civil rights of the freed slaves.

Questions  for Discussion:

1.  Why was the location of Washington DC chosen to be at a central position between the northern and southern States?

2.  Why was Washington DC only supposed to be the seat of government?

3.  What was the encouragement for people to take up residency in Washington DC?

4.  How did the Twenty-Third Amendment satisfy the demand by the districts residents that they be afforded representation?

5.  How is Washington DC’s representation limited?

Resources:

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot’s History of the United
States; New York: Sentinel (2004)

Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., History and Heritage, (2007)
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/destination-hunter/north-america/united-states/east/washington-dc/washingtondc-history-heritage.html

Amendment 24: Poll Taxes and Open Primaries

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified in 1964 made it unconstitutional for a State to use payment of taxes as a requirement to vote in national elections.  Few blacks could vote in States using poll taxes as a requirement to vote because they had little money.  The poll tax to vote in these states was $1.50.  After the ratification of the 24th Amendment a number of districts continued the practice of requiring a poll tax in order to vote.  A woman named Evelyn T. Butts decided to take the poll tax issue to court.  In October 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Evelyn T. Butts' appeal.  In 1966 the Supreme Court of the United States declared poll taxes unconstitutional in accordance with the 24th Amendment.

A poll tax is a uniformed tax levied on every adult in the community, called a capitation tax by the Founding Fathers.  Poll taxes have their roots in ancient tax systems and have been criticized as an unfair burden on the poor.  Historically, in the U.S., poll taxes were enacted in the South as a prerequisite for voting, disfranchising many African-Americans and poor whites.

One argument regarding the article claims the spirit of the 24th Amendment also disallows closed primaries by leaving out of the process independent voters.  As a result, a number of States have been passing laws enabling their States to make their election primaries open to all voters.  In an open primary you can vote for anyone you want regardless of party affiliation during the primary election.  Some proponents of open primaries contend closed primaries are unconstitutional - a violation of the 24th Amendment.

General discontent with the two-party system has emerged in American society.  A party system, however, is a natural result of human nature.  Every issue is divided by those who support the issue, and those that oppose it.  As human beings, we tend to gravitate toward those who think like ourselves (birds of a feather flock together), and parties ultimately form out of that natural tendency to organize.  Once the groups form, they become organizations, appoint leadership positions, and a political party is born.  Political parties are the natural result, fueled by our own human nature, of this kind of political organization.

In a party system such as ours, to allow voters to cross party-lines in the primaries can be dangerous because it opens up the potential for unethical voting techniques that are designed to injure the other party.  Open primaries allow members of opposing parties to vote in their opponent's primary in the hopes of affecting the outcome, and putting the weaker candidate on the ballot so that their own party has a better chance to win.  If both parties of a two party system is doing such, the result will always be the two weakest candidates facing off against each other.  Open primaries nullify the whole point of the primary elections, and often result in the best candidates not being elected.

Not all States have primaries, and the rules for choosing candidates for a particular party varies from State to State - as it should.  Some States have caucuses, which are meetings of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates.  The choosing of the delegates varies from State to State.

States are given the authority to make their own election rules, and maintain the elections in their State, according to Article I, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, and reinforced by Article II.  This is why the Florida-Chad controversy in 2000 should have never resulted in the federal courts, or even the State courts, getting involved.  According to the Constitution, the decision on what to do regarding the controversy in Florida in 2000 should have remained with the State Legislature.

Some supporters of open primaries contend that closed primaries are in violation of the 24th Amendment because limiting who can vote in a primary by party membership is a poll tax as per implied law.

By strict definition, a poll tax is a tax, which would be a monetary amount expected as a prerequisite for voting.  Closed primaries do not impose a monetary tax, and therefore are not in violation of the 24th Amendment, based on the language of the amendment.  One may suggest the 24th Amendment implies that no action can be taken to close any election to any person - but primaries are simply party oriented.  People who couldn't vote in the primary would have been able to by joining a political party, and regardless of the ability to vote in the primaries, will be able to vote in the general election, and therefore are not being declined the opportunity to participate in the electoral process.

