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Monday, August 10, 2020

Was Trump an Assassination Target?

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host


Today's headline read:

Secret Service shoot armed gunman near White House, rush President away from news conference Breaking.

The story states that both the potential gunman and the secrete service agent wound up hospitalized.  President Trump was rushed to the Oval Office, a bullet-proof location that is also able to withstand low-grade explosions.  While the White House grounds were never actually breached, and after President Trump was rushed away from the press conference he was giving, he returned shortly later to complete the conference.  I am surprised he has not been killed, yet.  Trump represents everything they hate, everything that stands in the way of the establishment's push to move America into a global socialist nightmare.


The patience they once had is gone.  They are desperate.  The window is a short one.  It used to be that they were whittling away at a pace that most folks didn't notice.  They have been working on destroying the family unit for their globalist socialist aims, pushing their diversity plan with race-mixing in entertainment (I am not against folks marrying someone of another ethnicity or race, my wife would be considered Latina by those pushing such a thing, I am against it being pushed for political reasons), they have even turned George Floyd into a martyr who, as we are finding out, deserved nothing of the sort.  Through violence and in the name of a virus they have outlawed us from going to church, outlawed the right of assembly, culturally have censored any dissent, and they are working to fundamentally change America into something the Founding Fathers never intended.  They do it for money, and they do it for power, but mostly they do it because they hate liberty.  And now, they are doing it at break-neck speed because Trump and his supporters have thrown a stick in their spokes, and are exposing them for who they are.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

The Great Reset

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host


Yesterday's conspiracy theories are today's headlines.






-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Chicago Looting Coordinated Effort

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Over the weekend I was perplexed when I read that at a film festival in Portland, Oregon, Kindergarten Cop was banned from the list of films to be shown.  It was filmed locally in Astoria (not too far from where much of The Goonies was filmed), with the excuse that the film "glorifies police," and that it "glorified the traumatization of children by police."  Critics of the film festivals decision to even have the film on their list in the first place compared Kindergarten Cop to other "racist" films such as Gone with the Wind, and Birth of a Nation (an attempt to provide a positive depiction of the Ku Klux Klan that Democrat President Woodrow Wilson was willing to show at the White House during his residency as President of the United States).

Are we now comparing your local police to the KKK?

There is nothing the police can do in the eyes of the Black Lives Matter leftists that the radicals can't spin as being racist, and launch more people into rioting and looting.

In Chicago an armed burglar was shot by police, and it triggered mass rioting and mass looting.  As businesses flee the area due to the constant looting, the protesters hit a luxury shopping district called the Magnificent Mile.

At what point will they come to the conclusion that if they keep attacking the hand that feeds them, the businesses will go away permanently?

What was worse was that the actions taken by the looters was not some angry, random response.  The effort was coordinated.  They are now planning their stealing sprees, doing what they can to time them with incidents they can claim are police brutality.  The sheer number of looters have overwhelmed police.  The city felt the danger was so out of control that they raised their draw bridges to contain the war zone within the city.

The ridiculous nature of the whole thing was so in-your-face evident that even Jesse Jackson condemned it in a Tweet: "This act of pillaging, robbing & looting in Chicago was humiliating, embarrassing & morally wrong." 


Sunday, August 09, 2020

I miss Sunday Brunch, Democrats are happy about it

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Sometimes, after church, despite the crowds, my wife and I would participate in Sunday Brunch.  While my wife was not a fan of it due to the massive congregation of folks at the restaurants offering brunch, it was fun for me because it was the opportunity to spend extended time with those who I fellowship with at church.  Except, now conversations could flow, and personalities revealed themselves. It was an opportunity to fellowship with like-minds as we broke bread together.

I got to thinking about brunch this morning, not because I traveled by a restaurant that used to hold such meals, but because of McDonald's.

Perhaps, that seems like a strange connection.

I am not normally a fan of McDonald's.  They constantly find a way to mess up my order, and the food is overall not very healthy for you.  An occasional visit, however, can be satisfying.  They do, after all, have the best french fries out there, and I am particularly fond of their quarter pounder, breakfast burritos, and sausage egg muffin sandwich.

For a while they were serving breakfast all day to compete with places like Jack in the Box, but recently did away with that.  No worries, on Sundays they have always extended their breakfast to 11:30 am.  This morning I had a hankering for a couple breakfast burritos and got in line at the drive-thru around 11:10 am.  "We stopped serving breakfast," came the reply.

A later conversation with the manager on the phone revealed that since folks aren't going to church, late visitors for breakfast doesn't exist.  More people want lunch at that late moment in the morning, now.  Church-goers are staying home, and therefore, are having breakfast at home.

What an interesting turn of events.  In the name of a virus, a minor one at that, we have accepted a government mandate not to go to church, which has also led to Christians spending less time in assembly with each other in other aspects, as well.  We aren't having Bible Studies, we aren't even going to Sunday Brunch, much less McDonald's for a late breakfast.

A New York Times article nearly twenty years ago revealed to us that what we are seeing now by the liberal left is not much unlike Nazi Germany's persecution of the Christian Church eighty years ago.

Among the realities of Nazi Germany was the fact that the National Socialists, like their communist counterparts, abhorred Christianity, and sought to end church gatherings.  In a 108-page outline prepared by O.S.S. investigators to aid Nuremberg prosecutors, titled ''The Persecution of the Christian Churches,'' a summary has been offered regarding the Nazi plan to subvert and destroy German Christianity.  Destroying the Christian faith, according to the German Nazi leadership, was considered ''an integral part of the National Socialist scheme of world conquest.''

