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Archive for November, 2016

The Continuing Relevance of the Constitution


waving flagCommentary by Larry Arnn / November 28, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/28/the-continuing-relevance-of-the-constitution/

The U.S. Constitution is the oldest document currently governing a nation. (Photo: iStock Photos)

Public policy is often exciting and urgent. When a war begins or ends, when votes are counted in an election, or when a major bill is passed, everyone senses the magnitude of the event. Some struggles end and new struggles begin. Consequences carry far into the future. Compared to this, and especially given the way we think today, the Constitution seems like a boring subject.

But how do we know whether the public policies we adopt are good? How do we know whether the results of the election will be happy? How even do we know if the war we have fought was worth it?

Those questions cannot be answered except by reference to things that are outside the immediate excitement and even our immediate needs.

These larger and more enduring things cannot be understood without understanding what we are, how we should live, how best over the long term we can achieve a good life and be free. Somehow, urgent things have to be judged in light of ultimate things.

The profoundest example of this is in our famous Declaration of Independence. The people of America decided to form their own country. It was an act of rebellion. It would carry a death sentence for many if the revolution failed, and it did carry that sentence for many in the subsequent war.

How remarkable that in this urgent moment, they would base what they did upon the “laws of nature and of nature’s God.” They were looking upward toward the eternal as they began their battle. That is one of the essential reasons why they succeeded.

How can we remember to do this kind of thinking, when so many urgent things press upon us and when hundreds of millions of us participate?

The answer is given best of all in history by the Constitution of the United States, the partner of the declaration, prefigured in its middle passages.

The purpose of the Constitution is to ground the government in the people’s authority. It is also to make both we and our government thoughtful. “It is our reason alone,” writes James Madison, “that must be placed in control of the government. Our passions must be controlled by it.”

design

Under the Constitution, it takes time to do big things: We must think before we act. The Constitution divides power across the land and between levels and branches of government; the people and the parts of the government must cooperate if anything is to be done.

To get a majority, they must give reasons—out loud and in front of millions. This encourages candor and discourages the rankest forms of partisanship.

Yes, it is still partisan, but at our best moments we are better than anywhere else. Moreover, the Constitution limits what we can do to each other, teaching us self-restraint and independence.

In recent decades, our country has suffered public policy disasters. We have fought many wars without decisive victory. We have spent many trillions without removing the problems they were designed to remove. We have become a great debtor nation with fewer reserves, even if our reserves are still great.

These facts are connected to the compromising of our constitutional practices. We have changed the way we make laws. The government is less accountable, and the laws are more numerous and impossible to understand.

We have made government more centralized, and so its proper central functions—especially defense—are starved for resources.

As the government gets bigger, the people get smaller. They are regulated in their private lives, obstructed when they strive, subsidized in many cases into failure. This is just what the Constitution was designed to prevent.

No institution has done more to describe and promote public policy from the conservative point of view than The Heritage Foundation. It was born decades ago for specifically this purpose. It has always had an interest in the Constitution.

Now, it is bringing together all of its efforts relating to that great document into the Institute for Constitutional Government, launching Nov. 29, to achieve better focus. As a friend of the Constitution and of Heritage, I am proud of this.

It can only be good. Our freedom is at stake. We will not save it without restoring our Constitution.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Arnn

Larry Arnn is the president of Hillsdale College and a professor of politics and history, teaching courses on Aristotle, on Winston Churchill, and on the American Constitution. He is also a trustee at The Heritage Foundation.

How Abolishing the Electoral College Would Destroy the Power of the States


waving flagAuthored by Jarrett Stepman / / November 28, 2016

Abolishing the Electoral College would radically undermine the idea of federalism. (Photo: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters/Newscom)

Nearly a month after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in this year’s presidential election, progressive groups and activists are attempting to undermine the result along with fundamental institutions created by the Founding Fathers.

Clinton appears to have won the national popular vote in 2016, primarily fueled by massive landslides in populous Democratic states like California and New York. This has sparked efforts to do away with the state-based and not entirely democratic Electoral College.

Though a huge part of the anti-Electoral College push is sour grapes in the wake of a surprise electoral defeat, it serves the broader interest of the progressive movement’s goal to both delegitimize the incoming administration and subvert the idea of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution.

Electoral College Worked in 2016  

The Electoral College was carefully designed by the Founders after lengthy deliberation at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The design is this: Americans don’t cast their vote for president, but instead for electors pledged to their preferred candidate. Each state has a set number of electors based on the total number of representatives and senators. You can read about why the Founders created this seemingly complex system here.

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who was fairly popular with progressives just a week ago, supported the Electoral College process in Federalist 68. He said that “if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent.”

But a number of prominent Democrats have ignored Hamilton and called for an end to the Electoral College post-election.

Opponents of the Electoral College claim that the institution is fundamentally flawed. The fact that the winner of the most recent presidential contest didn’t have the highest total vote further demonstrates why it needs to be scrapped, according to their logic.

This narrative couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the issues surrounding the election prove exactly why the Electoral College is such an excellent system for the United States.

For instance, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is leading a movement to recount votes in three key states that Trump won: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This was in part justified by the idea that Russia had tampered with the election.

The recount process will likely be messy, but it would be vastly more complicated if America had to undergo a national as opposed to state-level recount. Votes have trickled in for the last month, and it is possible that without the state-based system it might still be unclear who the next president would be.

As ugly as the 2016 election was, it would have been far uglier without the moderating, stable process afforded by the Electoral College.

Having states conduct their own elections is a strength of our system, not a weakness. For instance, without the Electoral College and respect for state powers, it would be difficult for America to experiment with solutions to prevent voter fraud. This should be a priority for those suddenly concerned about voting integrity.

Assault on Federalism

What is lost in the Electoral College debate is the underlying attack on America’s cherished and inherited idea of federalism.

The Founders in their wisdom designed this republic with the intent of checking ambition with ambition, and delegating specific powers to both the national as well as state governments. They created a nation in which states could operate independently, experimenting with different policies and laws to fit their people.

The elimination of the Electoral College would be just another blow to the role of the states in the American system of government. No longer would presidential candidates have to appeal to the farmers of rural Iowa alongside the bankers of urban New York. They would be incentivized to campaign directly to the interests of the largest population centers alone.

The reasoning used to abolish the Electoral College could easily be applied to some of the most important aspects of America’s constitutional republic.

If the Electoral College is simply an ancient, undemocratic, and defunct relic of the Founding, then why isn’t the Senate? After all, treating the states equally and allowing them only two senators regardless of population is silly if one thinks the states hold no special place in our system. One writer was open about this in a Washington Post op-ed calling for abolishing the states entirely.

“Times have changed, and we need to rethink the notion of the ‘United States of America,’” Lawrence R. Samuel wrote in The Washington Post. “Our states are no longer culturally diverse regions with their own respective identities; rather, they are artificially constructed geographic entities that certainly would not be formed today.”Leftist Propagandist

Samuel concluded:

A federation of states was a wonderful idea in the late 18th century, but represents an unnecessary and costly burden in the early 21st. Two layers of government—federal and local—offers a cleaner, more sensible, and much more affordable system than our current one …

picture2

This is the essential issue at the heart of the Electoral College that extends far beyond the results of a single election.

The left wants to fundamentally change the system of federalism so venerated and protected by the founding generation. But those who believe that the United States was built on timeless ideas about man’s relation to man should look to preserve the system that allowed America to rise to the status of a superpower while preserving individual liberty.

ADIOS, OBAMACARE! Trump Picks TOM PRICE As Health & Human Services Secretary (BOOM)


waving flagPublished on November 29, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2016/11/adios-obamacare-trump-picks-tom-price-health-human-services-secretary-boom/

The outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act has been tapped to

Georgia Rep. Tom Price (R) / Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

be the head of the agency that will be ‘repealing and replacing’ it. Georgia Rep. Tom Price (R) has been selected as Secretary of the HHS, and that is FANTASTIC news!

Price — a former orthopedic surgeon — has been one of the strongest opponents to the Affordable Care Act and currently serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee. In a statement, Trump said Price has “earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity.”

“He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American,” the president-elect continued. “I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services.”
Read more: The Daily Caller

Complete Message

Image created and inserted by WhatDidYouSay.org

Tom Price: Conservative and full of ideas:

Mr. Price, a 62-year-old former orthopedic surgeon, is one of several GOP physicians who sought to carve out a leading role in shaping the party’s health policy and, in particular, the party’s alternative vision to Democrats’ Affordable Care Act.

Much of his criticism of the law has centered on the authority it gives to the federal government, and to the agency that he may now head.

“We think it’s important that Washington not be in charge of health care,” the six-term congressman said in an interview this summer. “The problem that I have with Obamacare is that its premise is that Washington knows best.”

Mr. Price has championed his own legislation, the Empowering Patients First Act, since 2009, taking a position on a number of hot-button issues for conservative health policy thinkers. In its latest iteration, the proposal includes refundable, age-adjusted tax credits for people to buy insurance if they don’t have access to coverage through an employer or government program. People in a government program, such as Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare, would also be allowed to opt out of it and get tax credits toward the cost of private coverage instead.

Mr. Price had previously included tax deductions in his plans, a tool typically favored by harder-line conservative health-policy thinkers, but said he had “moved towards credits because we felt it was cleaner.”

The plan offers a one-time credit aimed at boosting health-savings accounts, long described by supporters as a way of bringing down medical spending, and derives part of its funding from capping how much employers can spend on providing employee health care before being taxed. The plan seeks to make health insurance available to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions by helping states set up new “high-risk” pools or other programs for such enrollees, and sets new rules allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines.
Read more: Wall Street Journal

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


waving flagHill and Jill

Jill Stein is organizing a recount, but could Soros and Hillary be behind it to undermine the Trump presidency?

you think

Jill Stein Recount / Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2016.

More A.F. Branco Cartoons at Net Right Daily.

A.F. Branco 2017 Calendar <—- Order Here!

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report


waving flagMonday, November 28, 2016

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.

I AM A PERSON with PoemTop Stories
• Black Lives Matter? 35% of Aborted Babies are Black Even Though Blacks are 13% of the Population
• Percentage of People Who Call Themselves Pro-Life at Highest Level in Over Two Years
• Woman Who Bragged About Her Abortion at Democrat Convention Likely Running for Party Chair
• Baby Girl Wakes From Coma After Father Stops Doctors From Removing Her Life Support

More Pro-Life News

• Abortionist in a Funk After Trump Wins: “Hillary Would Want Me to Get Out of Bed and Go to Work”
• No Violent Act in U.S History Has Claimed More Lives Than Abortion, 59 Million
• She Wanted to “Terminate” Her Pregnancy, But a Google Search Saved Baby Axton From Abortion

• Woman Complains It Was Too Difficult to Abort Her Baby: “I Had to Fly From Texas to California”
• She Thought Her Abortion Was Too Big a Sin for God to Forgive, Then Something Opened Her Eyes
• Professor Warns IVF is Producing a Generation of Infertile Children Prone to Cancer
• Abortion Activist Complains: If Roe is Overturned Life Will be Worse Than the Civil War or Segregation
• Netherlands Will Now Euthanize Alcoholics, Will Drug Addicts be Next?
• Australian Medical Association Re-Affirms Opposition to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
• Politician Complains Pope Will Visit Ireland Ahead of Possible Vote to Legalize Abortion
• 300,000 People Say No to Abortion in Northern Ireland


Black Lives Matter? 35% of Aborted Babies are Black Even Though Blacks are 13% of the Population
As LifeNews.com reported last week, a new Centers for Disease Control report shows good news across the country as abortions and abortion rates continue to drop to historic levels.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.


Percentage of People Who Call Themselves Pro-Life at Highest Level in Over Two Years
A new National poll has some surprising and contradictory results when it comes to abortion, and it shows the number of people calling themselves pro-life on abortion at its highest level in two years.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

Woman Who Bragged About Her Abortion at Democrat Convention Likely Running for Party Chair
The abortion activist who bragged about her abortion at the Democratic Convention where Hillary Clinton was nominated is considering a run to become the chair of the Democratic Party.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

Baby Girl Wakes From Coma After Father Stops Doctors From Removing Her Life Support
A little girl whose parents were battling a hospital’s decision to remove her life support awoke from a coma earlier this month, the Daily Mail reports.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

Abortionist in a Funk After Trump Wins: “Hillary Would Want Me to Get Out of Bed and Go to Work”
There is no more self-ennobler than the abortionist who, through gritted teeth, tells her/his readers how brave they are to fight on for “women’s basic rights” (abortion) after a defeat—in this case the stunning victory of pro-life Donald Trump over abortion maven Hillary Clinton.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

 

No Violent Act in U.S History Has Claimed More Lives Than Abortion, 59 Million
The fragility of life once again became apparent to me last week, when I received a call from a dear friend, who was letting me know that she was in the hospital.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

She Wanted to “Terminate” Her Pregnancy, But a Google Search Saved Baby Axton From Abortion
When 27-year-old Acacia walked into a pregnancy help medical clinic in Casper, Wyo., her primary goal was to verify the pregnancy. If she was pregnant, Acacia’s plan was to abort.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

Woman Complains It Was Too Difficult to Abort Her Baby: “I Had to Fly From Texas to California”
Candice Russell was struggling to make ends meet when she discovered that her birth control had failed and she was pregnant.

Click to Read at LifeNews.com.

Daily Pro-Life News Report
Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.
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Comments or questions? Email us at news@lifenews.com.
Copyright 2003-2016 LifeNews.com. All rights reserved.

I knew you life-begins-at-conception deliver-me dead-alive absurdities Would You two victums Saved us all Pro Life how many body parts PP Body Parts Healthcare Choice Andrea Why isit legal Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves so ROE hate God brave enough

Department of Justice Fines Sheriff Department for Hiring Only US Citizens


waving flagAuthored by Hans von Spakovsky / / November 23, 2016

The Denver Sheriff’s Department was slapped with a $10,000 fine for running afoul of a law that the government does not universally enforce. (Photo: iStock Photos)

<!– The Denver Sheriff’s Department was slapped with a $10,000 fine for running afoul of a law that the government does not universally enforce. (Photo: iStock Photos) –>

In a sharp illustration of how the federal government refuses to play by the same rules as everyone else, the Denver Sheriff’s Department has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making U.S. citizenship a qualification for being hired as a deputy sheriff.

The eight-page settlement agreement was signed by Sheriff Patrick Firman and Alberto Ruisanchez, the deputy special counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department.

The Sheriff’s Department agreed to not only pay the $10,000 fine, but agreed to go through all job applications received from noncitizens after Jan. 1, 2015, and offer them the “opportunity to complete the application/evaluation process for the deputy sheriff position” with “no consideration” of their citizenship status.

What did you say 02

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

One of the sillier requirements in the settlement agreement is that the Sheriff’s Department post “an English and Spanish version of the Office of Special Counsel ‘If You Have the Right to Work’ poster … in all places where notices to employees and job applicants are normally posted” and also to provide a copy of the poster in the “applicant’s preferred language.” You can see that poster in Arabic here. if-stupid-could-fly

You have to wonder whether the DOJ Special Counsel realizes or cares about the fact that if the English comprehension skills of an applicant to be a deputy sheriff are so poor that he requires the “OSC Poster” in his “preferred language” in order to comprehend what it says, he may have a bit of difficulty being an effective law enforcement officer—and that such poor language skills could endanger the safety of the public and the deputy.you think

The law that the Denver Sheriff’s Department supposedly violated is 8 U.S.C. §1324b, which makes it unlawful “to discriminate against any individual [except for illegal immigrants] with respect to the hiring, or recruitment or referral for a fee, of the individual for employment or the discharging of the individual from employment … because of such individual’s citizenship status.”

In other words, if someone is a noncitizen who is legally in the country and has a work authorization from the Department of Homeland Security, that person cannot be discriminated against in the employment context.you-are-a-special-kind-of-stupid

However, there are some very big exceptions. For example, Section (a)(4) specifically provides that it is not a violation of the statute to “hire, recruit, or refer an individual who is a citizen or national of the United States over another individual who is an alien if the two individuals are equally qualified.”

There is no indication that the Obama Justice Department has any evidence that any noncitizens who may have applied were better qualified than the deputies hired by Denver since Jan. 1, 2015.

There is also an exception that allows the hiring of only citizens if it is required “in order to comply with law, regulation, or executive order, or required by federal, state, or local government contract, or which the attorney general determines to be essential for an employer to do business with an agency or department of the federal, state, or local government.” The exception for required compliance with a “law, regulation, or executive order” does not say a federal “law, regulation, or executive order.”

Thus, local and state governments would seem to have the ability to get around this statute—and the attention of the Civil Rights Division—by passing a law, issuing a regulation, or executing an executive order that makes citizenship a requirement for hiring law enforcement personnel.

Given the importance of the job done by law enforcement officers throughout all levels of government to protect the public from those who would harm them, ranging from common criminals to the terrorists who have killed many Americans inside our country in recent years, requiring citizenship seems like a basic, commonsense qualification.

against America

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The federal government certainly thinks so—because it does not apply this statute to itself. If you want to be a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which often works closely with local law enforcement, including sheriff’s departments like Denver’s, the FBI website specifically says that you “must be a United States citizen.” The same is true of the U.S. Secret Service, which routinely discriminates against noncitizens in a manner that no doubt horrifies the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. The website for the Secret Service says that all candidates for employment, whether in the Uniformed Division or as special agents, “must be U.S. citizens.”

Oh, and by the way, all of the DOJ lawyers whose names are on the settlement agreement with the Denver Sheriff’s Department? They are also no doubt U.S. citizens. How do I know that? As a current job listing on the USAJOBS website for a position inside the Civil Rights Division explains under key requirements: “You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.”

If an employer hires a noncitizen legally in the country who is permitted to work, no one questions that employers should not be able to discriminate against that employee in wages, benefits, and the other accoutrements of employment. However, employers should not be prohibited from doing what is best for “the general welfare” of Americans—hiring U.S. citizens over visitors to our country, who are only our guests.

This provision of federal immigration law needs to be changed. It is a matter of basic fairness and ensuring that all Americans are gainfully employed so that they—and their families—can engage in the “pursuit of Happiness,” a fundamental truth that we hold to be self-evident.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.

The Clarion Project Newsletter for November 29, 2016


ClarionProject.org Facebook Twitter Youtube issue 365
11.29.2016

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QUOTABLEQUOTES

Pakistani Islamist Party Opposes Bill Against Forced Conversions

[The Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan party said it will not accept the recently adopted bill banning forced conversions in Pakistan because it is] against the spirit of Islam.

– Shah Ovais Noorani
Secretary-General of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) political party

READERSWRITE

S.P. [Re: ‘Iranian Nuclear Device Goes Missing’]: And we wonder why you don’t give Iran access to nuclear anything.

S.P.

G.F. [Re: ‘Would You Want to Know if Your Holiday Parade Was a Terror Target?’]: I would most definitely want to know. For the government to do otherwise would not just be negligent but criminal.

G.F.

 

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