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Friday, February 24, 2017

Chad Prather: Gender Fluidity and Modern Stupidity

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host



-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sean Hannity Interview of Retired Marine Steven Gern of Viral Immigration Video

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host


-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Posterity and the Blessings of Liberty

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

In the Preamble of the United States Constitution, after listing the reasons for the creation of the federal government (more perfect union, to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and provide for the common defense), are listed two results for what the founding fathers hoped to achieve (promote the general Welfare* and secure the Blessings of Liberty).  After listing the results they indicate that while the Constitution was written for the purpose of promoting the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to themselves (ourselves), they also wrote that the aim was to do these things for their "Posterity," as well.

Posterity is a term meaning "future generations."  The definition goes beyond one's children, or our children's children.  Posterity includes those not yet born.

In the Declaration of Independence the authors wrote that "all men are created equal."  The Constitution indicates that the Blessings of Liberty also belongs to the future generations.  Slavery, however, muddied the ideals these men sought to protect, promote and preserve.  How could the Founding Fathers discuss equality in the eyes of God, when in the eyes of men there was a class of people who were in slavery?

Of the fifty-five delegates (42 remained to the end and 39 signed the document), less than half of them were slave-owners (25).  Of those who owned slaves, many of them had inherited those slaves.  Some of the delegates who owned slaves believed that slavery was a sinful practice, and were abolitionists, but were not in a personal position to be able to free their slaves.  George Washington freed his upon his death.  Thomas Jefferson, a staunch and outspoken abolitionist who inherited his slaves, based on Virginia law, was not financially able to afford to release his slaves - even upon his own death.  There were over a hundred slaves on his Montebello plantation generally at any given time.  While Jefferson could not afford to free his slaves, he decided to treat them with respect and kindness.  One story tells of Jefferson returning from a diplomatic mission overseas, and as he walked up the road his slaves ran to him, hoisted him on their shoulders, and carried him up the hill to the house.

Jefferson believed that slavery must be abolished, but feared a blanket abolition of slavery would cause problems.  The newly emancipated slaves would be steeped in poverty, and there would be trouble between the races.  Besides, the Constitution reserved to the States their sovereignty, so it was not the job of the federal government to tell the States what to do on the matter.  The States had to come to the conclusion to abolish slavery themselves, individually, bit by bit.  A sudden blanket emancipation, Jefferson suggested, may lead to an American race war similar to the revolts in Haiti, and cause a resentment between the races that may exist for many generations.

The word "Posterity" in the Preamble of the Constitution, however, meant the future generations of all persons, including the posterity of those who were slaves at the time of the writing of the document.  The phrase "all men are created equal" included the slaves, and their posterity.  It was truly believed by a majority of the delegates that in the eyes of God, all persons were equal, and deserving of access to their Natural Rights.  How could the founders reconcile these beliefs while slavery continued to exist in their country that was supposed to be based on the Blessings of Liberty?

While Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention, he was very influential on the proceedings.  He was trading correspondence with James Madison daily.  Many of the men in the convention supported the ideas of Jefferson, and over the four months of deliberations those who may not have originally agreed with Jefferson came to accept his point of view of limited government and local control over local issues by the time the convention was complete.

When one reads the Preamble, a significant distinction between the words "ourselves" and "Posterity" in the phrase "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" is presented.  The first letter of "ourselves" is lower case, but the "P" in "Posterity" is upper case.

The Constitution is a hand-written document.  The persons who penned the document did not italicize for emphasis.  Often, capitalization was used to place an emphasis on a word.  While most of the nouns in the Constitution are capitalized, many of them were done so for the purpose of emphasis.  With that concept in mind, we can better understand the reason that "ourselves" is not capitalized, and "Posterity" is.  The founders were saying in the Preamble, "We wrote this Constitution to create a federal government to do the things it is authorized to do so that a general sense of well being is achieved, and in order to secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves, but we especially did it for our Posterity, which includes those not yet born - all Americans not yet born, whether they be the children or children's children of the freeman, or those currently in a condition of servitude."