From the NY Times article:
In the 1920's, as they battled for power, the Nazis realized that the churches in overwhelmingly Christian Germany needed to be neutralized before they would get anywhere. Two-thirds of German Christians were Protestants, belonging to one of 28 regional factions of the German Evangelical Church. Most of the rest were Roman Catholics. On one level, the Nazis saw an advantage. In tumultuous post-World War I Germany, the Christian churches ''had long been associated with conservative ways of thought, which meant that they tended to agree with the National Socialists in their authoritarianism, their attacks on Socialism and Communism, and in their campaign against the Versailles treaty'' that had ended World War I with a bitterly resentful Germany. 
But there was a dilemma for Hitler. While conservatives, the Christian churches ''could not be reconciled with the principle of racism, with a foreign policy of unlimited aggressive warfare, or with a domestic policy involving the complete subservience of Church to State.'' Given that these were the fundamental underpinnings of the Nazi regime, ''conflict was inevitable,'' the summary states. It came, as Nazi power surged in the late 1920's toward national domination in the early 30's. 
According to Baldur von Schirach, the Nazi leader of the German youth corps that would later be known as the Hitler Youth, ''the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement'' from the beginning, though ''considerations of expedience made it impossible'' for the movement to adopt this radical stance officially until it had consolidated power, the outline says. 
Attracted by the strategic value inherent in the churches' ''historic mission of conservative social discipline,'' the Nazis simply lied and made deals with the churches while planning a ''slow and cautious policy of gradual encroachment'' to eliminate Christianity. 
The prosecution investigators describe this as a criminal conspiracy. ''This general plan had been established even before the rise of the Nazis to power,'' the outline says. ''It apparently came out of discussions among an inner circle'' comprised of Hitler himself, other top Nazi leaders including the propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, and a collection of party enforcers and veteran beer-hall agitators.

The regional branches of the German Evangelical Church, the main Protestant body, were often administered and financed through governmental agencies. The Nazis saw a distinct advantage in having Protestant churches ''whose supreme administrative organs were located within the borders of Germany,'' the outline says. This facilitated plans ''to capture and use the church organization for their own purposes'' and ''to secure the elimination of Christian influences in the Evangelical Church by legal or quasi legal means.'' 
The Roman Catholic Church, centrally administered from Rome, posed a different problem for the Nazis, whose relationship with that church in the 1920's had been bitter. In 1933, when Germany was under Hitler's total control, the Nazis made ''unmistakable overtures'' to the Christian churches in general, and to Catholics in particular. 
Having already witnessed fairly smooth relations after the 1929 Lantern treaty between Mussolini's fascist regime and the church in Italy, many German Catholics ''accepted the Nazi proposition'' of peaceful coexistence. In July 1933, a Concordat was signed between the Reich and the Holy See. 
''For the first time since the Middle Ages, the Reich itself had entered into an agreement with the Roman Catholic Church,'' the outline says. ''Moreover, the new treaty was apparently entirely to the advantage of the church. In return for the retreat of German Catholicism from the political scene, the church was guaranteed, by international treaty, freedom for Catholic organizations [and] maintenance of denominational schools and youth education.''
All Hitler seemed to demand in return was ''a pledge of loyalty by the clergy to the Reich government and a promise that Catholic religious instruction would emphasize the patriotic duties of the Christian citizen.'' This posed no big problem for the church, the outline asserts. ''Since it had always been the practice of the Catholic Church to abide by established governments and to promote patriotic convictions among the faithful, these stipulations of the Concordat were no more than legalizations of an existing custom. The Concordat was hailed by church and state authorities as marking the beginning of a close and fruitful collaboration.'' 
Of course, the churches stayed in Hitler's good graces for only as long as the Nazis considered their cooperation expedient. Soon after Hitler assumed dictatorial powers, ''relations between the Nazi state and the church became progressively worse,'' the outline says. The Nazis ''took advantage of their subsequently increasing strength to violate every one of the Concordat's provisions.'' 
In 1937, Pope Pius XI denounced Nazi treachery in an encyclical that accused Hitler of ''a war of extermination'' against the church. The battle had been joined on some fronts. Nazi street mobs, often in the company of the Gestapo, routinely stormed offices in Protestant and Catholic churches where clergymen were seen as lax in their support of the regime.

The dissident pastor Martin Niemoller spoke openly now against state control of the Protestant churches. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1937 for using his pulpit for ''underhand attacks on state and party.'' When a judge acquitted him, ''on leaving court he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp where he remained until the end of the war,'' says the outline.
Without going through the rest of the article, I believe the obvious is clear.  As did Nazi Germany, today's socialists who call themselves Democrats hate Christianity, and are doing all that they can to kill the Christian Faith.  In 2012 they tried to vote God off of their platform.  Now, in the name of a virus, they have again turned against God, this time using the fears of the people to disallow church services and gatherings.

Like the Nazis, and like Karl Marx (who "saw the eradication of religion as the absolute sine qua non of a “just” socialist society"), they see Christianity as an obstacle, and it is their goal to end the faith in America, believing that if they do so, all of their opposition will be silenced and their obstacles will be removed.  Then, socialism may be implemented unimpeded.

A loss of church services and Sunday Brunch, here in America, is only the beginning.

I can only hope that like the Black Robed Regiment during the American Revolution that pastors in America will recognize the true danger, and quit separating religion and politics and realize that unless Christians across America stand in unison against the rising tyranny, American Liberty is doomed to indeed become just another fallen idea in the dustbin of history.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, August 08, 2020

No Face Mask? Say This....

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

I haven't worn a face mask since March, and even then it was less than half a dozen times.  I've done the numbers, I've done the research, and I am convinced that not only are face masks worthless for the task the fearmongers of a virus have recommended them to perform, but in the long run long-term use may actually be harmful to everyone's health.

A few headlines:

Surgeon General: Data doesn't back up wearing masks in public amid coronavirus pandemic

Holland’s Top Scientists Say There’s No Evidence Face Masks Work — And May Actually Cause More Harm

The useless COVID face mask is not about health, it is about forcing a “culture of silence, slavery, and social death.” ~ Donald Trump

The way to fight this is defiance.  If you are not a part of a group that can openly defy these unconstitutional anti-liberty edicts, there is something you can do as an individual.  Go to church (find one willing to meet in defiance), and refuse to wear a mask.

For those of you brave enough to tell the system to stick it, and brazingly act in defiance, don't wear a mask and tell them to stick their request where the sun don't shine.  If you want to say something, I have a list of responses.

According to the California gubernatorial edict there are medical exemptions, which include anyone who cannot withstand a reduction of their oxygen intake, or the hearing impaired who need to see the lips of their partner (and others) in order to effectually communicate.  Unless you are a plant who can perform photosynthesis, the first exemption applies to every human being.  That said, when asked about not wearing a mask, you first response may be, "I am medically exempt."

By law, HIPPA, they may not ask you what your condition is.

According to the Disabled Americans laws in place, they may not refuse you service.

They may not require you to wear a mask.  By asking you to wear a medical device on your face they are guilty of practicing medicine without a license.

Here's now my list of responses:

"I can't hear you, I am hard of hearing, could you please remove your mask so that I can better hear you (or "so that I can read your lips")?"

"I have a medical exemption.  But if you wish to force me to wear a mask I'd like your full name for the purpose of whose name to put on the lawsuit."

"I don't have a mask, so why don't you get me one, and after you place it on me and I am in distress on the ground, feel free to think about the lawsuit I will be filing when I come to."

"No, I don't wear a mask, but thank you for being an obedient comrade."

"I bet you will be first in line when they start handing out armbands, comrade."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Constitution Radio: Go to Church, Have Large Gatherings



Constitution Radio with 
Douglas V. Gibbs



Saturdays, 1-3 pm Pacific

951-922-3532.

Today's Topics:

● "You do know this is a minor virus," I said.  She replied, "We all have our political opinions.  I believe the virus is real."  I responded, "I didn't say it wasn't real."  "Yeah, you did," she shot back.  "You said it's a fake virus."  I smiled.  "No," I said.  "I said it is a minor virus."  She said, "Same difference."

In the name of a minor virus:

● No, you are not allowed to go to church

● No, you are not allowed to hold Bible Studies in your home

● No, you are not allowed to have large gatherings of patriots to protest against the tyranny

We are noticing the signs that the liberal left and the Democrats hate Christianity:

● Los Angeles' Grace Community Church and Pastor John MacArthur have come under fire for deciding to hold in-person church services despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) Wuhan coronavirus declaration that bans church assemblies. The City of Los Angeles slapped the church with a cease and desist letter and threatened to charge both the church and Pastor MacArthur, as an individual, a $1,000 a day fine. The pastor also faces the possibility of being arrested should in-person services continue.

● Supreme Court Supports Democrat Efforts To Make Christians Second-Class Citizens
The Supreme Court has no excuse for allowing Nevada officials to use a public health crisis to fill poker tables while emptying pews.  All four gospels record that the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus cast lots for his clothing. This was not the last time government agents were more interested in gambling than God. The latest instance is in Nevada, where the state government has granted casinos special privileges denied to churches. Casinos are allowed to operate at half-capacity, while churches are restricted to a hard cap of 50 people, no matter their capacity.

● The "cancel culture" has struck again, this time in the Marine Corps, with the cancellation of a training session for reservists because of the instructor's Christian faith.

● Netflix’s Cursed is a retelling of Arthurian legend, and Christians are noticing that it does not portray us in a flattering light—as is typical of Hollywood these days.

● Ted Cruz calls out Dept of Defense for discriminating against Christians

Portland Protesters Burn Bibles, American Flags in the Streets

And when their tyranny strikes against a group like Christians, you are all subject to that same tyranny:

● Illinois [Governor] Pritzker Proposes Fines For Businesses That Don’t Enforce Mask Rule

● some southwest IL cities could fine you for not wearing mask

● Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf yanks coronavirus funding from rebellious county

● Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration insisted Sunday that counties already have tools to enforce the New York's ban on gatherings during the coronavirus crisis despite Rockland County Executive Ed Day's call for more "firm guidance" from state decision-makers.

● Mass. hotel accused of hosting 300-person wedding, despite warnings: State and local officials were tipped off that the venue planned to host a large wedding on Aug. 1 involving the hotel manager's family in violation of Covid-19 restrictions. The hotel put on the wedding anyway, as well as a second, 190-guest event the next day.


● Mayor Eric Garcetti ... threatened to shut off water and power to businesses that remain open

● ...businesses that flout the law could see their liquor licenses and other permits suspended and [Governor Newsom] has called on law enforcement agencies to crack down on residents who violate the law.

● law enforcement in Manhattan Beach fined a surfer $1,000 after he ignored orders to stay out of the water in defiance of Los Angeles County’s beach closure.

● Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a similar stay-at-order on Monday, warning that anyone who willfully violates the order can be charged with a misdemeanor. On Friday, police reportedly arrested a man who after he did not disperse a bonfire party attended by dozens of people, violating the governor’s earlier order banning large gatherings.

● There is No Constitutional Justification for what they are doing

The only way to fight this is with defiance:

‘We Want to Worship God’: CA Church Plans to Defy ‘Unconstitutional’ Order Not to Gather for Worship

● 'I Will Go To Jail Before I Close My Church': Pastors Prepare For Battle With CA Gov. Newsom

In other news:

● Beirut, Lebanon hit with massive explosion

● Myth #6: Commerce Clause

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Implied versus Fact - Opening Monologue on Today's Constitution Radio program

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

We have now experienced months of authoritarian policies in the name of a virus, and rioting in the name of civil rights.  And, believe it or not, the average voter out there still clings to the possibility that this is all about keeping us safe from a pandemic, and that the rioters are peaceful protesters out there in the name of justice, racial equality, and a victim of police brutality named George Floyd.  They believe the rhetoric.  They believe the media.  They believe the politicians.

They want to believe the message because it is easier that way.  It is much harder to imagine that the truth is sinister and deceptive, that communists and powerful money are doing what they can to cause chaos because they wish to fundamentally transform America into something that would be destined to become like the Soviet Union, or Venezuela.  That is too hard to believe.  Why would people wish to purposefully destroy the greatest system in the history of the world?

They believe these things partly because they've been trained not to believe that we have a good system of government, and that the free market lifts people out of poverty.  They've been told about too many of the flaws.  A history of slavery. A history of Jim Crow laws.  A history of white privilege.  How could any system like that have any value?  It's easier to then conclude that the police are corrupt, the privileged is racist, the rioting is about civil rights, and if we don't wear masks over our nose and mouth while in public we are all going to die.

What we are watching is a ruthless power grab.  The perpetrators are operating in stealth, hiding their true intentions, and projecting their hate and racism upon their Liberty-defending enemies.  It is about manipulating America into dropping to its knees through education, entertainment, and the media. That is also how they are training your children to be revolutionaries.  They then accuse you of being guilty of the flawed history of the country, as they tear down statues and stand screaming at you through hate and intolerance of anything and anyone that disagrees with them.

We hope that deep down some folks are thinking to themselves that perhaps the left has gone too far.  We imagine Democrat politicians and voters scratching their heads and saying to themselves, "Yes, I want change, but perhaps this is a little too much."

The reality is, they are cheering on the insanity, kneeling to the radicals and cheering on the authoritarians.  They are working systematically to destroy America by dismantling law enforcement, decriminalizing crime, and using violent insurrection in the streets to rebel against the very system that secures for them the right to disagree with the system.  They use culture as a political weapon, and they use the liberal judicial system's willingness to interpret laws and the Constitution to make it legally all right. And the thought that they might be going a little too far has never crossed their minds.

The radicals are a minority.  Tearing down the system will stop if we stand firm for it.  I believe that most Americans don't like what they are seeing, but I don't think they understand that it is their inaction that is allowing it.  Liberty dies if it is not defended, even if the attackers are a small group of people.

But what did we expect?  The downward spiral was put into motion over two centuries ago, and during that time,especially over the last hundred years, we have been invaded from all directions.

We have allowed them to interpret our laws and our Constitution, and put into place damaging policies in the name of implied law.  And the worst part about it is that they do not recognize the dark path they seek.  They are the Venezuelans of twenty years ago, who, after electing a proud socialist leader, and after hearing the warnings of what such a political lurch to the left could do to their country, say, "that will never happen here."  Except it did in Venezuela, just as it has in all countries who have doubled down on socialism.  Starvation and death is on the horizon if we continue down this path.  Bloodshed will come if we give in to the forces who oppose liberty.  Bondage awaits all of those who dance on our burning flag and Bibles in the street under a system much less forgiving than the one we enjoy here in America.  Death and desolation awaits us if they win, and if we do nothing.  This is an invasion of foreign principles that must be treated as such.  If not, America dies, and we will be in bondage until another revolution, one based on godliness and liberty, emerges.

Constitution Radio: Implied and Interpreted


Constitution Radio with 
Douglas V. Gibbs



Saturdays, 1-3 pm Pacific


951-922-3532.

Today's Topics:

● The truth of the matter is... (opening monologue)

● The America's Frontline Doctor's Summit

Portland Protesters Burn Bibles, American Flags in the Streets

Civil Defiance, and your County Sheriff

● The Asian Flu in 1957

● Myth #5: Implied Powers

Friday, July 31, 2020

Constitutionally, the job of your local sheriff

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host


The County Sheriff is your last line of defense against government tyranny and unconstitutionality.  The sheriff is elected by the people, not appointed by government, therefore they are independent from government control and scrutiny.  A governor cannot legally suspend or fire a County Sheriff, the fate of the office of the Sheriff lies in the hands of the voters in his county.  Recognizing our Natural Rights, and the rule of law, a sheriff’s county is his domain, where it is historically his job (going all the way back to England before the founding of this country) to collect local taxes, and run the local unit of the State militia (which includes the unorganized militia of armed citizens as defined in the U.S. Code, and Founding Father George Mason’s definition,  “What is the militia?  It is the whole people, except for a few public officials”) and even defy unconstitutional laws if they decide those laws are illegal.  In short, the County Sheriffs around the country are the army in place to protect the citizens from government tyranny, both federal and State.  The sheriffs have taken an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, and it is their job to resist officials and laws that violate the Supreme Law of the Land.  It is their job to stand up to the federal and State governments and ensure that they don’t abuse the citizens with tyrannical laws, policies and dictates that violate the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution, and the State constitution.  Included in that is also the authority to forbid federal and State agents from coming into his county attempting to enforce laws that the sheriff fully understands to be unconstitutional, and organizing the local militia to defend the county against attackers and tyranny.  The sheriff belongs to the people, and it is the job of the sheriff to secure the rights of liberty of the people against tyranny from either the federal government, or the State.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Temecula Constitution Class

Wednesday Night's Temecula Constitution Class is back. I hope you can attend.  Location is 28120 Jefferson Ave, center with Rosa's Cantina and Tortilla Factory, in back of center next to tattoo shop.  5:30 pm start.  Pizza's on me.

