Category Archives: power

Sandy AGREES (Reluctantly) With the Governor – Let’s Work It to Our Advantage

To say I was surprised when I read the Governor’s email message (I am on the Governor’s email list not because he knows me but I signed up to get the messages.  I get a lot of propaganda but some useful information and this is one example.) about the mass restoration of civil rights (except firearm rights) to 206,000 felons who have completed their sentences and any probation/parole and paid fines and costs is an understatement.

In fact, my first thought was:  Can McAuliffe do that?  So I looked at the state constitution (after reading some of the early criticism of the executive order from Republicans) to see what it says.  Let’s ask the question:  WWSD:  What Would Scalia Do?  The future patron saint of judges would look to the text of the constitution first.

Here is Article V, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution:

Article V. Executive

Section 12. Executive clemency

The Governor shall have power to remit fines and penalties under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction except when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution; and to commute capital punishment.

He shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each regular session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

I do not see any requirement of a request first nor does it prohibit the use of executive clemency for a class of cases.

I actually called for a class of gay felons to receive a pardon because it was inherently unfair that soliciting straight sex is a misdemeanor (because consensual sex between adults is a misdemeanor and soliciting for a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor) but soliciting gay sex is a felony because of the old sodomy law was a felony and soliciting for a felony is – you guessed it – a felony!  (If I find the link I’ll link to it but it might have been at the now defunct blog Conflicted Libertarian!)  There is no question in my mind a governor could pardon a entire class of convicted persons for whatever reason he or she wants to (except maybe a bribe perhaps) as long as he notifies the next session of the General Assembly.

Could Governor McAuliffe clear death row if he chose?  Well, yes he can. I could find no statute saying the governor cannot do so.  From Article II, Section 1, paragraph 1 (concerning the right to vote):

No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.

It does not say how the governor can act.  And there is no statute limiting the executive clemency power (and such a law would stand on dubious ground as a violation of the separation of powers or the exclusive power of the executive to issue clemency) to only those cases where a request is made.

Not this statute (Code Section 53.1-231) either:

§ 53.1-231. Investigation of cases for executive clemency by Parole Board.

The Virginia Parole Board shall, at the request of the Governor, investigate and report to the Governor on cases in which executive clemency is sought. In any other case in which it believes action on the part of the Governor is proper or in the best interest of the Commonwealth, the Board may investigate and report to the Governor with its recommendations.

The Parole Board is not required to act before the Governor can issue executive clemency neither does this statute require a request.  Nor did I find limits in Title 53 of the Virginia Code on the Governor’s power.

Now I am also on Senator Obenshain’s email list (I might be on another list after this blog post but that is another story) and the senator cites a letter that the counsel for Governor Kaine with a constitutional objection.  Here is the letter in its entirety.

But the letter does not say what it is cited to say (from the Obenshain statement):

“It is clear that the Governor has overstepped his statutory and constitutional authority by signing this executive action, which automatically restores civil rights to over 200,000 convicted felons.  Democrat and Republican Governors dating back more than 30 years have researched this issue and all have concluded that they do not have the sweeping executive authority the Governor has sought to exercise today. Even Governor Kaine reached this conclusion, which his counsel explained in a detailed letter sent to the ACLU on January 15, 2010. As Governor Kaine’s counsel explained, absent an amendment to the Virginia Constitution, a Governor cannot do what this Governor did today.  This is the kind of unconstitutional executive overreach that we have seen all too often in Washington. We deserve better from a Governor of Virginia.

“While I do support a streamlined process to restore civil rights, the Governor has gone too far. I cannot endorse the Governor’s sweeping and unconstitutional action today.  The Governor restored rights without any regard to the seriousness or violent nature of the crimes committed, whether these individuals have paid their court costs in full, whether they have stayed out of trouble since their release, or most importantly, whether they have paid restitution to the victims.  The action today by the Governor fails to respect victims of crime, the rule of law and is clearly unconstitutional.”

But no provision nor case is cited in this statement.  The letter actually says this:

“First, while the wording of the constitutional provision granting the powers of clemency and restoration of rights might be read to support the blanket use of these powers to benefit unnamed individuals, we think the better argument is that these powers are meant to apply to named individuals for whom a specific grant of executive clemency is sought.   A blanket order restoring the voting rights of everyone would be a rewrite of the law rather than a contemplated use of the executive clemency powers.  And, the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling.

Now I agree this order is troubling.  How does a felon determine if he or she can legally vote?  Where would such a conscientious person go to determine that?  What about a registrar of voters seeking to determine if a person before him or her can legally register to vote?  It would seem to me that the better idea would be to say:  Clemency is available and if you ask for it and meet the criteria, apply and it will be granted automatically.

But that is a political not a constitutional argument.  If we accept that the clemency power of a governor is plenary and I suggest it is exactly that than we must accept the legal validity of the order.  This order does not solve the constitutional provision permanently removing the right to vote for felons in the future.

I suggest that the Supreme Court of Virginia has held the governor’s powers are plenary.  See Wilborn v. Saunders, 170 Va. 153, 195 S.E.723 (1938):

   “By the Constitution of Virginia, the governor is empowered to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, and to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law. He is also empowered to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offences, and to commute capital punishment. Const., Art. IV, sec. 5.

“It will thus be seen that certain restrictions are here imposed upon the exercise of the pardoning power which are not found in the laws of England or of the United States. But subject to these restrictions, the effect of the governor’s pardon must be determined by the same rules which apply to a pardon by the British crown or by the president of the United States.” Edwards Commonwealth, supra.

