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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Obama Delays Imposing New Sanctions On Iran Over Their Illegal Missile Tests

by JASmius



Yes, of course I saw this story yesterday.  But I waited to comment on it because I knew, just as I know that I am doomed to a life of slow, inexorable impoverishment in this man's prison economy, that the Near Earth Object-sized other shoe was going to drop, and drop like a hammer very soon.

It didn't even take twenty-four hours:

The White House has delayed imposing new financial sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Journal, citing U.S. officials, said the Obama administration was preparing to sanction nearly a dozen companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates for their role in developing Iran's ballistic-missile program.

The U.S. sanctions were expected to be formally announced this week, the newspaper said.

Sources familiar with the situation confirmed to Reuters that the United States was preparing sanctions. [emphasis added]

In the words of Commodore Matthew Decker, "The[y] [were], but not anymore!"  How did I know that King Hussein was going to overrule Foggy Bottom on any sanctions reimposition?  Simple - this single sentence from yesterday's story announcing them:

Iranian officials have previously warned that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei would view such new U.S. sanctions as a violation of the nuclear deal.

Which is (1) undoubtedly true and (2) all it took to rouse his infernal majesty into springing into action on the mullahs' behalf.  Never forget what the sole motivation behind the Iran nuclear "deal" has always been: Barack Obama's "Neville Chamberlain Moment"; his foreign policy legacy as "the first president in thirty-six years to make the 'landmark diplomatic breakthrough' of achieving 'peace' and a treaty agreement of alliance with the Islamic Empire of Iran."  It's never been about impeding Tehran's nuclear arsenal; like everything else, it had been and is and every shall be all about Barack Hussein Obama.  And he will never, EVER allow ANYTHING that runs the slightest risk of Iran backing out of that "landmark, breakthrough" capitulation that is going to plunge the Middle East and maybe the whole world into nuclear Armageddon.

So he delayed sanctions reimposition over the two MRBM tests of missiles whose sole purpose is to deliver nuclear warheads to intended targets, and he will keep delaying them indefinitely until he decides the coast is clear to cancel them altogether.  Because, legacy.

You can absolutely set your clocks by this perfidious assclown.  You really can.

Ben Carson's Campaign Implodes

by JASmius



The presidential candidacy of Ben Carson, a tea party star who has catapulted into the top tier of Republican contenders, has been rocked by turmoil with the departures of four senior campaign officials and widespread disarray among his allied super PACs.

In interviews Friday, Carson’s associates described a political network in tumult, saying the retired neurosurgeon’s campaign chairman, national finance chairman, deputy campaign manager and general counsel have resigned since Carson formally launched his bid last month in Detroit. They have not been replaced, campaign aides said.

The moves gutted the core of Carson’s apparatus and left the sixty-three-year-old first-time candidate with only a handful of experienced advisers at his side as he navigates the fluid, crowded and high-stakes contest for the Republican nomination.

I can hear the "Run, Ben, Run!" crowd now - these defectors are "turncoats," "traitors," they got "bought off," etc. Any finger-pointing excuse to escape the reality that perhaps, just perhaps, when these four political professionals got to see how their candidate rolls on a day-to-day basis, they realized that what had looked good on paper just isn't going to work in practice:

[Armstrong] Williams [the only top Carson campaign poobah left] portrayed Carson as a candidate who is still learning the nuances of politics. He said Carson is studying up on issues and is uninterested in campaign mechanics.

On the road, Carson receives hearty receptions, but his acquaintances said he is most content after public events to retreat to a pool table, where he touts the hand-eye coordination that made him a renowned surgeon. He also likes to do brain teasers or play golf.

Carson occasionally drops by his Alexandria campaign headquarters, but his main interaction with staffers is just once a week, at 10 a.m. on Sundays, when he participates in a conference call to go over his schedule for the coming week.

“Dr. Carson doesn’t get involved in the minutia,” Williams said. “You have to understand his personality. He’s informed, but this whole process is new to him, and he’s relying on the judgment of others.” [emphases added]

Or, in other words, Dr. Carson doesn't have the "fire in the belly," and even if he did, he wouldn't know what to do with it. Which political pros, and even a pajamaed hack like your humble pundit, can easily recognize. And the four top Carsonites decided their time was being wasted on a poseur/vanity candidate and decided to go elsewhere where their talents could be put to better use.

Now don't get me wrong; I actually sympathize with BC. Part of it is simply human nature. If I suddenly had a whole posse of fans and supporters across the country telling me how great I am and how much they love what I have to say and how I should be running for president because the country needs me, etc., etc., etc., it'd be a very heady thing, and a very difficult thing to which to say no. Plus, in my case, not having a net worth in eight figures and beholding the income-generating possibilities (See why I'd never make a good pol? I'm too gosh-darned candid) that could set up myself and my family for life, it would be, for me, well-nigh irresistible.

- Me, almost seven months ago


And now, after a meteoric rise and a three month ride on top over the late summer and early fall, Gentle Ben has come 'round full circle to the disarray in which his campaign began, and for the exact same reasons:

Three of Ben Carson's high-ranking advisers, including campaign manager Barry Bennett, quit Thursday following an internal power struggle, a sharp decline in the polls and a week of confusion about who would remain on the retired neurosurgeon's presidential campaign team.

"Barry Bennett and I have resigned from the Carson campaign effective immediately," said departed communications director Doug Watts in a statement to the Washington Post. "We respect the candidate and we have enjoyed helping him go from far back in the field to top tier status." Hours later, Carson’s deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen also submitted her resignation....

At the heart of it were simmering tensions between Bennett and Williams. Bennett, an experienced GOP operative, wanted the campaign to be more traditional in its setup, fundraising and messaging. Williams, who has known Carson for more than two decades, thought Bennett’s approach did not bring out the candidate's strengths.

And, to Williams' credit, he may have been right, at least in some ways.  For a while, anyway.  But not ultimately, given how the game abruptly changed after Paris and San Bernardino and Dr. C wasn't able to adapt to it.

It was a classic divide between the candidate’s friends and professional aides, with each side believing it was working in Carson’s best interests. Carson, making his first run for office at age sixty-four, has been enamored with the idea that upstarts and non-professionals could upset the political class....

Given Dr. Carson's brilliance, it's difficult to believe he could succumb to such nonsense, which leads me to believe that this idea was force-fed to him by his friends and fans via endless, ego-stroking repetition versus him originating it himself.

The real breaking point came two days before Christmas when Williams and Carson decided together, without Bennett's knowledge, to invite the Washington Post and the Associated Press to Carson’s Maryland mansion to discuss, among other topics, a staff shake-up.

Sound like a pure power-play by Williams, doesn't it?

When asked during that interview whether Bennett would stay on, Carson responded: "All of these things are on the table for consideration."

The campaign followed that interview with a confusing statement from Carson that expressed "100% confidence" in his advisers.

Either the Doc is weak and wishy-washy, or he's putty in Williams' hands.  Neither is any kind of confidence-builder of what a Carson presidency would mean for the country.  Think about such vacillation and double-talk in a national security context.

But by then Bennett felt burned by Carson and believed Williams was taking control of the campaign.

Understandably.

He also called it a "stupid move" for Williams to urge Carson to talk to reporters about the campaign's unrest....

Admit and promote your own campaign's weaknesses to a hostile press that already hates you and considers you to be an Uncle Tom racial turncoat?  "Stupid move" is a sweet euphemism.

Just one month earlier, Carson insisted to reporters that Williams had "nothing to do with the campaign." Yet by late December, Williams and Carson had been huddling for weeks, discussing possible changes as Carson’s poll numbers tumbled. Meanwhile, Carson had been holding separate daily conversations with Bennett about tweaking the campaign....