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
 
 
 
Lesson 02
 
Legislative Powers
 
Establishing the Legislative Branch
 
 
 
Legislative Powers

Article I, Section 1: All Legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
 
Article I establishes the Legislative Branch of the federal government. Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution establishes the two parts of Congress, and grants all legislative powers to the two Houses of the Congress of the United States. When studying the language used in Article I, Section 1, the original intent by the Founding Fathers becomes clear.
 
The first word in the first section of Article I is the word "all." The definition of all is "the whole of a particular thing."
 
The next words in Article I, Section 1 are legislative powers. Legislative powers are the ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.
 
The next word in the clause is "herein." The primary definition of herein is "here in this document."
 
After herein is the word granted. Granted is defined as "to give," "to allow," or more specifically "to legally transfer." If powers are granted, then there must be a "grantor," as well as a grantee. As we learned in our discussion regarding The Preamble, the "grantor" of the authorities enumerated in the Constitution is the States.
 
"Shall be" is definitive. The Constitution in its first clause reads, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be. . .," shall be meaning "it is," or "it will be."
 
"Vested" is much like "granted." Vested is a legal transfer of something, or in this case, an allowance to have legislative powers at the federal level granted to Congress.
 
The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government, and this clause indicates that not only will the Congress be granted all legislative powers given to the federal government, but that the branch of government consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.
 
All legislative powers, according to this clause, are granted to the Congress by the States for the purpose of making law, modifying law, or repealing law. The powers are herein granted, which means that the laws must fall within the authorities granted by the text of the U.S. Constitution. In other words, laws made must remain consistent with the "powers herein granted."
 
Based on language used in the first clause of the United States Constitution, when members of the judiciary legislates from the bench, or the President issues an executive order to modify a law, such action is unconstitutional. After all, "all legislative powers" were granted to the Congress, not to the judicial branch, or the executive branch.
 
Since all legislative powers belong to the Congress, that means any regulations by federal departments that are not in line with laws made by the Congress that are in line with the authorities granted by the Constitution are unconstitutional as well. All legislative powers belong to the Congress, therefore any "legislative actions" by regulatory agencies, which are a part of the executive branch, are not in line with the original intent of the Constitution.
 
Powers the federal government has were "granted" by the States. "We The People of the United States" granted those powers to the federal government through the Constitution. Therefore, if the federal government acts in a manner that is not consistent with the contract between the States and the U.S. Government, the States have the option to ignore those unconstitutional actions by the federal government. This action of ignoring unconstitutional law is the States' way of being the final arbiters of the Constitution. The term for this kind of action by a State is nullification. Thomas Jefferson, in his draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, explained that any unconstitutional law is null and void, and as an illegal law, the States have the right to nullify it.
 
The concept that only Congress has legislative powers, only the executive branch has executive powers, and the judicial branch only has judicial powers, as described in the first sentence of each of the first three articles of the Constitution, is called Separation of Powers. The purpose of this philosophy is to disallow different branches from abusing the powers not granted to that branch, as well as to protect against collusion.
 
The Separation of Powers also exists between the States, and the federal government. Most authorities granted to the federal government are powers the States did not reserve to themselves. Most authorities retained by the States are not authorized to be administered to by the federal government. There are a few authorities that are concurrent, meaning that both the federal government, and the States, have some authority over the issue. One issue that is concurrent is immigration, which will be addressed later in this book. Sole authority over a particular power is called Exclusive Powers.
 
House of Representatives

Article I, Section 2 establishes, and defines, the House of Representatives. The members of the House of Representatives are divided among the States proportionally. As it is today, the House of Representatives was the voice of the people in the federal government. Each Representative is chosen to serve for two years, which means every two years every Representative is up for re-election, if they choose to run.
 
The eligibility of a Representative as explained by Article I, Section 2 requires that the candidate must be at least twenty-five years of age, and been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years. The age is lower than for Senators. Representatives were not expected to be as politically savvy as the Senators, and tended to have less experience. The age requirement simply reflected that. Political knowledge and experience tends to come with age.
 
Divided allegiance was a serious concern to the Founding Fathers. The requirement that Representatives have been citizens of the United States for at least seven years reflects that concern. Seven years, for a Representative of the people, was assumed to have been long enough for the Representative to have thrown off any allegiances to other nations.
 
The third clause of Article I, Section 2, includes the 3/5s clause, which was changed by the 14th Amendment following the American Civil War.
 
The Southern States used slaves for their agricultural economies. The southern states were needed to ratify the new constitution. As a condition for ratifying the Constitution, the southern states demanded that the slaves be counted as one whole person each. The idea was that if the slaves were counted as whole persons, the apportionment would tip the scales in their favor through increased representation in the new United States House of Representatives. White populations in the southern states were lower in number when compared to the northern states, due to the rural nature of the Slave States to the south.
 
The Northern States, under the heavy influence of merchants, political elitists, and a group of abolitionists, wanted the slaves counted as "zero" in order to reduce the number of representatives the southern states would receive, which would give the majority to the northern states, thus giving the north more legislative power. With this additional voting power in the House of Representatives, the northern states sought to have greater influence on the federal government through legislation. The plan was to use their legislative power to tyrannically force the southern states into submission, and to eventually abandon slavery.
 
In the interest of compromise, to convince the southern states to ratify the constitution, while giving the northern states the satisfaction that the southern states did not get exactly what they wanted, the decision was made that slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a whole person for the sake of apportionment. In other words, it was not a declaration that they believed blacks to be less than a person, but simply to affect the census in such a way that too much power through apportionment would not be given to either The North or The South, while also ensuring that the Constitution got ratified.
 
G.R. Mobley, author of We the People, Whose Constitution Is It Anyway?, believes the Founding Fathers missed a great opportunity to abolish slavery. He supports the idea that the 3/5s Clause was an error in judgment by the Founders, and that the authors of the Constitution should have only allowed those States that rejected slavery to be members of the union under the Constitution. By failing to ratify the Constitution the southern slave states would then have been on their own as a separate union. Pressure from the Spanish in Florida, and the threat of invasion by Spanish forces, would have then encouraged the slave states to abolish slavery, so that they may rejoin the union, and enjoy the strength of the union of all thirteen States.
 
Historically, it is impossible to know if that is exactly how it would have played out. Regardless of the opportunity, the Founders largely believed they had to compromise to ensure every State remained a member of the union, and ensure that they would receive the required nine ratifications of States in order to put the new federal government into motion.
 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, in addition to containing the 3/5s Clause, also establishes the census. The census is a required a head count to be taken once every ten years in order to determine the enumeration for establishing the number of Representatives each State shall receive. The clause also indicates that the number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand. This means there cannot be more than one Representative for a district of thirty thousand. However, it does not indicate there must be one Representative per thirty thousand. If that was the case, we would have thousands of Representatives.
 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 states that whenever vacancies happen in the House of Representatives, it is the duty of the Executive Authority to issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies. What this means is that the Governors of the States have the duty to ensure there is a special election to fill any vacancies that may happen in the House of Representatives.
 
The House of Representatives chooses for itself its own Speaker of the House, and other officers.
 
According to Article I, Section 2, Clause 5, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. To impeach is to charge with misconduct. The formal process of impeachment may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity or other offenses deemed to be impeachable offenses. Impeachment is not defined as removal from office, though removal from office is often the result of impeachment proceedings. In history, two presidents have been impeached, but neither were removed from office. The presidents who faced impeachment were Andrew Johnson (serving as President of the United States from 1865 to 1869), and William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001). President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before impeachment proceedings began.
 
The United States Senate

Article I, Section 3 established, and defines, the United States Senate. The representation of the States in the U.S. Senate is equal, two per State. The Senators serve for six years, which means every two years an election is held for one-third of the Senate seats. The required minimum age of a Senator is thirty years, five years older than that of a Representative. The increased age requirement for Senators reveals the importance of longer life and political experience, as considered by the Founding Fathers. Allegiance to the United States also remained important to the framers in the U.S. Senate, requiring that Senators need to be nine years a citizen of the United States, rather than the seven years as required of Representatives.
 
Article I, Section 3 originally required that Senators were chosen by the legislatures of the States, rather than voted into office directly by the voters. The appointment of Senators by their State legislatures changed to the vote of the people in 1913 with the ratification of the 17th Amendment. By the State legislatures appointing the Senators, it made the Senate the voice of the States, while the House of Representatives was the voice of the people. By the Houses of Congress being different, it created a natural check and balance, which did not allow the representation of the people to accomplish anything without approval of the voice of the States, and vice versa.
 
Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 establishes the Vice President as the President of the Senate. The Vice President, though a member of the executive branch, is also connected to the legislative branch. The Vice President may preside over the sessions of the U.S. Senate, and even participate in the debates, but in the end, the Vice President has no vote in the U.S. Senate, except as the tie-breaking vote.
 
During the early days of our nation the Vice President attended a large number of sessions of the Senate. He served as the voice of the executive branch in the Senate, ensuring the States' representation in Congress had the opportunity to be exposed to the executive branch's opinions regarding the issues that concerned the States, and the union as a whole.
 
As with the House of Representatives, the Senate chooses its own officers. One of those officers is the President pro tempore, which is the President of the Senate when the Vice President is not present.
 
The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 gives the U.S. Senate the authority to try all impeachments. No conviction can be reached unless two-thirds of the U.S. Senate membership is present. Impeachment cannot extend further than the removal of the impeached from office, and the disqualification to hold any office in the future. However, a legal case can still be brought against the convicted from other sources, according to the law. Since the U.S. Senators were originally appointed by the legislatures of the individual States, this means that impeachment charges could be brought by the people (House of Representatives), but it took the States (Senate) to hear the case, and make the final determination after all evidence was provided. During impeachment hearings, the Chief Justice presides over the hearing, as provided by Article I, Section 3.
 
The 17th Amendment changed the dynamics of our governmental system. Note that many functions by the executive branch are subject to the advise and consent of the Senate. The Senate ratifies treaties, holds hearings for any appointments the executive branch nominates, and the Senate holds the sole power for holding hearings on impeachments. This is because actions by the federal government are subject to approval by the States. The States granted the federal government its powers in the first place.
 
The House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, and the Senate, as the voice of the States, and the natural check and balance that is the result of that relationship between those two Houses of Congress, also enables both Houses together to be a valuable check against the executive branch. One of the emanations of that correlation is the ability of Congress to override a veto with a 2/3 vote. The authority to override vetoes was established to enable the People, and the States, when they are in full agreement regarding a proposed bill, to be able to ensure a law is put into place, and to constrain the executive together through the power of combined vote.
 
Elections and Assembly of Congress

Article I, Section 4 begins, "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof." This clause establishes that each State may have its own methods for electing members of the Congress. The same applies, as determined in Article II, to presidential elections. If there is a discrepancy, or a question regarding the acceptance of ballots, it is not the job of the courts to make final determination. Article I, Section 4 gives that authority to the State legislatures.
 
The same clause adds, after giving the State legislatures authority over federal elections, that "Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators."
 
Congress, as discussed earlier, is bicameral. The two Houses of Congress are the House of Representatives, and the United States Senate. The House of Representatives, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, was designed to be as it is now, the voice of the people. Representatives have always been elected by a direct vote. The United States Senate was the voice of the States, appointed by the State legislatures. The appointment of the Senators by representatives of the people is an example of an indirect vote.
 
As the representation of the people, and the States, Congress was not seen as the greatest potential danger in the federal government. Congress was the voice of the people and the States in the federal government; the eyes of the parents to ensure the central government did not grow beyond the authorities granted to it. With Congress representing the oversight by the people, and the States, the oversight powers given to the federal legislature often led to other authorities that allowed Congress to act as a check and balance against potentially dangerous government activity. Giving Congress oversight authorities was a way to ensure that Congress participated in the concept of a government "by the consent of the governed."
 
Though elections were established with the State legislatures prescribing the times, places and manner of holding elections, as a check and balance against that authority, Congress may pass laws to "make or alter such regulations."
 
At the end of the clause giving Congress the authority to act as an oversight regarding the manner in which elections are held, a qualifier is present, expressing, "except as to the Places of chusing Senators."
 
A majority of delegates at the Federal Convention in 1787, by the conclusion of the assembly, were strong supporters of the sovereignty of the States, and the parental nature of the States in relation to the newly formed federal government, and the duty of the States as the final arbiters of the United States Constitution to ensure the new government functioned within the limitations granted to it. A part of that function by the States included the very important fact that the States had a voice in Congress with appointed U.S. Senators. The framers did not want that authority to be tinkered with, so they remind future generations at the end of this clause that though Congress has lawmaking authorities, and oversight authorities, manipulating the dynamics of government where the people, and the States, have a voice in the United States Congress is something not to be fiddled with. A similar advisement also appears at the end of Article V., "and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."
 
Oversight powers by the States were seen by the framers as being a right of the States, and as with natural rights of the people, a right is not something that should be able to be taken, but if the holder of the right wishes to give it away, no law can prevent such a foolish action.
 
The second paragraph of Article I, Section 4 reads, "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year." The first thought regarding this clause by the typical reader may be, "Of course. How can they get anything done if Congress isn't assembling?"
 
Another question may be, "Why did the framers feel it to be necessary to insert this clause into the Constitution?"
 
During the convention in 1787, there were some who felt this clause was "overburdensome." Government was not supposed to dominate their everyday lives. The members of Congress were not professional politicians, nor did they care to be. They had businesses to run, and lives to live. Surely, the attitude of many of the Founding Fathers was, there is not enough business to compel Congress to meet every single year!
 
Those who supported the concept of an annual meeting reminded the others that Congress was the check the people and the States had available to them in the federal government. It was the duty of Congress to serve as a check against the President, and the federal judiciary. To be an effective check, Congress must meet at least once per year. The clause, it was argued, was for the benefit of the people.
 
In present day politics, the opposite seems to be the norm. Government is viewed as being broken if they do not act on an endless and constant flow of issues, committees, and crises. Politicians view their position as their job, rather than a service they are providing.
 
Originally, the required meeting day was the first Monday in December. That was later changed to noon on the third day of January by the 20th Amendment.
 
Congressional Procedure

Article I, Section 5 requires Congress to have a minimum number of members present in order to do business. That majority constitutes a quorum, and if the Congress deems it necessary, the present members may set fines for members who do not show up. The Houses of Congress may remain in session, during which no formal business is conducted because the House does not have a quorum, so as to prevent executive actions that may be carried out during recess. This kind of session is called a pro forma session.
 
In Article II, Section 2, the President is given the authority to make recess appointments, when Congress is not in session. Normally, the United States Senate has advise and consent authority over appointments, which means that appointments of personnel to fill vacancies are possible for the President to grant, but such appointments requires the approval of the United States Senate (voice of the States). If the Senate is not in session, and an appointment is necessary, the President may make appointments, but the terms of those appointments only last to the end of the Senate's next session. If the Senate is in a pro-forma session, the President may not make any appointments. With Congress only in session when there is work to be done, and the Founders believing that would likely only be once a year, the ability of the President to make appointments when Congress is not in session was a valuable, and necessary, tool. In today's political environment, it seems like Congress is always in session, so recess appointments are not as common.
 
In early January of 2012, President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is a powerful bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation. However, even though most of the members of Congress were on vacation, the United States Senate was still in session. President Obama's definition of recess, it turned out, was broader than the Constitution's definition. In reality, the U.S. Senate was in pro-forma session. John Berlau, Director of CEI's Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs, called the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray "very troubling," criticizing both Obama's controversial use of a recess appointment, and the selection of Cordray itself. Berlau later asked, "What's next, appointing nominees when the Senate takes a bathroom break?"
 
Article I, Section 5 also allows each House of Congress to determine its own rules, keep a journal to record proceedings and votes, and that neither house may adjourn without the permission of the other. Section 5 also establishes that if a member of a house does not follow the established rules, the house may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and by a two thirds vote may actually expel a member from Congress.
 
The establishment of rules, holding a hearing in regards to the breaking of those rules, and punishing a member for his behavior, as set forth by Article I, Section 5, was used when Charles Rangel broke the rules of the House of Representatives. He faced a panel for his actions, and was punished by censure in December of 2010. He later sued, spending about a third of his 2014 campaign cash on legal bills in a failed bid to overturn his fall from congressional grace. On December 11, 2013, a federal judge in Washington dismissed the lawsuit, filed by Rangel in the previous April, to get the censure overturned.
 
The mandate to keep a journal to record proceedings and votes was included in this section because the Founders wanted government to be transparent, accessible, and accountable to the people. Deals behind closed doors were not supposed to be a part of our political system.

Congressional Compensation, Privileges, Restrictions

When President George Washington took office, he refused to accept the constitutionally allowed compensation for holding the office. He viewed his office as being a privilege, and an opportunity to once again serve the country he loved. During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service. By the end of the debate, it was decided that government representatives should receive fixed stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service. It was also determined, however, that the compensation should not be so high that it would become the motive for seeking office.
 
Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution addresses compensation, and the rules regarding such. Section 6 also establishes that members of Congress may not be detained while traveling to and from Congress, and that they cannot hold any other office in government while in Congress.
 
Protection from arrest while traveling to and from Congress was not only a privilege based on those enjoyed by their counterparts in the British Parliament, but also a protection from political enemies who may wish to keep certain members of Congress from voting.
 
This section also indicates that no member of Congress shall be appointed to a later office if while in Congress the office was created, or a raise in pay was enacted for that office.
 
To explain this clause, let's visit a recent violation of it during the Obama administration.
 
After Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election, he announced that Hillary Clinton would be his new Secretary of State. The position of Secretary of State received a pay raise while Hillary Clinton was a member of the United States Senate. Article I, Section 6 states that "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall be been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time." Since Clinton was a Senator at the time the position of Secretary of State was given a raise, technically she was not eligible for the position to which she was appointed. To resolve this problem, and still allow Mrs. Clinton to accept the position, the Democrats applied the Saxbe Fix, meaning they undid the raise, and Hillary Clinton received the compensation that was in place before the vote she participated in while in the Senate. The Saxbe Fix, or a Salary rollback, is an unconstitutional action. The clause in the Constitution is clear: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time."
 
The Saxbe Fix, or the rollback of the salary, does not change the fact that the emoluments increased during the time Hillary Clinton was in the U.S. Senate.
 
As a tool, the Saxbe fix was nothing new. The salary rollback in the case of a violation of Article I, Section 6, a mechanism by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired, was first used in 1909. The "Saxbe" name was applied to the political maneuver later in history. The Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a Senator appointed Attorney General by President Richard Nixon in 1973.

Terms:
 
Adjourn: Suspend proceedings to a later time and/or place.
 
Censure: Procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior. There are normally no legal consequences. Censure is not mentioned in the Constitution, but is a procedure devised by the legislature as a tool for formal condemnation of a member of the congressional body.
 
Congress of the United States: The legislative branch of the federal government which consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives. The Congress is the only part of the federal government granted the authority of legislative powers.
 
Granted: To confer, give, or bestow. A gift of legal rights or privileges, or a recognition of asserted rights, as in treaty. To legally transfer.
 
Impeachment: To charge with misconduct. Formal process that may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity; impeachment does not mean the removal from office, though removal from office is often the result of impeachment proceedings.
 
Legislative Powers: The ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.
 
Nullification: State power to ignore unconstitutional federal law.
 
President pro tempore: Second highest ranking official of the United States Senate. Vice President is President of the Senate and the highest-ranking official of the Senate despite not being a member of the body. During the Vice President's absence, the president pro tempore presides over its sessions or appoints another senator to do so. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate and is customarily the most senior senator in the majority party.
 
Pro Forma Session: A session in either house of the United States Congress at which no formal business is expected to be conducted, so as to fulfill the obligation "that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other." Pro forma sessions are also used to prevent the President from pocket-vetoing bills, calling the Congress into a special session, and to prevent the President from making recess appointments.
 
Quorum: Minimum number of members of an assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group.
 
Saxby Fix: Salary rollback. A mechanism by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired. First used in 1909, the Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a Senator appointed to Attorney General by Nixon in 1973.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. If only Congress can make law, then why do some politicians believe that Executive Orders can modify law, or that regulatory agencies can create new regulations to enforce laws that were never passed by Congress?
 
2. The word "granted" reminds us that all powers once belonged to the States, and some of those authorities were "granted" to the federal government for the purpose of carrying out the tasks necessary for the protection, preservation, and promotion of the union. If the federal government was created by the States, then how can statists justify their belief that all federal laws trump all State laws?
 
3. Why do you think the Congress has two legislative houses?
 
4. Why do you think representatives are only elected for two years?
 
5. Why is it significant that only the House can originate bills for raising revenue?
 
6. Why is the power of impeachment belonging to the House so important?
 
7. As President of the Senate, what kind of role should the Vice President play in the day to day activities of the United States Senate?
 
8. Why do you think the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment, but the Senate has the task of hearing the case?
 
9. How are the dynamics of our governmental system different in relation to how the Senators are appointed, or voted for?
 
10. How was the Senate expected to check the House of Representatives, and work together with the House to check the Executive and Judiciary?
 
11. Why do you think the authority for prescribing the times, places, and manner of holding elections was given to the State Legislatures?
 
12. Why was Congress given the allowance to pass laws that may make or alter such regulations?
 
13. Why was the federal government prohibited from influencing the places for choosing Senators?
 
14. To conduct business, the houses of Congress need a quorum. If they do not have a majority, they may remain in session through a rule established by Congress called pro forma. What advantages does pro forma give the houses of Congress when it comes as serving as a check against the executive branch?
 
15. Why do you think neither house can adjourn without the permission of the other?
 
16. The houses of Congress establish their own rules of procedure. If a member breaks any of these rules, Congress also has the authority to punish the rule breaker. One type of punishment is called censure. How is censure an adequate punishment?
 
17. How has the concept of transparency changed over the last two hundred years?
 
Resources:
 
Edwin Mora, "Top Democrat Dodges Question on Constitutionality of Obama Appointments, Says Pro Forma Sessions Are 'Games Being Played'," CNSnews.com (January 6, 2012): http://cnsnews.com/news/article/top-democrat-dodges-question-constitutionality-obama-appointments-says-pro-forma
 
 
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).
 
Madison's Notes on the Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale University: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp
 
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution - Volume Two - Preamble through Article I, Section 8, Clause 4; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
 
Saxbe, William B. I've Seen the Elephant: An Autobiography. Kent State University Press (2000).
 
 
 
Copyright: Douglas V. Gibbs, 2014