Saturday, October 31, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter Declares War On Hillary Clinton

by JASmius

Boy, she's getting it from all sides this week, isn't she?:

Democrat presidential [candidate] Hillary Clinton was interrupted Friday by protesters from the "Black Lives Matter" movement while speaking about the criminal justice system at a historically black university.

The former secretary of state was heckled by chants of "black lives matter" reportedly coming from around a dozen people, not long after launching into her speech in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Yes they do," [Mrs.] Clinton responded, rolling with the interruption. "And I'm going to talk a lot about that in a minute."

The disruption continued as [Mrs.] Clinton tried to shout over the protesters.

Now THAT's saying something.  Anybody who can shout down that ear-splitting shrieking is a most impressive antagonist indeed.  In this case, an instance of the Ugly Dutchess being attacked from her left flank for what she truly isn't - a pure-strain Marxist-Alinksyist - versus Wall Street donors abandoning her for her pretending to be a pure-strain Marxist-Alinksyist.

To be fair, we know that BLM isn't specifically going after the ex-FLOTUS, as Bernie Sanders felt their superfluous wrath three months back.  But you'll also recall that Hillary's security headed off an earlier BLM attack a week after the one on the Sanders rally, and she effectively told them to buzz off - then.  Yesterday she was almost plaintively begging them to hear her out, all but groveling before them in an effort to appease them, do anything to allow BLM to yield back control of her campaign event.

That's how far Hillary Clinton's campaign has sunk in the space of ten weeks.  Hell, even Weekend Bernie didn't prostrate and humiliate himself before this insurrectionary racist rabble.  That's how desperate Mrs. Clinton has become in her attempts to placate and pander to the extreme Left, and how acutely aware she is of how far behind she's fallen and the second consecutive crushing primary defeat she's on course to suffer.

Even Donald Trump can't save her from this one.

ISIS Threatens Obama

by JASmius

....though not for the first time, but definitely by the same vicarious means:

A horrifying new fifteen-minute video appears to show Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists beheading four captured Kurdish Peshmerga fighters — and delivering a bold warning to Barack Obama.

The video claims to be the ISIS response to a Delta Force-Kurdish raid in northern Iraq last week that cost American Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler his life.

Two fewer "boots on the ground" that weren't supposed to exist, I guess.

"Obama, you have learned a new lesson," a masked terrorist warns Obama in what sounds like an American accent. “Six of the soldiers of the caliphate faced 400 of your children; they killed and injured them by Allah’s grace.”

Silly jihadist; Barack Obama never learns ANY lessons, because he already knows everything, as befits a "god".  You'd think an ISIS-American would know that.

The warning was delivered before the man executes one of the prisoners, reports CNN, and the other three prisoners are also beheaded by the video's end. Arabic text also appears onscreen, translating as "Peshmerga soldiers that Americans came to rescue."

For ISIS, this is kind of lame, actually.  It would have had greater impact if they'd sawed off the heads, complete with every last scream and gurgle, of captured Delta Force special-ops troops.  I guess they couldn't bag any.

But doesn't appear to have anything to fear from the Kurds, who don't appear to understand the nature of their enemy and the war they're waging against them:

As of Saturday morning, there had not been an official response issued from the White House on the video or the threat.

Naturally.  O still has Foggy Bottom trying to arrange a summit meeting with Caliph al-Baghdadi in Mosul where he can make his next "landmark diplomatic achievement".

But in Kurdistan, regional government spokesman Dindar Zebari told CNN that "ISIS respects no form of human rights. Our message to them is that we will finish them."

Not if you keep one (or more) hands tied behind your backs, you won't:

But Kurdistan will not kill ISIS prisoners in response, Zebari said.

"We hold 215 ISIS prisoners and we treat them according to international human rights laws," he said. "We have also freed eighty-five prisoners who had been suspected of association with ISIS. We do not kill our prisoners."

There's no question that the top priority should be to crush the Islamic State on the battlefield.  But this war is being fought on other battlefields as well, and televised propaganda brutality is one of them on which ISIS remains completely unengaged.

That being said, I'm not suggesting that captured ISIS jihadists - or "soldiers of the Caliphate," if you prefer - be slowly beheaded on camera, complete with every scream and gurgle.  Surely the Kurds could be more creative about it; covering their naked bodies in bacon and frying them to death, say, or burying them in Bibles until they're crushed, or stapling yarmulkes to their heads and firing them out of cannons aimed at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  A mode of execution so humiliating that there would be no question that ISIS's status as the "strong horse" of the Middle East was being squarely and in-your-facedly challenged.

And if you're thinking that that would just provoke the enemy to even more bloodthirstiness, don't sweat it, as that trait was maxed out a long time ago.

Regardless, it's not anything that concerns the Obama Regime.  Not even the Islamic State's North American nuclear offensive begins....

Yellowstone Super Volcano About To Blow?

by JASmius

Nah, probably not:

A huge crack that has formed in the foothills of Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains is not a sign that Yellowstone's massive underground volcano is about to erupt, or anything else more sinister: It's just something that opened naturally, scientists are saying.

The crack measures 750 yards long and fifty yards wide, reports Mother Nature Network, and was discovered by back country hunters who were out hunting for game, not geological mysteries.

The chasm was first reported by SNS Outfitter & Guides, a hunting company, on its Facebook page earlier this week and after that, the news — and the conspiracy theories — have been growing...

The gash appeared over the course of only a few weeks, MNN reports, and shows that large geological events can occur quickly....

But as it turns out, the crack isn't related to the Yellowstone supervolcano, or anything worse, despite the claims swirling around online about it.

"Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock," an engineer has told SNS. "Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated fifteen to twenty million yards of movement."

I'll admit, that's not nearly as "sexy" of a story....

Sorry to "disappoint" you.

Although I should mention that my neck of the proverbial woods is in the opposite direction from where all the volcanic fallout would go, which means that instead of perishing instantly in fiery lava and choking, crushing ash, we would slowly starve and freeze to death instead from the "volcanic winter".

But we'll still outlive all of you.

See what you get for your poor manners?

ISIS Shoots Down Russian Airliner?

by JASmius

Or so they claim.

Yes, I know, it would have been more spectacular to report that ISIS had shot down a MiG-29 or Su-30 fighter in fierce fighting in northern Syria.  But the Islamic State knows Sun Tzu's first rule of the Art of War: Never attack your enemy's strengths, always attack your enemy's weaknesses:

A Russian aircraft carrying 224 people, including seventeen children, crashed Saturday in a remote mountainous region in the Sinai Peninsula about twenty minutes after taking off from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, the Egyptian government said. There were no survivors.

According to Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt's civilian airports, except for three Ukrainian passengers, everyone on board was Russian. An Egyptian Cabinet statement said the 217 passengers were 138 women, sixty-two men and seventeen children. There were seven crew members aboard the eighteen-year-old Airbus 321-200.

A senior aviation official said the pilot had radioed that the aircraft was experiencing technical problems shortly before air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.

The Russian Embassy in Cairo said on its Twitter account that there were no survivors. Russian investigators were searching the Moscow offices of Metrojet, the company that owned the plane chartered by St. Petersburg-based Brisco tour agency.

Wait for it....wait for it....

A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the group said in a statement circulated by supporters on Twitter....

"The fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God," the statement circulated on Twitter said.

Is it real or is it Memorex?  Egyptian officials said the Russian Airbus 321-200 was cruising at 36,000 feet when radar contact was lost.  The operational ceiling of even the best shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles is 20,000 feet.  So unless ISIS managed to steal an entire air defense system and the anti-gravity means to whisk it to remote locales at will, this would seem to be an....overly ambitious boast.  And that would be a semi-plausible theory compared to ISIS getting a jihadist suicide operative aboard that Russian plane, even a Chechen Muslim.  Far more likely is that this is another instance of that renowned Russian fine craftsmanship in aircraft safety.

But it is a reminder that Russia is at war with the Islamic State - and the latter is acutely well-aware of those hostilities.

Wall Street Declares War On Hillary Clinton

by JASmius

Yeah, about that rumored, balleyhooed $2.5 billion campaign warchest....

You know what they say about cynically and opportunistically pirouetting and treacherously biting the hands that have been feeding you for years:

Hillary Clinton funded her New York Senate campaigns with Wall Street dollars, but the same can't be said of her presidential bid. Those donors are giving far more money to Republican presidential hopefuls than they are to [Mrs.] Clinton.
In her White House bid, [Mrs.] Clinton has gotten about $5.9 million from Wall Street for her campaign and super PAC, an analysis of Federal Election Commission data, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics shows.

But former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose poll numbers have tanked, has raised some $30 million from Wall Street, the analysis shows.

Bush isn't the only one pulling in money from Wall Street. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has gotten $12.5 million, mostly from hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken in $5.2 million.

That's not a complete list and tally, but just from that disclosure alone, GOP candidates are raking in more than the Empress is from "the Street" by a nearly ten to one margin.  I don't know if it's because they actually believe that she really has returned to her Marxist-Alinskyist roots or because they don't want to repeat being the cheap dates they were for Barack Obama almost a decade ago, but clearly they're not making the same mistake twice:

Part of the problem with the donors lies with Barack Obama, who collected millions for his first presidential election. Once he was in office, he angered the financial sector first by [sign]ing the Dodd-Frank legislation, which put further rules on the financial industry, and then by saying he didn't seek office to help "a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”

New York financier Anthony Scaramucci told the Hill he helped Obama in his first term because they had a law school connection, but backed Mitt Romney in 2012 because of Obama's anti-business stance....

[S]everal of Romney's donors for 2012 said they will not return to Democrats, with one donor saying in 2008 he got "swept up" by Obama becoming the first African-American president, but now, he knows many such donors will return to supporting Republicans. [emphasis added]

The evil spell of "historic" candidacies worked once, but they apparently don't work twice.  Whether because an overabundance of epidural pigmentation vastly outweighs two X-chromosomes or because Herself is a spectacularly incompetent witch - both, really - this is further evidence that Hillary Clinton's vagina is not going to carry her to the White House any more than is extorted Wall Street protection money.  And she has no political skillset whatsoever.  So.....what's left?  "Just because"?  It's "her turn"?

Oh, wait, I keep forgetting - Donald Trump....

The Clintons never leave home for a presidential campaign without a billionaire insurance policy, after all.

The Waffen-EPA?

by JASmius

During the Second World War, the head of the German Nazi SS (Hitler's secret police), Heinrich Himmler, decided that he wanted his organization to field an army on the Eastern Front against the Soviets right alongside the Wermacht.  It wasn't the SS's job or mission, but he did it anyway, and the Waffen-SS was born.

As Bill Cosby used to say, "I told you that story to tell you this one":

The headline of an op-ed by economist Stephen Moore in Investor’s Business Daily sums it up well: “Why Does the EPA Need Guns, Ammo, and Armor to Protect the Environment?”

And not just a few weapons. Open the Books found that the agency has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear, and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities.

“We were shocked ourselves to find these kinds of pervasive expenditures at an agency that is supposed to be involved in clean air and clean water,” said Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski. “Some of these weapons are for full-scale military operations.” [emphases added]

Looks like Homeland Security has some competition for all that military war surplus equipment, huh?

Now let's remember that the Environmental Pollution Agency is, first and foremost, unconstitutional; there is nothing in any of the seven articles and twenty-seven amendments that delegates any authority to the federal government from the States over environmental protection or regulation.  Consequently, EPA is a rogue agency by definition.

So why do a supposed bunch of ecologists need an army?  Because Grüneführers Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy decided they wanted one?  Now why would they want or need an army?  Logically, its only purpose would be if they anticipated having to fight large battles.  Why would the EPA anticipate fighting large battles?  Logically, the only two possibilities would be if (1) they anticipated their roaming bands of ecologists being attacked, in which case they could certainly have had armed escort from local or federal law enforcement, one would think; or (2) they planned acts of aggression against American businesses and citizens to seize land and property by force.

If any of you have any plausible alternative scenarios, feel free to leave 'em in the comments.  Heck, I'll even grant you that the above military hardware list doesn't make EPA a full-scale army.

But it does make them a full scale....SS.  Only difference is the identity of its targets.

Welcome Halloween. I don't celebrate.

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Sure, I used to dress up.  I have no problem with my grandkids dressing up and going out "Trick-or-Treating" to a few neighborhood houses, friend's houses, or to harvest festivals set up by churches that are designed to provide a positive alternative environment.  We used to sit beside our door, watching television, with a bowl of candy next to us for the myriad of dressed up ghouls and goblins and wacky costumes that would come to our door.  It's all for fun.  I get it.

Halloween is a super-charged media frenzy, and opportunity for corporate giants to make more money.  The 99% that claims to hate corporatism are all out there celebrating Halloween, spreading their money to the corporations they claim to hate.  It's kind of hypocritical, in a political sense, one may think.

The origins of Halloween are connected to the end of summer sacrifices, All Hallows Eve, and a belief that evil spirits were all around and that the way to escape them is for humans to wear disguises making them look like the evil spirits themselves. As the sky darkens, and a darker winter dances in the near future, the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Most of the things we do in connection to Halloween can be traced back to ancient pagan rites and superstitions.  In today's society, the Wicca (religion of the witch) consider Halloween to be a very important day of the year, and for those that practice witchcraft, Halloween represents an opportunity to embrace the evil, devilish, dark side of the spirit-world.

Christianity has actually attempted a number of times in history to offer an alternative so that what has become Halloween would hopefully lose steam. Now, Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes, because the truth is, in today’s Western culture it seems impossible to avoid Halloween.

I am reminded that evil never appears as darkness, but as an angel of light to deceive and to establish itself.  Christians are supposed to be the light of the world, the true light, the light powered by Jesus Christ so that the darkness of the world will retreat.  Reality is, evil does exist, a spiritual war is currently being waged, and as Christians we should not be intentionally promoting an annual event that is designed to celebrate evil and view the dark-side of the spirit-world as being the side that holds the ultimate power.

We live in The World, but that does not mean we should hop into The World with both feet, or stand with one foot in The World, and the other in Christ.  As Jesus said, we are either for Him, or against Him.  So, rather than celebrate the darkness that Halloween represents, we should be spending time together celebrating Jesus Christ, and the heroic efforts of Christians in history, and today.  We should be discussing and praying about the persecution of Christians worldwide.  In Islamic countries, for example, it is not uncommon for Christians to be singled out, and beheaded, lit on fire, or slaughtered for the sole reason that they follow and worship Jesus Christ.

As Christians, while the macabre world of Halloween mirrors the true intent in the hearts of many people, we should be outwardly celebrating how good always triumphs over evil, and how Jesus Christ's life was triumphant over death.  It is no surprise that Halloween has become so popular.  When one examines the annual event's roots, we realize it now mirrors a society that is experiencing immoral ruin.

In addition to our celebration of our Christian Faith, on this Halloween my wife and I have other things to celebrate.  We are going to enjoy going out tonight to an empty restaurant (empty because most are out celebrating Halloween), and attending Christian gatherings, while The World is out and about worshiping the evil that has grabbed a hold of our society.
The culture is rolling in the blood of death, cheering at anything that defies Godly faith, and is calling for false gods to fill the gaps they believe they have in their lives.  God gave us the desire to seek Him out, but when we reject his very existence, we will seek other things. . . but they will not be fulfilling for only the Love of Christ can fulfill our longings for spiritual contentment.

The pagans in Hollywood ran around with goat heads and Satanic symbology on the stage at the Grammys, and other gatherings.  The statists celebrate the slaughter of Christians, while welcoming the invading forces of Islam that call themselves "refugees."  On television and in conversation I hear about fertility gods (and goddesses), rituals and a perversion of our moral standards.  Christians are being targeted for their faith, and the force of law is being used to coerce Christians into compliance with The World's evil agenda, be it homosexuality, abortion, or other celebrations of death and perversion.  They seek other gods, but will never be fulfilled.

I don't think there should be a law against Halloween, or evil worship.  I am a constitutionalist.  I support the idea of liberty.  And I am anticipating comments that will sneer at what I wrote here, calling me names, or accusing me of being some kind of nonsensical or mentally challenged so-and-so.  Fine.  The World always reacts in rebellion to God's Word, and those that proclaim it.

I will not assist in helping the culture of death and evil evolve into what it is becoming.  People are free to be stupid.  It just bothers me that so many people abuse that privilege. . . and I don't plan to participate in expanding it.  It would not be the Godly thing to do.  As Christians, we should not participate in worldly traditions that stand in opposition to God.  We should ignore the accusations that we are trying to "spoil the fun," and recognize the seriousness of what Halloween is, and has become.  That, my friends, would be the Godly thing to do.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Email of the Week: Liberal Contributions in History?

By Douglas V. Gibbs

A reader/listener asked in their email about a letter to the editor in a local paper that claims Liberals were responsible for giving women and African Americans the vote, created social Security, ended segregation, passed the Civil rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, ..and the Republicans opposed all those efforts.

What does our political history say?

Here's my response:

The women vote was something that was suggested by a number of the Founding Fathers, including Aaron Burr. The 19th Amendment finally was proposed and adopted after more than a century of work by Christian Women. The liberals later hijacked the women's movement, and from it emerged feminism, which ultimately changed the women's movement into something that has become destructive and divisive.

The Black Vote was brought about by the 15th Amendment, of which the Democrats fought against. The battle against allowing blacks to vote eventually led to poll taxes, which encouraged the civil rights movement and the proposal of the 24th Amendment. The Republicans wrote the Civil Rights Act and supported it, while the liberal Democrats filibustered against it (a group that included Al Gore, Sr.). Democrats tended to be very racist until Johnson reluctantly signed the Civil Rights Act, and then he vowed to gain the black vote (though he used the "N" word in one instance) by giving them gifts from the treasury to earn their loyalty. . . which became The Great Society. In other words, the liberal Democrats bought the black vote with welfare payments. Prior to that, blacks were usually Republicans. The Voting Rights Act is an unconstitutional law which establishes preferential treatment of some States over other States. So much for the liberal idea of equality and equal treatment.

Liberal Democrats did create Social Security, which is actually unconstitutional. There is no expressly enumerated authority in the Constitution for the Federal Government to administer such a program. However, it would have worked fine if the money in the Social Security program remained separated from the general fund. As liberals always do, in an effort to expand the government they always seek more revenue, and raided the Social Security fund so that they could use the money for other liberal policies. The raiding of the Social Security fund is what ultimately placed it at risk, and is leading the program to ultimate failure.

Ending segregation eventually became a policy supported by both sides, though originally most Democrats opposed it. However, it was the liberal left's idea to use military force to coerce the States into compliance. Using the military to force States into compliance was something the Founding Fathers feared. In fact, a standing army was the second most dangerous thing that was discussed. Jefferson remarked that a standing army that could be used against the States was something that must be met with force by the public (hence, the reason for the 2nd Amendment). In Jefferson's opinion, the only thing worse than a standing army is a private bank issuing the currency. . . you know, like the Federal Reserve.

I hope that answers your questions.


Douglas V. Gibbs
Director, Center for the Study of the U.S. Constitution
President, Constitution Association
Radio Host, KMET AM1490
Publisher, Table Top News
Author, "25 Myths of the United States Constitution," "The Basic Constitution,"
and "Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous Society"

Burning Bush

by JASmius

There's losing gracefully, with dignity, then there's sore losing, and then there's the way that Jeb Bush is losing his complacent, overconfident, entitlement-mentality-addled bid to carry on the family presidential business, which I can only characterize as delusional incoherence.

After his clunky, telegraphed, humiliating smackdown at the hands of Marco Rubio the other night, Jeb is almost maniacally trying to convince Republican voters that no, he's not quitting this race, yes, he's still got a huge campaign warchest, and yes, he is going to win the GOP presidential nomination.

The thing is, I think the person he's trying to convince of all that first and foremost is himself:

Jeb Bush tells Newsmax TV that he can reverse his low poll numbers and eventually win the Republican presidential nomination.

"The comeback kid is the narrative that the press would love," the former Florida governor told Newsmax Prime host J.D. Hayworth in an interview airing Friday. "They love to push you down and then allow you to come back up to push you down again. That's the way it seems to work.

Yeah, they'd love him to come back - as would the RNC, evidently - as he would be a general election tomato can for Mrs. Clinton or Weekend Bernie Sanders.

"There's a long way to go and the early States matter," he added. "What you'll see is that I will rise first in places like Iowa, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire, theoretically; Iowa his campaign has already effectively abandoned,

"We have a great organization — the super PAC that's affiliated with our campaign helping my candidacy's advertising now — I think that will help.

Yeah, like it's helped him to mid-single-digits in the polls and the third tier at best.

"And, I'm running with a lot heart and a lot of passion and conviction — and we're building a great ground game," Bush said. "I'm going to win."

If you've got to tell yourself that you've got a lot of heart and passion and conviction, clearly you lack all three.  In Jeb's case, it's palpably obvious to everybody except him.  It's almost painful to watch, the classic case of a player whom the game has passed by without him realizing it.  Peggy Noonan in her Wall Street Journal column today delivered Bush III a devastating reality check:

It’s widely believed among high Jeb supporters that Mr. Trump — The Gong Show, as they call him — has kept Mr. Bush from rising. But Mr. Trump isn’t the problem, he was the revealer of the problem: Jeb just isn’t very good at this.

He’s not good at the merry aggression of national politics. He never had an obvious broad base within the party. He seemed to understand the challenge of his name in the abstract but not have a plan to deal with it. It was said of Scott Walker that the great question was whether he had the heft and ability to go national. The same should have been asked of Jeb. He had never been a national candidate, only a governor. Reporters thought he was national because he was part of a national family.

He was playing from an old playbook — he means to show people his heart, hopes to run joyously. But it’s 2015, we’re in crisis; they don’t care about your heart and joy, they care about your brains, guts and toughness. The expectations he faced were unrealistically high. He was painted as the front-runner. Reporters thought with his record, and a brother and father as president, he must be the front-runner, the kind of guy the GOP would fall in line for. But there’s no falling in line this year. He spent his first months staking out his position not as a creative, original chief executive of a major State — which he was — but as a pol raising shock-and-awe money and giving listless, unfocused interviews in which he slouched and shrugged. There was a sense he was waiting to be appreciated.

I speak of his candidacy in the past tense, which is rude though I don’t mean it rudely. It’s just hard to see how this can work. By hard I mean, for me, impossible. [emphases added]

He's playing from an old playbook, alright - circa 1956, roughly.  And just as he couldn't read the situation and audible away from the planned attack on Senator Rubio over his missing Senate votes Wednesday night, so he just lazily assumed that his surname and a hundred million dollars would be enough all by itself to land him the Republican nomination and the presidency that he considered his family's birthright.  But it hasn't turned out that way, and now he's desperately trying to figure out why, and he's failing, and it's leading him in inexplicable directions, like, for example, doubling down on his quasi-nihilistic war against his one-time protege Marco Rubio:

The way forward has become a matter of debate for Mr. Bush, with his donors and advisers split on how to contend with Mr. Rubio. There is little appetite among contributors for a full-scale assault on the senator, who many of them like and would support if Mr. Bush quits…

But among Mr. Bush’s top aides and his super PAC, there is growing contempt for Mr. Rubio and a desire to attack him.

Danny Diaz, Mr. Bush’s hard-charging campaign manager, has told people he would like to accelerate the assault on Mr. Rubio. At a briefing earlier this month for congressional chiefs of staff whose bosses are backing Mr. Bush, Mr. Diaz bragged about the size of their opposition research file on the senator, and said they were prepared to begin a full-scale attack, according to a presidential campaign veteran who was briefed on the conversation and requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Mike Murphy, the longtime adviser to Mr. Bush who now controls the super PAC, has told people he would like to go after Mr. Rubio but does not want to do so immediately after the debate because it could reinforce a perception of desperation.

I have just one question, and it can be distilled down to one word: WHY?  What does going kamikaze on rightwing Dezi accomplish for Jeb?  How does it help his "comeback kid" gimmick?  The math doesn't add up.  If the ex-Florida governor could glom Rubio's support tomorrow, he would vault all the way to.....roughly 15% in the polls, a distant third behind Carson and Trump.  He'd be THE "establishment" candidate again, but so what?  If anything should be abundantly clear by now, it's that "establishment" candidates are anathema to the GOP base in 2015.  Equally obvious is that Rubio is a superior candidate to Jeb - younger, more articulate, more charismatic, more telegenic, more knowledgeable, more electable.   If Jeb wanted to be a statesman instead of a spoiler, he would "take one for the team" and get out of Rubio's way.

Besides, trying to cut Rubio's balls off couldn't help but reinforce that perception of desperation whether it was now or a week or month from now.  It would be a pathetic epilogue to a family political dynasty that has always prided itself above all else on selfless public service.  And it would not accomplish its objective anymore than Jeb did on the debate stage Wednesday night.

Speaking of the perception of desperation and disarray:

The chief operating officer of Jeb Bush's struggling presidential campaign is reportedly out – the highest-ranking official to leave in a shakeup announced last week.

Christine Ciccone was responsible for logistics and got paid about $12,000 a month, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"We are grateful to have had Christine on the team, we respect her immensely," Bush spokesman Tim Miller tells the Journal.

You know what they say about "women and children first".....

Man vs. Food: Get Ready For the Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Burger

by JASmius

If only this burger had come along five years ago before Adam Richman lost those fifty pounds.  I'd have been fascinated to see his reaction to what may ostensibly be the ultimate example of "two great tastes that taste great together".

Although I have to admit that at first glance, anyway, I'm not so sure about this combination.  We've seen bacon on maple bars (MvF season one, Portland, OR episode, Voodoo Donuts), which is now a staple in every supermarket bakery. a bacon cheeseburger using a Krispy Kreame doughnut in place of a bun (MvF season two, Baseball Special episode), and a cheeseburger with cheese injected into the patty (MvF season one, Minneapolis episode, the "Juicy Lucy").  My jury is still out on the Reece's peanut butter cups as toppings along with the onion rings and bacon, but chocolate spurting out of the middle of the patty?  It's possible to like individual tastes and still have them not belong together.

And then add ketchup and/or mustard and/or barbeque sauce?  Aren't some of those condiments also sweet?  Just seems weird.

One thing you can't call this sandwich is a "palate-cleanser," though.

Hard Starboard Radio: The High Cost Of Climate Fraud

Austria sells out of shotguns as Muslim invasion escalates; Praying Bremerton, WA, high school football coach suspended; Red China moves to the right of Planned Parenthood; Barack Obama to start using White House ladies room; Obama NOAA withholds climate documents from Congress while Barack Obama flack for his economically ruinous, climatologically irrelevant "climate change" plan; Russian warplanes buzz U.S. aircraft carrier; Senate easily passes bipartisan budget Act; and VA scandal continues, vets still waiting, dying.

No ass hose, smaller dosage, short leash on Open Thighs Friday at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

VA Scandal Continues, Vets Still Waiting, Dying

by JASmius

Barack Obama's political scandals always unfold the same way:  He reads about it in the newspapers, he's angrier about it than we could ever be, he pledges a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of it, time passes, he eventually reverses course and gives his Regime a clean bill of health, DOJ decides not to prosecute, the thorough investigation is closed, and that's that.

Barack Obama's policy scandals also unfold the same way: He reads about it in the newspapers, he's angrier about it than we could ever be, he pledges a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the problem, maybe a top head rolls, time passes, and nothing changes, because to actually reform this little slice of government-run single-payer healthcare would be to kneecap the Agenda and the Narrative, and they're far more important and vital than, in this case, veterans' lives.

Such is the case with the Veterans Administration, whose body count continues to inexorably mount:

Days after Hillary Clinton said that Republicans have inflated problems at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to make them appear more “widespread,” three reports point to shortfalls and mismanagement at VA facilities across the country.

The VA Office of Inspector General released three separate reports on VA facilities in Alaska, Illinois, and California this week that found insufficiencies at the locations.

The first assessment, released Wednesday, found that a veteran who could not eat because of difficulty swallowing experienced a delay in getting care at the Oxnard Community Based Outpatient Clinic at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in California. The patient later died.

The inspector general also found evidence of delayed care for hundreds of patients requesting consults at the facility. The investigation found that 548 neurology consults had been open for over thirty days, and nearly half of those were open over ninety days. Nearly two dozen general surgery consults were also found to have been open for more than ninety days.

The same day, the inspector general released another report evaluating operations at the Alaska VA Healthcare System in Anchorage. It found that one licensed health care professional at the facility had been caring for patients for six months despite having “expired privileges.” Eighty percent of new employees also had not received suicide prevention training.

The Alaska medical center failed the infection prevention assessment, as clean and dirty items were stored together in 75% of the patient care areas reviewed by the inspector general. The facility also had not corrected multiple physical insufficiencies that were identified as long as two years ago.

All of these various and sundry problems are not isolated, but systemic, and for the same reason as every other shortcoming of any socialized system: The incentives are not to provide patients the best possible care at the lowest possible price, but to self-nest-feather, do as little work as possible and collect as much in salary and benefits as possible, and cover up mistakes and omissions to evade accountability.  You can change VA Commissars and you can shovel money in unprecedented stacks into the VA's insatiable maw, but until the system is reformed - which is to say, until the leftwingnut Agenda and Narrative are challenged and kneecapped - the systemic problems are going to continue.

And yet that very reform is what Hillary Clinton considers to be the scandal.

The government-run, single-payer VA system doesn't work and is killing via malign neglect veterans right and left, but that's less important than putting over the fiction that "No VA = no veterans healthcare".  It's a page out of the Democrats' 1965 playbook, and shows how clumsy, obvious, and hamfisted are the Empress's blunt efforts to pander to the extreme Left that is the base of her party.  It was so bad, so pathetic, that she drew stiff bipartisan criticism, to where she had to walk it all back by the usual claim of having been "misinterpreted".

But we didn't "misinterpret" anything.  We knew, and know, exactly what she meant, and what that means for the VA: If Hillary Clinton is elected president, the best that veterans can hope for is that the government-run, single-payer system doesn't deteriorate further - a very poor wager.  To actually improve things, to affect change, means a change at the very top, in the Oval Office.  Such change can and will never happen otherwise.

And vets will continue to die at the cobwebbed hands of the VA.  Which is apparently A-OK with Hillary Clinton.

After all, she's got an Agenda and a Narrative to advance, whether or not she actually believes in it.

Senate Easily Passes Bipartisan Budget Act

by JASmius

"This is exactly the opposite of what every conservative Republican in America wants, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it,  I will filibuster it, I’ll delay it, I’ll shout about it. I’m going to talk about it until I’m tired of talking about it and until people wake up and say this is wrong for the country....What's that?  It already passed?

"Um, never mind":

The Senate voted early Friday morning to approve a two-year budget deal that would increase spending limits and avert a damaging default, essentially ending the budgetary battles that have defined Barack Obama’s relationship with Congress in recent year

The legislation passed by a vote of 64-35 after overcoming objections from conservative senators, including presidential candidates Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), that forced a rare series of votes at 1 a.m. Barack Obama has until November 3rd to sign the agreement before the debt-limit deadline set by the Treasury Department.

Parenthetically, what if Obama changed his mind, decided that the BBA still doesn't have enough domestic spending and has too much defense spending, and vetoed it instead, forcing a default in order to extract even more concessions from congressional Republicans?  I mean, it's not as if the media wouldn't take his side and blame the default on the GOP for being so "cruel and miserly," nor that the American public wouldn't back his gambit as well.  And he'd have absolutely no reason not to expect Boehner and McConnell to give him everything he demanded and more.

Just a thought for those of you out there who think that there's such a concept in Barack Obama's reality as "enough".

As for the BBA, it was always going to pass, because it unites Democrats and divides Republicans between fiscal conservatives who believe that conspicuously fighting this White House can ever succeed and defense hawks who understand that without a country no other issue matters.

Not that Ted Cruz was wrong in his Senate floor comments, other than his use of one obnoxious term:

Conservatives in both chambers criticized the deal both because it was hatched behind closed doors rather than through the committee process and because they argued it is bad policy.

Many complained that the provisions in the bill that are used to offset the cost of the new spending are gimmicks or promise savings in the future for money the government will spend immediately.

Cruz criticized leaders for negotiating behind closed doors and for agreeing to Barack Obama’s [commands] for additional spending.

“This wasn’t a slapdash on a post-it note last night,” Cruz said. “This represents days or weeks or months of negotiations. This represents the Cartel in all of its glory because this is the combined work product of John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.” [emphasis added]

No, it represents the work product of Nancy Pelosi and Harry (G)Reid forcing John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to pass it at figurative gunpoint.  The reality is that as long as Barack Obama and his pen, phone, and putter are in the White House, congressional Republicans, as a practical political and power matter, will never have any leverage.  And Boehner and McConnell will not "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!: without that leverage.  They know that if they force a default showdown, the GOP will be forever blamed for it, and that Obama would just take what he wanted anyway by Executive Order and a majority of the constitutionally ignorant American public would support him.  That's the lesson GOP leaders took from Senator Cruz's 2013 shutdown showdown, which he promised would move mountains and work miracles but in the end turned out precisely as we old-pro political observers always knew it would.

I believe the old expression goes, "Never throw rocks at a guy holding a machine gun."

Don't misunderstand, had I been a Member on either side of the Capitol, I would have voted against the BBA, for the non-fratricidal reasons Senator Cruz gave.  Like I said, he wasn't wrong.

But the political and power realities are what they are.  And it's long past time that conservatives stop raging against the darkness and start electing some more lit candles, starting with a sympatico POTUS over whom gaining leverage will not be necessary.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Temecula Constitution Class: The End Is Here

Constitution Class Handout
Temecula, Faith Armory
41669 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA  92590

Thursdays at 6:30 pm

Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs

Lesson 21
Final Amendments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for Discussion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Questions  for Discussion:

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

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

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

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

5.  How is Washington DC’s representation limited?

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

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

Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., History and Heritage, (2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for Discussion:

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

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

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

4.  Who prescribes the times and manner of elections?

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

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


Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed,
and "Top Two", Fair Vote:
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)
Tom Spencer, American-style primaries would breathe life into
European elections (2004):
Ware, Alan. The American Direct Primary: Party Institutionalization and
Transformation in the North (2002), the invention of primaries around 1900:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If the President's incapacitation prevents him from discharging the duties of his office and he himself does not provide a written declaration, the President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House.  If the Vice President and the officers of the Cabinet believe the President's condition is preventing him from discharging the duties of President, they may within four days of the President's declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated.  If not in session, the Congress must, in this instance, assemble within 48 hours.  Within 21 days of assembling or of receiving the second declaration by the Vice President and the Cabinet, a two-thirds vote of each House of Congress is required to affirm the President as unfit.  If such actions are satisfied the Vice President would continue to be Acting President.  However, if the Congress votes in favor of the President, or if the Congress makes no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would resume discharging all of the powers and duties of his office.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  Why do you think there was no line of succession clearly defined prior to the 25th Amendment?
2.  Why do you believe nobody took on presidential powers after President Wilson’s stroke in 1919?
3.  How does a President’s incapacitation affect the overall functioning of government?
4.  Would a President’s incapacitation influence government functioning differently in a time of war?
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

Understanding the 25th Amendment,,

United States Constitution and Citizenship Day: 25th Amendment,

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

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

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

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

Questions for Discussion:
1.  How has the inclusion of voters over 18 and under 21 influenced politics?
2.  Was the “old enough to fight, old enough to vote” campaign a new campaign?
3.  Did he political strategy being the 26th Amendment succeed?
4.  Why do you suppose the Democrats targeted the vote of the younger generation?
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010)

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

Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote, Nixon Foundation,

Repeal the 26th Amendment! by Anne Coulter, Townhall,

Youth Vote: Dems’ Secret Weapon 40 Years in the Making? by Carl M.
Cannon, Real Clear Politics,

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

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

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

Questions for Discussion:

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

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

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


Amendment XXVII: Congressional Compensation, United States

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

Members of Congress Haven’t Had a Raise in Years, by Jesse Rifkin,
USA Today,

Notes on the 27th Amendment, Constitution of the United States
“Charters of Freedom”,

Understanding the 27th Amendment,,

Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs