Sophistry is used by Obama, the Democrats and even some Republicans to vilify very successful companies dealing with crucial commodities – like gas. Opponents and demagogues portray the $10.65 billion profit of Exxon Mobile as obscene and rapacious – and demand that punitive actions such as windfall profits taxes be imposed in order to “recoup” what shouldn’t be theirs.
This is an essential component of the Democratic Party’s ideology - punishing those individuals and companies that are successful and ironically, pay inordinate amounts of taxes to begin with.
In contrast, what has Government Motors (GM), a government and union favorite and perennial loser, done for us lately?
How about cost the American taxpayer tens of billions of dollars that we will never see again. A failed company on life support (thanks to Federal government) that should have been allowed to fail and close or markedly downsize that is persistently sucking out rather than contributing tax dollars.
The editorial below places this deception into proper perspective. We will add one more element. Though not entirely linear, if Exxon Mobil had produced only one fifth the amount of oil that it actually did, its profit would have been only be around $2 billion – not so excessive sounding. However, this would have also translated into a higher cost of a gallon of gas (due to supply and demand issues) and its tax “contribution” to our government would have been billions of dollars lower.
Seen And Obscene
Investor’s Business Daily 04/28/2011
Earnings: A few oil firms post what some call outrageous profits. How long before the uninformed and envious demand these companies pay a windfall profits tax?
Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company in the U.S., reported Thursday a first-quarter profit of $10.65 billion, or $2.14 a share, up 61% from a strong year-earlier period. Royal Dutch Shell came in at $8.78 billion, or $1.76 a share, up 68%. And on Friday, Chevron is expected to post a 27% increase in earnings to $5.69 billion, or $3 a share.
Speaking for the anti-capitalist, anti-corporate wing of his party (it's a big wing), Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., called Exxon's profits "obscene" and claimed that "Big Oil" is "robbing" the middle class.
Two days earlier, ABC's Jonathan Karl displayed the bias widely found in his profession when he, too, asked if there is something "obscene" about high oil and gas profits "when Americans are struggling just to fill up the tank."
While billions in profits might seem a little much, let's take a look at the context.
Exxon earned $10.65 billion on $114 billion in revenue. Shell's $8.78 billion profit came on $114.84 billion in revenue. Chevron's expected top line of $66.62 billion will likely yield a bottom line of $5.69 billion. These are not outsize margins — roughly 9% after taxes in the case of Exxon, less than 5% for Shell and 8.5% for Chevron.
In comparison, Apple made $6 billion on revenue of $24.7 billion, a profit margin of almost 25% in the first quarter. Google's profit margin for the same period was nearly 27%. Too high-tech for you? McDonald's makes 20 cents on the dollar. Where is the outrage over their profits? Aren't they committing robbery too?
Also lost in the rush to demonize oil companies is historical context. What some would say are large profits simply aren't inevitable. The oil industry has gone through periods of low profits before and will again.
Further, there's a (probably willful) misreading on the left and in the media of oil company profits. They aren't squandered by rich executives but paid to investors — some of them Democrats — and plowed back into producing more energy. If profits are taxed more, investors are hurt, as are consumers who pay higher prices due to energy scarcity caused by curtailed development.
"Obscene" profits? A need for punitive taxes on oil companies? The facts show the Democrats and the media (but we repeat ourselves) are wrong on both counts.
Obama’s policies regarding our economy have been an unmitigated abject failure but you will never read this in the far left “main stream” media. They will make little or no mention of his failed, irrational actions.
Because Obama’s their man!
To them, this is still Bush’s fault as well as of the Republican Party. They will never admit to the fecklessness and ideological rigidity of Obama’s policies and the profound damage that is has and is causing.
Who's Turning U.S. Into The Third World?
Investor’s Business Daily 04/15/2011
Economy: President Obama says Republicans, if they get their way, will turn the U.S. into a "Third World" nation. Has he looked recently at the course he's set us on? As psychologists say, it sounds like projection to us.
One of the cheapest tricks in political rhetoric is to accuse your opponents of doing something bad that you yourself are doing. That's exactly what President Obama did when he charged that GOP efforts to restore fiscal responsibility would turn us into "a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places ... that we used to call the Third World."
Never mind that most of what he's talking about — like "potholes" and airports — have always been local priorities. And Obama is U.S. president, not U.S. mayor.
But what stuck in our craw was that "Third World" crack. Excuse us, isn't that the way we've been heading under Obama? Consider for a moment these trends:
• Real earnings have fallen for five straight months, and are down 1% since the end of last year.
• Consumer price inflation is growing at a 6.1% annual rate over the last three months, while producer prices are rising an even-faster 13%. According to John Williams of the Shadow Government Statistics website, if we measure consumer prices the way we did before 1992, inflation is now running at 10% a year.
• The U.S. has added $6 trillion to its debt under Obama, a sure sign of being on the road to Third World status. Three years ago, the U.S. had $7.9 trillion in debt. Today, we have $14 trillion. Bankrupt, hyperinflated Zimbabwe couldn't do any better.
• The U.S. dollar has fallen so much and foreign nations have so little confidence in our ability to run our fiscal affairs that the "BRIC" nations — the mostly fast-growing former Third World nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China — are talking about replacing the U.S. dollar in foreign trade with the Chinese yuan.
• Just 45.4% of Americans had jobs last year, the lowest since 1983, according to census data crunched by USA Today. Among men, just 66.8% had work last year, the lowest ever.
• Obama touts the "recovery" that supposedly began in June of 2009, but a look at the data show that last year's real private sector GDP was in fact still down 1.1% from its peak in 2007 — so all of the "expansion" has been in government, not the private sector.
• While we're at it, under Obama, spending has risen farther and faster than under any president in history. At current rates, government at all levels will take up more than half of all economic activity by 2050.
Can't happen here, you say? In 1920, Argentina was one of the five richest countries on Earth. Then it followed policies similar to Obama's — kowtowing to unions, government control of industry, price controls. It crashed, burned and never really recovered.
We're headed down that road. Today, government spending is at a record 25% of GDP, while government regulation costs the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion a year.
As Vice President Biden might say, "That's real Third World, man."
In the following call to arms, conservative Lloyd Marcus exhorts all of us to vociferously oppose Obama, Progressives and their anti-American, anti-freedom and big government agenda. Being politically correct or silent will not allow us to obtain our goals. We must be fearless and relentless in our attempts to oust Obama and the Democrats in Congress (and elsewhere).
Tea Party David Vs. Two-Headed Goliath
Lloyd Marcus April 23, 2011
On the O'Reilly Factor TV show, Dennis Miller was asked his thoughts regarding the media's response to Obama's numerous flip flops. Miller said the media will report whatever Obama does in a positive light.
We patriots are well aware of the liberal media's love affair with Obama. And yet, for some reason, the reality of Miller's comment hit me hard right between the eyes. I thought, "Oh my gosh. This is not funny. Our country is in serious trouble."
Not only must we defeat the Obama administration, we must take on and defeat the liberal mainstream media as well; take on the two powerful well-funded entities committed to the fundamental transformation of America. Lord, help us!
Patriots, we can, will and must defeat this two headed evil Goliath. Despite the left's shock and awe public relations slanderous attacks on the tea party and our candidates, we took the House of Representatives. Thus proving, they can be beaten!
I am so sick of advisors cautioning us conservatives to walk on eggshells when dealing with the liberal media. It has even been suggested that we stop using the term "tea party" due to the negative image created by the media.
Patriots, even if we change our name to the "Happy Go Lucky Nice People Movement," we will still be targeted for destruction by the media. What part of they hate us and want us to fail do our advisors not understand? The liberal media is going to put a negative spin on whatever we say.
Now, am I advocating saying stupid provocative things? Of course not. I am advocating fearlessly and aggressively attacking Obama's horrific record. Call out the liberal media on their biased reporting. Stop allowing the Democrats and their media minions to set the rules of engagement. Patriots, the stakes are far too high to wimp out foolishly seeking approval from those actively pursuing our total destruction.
Again, I say, what do we have to lose by confronting the democrats and the liberal media? They are going to trash us regardless.
Yes, they will call you a racist. I say this in love: "Get over it." Throughout U.S. history many have suffered far greater and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Why? Because America is worth it.
Tons of articles have been written calling me a stupid self loathing n****r, an Uncle Tom, a tea party minstrel, a traitor, a sellout, and a clown. It all rolls off my back. I know I am on the right side. So, why should I care what evil stupid people say or think of me? But most of all, my strength and peace comes through knowing God is with us and America is worth it.
Like little David in the Bible, we must boldly confront the two headed Goliath, Obama administration/liberal media.
Why do you think Trump and Palin are doing so well in the polls? Both are boldly and unapologetically takin' it to Obama and are not kowtowing to the liberal media. Patriots are frustrated with Republicans pandering and trying to "play nice" with a Democratic Party and liberal media who are relentlessly and viciously attempting to kill us politically. The Democrats and the liberal media take no prisoners.
Rush Limbaugh says the Democrats and liberal media will tell you who they fear most by the intensity of their attacks. Who have been numbers one, two, and three on the Democrats' and liberal media's list? Answer: Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party. Brothers and sisters, we can beat them!
How do we defeat them? In addition to ceasing to fear Obama and his liberal media co-conspirators, we must continue doing what we have been doing. Patriots must continue following their passion and using their gifts and talents wherever needed in our extraordinary divinely inspired Tea Party Movement.
We are blessed with great minds on our side; patriots are writing books, organizing and conceiving various strategies to take back our country.
While some lament that we lack a central leadership organization or charismatic leader, I am grateful for all of our numerous patriot groups and committed individuals. Each is driven to politically defeat Obama in its own way. Their spirit is the tea party.
Just as God's grace guided David's stone to topple Goliath, our stone of truth, honor, and freedom will hit its mark and bring down the two headed evil Goliath of the liberal media and the Obama regime in 2012.
We do not get involved in racial discourse except as relates to the demagoguery spewed by our politicians or appointed government officials. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has repeatedly and unequivocally demonstrated a very biased and reprehensible approach and attitude to race relations and justice with a pro-black, pro-minority preference specifically vis-à-vis Whites. Such an approach further engenders unprovoked violence by blacks on whites and other races
We saw this in Obama’s reckless and irresponsible involvement in the Cambridge police incident involving his belligerent (black) buddy Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor of Black Studies at Harvard who falsely claimed racism.
We have seen this with Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s dismissal of charges of voter intimidation against the New Black Panthers in video documented evidence in Philadelphia during the Presidential election. Of course, they have refused to release any evidence or explanation of why there was such a dismissal even though the defendants were ready to plead guilty.
The Dept. of Justice under this same racist Eric Holder has been “instructed” not to pursue cases of racism if perpetrated by blacks on whites. However, they are to aggressively pursue cases if it whites were the alleged perpetrators. Insiders have revealed this to be the “culture of justice” of our own Justice Dept.
And of course, who can forget the vitriolic, racist ramblings and screed of Rev. Jeremiah Wright whose church Obama and Michelle attended for years. He never protested such despicable racist hatred and the black liberation theology that was espoused.
Furthermore, Obama was very close not just with Wright but also with Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam who is the quintessential vehemently anti-white, anti-semitic racist and who also preaches anti-American vitriol.
The list of examples of racism by the Obama Administration, his czars (Van Jones) and other appointees is nearly endless and entirely unacceptable.
Why are we bringing this up?
Obama is conveying and instigating by actions, incendiary rhetoric and legislation, an aggressive entitlement and superiority attitude for blacks over the “flawed” and “racist” whites that is spilling out into the African-American community, particularly the lower socioeconomic level. They do not see this as demagoguery but as “reality” and then channel this hateful energy into what they see as acceptable anger and actions aimed against whites. After all, “their” President seems to be doing the same – though not by violence.
There has been a spate of attacks by blacks on whites since Obama has been President. Most of these have seen little news coverage because they do not fit into the progressive media’s far left agenda of “showing” the “abused, downtrodden” blacks.
The following egregious incident (see video below) is an attack perpetrated by 2 black females on a white "female" inside a McDonalds in Baltimore and captured on video. At least some of the employees of the restaurant were black males and could have instantly stopped the beating but didn’t (one was actually took the video as seen below). The Caucasian girl, who happened to be a transsexual, was subjected to a prolonged, violent beating by these uncivilized hateful individuals including a head injury. It is not clear if this specifically was partially motivated by her being white or if there was any knowledge of her sexual orientation.
Outrageously, the local police dept. stated that it is “looking into this” to see whether there was any evidence that this was a hate crime (which the victim believes to be the case).
Are they kidding?
Despite several blacks present inside this McDonalds, it took an older white woman to help stop this.
We haven’t heard a word out of Obama about this. Or from Attorney General Eric Holder.
What about Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton?
You could be sure that if this were reversed with several Whites brutally abusing a black girl even if it wasn't patently motivated by race, there would already be rioting in the streets by blacks and claims of racism by Jackson and Sharpton. Holder would already have a Dept. of Justice investigation underway and the white “perpetrators” would have been already been convicted in the public forum.
This video is very graphic. See the two subsequent articles as well.
Shocking, Disturbing Restaurant Assault Vid: Woman Allegedly Beaten Into a Seizure As Employees Laugh
Jonathon M. Seidl April 22, 2011
When we post restaurant brawl videos, many times the tone centers around disbelief mixed with uneasy chuckles. What you’re about to see might result in audible screams, gasps, and expletives. Warning, it’s disturbing.
The details on the following attack are fuzzy.* What you see is two woman mercilessly attacking another in a McDonald’s. But that doesn’t really do the video justice. The two women repeatedly punch and kick the woman in the head while she lies in the fetal position on the ground. They then drag her across the floor by her hair near the door, where they continue the beating. All the while, the employees stand by laughing (although one seems to give a half-hearted vocal attempt to stop the madness, and another eventually tries to step in).
Eventually, it appears the woman is beaten so badly she has a seizure.
According to a description from the video site LiveLeak, the person filming the incident coaches the attackers to flee:
The two black females exit, then re-enter the store to continue the beating, until an older white woman attempts to stop them from dragging the white victim outside into the parking lot. note: the black male employees have disappeared from camera view, even though they are plenty well capable of stopping the attack.
At the end, the white victim is beaten until she has a seizure, at which point the camera operator warns the black female attackers to flee, because the police are on the way. Note: he makes sure to repeatedly tell the criminal attackers to flee, instead of keeping them there for the police to apprehend.
Many of you have e-mailed asking for more information on this disturbing video. As is mentioned in the article, details are fuzzy right now. There is no word on where or when this occurred or what eventually happened to the attackers or the victim. As soon as we find anything out, we’ll let you know.
McDonald’s has responded to the video and says it occurred in Baltimore.
Video of beating in a Baltimore County McDonald's goes viral
Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun April 22, 2011
A video of a vicious beating at a Baltimore County McDonald's restaurant went viral Friday, garnering hundreds of thousands of views on various websites and prompting the fast food giant to issue a statement condemning the incident.
The video shows two women – one of them a 14-year-old girl – repeatedly kicking and punching the 22-year-old victim in the head, as an employee of the Rosedale restaurant and a patron try to intervene. Others can be heard laughing, and men appear to be standing idly by.
Toward the end of the video, one of the suspects lands a punishing blow to the victim's head, and she appears to have a seizure. A man's voice tells the women to run because police are coming.
The three-minute clip was apparently first posted on YouTube, then taken down by administrators who said it violated the site's policies. But it sprung back up on other sites and was ultimately linked from the popular Drudge Report, which gave it top billing for much of the day.
By mid-afternoon, the video had received 450,000 views on one site alone.
County police confirmed that the attack occurred April 18 in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave. Police said the 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman.
The victim suffered cuts to her mouth and face, and a police report said she was in "fair" condition.
The report classifies the attack as a "second degree assault" -- one of the suspects said that the fight was "with a woman over using a bathroom."
As the video spread online, McDonald's acknowledged that the attack had occurred in a Baltimore restaurant and said they were working with local police.
"We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling," the company said in a statement posted on its website. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter."
State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said the racial dynamics of the incident – the attackers are black, and the victim is white – could result in hate crime charges.
"We just received this case, and the police department is continuing their investigation," Shellenberger said. "If there is evidence that the crime was racially motivated, we will take a look at those charges and see if we meet those elements. We have the ability, if the facts are there, to upgrade the charges at a later date."
The video begins with two women near a bathroom door kicking and hitting a woman who is lying on the ground. Viewers from across the country expressed shock at the sheer brutality of the video, and the racial dynamics of the attack drove much of the commentary on the sites that posted the clip.
An employee repeatedly tries to separate them, but the attackers continue to stomp and kick the victim's head. People yell, "Stop! Stop!" to no avail, though others can be heard laughing. An older woman at one point also attempts to pull the attackers away, and is shoved.
About halfway through the three-minute clip, the attackers rip a wig off the victim and drag her by her hair to the front door. That is where the victim is sitting before a blow to the head causes an apparent seizure.
Throughout the attack, a man is filming and does not intervene. But when the victim appears to go into a seizure, he yells, "She having a seizure, yo. … Police on their way. Y'all better get out of here."
Through a McDonald's spokesman, the owner of the Rosedale restaurant released a statement. The chain said the owner and employees would not be made available for comment.
"I'm as shocked and disturbed by this incident as anyone would be. The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible," said the franchise owner, Mitchell McPherson. "The safety of our customers is a top priority. We know the police were called immediately, and we are thoroughly investigating this matter."
Many of the elected Left are seeking to make elections and elected officials somewhat unimportant in many ways. That is, they are continually seeking to impose greater restrictions on the American public not necessarily just through laws passed by Congress but also by seemingly infinite rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats.
To evolve our country into a socialistic one with a large central government that has virtually total control over most of the activities of its citizenry. The population will be neutered with an ever increasing number becoming docile and agreeable dependents of the State. This further facilitates implementation of their far left ideological agenda.
These same politicians, who are acting like an elitist class akin to the politburo of former Soviet Union, will be rewarded with privilege, power and wealth. We have to look no further than Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, Charlie Schumer and Barney Frank to see what is transpiring.
We must vociferously and staunchly oppose all these individuals and their policies and do whatever it takes to abrogate their actions and remove them from office.
Our Unelected Rulers
Investor’s Business Daily 04/15/2011
Administrative State: Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi says "elections shouldn't matter as much as they do." Maybe they don't even matter as much as she thinks they do. It seems that bureaucrats are making our laws.
Speaking last week at Tufts University, Pelosi suggested that until recently there was little difference between her party and the Republicans because of "shared values." In her mind, these shared values had rendered elections meaningless in the pre-Tea Party era. But now she fears a true grass-roots uprising has forced a bright line between the parties.
What she and most of the country are missing, though, is the impact of the administrative state. America has become a nation where unelected regulators make law. We should be alarmed.
Recently we learned from U.S. News & World Report that "just six pages" of the 907-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been turned "into 429 pages of new regulations." That is one page for "every page of (President) Obama's campaign book, 'The Audacity of Hope' — plus another 45 pages."
A few months earlier, the New York Times reported that federal rule makers "suddenly find themselves at the center of power as they scramble to work out details of hundreds of sweeping financial and health care regulations that will ultimately affect most Americans."
According to the Times, "More than 200 health regulators working on complicated insurance rules have taken over three floors of a suburban office building" in Bethesda, Md., "paying almost double the market rate for the space in their rush to get started."
Paul Dennett, senior vice president of the American Benefits Council, a trade group for large employers, is quoted as saying: "There has never been a period like what we are going through now, in terms of the sheer volume and complexity of rule-making."
Issues to be settled by regulators, not elected officials, the Times said, include:
• How much credit-card companies can charge shopkeepers for administrative fees when cards are swiped for purchases.
• Which types of financial companies are so "systemically important" to the economy that they should be subject to greater federal oversight.
• What services must be covered by all insurers as part of the "essential health benefits" package and at what point would premium increases be considered so "unreasonable" that regulators could step in.
This is not a sudden bump in rule making. Regulators have been busy for decades, particularly during Obama's first year in office — which wasn't even a full year. In 2009, the administration published a record-breaking 163,333 pages of rules that affect our daily lives, from the energy we use to the financial decisions we make to the health care we get.
If all this seems inconsistent with the Declaration of Independence's guarantee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without state interference, there's good reason. As Heritage Foundation senior fellow Robert Moffat has written, Americans rightly "feel that they are increasingly being governed by administrators, not legislators. ... The rule of law is being supplanted" by rules and regulations.
The administrative state's disciples believe an army of experts is needed to organize society because they hold special knowledge. In his 1887 essay "Socialism and Democracy," Woodrow Wilson gave fuel to a radical agenda that gnaws at us yet today when he wrote that "men as communities are supreme over men as individuals."
The rise of the administrative state is oxygen for a political left that relishes control of civil society because its members believe they're too smart not to be obeyed. It has a chokehold not only on individual rights, but on the economy as well.
The Phoenix Center in Washington has found that on average, "eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually."
This would strike most as evidence that the administrative state is counterproductive. Yet there's an absence of a strong effort to reverse it. This isn't inspiring. Elections should mean something, and deconstruction of the body of unelected rule makers would give even more meaning to the pivotal 2012 races.
Local, state and federal governments are becoming increasingly intrusive in our private lives in accord with the liberal philosophy that "the government knows better".
Guess what (there is no need for guessing here)?
The government doesn't know better and it has no right dictating our choices (as long they are "legal").
In a Chicago school, children are not allowed to bring in their own lunch anymore because the administration feels that the parents are incapable of feeding their children properly. The school forces the children to eat there ... and what it deems that they should eat. California and N.Y. are the most well known for their restrictive, intrusive and punitive culinary restrictions for restaurants.
Soon, governments may decide what kind of toilet paper we must use and the number of sheets that can be used before being subjected to a fine.
These intrusive actions, signs of large and powerful governments and unrestrained politicians, must be abrogated!
Obama’s little more than 2 years in office as President has revealed a multitude of noxious traits, actions and ideologies, a high proportion of which serve to abet his agenda to the detriment of the American public. Many even openly flout the Constitution and other legalities.
Probably the most vile and dangerous of these to the American public are his concerted attempts to consolidate power and control while concurrently thwarting the opposition. Obama acts much like a dictator though an inept one at that. He also has sought to implement ideologies which abrogate many of our rights and freedoms through the use of myriad regulations and Presidential edicts rather than through democratic channels like Congress. This even includes attacks on the right to free speech – including political speech and contributions.
Through Presidential edict, Obama is now seeking to legislate away the rights of supporters of his opponents while at the same time, allowing groups supportive of him and the Democratic machine (such as unions) to keep making their massive political contributions unscathed.
Obama's Executive Order coming to cut off funding to his political opponents?
Ed Lasky April 20, 2011
From the man who said he would bring a gun to a knife fight, the latest ploy to cut his opponents off at their knees. This one is not based on arguments or facts, but on sheer abuse of the powers he has as President.
Kenneth Vogel writes in Politico that President Obama is "considering a number of measures to compel disclosure of the kind of anonymous campaign contributions that helped finance millions of dollars of attack ads against Democrats during the 2010 elections."
These measures appear broad in scope:
The White House last week began circulating a draft executive order that would require companies seeking government contracts to disclose contributions -- including those that otherwise would have been secret -- to groups that air political ads attacking or supporting candidates.
The proposed order follows several actions by regulatory agencies that have a similar intent of making corporate and individual donations more transparent.
Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a decree that could result in shareholders having more say in corporate election spending. Democratic appointees to the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission are pushing measures that could make public currently anonymous contributions to outside groups.
Administration critics, including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are seizing on the White House's draft executive order, in particular, as evidence of an attempt to use executive power to punish or silence political adversaries, while rewarding supporters.
Calling the draft executive order "an affront to the separation of powers ... (and) to free speech," chamber spokeswoman Blair Latoff said it "lays the groundwork for a political litmus test for companies that wish to do business with the federal government" and is "less about disclosure than intimidation."
One White House ally, Craig Holman, applauds these plans since the 2010 election brought too many Republicans into Congress to hold out hope that these "reforms" could happen through legislation. So President Obama intends to use brute force to take these measures that would chill free speech and the campaign efforts of his critics. Apparently, a great deal can be achieved administratively through a regulatory approach and by executive order. A draft of the executive order requires disclosures of contributions made by companies' executives and board members to support candidates and third-party groups (such as the very effective American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity groups).
Tellingly, the draft order would not apply to Democratic-allied groups that receive grants from the federal government (such as Planned Parenthood) or to unions, which bankroll so many Democratic campaigns and which have trumpeted that their spending power helped elect Barack Obama and makes them the king of the (Capitol) hill. Unions are among the biggest campaign spenders in America and they give their money to Democrats. "We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).
Similar efforts to compel disclosure are being made through the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FCC and through the Federal Election Commission.
While the nation reels from a faltering economy with the lowest labor force participation rate in decades, with a deficit and debt crisis that may merit a S & P downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, with a geopolitical earthquake in the Middle East, Barack Obama finds time to figure out ways to hurt his political opponents (or his "enemies" as he would characterize them).
Public disclosure of campaign contributions can lead to boycotts of companies whose executives give to political campaigns (as happened when Target came under fire for its campaign contributions, when boycotts targeted campaign contributors to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; similar efforts to punish people for their political views litter the political landscape).
Barack Obama wants to chill political speech to further his chances to win reelection. He made clear his views towards the law as decided by the Supreme Court when he crassly lambasted them last year during the State of the Union address for supporting the First Amendment in their Citizens United decision (a law he basically wants to undercut by using the powers of the Presidency in a particularly underhanded way).
Barack Obama , when he ran his campaign for state senator, had his opponents thrown off the ballots by challenging the signatures on their petitions to run. He cleared the ballot of all opponents.
He does not play fair -- and never has. That is his modus operandi. He learned everything he needed to know about politics in Cook County and he has brought its mores to Washington.
Change, yes, change; but in a wrong direction and in a way that the media would scorn had a Republican tried to derail opposition by these tactics.
The following article elucidates the cited issues challenging the constitutionality of the Obamacare legislation and provides supportive legal history/cases bolstering this position. His argument is quite cogent and may serve as an appetizer for the argued positions when the States’ case is ultimately heard by the Supreme Court.
Importantly, this case can be considered to be a watershed one that can serve to vanquish and turn back the tide of ever expanding federal government insinuation and encroachment into our daily activities. Thus, if it is struck down by the Supreme Court, this defeat may very well be the Waterloo of the Progressive agenda.
ObamaCare: The 28th Amendment?
Roger D. Luchs April 17, 2011
ObamaCare is under assault, and properly so, because it tramples on enumerated constitutional rights of individuals and the states. Given President Obama's predilection, it must also be viewed as his most aggressive effort to date to recast the Constitution to empower the Federal government to inject itself into areas of everyday life from which it has been fenced off since its inception.
In a 2001 interview, Obama expressed frustration that the Constitution was framed as a "limiting" document rather than an "empowering" document. He understands that there is simply no prospect of amending it to bestow on Congress and him substantially broader authority to regulate broad sectors of the private economy. His sole option, then, is to convince the public that 225 years of constitutional jurisprudence is wrong or outdated.
ObamaCare is his opening salvo for making his case. No doubt there are more than a few liberal judges who will back him up. Some have already ruled in Obama's favor. If Obama succeeds even in only small part in recasting the Constitution as transferring powers to the central government beyond those expressly identified therein, then, to Obama and his liberal allies, it will be seen, to borrow a phrase, as "the end of the beginning" rather than "the beginning of the end."
Obama knows better, of course, which is why he said what he did in his 2001 interview. He can't change history, as much as he'd like to try, so he hopes to erase it from people's memories so over time, it is replaced with "progressive" reading of the Constitution. Facts, however, are stubborn things.
The colonies ceded to the newly-established Federal government only those powers they agreed among themselves would benefit the separate states, collectively. The Tenth Amendment reserved to the states those many powers not expressly ceded. The Bill of Rights was adopted to ensure that the Federal government could not infringe on the liberties the Revolution was fought to restore and preserve. Citizens of the colonies, and later of the territories, agreed to this arrangement with the understanding that the states and the Federal government would honor what was a set of covenants among them, which all agreed to honor so the nation would succeed. The Civil War was fought, in part, because to the Southern states, the North, when it elected Lincoln, signaled its willingness to violate that compact, by changing one of the key terms to which it had agreed to obtain Southern participation in the union. The Civil War, once concluded, was followed by several amendments which extended the reach of the Bill of Rights to state governments.
Though the Civil War brought forth a "new nation," by destroying the institution of slavery, and causing the amendment of the Constitution to protect freedoms of newly-liberated citizens, in all other respects, it reverted to what it was originally intended to be, i.e., a compact that ceded to the Federal government only those powers that would enable the nation to take on the character of a unified assemblage of willing actors. Although in the New Deal, its powers were broadened, neither Roosevelt nor succeeding presidents sought to recast the fundamental nature of the Constitution.
Those states which have already challenged ObamaCare have focused, in part, on the Tenth Amendment's preservation of state power over those realms of governance and regulation not expressly ceded to the Federal government. Historically, each state has exercised sovereign authority over the conduct of the insurance business within its borders. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 1944 that certain aspects of the insurance business were subject to the Commerce Clause and, therefore, the sovereignty of the states to regulate insurance within their respected borders could be preempted by Congress, in its regulation of interstate commerce, Congress rebelled. It overrode the Court's ruling, by enacting legislation reaffirming the sovereignty of the states over the insurance business, except as specified in the statute. Absent a change in that law, then, the President's ability to infringe upon and override state sovereignty over insurance business conducted within the states' respective borders is minimal. ObamaCare, nevertheless, includes several mandates to insurers which arguably exceed the Federal government's powers to regulate insurance. However, those pale in comparison to the individual mandate.
It is that mandate that most clearly signals Obama's intent to "rewrite" the Constitution to dispense with its fundamental character. The mandate implicates the Bill of Rights' guarantee that persons may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Obama, in this regard, must be creative, because his mandate infringes upon the same right of privacy liberals fought for years to establish, in order to afford women a constitutional right to abortion. It seems self-evident that if that right inhibits the Federal and state governments from intruding upon a woman's choice, then it also protects women, and men, from government interference in their choices affecting their personal physical and mental well-being.
ObamaCare's guiding principle, however, is not paternalism. It is about the government's power to identify "public uses," as contemplated by the Fifth Amendment, and then compel unwilling individuals to engage in conduct that would, in the government's view, advance such uses. Requiring someone to buy health insurance from a private insurer is no different, in kind, from forcing New London, Connecticut property owners to sell their land to a private development authority established by the city, so that it could devote that property to more "productive" uses. In the case of ObamaCare, the "public use" contemplated is a Federally- controlled, all encompassing healthcare system that would compel the citizenry to purchase insurance, to facilitate the government's exercise of control over how they make use of the healthcare system, which comprises about 16% of the private economy. It is a means to achieving a Federally-prescribed end.
However unjust the circumstances in Ms. Kelo's case, at least the Fifth Amendment ensured that she would receive "just compensation". The Constitution expressly recognizes the doctrine of eminent domain, though that is an ancient doctrine founded on the principle that real property belongs to its owners, and they may not be compelled by government to part with it, except under limited circumstances, and for a fair price.
Anyone forced to buy health insurance will also be compelled to part with private property, i.e., private wealth, but unlike in Kelo, what he receives in return is what the government instructs him to receive, i.e. insurance from a private insurer, the content of which will be regulated, to some extent, by the Federal government. It is fair to ask, if the Constitution required amendment to authorize a Federal income tax which taxpayers must pay to avoid punishment, why should an amendment not also be a prerequisite to the implementation of ObamaCare?
If there is any doubt about government's power to compel ordinary citizens to engage in conduct mandated by the Federal government, one need only look at Supreme Court precedent on the constitutionality of Federal rent control statutes to allay such doubt. Rent control, and its intersection with Constitutional rights, was taken up in challenges to rent control statutes enacted in World War I and World War II. In two precedential decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws were constitutional, because they were adopted as temporary measures, enacted by Congress in the exercise of its police power, to meet the exigencies of the pending wars.
In its decisions, the Court, both implicitly and explicitly, focused on provisions in each statute that carved out an exception for property owners who wanted to remove their properties from the rental market. Each statute reserved to this right to landlords, even if they did so solely to avoid being subjected to Federal regulation. In the decision upholding the World War I statute, Justice Holmes, writing for the majority, commented that "there comes a point at which the police power ceases and leaves only that of eminent domain." Applying this same reasoning to ObamaCare, anyone forced to purchase health insurance will find himself entangled in the Federal regulatory scheme that will accompany that law's implementation, but, unlike government-imposed rent control, without any viable way to escape participation.
It is no answer that ObamaCare offers the uninsured a choice, i.e. the option to pay a fine in lieu of mandated health insurance. Under the doctrine of eminent domain, there is no "option" to pay a fine in lieu of selling one's property to the government, but the government must pay the property owner the value of his property and the property owner may use that payment as he wishes. Under ObamaCare, the government will pay the involuntary purchaser nothing in exchange for forcing him to buy health insurance. The uninsured's choice, then, falls somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis.
Beyond this, the Eighth Amendment, which bars "cruel and unusual punishments," contains a separate provision which raises an additional doubts about ObamaCare's constitutionality. That provision prohibits government from imposing "excessive fines." This language was included to prevent the arbitrary use of what in feudal times were known as amercements, employed by the crown to punish those who offended the king, or violated the king's law. Amercements had sometimes been used to ruin people financially. Because ObamaCare's fines are intended as punishment for those who refuse to buy health insurance, they too, may be excessive, at least in some instances. Absent a binding court ruling in which it is held that the statutory fines may be imposed uniformly, they are ostensibly subject to review on a case by case basis. It is doubtful that the blanket imposition of more than a token fine without regard to each person's circumstances can withstand judicial scrutiny, except, of course, by liberal judges who are indifferent to the merits of challenges to ObamaCare's constitutionality.
To Obama and his fellow "progressives", it is too much to ask that the compact upon which the nation was founded should stand in their way. The Administration and the political movement it represents are intent on changing the rules of the game for all times, and not just to legitimize ObamaCare. If they succeed, over two centuries of jurisprudence consistent with the Founders' intent will be replaced by a new jurisprudence that leaves the Constitution, as drafted and originally adopted, just dust in the wind. Over generations, any understanding of the framers' original intent will gradually fade into the background.
But properly and aggressively challenged, ObamaCare could become this century's Hindenburg. If it does crash and burn, there is little doubt that whatever takes its place will have to heed the limits on government's power set by the Constitution. If fully informed, the public will expect, and demand, no less.
 United States Dept. of Treasury v. Fabe, 508 U.S. 491 (1993)
 Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)
 Block v. Hirsh, 256 U.S. 135, 154(1921). The World War II law is addressed in Bowles v. Willingham, 321 U.S. 503, 517 (1944). ("There is no requirement that the apartments in question be used for purposes which bring them under the Act.")
The Obama Administration has critical information on the Fort Hood jihadist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, that it is refusing to release to Congress despite repeated requests.
We can only speculate on some of the reasons. Interestingly and as noted below, Obama and many in his administration have refused to acknowledge the obvious including leaving it out of reports and speeches: that this was an act of Islamic terrorism.
This terrorist had a long history of pro-Islamic rants, actions and associations and even yelled “Allahu akbar” while murdering members of our military. All the evidence is irrefutable and incontrovertible.
Obama’s refusal to consider this an Islamic terrorist event, particularly given his position as President of this country, is of incalculable concern and places our country at immeasurable risk. We feel that this goes beyond blatant incompetence or truckling to Islam and “political correctness”.
Is this just another of myriad examples that Obama’s allegiance is not truly to America and its Judeo-Christian foundations and instead more toward Islam?
Given his history (including attending a Madrassa in Indonesia as a child; Muslim father and step father), statements (anti-American; anti Judeo-Christian and pro-Islam), actions (pro-Arab, anti-Allies including vehement hatred of our ally Israel, etc.), we firmly believe that this is the case.
It also begs the important question which has simmered in the public for a while: is Obama really a Muslim and not a “Christian” which he feigns to be?
Obama's Fort Hood Jihadist
Pamela Geller April 11, 2011
We have been hearing for years that the White House is withholding evidence on the Fort Hood jihadi, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Now comes direct confirmation of this from Hasan's own lawyer.
Major Hasan, also known as Soldier of Allah, according to his business card, mowed down thirteen U.S. soldiers while screaming Allahu akbar on the Fort Hood military base in Texas a year and a half ago, in November 2009. Yet his trial keeps on being postponed. On March 30, Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the outgoing commanding general at Fort Hood, granted a request from John Galligan, Hasan's lawyer, to delay the trial until late April. Galligan, however, disclaims responsibility for all the delays, blaming them on none other than Barack Hussein Obama.
Rick, a reader of my website, AtlasShrugs.com, forwarded to me an email exchange he had with Galligan. Rick wrote to Galligan last Thursday: "The American people are getting pretty upset about all of these delays." On Friday, Galligan responded: "Delays are due to prosecution/White House refusal to disclose evidence. Blame them for the delays."
So where is justice? This Islamic supremacist should have been executed by now. What's the hold up? Galligan's blaming Obama is consistent with how the White House has behaved throughout this case. Back in November of 2010, I wrote at Atlas Shrugs that the Obama administration was "still covering up the motivation behind the attack."
Even worse, in October 2010, a soldier at Fort Hood who caught Hasan's jihad murders in two videos on his cell phone camera was ordered by his commanding officer to delete both videos.
This is unacceptable. An army officer ordered the destruction of evidence in a jihadist attack on American soldiers? The officer should be on trial for obstruction of justice.
And back in April 2010, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) had to subpoena the Obama White House to get information it was withholding for a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood jihad massacre.
Meanwhile, the official government report on this jihad mass-murder doesn't mention jihad or Islam at all. Congressman John Carter (R-TX) said that "the Obama Administration continues to deny the Fort Hood attack was terrorism, failed to grant the casualties the same status as that given casualties from the 2001 Pentagon attack, conspicuously omitted even mention of the words 'radical Islamic terrorism' in the official DOD report on the shootings, and will not acknowledge the role of political-correctness in stifling whistleblower warnings of the impending attack."
Yet on the morning of Major Hasan's mass slaughter of U.S. troops at Fort Hood in the bloodiest act of war on a military base in U.S. history, he distributed Qur'ans and his card, calling infidels to convert to Islam before his jihad (as I reported at Atlas Shrugs on November 6, 2009 -- Major Hasan's Dawah before Jihad). Hasan screamed "Allahu Akbar!" as he mowed down U.S. soldiers at Fort Hood.
Also, a fellow psychiatrist recalled a lecture Hasan gave (a "grand round" is the term for it) when he was a medical resident at Walter Reed: "It freaked them out." Normally, a lecturer focuses on a particular disease or disorder and recent research or treatment options. Instead, Hasan reportedly harangued the doctors and staff about what the Qur'an teaches about non-believers going to hell, being scalded, beheaded, etc. A Muslim psychiatrist in the audience reportedly challenged Hasan about his interpretation of the Qur'an, but he would not back down (because he was right). Other sources said that several in the audience suggested afterward that Hasan might be a shooter someday.
Yet Obama has continued to withhold evidence in the Fort Hood jihadist attack and, as Galligan has just revealed, continues to shield the Muslim terrorist.
So crippled has our military (and other branches of government) become by this self-imposed Sharia (do not insult Islam!), that despite the staggering loss of U.S. soldiers in Hasan's Fort Hood massacre, the chief concern of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. in the bloody aftermath of the Fort Hood jihad was that "speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers and what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here."
That was the concern.
By Gd, what have they done? They have abandoned, by their own volition, the only weapon of survival -- they are practicing suspension of the mind, refusing to think.
Who is looking out for Americans? We know who is looking out for the jihad in America. John Galligan just reminded us.