Tag: Brief

A Brief Message To All The Republican Politicians Who Didn’t Have The Balls To Run Against Trump And Cruz…


Shut the hell up about a contested convention already! You have exactly ZERO credibility, and your constant blather about the possibility of someone other than Trump or Cruz being nominated by the GOP this summer is suicidally stupid. You sound like a gaggle of leftist college students in search of a ‘safe space’ so they can continue to ignore reality. Are you really so disconnected from your voter base that you honestly believe they will tolerate a bunch of establishment cronies ignoring their will and choosing some RINO squish to run against the Clinton machine this fall? When will you losers get it through your thick heads that YOU CREATED TRUMP! He’s the anti-establishment monster and you are Victor Frankenstein, so stop whining like spoiled 5-year-olds and try to make peace with the fact that you are now reaping what you have sown.

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A Brief Modern History On Congressional “Treason” (Ed Morrissey)

A Brief Modern History On Congressional “Treason” – Ed Morrissey

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Over the last couple of days, media outlets and some Democrats have lost their minds over the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators, sent to Iran to warn them that President Obama does not have the authority to create a lasting agreement without the participation of Congress. The New York Daily News ran a headline calling them “traitors,” a charge that has been bandied about on social media without any sense of either its legal sense or the history of Congressional influence on foreign policy. A petition on the White House website to arrest the 47 Senators has gathered over 136,000 signatures, in an apparent attempt of the ignorant to publicly self-identify.

Obviously, this situation requires a little history and perspective, as well as a civics lesson on the nature of co-equal branches of government, and on how this latest “treason” stacks up. The US and the Soviet Union conducted a 44-year “cold war” that often turned hot in places like Korea and Vietnam, and yet as Noah pointed out yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy encouraged the Soviets to interfere in the 1984 election. Noah also mentions Nancy Pelosi’s trip to visit Bashar Assad in 2007 against the Bush administration’s express desires. But there are even more instances that speak more directly to Congressional interference with executive branch efforts on foreign policy.

Joe Scarborough pointed out one example this morning on Twitter from the Reagan era. The Reagan administration wanted to block Soviet influence in the Western hemisphere by backing rebellions against Communist dictators, especially in Nicaragua. Reagan supported the contras against Daniel Ortega, a policy which Democrats opposed and for which they later passed the controversial Boland Amendment in an attempt to restrict Reagan’s options in foreign policy (and which led to the Iran-Contra scandal.) Before Boland, though, 10 Democrats in the House – including Edward Boland (D-MA) – wrote a letter to Ortega called the “Dear Commandante” letter pledging their support to his government. See if this sounds familiar:

The 10 authors include Jim Wright of Texas, the majority leader; Edward P. Boland of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and other senior Democrats in the foreign policy field. The letter tells Mr. Ortega that it was written ”in a spirit of hopefulness and goodwill” and voices regret that relations between Nicaragua and Washington are not better.

The writers stress that they all oppose further money for rebel campaigns against the Sandinista Government. In a veiled reference to the Reagan Administration, the letter says that if the Sandinistas do hold genuine elections, those who are ”supporting violence” against the Nicaraguan leaders would have ”far greater difficulty winning support for their policies than they do today.”

In his retort, Representative Gingrich argues that the letter writers ”step across the boundary from opposition to a policy, to undercutting that policy.”

He also notes that the members of Congress offer to discuss these issues with Mr. Ortega and the junta. In Mr. Gingrich’s view, ”This clearly violates the executive branch’s exclusive prerogative of negotiating with a foreign government.”

Not convinced? Well, let’s look to more recent events. In September 2002, the Bush administration was preparing its case for war against Saddam Hussein, both with Congress and at the UN, for continuing violations of the cease-fire agreement that had ended war operations in 1991. Hussein’s forces repeatedly locked anti-aircraft radar on US and British fighters enforcing the no-fly zones in the south and north of Iraq. Hussein repeatedly and belligerently refused to fully comply with what would eventually be 17 UN Security Council resolutions aimed at settling the conflict. In the midst of that scenario, three House Democrats flew to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi officials and lecture George W. Bush on trusting Hussein and his regime:

IT’S A RARE POLITICAL MOMENT when Terry McAuliffe says no comment. Yet McAuliffe, the garrulous chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said just that last Wednesday at the Brookings Institution after a speech by Al Gore. Asked about the trip to Baghdad taken by three of his fellow partisans – Representatives David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson – McAuliffe was nonplussed…

Problem is, the elected officials aren’t saying much either. Bonior was until recently the second-ranking Democrat in the House, and yet it’s nearly impossible to get Democrats to say anything about his and the others’ trip to Baghdad.

But if other Democrats aren’t talking about the Baghdad tour, Bonior and McDermott themselves won’t shut up. And the more they talk, the more scrutiny they invite.

The controversy ignited on September 29 when Bonior and McDermott appeared from Baghdad on ABC’s “This Week.” Host George Stephanopoulos asked McDermott about his recent comment that “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.”

Last I checked, no one had the three Democrats arrested for treason, even though they hadn’t just sent a letter to Saddam Hussein but cluelessly participated in his propaganda exercise for him. Why? Because it wasn’t treason, and it wasn’t even a violation of the Logan Act. It may have been ill-advised, but Congress and its members do a lot of ill-advised things, which is why we have regular elections to deal with them.

This letter may or may not be ill-advised, too. Jazz and Noah are split on that point, and I fall somewhere in between. The deal with Iran is just terrible on multiple levels, as is the attempt by the Obama administration to bypass Congress yet again instead of engaging the Senate to develop a stronger plan. It may have been politically wiser to put it in the form of an op-ed in the Washington Post rather than a letter to Ali Khameini, but the need to speak out comes from Obama’s mindless pursuit of a deal at all costs rather than allowing sanctions to force a capitulation – and to keep their support for terrorism bottled up as much as possible. But it’s not treason, and it’s idiotic to argue otherwise, especially with the long precedents set by Democrats and progressives in Congress over the last 30-plus years.

Yesterday I interviewed Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), one of the signatories, about his hearing today at Environment and Public Works on Obama’s Clean Power Plan. We also speak briefly about Iran and the letter toward the end of the interview.

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Related article:

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Kissinger Slammed Kerry For Negotiating With Sandinistas In 1985 – Daily Caller

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger hammered John Kerry in 1985 for interfering in diplomatic negotiations with Nicaragua’s Marxist government as a Massachusetts senator.

Thirty years later, Kerry is skewering Senate Republicans for their open letter to the Iranian leadership warning that any nuclear deal with the United States without the advice and consent of the U.S. Congress would not last beyond President Obama’s term.

Kerry and then-Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin visited Nicaragua in 1985 to cut a deal with the Sandinista government, which was close to the former Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan, however, was already set on overthrowing the Marxist government in Nicaragua by sending aid to a group of Nicaraguan rebels – the contras.

“The Sandinista government would agree to a cease-fire and restore civil liberties if the US government ceased its support of the contras,” the Boston Globe reported.

“If the United States is serious about peace, this is a great opportunity,” Kerry said at the time.

Kissinger, though, hit back at Kerry on the CBS Sunday program “Face the Nation,” calling him a congressman rather than a senator.

“With all due respect to Rep. Kerry, he’s a congressman,” Kissinger said. “He’s not secretary of state, and if the Nicaraguans want to make an offer, they ought to make it in diplomatic channels. We can’t be negotiating with our own congressman and the Nicaraguans simultaneously. My own view is that what we want from the Nicaraguans is the removal of foreign military and intelligence advisers.”

According to the Globe, Kerry responded that he was only applying the lessons he learned in Vietnam to Reagan’s actions in Central America.

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Kerry, now secretary of state, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday and was asked by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy how he reacted to the letter.

“My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief,” Kerry said. “During my 29 years here in the Senate I never heard of nor even heard of it being proposed anything comparable to this. If I had, I can tell you, no matter what the issue and no matter who was president, I would’ve certainly rejected it.”

“No one is questioning anybody’s right to dissent,” he continued. “Any senator can go to the floor any day and raise any of the questions that were raised. You write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation – particularly the leaders that they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to – to write then and suggest they were going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning. This letter ignores more than two centuries of precedent in the conduct of American foreign policy.”

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: A Brief History Of Mental Illness


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House Conservatives File Brief For Pacific Legal Foundation’s “Origination Clause” Challenge To Obamacare

House Members File Brief For PLF’s “Origination Clause” Challenge To Obamacare – Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation’s legal challenge to Obamacare received important backing in the form of an amicus brief filed by Congressman Trent Franks, R-Arizona, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, joined by several dozen other members of the House.

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The amicus brief was filed Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in PLF’s case, Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

“We are grateful for this powerful support from Congressman Franks, a leading authority on the Constitution, and from many other key lawmakers,” said PLF Principal Attorney Paul J. Beard II. “This support from members of the House is especially significant because PLF’s lawsuit defends the constitutional authority of the lower chamber, the legislative body that is closest to the people. We argue that Obamacare was enacted in a way that deprived the House of its authority to ‘originate’ new taxation. By extension, taxpayers were deprived of a core constitutional protection against reckless and oppressive use of the federal taxing power.”

In addition to Representative Franks, House members who have joined the brief as amici in support of PLF’s Obamacare challenge include: Michele Bachmann (MN); Joe Barton (TX); Kerry L. Bentivolio (MI); Marsha Blackburn (TN); Jim Bridenstine (OK); Mo Brooks (AL); K. Michael Conaway (TX); Steve Chabot (OH); Jeff Duncan (SC); John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN); John Fleming (LA); Bob Gibbs (OH); Louie Gohmert (TX); Andy Harris (MD); Tim Huelskamp (KS); Walter B. Jones, Jr. (NC); Steve King (IA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Bob Latta (OH); Thomas Massie (KY); Mark Meadows (NC); Randy Neugebauer (TX); Steve Pearce (NM); Robert Pittenger (NC); Trey Radel (FL); David P. Roe (TN); Todd Rokita (IN); Matt Salmon (AZ); Mark Sanford (SC); David Schweikert (AZ); Marlin A. Stutzman (IN); Lee Terry (NE); Tim Walberg (MI); Randy K. Weber, Sr. (TX), Brad R. Wenstrup (OH); Lynn A. Westmoreland (GA); Rob Wittman (VA); and Ted S. Yoho (FL).

Obamacare: A massive tax bill that started on the wrong side of the Capitol Building

PLF’s challenge focuses on the individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to buy a federally prescribed health insurance plan or pay a penalty to the federal government – a charge that the U.S. Supreme Court identified as a “tax” in its 2012 ruling on Obamacare.

Because Obamacare’s individual mandate is a tax – and, indeed, Obamacare includes more than $500 billion in new taxation, in all – the law should have been initiated in the House, where Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution says new taxes must “originate,” in order to keep the taxing power close to the people. However, in defiance of this constitutional requirement, Majority Leader Harry Reid launched the law in the Senate, by taking an entirely unrelated House bill on housing for veterans, stripping it, and inserting the language that became Obamacare.

Obamacare’s fiascos aren’t new: They started with the violation of the Origination Clause

“The current attempts to roll out Obamacare are frankly a fiasco,” said Beard. “These chaotic problems are symbolic of how, from the first, this law was foisted on the American people in a rushed and arbitrary way that ignored the careful and considered process laid down in the Constitution. The Constitution’s requirement that new taxes must start in the House is not a dusty formality. It’s an important safeguard for taxpayers, and for care and deliberation in the enactment of new taxes. Because this mandate was violated so flagrantly with Obamacare, and because the individual mandate is so central to Obamacare’s structure, our suit argues that the entire law must be struck down.”

Plaintiff Matt Sissel: “I am grateful for this support from members of the House”

Matt SisselPLF attorneys represent Matt Sissel, a small business owner who chooses to pay for medical expenses on his own, rather than buy health insurance. He objects on financial, philosophical, and constitutional grounds to being ordered by the federal government to purchase a health care plan he does not need or want, on pain of a penalty tax.

“I’m in this case to defend freedom and the Constitution,” said Sissel. “I am grateful for support from members of the House in this important litigation. I strongly believe that I should be free – and all Americans should be free – to decide how to provide for our medical needs, and not be forced to purchase a federally dictated health care plan. I’m very concerned that Obamacare was enacted in violation of the constitutional roadmap for enacting taxes, because those procedures are there for a purpose – to protect our freedom.”

An artist and self-employed business owner, Matt is also a soldier in the Army National Guard, and has more than eight years of service. He spent two years in Iraq as a combat medic, the second of which he volunteered for, providing medical care to the sick and wounded. On top of those duties, his second year was spent training and advising the Iraqi military. During his second tour, he received the Bronze Star for his service.

The case is Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PLF’s opening appellate brief, a detailed litigation backgrounder, video, and a podcast may be found at PLF’s website: pacificlegal.org.

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