The general opinion of the Founding Fathers was that slavery would be abolished State by State within their lifetime.  Both Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, died on July 4, 1826; the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  Slavery, by the time of their deaths, however, had not been abolished, and the division between the slave States, and the non-slave States to the north had deepened.  They did not know it at the time of their deaths, but during the next generation a war loomed.  The war would be between the States, pitting brother against brother and friend against friend.  Over 600,000 men would lose their lives, and the division and resentment that Jefferson feared would become a reality.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

* general Welfare: A general condition of "All's Well."

Lunch with a Muslim

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

I told her I am a Christian.  Her voice was soothing.  Reassuring.  "I love Jesus, too," she said.  "He is considered a prophet by Islam."

Former Muslims have all told me that those who adhere to the tenets of Islam cannot be trusted.  They are all capable of jihad.

I was having lunch with a Muslim woman.  I didn't know she was Muslim until the moment our food arrived.  I've known her for a few weeks.  She's kind, assuring, and caring.  She told me she loves her religion, and that she's upset that Islam has gotten such a bad rap.

"Reality is," I said, "that most terrorism is in the name of Islam."

"A few violent fools," she replied.  "They are not loving like Muslims are commanded to be."

The Koran says otherwise.

Allah is not loving, nor merciful, according to the words of Islam's holy text.

The Christian God, however, is merciful, loving, and was willing to die on a cross for our sins.

"Blasphemy," a Muslim once told me.  "Allah is too holy to step foot on Earth.  The idea that Jesus was God in the flesh is blasphemy."

The way to see where a Muslim stands is to ask them about Israel.

"Jews," she said, "are the source of all of the problems in the world.  They became Israel to take the oil.  It's all about oil, and they wish to take it.  I have books, if you like, to show you that you are wrong about it being their land."

"Should Israel be destroyed?"

"No," she said, "they should be relocated from the homeland."

Homeland.  For her the homeland is Palestine.  She told me she is Palestinian.  Married to a Syrian.  A local Muslim who attends the local mosque.  "Not every week," she said.  "On holy days."

I can see how easily people can be fooled.  She was sincere.  Sounded honest.  Worried that her religion was being misrepresented.

"I hate this talk about walls.  Don't you?  Trump banning Muslims.  It's horrible."

"Trump's wall?  I agree with it.  His immigration stance is among the reasons I voted for him.  Southern Mexico is fenced off, with guard towers and armed guards.  Should we not be able to do the same?"

She seemed honestly stunned.  "I hadn't thought of that.  Really?  Their border is guarded like that?"

"Yes," I said.  "Remember the Murrieta immigration protests in July of 2014?"

"Yes."

"I was a part of that."

"But, that was horrible.  Turning away families, like that."

I shook my head.  "Over a hundred people being processed at a facility designed for a couple dozen criminals is not what I call a good thing.  When I was on television over it I told them that my granddaughter had contracted a disease, one not common in our area.  Its spike coincided with the increase of illegal aliens being shipped into the area.  I want to protect my community from disease that has been eradicated in America.  Don't you?"

"Well," she said, "yes, but..."

"In 2005," I added, "San Ysidro did a report."

"What's San Ysidro?" she asked.

"That's the town at the San Diego border crossing.  Anyways, the report found that a large part of the Hispanic illegal aliens were connected to the drug cartels or criminal gangs.  One in three illegal border-crossers were of Middle Eastern descent, and even if terrorists are a small part of that, don't you think it would be wise for us, in the interest of protecting the receiving population, to use extreme vetting to ensure those coming into the country are not going to be a threat to our way of life?"

"Yes, but..."

"As for Islam, even if terrorists comprise only a small portion of the Muslim population, shouldn't we make sure the people coming into this country are not a part of that small contingent of terrorists?  It's like the old saying goes, if you had a bowl full of candies, and you knew a few of them were poison, would you grab a handful and eat them?"

She remained silent.

"During World War II, while we were at war with Germany, Italy and Japan, we limited immigration from those countries, not because we were being insensitive, but because we couldn't tell the good from the bad.  Same with Islam. You say Islam is peaceful, but mixed into that allegedly peaceful population are terrorists.  Shouldn't we make sure terrorists are not a part of the Muslim population coming into this country?"

"Yes, I agree."

