Category Archives: right

McDonnell v. United States is at the Supreme Court TODAY! Please Pray!

I know many readers might disagree but I want to encourage all to pray that former Governor Bob McDonnell’s convictions be overturned.  He might be extremely foolish but he is NOT a crook.  There will be more of these prosecutions if McDonnell loses.

Please join me in prayer that the Court will decide this right.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Should Tim Tebow Run for Congress? Could Be Good Idea – If Tebow Would Join Freedom Caucus!

All my readers know about my admiration for Tim Tebow (Even though he turned down the Crimson Tide for the Florida Gators – but hey nobody’s perfect!)

Check out this report from Christine Rousselle at Townhall:

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is reportedly being eyed for a Congressional run, the Washington Examiner is reporting. After Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who represented Florida’s Fourth Congressional District unexpectedly announced his retirement, some were quick to speculate about a potential Tebow candidacy.

***

Personally, I’m torn about this idea. Tebow certainly has good character and solid values, but I’m not sure he’s ready for Congress just yet. It’s interesting to note that if he were elected, he’d be the youngest member of Congress by about two years.

I think Tebow would bring some needed integrity and personal drive and discipline to Congress, an institution that sorely needs it.  Could he stand up to Speaker Ryan?  Well, if he said no to this girl right here, I think he’d have the integrity and strength of character to say no to useless spending and futile compromises that just leave it for President Obama and his allies to win the field.

I want to encourage Tebow to consider the run but he needs to answer these questions:

  • Would Congressman Tim Tebow join the Freedom Caucus?
  • Would Tebow help our [now former!] Congressman Dr. Dave Brat to get out economic house in order?

If the answer is YES to both – I’ll help him.  Anyone in the US can donate money to any congressional candidate in any district.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

I Don’t Support Marco Rubio but he NAILED One Debate Question!

I am not endorsing Marco Rubio; I am sticking with Governor Gilmore but I turned the debate on (I watched most of the undercard and thought Gilmore did best with Huckabee a close second) and Senator Rubio got a question that alluded to him as the “savior” of something – the Republican Party I think and he nailed it when he opened up with this (A paraphrase):

“There was a Savior and it isn’t me – Jesus Christ is the Savior and He died for my sins.”

I was thinking (one time I helped an attorney on an appeal and I was called the “savior” and I felt convicted by the Lord that I better deal with that and I said something very similar to that legal assistant) what will Rubio say about that?  And he nailed it.

Rubio is a fabulous speaker and I do not understand why he has not done better.  Probably the association with NY Senator Schumer and the immigration mess has hurt him.  Maybe his polished skills are a detriment in this outsider year.  (Too bad Ron Paul is not ten years younger – he’d be right in the mix this election.)

But Rubio’s confession of Christ Jesus as Savior when he was called the “savior” of the GOP, is something I thought was right and wonderful!  Yes I know he wants the huge evangelical vote in Iowa and other places but it was the right thing to say.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Trump Focuses on the Big Things While Cruz is Stuck on Minutia

Stuck on roofImagine you lived in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck and as the levies broke and allowed the flood waters to engulf your house, your only hope was to bust holes in your roof to keep from drowning.

And then imagine a rescue boat came by.

Would your first question be ‘Do you think Eminent Domain is a good thing?’

Or ‘Were you at any time pro abortion or say maybe we don’t need assault rifles?’

And if the response was ‘long ago, but not any more’ would you send the rescuers away?

Would you tell them that you will wait for someone who agrees with you on the minutia while you are in mortal danger?

Of course not. You would gladly hop in the boat knowing that you must deal with the real and immediate threats first. And maybe, when the waters recede and life returns to normal you will have the luxury of some day passing up a cab on Bourbon Street because the driver favors Eminent Domain or is Pro Choice.

But right now, perched on a roof surrounded by rising waters you have to take care of solving the most immediate and threatening problems.

Folks, this country is a sinking ship. We have waves of illegal immigrants flooding across the bow, ISIS is sending in terrorists to poke holes in the life boats, China is tossing heavy weights into the ship, our military is too weak and too spread out to help us, we have no jobs and the big banks are pushing the Captain into deeper and deeper waters.

I care about government taking private property to give to developers. The Kelo decision allowing such action was a horrible decision. Killing the unborn rips my heart from my chest. I am not happy with anyone who gives money to Democrats, especially ones like Hillary Clinton that should be in jail in a just world.

But if we don’t address the big problems, if we allow the Democrat controlled press and the RINO establishment to continue giving away America and throwing open the doors to anyone and everyone because “that’s who we are”, then there will not be an America for much longer. And none of the ideological things will amount to a hill of beans.

We all know the ship is sinking. Most of the people who read this blog are Conservative and Christian and Patriots.

But the petty back and forth measuring of each other’s Conservatism and questioning the Conservativism-hood of others when we are faced with annihilation is absolute and complete rubbish.

I normally support the most Conservative candidate in any given election. And for pretty much any office except president, a Conservative is the best option. Such a person will be but one voice with very little power as an individual, but will serve to move the body in the right direction. Perhaps a nudge. And for as long as they remain uncompromised.

But these are not normal times. We have watched as our country has gone so deeply in debt we may not be able to climb out. Ever. We have so many people unemployed and we are stuck with insane leadership who are more worried about “climate change” than terrorism. They are more concerned with offending those who would kill us or take our jobs and pump our citizens full of drugs than with actually stopping the bleeding. We are no longer free to speak what we think unless it is Politically Correct.

We have a Congress led by Republicans who all pretend to be Conservative, but have never supported a Conservative piece of legislation in their lives that was not a show vote. They are owned and controlled by the choking reality of the cost of being elected again and again and naturally inclined to pocket the low hanging shiny fruit that comes from Wall Street, Big Banks and the US Chamber of Commerce with strings that demand a complete loss of free will. And the need for this money creates the circus atmosphere of show votes and permission to defect votes when they have enough votes to appease the big money masters.

Ted Cruz seems like a good enough Conservative. And if he were running for Senator, House or even Governor of Virginia, I would probably support him enthusiastically. Even over my choice for President, Donald Trump. I don’t believe Donald Trump would make a good Senator or Congressman. That is not his strength.

Nor is Ted Cruz strength in the Executive office. Not now when we are in so deep over our heads. Four years of pushing what is seen as a far right Conservative agenda and failing is what we have to look forward to with Cruz. He has been unable to get anything done in the Senate except shut down the government. A move I applauded. But then I am a Conservative too. And I loved his nasty smack-down of Mitch McConnell. I applauded that too. Good for getting out the Conservative message, but bad for actually accomplishing anything other than a Conservative thrill up and down their leg. (Yes, I got that thrill.)

But that will not fix the sinking ship. A president being against Eminent Domain will not stop one illegal from crossing the border or a single terror attack. A Cruz presidency will unite the GOPe and the Democrats against anything and everything he tries to do. We would set a record for the number of veto’s overridden by a united congress. United against the far right winger who loves to shut down the government the press will say.

And all the Cruz supporters will suddenly find a supreme distaste for Fox News Trump hater Megyn Kelly as she blasts Cruz from the rooftops for not getting along. Meanwhile, the borders will remain open, jobs will dwindle and America will sink. But Conservatives can take solace in the fact that we died with a “true Conservative” at the helm.

No, Cruz is good in the Senate. Throwing stink bombs and exposing the shenanigans of the GOPe makes my Conservative heart happy. But he has burned too many bridges with everyone in Washington to effectively fix the major problems we face. He wasn’t in favor of building a wall until Trump gained so much momentum with it.

Neither the Press, nor the Democrats and especially the GOPe has been able to stop Donald Trump. His masterful use of the media and instinct for striking the right note with Americans who are sick and tired of being told to sit down and shut up was not so much about knowing what to say, but in having the guts to say it.

So I am a Conservative. I believe in the exact same thing that each and every Cruz supporter does. I think Ted Cruz is a great Senator.

But I also appreciate the concept of Triage. You don’t put a band-aid on a boo-boo when an artery is spewing. I like band-aids on my boo-boos, but first things first.

We don’t need an archaeologist with a paint brush to gently remove layers of dust from a long dead dinosaur. We need King Kong with a wrecking ball to get the boulders off our chest before we all die. America is still alive but we need, as my Dad used to say, a bull in a china closet.

And in this race, I see but one King Kong with a wrecking ball.

For this race, I put my conservative litmus paper and my ideological check list in my back pocket. My Conservative ideology is a luxury I can’s afford to indulge with this nation in such bad shape. I thought long and hard on how we can best get back to the America we inherited and no matter how many times I run the calculations, the answer is always Donald Trump.

 


Article written by: Tom White

If One of These State Senators is YOUR State Senator – email ’em and Ask them to Vote to Study Better Indigent Defense in VA!

If one of these senators is YOUR senator, email them right away – while snowed in is great time to do it! and ask them (politely of course) to vote for the Dance Indigent Defense Study Bill (SJ 51)!

Senate Rules

MEMBERSHIP

McDougle (Chairman), Norment, Hanger, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, Obenshain, Vogel, Stuart, Stanley, Carrico, Reeves, Saslaw, Locke, Dance

If you click on the name, you’ll find his or her email.  If this bill gets out of Rules, it can and should go to the floor.  I do not know yet when this bill will be discussed but I hope to be there to speak to it!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Bill Bolling: A Case Study in Classic Delusional RINO-ism

RINO WINE

RINO WINE

We have a lot of RINO’s in Virginia. And in the nation as a whole. RINO’s – Republicans in Name Only – are responsible for the leftward lurch of the Republican Party. And one thing I have noticed is that they all believe themselves to be Conservatives and they all believe they are moderate Republicans. I am convinced that they actually do really believe this.

But I think the area where they are fooling themselves is in the way they measure the terms moderate and Conservative.

Their measuring stick is not based on the Constitution, nor is it based on a constant and stationary point on the political spectrum. Rather, it is based on the current position of the Democrats. They self-define Moderate and Conservative as being just a little to the right of the Democrats (and the media). And I think even the RINO’s would quickly admit that the Democrats are and have been racing to the left at such a pace that they are now indistinguishable from Socialists. Or Marxists, take your pick. And a valid argument could be made that they have moved so far to the left that Socialism and Marxism are almost Conservative values as far as the Democrats are concerned. Certainly the Democrats consider their far left Party of today to be the new mainstream, which is constantly in motion leftward.

So the Republicans, many of whom are staunch followers and lovers of Ronald Reagan, have become followers, constantly moving left. Ever chasing the Democrats further and further to the left in an effort to remain moderate, as measured by the Democrat’s political position du jour.

And when the RINO’s stop and take a look at where most of the people in the Republican Party are politically today from the vantage point of their constantly leftward moving position, they see those of us who have stood our ground, or misguidedly followed the RINO’s to the left for a while and corrected our course, as far right wing extremists. They believe we have moved to the right, when it is they who have moved.

It is impossible to know if the RINO’s position on Conservatives is one of deception or delusion. Or perhaps a combination of both.

Politicians in general are masters of deception. For example, Eric Cantor delivered his speeches about smaller, limited government, balanced budgets and Conservative principles with aplomb. He sounded sincere and fooled a lot of people for a long time. But when you examined his record you understand that politicians are quite accomplished in saying one thing and doing another while using sleight of hand show votes to fool the people at home. Cantor would point to dozens of votes to repeal Obamacare, for instance, none of which ever stood a chance of becoming law, while funding the Health Care Leviathan as keeper of the purse. And Paul Ryan has already mastered this art as he points to the legislation to repeal Obamacare and de-fund Planned Parenthood that he sent to Obama’s desk. Which was promptly vetoed. And now Ryan promises a veto override that has exactly zero chance of passing.

More theater. More show voted that mean nothing. But they fool the people at home.

The RINO’s are fooled at least.

Eric Cantor was shown the door last year. We know what he was doing.

Now it would be incorrect of me to write that the Republican Party has become more conservative since Obama came into office in 2009. A lot of us were blindly following the Republican leadership as they chased after the Democrats sprinting to the left. A lot of sleeping Republicans woke up and realized we were following so called leaders who were not leading, but rather were following the Democrats down Socialism Highway.

We put on the brakes and went back to the starting blocks. Back to the old time Conservatism of Ronald Reagan. And yes, we shunned the Progressive “Conservatism” as redefined almost daily by the RINO Contingency of the Republican Party.

But this weekend, I was astonished to read a Facebook post by Virginia’s former two term Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.

Bolling is one of those RINO’s who has been drifting left for years and seems blissfully ignorant of his leftward lunge. Perhaps it was more subtle than a lunge. We can just call it a leftward drift.

Now Bolling has come to despise those of us that are true Conservatives. He is oblivious of the fact that he has been in hot pursuit of the now Socialist Democrats in an effort to remain a moderate mainstream Republican. You see, he believes the equally Socialistic Media that says Republican must be “moderates” in order to win elections. Bolling has reached a point in his political prism that he finds Democrats like Terry McAuliffe more his politically ideological mate than the Conservatives in his own party. He even shunned Conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli (along with many of his fellow RINO’s) and at the very least put up no resistance to the McAuliffe victory. At worse, he helped the Democrats win.

So does it really come as a surprise to learn the Bolling also despises GOP front-runner Donald Trump and runner up Ted Cruz? It shouldn’t.

Bill posted this on Facebook Sunday:

Bill Bolling FacebookWhen I saw that, I headed straight for the comments section to have my say on this delusional post. Ronald Reagan would have demanded Bolling be kicked out of the party.

Bolling and the candidates he has supported have put this country $19 trillion in debt, nearly 1/3 of the nation is not working and the entire country is a racial and political powder keg on the verge of a meltdown.

The “fears” that he is talking about and the “division” in America are due to the policies his RINO buddies have allowed. Or instigated. Amnesty, refugees, illegal aliens, debt and a massive federal government are the RINO legacy. And the candidates that support these atrocities are not responsible candidates, they are irresponsible big government Progressive Republicans who will do nothing to change the spiral of destruction we are in, but will support the status quo.

Bolling is completely incapable of understanding that the appeal of Trump and Cruz by Republicans is a complete and utter rebuke of the “moderate, mainstream” Republicanism that has guided America to the brink of total destruction. Since Reagan left office, Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger were the direct cause of the Clintons and Obama.

Debt, wars, death and destruction has been the path America has been sprinting down. Be a Bush or a Clinton or an Obama. America has lost her soul since Reagan left.

You can blame it on the Democrats all you want, but without the assistance and acquiescence of the Republican Party that Bill Bolling thinks has been responsible this could not have happened. His “responsible” candidate, no doubt another Bush or Rubio, or worse, would indeed be responsible. Responsible for more debt, wars, death and destruction. His “responsible” candidates will not do a single thing to reverse the course we are on.

Yea. That was what I wanted to say. But you know what? I didn’t have to. Dozens of people had already responded and said it all. And much more. And there were a few RINO’s that agreed with Bolling, but they were a tiny minority.

Here are some of the responses. I will leave out the names, but this post is still up on Facebook. See for yourself here.

  • People are discouraged with politicians.
  • The people are trying to send a message, they’re tired and want change, real change not just words
  • How can anyone vote straight party lines when you tells us one thing an do another.People are so fed up with the status quo and the do nothing Washington takes care of themselves an not the voters shame on you.Its not fear that is driving people to Trump its Washington. He has enough money he can’t be bought like so many in Washington.97000 people are no longer in the work force,Welfare is thriving.It pays to be illegal.Veterans aren’t being taken care of,500 day wait to be evaluated .This country is a mess.I’m sick of the politicians double talk .Hopefully term limits will be set on these lifer dead beats
  • If the Republican Party would listen to the people instead of business as usual and doing nothing but trying their job.
  • That’s what ALL politicians do Virginia, tell people what they WANT to hear. How many other jobs can you work for 2-6 years and come out a millionaire.
  • Ted Cruz is the True conservative here. The Republican establishment is afraid of him.
  • The Republican party needs to get its act together and quit acting like Democrats. People are tired of being lied to.
  • Cruz isn’t a conservative. Not when he supports govt. overreach instead of the citizens in Oregon.
    The Republican party will continue to be a party of losers as long as it tries to be the same thing as Democrats, except for taking stands on social issues that are backward and turn people off. Republicans say one thing, but they govern exactly like Democrats. People know this. And people are angry enough that they’re willing to hang their hopes on a guy like Trump – who might well build the fence, but he’ll be just as statist as the rest.
  • What they say about Trump they used to say about Reagan in 76
  • The party can’t get out a message to save it’s life. LIke it or not, Trump’s been the loudest message ever heard.
  • Bottom line is most Americans are tired of the establishment, myself included…the narrowing margins are ridiculous, John Boehner is a disgrace, Paul Ryan isn’t much better, the RNC is out of touch, and the old guard on both sides care more about their respective political affiliations than the American people. In response to what most Americans fear, their fear is real and continues to be validated….that’s what happened to the party.
  • It is because Trump and Cruz are saying the things we are all seeing.
  • I think the GOP is a lost cause due to it’s lack of leadership
  • America is tired of the PARTY no matter which side you are on! They care about America not the PARTY! If the Congress, Senate and President did the same we wouldn’t be in the state we are in and going down the road we are going! We are all tired of our elected officials just wanting to do what is best for themselves! Trump is a business man and really knows more about dealing foreign Gov.s than any other candidate that I have seen! I agree it is scary but the raod we are on isn’t getting America anywhere but wrecked!
  • I do not believe anyone in our party loves Mr. Reagan and what be stood for more than me, but remember he was the outsider when be ran, the establishment wanted Bush. I don’t think the problem is with what the party finds conservative, it is what the establishment t wants to call conservative. Like it or not Trump is simply brave enough to say what most of us are thinking and the pc police tell us we cannot. I will also remind you, Trex was sent to Washington as a VP so the political establishment could nuetralize him. He seems to have been OK as President.
  • Bill, I can answer that question. We’ve been ignored for 4-7 years and we are in search of a leader. It doesn’t appear anyone can bring a stop to the Socialism agenda on the current team…..
  • The party left Reagan a long time ago.
  • The Republican party is to blame for Trump. They were given a shot in 2010 and have done nothing. Said they needed the Senate. We gave them the Senate and they have done nothing. They just keep giving in to obama without anything in return and he keeps blaming them for all that’s broken. We want someone that will stand up for our values. Is there risk? Yes but at this point no one is stepping up. Bush has shown us just how weak he is. The people like Cruz and Paul have been demonized by the mainstream GOP. Let’s face it, it is time for change.

And there are many, many more.

You see, Bill, you represent the failures of the last couple of decades. Your Milquetoast brand of “Conservatism” is an ever changing experiment in redefinition. People have blindly followed the GOP for years. Like robots (or Cantor Zombies) marching to the polls, voting straight Republican and expecting things to get better. Expecting Republicans to keep their promises. Can’t you see it? We have supported losers like McCain and Romney. We supported “W” and he managed to make Obama appealing. Nothing will change if we nominated Bush, Rubio, Christie, Kasich or any of the RINO pack. It will be more of the same.

Trump, Cruz, Carson and Fiorina have had such appeal because they are not moderate mainstream Republicans who are responsible for the state we find ourselves in.

We tried it your way. We followed you. In your second administration Republicans were given the three top offices in Virginia. We ended up with the largest tax hike in Virgin9ia history and a governor who is praying the Supreme Court will hear his corruption case and keep him out of jail.

In 2010 we gave Republicans the House and took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi. In 2014 we added the Senate to the Republican column. And what has changed?

Nothing! Not a damn thing.

John Boehner squandered his power and it became his downfall. The Senate has done absolutely nothing. Paul Ryan gave Obama everything he dreamed of and more. Pelosi and Harry Reid marveled at the stupidity of the Republicans cave on the Omnibus bill and wouldn’t have dared to spend money that recklessly. Your “responsible” RINO’s were ridiculed by the likes of Pelosi and Reid for their spending. And it was not even Conservative spending. It was the left’s bucket list.

And Cruz is being rewarded for having the stones to shut down the government over Conservative principles. And what do you do, Bolling? You ridicule him. You promise Dave Brat that you will not forget his “betrayal” in voting against Boehner. Brat actually listened to the voters, something the 7th District was not accustomed to under the Cantor machine.

The people who are supporting Trump and Cruz want a candidate that will address the problems facing America.

We have a president now who is proud of leading from behind. But what Americans find even more disgusting than “leading from behind” is leaders who chase Democrats.

We are fed up. We have watched the RINO Republicans fail to deliver on a single promise over and over again.

This time we have choices. This time we have an opportunity to actually elect a candidate that won’t cave in as soon as he is elected.

You may remember Conservatives who vote against the status quo, but America remembers the lies and broken promises you “moderate” Republicans have inflicted on her.

And God willing the Republican Party will soon turn back to the true Conservatism that is Ronald Reagan’s legacy.


Article written by: Tom White

Two or Three or so More Ideas for Ambitious Politicians!

Some of this will be review for my legislative readers and some might be new but try out these ideas for next session:

  • Term Limits – the GOP should simply sign on to Del. Rasoul’s bill (actually a state constitutional amendment) on term limits.
  • Initiative and referendum – yes there are states with ridiculous ballot questions (California and Ohio come readily to mind) but there needs to be a check on the legislature – I am told by Bob Shannon that term limits in the 15 or so states where they have it only have come about when the voters placed it on the ballot and passed it.  We need that safety value.
  • Ending non-judicial foreclosure.  If you want to stand up for the little guy/gal – let’s insist we have some sort of judicial foreclosure procedure – let a judge – even if it is General District Court only – by a standardized form – review the procedure and ensure it is right.  My hero, Henry McLaughlin, an attorney downtown, has won a case or two at the state supreme court showing how laws were not followed by mortgage companies (I used to say that mortgage companies were one of the best arguments for communism I know of!); so it ought to be passed.  Several years ago, Senator McEachin introduced (and I blogged in support of it!) a judicial foreclosure bill to apply to future mortgages but if it is consistent with the Contract Clause of the Constitution (can’t be a constitutionalist and break it when convenient!) some sort of summary oversight could be added to the procedure to make sure the mortgage foreclosure procedure was followed.  Give that power to General District Court with appeal to Circuit Court upon payment of a bond.
  • Administrative salaries in higher education – I read that VCU is about to hive off a NINTH vice president.  I thought when I read it (because I read a Heritage Foundation report I got from Bob Shannon) it’s too much administration in higher education (and probably in primary/secondary ed too) and then I went to this site and found that approximately the top fifty (Let’s capitalize that for emphasis:  I said TOP FIFTY) employees at VCU earn over 200k a year (I think the governor earned about 200k last year although that might not include use of mansion and perks associated therein)  Where’s the liberal outrage at income inequality in the public sector?  The libs are all ready to rage at CEOs making 200 times or some number like that the lowest guy/gal on totem pole and that is none of their business.  But this is mostly if not all taxpayers’ money.  And the colleges always want more tax dollars and to also raise tuition, too.  Some ambitious pol in the legislature could ride this issue all the way to the governor’s mansion and beyond perhaps.  Because parents all over but especially in Hampton Roads and NOVA hate tuition hikes.  Set up a temporary subcommittee on appropriation, budget or education committees and subpoena the college presidents and simply ask them:  Do you need fifty people over $200k?  Really?  How about other areas of waste in higher ed?  I’d set up (buy it if I had to at my expense) at 800 number for anonymous reporting of waste and fraud in higher ed.  You’d get a lot of cranky stories but a few nuggets might emerge.  How about dorm fees for example?  How about perks for senior professors?  And budget cuts tend to fall on the backs of the ordinary people working there.
  • Reform of divorce laws – again support the little guy or gal!  We need to consider ditching fault, shortening separation periods, more standardized forms, abolishing the loss of spousal support if the party is at fault (usually adultery), discouraging spousal support altogether except for limited times or special circumstances (long marriage and educational disparity perhaps) and maybe this bill is a step in the right direction (although largely symbolic) that Delegate Albo came up with to replace visitation with the term “parenting time”.  I am not sold on all these ideas but especially Republicans need to consider it.

It will not violate the grand larceny threshold if the pols “steal” these ideas for the good of the Commonwealth.  Stand for the right, support guns, pro-life, lower taxes and regulations etc. but help the little guy/gal and we can win elections.  Who’ll do it?


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Kudos to Del. Peace (and others) for Trying to Reform COPN!

I was pleased to see some legislators looking at serious reform of the COPN (Certificate of Public Need) system.  It needs (pun intended) serious reform – The COPN cartelizes the health care industry by requiring hospitals and other health care providers to go to government (The department of health) for permission to expand services and then their competitors have a serious say in whether that entity should get the expansion.  It ought to be abolished and if there are concerns about oversaturation of health care services, perhaps reverse the process to require the competition to object and reverse the procedure to require clear and convincing evidence of oversaturation for the competition to prevail.

I was even more pleased to see my own delegate, Christopher K. Peace, on the right side of this question and I cite this Bearing Drift post on the question by D. J. McGuire in December.  (I got to fuss with McGuire just a bit on the idea that BD first discussed this issue at this post by Norman Leahy in November 2014.  Here’s some of my posts, the first one was in 2012!)

Here’s the pertinent paragraph about what the Byron/O’Bannon/Peace proposals (with the critical support of the Virginia House Republican Campaign Committee:

All three Republican Delegates [Kathy Byron/John O’Bannon/Chris Peace] have sponsored bills to scale back COPN’s anti-competitive reach. O’Bannon (the physician) would phase out much of COPN law over three years (nursing homes, open-heart surgery facilities, and tissue transplant services would be unaffected). Delegate Peace’s set of bills would do the same, but adds “strong charity care requirements to ensure the most vulnerable have access to vital healthcare services.” Delegate Byron’s efforts would also end COPN for all except rural hospitals and nursing homes.

So all my readers – get behind this effort – let your delegate and senator know about these bills if you can and let’s see at least a substantial reform of COPN.  Glad I don’t have to contact MY delegate on this issue!

A hat tip to BD and D. J. McGuire for this blow for liberty!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

My Answer to the Thoughtful Post on the Magnitsky Act

Anonymous wrote this as a comment to my recent post on Trump and the original Magnitsky Act and I think it deserves a thorough response:

I don’t think there is any due process burden on statements of condemnation. Saying the Magnitsky Act is an unconstitutional bill of attainder I think is wrong. Firstly, the implicated are foreign nationals, it does not pass guilt nor does it create any sort of mechanism for actually trying or sentencing these individuals. It is the United States Congress formally condemning individuals of suspected crimes. The only punishment it does provide is excluding these individuals from entering the U.S. or using U.S. banks. Sandy, do you think foreign nationals have any kind of meaningful right to enter the country or use banks under the Constitution (why I also think the statements that the visa-waiver restrictions we’re implementing or limitations of immigration from certain nations being unconstitutional are inaccurate).

Do you think we need to charge Kim Jong Un for being a brutal despot in a U.S. federal court in order to continue sanctions against the North Koreans?

I think it’s pretty evident that Putin has a history of illiberal rigging of democracy within his own country. The argument that “we’ve manipulated in other countries” doesn’t seem particularly persuasive to me. I don’t think its unreasonable to say what you do to your own citizens and your own people is a reflection of the type of principles you hold. We don’t – as much as our Left-wing “comrades” might believe – an overriding obligation to people who are not citizens or do not live in this country. But we do have one to Americans. If the government were assassinating Americans or rigging American elections, that would be a problem. And further if people in charge of that rigging called a foreign election candidate “strong” or “trustworthy”, I would rightly be suspicious if I was a citizen of that country of this candidate.

Anonymous says the Magnitsky Act is not a bill of attainder.  It only says you can’t visit the US and use our banks.  And even if it is a Bill of Attainder, this constitutional protection does not (and neither do most other provisions) apply to foreigners.

A bill of attainder was a act of the British Parliament that tried and punished officials for dereliction of duty and other crimes.  Let’s go the the Heritage Guide to the US Constitution (That’s right: Heritage as in the Heritage Foundation) for a more detailed treatment of this clause:

In common law, bills of attainder were legislative acts that, without trial, condemned specifically designated persons or groups to death. Bills of attainder also required the “corruption of blood”; that is, they denied to the condemned’s heirs the right to inherit his estate. Bills of pains and penalties, in contrast, singled out designated persons or groups for punishment less than death, such as banishment or disenfranchisement. Many states had enacted both kinds of statutes after the Revolution.

The United States Supreme Court seems to have had a more expansive view of the Clause (starting in the middle of a paragraph for that first one):

Beginning with Chief Justice John Marshall, however, the Supreme Court has insisted that “a Bill of Attainder may affect the life of an individual, or may confiscate his property, or may do both.” Fletcher v. Peck (1810).

Marshall and his successors saw the Bill of Attainder Clause as an element of the separation of powers. As the decisions of the Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) and United States v. Klein (1871) made clear, only a court can hold a trial, evaluate the evidence, and determine the merits of the claim or accusation. The Constitution forbade the Congress from “exercis[ing] the power and office of judge.” Cummings v. Missouri (1867). In United States v. Brown (1965), the Court specifically rejected a “narrow historical approach” to the clauses and characterized the Framers’ purpose as to prohibit “legislative punishment, of any form or severity, of specifically designated persons or groups.”

Those cases, although they do not admittedly apply to foreigners, do sound absolute to me in practice.  Congress cannot try a person (except for impeachment or contempt of Congress) and then punish that person.  The Magnitsky Act does exactly that:  First accusing individual Russians of involvement in torture and murder and then human rights violations in general.  That is a serious charge to make.

And there is no trial.  None of the accused Russians were allowed to try to prove their innocence or to present any evidence at all.  No court or jury decided they helped torture or kill Magnitsky – or other human rights violations.  Congress (or actually the President, under Congressional authority) decides they are guilty.

There is punishment:  These persons cannot visit the USA and any property or money they may have can be confiscated.

This cite [Here] is the entire text of the Magnitsky Act.  [Blogger’s note:  The act is Title or portion four of a larger bill]

The act reads at first like an indictment:

SEC. 402. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The United States aspires to a mutually beneficial 
        relationship with the Russian Federation based on respect for 
        human rights and the rule of law, and supports the people of the 
        Russian Federation in their efforts to realize their full 
        economic potential and to advance democracy, human rights, and 
        the rule of law.
            (2) The Russian Federation--
                    (A) is a member of the United Nations, the 
                Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 
                the Council of Europe, and the International Monetary 
                Fund;
                    (B) has ratified the Convention against Torture and 
                Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or 
                Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and 
                Political Rights, and the United Nations Convention 
                against Corruption; and
                    (C) is bound by the legal obligations set forth in 
                the European Convention on Human Rights.
            (3) States voluntarily commit themselves to respect 
        obligations and responsibilities through the adoption of 
        international agreements and treaties, which must be observed in 
        good faith in order to maintain the stability of the 
        international order. Human rights are an integral part of 
        international law, and lie at the foundation of the 
        international order. The protection of human rights, therefore, 
        particularly in the case of a country that has incurred 
        obligations to protect human rights under an international 
        agreement to which it is a party, is not left exclusively to the 
        internal affairs of that country.
            (4) Good governance and anti-corruption measures are 
        instrumental in the protection of human rights and in achieving

[[Page 126 STAT. 1503]]

        sustainable economic growth, which benefits both the people of 
        the Russian Federation and the international community through 
        the creation of open and transparent markets.
            (5) Systemic corruption erodes trust and confidence in 
        democratic institutions, the rule of law, and human rights 
        protections. This is the case when public officials are allowed 
        to abuse their authority with impunity for political or 
        financial gains in collusion with private entities.
            (6) The Russian nongovernmental organization INDEM has 
        estimated that bribes by individuals and businesses in the 
        Russian Federation amount to hundreds of billions of dollars a 
        year, an increasing share of the country's gross domestic 
        product.
            (7) Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009, 
        at the age of 37, in Matrosskaya Tishina Prison in Moscow, 
        Russia, and is survived by a mother, a wife, and 2 sons.
            (8) On July 6, 2011, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev's 
        Human Rights Council announced the results of its independent 
        investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The Human 
        Rights Council concluded that Sergei Magnitsky's arrest and 
        detention was illegal; he was denied access to justice by the 
        courts and prosecutors of the Russian Federation; he was 
        investigated by the same law enforcement officers whom he had 
        accused of stealing Hermitage Fund companies and illegally 
        obtaining a fraudulent $230,000,000 tax refund; he was denied 
        necessary medical care in custody; he was beaten by 8 guards 
        with rubber batons on the last day of his life; and the 
        ambulance crew that was called to treat him as he was dying was 
        deliberately kept outside of his cell for one hour and 18 
        minutes until he was dead. The report of the Human Rights 
        Council also states the officials falsified their accounts of 
        what happened to Sergei Magnitsky and, 18 months after his 
        death, no officials had been brought to trial for his false 
        arrest or the crime he uncovered. The impunity continued in 
        April 2012, when Russian authorities dropped criminal charges 
        against Larisa Litvinova, the head doctor at the prison where 
        Magnitsky died.
            (9) The systematic abuse of Sergei Magnitsky, including his 
        repressive arrest and torture in custody by officers of the 
        Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation that Mr. 
        Magnitsky had implicated in the embezzlement of funds from the 
        Russian Treasury and the misappropriation of 3 companies from 
        his client, Hermitage Capital Management, reflects how deeply 
        the protection of human rights is affected by corruption.
            (10) The politically motivated nature of the persecution of 
        Mr. Magnitsky is demonstrated by--
                    (A) the denial by all state bodies of the Russian 
                Federation of any justice or legal remedies to Mr. 
                Magnitsky during the nearly 12 full months he was kept 
                without trial in detention; and
                    (B) the impunity since his death of state officials 
                he testified against for their involvement in corruption 
                and the carrying out of his repressive persecution.
            (11) The Public Oversight Commission of the City of Moscow 
        for the Control of the Observance of Human Rights in Places of 
        Forced Detention, an organization empowered by

[[Page 126 STAT. 1504]]

        Russian law to independently monitor prison conditions, 
        concluded on December 29, 2009, ``A man who is kept in custody 
        and is being detained is not capable of using all the necessary 
        means to protect either his life or his health. This is a 
        responsibility of a state which holds him captive. Therefore, 
        the case of Sergei Magnitsky can be described as a breach of the 
        right to life. The members of the civic supervisory commission 
        have reached the conclusion that Magnitsky had been experiencing 
        both psychological and physical pressure in custody, and the 
        conditions in some of the wards of Butyrka can be justifiably 
        called torturous. The people responsible for this must be 
        punished.''.
            (12) Sergei Magnitsky's experience, while particularly 
        illustrative of the negative effects of official corruption on 
        the rights of an individual citizen, appears to be emblematic of 
        a broader pattern of disregard for the numerous domestic and 
        international human rights commitments of the Russian Federation 
        and impunity for those who violate basic human rights and 
        freedoms.
            (13) The second trial, verdict, and sentence against former 
        Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev evoke 
        serious concerns about the right to a fair trial and the 
        independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation. The 
        lack of credible charges, intimidation of witnesses, violations 
        of due process and procedural norms, falsification or 
        withholding of documents, denial of attorney-client privilege, 
        and illegal detention in the Yukos case are highly troubling. 
        The Council of Europe, Freedom House, and Amnesty International, 
        among others, have concluded that they were charged and 
        imprisoned in a process that did not follow the rule of law and 
        was politically influenced. Furthermore, senior officials of the 
        Government of the Russian Federation, including First Deputy 
        Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, have acknowledged that the arrest 
        and imprisonment of Khodorkovsky were politically motivated.
            (14) According to Freedom House's 2011 report entitled ``The 
        Perpetual Battle: Corruption in the Former Soviet Union and the 
        New EU Members'', ``[t]he highly publicized cases of Sergei 
        Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer who died in pretrial detention 
        in November 2009 after exposing a multimillion-dollar fraud 
        against the Russian taxpayer, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the 
        jailed business magnate and regime critic who was sentenced at 
        the end of 2010 to remain in prison through 2017, put an 
        international spotlight on the Russian state's contempt for the 
        rule of law * * *. By silencing influential and accomplished 
        figures such as Khodorkovsky and Magnitsky, the Russian 
        authorities have made it abundantly clear that anyone in Russia 
        can be silenced.''.
            (15) The tragic and unresolved murders of Nustap 
        Abdurakhmanov, Maksharip Aushev, Natalya Estemirova, Akhmed 
        Hadjimagomedov, Umar Israilov, Paul Klebnikov, Anna 
        Politkovskaya, Saihadji Saihadjiev, and Magomed Y. Yevloyev, the 
        death in custody of Vera Trifonova, the disappearances of 
        Mokhmadsalakh Masaev and Said-Saleh Ibragimov, the torture of 
        Ali Israilov and Islam Umarpashaev, the near-fatal beatings of 
        Mikhail Beketov, Oleg Kashin, Arkadiy Lander, and Mikhail 
        Vinyukov, and the harsh and ongoing

[[Page 126 STAT. 1505]]

        imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alexei Kozlov, Platon 
        Lebedev, and Fyodor Mikheev further illustrate the grave danger 
        of exposing the wrongdoing of officials of the Government of the 
        Russian Federation, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, or 
        of seeking to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote 
        internationally recognized human rights and freedoms.

    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the United 
States should continue to strongly support, and provide assistance to, 
the efforts of the Russian people to establish a vibrant democratic 
political system that respects individual liberties and human rights, 
including by enhancing the provision of objective information through 
all relevant media, such as Radio Liberty and the internet. The Russian 
Government's suppression of dissent and political opposition, the 
limitations it has imposed on civil society and independent media, and 
the deterioration of economic and political freedom inside Russia are of 
profound concern to the United States Government and to the American 
people.


Then this act authorizes the President to submit a last of names of all those involved in the alleged torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky.  Those named can only appeal to him or the Secretary of State to be removed from the list.  And they are punished with more than just “cannot visit the US” – they can have US-held property seized and frozen:

(a) <<NOTE: President.>>  Freezing of Assets.--
            (1) In general.--The President shall exercise all powers 
        granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 
        U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 
        202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent 
        necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all 
        property and interests in property of a person who is on the 
        list required by section 404(a) of this Act if such property and 
        interests in property are in the United States, come within the 
        United States, or are or come within the possession or control 
        of a United States person.
            (2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Exception.--Paragraph (1) 
        shall not apply to persons included on the classified annex 
        under section 404(c)(2) if the President determines that such an 
        exception is vital for the national security interests of the 
        United States.

This is trial and punishment authorized by Congress and implemented by the Executive Branch.  I contend it is immoral, violates due process, is unconstitutional and may violate international law.

And US banks MUST comply:

(2) 
        Requirements <<NOTE: Deadline. Regulations. Certification.>>  
        for financial institutions.--Not later than 120 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury 
        shall prescribe or amend regulations as needed to require each 
        financial institution that is a United States person and has 
        within its possession or control assets that are property or 
        interests in property of a person who is on the list required by 
        section 404(a) if such property and interests in property are in 
        the United States to certify to the Secretary that, to the best 
        of the knowledge of the financial institution, the financial 
        institution has frozen all

[[Page 126 STAT. 1509]]

        assets within the possession or control of the financial 
        institution that are required to be frozen pursuant to 
        subsection (a).

The definition of US bank is broad:

(4) United states person.--The term ``United States person'' 
        means--
                    (A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully 
                admitted for permanent residence to the United States; 
                or
                    (B) an entity organized under the laws of the United 
                States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, 
                including a foreign branch of such an entity.

So, Anonymous and my readers, is this accusation, conviction and punishment without trial or evidence taken?

Many Americans I am afraid adhere to the Lindsey Graham and Jethro Gibbs school of jurisprudence that contends that foreigners have few if any rights under US law.  But that is not true.  Foreigners have plenty of rights under US law.

Placing economic sanctions against an entire nation like North Korea is not the same as targeted sanctions against individuals and does not apply to this analysis.

I did not fully understand the final paragraph and I think Anonymous was saying be careful of a presidential candidate that a foreign leader praises with intent to influence an election.  He’s right.  But we do judge the efficacy of foreign elections and leaders regularly and publicly.  Some things ought to be left private for negotiations and discussions.  And we ought not condemn others without trial for human rights violations; if we intend to judge others in other nations, let’s make sure our own house is in order.

Some might say, but Sandy, targeted economic sanctions are more moral than blanket ones.  I agree.  BUT it has to be done right.  I would target as a sanction items that are directly relevant to the bad behavior (computer software to Iran for example) but not try to destroy economies and systems or encourage rebellion.  The United States is too eager to enact economic sanctions against a whole host of nations.  Now all lawful sanctions must be obeyed as the law of the land.  But we ought to curb most if not all of the sanction regimes we have.

The Magnitsky Act in particular ought to be repealed and replaced with an apology to Russia.  Our President is good at the apologizing game.  He would be perfect for the job.

 


 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Russ Moulton ‘SBE Changes to Oath Now VIOLATE RNC Rule 16d-2’

An interesting message from Russ Moulton:

 

Three updates:

 

  1. I understand the statement of affiliation wording has been changed by SBE/McAuliffe, and won’t be the one voted on by SCC in September.

 

  1. I understand that SBE is refusing to allow us access to the executed statement forms, so we won’t get this “gold mine” of “Republican voter” contact data we were promised.  We will have to fight for it under FOIA or other legal approaches that may or may not be successful.

 

  1. RNC Rule 16 d 2 says RPV must have published the statement of affiliation qualification in a newspaper of general circulation 90-days before the Primary.  RPV didn’t do so, and so if RPV proceeds with the statement requirement with SBE, it is violating RNC rules and VA’s delegation is subject to a credentials challenge.

 

I understand why many voted for this statement initially.  At one time, I supported them too.  But I have come to believe with deeper understanding they are a mistake.

 

Establishment Republicans have recently hurt our brand-idea so badly, we have many in our base disgusted with “Republicans”.

 

After all the recent disappointments with Republicans on the Hill for voting for more deficit spending, funding of executive amnesty, funding for ObamaCare, funding of planned parenthood, etc … — how many of you heard folks say, “I am no longer a Republican” or “I’ve left the Republican Party”?

 

Even the Rev. Graham recently made such statements publicly.

 

If we are going to get our party back on the right track, we need these disaffected folks back participating now, not turned away by a statement.   We need them to get our Party back.

 

Primaries are taxpayer-funded evolutions, not party processes.  As a result, people instinctively believe they have a taxpayer right to participate in Virginia Primaries.  We are trying to push a rope uphill, trying to convince voters they should accept they have no right to participate in our primary nominations unless they are Republicans – only to hurt our eventual nominee with outraged, turned-away voters.

 

If we wanted a statement of affiliation and to have only Republicans vote, we shouldn’t have picked a Primary in the first place.  If we pick an open Primary, then don’t expect to keep out non-Republicans.

 

In practice, we relinquish our right of free association the minute we adopt a state-run primary.

 

We keep allowing the establishment to force us into primaries – and then we try to “dress up the pig” with statements of affiliation to make them less “objectionable”.

 

We should not support “statements of affiliation” designed to “fix” primaries — because they don’t.

 

And on top of this, now we hear the SBE won’t go with the wording adopted by SCC, won’t give us access to the statement voter contact data, and our statement is in violation of RNC rules.

 

It’s time to pull the plug on this disaster.

 

Russ


Article written by: Tom White