And what did our Supreme Court say about the Crown’s pardoning power?  It was plenary and at first the Governor’s power in the Commonwealth was not plenary but was gradually increased in subsequent state constitutions:

 Prior to the independence of the thirteen former British American colonies, the power to exercise executive clemency lay within the prerogative of the crown. 5 William Blackstone, Commentaries *395–96. After the American Revolution, as part of a general reaction against the unfettered exercise of executive power, Virginia and seven other newly-independent states restricted the exercise of that power to the Governor with the concurrence of an advisory board or council of some kind. The original 1776 Constitution of Virginia granted the Governor the “power of granting reprieves or pardons” but only “with the advice of the Council of State.” The Governor was not given the power to act alone in granting reprieves and pardons until adoption of the Constitution of 1851. In the constitutional revision of 1870, the Governor was given the additional power to “remove political disabilities consequent to conviction of offenses.” 2 A.E. Dick Howard, Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, 641–42 (1974).

Gallagher v. Commonwealth, 732 S.E.2d 22 (Va. 2012)

Now force the issue of the details and embrace it.  Discuss how Governor McDonnell started the process of liberalizing clemency and restoration of rights.  There is an excellent article at Bearing Drift by J. R. Hoeft on the McDonnell clemency legacy (Hoeft disagrees with me on the Governor’s action however).

Suggest that the governor limit his order and streamline the requests to ensure a proper voting roll for each election.  And say to those felons newly enfranchised:  Here’s why we hope you will vote for our candidates.  But let’s not offend them at the getgo.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

RADIO FREE BRAT! Cong. Brat’s Remarks on the Floor of the US House on Executive Power; And Sandy’s Announcement I Promised you Yesterday!

From the Cong. Brat Congressional office:

Rep. Dave Brat spoke on the House floor Monday about President Obama’s illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the United States vs. Texas case being heard by the Supreme Court.

The Governors and Attorneys General of the Texas Supreme Court and 25 other states have brought this significant suit because President Obama issued an executive order that made illegal immigrants lawfully present in the U.S. – an action that he had previously stated 22 times was impossible for him to take.

“The government is handing out work permits and making illegal immigrants eligible to work in the United States as well as receive Social Security, unemployment, [and] disability benefits,” said Rep. Dave Brat. “This only hurts American citizens and taxpayers. What has Congress done about this? Not enough. The real issue in this case is not discretion but whether or not there is any limit at all on presidential power.”

“The founders recognized these distinctions and they made Congress the first branch – among equals – of the Federal government, and the most accountable branch to the American people… the founders created a system of checks and balances to ensure no individual could gain absolute power within the government.”

“Under our Constitution, the Congress is entrusted with all legislative powers – all –  including the power to establish a uniformed rule of naturalization. The founders drafted the Constitution to clearly state that it is not the president who writes the laws, Congress does. Much of the president’s job is to faithfully execute these laws passed by Congress. In fact, neither any immigration law nor the Constitution empowers the executive to authorize, let alone facilitate, the violation of the laws passed by congress.”

President Obama’s usurpation of power “is a threat to self-government itself,” Rep. Brat continued. “Our inaction time and again has expanded the administrative state and left the American people without a voice in Washington.”

Well said.  Almost a Daniel Webster moment.

Too bad two Federal judges got to decide who our representative will be.  And it’s not who we elected.  Cong. Dave Brat.  This whole thing is shameful.

No I do not intend to run against Cong. Wittman although the thought has crossed my mind.  The Libertarians would probably nominate me tomorrow and that would be a great honor.  And running for office is better than you-know-what!

But, that is not my announcement!  Why?  To paraphrase former Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen:  I know Dave Brat and I know I am no Dave Brat!  But I would join the Freedom Caucus immediately if elected.

I herewith announce instead:  As the Greatest Hanoverian said:  “I know not what others may do but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”  Well, I do not know what others may do but when I go to the polls this November, I intend to vote for Cong. Dave Brat.  I’ll write him in.  I’ll walk through a gasoline fire to vote again for Brat!  And no – neither Cong. Brat nor his office nor his campaign had anything to do with my announcement.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Russ Wright Defeats Nancy Russell 57% – 43% for Hanover Republican Committee Chairman

Russ Wright, a Libertarian leaning Republican challenged Hanover County Republican Committee Chairman Nancy Russell for her seat as Chairman of the Hanover Republican Committee 57% to 43%. The final tally was 168 for Wright and 129 for Russell.

It is not a secret in Hanover County or Central Virginia for that matter that I am pleased almost beyond words to purge the last remaining vestiges of former Congressman Eric Cantor’s party support structure from the old 7th District. Part of the glue that held Cantor’s power empire together was the fealty paid by the local District and County leadership structure. Despite the very Conservative nature of the 7th District, a small handful of Committee Chairs and the District Chair held the strings of power and tilted the machine towards Eric Cantor and those he favored. But one by one they have been defeated as the Great RINO – Conservative War waged on.

The first domino to fall was Linwood Cobb, the Chairman of the 7th Congressional District and Eric Cantor’s right hand man in his home district. Fred Gruber landed the first punch that started the dominoes on their way. When Gruber won, many of us realized that Eric Cantor himself was vulnerable. Gruber pulled off an upset the likes of which have never been seen in the 7th District.

And shortly afterwards, Dave Brat knocked off Cantor himself. And the earth shook. And suddenly, Fred Gruber’s win was no longer an anomaly, but it was the defining moment when the mood of the people manifested itself in a real, tangible way. This was not an accident, but the beginning of something huge happening, not just in Central Virginia, but in the entire nation. A massive awakening was happening and the epicenter was Hanover County, birthplace of none other than Patrick Henry.

For far too long the political class has been ruling the people. And that is not how it works in America. Of the people. For the people. And By the people.