"That's what Trump's executive order was about.  He isn't banning Muslims.  He's asking for additional vetting of people coming into this country from seven countries known to fund, promote, and support terrorism.  Part of the problem, be it Muslim, Mexican, or other folks, is that we no longer have immigrants coming to America to become American.  They are coming here to try to make America what they want it to be.  Do we want the United States to become Mexico, or Iran, or Syria, or Iraq?"

"No, I guess not."

"Don't believe what they tell you.  Believe what you learn.  There is nothing racist about what Trump is trying to do.  It's about national security."

"I believe you," she said.

I wonder.  She may agree, or she may simply have wanted me to believe she agreed.

While I wish to give her the benefit of the doubt, and I like the individual I had lunch with, in the back of my mind I still wondered if she was truly who she says she is, or if she is a Muslim practicing taqiyya.

She bought my book, 25 Myths of the United States Constitution, and accepted a pocket constitution.  For one of us the lunch was a learning experience.  Time will tell if I was a teacher, or a subject of deception.  I hope it is the former.  I truly like the woman I met, and I hope she was being truthful.  She came across as a loving human being.  But, because she's Muslim, I won't hold my breath on that one.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Moving on Obamacare

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Jeffrey Lord discovers Lyin’ Ryan has a problem:
[…]  Ryan specifically said the Congressional Budget Office was scoring a specific [repeal ObamaCare] plan. Yet there on the Wednesday Hannity radio show were members of the House Freedom Caucus saying they had seen no such bill.
Huh? Hannity was gobsmacked.
So stunned that he suggested he would come back to D.C. and do a joint televised interview with Ryan and the House Freedom caucus members to find out what in the world is going on.
To put it gently? Speaker Ryan, you have a problem. -link-
Will Obamacare be repealed, or not?

During the campaign I was alarmed by the "repeal and replace" sentiment coming from the Trump camp.  I get it, the rhetoric by the Democrats is that if you get rid of something they believe is beloved by the people, you've got to replace it.  Fact is, federal intrusion upon health care is unconstitutional.  There should be absolutely no federal influence on health care, or health insurance.  Therefore, there should be no "replace."

Originally, we were told the insurance companies were the problem, and that's why healthcare was so out of whack. If that's the case, how is making government the insurance company better?

If a third-party-payer is the problem, shouldn't we work towards getting back to the patient/provider dynamic?

The House of Representatives and Senate are who needs to get the repeal started in the first place, yet we've got members saying there is nothing on the docket.  Meanwhile, at their townhalls, the lefties are screaming at them about Obamacare.  Is the GOP intimidated and backing down from fully repealing Obamacare?

Time is running out.  While Congress passed the FY 2017 “shell” budget resolution (S. CON. RES. 3) in January, which was supposed to start a filibuster-proof process of repealing Obamacare through budget reconciliation, no action seems to have followed up.  It seems Congress is still in the process of writing the budget reconciliation bill repealing Obamacare.  And the longer it takes, the more that Americans are beginning to believe the Obamacare repeal isn't going to happen.

The longer it takes to repeal, the longer before we can heal the nation's health care system, and the longer Americans must suffer under the current shortcomings of government influenced health care.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agrees, saying in a recent interview: “I don’t think we have the luxury of this (Obamacare repeal) dragging out for a lengthy period of time. There is a reason to wrap it up. This is a very intense effort of consultation with all three branches about how to do this in the relatively near future. We want to complete this exercise before we get to the second budget reconciliation for tax reform.”

April 28th is the funding deadline, and May 3rd is the date when insurance companies must submit proposed premiums for 2018 Obamacare plans.  If the Republicans fully repeal Obamacare, it must beat those dates, otherwise the garbage kicks into another year.

Even worse is the fact that some Republicans are saying they believe we can repair Obamacare.  Or, some members of the GOP actually oppose repeal unless there is a "replace" simultaneously.  Democrats will never vote to repeal Obamacare and the Republicans will never agree on a replacement bill.  Delaying repeal prolongs the crisis, and it increases the likelihood that repeal never happens.

Therefore, repeal needs to be as soon as possible, before the Democrats convince more Republicans to get nervous about it, and while it's possible to use budget reconciliation so that the vote is only a simple majority needed.

Congress can use budget reconciliation to repeal Obamacare so that it doesn't matter what the Democrats think or do.  Only a simple majority will be needed, without a need for cloture.  Congress should write and pass a one-sentence reconciliation bill that fully repeals Obamacare, and be done with it.

Then, the Republicans can work on ways to get the federal government completely out of the way of the health care industry, removing any obstacles like the unconstitutional federal restriction that keeps insurance companies from selling across State lines.  Healthcare savings accounts may not be a bad idea, either.  The idea is to remove the federal footprint from the industry and create free market choices that strengthen the patient/provider relationship.

As that happens, the Republicans also must make sure Neil Gorsuch gets confirmed to the Supreme Court quickly so that the left's challenges fall flat.

The thing is, the Republicans need to act quickly.  If they don't get this going, time may become their enemy, and run out.

After all, the left is doing what it can to sabotage everything, and the next election is right around the corner.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Freedom X: Stand with Caleb O'Neil



Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

FREEDOM X CREATES GO FUND ME SITE TO SUPPORT CALEB O'NEIL'S APPEAL AGAINST ORANGE COAST COLLEGE

Please Contribute to Caleb's Legal Fund

LOS ANGELES (2/18/2017) - Freedom X has established a Go Fund Me site to support Caleb O'Neil's legal efforts to reverse his February 9 suspension from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. O'Neil, a freshman student at the college who was notified by the college he will be disciplined for videotaping an instructor who threw a hostile anti-Trump rant last November following the presidential election.

"Caleb shouldn't have to be targeted by leftists on campus simply because he supported Donald Trump for president," said O'Neil's attorney, Bill Becker, founder, president and general counsel of Freedom X.

College Suspends Student Who Recorded Anti-Trump Rant

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Montreal declares itself ‘sanctuary city’ as influx of asylum seekers arrives

By Anita in Canada,

http://globalnews.ca/video/3261648/montreal-declares-itself-sanctuary-city-as-influx-of-asylum-seekers-arrives/

Holy Batman!  Montreal declares itself a sanctuary city. Compliments of
Turdeeew I am sure.  Turdeeew is at it again - making muslims a
protected species.  They should not receive one penny of Canadian tax
money.  However we know the opposite will happen. Turdeeew will shower
them with more money than he usually showers them with.  Simply because
they are muslim and he is muslim.  Also being French, Turdeeew also
protects the French against anyone non french.  Can you say racism by
Turdeeew.
Think we are seeing this movie running in USA with racism supplied by
Obama against the whites, against the non muslims, against the police
force, against Trump supporters, against safety and security of USA
citizens.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Not Trump...but Hillary's Ties to Russia

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The Democrats spent all of their time during the 2016 Presidential Election accusing Trump of being in bed with Putin, and crying out that the Russians were influencing the American election.  I found that to be an odd stance, and one the American people would not buy into because common sense dictated that the Russians would prefer a Democrat in office.  After all, it is the Democrats who believe in a weaker national defense, and it was under Obama that Putin received the free gifts of invading Crimea and Ukraine without even a hint of worry of any repercussions from the United States.  The "Trump's Ties to Russia" accusation was just a Democrat ploy to try and make Donald Trump look bad because they had no winning argument in the arena of ideas, and falsely accusing Trump of being a racist and sexist was not working as well as the Democrats had hoped.

Reality dictates that if anyone had ties to Russia, it would have been Hillary Clinton.

Were the Democrats projecting?

Wikileaks has largely focused on the emails of John Podesta, Hillary's campaign chair, and according to Julian Assange's releases, one leak ties Podesta directly to an energy company called "Joule Unlimited."  The company has received millions from a Putin-connected Russian government fund, and 75,000 shares of Joule Unlimited stock has been transferred to John Podesta's daughter, Megan Rouse.

Breitbart reported that Podesta's assistant, Eryn Sepp, wrote to him, "Full transfer request, with Megan's signature attached."

Flashback now to January 3, 2014, and a letter indicating that Podesta designated his daughter's residence in Dublin, California as the address for Leonidio Holdings LLC, the Delaware-based holding company used by Podesta to transfer his shares in Russian-related Joule Global Holdings.

Podesta's daughter, Megan Rouse, is listed as a "managing member" of Leonidio Holdings LLC, according to financial documents.

Podesta is also a member of the board of directors of Joule Unlimited. He joined the board in June of 2011.

“Two months after Podesta joined the board, Vladimir Putin’s Rusnano announced that it would invest up to one billion rubles into Joule Unlimited, which amounts to $35 million. That represents one-fifth of the entire amount of investment dollars Joule collected from 2007 to 2013,” the GAI report concludes.

Podesta also failed to disclose fully his position on Joule Unlimited’s board of directors and to include it in his federal financial disclosures, as required by law, before he became President Barack Obama’s senior adviser in January 2014.

So, who's in bed with Russia and Putin?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Constitution Class, Temecula: Bicameral Congress

Temecula Constitution Class, 6:30 pm at Faith Armory, 41669 Winchester Road 
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

VCNO: Navy Will Be “Flat Out Of Money” Without Supplemental Funding

By Capt Joseph R. John

The Obama administration sliced the Pentagon budget by 52% over 8 years, putting the security of the Republic and American lives at risk.  A reduced budget imposed upon the US Navy in 2009 began the decline in the US Navy’s strength.  Then the Budget Control Act of 2011 further weakened the US Navy.  The passage of Obama’s Sequestration in 2012 by Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress, gutted the US Navy.  Sequestration could never have diminished the size of Navy’s Fleet to the pre-World War I number of ships, if Republican and Democratic Leaders in Congress hadn’t cooperated very closely with Obama to retain Sequestration, each year, every year, for 5 years. 

Obama appointee holdovers in government are seriously negatively affecting the readiness of the US Navy and hampering the execution of Naval Special Operations.  Obama holdovers are still filling appointed positions in the Pentagon, hampering the Chief of Naval Operations efforts to strengthen the US Navy.  There are 160 Obama appointee holdovers on the National Security Counsel affecting military  operations.  There are a handful of Obama appointee holdovers at the CIA who were groomed to oppose President Trump by John Brennan &  Mike Morell (they both repeatedly lied about Benghazi).  There are Obama holdovers in NSA, DHS, EPA, and the FBI, including some members of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are opposing President Trump.   The 9 personnel who criminally released the content of General Mike Flynn’s telephone conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the press were Obama holdovers.

Obama’s destructive budget policy resulted in the accelerated erosion in readiness, fleet maintenance, and “Combat Effectiveness” of the US Navy’s surface, submarine, and air forces.  The below listed destructive policies, imposed on the US Armed Forces by the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullins, USN (Ret), and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus contributed to the erosion of the strength, moral, and “Combat Readiness” of the US Navy.
 
Admiral Mike Mullins, USN force fed the Social Experiment on Diversity into the US Navy that degraded unit moral, unit cohesion, and “Combat Effectiveness”, he withheld information from Congress that 3 rescue missions by (1) a Marine Corps Fast Team 3 hours away, (2) the USS Stennis Carrier Battle Group 6 hours & (3) two armed F-16Cs 3 hours away from Benghazi were prevented from launching to save American lives, he imposed new dangerous Rules Of Engagement on the US Navy & US Marine Corps that increased their combat casualties in Afghanistan, and he did not terminate the restriction imposed on Navy Chaplains preventing them from reading their Cardinals letters on Sundays from the pulpit to their parishioner (a violation of Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech).

The most inept Secretary of the Navy in US History, Ray Mabus, ordered the implementation of Admiral Mullin’s above listed destructive policies on the US Navy.  Mabus approved the reduction in number of ships in the Fleet, to less ships than the Navy had prior to 1913.  Mabus presided over the firing of many senior and Flag officers who were viewed as not being “Politically Correct”, and replaced them with newly selected senior and Flag Officer who met specific “Politically Correct” selection criteria; he directed newly promoted Flag Officers to drive “Politically Correct” destructive policies into the US Navy.   For the first time in 240 years, Mabus named newly commissioned US Naval ships for extremely liberal, progressive, and gay individuals with no military service, instead of naming those ships for the very famous deceased highly decorated and heroic U S military personnel the Navy had always named its ships after.  

The current Situation Report on the US Navy was presented in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Moran, USN in the below listed article.  Admiral Moran said “Our long-term readiness continues its insidious decline”, and “the Navy will be flat out of money” without supplementary funding.   

He argued that financial constraints have eroded military readiness.  The Navy’s reduced budget was only part of the problem, the Navy’s Op Tempo for 15 years, in support of overseas conflicts, has been very hard on the wear and tear of ships, aircraft, and submarines.  Because of budget reductions, aircraft, ships, and submarines have been unable to train at sea, or obtain needed shipyard repairs, contributing negatively toward the Navy’s “Combat Effectiveness”.  

From 1981 to1988, President Ronald Reagan increased the number of ships in US Navy fleet to 566 ships, which included 15 Carrier Battlegroups, 4 Battleship Surface Action Groups, 100 Attack Submarines, 35 SSNB Ballistic Missile Submarines, and 412 other ships.

The Obama administration reduced the carrier force to 10 ships, reduced the submarine force to 58 attack submarines &14 SSNB Ballistic Missile Submarines, and reduce the remaining ships of the fleet to 192 ships.  Many of the carriers, submarines, and ships are stuck in port, because the US Navy hasn’t been able to cover the cost of repairs for ships requiring shipyard availability and because of the lack of spare parts.  The Navy hasn’t been able to purchase billions of dollars in spare parts for its aircraft, submarines, and ships making some of their operations too hazardous for Naval personnel to man and operate.

For 8 years, China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have been involved in a massive ship building and modernizing program for their fleets; collectively they have 231 submarines and 371 combatants surface ships between them. 

The US Navy’s has less ships in the fleet today than it had in 1913, prior to WWI, and the Navy has been prevented from funding a ship building program to keep up with China, Russia, and Iran’s fleet expansions because of the reduced DOD budget.  To meet minimum requirements, 350 US Navy ships are required in the fleet.  Normally, 1/3 of the fleet is scheduled for shipyard availability, and 1/3 of the ships are scheduled for post deployment R&R and underway training, and 1/3 of the fleet are deployable.  Today’s fleet has 91 deployable ships; President Reagan’s Navy had 189 deployable ships.

For 15 years the wear and tear on the Navy-Marine Corps fighters dramatically reduced the number of operational aircraft, their numbers are in a “death spiral.”  The only long-term solution would be to acquire both F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter faster than the current procurement schedule.   Sixty percent of the Navy’s front line combat jet fighter, the F/A-18 Hornets, have been grounded and are unfit to fly because of maintenance issues and lack of spare parts.  The attrition in the number of aircraft and consumption of spare parts is outpacing procurement.  The Obama administration cancelled 175 strike fighters from procurement, that has to be turned around to meet high-end threats like SA-300/400s (advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles), and the aircraft Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran operate.

Only 439 out of 1,065 US Marine Corps aircraft, are flyable because the aircraft are worn out, because of heavy maintenance issues, and the lack of funding for spare parts; 74 percent of the Marine Corps’ F-18/A(B, C, D) Hornets– some of the oldest in service – are overused, under-maintained; they are wearing out.   Because of lack of funding for fuel, spare parts, and maintenance, and because required monthly pilot flight training has been severely restricted, pilot flight proficiency and qualification have been degraded.

For 8 years, the US Navy hasn’t been able to afford the purchase billions of dollars in spare parts for its aircraft, submarines, and ships making their operations, in many cases, too hazardous for the life of the Naval personnel who operate them, to permit them, to continue operations.  The result has been a dramatic reduction in the number of deployable platforms available.

The Vice Chief of Naval Operations pleaded with lawmakers to repeal Sequestration legislation, because it continues to negatively affect readiness and “Combat Effectiveness” of the fleet.   Sequestration has been limiting defense spending, and has been limiting procurement, ever year, for 5 years.  Admiral Moran has been arguing that fiscal constraints over the past 8 years is crippling the Navy’s capability to effectively respond to multiple threats.

While the Navy’s strength was being hollowed out, Obama refused to let the Navy defend the nation’s right to “Freedom of Navigation”. Obama prevented US Naval warships from performing the same standard Naval mission in the South China Sea, it previously performed for 70 years.  From 2012 to 2016, while China was in the process militarized Scarborough Shoals, in the Spratly chain of reefs, in the South China Sea, US Naval warships were prevented from sailing near the Shoals.  During that 4 year period, China was constructing airfields and missile sites on land it reclaimed from the sea bottom.  China has since claimed the Scarborough Shoals as its sovereign territory in violation of International Law.    

Naval Special Warfare Operations have been compromised by Obama holdovers.  On January 29th, SEAL Team SIX led a Counterterrorist Operation, against Al Q’ieda in Yemen, in order to gather intelligence and terminate cell leaders.  SOC William “Ryan” Owens, USN (SEAL) was lost in the operation, what turned into an preplanned ambush.  Al Q’ieda received advance details and the timing of the operation; intense fire was poured into the SEALs upon landing, fire came from pre-established positions circumventing the targeted buildings. 

Following the raid, Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan, 3 Muslims brothers from Pakistan hired by the Obama administration at a salary of $160,000/year (one brother was only 22 years old) were abruptly fired by the Trump administration.  They were hired by members of the Muslim Brotherhood operating as a the Fifth Column in US government, to manage Top Secret IT communications for 50 Democrats Congressional House leaders and Democrat Congressmen on the House Permanent Select Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. They were accused of funneling Top Secret messages to outside servers; the 3 Awan brothers were accused of also stealing classified equipment.

The 3 Awan brothers managed IT transmission of Top Secret information on Cong Debbie Schultz (D-FL), Cong Keith Ellison (D-MN), Cong Andre Carson (D-IN) and 47 other Democrat Congressmen’s computers.  They had access to Top Secret communications for Democratic Congressional members on the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees who receive advance details on future Top Secret Special Operations, including advance details of the January 29th Counterterrorism Operation in Yemen by SEAL Team SIX, where the SEALs were ambushed by Al Q’ieda Terrorist waiting for them.

The policy of hiring 3 Muslim brothers from Pakistan by the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, and holding them over compromised a Counterterrorist Operation, inflicted serious casualties on US Navy SEALs,  and compromised the National Security of the United States.

A more detailed testimony of Admiral  William Moran is presented in the below listed article.

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John.  All Rights Reserved.  The material can only posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author.  It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt    USN(Ret)/Former FBI
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184
San Diego, CA 92108



Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VCNO Moran: Navy Will Be ‘Just Flat Out Of Money’ Without Supplemental Funding; Would Cancel Flight Hours, Ship Avails



February 7, 2017 6:56 PM •

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran delivers remarks at the 2016 Future Strategy Forum at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the re-work required on the recent USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) maintenance availability, due to source error. The ship required seven percent rework and saw a 42 percent growth in work.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Without a readiness-focused supplemental spending bill passed by lawmakers this spring, the Navy and Marine Corps would stop flying at home and ship and submarine maintenance availabilities would be canceled, the vice chief of naval operations and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps said at a hearing today.

The continuing resolution currently funding the government at last year’s spending levels is set to expire on April 28, 2017, and even if lawmakers could pass the Fiscal Year 2017 spending bill for the second half of the fiscal year, budget caps already in place mean that the Navy would receive about $5 billion less than it did in FY 2016. Having started the year, then, at a higher spending rate, dropping down to the FY 2017 budget would cause the Navy to almost immediately run out of operations and maintenance dollars in parts of its budget.

If the Navy did not receive a supplemental spending bill with additional funds for FY 2017, “within a month we are going to have to shut down air wings, we are going to have to defer maintenance on several availabilities for our surface ships and submarine maintenance facilities,” Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told the House Armed Services Committee today at a “state of the military” hearing.
“We would be just flat out of money to be able to do that. I think everyone here knows in ’17 the Navy took a $5-billion cut in its topline, if that comes to fruition that’s $2 billion of readiness cuts we’re going to have to take, which is immediately applied to things like ship avails.”

Five attack submarines would see their maintenance availabilities canceled this year and be put at risk of being decertified if no supplemental were passed out of Congress, Moran added, in addition to similar cuts to surface ship maintenance availabilities.

Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters said “we would stop flying in about July” without a supplemental. He clarified that forward forces would continue to operate, but for units training at home, “all training would cease without a supplemental, and that includes the parts money and the flying hour money.”

Even if the supplemental – which could total between $30 and $40 billion for all the armed services – is passed in a timely manner, the Navy and Marine Corps still face massive readiness issues that money can’t immediately address. Shipyards and aircraft depots face work backlogs stemming from the 2013 start of sequestration and the hiring freezes, furloughs and funding cuts it brought.

Though the Navy has tried to hire thousands of people to conduct maintenance on aircraft carriers and submarines at its four public shipyards, the yards are still unable to keep up with the workload the fleet gives them.

Moran described the cycle of effects the fleet sees from this workforce challenge, using aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush’s (CVN-77) 13-month maintenance availability – which was scheduled to last eight months – as an example.

Bush was late for a lot of reasons. One was the junior nature of the workforce,” the VCNO explained.

“We had upwards of 7 percent of rework on Bush throughout that 13-month maintenance period. So until that workforce gains that experience, we’re going to continue to see rework issues. There are some training issues involved. We are starting to see some nice turnaround in the public yards, but again, until we see that workforce mature,” performance and on-time completion of availabilities will continue to suffer.”

Additionally, USNI News understands, the ship saw 42 percent growth in work compared to the original plans for the maintenance package.
With attack submarines being considered a lowest priority at the public yards, carrier overruns cause a chain reaction: USS Albany (SSN-753) spent 48 months in the repair yard due to repeated delays as the workforce focused its attention on CVNs and SSBNs, meaning an entire crew missed out on going on deployment. And USS Boise (SSN-764) wasn’t even put into the shipyard because the workload is so far over workforce capacity, so the boat is currently sitting in Norfolk and is not certified to dive anymore while it awaits maintenance. That attack submarine will eventually be sent to a private repair yard for maintenance, but USNI News understands that won’t be able to happen until at least FY 2019 and will cost much more than putting the ship into a public yard.

Moran said putting submarines in private yards is sometimes an option when the public yards are stuck on carriers or ballistic missile subs – USS Montpelier (SSN-765) is at General Dynamics Electric Boat currently for this exact reason – but the private yards are not guaranteed to have capacity to take on extra repair work, and in a cost-constrained environment, spending the extra operations and maintenance dollars can be a hard choice to make.
“The very late determination that we no longer have the capacity at the public yards, when we turn to the private yards at that moment it becomes a very expensive proposition,” he said.
“So the degree to which we can … try to drive down cost, it makes it easier for us to have to surge the private yards when (at the public yards) the work exceeds the capacity because of delays.”

These shipyard workforce challenges do more than just affect ship repairs lower on the totem pole, House Armed Services Seapower and projection forces subcommittee ranking member Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) noted at the hearing. The Navy already faces a looming attack sub shortfall, and sidelining these SSNs for no reason other than lack of workforce capacity makes little sense in an increasingly dangerous world.

“We’ve heard from Adm. (Harry) Harris, [U.S. Pacific Command Commander], Gen. (Curtis) Scaparrotti, [U.S. European Command Commander], that they need more submarines now,” Courtney said.
“We’re not going to build a Virginia-class now because it takes five years, but if we could get the Albany, the Boise and those others out and underway, then we can respond to those combatant commanders.”

The sea services also face aviation readiness challenges that go beyond what supplemental funding can immediately fix. Moran said during the hearing that the legacy F/A-18A-D Hornets today take twice as many man hours as originally planned for repairs and maintenance, which only exacerbates the challenges at aviation depots. He said that “on a typical day in the Navy about 25 to 30 percent of our jets and our airplanes are in some kind of depot maintenance,” and overall just over half are unavailable for operations today.

“We can and we do put ready airplanes and ready aircrews forward” but “there’s no depth on the bench behind them if we had to surge forces,” the vice chief said. If a crisis broke out somewhere in the world, “we will be late to get there, if we want to have full-up equipment to get to the fight.”

On the Marine Corps side, Walters said the service requires 589 ready basic aircraft to train, workup for deployment and operate forward. The Marines have only 439 today, which is still 50 more than it had two years ago. He said readiness numbers are moving in the right direction – most pilots are now receiving between 12 and 14 hours of flight time a month, which is still short of the 16 to 18 minimum requirement but much better than at the height of the recent aviation readiness crisis. However, even reaching these ready basic aircraft and flight hour goals would put the Marines at the minimum requirement to stay current on their certifications, and still falls short of helping the pilots become proficient, or “the A-team” as Walters said. The Assistant Commandant said there was no correlation between the flight hours and fatal crashes that have occurred in recent years, but he said that an inability to build proficiency would hurt the service in a high-end fight.

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