May 20, 2016
Is This Trump's Moment?
Raccoons are bad. When Robin and I moved into our first home after leaving the military, we discovered a raccoon family had moved in just before us, living in the ceiling of the garage. A story attributed to Newt Gingrich about the phenomenon of Donald Trump compared him to a raccoon exterminator. The belief is, we don’t care about the person who exterminates the raccoons, we just want the problem fixed.
With Donald Trump the presumptive nominee, many are now wondering whether they should leave the Republican Party. I don’t propose there exists the perfect answer to this question. But I understand why people are asking it (because we also want the raccoon problem fixed).
For the record, I’m not a “NeverTrump” person. In the two-party system that America enjoys (or, increasingly laments), the question is binary: Democrat or Republican. As a question with two possible answers, I can understand supporting him despite his lack of conservative track record. It is simply a pragmatic response.
But I’m not an “AlwaysTrump” person, either. What amazes me is that so many people are willing to table their core beliefs to support Donald Trump. Case in point: if you are arguing with a big Trump fan and you criticize Trump on any level for any action, eventually you often become the bad guy in the course of that argument. “You don’t understand!” “You don’t get it!”
No, I think I do. As a Major League Soccer (MLS) Official and a United States Basketball League (USBL) Official, I saw many games won by one play. Often, that single moment turned the tide of the game and secured victory.
Politics is not entirely different from sports. To use a football analogy: with Donald Trump, you are voting to start a quarterback in the Super Bowl who has never thrown a pass. Why? Because you are tired of interceptions and losses. You are the guy at home who keeps yelling at his TV on Sunday afternoons: “Start a guy from the stands! He’s gotta be better than this guy!!”
Yes, in the far flung possibilities of mathematics, it is possible that the random guy in the mezzanine might actually be better than your quarterback. Trump’s argument is that since he has done all the things to put him in the owner’s box, he should therefore be on the field. Voters believed him. They could have chosen from many more Republican candidates who were, on any logical level, more qualified than Mr. Trump.
Voters only have Super Tuesdays, not Super Bowls, but many of those who voted in Republican primaries and conventions decided to start a guy from the stands.
Mr. Trump, you are now the quarterback. Many of my conservative friends want to know your first Supreme Court “play.” Release your selection of who you are going to nominate—not just a list of possible candidates—so we can determine if your first moment will turn the tide of your administration and secure victory for our country.
As for whether to leave the Republican Party, I think we need to begin by asking a broader question: What do we believe? Do our beliefs lead us to be Republicans, or does the Republican Party lead us to our beliefs?
My support about a “party” is fundamentally tied to ideas: the ideas of freedom, liberty and the rule of law. Freedom is what I personally fought for as a graduate of the Air Force Academy (class of 1988), a combat pilot (Desert Storm) and now the father of two boys in the Army — who represent the fourth consecutive generation of my family to serve in uniform for our country. Liberty is to use our Creator given talents without crushing government intervention. Rule of law is adhering to the original contract with America – the Constitution.
One last thing, which is actually the first thing. Ultimately, my principles are not dictated by Reince Preibus or Donald Trump—they are formed in my heart by my Creator. And that will never change.
Yes, I too want the raccoon problem solved. But I need to know what comes after the problem is solved. Mr. Trump, this is your moment. This is your first play in the big game. We want to support you, but we need to know your first actual Supreme Court pick.
April 7, 2016
Principled Compromise or Compromising Principles
It sounds so nice and lofty to be all about compromising to “get things done” in Richmond or Washington. Republicans are constantly asked if they will compromises on issues. Being a great compromiser seems to be the key characteristic the Media and Democrats want a Republican to have.
In my travels around Virginia, I talk about Republican principles a lot. I offer this example of Compromise versus Principle:
Think about your kitchen. Consider the walls. Look at the color. Many kitchens are bright,
which makes the room feel open and welcoming.
“We” could obtain diverse opinions from many people about the color of your kitchen.
Every reasonable group of people could arrive at a compromise for the color “we” should
paint your kitchen. Some might lean towards mauve, others fuchsia, and still others
magenta. No matter the size of the group, in a short time, a vote could be taken and “we”
could compromise on the color.
However, the preferred color of your kitchen is not the real question. The question is:
Do “we” have the authority to paint your kitchen?
Because the answer is “No!” there’s no ability to ‘compromise’. Even if the group wants a
color you can live with, is willing to pay for it, will do an outstanding job and clean up after
finished, it doesn’t matter. “We” can’t paint your kitchen, because “we” have no authority
to paint your kitchen in the first place.
It is wrong for the government to do something it has no authority to do. Because it’s wrong, there’s no ability to ‘compromise’ and let government do less wrong. Some grey areas of government exist. I get that. But some areas the government participates in now are clearly outside the limits of good government. Government must stop exceeding its limited authority. Recognizing limits is better than the so-called principle of compromise, which serves the Leftist Media, the Democrats and the Establishment on both sides, but not the people.
The Republican Party was born refusing to compromise on slavery. Thank goodness they did not compromise. I wonder what would have been a good compromise on slavery. Many will be free and a few will be slaves? How many? Where? Why? The Missouri Compromise failed, because it violated the principle. There is no compromise on the principle of freedom, so there is no compromise on the issue of slavery.
If the principle is the Free World must win the Cold War, then President Reagan was right to say, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” A compromise would not have worked: If you don’t mind, Mr. Gorbachev, please tear down a piece of the wall and let a few folks visit the West.
If the principle is all human life is precious, then compromises can’t be made to kill when life is inconvenient.
If the principle is America is a nation of laws, then the compromise can’t be - unless you’re here illegally and have lived here for ten years. Not applying laws to illegal immigrants isn’t a compromise. It’s a rejection of the principle.
If the principle is to let the free market economy work, then there is no compromise for the government to dictate a federal minimum wage. The federal government has no authority here.
If the principle is our right to keep and bear arms, then making compromises for universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines, requiring concealed carry permits, etc. is outside the authority of good government.
These compromises violate the principles.
The Virginia Republican Creed demonstrates our principles at the state level, and the Constitution sets our principles at the federal level. If the authority exists to get the government involved, then let’s work together to find a compromise that will advance the majority. If the government has no authority, then let’s stand on principle, as no ability to compromise exists.
December 28, 2015
How Comstock Stole Liberty
On October 29, 2014, just a few short days before her election, 10th District Congressional candidate Barbara Comstock appeared on the Mark Levin national radio show and attempted to illustrate her “conservative” credentials by using clichés like the following:
“I believe in good, conservative ‘Reaganite’ tax policies to stimulate the economy.” And: “We have to cut business taxes so small businesses can grow.”
Many of us suspected that she was merely telling us what we wanted to hear, but she insistently re-assured us that she wanted to defund ObamaCare, to help reduce taxes, to control spending, and to make our education system better.
It turns out that we – including Mark Levin – were sold a bill of goods. She’s a liberal and votes with Democrats more than some Democrats!
In the year since her election, Comstock has already managed an “F” rating from some major conservative sources.
Eagle Forum scores her a 50%. (Yes. That’s out of 100%.)
FreedomWorks gives her a 48% score. In fact, she is the penultimate liberal Republican in Virginia. (Scott Rigell scores a 45%)
Heritage Foundation scores her at 45%. (Remember: that’s out of 100%!)
Conservative Review grades her a 25%. How bad is that score? Let’s put it this way: Maxine Waters (D-CA) scores a 26%.
In fact, only 8 republicans in Congress are scored worse.
Needless to say, she has betrayed everything conservative.
Mark Levin joined many of us in lamenting his support of Comstock on Thursday, December 17, 2015. “My own congressperson (Barbara Comstock) has completely lurched left. It is completely amazing. I’ve known this person for decades. It’s not that she is a moderate, she is gone [liberal]. It is amazing what happens when people get power.”
And on Friday, December 18th, in discussing the Omnibus disaster that had just passed, Mark Levin continued, “My member, Barbara Comstock (just) voted with the leftists for massive debt for my children and grandchildren.”
State Central member Eve Gleason continues this theme, writing about the recent vote Comstock had on the Omnibus bill, “it is only symptomatic of bigger problems in Washington…We need leadership with the will to change the way things are done across the Potomac.”
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly laments about others including Comstocks’ vote this way, “[it] violates every promise that Republicans made to the voters…”
Here is a brief summary of Comstock’s recent votes that failed her own Party’s beliefs and her campaign promises to the citizens of the 10th.
Jobs. Her #1 job, she said, was jobs. Then she voted for Executive Amnesty. Comstock voted with every single Democrat. Oops. This singularly hurts Americans who need jobs!
Pro-Life. Regarding H.R. 719 – Continuing Resolution that Funds Planned Parenthood, Comstock voted with every single Democrat, and agreed to refund Planned Parenthood. Incredible.
Education. How about the H.R. 3762 – No Child Left Behind Reauthorization? Many conservative groups disliked this bill from the get-go, pointing out that it failed to decrease the unconstitutional federal involvement in education. Comstock voted with every single Democrat to approve this 1,000+ page bill. Sound conservative?
Spending. How about the $1.1 Trillion Year-End “Omnibus” spending Bill? I’ll say this for Congress: if you’re going to have a $1.1 trillion bill, “Omnibus” isn’t a bad name for it. (Alternate name choices: “Ridiculous,” “Preposterous,” “Ludicrous,” “Outrageous,” or, if you really want a descriptive word, what about “Unconstitutional?”) This funds ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood, Syrian “Refugees”, Sanctuary Cities, “Dream Act” etc, etc, etc. Yep, Comstock voted with nearly every Democrat on that, too. One question: Does an eleven-thousand-billion-dollar bill sound “Reaganite” to anyone?
Liberal Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “Well, if you would’ve told me this year that we’d be standing here celebrating the passage of an omnibus bill, with no poison pill riders (read Planned Parenthood here), at higher spending levels above sequesters than even the president requested, I wouldn’t have believed it, but here we are.” Thank you, Barbara Comstock.
You know what every conservative in this district wants this Christmas? Here’s a clue: it’s what we’ve wanted every Christmas in America. But it’s what the Grinch keeps taking away. It’s called “liberty.”
Maybe we can elect a conservative in 2016 who remembers what liberty looks like.
Let me know if you agree. Shak@FriendsofShakHill.com
November 12, 2015
Reclaim American Fatherhood: Part 3
(Part 1 and 2 can be found below.)
The Twentieth Century witnessed the outsourcing of fatherhood.
In the 1930’s, with Roosevelt’s New Deal, the father’s role as provider was seriously questioned for the first time. But it would not to be the last time. Throw in several decades of welfare programs discouraging the involvement of the father, and you get what you have today. A widespread breakdown of the family.
In fact, you might say that there was a government takeover of fatherhood. And the years that followed have only confirmed this.
For instance, in the late 60’s, Senator Ted Kennedy authored a bill President Johnson signed that gave benefits to unwed mothers. In an effort to somehow be compassionate, babies born out of wedlock would now be viewed as a means to qualify for government handouts. There was essentially only one requirement for those handouts: that the father not live with the mother.
In the 1960’s, the connection between love and marital relations was questioned. This was the beginning of the end for American fatherhood. At least at the societal level.
There ceased to be a connection between love and conjugal relations. As a consequence, the link between love, marital relations, and children was broken.
The sexual revolution was a revolution in the most serious sense. It was a rejection of Christian morality—of an entire way of life. It was a revolution. And like all revolutions, there were casualties. Motherhood was wounded. Fatherhood was all but destroyed.
By the time of the 1970’s, even the father’s biological role was questioned. From a political perspective, the best example is the Roe v. Wade decision. As all of you know, that was the decision legalizing abortion in America.
In the Roe v. Wade decision, Judge Harry Blackmun delivered the opinion of the Court. If you are lucky enough to have never read it, let me fill you in. Blackmun’s opinion was over 15,000 words long. That’s about five college term papers in length. As you can imagine, Blackmun talks about lots of things in that decision. He talks about the alleged history of abortion back to Greek times, he cites some erroneous medical facts, he wanders into areas of sociology and psychology. He makes some truly bizarre comments about ancient religions.
Remember, the point of the case was to determine when and how life begins.
Remember that fact when I make this next comment. In that entire 15,000 word decision, a decision that is supposed to determine when and how human life begins, the concept of fatherhood is almost completely ignored. He mentions the word “father” twice. He says that the Greeks had a notion of a father’s rights regarding his child, and he mentions that Hippocrates was the Father of Medicine.
As far as mentioning “fathers” or “fatherhood,” that’s it.
Mr. Blackmun does mention father’s rights in another place. It appears in a footnote. In fact, it appears in footnote number 67, which is the final footnote in his decision. He writes: “Neither in this opinion nor in Doe v. Bolton…do we discuss the father's rights, if any exist in the constitutional context, in the abortion decision.”
My friends, that is where our society is right now. Fatherhood is a footnote. Rather than recognizing that fatherhood is instrumental in the very transmission of life, fatherhood is the final footnote.
When we restore Fatherhood, we will Restore Virginia.
Next: The Statistics
August 4, 2015
Your Vote Will Be Cancelled -- Unless We Act
I will not stand by while the willful and intentional destruction of our Commonwealth proceeds. Restore Virginia is engaging a legal team to take the Governor and Board of Elections to court when they re-write Virginia law. I need your help. Let me explain.
If ever there is hope in our future, it will be in the ballot box. Free and fair elections are the center pieces of our Constitutional Republic. For years, voter fraud has been suspected, and in too many cases, realized. And now, in Virginia, we are about to lose to those who are willing to destroy our citizen singular right to vote.
Gov. McAuliffe is attempting to by-pass the Virginia Constitution by encouraging his blatantly politically Electoral Board change the rules on registration. (See the Bull Elephant story here.)
We need to stop him.
Sadly, under our current political environment, the only solution to stop a rouge executive is by engaging the courts, which we are going to do.
Virginia Law (Virginia Code Section 24.2-418) requires a would-be voter to personally affirm both being a U.S. citizenship and not a convicted felon. The would-be voter has to check boxes on the application. However, by administrative process of the State Board of Elections, McAuliffe and his allies will allow changes to the voter registration process. Instead of instilling honor and integrity in the system, ensuring proper registration of voters and one vote per citizen, he is intentionally violating our sacred franchise. With his blatant and premeditated destruction in the voting process, McAuliffe’s sanctioned illegal and un-Constitutional change will allow non-citizens and felons the ability to register and vote.
Gov. McAuliffe and the Democrats on the Board of Elections arrogantly and deliberately violate Virginia law. Because they think no one will stop them. Together, we will.
Your vote, the most precious civil right a citizen has to control their government, may soon not count. It could be nullified by an illegal alien or someone who has otherwise lost their right to vote, if Terry McAuliffe gets his way. Through willful disregard of the will of the people and common sense, your vote will be cancelled by one of the 200,000 plus illegal aliens living in Virginia. Non-citizens will cancel the votes and decide Virginia’s elections – not Virginians.
As we know, the liberals are very willing to cheat and lie to win elections. This accusation is not leveled lightly, but with increasingly clear proof. Unfortunately, more evidence is upon us right now.
I will not stand by while the willful and intentional destruction of our Commonwealth proceeds. Restore Virginia is engaging a legal team to take the Governor and Board of Elections to court when they re-write Virginia law. Will you help me bring integrity back to Virginia voting?
May 12, 2015
Reclaiming American Fatherhood:
Part 2 -- James Bonding of Men
(In Part 1 -- The Problem, the last line in that piece was, "The absence of men being good fathers, faithful husbands and family leaders is seen in the rioting and murders in Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago and other trouble hot spots.")
Last week we explored how fathers in the past were the heroes in movies and on TV.
Unfortunately, today movies without a father in the story are pretty common. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the Disney Toy Story movies. These are, in many ways, wonderful movies. The central character in the story, a young boy named Andy, has a room full of exciting toys, a great imagination, and a loving mother. But one thing is curiously absent: a father. As many Toy Story fans have observed, Andy’s father is never mentioned.
The director was asked about this in an interview, to which he responded:
“We don’t mean to be mysterious about it; it’s just never been relevant to the story.”
Fatherhood was not relevant to the story.
That is a very telling commentary.
The fact is: Liberal Hollywood has increasingly written Fatherhood out of the American storybook.
Many have observed that if there is a movie about a strong man or a tough guy, the one thing we can be pretty sure about…is that this guy is not a father. The action heroes are often divorced and estranged from their wives and children, if they ever had children at all.
Rather than produce movies about the bonding of fathers and children, we have the James Bonding of men. James Bond is, more or less, the perfect cinematic man. He dresses well, he drives great cars, he drinks good liquor, he works out, he is brave. Oh, and one other thing: women love him. This, we know for sure. In 23 James Bond films so far, the character has been with over 50 women.
In his illustrious career, James Bond has fought communists and criminal masterminds. But there’s one mission that James Bond has not undertaken: fatherhood.
The James Bond story illustrates an insistent Hollywood belief: you can be a strong man…or you can be a father. You cannot be both.
You know what’s funny about this. In real life, those who put their lives on the line for their country are often those who are married with children. When I was flying combat missions over enemy territory, my fellow pilots were married with children in almost all cases.
James Bond wasn’t up there. Maybe he was too busy.
But in fiction, this is the insistent idea. Strong men are not fathers. And fathers are not strong men.
Next week: The Outsourcing of Fatherhood.
May 5, 2015
Reclaiming American Fatherhood: Part 1 -- The problem
[Three months ago the invitation to give my talk on Reclaiming American Fatherhood was accepted. Over 250 participants will hear my comments this Friday. Below begin a series of excerpts of this speech. Please let me know if your organization would enjoy hearing it as well.
Oh, the presentation will be, of all places, in Baltimore.]
Virginia, we have a problem.
A fatherhood problem.
I wish I could tell you that fatherhood was alive and well in America. But I can’t.
American fatherhood is alive, but it is not well.
Most of the Twentieth Century, America was not only materially prosperous. She was morally prosperous. We Americans were not without our problems, but we believed in a moral code. It was a code of honor. That code included:
and a respect for others.
Americans were motivated by God, family, and country. American men were often faithful, brave, patriotic, and religious.
And even if you were none of these, as most men were less than perfect, the culture admired men who were.
Even more than virtue, many movies celebrated fatherhood. Some of the top box office hits were It’s a Wonderful Life, Father of the Bride, and The Sound of Music.
On the small screen, this tribute to fatherhood was clear. In shows like Father Knows Best, Bonanza, Ozzie and Harriet, My 3 Sons, and Leave it to Beaver, the father played a central role. In fact, many of the shows during this era were about the father. And more importantly, the father was the hero.
However, by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, major movies changed. And so did the perception of American Fatherhood. Major box office movies explored dark subjects. Movies like A Clockwork Orange, Deliverance, and Midnight Cowboy invited viewers to examine disturbing and horrifying ideas.
And…no coincidence…fatherhood was often no longer seen as good. Now, it was something to be questioned, mocked, and rejected. Michael Medved, in his book Hollywood versus America, has outlined a lot of this. This anti-father sentiment continues.
“In today’s climate, a television series called “Father Knows Best” would be
absolutely unthinkable—it would be deemed too judgmental, authoritarian,
patriarchal, and perhaps even sexist. A program entitled “Father Knows Nothing”
would stand a far better chance.”
The absence of men being good fathers, faithful husbands and family leaders is seen in the rioting and murders in Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago and other trouble hot spots.
Next week, we will examine the James Bonding of America.
April 1, 2015
The Butcher, the Baker and the Brewer are Colorblind
The first belief in the Republican Creed of Virginia is "that the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice.”
Our free enterprise system is better known as Capitalism, and that system uses excellence and competition as their guideposts. Nothing else.
The founder of modern economics Adam Smith explained how economies work using the example of the Butcher, Baker and Brewer. All three make, buy, and sell in their personal self-interest – and in turn benefit one another and everyone in the community.
When the Butcher, Baker and Brewer work with the same rules in openness and honesty, their businesses establish a fair economy. Not a socialist fantasy of absolute equality, but a free enterprise promise of equal opportunity and fair play.
A fair economy creates businesses out of the need of the people. Businesses create individual opportunities for jobs. Businesses make the poor richer and create real wealth for many. A growing economy means economic freedom for every individual. Regardless of race or gender. Open opportunities means choices for jobs and chances to open new businesses. And, every business must make a profit. Every business has to make money.
Yet, it’s said that the love of money is the root of all evil. That’s true when money is worshiped instead of God. But, money itself is the root of much good. Money – let’s call it capital – is the lifeblood of every economy. It allows everyone from the butcher to the baker to the brewer to the individual consumer and everything to work in harmony – and for profit. Everything – businesses, families, non-profits and even churches – must make a profit. Everything takes in more than it spends or it collapses (unless you have to power to just print the money, and that is a discussion for another day).
That’s simple enough until governments intervene improperly. Local governments have a responsibility to establish the rules for fair play. When the rules are tilted to create winners and losers – as they often are – corporations, unions and political sharks compete for laws and regulations to favor themselves. It’s called crony capitalism. Republicans and Democrats both use cronyism for their friends’ gains.
Richard Viguerie describes crony capitalism more accurately. "Crony capitalism is crony government." Crony government is corrupt government.
It doesn't matter what color or gender the butcher, baker, and brewer are for the economy to work wonderfully. What does race or gender have to do with the economy? What’s the skin color for Adam Smith’s Butcher, Baker and Brewer? I tell you, it does not matter.
Two great words in English – excellence and competition – create an upward spiral of wealth, quality, and innovation. Everyone benefits – even the poor. Our poor have adequate food, shelter, clothing, and often air conditioning, cable TV, cell phones and a car because we have an economy that allows such.
Excellence and competition aren't based on race, gender, or any other label for “protected classes of persons.” Excellence and competition produce the best goods and services.
It’s time to end preferences, set asides, additional points in ‘scoring’ contracts, and quotas for all protected classes of persons. It’s time to end legal categories of “protected classes of persons.”
Let’s build the best economy in Virginia. Let’s capture the greatest economic excellence and competition with the most fair play. Then we all win, whether you are a butcher, baker or brewer, or just whoever you want to be.
March 19, 2015
Will you help me show them?
Liberals are winning elections in Virginia, even though Virginia is still more Conservative than liberal. We are losing races we should be winning. Concerned Virginians give and give -- their time and money -- and Republicans lose. Loyal Conservatives want to know what has to be done to win. They are frustrated and concerned. Frankly, I am frustrated and concerned too.
I am not going to sit back and watch this continue. I'm fired up and focused on fixing this -- and winning again!
That is why I have created the Restore Virginia initiative. Please let me share it with you.
The Restoration and Preservation of Virginia as a Commonwealth true to her Founding Principles.
Teach the Founding Principles and the Constitution.
Identify and support elected officials and candidates who not only believe but live our Founding Principles.
This is a grassroots effort. This is for The People, by The People and of The People.
In 2014 when I ran to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate, many folks said to me, "Grassroot activists will never make a difference. You can't raise money."
If you agree that We, The People, the grassroots, can win -- then you can help. I need you to show them they are wrong.
We can Restore Virginia, I am looking for 1,000 patriots** to donate $20 a month. This amount is comfortable for most without creating a burden, but combined with other like-minded patriots, this will make them take notice.
I am asking you personally to help me Restore Virginia, educate the Founding Principles and the Constitution, and identify leaders who will live the Constitution. To learn more, click here.
Together, we can make a difference. Please consider helping.
**Those who donate will receive a signed Shak sign from the Convention - while supplies last.
march 3, 2015
Rule of Law -- I'm in favor of it
Do you believe in the Rule of Law?
Do you believe that agency can just "make things up?"
Tomorrow, Wednesday March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case King v. Burwell, Secretary of HHS (14-114).
You may have hear of the case. In the un-Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, there is a provision for subsidies to low income Americans who have signed up for insurance through their State Exchange. This subsidy is paid to offset expenses in order to secure the insurance in the first place. As we know, ObamaCare requires all to be insured under threat of IRS penalties and potential jail.
ObamaCare does not provide for subsidies if the individual is in a Federal Exchange.
Brief History: The federal government has a long history (about 100 years now)where it manipulates States by dangling money for action. One most are familiar with is the 'national speed limit' that was imposed on the States to lower their speed limit to 55 mph. All 50 states did do that or they would have lost federal highway funds. (This linkage no longer exists, but was imposed in 1974 and lifted in 1995.) The largest dangling for money is Medicare.
But this time with ObamaCare, States did not buy in. 36 states did not create Exchanges, thankfully including Virginia. Those citizens in these states that sign up for ObamaCare go through the Federal Exchange. The HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell has administratively decided beyond the authorization of Congress to pay subsidies through these Federal Exchanges. This is patently outside of the law, hence the law suit.
This is simply a case regarding "Statutory Interpretation" of the text. Does ObamaCare allow Federal Exchanges to subsidize or not.
Section 1311 of ObamaCare sets up the parameters for States to create Exchanges.
Section 1401 does authorize tax credits for the purchase of health insurance in those Exchanges established by States.
The ObamaCare law repeatedly emphasizes that in order to receive a subsidy, those individual have to meet three requirements:
Be on an Exchange
Exchange be established by States
Those Exchanges have to satisfy the requirements of Section 1311.
Because ObamaCare uses the law of large numbers to make insurance work, those who are signed up need to offset those who are sick. That is how insurance generally works. In order to make the whole thing work, the federal government recognizes that it needs those in the 36 states that did not create an Exchange to remain insured, so it subsidizes their insurance. This is outside of the law.
For example, if ObamaCare started to subsidize the purchase of cars for the lower class to purchase, this would be outside of the law. Same with subsidies for food, clothing, and other items that might be needed -- no matter how noble it might be.
Conclusion: The plain language in ObamaCare does not allow for Federal Exchanges to subsidize anything. Yet it is just doing so.
HHS only has the authority to do anything that is delegated to it by bills passed by Congress and signed by the president. HHS is drawing upon the federal treasury through the IRS and is sending this money to insurance companies illegally. This is a problem. This is a violation of the Rule of Law.
Opponents will argue that if this violation is upheld and Federal Exchanges are prohibited from subsidizing payments then ObamaCare will likely fall. They argue this will create a cascading destructive effect to ObamaCare and that should not be permitted by the Supreme Court.
Well, a quick review of other decisions that have created cascading destructive effects would be, hum, Roe v Wade and 57 million abortions later. Overturn of Defense of Marriage Act allowing gay "marriage", and, well, ObamaCare in the first place, changing the word 'penalty' to 'tax'. The almost over turn of our 2nd Amendment rights with the 5-4 Heller v. DC. And there are others, many others.
If we are a nation of laws, then the language of the text needs to be honored. If Congress wants to take up the matter of Federal Exchange subsidies, then it most certainly can. But this case needs to be upheld and Federal subsidies need to immediately stop.
February 20, 2015
Politicians Should Look Like Virginia
Politicians running for elected office in Virginia should look like the Virginians they represent. Right? So, the Republican Party should have more ‘diversity’ among candidates to win – right?
It depends on whether we look at the hearts and minds of Virginians -- or their skin.
As more and more of the 8.4 million Virginians don’t fit into the former white-black paradigm of a Southern state, shouldn't that force the Republican Party to start recruiting Hispanic, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Christian, Muslim and other Minority candidates, simply for their hyphen or their skin?
The Republican Party of Virginia should never engage in the identity politics of race, gender, class or sexual behavior. Leave that to the Democrats to divide, label, pander and polarize people. The only identity that should matter – and it should really matter greatly – to the Republicans, is the identity as a “Virginian.”
Virginian as an identity has been an ascending idea for 400 years. It’s ascending still. It’s who we are – not how we look. It’s shared ideas held by people who live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It’s the common experiences of people who live, work, raise families, play and do their duties in our Commonwealth. It’s one consensus culture and one common history – even if you are new Virginian by choice. A melting pot. E Pluribus Unum.
The legacy of the English-Speaking People started a new branch here. Representative democracy in America began here. The fundamental trust in education for all citizens and the service obligations for college graduates is Virginian. The ideas written into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution flowed from the minds of Virginians. And our Revolutionary battle for separation was lead by a Virginian.
Believe it or not, on issue after issue – if the questions are asked without political labels – 60% of Virginians agree, over and over, about what is right and wrong. Republicans need to run candidates who share that distinct identity. Not professional politicians.
For a Republican candidate to look like Virginia their allegiance must be to our ideas of lower taxes, less government, live and let live, personal privacy, clean water and air, better education, marriage between one man and one woman, strong families, personal safety with the right to keep and bear arms and profound individual freedom of thought and words. A great place to start would be the Republican Creed found here. Not politics as a business, a career and crony, corrupt business as usual.
A Republican candidate who looks like Virginia should have many shared experiences. No one can have them all. Shared experiences like military service stand out. And volunteering – really volunteering – in community service. Contributing with sleeves rolled up in a giving and working church family. Virginian's own real businesses, not consulting firms. They farm the land, help our government work smoothly, take risks and want to be rewarded for the value they bring to others.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would remind us, Virginians should strive to focus on content of character, not color of skin.
The only color that counts in looking like Virginia is the red blood of every Virginian. Republicans need candidates who give their blood, as well as their sweat and tears for their fellow Virginians.
December 14, 2014
Down the Ticket -- What Happened?
The Republican Party celebrated its 31st Advance last weekend. (The party rightly calls it an Advance, because the old name was Retreat, which some would interpret as losing ground and hiding from the fight.) Many questions were asked about what happened in the 2014 election and more about how we can capture the momentum for the upcoming elections.
One question has not been asked, and it is time someone does.
"Why do Virginia voters cast their ballot for their Republican Congressman but do not vote for the Republican candidate for US Senate?" Asked differently, "why do the voters prefer their congressional candidates over their senate candidates?"
Just the mere asking this question will make some angry. But if we are going to Advance as a party, we have to look at this question. Here's why:
We spend significant amount of time talking about:
Opening the Tent
GOTV (Getting Out The Vote)
Engaging the youth
Energizing the base
All of these items above and many others are wonderful activities to work on. Let's spread the message of the Republican Party and theRepublican Creed (found here). These are noble activities. No doubt.
But we have to figure out why voters who are already AT THE POLLS do not vote for our US Senate Candidates. We do not have to open the tent for them, they are already in it. We do not have to GOTV for them, they are at the poll. We do not have to bring minorities, youth or the base out to vote, they are already there.
Look at the numbers. And please, don't let the facts get in the way.Look at the numbers. And please, don't let the facts get in the way.
VOTES FOR Congressional
Year US Senate Candidate Candidates Difference
2014 Gillespie 1,055,940 1,143,747 87,807 (lost by 17,727)
2012 Allen 1,785,542 1,876,761 91,219
2008 Gilmore 1,228,830 1,493,262 264,432
2006 Allen 1,166,227 1,222,520 56,243 (lost by 9,329)
Sitting Senator George Allen received 1,166,277 votes state wide. Adding all of our Republican Congressional races together, 1,222,520 voters cast a ballot for their Republican Congressman. This means that 56,243 voters who cast a ballot for their Republican Congressman but did NOT vote for their Republican Senator. Why? Don't forget, Allen lost by only 9,329 votes.
Former Governor Jim Gilmore received 1,228,830 but 1,493,262 people went to the polls and voted for their Republican Congressman. That is 264,432 people who were AT THE POLLS that voted Republican for their Congressman, but did not vote for the US Senate candidate. Why?
Former Governor and Senator Allen faced former Governor Tim Kaine. Allen received 91,219 fewer votes than those who voted for their Republican Congressman. They were already AT THE POLLS and made a cognitive decision to NOT vote for our nominee. Why?
Ed Gillespie received 87,807 fewer votes than the Republican Congressmen. He lost by 17,727. Why did these voters decide NOT to vote for him, but they voted for their Congressman instead. It is not like they decided not to vote. They were at the polls and decided not to vote for Ed. Why?
NOTE: None of these numbers included the other candidates in the race. And they don't need to. Even if the other candidates were not in the race, like Sarvis, these results would not change.
If the voters were already in the booth, we have to ask ourselves, "Why did these voters take the time, drive to the poll, vote absentee and cast their ballot for their Republican Congressional candidate, but not for their US Senate candidate?"
If we had the answer to this question, we would have handily won 2 out of the last 4 US Senate races.
Let's make sure that this doesn't happen in 2015 for the 68 Delegate and 21 State Senate seats.
November 10, 2014
Liberty Won at My Precinct
You have not heard this story about Tuesday's election.
In all likelihood, you have read reports and heard the headlines about the results from Tuesday's election. Many predictions came true, but others were way off. Some candidates easily won who were supposed to have had a tough election and others who were supposed to be beaten did better than projected. All this is true.
But something else was true.
To secure the blessings of Liberty and the American Dream, our founding fathers wanted ordinary citizens to safeguard the ballot process. They gave this duty to the States, and the Commonwealth of Virginia gave it to me.
Seven election officers along with a Chief and an Assistant Chief were assigned to facilitate the precinct's Election Day activities. To ensure integrity in the voting process, Fairfax County Election Board requires that the officers represent both political parties and that the Chief and Assistant Chief are not from the same party. We were not there supporting a political candidate, but instead where there to secure the blessings of free and fair elections.
Throughout the day, these officers worked together seamlessly ensuring properly screened voters, in accordance with the new Voter I.D. laws, were able to cast a ballot. Nobody was turned away or disenfranchised due to the I.D. requirement. In fact, only one voter did not have a valid I.D. and she was appropriately permitted to cast a Provisional Ballot.
Then something spectacular happened.
As Chief, it was my responsibility to run the "tape" at the end of the day and to have it certified as correct and true. The machine that scanned the ballots printed the results (like a long receipt you get at the grocery store).
Virginia law mandates results be certified with the signature of two officers, one representing the Republican Party and the other representing the Democratic Party. The certified tape is then turned into the Electoral Board and the votes collected at the precinct are counted.
To keep the process transparent, I had all of the officers present when the tape was printed. That's when it happened.
Ms. Shiaze legally immigrated to the U.S. ten years ago and just this year became a U.S. citizen. Remembering how elections were held in her native Pakistan, she wanted to participate in the elections of her new country. At age 35, she was proud to participate in the first free and fair elections in her lifetime. I was honored to tell her story to the rest of the officers.
After declaring the political party she represented, I asked, "Ms. Shiaze, as an official representative of your party, will you please sign the tape?"
In an awkward silence and with great reverence, she stepped forward, took the pen I gave her and stood over the tape. She hesitated. Looked at me. Looked down at the tape. She looked back at me and with a warm smile I indicated that it was time to sign. With a deliberate motion, the pen started to move along the paper.
There was no telling what was going through her mind. There was no indication of what had happened in her past. But with a bright smile on her face and tears welling in her eyes, she permanently affixed her signature on the official ballot tape.
Next, I called Mr. Kim. He declared that he represented the other party, and I asked him to step forward. As he did, I shared with the team that Mr. Kim fought in the Korean War and he too was now a U.S. citizen.
With two signatures on the ballot tape, we sealed our honor that the results were correct and true.
But the moment was too precious to pass. "Are there any other officers who would like to sign?" Another officer stepped forward. A black woman proudly accepted my pen as she testified with her signature, then a white gentleman followed her.
We were not Pakistani, or Koreans, or Africans. We were not black or white. We were not male or female.
We were Virginians protecting the American Dream.
Liberty won Tuesday at my precinct.
October 22, 2014
Recently, Mike McHugh passed from this life to eternal life through the doorway of death. He was a champion for Virginia.
Each one of us has driving beliefs that form our behavior. One’s passion, one’s commitment and one’s willingness to sacrifice determines much about our success. The individual drives the effectiveness and just how those beliefs will come closer to reality, or remain just a distant dream.
Mike McHugh’s driving beliefs moved the needle closer to reality. His passion, commitment and willingness to sacrifice for his beliefs were evident and known by all.
His funeral service was a celebration of life. Many spoke about the passion. About the commitment. His wife and six children, his mom and four brothers, church family, current and past politicians, and many, many others who knew the man, all agreed that Mike marched passionately to a drum all his own.
Some may not have agreed with his methods, but all will agree that his heart was fully dedicated to his cause.
But there is something many of us did not know about Mike. No, I am not referring to the fact that he had 6 kids and was married for 36 years, was a preacher and evangelist of Jesus Christ, and was passionate about babies and guns. I'm not talking about his ‘operation rescue’ at abortion clinics that landed him in jail when he was younger. What many don’t know about Mike is the way his opponents viewed him.
Let me tell you a personal story.
Mike was with me regarding my U.S. Senate candidacy early last year. After meeting with Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America (of which I am a Life Member), Mike and I walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch. In Northern Virginia, you never know who you will run into and that day, we ran into State Senator Dick Saslaw (D-35). If you do not know his voting record, all you need to know is that Senator Saslaw is rated 100% by NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
Mike knew his record.
The two of them started to discuss the issues of the day. Each man with totally opposite views on this and other issues proceeded in a civil and polite discussion. Through his behavior, it was clear to me that Sen. Saslaw knew not only Mike’s positions but he knew Mike. Sometimes surreal moments become life. As I watch these political enemies’ conversations, a new reality struck me. Senator Dick Saslaw respected Mike McHugh.
As their conversation ended and Sen. Saslaw moved to leave, Mike had the last word, “You better be ready for next year!”
Mike lived life his way. Virginia and the Conservative caused lost a fighter and a 'doer.' Everyone might not have always understood his methods or appreciated his ways, but one thing I learned that day, he was a respected member of the team. He was a good and faithful servant. Godspeed, Mike McHugh.
October 16, 2014
Parade of Horribles
29 year old Brittany Maynard was married just last year. Shortly afterwards, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now, she is going to have someone kill her on November 1st, 2014.
It’s legal in Oregon. Her murder is going to be celebrated around the country. Many will call it "death with dignity." Many will praise her courage. After all, many will claim it’s about consenting adults facing awful lingering deaths and their right to privacy and therefore, to kill themselves.
We are facing yet another Parade of Horribles. This "parade" begins with a seemingly isolated decision that swings open the door to severe unintended consequences. Think of it as a little leak in the damn that quickly breaks open causing wide spread flooding.
In the recent past, there is no better example of a Parade of Horribles than the Roe v. Wade abortion decision. This decision was based in part to the "privacy right" found in Griswold v. Connecticut -- which was about marital rights between two consenting adults.
What was once to be "safe, legal and rare" between consenting married adults, abortion is now unsafe, unsanitary and allowed up to the day of natural delivery for unmarried mothers (of all ages) WITHOUT the consent of the father.
Evil parading as good doesn’t keep the social ill from wreaking havoc.
60 million+ American babies have been killed since 1973 – when judges made up a right to abortion. Safe, legal and rare has killed 60 million babies, and impacted countless moms.
No fault divorce didn’t liberate women from abusive husbands as much as it created generations of poor, fatherless households.
Aid to dependent children became welfare for life for more generations.
Equal rights for homosexuals became two federal judges overruling the will of over a million Virginians and our State Constitution.
Physician assisted suicide sounds so easy. But this "legal" action will create a parade that will move quickly from the decision of an alert consenting adult, to that of an adult with a consenting husband or wife. Then, to an adult with consenting children. To a child with consenting parents. To non-consenting, non-alert adults (adults suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s ) with the decree from a panel of well meaning members, but who have no vested interest in the life of the people about to be killed (perhaps staffed with a doctor and insurance company representative). To non-consenting, alert adults with a decree from a judge (of course, in the best interest of the community or the State).
Quickly, this parade will lead from the consensual killing of the sick to the killing of the weak, the expensive and the inconvenient.
This is where my family comes in. In 1992, my pregnant wife was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer from Massachusetts General Hospital and with six months to live (one of the most painful types of cancer). She would easily be categorized as "expensive" and at then age 29 herself, a well meaning panel could have insisted that she and our child undergo "death with dignity."
With prayer and good fortune, today they both enjoy healthy and vibrant lives. Killing with intent is murder.
The state has the right to kill under very limited cases – explicitly detailed in law – for when a person violates the social contract so grievously they deserve to die for their offense. Our former consensus, Biblically-based, Christian culture knew killing with intent was murder.
Mark Warner is in favor of abortion for any reason until the day of natural delivery. If you don't believe me, ask him.
What is his position on physician assisted suicide? After all, he has willingly led us down the parade of horribles called ObamaCare.
Maybe we need to know this before November's election.
Virginia should never become Oregon.
Virginians can feel the overwhelming pity for Brittany Maynard without giving into a parade of horribles in our Commonwealth.
Life remains sacred here – and we, Virginians, must keep it so.
September 30, 2014
Mark Warner will resign his Senate seat if reelected.
Republicans need to be aware of this and plan NOW how to defeat him in this November election. The RPV and Gillespie camps should demand that Warner pledge to the people of Virginia that he will serve his entire term if re-elected.
Warner will not agree to this pledge, and the people of Virginia need to know that he will not agree to it.
It is widely known that Warner is not happy in the Senate. This is not unexpected as most former Governors do not enjoy moving from the executive seat to a legislative one. While in the Governor’s Manson, that executive has immense authority and discretion to use that very authority. From executive powers to the veto threat, the chief executive of any state has final authority on most matters.
But when that executive moves to the Senate, they lose all executive authority and seniority. They become one of 100 votes.
In fact, this frustration of his spilled over to last year’s belief that he was considering yet another run for Virginia’s governor. Only after stepping away did he give a green light to candidate Terry McAuliffe to run.
So why do I predict he will resign shortly after winning (should he in fact win) the 2014 Senate race?
The answer is quite simple: Ambition.
Warner wants to be the President of the United States.
Right now, several factors are in play, but the biggest is Vice President, under what many believe will be a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy. Warner is positioning himself for this nod, and Governor McAuliffe is all too willing to help.
Another factor plaguing Senator Warner and will hurt him in a Veep consideration is that he is, well, a Senator. The American people are seeing before their eyes how a “senator” governs, and they are all too unhappy with the results.
Senator Obama did not have executive experience and this is hurting his presidency. Democrats will never concede that it is Obama’s liberal policies that are the issue. They will blame it on his lack of executive experience. After all, community organizer really isn't an executive power position giving one vast experience needed to run a country.
Senator Warner will not emerge as a strong Veep candidate at all. Senator Warner will be viewed as a legislator, not an executive. And not a very good legislator at all. Warner has no significant legislative achievements while senator and has a voting record placing him voting 97% with Obama. That is not the record he wants to bring to the Veep discussions.
This is where “Governor” Warner has the advantage over “Senator” Warner.
As the 2016 Presidential race heats us, Warner will re-invent himself as the former Governor of Virginia. This will allow him to focus on his executive experience and the successes that he enjoyed while governor.
With more money than Mitt Romney, Warner will use his fortune to effectively wipe out his years as senator and reconstruct himself as the popular governor who left office (according to one poll) with a 71% approval rating.
Clinton and McAuliffe will help because Virginia is a key swing state. And, the senate vacancy will allow Governor McAuliffe the opportunity to appoint a progressive replacement to fill that seat.
Republicans would do well to force this issue, as the voters of Virginia will likely not want to vote for Warner if he is going to just resign after the election.
September 22, 2014
Take the Offense: Reframe the Issue – No Minimum Wage
The minimum wage issue is back in the news as a Democrat wedge issue. The minimum wage is the perfect example to define differences between Democrat and Republican policies – and see how the Democrats playing field is to win the publicity fight. Democrats trounce Republicans on the minimum wage. They always will until Republicans take the offense and reframe the issue.
The minimum wage has nothing to do with a fair wage, living wage, job creation wage or right-thing-to-do wage. Democrats currently use this language to set the playing field. The minimum wage doesn’t help the little guy. This issue is merely the "sounds great and feels good" policy that hurts far more than it helps – and yet it lives on as a sloppy sentimental emotional icon – and wedge issue. Democrats lead by Obama want to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.
They insist that a “Living Wage” is owed to all workers and that mean Republicans are preventing low skilled workers from achieving this living threshold. As predicted, the Republicans continue to play defense on this issue. They explain that the minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage (and it is not), and that the minimum wage destroys entry level jobs (which it does).
This defensive posture is a sure way to lose yet another winnable argument.
When Republicans weakly propose to freeze or lower the rise of the minimum wage, they agree with at least 3 false principles:
1. Price controls on labor are a good thing.
2. The Federal Government has the Constitutional authority to set a price control on labor.
3. By some unseen miracle, the Federal Government can get the price control – the right minimum wage – precisely correct.
Boldly Trust in the Truth
Proven economic principles always work in a free market. Since none of the above are proven principles of sound economics, Republicans should trust in the time-tested truths of the laws of economics and in the limits of Constitutional authority and powers. Trust in truth.
Speak that truth to The People.
Republicans need to understand that being on defense is supposed to be a temporary position until you re-take the offense! Republicans have been playing defense since President Reagan. It’s time to take the offense.
On the other hand, if we compromise on the Democrat playing field, we are doomed to the ash heap of irrelevance. Even some predominant Republicans (and Republican candidates) are calling for a “freeze” of the minimum wage. This is a flawed defensive position doomed to make us “uncaring”, “insensitive” and “mean”.
Take the Offense
President Reagan called for bold colors. The bold color of this issue would be to call for the immediate REPEAL of the Federal Minimum Wage.
Evidence abounds showing how price controls are destructive to a free enterprise system. Business owners know that increasing the minimum wage artificially creates an illegitimate market force which leaves only two options: Increase the Cost of Goods, or Decrease the expense in creating those Goods.
This means the new higher wage cost is passed through to the consumer in the form of more expensive prices, while decreasing expenses will impact lower skilled level employees the most through layoffs and withheld job opportunities -- or worse to be replaced by an automated machine.
Reframe the Issue
Go for the emotions that tell the truth about the economics. This issue is not about higher prices and lower hiring. It is about lives. It is about starting careers, building a resume, and learning the skills necessary to advance one’s condition in life.
An easy idea for a commercial could show employers who are punished by the minimum wage.
It will show roofs half finished or rotting food on the vine, or dirty dishes in the restaurant sink. Have the employer say, “Because of the required minimum wage, I have positions that I cannot fill. It is unfair to me and unfair to those looking to work.” Or, another commercial idea would show a mom and pop immigrant restaurant. Pop opens the cash register and there is a sole $20 bill. Several bags of prepared food for delivery sit on the counter ready to go. Three eager young teenagers hold “Help Needed” flyers in their hands. Pop says, “I could hire all of you at $6.50 an hour to deliver all this food. But, I have to pay ten dollars and ten cents - it’s the Federal Minimum Wage Law. I can only hire one of you. ” One kid says, “But one person can’t deliver all that food hot!” Pops shakes his head and says, “Yeah, I know.”
Voice over: What’s better for Virginians - 3 people working and earning or just 1?
We need to get off the Democrat playing field, take the offense and reframe the issue. It is bold. It is meaningful.
It will win.
September 9, 2014
The future for your family, faith and freedom is threatened by bad government.
We, The People, can fix government. We can get it right. We can restore America. It starts in Virginia. It starts now!
Virginians must replace career politicians until we get elected officials who will restore America. Hire public servants who will restore the balance between moral limited government and our inalienable rights. Elect men and women who will selflessly and loyally support both the state and federal Constitution – the very Constitutions they swear to uphold and defend.
Bad government is the abuse of power at every level by officials uninhibited by Constitutions, laws or common sense. Our Constitutions create limited governments with checks and balances against the abuse of power. Yet, like a snowball rolling downhill, the abuses of power grow greater and greater because elected officials won’t uphold their oath to Constitutional limits.
Democrats and Republicans alike are at fault, because politics for both parties is about influence and power.
Elections are about power and money, money and power, not public service. No longer is the government's main purpose for the good of the people, but rather for themselves and special interests. Everything the Federal government does outside of its few Constitutional duties, it does incorrectly, expensively and poorly.
From running hospitals for veterans, to keeping the poor on welfare, to indoctrinating children through education, to regulating the economy, to trying to change the climate, to continuing the Ponzi scheme of Social Security, to crippling growth with taxes, to spending our children's' money creating deficits that bankrupt the Nation, to creating price controls on wages and to not producing energy – today, the Federal government is bad government.
Meanwhile, judges, appointed for life, write laws from the bench – directly violating the Constitutions. None fear impeachment. For example, two judges recently ruled the Constitution of Virginia is un-Constitutional because the Constitution, approved by the people, says marriage is between one man and one woman. They ruled despite the truth that marriage in Virginia is always, and only, between one man and one woman. Marriage in Virginia comes from the fundamental truths of our Christian culture.
Time-tested truths are self-evident.
The abuse of power ranges far beyond the definition of marriage – and the foundation of families – to inevitably and directly threaten your family, faith and freedom. Governments will soon dictate to you what you can do, say and believe. And what you can’t do, say or believe. Political Correctness is just a hint of what is already coming.
Boldly Trust in the Truth
As a former U.S. Air Force combat pilot, I know to trust my instruments. The aircraft instruments tell the truth. They’re based on proven science and technology – subject to immutable laws of nature. Pilots, who fly by the seat of their pants soon regret those laws of nature. So, too, will a great Commonwealth and Nation.
The most wonderful, incredible experiment in democracy, freedom and economic opportunity the World has ever known – based on the Rule of Law – is at risk. Persons and powers are limited by specifically written Constitutions with necessary checks and balances. Our social contract is for one and all to be equal under the Law. There are no group rights and privileges. We, The People, are the Sovereign of the State. It’s time to act like it.
A Commonwealth and Country based on key truths – the laws of nature and of nature’s God, the nature of humans for good and evil, and the protection of Creator-given inalienable rights – must be restored by people who believe in these truths. Virginians must elect public servants to boldly trust in these truths – and speak them to power. Fearlessly do their duty.
Let’s start by replacing career politicians who no longer represent us. And keep electing new challengers until We, The People are represented by selfless public servants. Patriots, not politicians, will restore America to greatness.
I trust in the people, not in the government. We must start here, now, until we’ve elected enough officials to boldly trust in the truth.
Only then will we restore America.
September 2, 2014
Article V Great Debate
Last Thursday, “The Article V Great Debate” brought a standing room only crowd to hear Dr. Michael Farris, FOR and Delegate Robert Marshall, AGAINST a potential Convention of the States. Special thanks go to these two for espousing their beliefs and the Manassas Tea Party for hosting the debate.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows two methods to propose amendments. The only method that has been successful 27 times is when Congress proposes the amendment and the states ratify it. The other method to amend the Constitution comes when the States call for a convention to propose an amendment. Then the States would ratify it (or not). This second action would essentially by-pass the Congress. They would have only administrative functions, but no voting authority.
Here's a summary of the pros and cons of the Article V Debate. Mike Farris believes that the Government is out of control. The only way to fix it is to create structural changes to the Constitution -- like term limits for Congress and Judges. He argued that certain contextual text needs clarification, like the Commerce and General Welfare clauses.
Bob Marshall believes that the People who make up the Government have allowed it to get out of control. The only way to fix the Government is to change the People who represent us. He argued that any Convention delegates might depart from their stated purpose. This happened with the Articles of Confederation and the convention creating our current Constitution! The country might end up with an awful amendment or worse, a new Constitution.
I'll leave it up to others to decide who “won” the debate. Both gentlemen recognize that our country is heading in a bad direction and correction is needed, and quickly.
Bob is correct in the short run and Mike’s concerns are correct in the long run. Before you say that I am just being “political” with my answer, let me explain. Both solutions are needed for the short and long term fixes. Our country isn't governed by men who are fighting for Liberty. It's governed by men who are fighting for Power. More than any amendment, we need men and women who will honor and uphold their oath to the Constitution. We need them now.
For example, I asked the panel about impeachment. There is no need for “structural change” for impeachment. The Constitution as written and without amendment allows for the House to bring impeachment proceedings as a political solution to reprimand the actions of officials, like a president or judge. Impeachment is not a “civil” or “criminal” matter. It's not a “legal” matter at all. It is a “political” matter to reign in persons who abuse power.
The Speaker of the House filed a law suit of doubtful legality. He could just follow the Constitution. We don't need an Article V Convention to use the processes that the Constitution already established. Bob Marshall is right. We need elected officials who will follow the Constitution as written. And we need them now.
Right now, Congress can use Article III to adjust the Court structure, Article I to stop judges that legislate from the bench, and Article X to free the States from the overreaching of the federal government.
Later, our country will be better off if the Commerce and General Welfare clause are better defined, as Mike Farris reasoned. The U.S. will return to proper governance when a more precise structure for our federal system greatly limits powers in Washington. (For example, the Federal Government has no authority over education and should be prohibited from getting involved. It is a State matter.)
“Structural change” won't improve governance -- alone. For example, there is no guarantee that term limits will cycle in any better elected officials or judges. Therefore, as much as I believe we need long term solutions to amend the constitution precisely, if we had patriots willing to fight for Liberty in positions of authority, we might just not need structural changes at all.
The Article V debate will continue -- and this is a good thing. Meanwhile, the people of Virginia and America need elected officials who uphold their oath. They must understand their Constitutional duties. Officials will serve better when the voting population is well-informed find and elect those officials.
Here is the YouTube of the debate.