The power structure of Eric Cantor’s kingdom was by and large the three big counties surrounding Richmond, Va. Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield. And this was the bulk of the 7th District. And Cantorite Don Williams ruled the Chesterfield Republican Committee, Don Boswell ruled Henrico and Nancy Russell, Hanover. They reported to Linwood Cobb who took marching orders from Cantor.

Boswell stepped down as Henrico Chairman, and has perhaps reformed himself a bit. Don Williams did the same in Chesterfield. But Nancy Russell insisted on trying to maintain power in Hanover – and was soundly defeated tonight.

While it would be an error to believe that the Cantor machine has been powered down, there is no doubt it has been damaged severely. Because the power has been cut by several orders of magnitude. And the new court ruling that moved Hanover from the 7th District to the 1st played a part in altering the makeup of the 7th District power structure. With the removal of Hanover and the addition of other areas, the Cantor RINO’s no longer had a majority on the Executive Committees, the Conservatives do. Which may have played a part in Williams and Boswell stepping down as unit chairs.

With Hanover now a part of the 1st District, we now have Rob Whitman as our Congressman. There is no way around admitting Whitman is establishment. Nancy Russell would have easily been in Whitman’s pocket as readily as she was in Cantor’s. So this County Chair election will have a major impact on Whitman. Scuttlebutt is that Whitman is considering running for Governor next year. But now he has a whole new lineup to consider. The very Conservative Hanover County is now a major player in the 1st District and Whitman is unknown to most in Hanover and for those that know him and his record, the reviews are not good.

But the changing of the guard in Hanover has huge ramifications for the 1st District. The automatic seats that go to unit chairs on the District Executive Committee will not be establishment RINO seats now.

So will Hanover lead the way in sending Dave Brat some help and retiring Whitman (assuming he does not run for Governor next year)? I think it may be too early to see the new members make such an impact that soon.

But Whitman must know he is on a short leash.

And let me just give some credit to a friend and fellow grassroots brother in arms John Dixon. He started a Facebook Group that has climbed to nearly 2,500 members. He named several of us as Administrators and the reach and audience of this group played a huge roll in getting the voters to come out tonight and support Russ Wright. The reach and power of this group cannot be underestimated.

And there are a few politicians that are in the cross-hairs that represent Hanover locally and at the state level who ought to be very concerned with the mood of the voters in Hanover. More jobs are on the line. We are watching and discussing your votes. It is all being documented and cataloged. The radar is high and it is low. You can no longer fly under the radar. The landscape has changed. And it reflects the sour mood on the American people who are no longer going to tolerate deception.

One thing is for sure. More politicians who were planning on long careers at the government trough better be looking for new careers. And ask Cantor. Money won’t save you.

Congrats to Russ Wright and the Conservative movement. Well done!

 


Article written by: Tom White

Trump Bashing Cruz Supporters Can Dish It Out, but They Can’t Take It

While Ted Cruz has been mostly silent on criticism of Donald Trump, the same cannot be said about his supporters. There are a lot of people bashing Trump these days but none more vociferous than the Cruzers. And for the record, I am not blaming Cruz for the actions of his supporters.

And the Trump bashers seem to fall into 3 categories.

  • Ted Cruz supporters who are politically knowledgeable, conservative and, unfortunately far too willing to use spin and outright falsehoods to knock Trump down in order to build Cruz up. Many of these are people with whom I share a basic conservative political philosophy and usually find we are on the same team, supporting the same candidate. And I have no doubt that we shall align behind a candidate in the near future. So some of these attacks on my blog, Twitter and Facebook have been rather vicious and vitriolic, and most fail to mention Cruz at all. It takes some effort to draw them out and know their motive for the bashing. And I have been on the receiving end of this behavior for months. It is disappointing to see many of my friends take this tactic to build up their candidate by tearing down another with false information. It is reminiscent of the tactic Eric Cantor used to paint Dave Brat as a Liberal College Professor. And those spreading that lie refused to listen to reason and truth.
  • The RINO Establishment GOP, the Mainstream Media, RINO Blogs and Democrats. This is also a knowledgeable group who are willing to spread lies and make stuff up in a desperate effort to hold onto power. And Trump threatens this power because he will not play by their rules. And they know that. These are people who really do not care about America, just power.
  • The last category are the low information voters. Unlike the first two groups, these people are not trying to manipulate opinion, they are just reacting to what they hear and accept it without question.

And I get the appeal of Ted Cruz. If Donald Trump were not in the race, Cruz is the only other candidate I would consider supporting. Now I will vote for the Republican Candidate, whomever that may be, perhaps holding my nose again, but I wouldn’t waste my time campaigning for or working for any of the others outside of Trump or Cruz.

And one of the hardest things to do in politics is to back a different candidate than some of the allies you have found on other campaigns. It has happened to me many times over the years and I always intend to “reset” things after an election. We all find different things in different candidates and need to respect one another’s decisions when backing a candidate and make sure we don’t totally burn bridges. We will need each other in the future.

My disdain, contempt and distrust of the Establishment GOP, the big money fat cats that own the establishment politicians and the ruling class elitists is complete and eternal. These people are indistinguishable from the Socialists and Communists in the Democrat party and Ryan’s omnibus bill is absolute proof that the establishment Republicans are no more trustworthy than the Democrats. We worked hard to give these bastards a majority in the House and the Senate and, as usual, our efforts are rewarded with betrayal. And every time we have been betrayed my distrust and ire grows and the American people feel the same, judging by the rise of the outsiders in the polls. Trump, Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina are all manifestations of the traitorous nature of the Republican Establishment’s failure to live up to their promises. It also shows that the GOPe has lost the consent of the governed.