Terms:

Capitation - Head tax; a direct tax on each person.

Caucuses - A meeting of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates or decide policy.

Closed Primary - A primary election in which only party members may select candidates for a general election.

Implied Law - Legal concept serving as a legal substitute for authorities expressly granted by the United States Constitution; an agreement created by actions of the parties involved, but it is not written or spoken, because they are assumed to be logical extensions or implications of the other powers delegated in the Constitution.

Open Primary - A primary election in which voters, regardless of party may select candidates from any party for a general election.

Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for            voting.

Primary Election - An election in which party members or voters select candidates for a general election.

Tax - A compulsory monetary contribution to the revenue of an organized political community, levied by the government of that political entity.

Two-Party System - A form of political system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections, at every level; a political system consisting chiefly of two major parties, more or less equal in strength.


Questions for Discussion:

1.  How did poll taxes disallow some people from being able to vote?

2.  What is the difference between open primaries, and closed primaries?

3.  Why is the existence of a two-party system inevitable in a political system like ours?

4.  Who prescribes the times and manner of elections?

5.  How was the “hanging chad” controversy mishandled?

6.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of open primaries?  Closed primaries?


Resources:

Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed,
and "Top Two", Fair Vote: http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two#.T01VzPGPWHM
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)
Tom Spencer, American-style primaries would breathe life into
European elections (2004): http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/american-style-primaries-would-breathe-life-into-european-elections/49725.aspx
Ware, Alan. The American Direct Primary: Party Institutionalization and
Transformation in the North (2002), the invention of primaries around 1900: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=105149213



Amendment 25: Presidential Disability and Succession

The 25th Amendment, Section 1, reads, “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 1 of the 25th Amendment is clear, concise, and to the point.  After nearly two centuries of questions regarding if the Vice President actually became President in the case of the removal, death or resignation of the President, or was to merely act as President if such an instance would arise, the 25th Amendment sought to clarify without question the confusion that haunted Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, and the 12th Amendment.

When President William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. President to die in office in 1841, Representative John Williams had previously suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President upon the death of the President.  Vice President John Tyler concurred, asserting that he would need to succeed to the office of President, as opposed to only obtaining its powers and duties.  Though Tyler took the oath of President (precedent for full succession was established, becoming known as the "Tyler Precedent"), nothing was done to amend the Constitution regarding the procedure.

When President Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, no one officially assumed the Presidential powers and duties, and the office of President essentially remained unmanned during the remainder of Wilson’s second term.

It was clear that a set of guidelines needed to be established.

In 1963, a proposal enabling Congress to enact legislation establishing a line of succession by Senator Kenneth Keating of New York based upon a recommendation by the American Bar Association in 1960 surfaced, but it never gained enough support.

On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed in the Senate, and Representative Emanuel Celler proposed in the House of Representatives, what would become the 25th Amendment.  Their proposal provided a way to not only fill a vacancy in the Office of the President by the Vice President, but also how to fill the Office of the Vice President before the next presidential election.

The line of succession the 25th Amendment establishes is as follows:

If the President is removed from office, dies, or resigns, the Vice President immediately becomes President.  Prior to the 25th Amendment there was no provision for Vice Presidential vacancies.  Under Section Two of the 25th Amendment the President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress, which occurred when President Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to be his Vice President, after Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President of the United States.

In Section 3 of the amendment, if the President provides a written declaration to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that “he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4, which has never been invoked, enables the Vice President, together with a majority of either the leading officers of the Executive Department, or of "such other body as Congress may by law provide", to declare the President disabled by submitting a written declaration to the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  If the President is unable to discharge his duties as indicated, the Vice President would become Acting President.

If the President's incapacitation prevents him from discharging the duties of his office and he himself does not provide a written declaration, the President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House.  If the Vice President and the officers of the Cabinet believe the President's condition is preventing him from discharging the duties of President, they may within four days of the President's declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated.  If not in session, the Congress must, in this instance, assemble within 48 hours.  Within 21 days of assembling or of receiving the second declaration by the Vice President and the Cabinet, a two-thirds vote of each House of Congress is required to affirm the President as unfit.  If such actions are satisfied the Vice President would continue to be Acting President.  However, if the Congress votes in favor of the President, or if the Congress makes no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would resume discharging all of the powers and duties of his office.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  Why do you think there was no line of succession clearly defined prior to the 25th Amendment?

2.  Why do you believe nobody took on presidential powers after President Wilson’s stroke in 1919?

3.  How does a President’s incapacitation affect the overall functioning of government?

4.  Would a President’s incapacitation influence government functioning differently in a time of war?

Resources:

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

Understanding the 25th Amendment, Law.com,
http://constitution.laws.com/american-history/constitution/constitutional-amendments/25th-amendment

United States Constitution and Citizenship Day: 25th Amendment,
http://www.usconstitutionday.us/p/25th-amendment.html


Amendment 26: Voting Age

The 26th Amendment establishes the voting age at the age of 18, rather than 21 as it was previously.  The amendment was proposed in 1971, in an attempt to respond to student activism against the Vietnam War.  Originally, President Nixon had signed a law making the voting age 18, but a number of States challenged the law, and under pressure the amendment was proposed and ratified.

The slogan, "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote," which surfaced as far back as World War II, had finally become a worn-out enough slogan that the majority began to support it.  Arguments of various viewpoints regarding the wisdom of this amendment continue to this day, but one thing is clear, the original argument of “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” was a ruse.

The Democrat Party was in trouble, and desperate for votes.  President Nixon was wildly popular.  The 1972 election was coming, and the Democrats needed to find a way to gain more votes, and to gain them fast.

The college-aged population was protesting against the war.  The younger generation, molded by left-leaning public school teachers, and leftist college professors, were ripe for the picking, but most of them were too young to vote.  The Democrats knew that if the protesting students could vote, they would vote for the Democrat candidate for president, and give the Democrats a fighting chance to gain seats in Congress.  The push for the 26th Amendment, though in part about “old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” was in reality an attempt to gain more votes for the Democrats.  However, despite the ratification of the amendment in time for the election allowing people as low as the age of eighteen to vote, Richard Nixon still won the election in 1972 by a landslide.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  How has the inclusion of voters over 18 and under 21 influenced politics?

2.  Was the “old enough to fight, old enough to vote” campaign a new campaign?

3.  Did he political strategy being the 26th Amendment succeed?

4.  Why do you suppose the Democrats targeted the vote of the younger generation?

Resources:

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot’s History of the United
States; New York: Sentinel (2004)

Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote, Nixon Foundation,
http://blog.nixonfoundation.org/2014/06/old-enough-fight-old-enough-vote/

Repeal the 26th Amendment! by Anne Coulter, Townhall,
http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2010/11/10/repeal_the_26th_amendment%21

Youth Vote: Dems’ Secret Weapon 40 Years in the Making? by Carl M.
Cannon, Real Clear Politics, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/25/youth_vote_dems_delayed_time_release_capsule.html


Amendment 27: Congressional Salaries

The 27th Amendment prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of the Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms of office for Representatives.  Ratified in 1992, the proposal remained in waiting for 203 years after its initial submission in 1789.

The reason for ratification was anger over a Congressional pay raise.  Wyoming became the last State to ratify the amendment.  Four States (California, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Washington) ratified the amendment after the required number of States was met.

A battle over whether or not cost of living increases are affected by this amendment continues to this day.  Currently, cost of living increases take effect immediately, without a vote.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  How does the 27th Amendment protect against corruption?

2.  Why do you think it took so long to ratify the amendment?

3.  Is Congress voting itself raises still a concern among voters?

Resources:

Amendment XXVII: Congressional Compensation, United States
History, http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h924.html

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

Members of Congress Haven’t Had a Raise in Years, by Jesse Rifkin,
USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/15/congress-pay-salaries/2660545/

Notes on the 27th Amendment, Constitution of the United States
“Charters of Freedom”, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendment_27.html

Understanding the 27th Amendment, Laws.com,
http://constitution.laws.com/american-history/constitution/constitutional-amendments/27th-amendment

Copyright 2014 Douglas V. Gibbs

Hard Starboard Radio: The Obama Doctrine Grinds On



Raul Castro ups the ante for "normalized" relations with Cuba; Traditional pillars of Israel’s security have begun to erode; Obama White House absolves the Taliban of all charges of "terrorism"; Obama’s disastrous policy of repatriating enemy combatants dates back to his earliest days in office; and, time permitting, some down-home "cornpone politics".

Hoping for a Katy Perry wardrobe-malfunction this Sunday?  Huck certainly is at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

Poll: Swing Voters Still Rejecting Obamnesty

by JASmius



Perhaps I spoke too soon....?:

Voters will side with the GOP if they fight President Obama’s effort to print work permits for millions of migrant workers, according to a new poll.

The large poll shows that 47% of the 1,593 respondents approve of Obama’s overall performance — but also shows lopsided opposition to his amnesty among the critical independent voters and lower-income voters that the GOP needs to persuade and turn out in 2016.

Just 19% of 691 people who earn less than $50,000 a year strongly support Obama’s amnesty move, while 40% strongly oppose. One in six of 693 blue-collar respondents, or 15%, strongly supported Obama’s decision, while 47% strongly opposed it.

Hmmm; I guess I didn't.  Those are still definitely lower levels of opposition to Obamnesty, even in the demographic internals, than was the case back on November 4th.  But, as I observed last week, this is, like every poll outside of the few days before Election Day, a survey of "adults," not voters, which is an oftentimes much smaller, and always more conservative, subset.  At least when Barack Obama isn't atop the ballot, anyway.  And definitely indicates that the intensity is still very much on the side of the opposition to The One's perpetual Border Crisis.

And a reinforcement of the message that November 4th should already have sent to the victors:

The Paragon Insights poll gives cautious GOP senators an armory of darts in their pending effort to pin Democrats to Obama’s unpopular amnesty policy.

Republicans will never have a bigger, better wedge issue than this one.  If ever there was more favorable ground for a showdown with El Presidente, it has yet to be discovered.

And yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still stubbornly reticent to tackle immigration and has repeatedly said that he doesn’t want to push the issue:

“This striking polling data underscores just how badly American workers are hoping Congress will protect them from the President’s imperial edicts,” said Stephen Miller, communications director for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

The poll is a problem and an opportunity for the GOP leadership, which is struggling to balance the business demand for more cheap migrant labor, and the voters’.... demands for better jobs and higher wages.

If the GOP sides with the high-immigration alliance of business executives and Democratic progressives, “history may record this as the biggest missed opportunity a political party has ever faced,” said a Hill staffer.

That would include picking up four more "red" State Democrat senate seats in 2016, and holding or at least offsetting potential losses of "blue" State seats like Pat Toomey's (Pennsylvania), Mark Kirk's (Illinois), and Ron Johnson's (Wisconsin).  But Democrats, plowing right into the teeth of vehement voter opposition to Obamnesty, aren't being "reticent" at all about circling the wagons behind their despotic demigod.

The lesson for Senate GOPers is clear: Business is fine, business is great, and as Calvin Coolidge once said, "The business of this country is business."  But "business" didn't create this country, or its founding principles, or its erstwhile Constitution, without all of which "business" wouldn't and can't exist, much less function, and which is almost entirely mercenary, as its whoring of itself to the Democrat junta over the past six years has amply demonstrated.

And "business" didn't give the Republicans their comfortable congressional majorities, either.  That would be "We, The People".  It seems abundantly clear that "We, The People" - those of us who actually bother to vote, anyway - are still speaking, loud and clear, as we did almost three months ago.  Will the GOP listen?  If not, Whigdom may await them, and national suicide will await the rest of us.