Translation: Williams was blaming Carson's poll collapse on his professional advisors (The usual Tea Party vilification of GOP political consultants, which is oftentimes justified but not in this case) rather than where it belonged, on the candidate and his complete absence of qualifications for the job he's seeking.  It's almost like the retired neurosurgeon regurgitated what he was told to say by the most recent advisor to get hold of him.

Take additional note of that last insight of mine from early June on the money-making and "brand"-establishing possibilities of being "drafted" into a national campaign.  I didn't put inordinate emphasis on it because Dr. Carson is already very wealthy, but evidently lucre was a prime motivation for his friends versus, you know, votes, the silly idea under which his professional advisers had been misconceivably laboring:

Several operatives in early voting States, and Iowa in particular, have charged that the campaign has relied too heavily on organic support and online fundraising without making sufficient attempts to organize that energy in a more tangible way. Others accused the campaign of misusing its funds, reinvesting the bulk of its earnings into raising more money, chartered flights and into bloated campaign salaries instead of building the sort of robust infrastructure in early voting States that will be crucial for whomever locks down the nomination. [emphasis added]

In short, Dr, C didn't have the "fire in the belly," never did, ran for president because all his friends and fans told him he should, but his heart was never really in it.  He rose to the top tier and brief frontrunner status based on the GOP grassroots' mindless "outsider" fetish and not being a Donk phallus like Trump.  And some of his friends and fans evidently saw him as a cash cow that could be milked for all they could gain off of his candidacy.

It's tempting to think of Ben Carson as the victim in this equation.  As I've said all along, I like the man and immensely respect him.  But he's the candidate; his name is on the campaign; ergo, he's responsible for all of it, lock, stock, and barrel.  And because running for president was, ultimately, not his idea, his was a figurehead candidacy from day one, by definition.  So the wonder would have been if it hadn't begun and ended in complete, roiling chaos.

That is, in other words, what you get with incompetent amateurs versus seasoned professionals.  There's a lesson in that for Tea Partiers, if they were at all willing to learn it.

Hard Starboard Radio: Will Hillary Clinton Lose Another Democrat Presidential Nomination?



Is a second "surge" needed in Afghanistan?; California gun confiscation begins tomorrow; Behold the Huckabee-Santorum-Pataki Irrelevancy; Will Hillary Clinton lose another Democrat presidential nomination?; Obamnesty's latest chapter; Barack Obama's gifts to the People's Liberation Army; and is the Trump infiltration worth it?

Out of the 2015 frying pan and into the 2016 fire at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

D-minus four days and counting down....



The Trump Infiltration

by JASmius



Ronald Reagan drew centrist Democrats - hence the term "Reagan Democrats" - into the GOP with his trademark sunny, optimistic, staunchly conservative/constitutionalist message.  He did not do so by diluting that message, or by moving leftward to pander to them.  And as the Gipper, himself a former Dem, said all the way back in the early 1960s, "I didn't leave the Democrat Party; the Democrat Party left me."  There was, of course, no doubt that the fortieth president was a Republican.

We on this site have had an ongoing, intermittent debate about "progressive" infiltrators into the GOP, with your humble pundit scoffing at the notion as paranoid hostility at a GOP "establishment" whose shortcomings are not ideological but tempermental.  Something which I characterize as Pachyderms not being revolutionaries, a description that most definitely encompasses their Donk opponents.  But that doesn't make "establishmentarians" leftwing collaborators, either.

But with the rise of Trumpmania, we may very well have that liberal/socialist/commie bastard infiltration PP's proprietor has been looking for all along:



Donald Trump holds a dominant position in national polls in the Republican race in no small part because he is extremely strong among people on the periphery of the G.O.P. coalition.

i.e. Outside of it, but not entering it as a rightward move ideologically, but rather bringing their leftism in with them.

He is strongest among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. [emphasis added]

The saving grace of the "Trump coalition," particularly given that his candidacy is far more a cult of boorish personality than an organized campaign.

His very best voters are self-identified Republicans who nonetheless are registered as Democrats.

i.e. They're Trumplicans far more than they are Republicans and self-identify as such because of in which party he's running.

It’s a coalition that’s concentrated in the South, Appalachia and the industrial North, according to data provided to The Upshot by Civis Analytics, a Democrat data firm.

So quite regional, not a nationwide phenomenon.  West of the Mississippi, Trump fades dramatically.  That, along with the aforementioned weaknesses, is why, I'd imagine, most political analysts forecast the GOP race as coming down to a mano-e-mano between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Trump’s huge advantage among these groups poses a challenge for his campaign, because it may not have the turnout operation necessary to mobilize irregular voters. [emphasis added]

So Trump's gaudy poll numbers may be highly ephemeral.

But it is just as big a challenge for the Republican Party, which has maintained its competitiveness in spite of losses among nonwhite and young voters by adding older and white voters, many from the South. These gains have helped the party retake the House, the Senate and many State governments. But these same voters may now be making it harder for the party to broaden its appeal to nonwhite and younger people — perhaps even by helping to nominate Trump.

Due to the aforementioned factors, that would seem to be unlikely.  After which the question will be whether these "traditional Democrat" voters, big on socialism, protectionism, unsustainable entitlements - in essence, loving big government and wanting it kept just as it is, only working in their favor (my late in-laws resided in this category) - but not so hot on their own party's cultural debauchery, racism, Ameriphobic anti-patriotism, and pacifism and surrender abroad, will stay in the GOP post-Trump, holding their own noses at the Tea Party wing which regards them as the infiltrators they are.

That, though, poses the question of whether that actually is infiltration or simply Conn Carroll's conclusion:

I think a big part of what explains Trump is the natural growing pains of the GOP assimilating big govt whites leaving the Dem Party.

Do we as conservatives want our party assimilating "big government whites" or do we wish the GOP to be as ideologically pure as possible?  Most Tea Partiers would reflexively embrace the latter.  But what if the GOP needs those "big government whites" who are with us on moral/social issues and foreign policy but not fiscal and economic matters in order to retain control of Congress?  That's when that question stops being so simple and starts getting very, very complicated.

Politics, in other worse, is a lot harder, with a lot more shades of gray, than TPers ever want to admit.

Trump, though, is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy: a Democrat demagogue manipulated into the Republican presidential race in a classic piece of Clinton mischief to in turn exploit Tea Party anger as an entrance ramp for "traditional Democrats" to import their big government preferences into the GOP.  He must be stopped by any means necessary, even if "establishmentarians" have to swallow Ted Cruz as the Republican nominee.

Perhaps a President Cruz, if he adapted a more Reaganesque mien, could help "cure" Trumplicans of those wayward heresies?

Barack Obama's Gifts To The People's Liberation Army

by JASmius



Whether this strategic military disaster was from a direct hack or from the haul Beijing reaped from the vast Edward Snowden intel treasure trove, it stands second only to the Red Chinese conquest of the United States in the not too distant future as a testament to The One's outright hostility to the very concept of U.S. cybersecurity:

Designs and technology for two new [Red] Chinese bomber drones that bear a striking resemblance to a cutting-edge U.S. military attack drone reportedly were stolen by [Red] Chinese cyber spies.

According to a report in the Asia Times, a video that popped up on a [Red] Chinese military blog this month showed a missile-firing drone in action that looked almost identical to the U.S. military combat drone, the MQ-9 Reaper.

And on other ChiComm military blogs as well.  But that's only the tip of the iceberg;

Drones aren't Beijing's only cyber-hacking target, the newspaper reports; other aircraft compromises have involved the B-2 Spirit bomber, the F-22 Raptor [air superiority fighter], and the frontline F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter.

The Asia Times reports the hack of advanced radar and engine designs of the F-35 are believed to have been through a non-U.S. subcontractor — and those features are now part of a new stealth fighter jet being developed in [Red] China. [emphasis added]

And, get this, you know what the ChiComm cyberspies' point of entry into this, yes, non-U.S. subcontractor's servers was?  Facebook.  Through which they implanted malware that gained them user IDs and passwords with which to completely loot and ransack every U.S. military secret to whiich they wanted to help themselves.  Which I'm guessing was pretty much all of them.

Makes you wonder what other malware they've planted, doesn't it?  What logic bombs they can trigger whenever they want to cripple our defense networks and linked military capabilities as part of the final attack on our country.

All because of Barack Obama's outright hostility to the very concept of U.S. cybersecurity - and, by implicaton, to America itself.

If the Cylons had been attempting to wipe out the United States instead of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol....



....Number Six could have just stayed home and let her big-eared, mom-jeaned "Baltar" bring the defense network access codes to her.

Incoming Solar Magnetic Storm To Light Up New Year's Eve

by JASmius



Not that we'll see it in the Pacific Northwest, as in order to see the Aurora Borealis anywhere, you need an absence of cloud cover, and we won't see blue sky here again until approximately Memorial Day.  So we'll just have to experience it vicariously, like describing a rainbow to a blind man:

Typically, the new year is met with fireworks lighting up the sky, but this year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center said a powerful solar storm, set to hit Earth [Sol III] today, will make for "stunning views of the Northern Lights just before New Year's Eve," ABC News reports.

On a scale from one to five, the NOAA is classifying the solar storm as a G3 event — powerful enough for the Northern Lights to dip as far south as Oregon and Illinois.

But not California, where there are never any cloud anymore.  Sorry, fruit loops.   But then, with a G5 or worse, we'd be looking at a natural EMP event that could overwhelm our planet's magnetic field,  destroy our electrical grid, and wipe out most life on the planet.  So I think y'all can find a way to live with it.



Unlike our damned cloud cover.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Obamnesty's Latest Chapter

by JASmius



I'm not sure what the threshold point is for conclusively declaring that Barack Obama has completely destroyed the U.S. immigration system and shredded the laws therein.  It's difficult for me to believe that we haven't already passed that Rubicon quite a piece back.  But either O doesn't think he's crossed it yet or he's intent upon running up the score:

A new regulation set to be published on the last day of the year will allow for more white-collar American jobs to go to foreigners with college degrees, Breitbart News reports.

The proposed regulation is set to be published on Thursday, followed by a sixty-day comment period.

"Obama has gone the Full Monty to bust the immigration system," immigration lawyer John Miano told Breitbart. "What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to [roughly 650,000] people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the [annual] quotas."

So, once again, he is illegally, unlawfully, and unconstitutionally usurping Congress's Article I, Section 1 legislative power to re-write another area of U.S. immigration law to his preference and liking, in service to his "fundamental transformation" dream of overrunning the country with foreigners and displacing and disenfranchising "native" Americans.  Because "bringing America down to the level of the rest of the world" economically is only "fair," and all the wealth we have created and earned must be "redistributed" to the rest of the world, and what more efficient way to accomplish that than to invite in the rest of the world into our country to take away our jobs?

This reg is also redundant proof that the Left knows and grasps capitalism and economic incentives as well or better than we do:

The policy gives an incentive for businesses to hire foreign nationals because they can be paid lower salaries in combination with assurances that their jobs will help them get federal work permits that are a pathway to Green Cards and citizenship, writes Breitbart's Neil Munro.

All quietly and well under the media "radar".  It almost makes you wonder why The One made such a splash of his Immigration Proclamation when he could have carried out the same lawless usurpation just as unobtrusively, or for that matter why this reg is being dropped like a pin when it's the same Hispanic/Latino pandering.

Now let me back up and reset the table on my own immigration stance: I am no protectionist, on labor or any other economic aspect.  If a "furiner" emigrates to America legally, plays by the rules, fulfills the requirements, and isn't coming here to freeload, I've got absolutely no issue or problem with him or her competing in a free market U.S. job market, even in my professional segment of it.  Competition is capitalism is competition, after all.  That to which I object is non-Americans bypassing U.S. immigration law at a lawless regime's engraved invitation and a job that I need (and have for well over two years) and that I might have otherwise landed being parceled off to that illegal alien.  Because that is not fair to me.

Of course, I'm a white, Christian, conservative constitutionalist Republican of European heritage, and therefore have (somehow - I've yet to discern it) "unfair advantages" that I "don't deserve," and therefore it's time for me to be screwed "for a change".  Even though I have been banged like an ISIS harem slave since 2013 and many times before that over the course of my career.

The difference is, back then we had American presidents and a (mostly) free market, capitalist economy in which there was always a next job to be had because jobs - real, full-time, reasonably-paying jobs - were actually being created instead of destroyed and stifled.  Now, the U.S. job market is an ever-shrinking "pie," and there is nothing left for late-middle aged accountant such as your humble pundit.

I don't know the ethnic demographic or citizen status of the sacrificial goat with which I was replaced at Pacific Northwest Baking Company, but I do know that my replacement at Eagle Beverage Company six months later very much fit the above profile.  So this reg is real as proverbial roast beef and vastly more deadly.

I'd ask why Barack Obama seems to hate Americans so much, but there's a limit to how much redundancy the human mind can withstand.

Will Hillary Clinton Lose Another Democrat Presidential Nomination?

by JASmius



According to Dick Morris, Yes!  She!  Will!

Tell me, as you skim through this quote, where you've heard this analysis before:

Hillary Clinton will lose the Democrat nomination to Bernie Sanders — setting up a huge fight to "steal it by getting the super delegates" at the party's national convention next July in Philadelphia, political strategist Dick Morris predicted to Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"Hillary is losing to Sanders," Morris told Newsmax Prime host Joe Pags. "There is one post-debate poll that shows the margin collapsing from twenty points to fifteen.

"In Iowa, it shows the margin collapsing from eighteen to five...." he added. "She's already at about eight or ten behind in New Hampshire."

Morris also noted that [Mrs.] Clinton's sagging poll numbers are why she plans to put former President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail next month.

"More importantly, it's why two or three days ago she sent out an email to her supporters saying we might lose in New Hampshire or Iowa — and we have to be prepared to dig down, work harder in the other States," he told Pags. "She wouldn't have written that if her polls weren't going to hell in those States." [emphasis added]

Me, five days ago:

The complicating factor is that she's not acting like the frontrunner; indeed, from how frantically she continues to pander to the extreme Left, it seems abundantly clear that she's convinced she's behind Weekend Bernie Sanders by double-digits pretty much everywhere. Does her campaign have internal polling (i.e. drained of hype and designed to be as accurate as possible) that shows this?

So now even Bill Clinton's one-time political Svengali is echoing me.  I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

But Morris did throw in an implication of his own:

"What may happen here is that if Sanders wins the first two primaries and then does well in the white primary States — not South Carolina, but the largely white ones — Sanders could beat her in all of those primaries," Morris said. "You could have a situation where she tries to win the nomination, steal it by getting the super delegates — all of whom believe that Sanders would be a disaster for the party."

And they're absolutely right about that.  But then, Hillary would be an even bigger disaster for them, barring a Trump nomination on the other side.

He then told The Steve Malzberg Show that the scenario "could cause a backlash in the Democrat Party, very much like the Hubert Humphrey backlash that took place in 1968, when he didn't even enter a single primary and he was nominated anyway."

Everything else in this country is upside down anymore - why not both political parties' nominating paradigms?  The dynastic "next in line/It's my turn" dynamic that usually grips the Republicans has now switched to the Democrats, for whom it is supremely ill-suited.  For more than half a century, when Democrats have won national elections it has been by nominating the young, charismatic, telegenic, over-hyped bamboozling dark horse outsider who takes the primaries, and then the country, by storm, a swooning blitzkrieg from which low-information voters awaken far, far too late, if ever.  It's when they nominate old, stale white people that they lose by variously sized margins.  In this case, they've got two old, stale white people to choose from, but of that pair, all the genuine passion and enthusiasm is with Weekend Bernie, because (1) he's authentic and (2) he is where the extreme leftwingnut base of the Democrat Party is.  Whereas Mrs. Clinton is phonier than, well, "Three-Dollar Bill" without the superlative political skills and charisma to camouflage it, so ersatz that nobody has any idea of what an authentic Hillary Clinton would look or sound like.  Well, okay, if she stopped dying her hair blonde, she'd look more authentic, but for how she sounds, there's no help whatsoever.  And without the blonde bob, she'd look two hundred years old instead of merely one hundred twenty-five.  And that matters when the candidate is female.  Nobody gives a Cleveland steamer what Bernie Sanders looks like.  And his authenticity is the other reason.

Imagine Sanders winning most of the primaries, going over the top in delegates, and getting rooked out of the nomination by the Empress and her DINO minions.  And at the same time that the ordinarily staid, buttoned up, stuffily conventional GOP went off the collective deep end by nominating, well, a Democrat - which would definitely qualify as picking an "outsider" - and half the party boycotting him.  Both parties dissolving into raging civil wars.  Complete, higgledy-piggledy chaos.

Now imagine only one party so disintegrating, while the other did its nose-holding duty and turned out in massive numbers to put an upside-down-legged woman back in the White House.  Because that requires a great deal less imagination.

And there's always the scenario where the Ugly Dutchess is thwarted again, Republicans' mass Trump psychosis holds, and We the People wind up with President Sanders, who polls show leading The Donald in general election matchups by a much bigger margin than does Herself.

So as entertaining as another crushing Hillary Clinton defeat would be, it's a sideshow that really doesn't ultimately matter alongside the potential final, pompoured funeral pyre of the Grand Old Party.  Which would actually be a fitting coda to the three-year old demise of the Old American Republic.

Exit question: Whose dentures do you think popped out first in the pic above?

Hard Starboard Radio: An Acute Lack Of Common Sense



Sweet Cakes By Melissa capitulates to the Gaystapo, pays $135,000 ransom; State Department: "We're bringing peace to Syria"; Vladimir Putin is building up the Russian navy, and that's just the beginning; and Barack Obama to decree universal background checks for ALL gun sales; Obama Regime is still spying on Israel; and Iranian Revolutionary Guards fire on U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

An island of sanity in a sea of bipartisan craziness at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

D-minus five days and counting down....



The Huckabee-Santorum-Pataki Irrelevancy

by JASmius



Of the three, only the three-term former governor of New York has belatedly manifested a bare minimum of common sense:

George Pataki, the three-term governor who led New York through the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, on Tuesday quit the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

““While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I’m confident we can elect the right person – someone who can bring us together,” the seventy-year-old former governor said in his campaign valedictory: a video announcement made on YouTube and in a prime-time TV advertisement in the three early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.



I'd guess Pataki's zero percent of the vote will probably go to Marco Rubio by default.  Which I'm sure the soon-to-be ex-Florida Senator will appreciate.

In loopier Rubes-benefiting news, two other slightly less irrelevant windmill-tilters are, for reasons I can't begin to explain but since I'm already into this post now I suppose I have to try anyway, trying to sabotage the much more socon-ish Ted Cruz with all the influence that comes with a combined three percent standing in the polls:

“This is real. There exists this feeling that Senator Cruz is only the most recent Christian conservative presidential candidate, and that the two individuals who preceded him in the 2008 and 2012 caucuses have not been given the respect that they deserve as voices in the Christian conservative movement,” says Jamie Johnson, a former member of the Iowa GOP state central committee who supported Santorum in 2012 and has not thrown his weight behind a candidate after supporting former Texas governor Rick Perry earlier this cycle.

“It is absolutely clear to me that many Huckabee and Santorum supporters are going to swing toward Marco Rubio, because he is a Christian conservative who they feel embodies more of the character traits that Huckabee and Santorum embody,” Johnson says. “That’s what I’m hearing from both camps.”…
[A]n operative with one conservative campaign says he reached out to Rubio’s team to discuss forging an alliance against Cruz. On the ground at an event in Iowa, the operative says he approached Rubio press secretary Brooke Sammon and told her, “We have a common enemy, and I’m a firm believer that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The Rubio campaign declined to comment on the exchange…

The anti-Cruz effort may not be limited to ad campaigns. Sources familiar with the discussions say there are proposals to pool resources that can be used for voter outreach and education as well. A primary target of such a campaign would be Iowa’s churches, where Cruz’s opponents believe parishioners have been misled about the Texas senator’s record on the issue of s[odo]marriage. [emphasis added]

What has Senator Cruz said about sodomarriage?  Or abortion, for that matter?  That they are State, not federal, issues.  Constitutionally speaking, he's absolutely right.  On the federal level, the only steps that could be taken would be Constitutional Amendments properly defining marriage and banning abortion, in neither of which the president has a direct role, and only indirectly via the "bully pulpit".  And Ted Cruz, last I checked, is running for president, not national vicar.  That's not the answer single-issue socons like Huckles and Santorum want to hear, but again, it's the right one under the U.S. Constitution.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, the "Christian conservative," has taken a stance of surrender on the Obergfell Supreme Court ruling imposing sodomarriage on the country that would be entirely portable to Roe v. Wade as well, which I would think would make the Floridian anathema to evangelical voters and candidates.  And yet there are the last two Iowa caucus winners, all set to shiv the more socially conservative freshman senator right where it would hurt the most if they had a "weapon" more fearsome than a Nerf dagger.  Neither Santorum nor Huck have the numbers to elevate Rubio, nor can they hurt Cruz in any way aside from possibly helping Donald Trump to overtake him - you know, the guy who has been married more times than he can remember,always keeps shacking up with what Kevin Williamson referred to as "plastic surgery disasters," and profanely and ignorantly acquitted himself so well with Iowa evangelical voters back in the summer.

To call this anti-Cruz/pro-Rubio drive on socon grounds incoherent is a rank understatement.  "Insane" is more like it.  But then these two never-weres even running in the first place was fruit-loopy enough, and it's unlikely that their profoundly un-Christian pride will permit them to exit the race anytime soon, no matter how sensible and merciful it would most definitely be.

But I guess they have managed to make themselves relevant in a way: as a reminder of just how aggravating I found both their candidacies eight and four years ago, respectively.

California Gun Confiscation Begins In 37 Hours, 18 Minutes

by JASmius



Oh, but relax, California gun owners, you're safe as long as a State judge doesn't consider you "violent".  Of course, most judges in that State consider anybody who owns a gun to be violent by definition, so y'all had better get your cold, dead fingers ready:

The law was prompted by a 2014 mass shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in which officers beforehand visited shooter Elliot Rodger's home after his parents raised alarms about his mental health — yet concluded he wasn't a risk and didn't search the apartment where he'd stashed guns, ammo and knives.

So because Santa Barbara fuzz were negligent in the performance of their duties, lawful gun owners are at even greater risk of having their weapons seized by government authorities.  Nice.

Under the new legislation, families can obtain a "gun violence restraining order," the Washington Times reports.

"The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will," Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore tells public radio affiliate SCPR.

"It's a short duration and it allows for due process. It's an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person's mental state."

Why does the term "mental health" in this story remind me of the "mental health" facilities in the old Soviet Union where dissidents were sent when they refused to accept "socialist reality"?  And where is the provision for the return of their firearms if it turns out that the "mental health" dodge is trumped up and bogus?  That's the concern of pro-gun advocates:

"We don't need another law to solve this problem," Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, tells The Associated Press. "We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy."

Particularly given that no prior notice or warning is required under this law.  It doesn't take a clairvoyant to foresee the "gun violence" scenarios that will ensue when SWAT teams show up, impromptu, at the home of a "suspect," whether or not s/he is "mentally irregular".  Or take the situation of a gun-owner who is politically active in his community and becomes a target of local governing authorities.  How difficult would it be for the latter to find an ideologically sympathetic judge to issue the necessary court order for the cops to show up at the gun-owner's house, perhaps in the middle of the night, to terrorize him/her and his/her family?  After all, there is precedent for this kind of thing.

This isn't a Second Amendment matter, since it isn't the feds who are imposing gun confiscation, and States have original authority to do more or less anything they want within the bounds of their own constitutions and laws.  But it looks, sounds, and smells like California gun-grabbers are trying to force "gun violence" into a self-fulfilling prophecy to tighten the noose even more suffocatingly.

And succeeding.

Second "Surge" Needed In Afghanistan?

by JASmius



Yes, that, too, is a rhetorical question.  The thing that's entertaining about it is that O's top generals are increasingly coming right out and saying what they think, and their "superior" doesn't want to hear, publicly instead of being toadying yes-men to the C-in-C who is sabotaging the mission they were given over fourteen years ago:

The top U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan may seek additional American troops to help local forces as they struggle to contain the Taliban insurgency, USA Today is reporting.

Aaaaaaaand why is the Taliban insurgency....surging?  Because Barack Obama told them when we were going to leave, including the full troop draw-down schedule in exacting detail, communicating that he does not and never did want to carry on that war and they know it and are rubbing his face in it in the full confidence that he'll quit Afghanistan anyway because losing wars is what he does.

Aaaaaaaand now his theater commander is piping up and saying that he needs a fresh infusion of U.S. troops in order to prop up the fiction that the "Afghan government" can handle the Taliban on their own, which, if that were true, they would have years ago and U.S. troops could have been withdrawn on the same time frame.

Maybe O will spend an extra week in Hawaii until his quaking rage subsides.

General John Campbell's interview with the newspaper comes as the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated in the second half of 2015, with an increase in insurgent attacks and higher casualties among both Taliban and national forces.

Who cares about Taliban casualties?  That's what they do.  And, by the way, al Qaeda has already reoccupied their old bases in Afghanistan.  And you know what THAT means.

Already, Barack Obama has backtracked on a pledge to pull out all but 1,000 troops, and in October he announced that 9,800 US forces would remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2016.

Campbell told USA Today he would ask the Obama administration to keep that higher number of troops in country as long as possible and suggested he might call for more U.S. personnel.

"If I don't believe that we can accomplish the train, advise and assist and the (counter-terrorism) missions, then I owe it to the senior leadership to come back and say, 'Here's what I need.' If that's more people, it's more people," Campbell told the newspaper.

No, you're supposed to be a sychophantic, cringing boot-licker and palm-frond waver.  Didn't you read the job description your big-eared, mom-jeaned boss gave you?

The 9,800 U.S. troops are scheduled to be drawn down to 5,500 by January 1, 2017.

"My intent would be to keep as much as I could, for as long as I could," Campbell said.

I admire you, General.  But you know as well as we do that it won't be enough.

If you ever wondered if there was an additional reason for the high rate of turnover in General Campbell's job, you're looking at it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Fire On U.S. Warships In Persian Gulf

by JASmius



Of course.  Because isn't this the way that close, friendly allied countries treat each other?:

Iranian Revolutionary Guards launched rockets near the U.S. aircraft-carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Gulf on Saturday, giving only brief notice in a "highly provocative" act, a U.S. military spokesman said on Tuesday.

NBC News, citing unnamed U.S. military officials, said the Guards were conducting a live-fire exercise and the Truman came within about 1,500 yards (metres) of a rocket.

Or the missile came without 1,500 yards of the Truman.  Depending on whether you look at it with your eyes open or with your head up your ass.

"The rockets were not fired at the Truman and other ships, only near them," the network said.

So....the Iranians had bad aim?  Or perhaps they were sending us the latest in a continual stream of taunting messages to which only this "weak horse" Regime could possibly be this deliberately oblivious.

Several Revolutionary Guard vessels fired the rockets "in close proximity" of the warships and nearby merchant traffic "after providing only twenty-three minutes of advance notification," said Navy Commander Kyle Raines, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command.

It takes twenty-three minutes to shout "Allahu Akbar!"?  Are they sure it wasn't twenty-three seconds?

"These actions were highly provocative, unsafe, and unprofessional and call into question Iran's commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce," Raines said in an email.

Don't worry, Commander, there's no question at all about Iran's commitment to the security of the waterway vital to international commerce - they have none.  Or, rather, they're committed to shutting it down and taking out as many U.S. warships as possible in the process.  It is called the Persian Gulf, after all.  There's no question that's how they look at it.  And if we didn't like that and they already had nuclear weapons, there wouldn't be much we would do about it, other than perhaps to underestimate them (again), providing the mullahs the perfect opportunity to "come out of the nuclear closet" at our expense.  Perhaps on a carrier battle group like that of the Truman, or Tel Aviv, or Riyadh, or Paris, or Manhattan.  There's no doubt that they're looking for any excuse to do so.

My advice to Tehran, from their perspective, is to just cut to the chase and launch first, because it ought to be abundantly clear that Barack Obama will not be provoked by anything the Iranians do to us.into any military response.  If they want to bring their twelfth imam back, they're going to have to do it themselves.

Slackers.

Obama Regime Still Spying On Israel

by JASmius



Still treating the Jews like the enemy, even though the only instance in which The One has lost to Netanyahu is in failing to overthrow him in last spring's Israeli elections.  But otherwise he's gotten everything he wanted, favoring and subsidizing Hamas, making Israel an even bigger international pariah for the specter of America turning against her, and of course, green-lighting Iran's strategic nuclear arsenal.  Netanyahu survived, and his country still lingers, but King Hussein must be convinced that the Jewish State is finished, right?  So why keep spying on them?  Spite?

Actually, from his twisted anti-Semitic point of view, it makes a lot of sense:

The United States continues to spy on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's communications despite promising to curtail the hacking of its allies, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.... 
[A]ccording to the Journal report, Obama decided there was a "compelling national security purpose" in continuing to monitor some leaders, including Netanyahu and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The U.S. administration decided not to remove or disable the "cyber-implants" it had secreted on foreign communications systems, as they would be hard to replace.

Instead, the report says, Obama ordered that some of the hacked systems used by close allies would not be routinely monitored by the NSA, while others would continue to be mined for intel.

"Going dark on Bibi? Of course we wouldn't do that," one senior US official told the Journal, speaking on condition of anonymity. [emphases added]

Sure, some of it is undoubtedly personally motivated by O's raging hatred of the Israeli leader for being an unabashed patriot and not obsequiously genuflecting before him like a subordinate flunkie, to say nothing of openly fighting his Middle East foreign policy in general and his pro-Iranian groveling in particular.  But they also know the axiom that an animal is never more dangerous than when it is cornered or wounded.  The Iran nuclear "deal" puts the mullahs' nuclear weapons manufacture on maximum overdrive, and correspondingly reduces the time frame Israel has - if, indeed, they have any at all - in which to neutralize this existential threat.  And they will have to deal with it themselves, because no other country, least of all the U.S., is going to do it for them.

And, given that the Obama Regime has threatened to shoot down any Israeli aircraft heading for Iranian territory to take out their nuclear weapons facilities, which we are obligated to do under the terms of the "deal," it stands perfectly to reason that the White House would treat Israel like an enemy and subject them to full scale espionage.  And probably a great deal else that hasn't come out publicly yet.

That Israeli preemptive strike is inevitable, and sooner rather than later.  And when it happens, all hell is going to break loose.  And the Iranians might not get the chance to have anything to do with it.


UPDATE (12/30): Guess which other of his enemies the Obama NSA has had under constant surveillance in the same fell swoop:

A report in the Wall Street Journal said that even after Barack Obama announced two years ago he would limit spying on friendly heads of state, the NSA kept watch on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Israeli officials.

In the process the agency caught some conversations with U.S. lawmakers, according to the report.

That's something that would typically be reported to top congressional leaders and the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence committees, but [Chairman Devin] Nunes said he recalled receiving no such notification.

Well of course you didn't, Mr. Chairman; it defeats the whole purpose of spying if one tells one's enemy that one is spying on them, does it not?  Next thing you know you'll be referring to The One as an American president and other rank foolishness.  If I were you and your GOP colleagues, I'd be much more concerned about a knock on the door in the middle of the night.  It's a wonder you haven't started "disappearing" already.

Not that that wouldn't be a belated Christmas present for some Tea Partiers, of course....

Hard Starboard Radio: "Make America As Great As Russia Again"



The more things change at the V.A., the more they stay the same; Donald Trump claims credit for DHS deportation plan, which is convenient since Obama just joined his team; Anthropogenic drought literally sinking California; Corrupt Obama U.S. Attorney won't prosecute criminal Obama V.A. executives; and is Marco Rubio out in the semifinals?.

Watching the dictator-shopping at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

D-minus six days and counting down....



Commenter Boojum Reborn Proves Constitutional Ignorance

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I apologize, first, for my absence on this website of late.  JASmius has been doing a great job keeping the content flowing.  My back problems decided to escalate for the Christmas Season, and anti-inflammatory medication and a lot of rest became the norm for me of late.  This article was written while standing with my laptop on the counter.  I have still not gotten to the point where I can stand sitting for any length of time, and then try to get up again.

While I rested, it turns out that Anti-Originalism hacks out there don't rest.  Back in September of 2009 I wrote an article titled, "Ignoring the Constitution," which pretty much lays out early in Obama's presidency where he was already acting unconstitutionally as President of the United States.  More than six years later, a person that opposes the original intent of the United States Constitution (or may I say someone who has been dreadfully misled regarding the U.S. Constitution) finally left a comment that proves my point about how badly the American Public has been led astray regarding the founding document.  First, I will present to you his full comment without any interfering comments or corrections, and then underneath I will breakdown how wrong the person's assumptions are, line by line...

Boojum Reborn said...

It is apparent you don't understand the Constitution. As to Congress power to regulate healthcare, first, it has been doing so for years (ERISA, COBRA); second, the grant of authority is clearly present, to with, Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have power

To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the ... general Welfare of the United States;

*. *. *

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

*. *. * ;
;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court case interpreting Constitutional rights. That is the Court's role, as set out in Marbury v. Madison.

"Czar" is a media term. If you will look at the actual position, you will find that they are all "such inferior officers" whose appointment is vested "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay.  First the commenter says: It is apparent you don't understand the Constitution. As to Congress power to regulate healthcare, first, it has been doing so for years (ERISA, COBRA)

As for me not understanding the Constitution, my training involves original documentation, studying Madison's Notes that James Madison jotted down during the convention, and extensive inquiries into the ratification conventions, and letters and articles regarding the Constitution from the time period shortly after it was presented to the States for ratification.  Rather than believing the second hand information presented by professors, activist judges, and progressive politicians, who often insert their own political agenda into what they teach, spew, or vomit, I chose the original writings of those involved in the writing of the U.S. Constitution.  Unfortunately, the erroneous interpretations of judicial opinion over the last two hundred plus years is what most consider when they decide what is constitutional.

Regarding the commenter's second point about how Congress has been regulating healthcare for years (therefore, suggesting that since they've already been doing it, it must be constitutional), the federal government doing something without any successful rebuttal stopping it does not automatically make something constitutional, no more than everybody rolling through stop signs automatically makes failing to fully stop at a stop sign legal.

second, the grant of authority is clearly present, to with, Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the ... general Welfare of the United States;

Health Care is not taxation, and remember at the time direct taxation was considered to be tyrannical.  The 16th Amendment, which was never properly ratified, now allows for direct taxation, and would be met with great disapproval by the Founding Fathers.  The 16th Amendment, along with the 17th Amendment and the Federal Reserve Act, were unconstitutional manifestations of the Progressive Era, and have all caused great damage to the American System as it was originally intended.  If your point is not about taxation, but instead you meant to focus on the part that says "provide for the general Welfare of the United States," note the position in the sentence of that part of the clause.  It essentially says that Congress may collect all kinds of taxes for the purpose of paying debt and providing for a general sense that all is well.  In other words, general Welfare is a result of the uses of the money collected from taxation (one being to pay the debts of the country), not a reason for the taxation.  In fact, general Welfare was never intended to be a clause to allow Congress to do as it wants.  Read James Madison's veto of a public works bill in 1817 for clarification of the general Welfare clause.  http://www.constitution.org/jm/18170303_veto.htm

Then the commenter threw in the Commerce Clause: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

The Commerce Clause was written with the sole intent to enable the free flow of commerce between the States.  If that is so, how can it be used as an instrument authorizing the federal government's intrusion into the private health care industry?  Learn more about my position on the Commerce Clause HERE.

Then the commenter uses the Elastic Clause as a part of his argument: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

If health care is not expressly enumerated as an authority to the federal government, how can the Necessary and Proper Clause (Elastic Clause) be applicable?  The clause was included to ensure laws could be made to ensure a constitutional authority could be carried out.  For example, Article I, Section 8 authorizes the federal government to establish post offices.  But, there are no specific powers given regarding the construction of the post offices, or the maintenance and operations of the post offices.  However, because constructing a building to be used as a post office, purchasing the equipment necessary to carry out postal operations, and so on and so forth, are necessary and proper components in order to carry out the original power of "establishing post offices," those other things are constitutional as well.  But, how does this apply to Obamacare, especially when there is no authority granted regarding health care in the Constitution in the first place?

Our commenter then approaches Judicial Review: Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court case interpreting Constitutional rights. That is the Court's role, as set out in Marbury v. Madison. 
I've already written so much on this, I'd rather just leave a link.  In short, Marbury v. Madison cannot grant to the courts what is not in the Constitution.  Judicial Review is not granted anywhere in the Constitution, and if the authority being used is Marbury v. Madison, then what you are saying is that the federal courts granted that power to themselves.  I would consider that a seizure of power.  Also, think about it, the federal courts determining if a law is constitutional is to determine if the federal government has the constitutional authority to do whatever is being proposed by said law.  But the federal courts are a part of the federal government, which  means that the federal government through the courts are deciding for themselves what their own authorities are.  How is that limited government?  The federal courts are not supposed to interpret the law, they are supposed to apply the law.  Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional on many grounds.  First, the federal government has no authority regarding abortion, so they had no authority to take the case in the first place.  Second, if abortion is a State issue, the federal court has no authority to strike down a state law on a state issue.  Third, separation of powers dictates that all legislative powers belong to legislative bodies.  By striking down a law, and "legalizing abortion", the court acted legislatively, and therefore acted outside the allowances provided by a separation of powers and Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution where the document states that "all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress". . . making, once again, Roe v. Wade unconstitutional.

Finally: "Czar" is a media term. If you will look at the actual position, you will find that they are all "such inferior officers" whose appointment is vested "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."

I repeat from the article in question: Czars are positions that are appointed without Congressional oversight, and are therefore unconstitutional. The Constitution reads very clearly on this matter. "Article II. Section 2. "He (the President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."

And I don't care which party the president is a member of. Either way, czars are unconstitutional because they are appointed without any Congressional involvement [or oversight].  In all cases, congressional involvement is a must.  Has Congress ever vested that czars can be appointed without congressional oversight, and that the czars may have the powers that they have?  Not to my knowledge.  Also, how many times have we seen czars act legislatively, in the name of the President?  That would be a violation of Article I, Section 1.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Commerce Clause: An Originalist Viewpoint

By  Douglas V. Gibbs

The Commerce Clause has been grossly misrepresented throughout history by those that would seek an ever-expansive federal government.  The Commerce Clause is mentioned in Madison's Veto, along with his explanation regarding "general Welfare."  But, the real importance regarding the Commerce Clause goes back to the definitions of the words used in the clause, and the context of the time period.

During the early years of the new country, the States acted as bitter rivals when it came to commerce, therefore, causing the movement of commerce between the States to be severely limited.  Based on the discussion during the convention on August 29, 1787, during that time period the New England States were calling for strong regulations regarding commerce, the Southern States were calling for no federal regulatory powers over interstate commerce, and the remaining States carried various opinions that may be considered to be quite moderate in relation to the other opinions.  It was agreed that no State should be able to charge any taxes regarding import or export to or with other States or with other countries (Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution), and thanks to George Mason's efforts on September 15th in Convention, the Commerce Clause was not written with the intent to give the federal government a general controlling power over interstate commerce.

Generally, the discussions regarding commerce were geared more towards foreign commerce, and the intent to limit the import of slaves (which was ultimately achieved with Article I, Section 9, which enabled Congress to outlaw the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1808).  However, the concern over commerce between the States, when the topic arose, was more about better enabling the flow of commerce between the States, not placing restrictions.  The rivalry between the States regarding trade was already creating a restrictive environment, when it came to commerce between the States, so the need was for the new federal government to have a tool to better enable a free flow of commerce between the States.

James Madison, in a letter to Joseph C. Cabell on September 18, 1828 explains that the Commerce Clause was not designed to restrict trade, but to encourage it.  To encourage trade between the States, the federal government's involvement must be as limited as possible.  The clause was to also encourage manufacturing, while restricting the federal government from showing preferential treatment towards any manufacturer.  While in British Common Law, regulating trade means to tax it, in his letter Madison specifically explains, "a power to regulate trade does not involve a power to tax it."  Commerce was also specifically defined as trade of goods or products between people or business entities, and did not include the manufacturing of products.

Furthermore, the definition of the word "regulate" is also an important factor in determining what was originally intended.  During the decades following the Constitution, those that defended the original intent of the Commerce Clause claimed that "regulate" means "to make regular."  Though that is essentially correct, we cannot determine that is the definition without a second piece of evidence.

--- When we consult today's modern dictionary (in this case, I grabbed the following from Dictionary.com):

verb (used with object), regulated, regulating.
1. to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.:
to regulate household expenses.
2. to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.:
to regulate the temperature.
3. to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation:
to regulate a watch.
4. to put in good order:
to regulate the digestion.

--- Later down the page, we see a similar list of definitions for the use of the word in medical terminology:

regulate reg·u·late (rěg'yə-lāt')
v. reg·u·lat·ed , reg·u·lat·ing , reg·u·lates

To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.

To adjust to a particular specification or requirement.

To adjust a mechanism for accurate and proper functioning.

To put or maintain in order.


--- According to Dictionary.com's modern British definitions, we see the following:

verb (transitive)
1. to adjust (the amount of heat, sound, etc, of something) as required;control
2. to adjust (an instrument or appliance) so that it operates correctly
3. to bring into conformity with a rule, principle, or usage


--- Though I don't have available for you a dictionary from 1787, we do have, online, the 1828 Webster's Dictionary, which should help us prove our point.  According to the 1828 Webster's dictionary, the definitions regarding the word "regulate" are as follows:

1. To adjust by rule, method or established mode; as, to regulate weights and measures; to regulate the assize of bread; to regulate our moral conduct by the laws of God and of society; to regulate our manners by the customary forms.
2. To put in good order; as, to regulate the disordered state of a nation or its finances.
3. To subject to rules or restrictions; as, to regulate trade; to regulate diet.

Notice the alteration of positions.  While rules or restrictions (to control by rule or law) were at the top of the list in today's definitions, nearly two hundred years ago that definition was at the bottom of the list, or was the "least used."  The definition "to put in good order," which is last in today's list of definitions, was above the "rules and restrictions" definition, making "to put in good order" the more widely used definition between the two.

Taking this information into the context of the Commerce Clause, this is what we must deduce from it.  First, to put in good order the disordered condition of the United States at the time of the writing of the U.S. Constitution was more important than allowing the federal government to use rules or restrictions that may limit trade.  In the third definition it states "rules or restrictions."  The word "or" between the two suggests that the meaning of "rules" is different from the meaning of "restrictions."  And, as was common with the writing standards of that time, the more important of the two was placed first in the sentence, in this case being the word "rules."  So, what was most important to the framers of the Constitution was ensuring that commerce in a general sense was "in good order," since the current state of commerce both between the States, and with foreign countries, was in a disordered condition.  To enable commerce to be in good order, that would mean that the federal government's intrusion into interstate commerce would need to be as limited as possible, only allowing Congress to make legislation when necessary to put interstate commerce in good order when an occurrence arises that may inhibit such trade between the States.  These Congressional "rules" would be for the purpose of encouraging trade, not restricting it.  This is not to say restrictions can never be established, but again the idea was to encourage trade, and protect American interests.  With that in mind, it would then be reasonable to assume that "restrictive regulation" would be pointed more at foreign trade, than it would be at interstate trade.

During the Framer's August 29, 1787 discussion during the Federal Convention, Mr. Clymer explained that the "diversity of commercial interests, or necessity creates difficulties, which ought not to be increased by unnecessary restrictions."

Roger Sherman agreed, adding "the diversity was of itself a security."

So, the problem was two-fold.  How could the federal government prevent the States from wrecking the union with their own petty regulations regarding trade that were designed to only promote local prosperity at the expense of their neighbors, while not allowing the federal government to intrude in such a way that their regulations may become restrictive and tyrannical, ultimately placing at risk State Sovereignty?

The necessity that the emphasis must be directed at enabling the free flow of commerce, rather than restrictive regulation, was apparent.  The federal government needed to be allowed to disallow the States from creating a hostile environment when it came to interstate commerce, while at the same time to not be allowed to impose its own restrictive rules that may interfere with interstate commerce.

Thomas Jefferson was in France during the 1787 convention that produced the United States Constitution.  James Madison was not only an integral part of the writing of the Constitution, but is often called the "Father of the Constitution" since much of the document's framework was created by Mr. Madison.  During the convention, Jefferson was in constant contact with Madison through written correspondence.  This daily correspondence between the two men created two realities.  One, that Thomas Jefferson was greatly involved in the writing of the document; and two, James Madison's opinions altered during that time period to reflect a more Jeffersonian spark than he had previously portrayed.  With that in mind, and keeping in mind the context of the Commerce Clause, we must take into account what Jefferson had to say about federal intrusion into State issues.

Jefferson said, "Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance and from under the eye of their constituents . . . will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder, and waste. . . . What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building, and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the federal government!" -- Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew A. Lipscomb, editor (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903), Vol. X, pp. 167-168, Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, August 13, 1800.

Jefferson also said, regarding localism, "The states can best govern our home concerns, and the [federal] government our foreign ones." -- Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew A. Lipscomb, editor (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XV, pp. 450, Thomas Jefferson to Judge William Johnson, June 12, 1823.

Does this sound like a man that would allow for the federal government to dictate to the States what they can and can't do regarding commerce in a restrictive way?

In Federalist Paper #45, James Madison explains, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

Notice that in the list of federal authorities, Mr. Madison specifically indicates "foreign commerce," but not "interstate commerce."  Madison also used the words "external" when relating to federal authorities, and "internal order" among the list of authorities of the States.  Would interstate commerce be considered "internal", or "external"?

As one studies the U.S. Constitution, it becomes apparent that the States, and the people, are the authors of the contract, and the federal government is an entity created by that social contract.  The States, prior to the writing of the Constitution, held original authority on all governmental powers, but gave some of those powers to the federal government so that it may properly function in the manner it was designed to function.  By simply reading the Preamble, and the first seven articles of the U.S. Constitution, we recognize that the federal government was established by the States, through the Constitution, to preserve, promote, and protect the union of States.  Therefore, as the authors of the Constitution, would it seem reasonable to grant to the federal government the power to restrict such an important thing as the movement of goods between the States?

Ultimately, as per the definitions we have already established, the primary motive of the part of the Commerce Clause regarding interstate commerce was to "put in good order" trade between the States.  Independently, the States were imposing their own restrictions that were harming interstate commerce.  But, to hand over all of the power to the federal government, giving the central government the power to restrict interstate commerce if it so decided to, was not in the best interest of enabling a free flow of commerce between the States, either.

So, how can the federal government put in good order interstate commerce without being allowed to control or restrict the flow of commerce between the States?

To better enable us to understand the original meaning of the word "regulate" in the case of the Commerce Clause, we can take a look at how the word was used in the 2nd Amendment. The amendment begins with the words, "A well-regulated militia." A "well-regulated" militia is not a prohibited militia, or one that is restricted, but one that is in good order.  A militia operates in good order when it is well-drilled, or given proper rules that enable it to function as originally intended.  The phrase, "well-regulated militia" does not include the power for Congress to forbid or prohibit any functionality of the militia.  In the same way, the Commerce Clause's use of the word "regulate" was not intended to give Congress the power to forbid or prohibit any kind of interstate commerce, but to allow Congress the authority to better enable the flow of commerce between the States.

The power to regulate may sometimes include the power to prohibit, but one can see that whenever Congress would be required to place prohibitions on commerce, it would be more likely in the case of commerce with foreign nations, than between the several States.  Sometimes, in the course of foreign commerce, prohibitions are necessary to put commercial relations between countries in good order (in the sense of protecting domestic interests such as in the case of protecting some domestic markets from foreign competition).

In short, the Commerce Clause's original intent was to promote the domestic economy and foreign trade by encouraging a free flow of commerce, while removing any obstacles that may stem that flow.

What that means is that the United States Congress's job regarding interstate commerce is to pass laws that encourages the flow of commerce, and enables the federal government to act as a mediator or referee when disputes between the States arise and threaten to restrict the flow of commerce.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Obama To Decree Universal Background Checks For ALL Gun Sales

by JASmius



For years I've been at a loss to explain why a despot who has by imperial edict illegally imposed so much of his agenda, from cap & trade to water nationalization to ObamaCare "tweaks" to Obamnesty, has not done the same with his gun control and eventual confiscation wet dream.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over.

Or, to borrow an Allahpundit catch phrase, "Here we go":

The next shoe to drop on gun control may come by mid-January, when Barack Obama is expected to issue an executive order requiring everyone "in the business" of selling firearms to perform background checks.

In direct and blatant violation of Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

Wait a second, you might be saying. Doesn't federal law already oblige gun retailers to do computerized criminal checks via the Federal Bureau of Investigation's data base?

In direct and blatant violation of Amendment II to the United States Constitution.

Yes and no.

Yes, when it comes to federally licensed dealers. But no, when you're talking about people who lack federal licenses and sell guns from their personal collections.

The problem is that an awful lot of firearms are sold in the latter fashion by individuals who aren't technically gun retailers but who sell weapons at weekend gun shows or from their homes.

Which they have every right to do under Amendment II without government interference.  Hence, it is not a "problem," nor is it a source of "gun violence" - murderous criminals and. more to the point, Islamic jihadists are.  But we're going to be waiting an eternity for The One's Muslim-control E.O.

Forthcoming research by the Harvard School of Public Health estimates that 40% of all gun transfers occur without background checks (that's the so-called gun show loophole)....

Following another a year of shooting massacres of Americans....

By a horde of Muslims and one white supremacist.

....Obama has let it be known from his holiday retreat in Hawaii, through unidentified advisers, that soon after New Years Day he plans to follow through on plans to expand the definition of who's "in the business" of selling firearms — and who's thus required to perform background checks. Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, among others, has strongly backed this idea, and now Obama appears ready to make its implementation one of the first major acts of his final year in office.

One of the first ILLEGAL acts of his NEXT year in office, because he does not possess the constitutional legal authority to do so.  But that's never stopped him before, nor will it stop him now.

In fact, let me tell you how the next year will go on this front, because the pattern is already depressingly established:

1) Obama issues the first of several imperial edicts on gun control, culminating in Australia-style total mandatory confiscation (which Hillary Clinton has already publicly endorsed).

2) The vast majority of American gun owners will comply, out of either programmed docility, indoctrinated ignorance, public media demonization, or government threats.  The tiny fraction that resist anyway will eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, be broken, giving the lie to the old gun rights adage, "You'll only pry my guns out of my cold, dead fingers".

3) The National Rifle Association and other pro-Second Amendment groups will, instead of defying and nullifying this illegal, and therefore null & void, order, file suit, attempting to use one branch of the federal government to try and coerce the wrongfully preeminent branch of the federal government against which it is powerless in any case.  And if the plaintiffs eventually win - several years from now - it won't matter because the decree will be an accepted fait accompli and Obama (or Hillary) will just ignore it, just like O has ignored Judge Andrew Hanen's injunction against Obamnesty.

4) Tea Partiers will demand that Congress reverse and defund Obama's illegal command.  The House will pass legislation blocking it, which Senate Democrats will filibuster.  If the filibuster can be broken or Mitch McConnell finally gets off his mug and wumps it, passing the bill, Obama will veto it and that will be that.  After which Tea Partiers will vilify the "GOP establishment" for "selling out" to the White House and "betraying the base" again.

Have I missed anything?  I don't think so.

And, in the mean time, the Second Amendment will be effectively repealed by presidential order, Congress will have atrophied even more, and conservatives will be even more pointlessly, futiley, and bitterly at war with their own party.

Exit question: How can we be so deep into summer reruns when it's the middle of the bleeping winter?