So when it comes down to picking a presidential candidate, I would say in addition to the 4 mentioned above, I would have to add Rand Paul as a possibility. So there were 5 possible candidates for someone looking for a non establishment “outsider” to pick from. Paul has been a horrible candidate and has never picked up steam. Carson and Fiorina have had their 15 minutes and were unable to get past the scrutiny.

Which leaves Trump and Cruz.

As I looked at these two candidates, Cruz has a very short history in the Senate, not unlike our current president. He has no executive experience and as I documented in a post yesterday Cruz offered an amendment to Rubio’s Gang of 8 Bill that would not grant a path to citizenship for illegals, but would provide them “green cards” so they could “come out of the shadows”. He claimed at the time that this was a good faith effort and a compromise that gave the Democrats what they publicly stated that they wanted. And now Cruz calls it a “poison pill” that was designed to show the hypocrisy of the Democrats. So either that is a lie, or he was not being truthful in 2013 about the amendment being a good faith effort. Not a lot was said about this until Donald Trump had the courage to be open and honest about the illegal alien problem. The American public has found Trump’s Politically Incorrect statements on illegal immigration to be what they were all thinking, but afraid to say.

Cruz supported TPA, the trade authority that gives Obama the authority to bypass the Senate on what are essentially treaties. Global Warming, Gun Control, who knows what else? Cruz was for this until public sentiment turned against it.

Cruz wife is a VP at Goldman Sachs. Big money corporations are the difference between big money RINO’s and Conservatives. Very scary money connection.

And I believe Cruz will face many, many legal challenges to be placed on the ballot, as I discussed in yesterday’s post linked above.

These are not B.S. claims, they are facts. We have very little to go on with the first term Senator, but I find these issues to be a pattern. And that is why I could not support Cruz.

And then there is Donald Trump.

I tell most people to disregard most of what you hear about Trump. It is spin, half truths and outright lies. Most of my friends write on Facebook or blog comments “How can you support Donald Trump because he supports …”. Fill in the blanks. And these type of statements are always taken completely out of context, mixed with other things Trump said, culled from 20 year old interviews and spun as if Donald Trump was a politician all his life. And it has been my experience that the Cruz supporters are the most prolific Trump bashers, at least with my statements and comments.

Just a few “for instances”. There are so many lies and distortions I could fill volumes.

Trump is Pro Choice. FALSE. Trump is pro life.

Trump is a Democrat. A Democrat plant. Best friends with Hillary. FALSE. Trump is a Republican. Where the confusion and half truths come in is that Trump was a businessman doing work in the deep blue Northeast. You donate to the people in charge. You mingle with the people in charge. You go to parties with those in charge and invite them to your parties. Schmoozing is the name of the game when you are a businessman. If Trump was a Republican Politician these things would be dis-qualifiers for me. But he did what he had to do to run a very successful business.

Trump is a bully. Trump is brash. Trump is outspoken. TRUE! Trump is a New Yorker. I spent a lot of time in New York in my life and I will admit the facade a lot of people living in The City adopt can be a put off. Loud. Braggadocios. Conceited. But if you think about it, all of these things are the opposite of Political Correctness. An acquired taste for sure. But I believe we need bold and loud to be heard above the spin, lies and deception. And does it work? Damn straight it does. The press hangs on every crude and outrageous statement. And all of these crude and outrageous statements are exactly what needs to be said and exactly what people are looking for. The normal flow for whatever “outrageous” statement Trump makes is:

  • The media reports the latest outrageous statement.
  • The media and the GOP sit around and talk about how this will be the one that finally sinks Trump
  • The people love the statement and cheer Trump for saying it.
  • Trump goes up in the polls.
  • His detractors sink because they are siding with political correctness.
  • His opponents finally adopt the same idea.

How many times we gotta do this before you get it?

Trump wants to shut down the internet. FALSE. Trump wants to control the Terrorists ability to use the internet to communicate and recruit.

Trump hates Muslims and wants to round them up and kill them and their families like Hitler. FALSE. These are two statements made at different times. Trump said let’s “pause” immigration from Muslim countries until we can get a handle on this. Pretty much an intelligent thing to do. Trump also said we need to stop worrying about collateral damage with airstrikes. These people use human shields, even their own family. The terrorists need to know if they kill us and our families, we will hunt them down, those that helped them and kill them. Right now, Obama is not giving the green light – often even buzzing ISIS convoys of oil carrying vehicles so the people will get out and run. They are selling oil for ISIS to fund terrorism. Blow them to Allah. Trump never proposed rounding up and indiscriminately killing Muslims here.

Trump will send blacks back to Africa. FALSE. And yes, I even heard this. I have no idea where this came from but I suspect it is something circulating on black radio. I would NEVER support someone with such a notion.

Trump is not a Conservative. Maybe. But then Eric Cantor always said he was a Conservative. He spoke eloquently of conservative principles and values. And the need for smaller government, lower taxes, bla, bla, bla.  So did John Boehner. And Mitch McConnell. In fact, pretty much all Republicans say this. And then they do the opposite. There are few exceptions to the fact that pretty much every Republican lies about being conservative. Dave Brat is one of those exceptions. And I do not know enough about Ted Cruz in his short time in the Senate to say he is not going to be the next Paul Ryan.

And I love the people that demand to know how Trump will build a wall, bring back jobs, kill ISIS and Make America Great Again.

Funny. No one asks Trump for his specific plans and details when he says he is going to build a great golden tower that will be the envy of the world. Or a hotel. Or golf course. They don’t ask. He lays down the vision and puts the right people in charge and it happens. No one doubts him. It happens.

So why doubt him on the wall, jobs, economy, etc.?

Many people try to look at things Trump said and did as a businessman and hang it around Trump’s neck as his current political policy. Trump could have eschewed any business dealings that were not 100% conservative, refused to use eminent domain and told Bill and Hillary to go to hell. But then he wouldn’t have a successful company. Someone else would have profited from the business he gave up. And he would probably be living an obscure life in a tri-level 4 bedroom in Hoboken.

So when you say Trump is not conservative, I don’t care. Neither are the rest of the Republicans once they get to DC.

When you say Trump supports this or does not support that, I don’t care.

We have been betrayed by the Republican Party time after time. I have reached the point that I do not believe most of them and don’t trust them either. So Trump supporters like me don’t worry about the minutia and litmus tests and playing those “gotcha” games of Trump said.

If Trump builds the wall and stops illegal immigration, brings back jobs that were sent overseas by our overly intrusive government rules and regulations, actually takes the fight to ISIS and other terrorist groups and understands that war is hell, then I will know America is turning around. When we make political correctness incorrect, I will know America is turning around.

I don’t give a rat’s butt at this point about eminent domain, 20 year old health care statements, donations to Democrats, spitting on the sidewalk or anything else. We are being over run by Terrorists and Illegals who likk us and take our jobs. They flaunt our laws and spit in our faves because we are weak. America is an exploited country. So to my Conservative friends who want to know why I support Trump and could care less about the minor stuff, it is the big stuff that is killing us.

Trump has brought up more major issues than all of the rest of the candidates combines.

Trump will be anything but business as usual. So while my conservative friends focus on their conservative checklist that will be tossed in the trash bin as soon as the swearing in is over, I am perfectly fine with Trump accomplishing the major tasks that has him sop far ahead of the pack. Once the country is safe and secure and prosperous, we can turn our attention to the Conservative Checklist.

And that is why Trump supporters are unwavering. We understand that while the rest of the candidates are fighting over insignificant issues and who supported amnesty and who didn’t, and counting angels on the head of a pin or pining for George Bush and apologizing to the Muslims who are killing us, Trump has his finger on the pulse of America. Jobs. Security. Prosperity.

So don’t believe most of what you hear about Trump. Look at the big picture.


Article written by: Tom White

Tweedledee or Tweedledum or ELSE: Portugal President Refuses to Allow Democratically Elected Anti-EU Coalition to Govern!

I have long had a theory:  The United Kingdom would only get shed of the EU if two things both happen:  NO wins the referendum and there is a euroskeptic government in power.  Otherwise the pols will simply ignore the results and try again until the British people get the message (with a nod to Hotel California):  You can check out but you can never leave!  If the vote was say 70-30,then maybe Britain gets out.

Here’s part of my evidence:  The President of Portugal, a ceremonial head of state similar to Queen Elizabeth II, has refused to allow a (partially) euroskeptic coalition of parties to come to power even though they won a majority of the votes!  Here’s the Breitbart report and a commentary in the UK Telegraph.

From the Telegraph:

Portugal has entered dangerous political waters. For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

***

“In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of anti-European forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO,” said [Portugal President] Mr [Anibal] Cavaco Silva.

President Silva explained:

This is the worst moment for a radical change to the foundations of our democracy.
President Cavaco Silva
He’s right about that!  But it is President Silva, probably doing the bidding of the EU leaders in Brussels, who has radically changed democracy.
This is not the case of a Nazi or fascist or another anti-democratic party coming to power but rather those who would restore the sovereignty of the nation of Portugal being refused the levers of power because they do not recognize the sovereignty of the EU.
The left parties who have the majority are going to vote no confidence in the defeated center right coalition and then try to defy the President.  They need to do one more thing:  The people of Portugal need to hit the streets – peacefully – but hit the streets and not let up until Brussels gets the message:  Don’t Tread On Me!  The lesson for my US readers:  The EU is NOT our friend.

Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Washington Post Reports: Freedom Caucus Surrenders. Stabs Constituents In The Heart.

gopeThese are amazing times. It is a rare thing that within just a few hours of writing an article I am given cause to retract it. Earlier today I wrote an article praising the Freedom Caucus for their strong principled stand for an open process and a principled, transparent, and deliberative House of Representatives. Whether through purchase or threat, the real power in the House of Representatives, the imperial chairman of the House and Ways Committee, Cantor Clone and Boehner Lieutenant, Paul Ryan appears to have broken the Freedom Caucus and bent them to his will.

In today’s article, What is the Freedom Caucus Really After, I may have misled my readers in the idea that these “conservatives” were something special and important. They are not. if the Washington Post can be believed.

‘Supermajority’ of House Freedom Caucus to back Paul Ryan’s speaker bid

Hard-line conservatives cleared a path late Wednesday for Rep. Paul Ryan to become House speaker when a majority of some of the most disgruntled House Republicans signaled that they would support his bid for the top job.

The decision to back Ryan by the 40-member House Freedom Caucus, which has risen in power and stature since its founding this year, came after the Ways and Means chairman spent much of his day courting its support.

“A supermajority of the caucus has agreed to support Paul Ryan,” said Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) after a lengthy evening meeting.

If true, it is certain that conservatives have no friends in the House of Representatives. I want names, but I doubt I’ll get them. Instead, I expect to get excuses embroidered in the white flag of Paul Ryan’s promises. When Paul Ryan breaks these promises, these “freedom” caucus folks will grandstand and scream that they were lied to, that they’d been had.

No, Congressmen. You weren’t had. Your constituents were. Again.

I admit that this reaction could be premature – that the Washington Post could be wrong – that the Freedom Caucus could regather its’ wits. If they don’t, however, they ought not be forgiven. We did not embrace them as the lesser evil amongst a lesser evil. They were supposed to represent us.

Share this message in every district represented by a member of the House Freedom Caucus: You Elect Paul Ryan Speaker and You Are Done. Period. End of story.

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

The Taste of John Boehners’ Tears

As I begin to write this, I am unsure whether I will quote the soon to be former Speaker of the House. The left-leaning Republican media in Virginia, New York, and Washington DC are already posting story after story about how unfairly their Dear Leader was treated by the Republican voters. See, we’re too stupid. That’s the problem with Republican politics. Republican voters are just too damn stupid. Yes, you too. You, reading this, you are stupid. See, when Mitch McConnell ran for the Senate on an anti-Obamacare Platform, you were stupid enough to believe him. When John Boehner ran for reelection in Ohio on repealing ObamaCare, you were just too stupid, you believed him.

Of course, they are blaming Ted Cruz and Rand Paul for your stupidity. See, you wanted them to defund ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood and Executive Amnesty. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul said that they’d fight for you, to push legislation as far as it would go, as far as it was possible. That forced the leadership in the Republican Party to pretend to agree with Senator Cruz and Senator Paul. In fact, Mitch McConnell ran for reelection on the Rand Paul Platform and John Boehner ran for reelection as Ted Cruz. But its you stupid, stubborn Cruz and Paul supporters who are ruining the Republican Party.

Yes, the Republicans are being lied to. They are being lied to by Boehner and McConnell, McCain and Graham, the Washington Times and Bearing Drift.

John Boehner announces retirement and then accuses those who oppose him of lying. Why? Because we want votes against ObamaCare – Boehner and McConnell both promised to repeal it. These aren’t serious men. They think of each of you, the republican voter, as an ignorant, worthless, pawn – a rube, an easily manipulated chess piece, a FOXNEWS automaton.

John Boehner, has announced, that the truth is that Republicans, in power or out of power, have no power and can accomplish nothing. If John Boehner is right, than anyone voting for a Republican for anything is a complete and utter moron. They never intended to represent you. They laughed their way through reelection. They pretended to be conservatives, they pretended to care. They don’t. Your only role to the GOP Leadership, is the role of a useful idiot. If you refuse to play that role, my friends, they will unleash the most vicious assaults against you.

As Republicans you have two choices: blind obedience and submission, or revolution against the Republican Leadership. There is no middle ground.

bobamaJohn Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and all the Bush people, Kascich people, and Christie people, are about to fund Obama’s agenda through the end of his term, because they agree with Obama’s agenda. They want Obama’s agenda. They never had any intention of representing you and they never will. These are facts. This is the way things are. If you want to change the Republican Party, you need to change, to exchange, all those who control it. Otherwise, you’ll remain the useful idiots of the rich and powerful – those who care nothing for country, for the economy, or for the future freedom and prosperity of America as a nation. Is it any wonder, that those who seem least contented with government are those who simply are not in the employ of the government or its politicians? If we don’t begin a drastic reduction immediately, we’ll be overrun. Anyone able to make a buck off the Bush Family or the Romney Clan will continue to control the party that used to represent you. Unless you have a hundred million dollars to invest in their power, you will have neither representation nor favored status amongst the elite.

Boehner retiring should not be seen as a victory, but merely the first pawn taken off the chessboard. It’s a step 2. Cantor was step 1. We need a checkmate. We must not rest until we have an entirely clean GOP leadership.


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

This Isn’t Populism. It’s Revolution. It’s Virginia.

Immediately after Congressman Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a 7th District Republican Primary, pundits gave credit to Brat’s populism. He ran against Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce as an economist, which spoke volumes; and he ran against the Washington Establishment and their relative distance and disinclination toward their constituents back home in the States.

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have also been accused of populism, campaigning against an inherently unjust system they feel does not adequately represent the general welfare of the American citizen.

populist-rageOutsiders are often treated as if they are ignorant of our political system and therefore are free to make wild claims and take impossible positions, that while popular with the people, have no chance of ever having an effect on our actual government. However, that’s not what’s happening here. These outsiders are not ignorant of the system, they oppose the system. Furthermore, the depressing nature of that premise is awful. Ideas that appeal to the vast majority of Americans are foolishly campaigned upon by “populists”, but are certain to fail once brought to Washington D.C.? Really? That is a strong admission to the corruption in our federal government?

Shaun Kenney of Bearing Drift published an article entitled On Agrarianism Contra Populism, where he writes that populism “can be summarized as “we don’t understand it, so we’re against it, and nothing will change our minds!” Politicians who run to this simply appeal to the people’s ignorance in order to effect political change knowing they will never truly fix the system. It is an appeal to democracy (lowercase-d, the sort the Founders warned against) and mob sentiment. The worse the economy is, the more populists you will find… which makes them primarily a materialist subset.  Bread and circuses were meant for the populists.”.

It’s the same sentiment we find in Brian Shoeneman’s article, “Tired of Being Lied to? Blame Yourself“. Essentially, the sentiment is this: if you are foolish enough to believe that these outsiders could ever accomplish a tenth of what they say they want to accomplish, then that’s a you problem, not a government problem.

However, the likelihood of an eventuality neither increases nor decreases its’ merit. Appealing to the will of the people wasn’t meant to inspire a pure Democracy in America, but it was aimed at granting the American People representation in government: a representative, Constitutional Republic. However, the vast majority of Americans disapprove of their government (both political parties), the media, and the special interests funding the whole damn circus.

I think what Shaun Kenney and Brian Shoeneman believe is that those of us furiously angry with our government and dedicated to changing it are deluding ourselves about our chances, and by fighting the system as opposed to working within it, are hurting the Republican Party. We want to do impossible things now and won’t be content until we get it.

They see three fundamental problems with the conservatives and libertarians who have dedicated their time and energy to changing this government. First, we can’t raise money. Here we are, lambasting every powerful special interest in the United States of America; screaming about Wall Street (lots of money), K Street (lots of money), and the Chamber of Commerce (lots of money) and excoriating everyone in Washington D.C. with any power at all. They must be thinking, how in the world do these people think they are going to accomplish anything, if they attack everyone in a position of actual power and every organization with enough money to fund a movement or a campaign? Furthermore, we are essentially representing a political philosophy which will deprive 90% of all special interests everything they are actually interested in.

Second, they don’t really believe things are that bad. In other words, these politicians who are out there to fight the system are actually lying to us about how dire and awful things really are. We’re not facing any real fiscal or economic collapse. These politicians are just playing on the fears of the less educated and less productive Republicans in the base, and using those fears to cement their position in politics.

Third, they don’t think we have any solutions. Why? Because all our solutions begin with the words “Stop”, “End”, and “Defund”. These are words that don’t work in this Congress of ours and, thus, they don’t believe they are valid approaches politically. Why run on something that will never happen?

The idea that we can’t change our government, if true, is a catastrophic concept, and I don’t believe it. To call it idealism or ignorance or populism, to fight for radically scaling back the corruption and the infringements of our liberty through taxation and regulation, is just flat out cynical.

It is not idealistic to demand strict adherence to the governments’ role as laid out in our Constitution, nor is it idealistic to demand strict protections of our States’ rights and our personal liberties. Just because this government has reached so far beyond its’ authority and just because we’ve already sacrificed so much of our liberty for some imagined security and stability, doesn’t make that status quo a necessary reality. More importantly, just because something is a reality today, doesn’t make it necessary tomorrow. Change can happen.

I have often been accused of not understanding how Congress works, because I want Congress to do what it is Constitutionally designed to do. I’ve been accused of not understanding how politics works, because I want politicians in the Republican Party to do what they promised their constituents they would do. I’m not idealistic.

We need revolution in this country. Not violence. Not war. Revolution. We need to completely change the way Washington DC and Richmond work.

All that said, and I understand this is cumbersome, the division between these two perspectives brings me to a middle ground. I’m going to get emails about what I say next, but I must put it in perspective, because I want the grassroots to understand what it takes to win.

Middle Resolution, a Virginia PAC, has worked tirelessly around the edges of the system. Every time they take too many steps into the system itself, there is a grassroots backlash. Now, I don’t agree with everything Middle Resolution has done or tried to do, but I very much agree with their approach: Raise money, gather information, and use that money and information to effect campaigns and policy. There is some, not a lot, but some, truth to the idea that the conservative grassroots does an awful lot of screaming and not a lot of politics. Sure, we write a lot of letters and we post a lot of blogs, and once in a while, we even get someone elected. But when it comes to Richmond and Washington D.C. we must not be naive about the system we despise and the power held by those we seek to unseat.

Middle Resolution, more than any other organization in Virginia, has tried to fight the fight and walk that tightrope, because they want to win. They don’t want to just fight for a cause, they want to win. I respect that and I think everyone else should respect that too.

We, the grassroots, are not populists. We are revolutionaries. We recognize that our liberty, our economy, and politics are under siege and we aren’t going to stand blithely by and watch as the system crumbles around us without a fight. We’re going to fight and we’re going to be passionate and we aren’t going to settle for non-victories from those who pretend to represent us. We need to learn to amass power and money and leverage. We don’t have to sell our souls to do so. That’s also a lie. We can work around the edges. We can win on legislation and we can win campaigns, but we’ve got to be willing to focus. I believe that if we were more strategic and more successful we would earn ourselves some respect from those very people we are trying to dethrone.

This isn’t populism. At least, not with me it’s not. I don’t accept that the majority of the American People should get used to being miserable about their government. I don’t believe that special interests should control the agenda. I don’t believe that the elite should rule, regulate, and tax the rest of us into some kind of dark, subservient subsistence. To that, I say no. That’s a future none of us should accept. So we have to fight John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Barack Obama. We have to fight against the Hillary Clinton’s and the John Kerry’s of the world. We have to fight against the Republican Party and the leadership that runs it, because they have given us nothing! Not one thing we can be proud of. Can we do it smarter and more strategically? Sure. We must. But we must be clear about the nature of our pursuit. It’s not populism. It’s not Democracy. It’s a love for our Constitution and our Constitutional Republic, the rights and powers of our State Governments, and the sovereignties guaranteed to us, as individuals. That was the nature of our original revolution and that is the nature of our revolution today.

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

State Rebellion

by Michael Warren

The plan for State rebellion, which has been sent to 50 governors, is available at ReddSkye.com. Michael Warren’s just published book, State Rebellion, proposes that States engage in a legislative against the nationalist government in Washington.

The last two Supreme Court decisions laid the groundwork for the Court to abolish the States. Scalia said the Court was a danger to the Republic and it is. The Constitution defined a federal government but in 5 major power grabs since 1787, nationalist forces have steadily usurped power.

The book describes these thefts but offers a specific remedy: the Palmetto Manifesto. The Manifesto is the plan for State rebellion with its 25 Articles, which if adopted as amendments, would permanently constrain the federal government and make it subject to governance by the States.


Article written by: Michael Warren

What is the Republican Party? And What is Our Place in that Party?

Donald Trump and Third Parties are not viable embryoes for growing or effecting serious political change. Constitutional conservatives and libertarians are trapped within the Republican Party and, perhaps, the error in our thinking is that the Republican Party is our party and that it has some obligation to represent us in Congress.

Dave_Brat_official_congressional_photoIf we take a serious and objective look at the Republican Party, we can see quite clearly that the party is comprised of several specific groups. There are the Corporatists, who have utilized a close relationship between Corporate America and Washington D.C. to amass political power within both State and Federal governments. Their primary concern appears to be securing corporate welfare, writing advantageous tax codes specifically designed to benefit particular corporations and industries, ensuring low levels of start-ups and potential competition, providing a cheap foreign labor base, and ensuring that their specific partners within the private sector recieve enormous special access to all public contracts. This wing of the Republican Party, unsurprisingly, has the most money and power, and does not shy away from throwing its weight around Washington D.C. and all fifty of our State capitals. The Corporatists are probably the second smallest minority within the Republican Party, but due to the nature of their programs, they are certainly the most powerful.

Then there are the “moderates”. The moderates are Republicans who abhor social or religious issues entering into politics. They hold rather conservative views, but feel that religious or social views, generally, do not have a place in national or state politics. Their primary interests are cheap gas prices, low cost of livings, affordable housing, continued access to social security and medicaid, affordable prescription drugs, well paved roads, housing and highway development, low interest rates, and, despite their openness toward immigrants, they would prefer a national immigration policy which prioritizes natural born citizens over cheap immigrant labor. Moderates tend to support Corporatist politicians because of their political pull within the business community and their committment to opposing austerity measures with regard to entitlement reform. Moderates are probably the second largest group within the Republican Party.

The largest group, commonly referred to as “the base”, are Christian Conservatives. They adamently oppose abortion, illegal immigration, any and all federal laws and regulations which seem to remove their Christian heritage from the public square, bureaucratic meddling with their businesses, property, and personal lives. They support low taxes, spending, and regulation, strict immigration laws, prohibitions on prostitution and drug use, and a small, limited federal government. They are Federalists, meaning that they support primary political power in the hands of the States and are staunch advocates for “States’ Rights”. They are suspicious and distrustful of foreign economics and religions being institutionalized in their communities and governments, and prefer assimiliation into American Culture, as opposed to federally mandated integration of foreign cultures into our own public space. They believe in a strong, powerful military, and the concept of “peace through strength”.

Then there are the Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians who have risen up out of a myriad number of constituency groups. These are your political junkies, who oppose all forms of corporate and political corruption. They believe in a strict adherance to the original intent of the United States Constitution, immediate reduction in taxes and regulations, serious entitlement reform and balanced budgets, tax reform, the elimination of most federal departments and agencies, and they seek to undermine the root causes of political corruption (primarily the United States Tax Code, Corporate Welfare, and Bureaucratic waste, fraud, and abuse). These are the folks who show up at TEA Party meetings, attend School Board and Board of Supervisor meetings, and who wage an unrelenting war against the Corporatists and Moderates. They make up less than a tenth of the Republican Population, but have energinzed “the base” with their commitment to fighting on principle and their abhorance of all forms of political corruption. It is the existence of this group of Republicans which has robbed the Corporatists and Moderates of the universal support of “the base”.

The Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians, however, despite energizing the base and returning the Republican Party to power, have almost nothing, legislatively speaking, to show for all their hard work. This begs the question, “Why are we pouring so much time, energy, and money into the Republican Party if we are having absolutely no effect on promoting our legislative agenda?”

The media smears against the “crazies” and “teabaggers” and Republican “right” have pretty much lost us any hope of winning over the moderates. Our real target must remain the Republican Base, that is, Christian Conservatives. Reaching out to them and educating them and engaging them will be necessary for our eventual success. In the meantime, we need to make sure that we are treating those elected representatives, who actually do support our legislative agenda, as unmigated priorities. Only those Republicans should we donate to, campaign for, or vote for in general elections and primaries. I have compiled a list of Republicans who I believe deserve the support of Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians. I will publish their names below.

The reason for the breakdown of the party is simply to communicate this: The Republican Party is represented by Corporatists, supported by Moderates, and elected by “the base”. All our attention should be focused on helping “the base” to become Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians.

Here is a list of candidates that I believe we Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians can support:

In the Senate: Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Tim Scott.

In the House: Ron DeSantis (Florida), Matt Salmon (Arizona), Trent Franks (Arizona), Scott Garrett (New Jersey), Tom McClintock (California), Dave Brat (Virginia), Gary Palmer (Alabama), Jim Bridenstine (Oklahoma), Mark Meadows (North Carolina), Tim Huelskamp (Kansas), Curt Clawson (Florida), David Schweikert (Arizona), Jeff Duncon (South Carolina), Justin Amash (Michigan), Raul Labrabor (Idaho), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), Jim Jordan (Ohio), David Schweikert (Arizona), and Mick Mulvaney (South Carolina).

These Represenatives deserve our financial contributions (if we can afford to do so), our time and energy, our door knocking, and our vocal support. These are the men (oddly, no women) in Congress who are actually fighting for a Conservative and Libertarian Constitutionalist agenda. They are a tiny minority in our United States Congress and we should do everything in our power to protect them. These are the candidates that will be targeted by the Republican Leadership in future primaries. Let us recognize our place in the Republican Party and let us understand who we must support and who we must defeat in order to achieve our legislative agenda in Washington DC. If their name is not on this list, then that politician is not a reliable ally in support of a Constitutional conservative and libertarian agenda. They should not be contributed to or voted for by anyone in our national caucus.

I believe if we begin thinking of the battle this way, that we will have a steadier and clearer view of our position and power, now and in the future. We’ve got to stop looking at the Republican Party as an alternative to the Democrat Party, and begin looking to ourselves as the only long term solution. We have 24 politicians in the United States Congress that support our agenda. Let’s make damn sure we’re supporting them. It doesn’t matter if they are in our state or not. They are our only represenation in the United States Congress.

 

 

 

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker