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Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

We’ve been begging our leaders for specifics on what to do to make a difference. Glenn Beck’s events (Restoring Honor, Courage & Love) represent a huge step towards getting our heads & hearts straight about the morality of our cause.  Others have also made contributions, but Levin’s proposal, The Liberty Amendments, deserves specific recognition – it is the first path to restore our founding ideals, based on the Constitution itself, that we can all contribute to, that has a realistic chance– if we pledge “our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor” to the success of the Liberty Amendments.

Our kids and our country deserve no less.

It will be a difficult climb but I believe the country is ready for a tangible solution to the threats our country faces. Make no mistake; we’re in a race against time and a ruthless progressive cancer. With a $17 trillion national debt, and $60 trillion more in unfunded liabilities, cities like Detroit going bankrupt and states like California threatening, we must right the American ship as soon as possible. Once a financial crisis occurs, it may be impossible to counter calls for a more powerful central government – especially if people go hungry or start blaming the usual suspects (capitalism, tea partiers, etc.)

One last comment before I summarize my ideas for the first five amendments. I believe it’s important for the leaders of our movement – we all have a different list, but mine would include, in addition to Levin, among others, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Yaron Brook, Sen. Rand Paul (and his father Ron), Sen. Ted Cruz (& his father Rafael), Sen. Mike Lee, Mia Love , Rev C. L. Bryant, Walt Williams and 2008 GOP VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.

Everybody has different ways of contributing to the cause of freedom. I hope that all of them discuss Levin’s book, advance the idea and help pass the Liberty Amendments. Sometimes silos are created where no one wants to promote what their “competition” is doing – that must not happen.  I would encourage all of them to be generous with their comments and their air & face time.  However, so far, I haven’t heard one word of the idea, or Levin’s upcoming book, from these folks – perhaps they’re waiting for the book?

As you can see from this post, I think it’s a mistake to wait. In fact, Levin’s idea motivated me to start blogging again for the first time in years.  It will be my 100th post, with over 26,580 visitors, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate #100.  Not only is it fun to see if my ideas for reform match up with Levin’s, but until his book comes out on August 13, I hope and pray my ideas will encourage others to come up with their own – can there be too much engagement in the cause of freedom? Of course, Levin’s specific amendments will be very important, but just his idea has lit the torch – by urging us to look within the Constitution itself for how to repair our Constitutional Republic.

Everyone has ideas – my first five are listed below and I’ll follow-up with more details on each one – but the main thing is to jump in and start, time’s not on our side.

The Liberty Amendments – My First Five

1. Voter Campaign Finance (VCF)

  • Limit campaign contributions to those who are registered voters that can vote for the candidate. For example, I live in VA 5th Congressional District – Robert Hurt’s my congressman. If he ran for House, under this Amendment, he could only receive campaign contributions from registered 5th district voters (easily checked against existing voter rolls) – no unions, corporations, out-of-district fat cats, PACs, etc. If you don’t have a legal right to vote in 5th district, you can’t influence the 5th District election.

2. Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)

  • Cut Cap & Balance (HR 2560) was a great idea that died in the corrupt halls of Harry Reid’s U.S Senate – but just barely (51Ds-46Rs) – a real life example of the wisdom of Levin’s idea – Congress will not reform itself, we must go around Congress. My twist on Cut Cap & Balance is this: Limit federal revenues to 18% GDP, spending to 17% GDP limit and the remaining 1% for debt relief and, after that, an “Emergency Fund”.
  • In case of war, Congress can authorize spending to exceed 18% only if two-thirds of Congress approves. The 1% of GDP (of the 18% collected for revenues) would go to pay down the national debt (about $16 Billion/yr at current GDP) and, once debt free (woohoo!!), use the 1% for an Emergency Fund – to pay for declared wars and disasters but only if two-thirds approve “withdrawals” – restoring Congress’ power to limit wars with their Constitutional funding power.

3. Term Limits

  • This has been around for a while but my version would limit service in Congress to just 12 years total. This could be three House terms (3×2=6) followed by a Senate term (1×6) or two Senate terms (2×6=12) or other combinations. The main idea is to not allow folks to make a career out of DC politics while allowing them enough time to be effective.

4. Law Limits

  • Obamacare was over 2700 pages long. The recent immigration bill was 1200 pages. Neither of these very devastating bills, that affect all of U.S., has been read by their supporters or detractors – that’s not a democracy, that’s a marketing campaign. Just vote on one or two issues at a time. I don’t know a specific # – others can work that out – but perhaps < 10 pages.

5. Pardon Accountability

  • Require Presidents to prioritize pardons (100 or less) and announce their last pardons at least 90 days before general election. Although an outgoing POTUS can’t be held accountable, voters can hold parties accountable. I predict the outrages from Obama’s pardons – both the # and who – will force this Amendment to top of list.

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On July 10th, in the first hour of his radio show, Mark Levin (Constitutional Lawyer, A Tea Party Leader) announced the name of his new book, to be released August 13, is “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic”.  I’m taking a class on the U.S. Constitution, so I knew instantly that he was referring to Article V:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof…

In America, we have what political scientists call a “democracy deficit” – this occurs when a governing body claims their legitimacy is derived from the consent of those they govern, yet the governed have lost the ability to hold their government accountable. This term usually refers to, in political science literature, the illegitimacy of the European Union because it claims broad sweeping powers –the Euro / monetary policy, for example – yet the average European is effectively disconnected from EU policymakers. THAT is exactly what the progressives have done to America.  Some examples:

  • Obamacare passed despite the fact a) no one read it & b) 59% of public opposed it & just 39% approved it. (so why did it pass?)
  • Although a new GOP governor was elected in Virginia in 2009, by huge margins, both of our U.S. Senators (Democrats) maintained their support for Obamacare.
  • Over 84% want English to be America’s official language –no vote in Congress.
  • In 2010, because of the tea party surge, the GOP gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, the largest seat change since 1948, largest for any midterm since 1938 and yet not one member of tea party caucus was elected to Speaker or given any leadership positions.
  • In addition, those historic 2010 victories gave the House a mandate to repeal Obamacare and cut spending – yet under Speaker Boehner, members were pressured to approve Continuing Resolutions (CRs) that dumped trillions more debt on our kids & continued funding for Obamacare, Obama’s vacations, DHS purchase of 1.6 Billion rounds of Ammo and many other bad programs Why?

So, clearly, the American people feel untethered from their elected representatives…and the feeling is mutual!! The President, Congress, leaders of both parties are ignoring the wishes of the people except, strangely, the Supreme Court seems sensitive to “changes in public opinion” – but their supposed to make decisions on the facts, the law and THE CONSTITUTION!!! So, the voice of the people matters only when they happen to line up with the political elites, which means they don’t really matter at all.

The problem that has perplexed the Tea Party, and others who wish to restore sanity to our political process, is how to “Clean out the barn!”, as Ross Perot said, when reforms of Congress must be approved by the same Congress that needs reform. Asking Congress to reform itself is like asking criminals to turn themselves in. There’s a reason that seven of wealthiest 10 counties in America are within commuting distance of Washington, DC.  Millions make a very good living off this corrupt system and they’re not going to let anyone derail the gravy train anytime soon.

So, what to do? Many of U.S. ask our intellectual leaders and, after “call your congressman” lost all its credibility, even our leaders were stumped. We tried to “vote the bums out” in 2010 – no luck. Even worse, in a blatant act of real voter suppression, we now discovered the IRS was being used to punish tea party groups, in the run-up to the 2012 election. We also discovered the NSA is being used to gather information about US including cell phone records, emails, Facebook postings, etc.

When confronted with the ugly truth of spying on all US Citizens – talk about your general warrants – Congress circled the wagons and claimed, simultaneously, that nothing new had been revealed by Edward Snowden, and Snowden had put the country in grave danger – how can both be true? Nevertheless, because all that FSA Court & NSA activity is being done in private, President and Congress asked that we trust them. Well, we don’t – as Obama himself admitted June 7th, when asked about the revelations:

That’s not to suggest that, you know, you just say, trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys are… that’s not how it works because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.

Yes, Mr. President, indeed, we have “some problems here”. The distrust of government – at all levels, in both parties – is creating a serious problem. Which brings us to the beautiful simplicity of Mark Levin’s idea about the Liberty Amendments: using the 2nd part of Article V, we can exclude the folks we don’t trust anymore, the President and Congress, from the solution.  Look again at Article V – there are two ways to submit amendments to states for ratification: 1) approval of two-thirds of Congress (not likely) or 2) approval from two-thirds of state legislatures. So far, all post-Bill of Rights Amendments used Option #1.  Mark Levin, rightly, says it’s time to use Option #2.  In fact, it’s the only option that can be used for meaningful reforms.

The good news is that, as a result of the tea party work in the 2010 elections, the GOP gained over 680 state legislature seats and now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures. Two-thirds of 50 states means we need about 34 total state legislatures to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments” – let’s call it the “Proposal Convention” –others will come up with other names, but I don’t want to call it a “Constitutional Convention” – Levin has made the point, rightly, that unlike the original Constitutional Convention, the Proposal Convention will not place amendments in the Constitution, but will propose amendments for the states to consider for ratification. Only if three-fourths of the states approve each proposed amendment, separately, would that particular amendment be added to the Constitution. In his book, the Liberty Amendments, Levin says he will cover the history of the amendment process as well as the constitutional arguments related to the amendments that Levin will propose.  I can’t wait – not only is Levin brilliant, but on this subject in particular, it seems he was born to do this – argue reforms to restore liberty for U.S.

Indeed, Levin, a constitutional lawyer, has indicated he has already drafted the legal language for each of his proposed amendments.  Before any amendments can be considered, the Proposal Convention itself must be called from 34 state legislatures. Fortunately, the large population states that are desperate to keep feeding at the federal trough – California, Illinois, New York, Michigan, etc., can’t stop this process.  As long as 34 states approve, the Proposal Convention goes forward.  I predict that, once the ideas catch fire, momentum should get us to the magic number 38 for ratification.

Of course, Levin’s book will cover all this with much greater detail, citations and research than I’m capable of.  In particular, I’m curious to find out, in Levin’s book, which ideas he argues would make good amendments, and what our founders, like George Mason, had to say about this process.  I am very excited to dive into the new book and see which areas I can help advance.  I’ve already ordered a signed “deluxe” copy for myself and a copy for my kids in anticipation of Levin’s just announced book-signing tour to promote the book and the cause of freedom over tyranny.  I plan to attend the book-signing August 24th at Tyson’s Corner, VA.  Maybe I’ll see you there?

For details of what I’d like to see considered at the Proposal Convention, click:

The Liberty Amendments – My First Five

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A University of Wisconsin law student claims he got 120+ firms to drop their ads for the Glenn Beck program.   The Washington Post says “More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck’s program”.

We must turn this around – conservative supporters can use the same list to urge advertisers to return to Glenn Beck.  Those unconvinced to return can be placed on a boycott list.  Given that only 14% of nation’s workforce is unionized, and even less of those support the radical progressive agenda of their leadership, why would a company side with unpopular unions over a popular leader of the tea party, which recently polled at 48% approval, higher than President Obama and unions. 

In fact, according to Gallup, union popularity has plummeted in recent years to it’s lowest point since Gallup started polling this issue in the 1930s. 

If such a site (to pressure Beck advertisers to return or be boycotted) does not exist already, I will do it myself.  Like any war, there are certain battles that must be won and defending Beck’s right to free speech is one of the most important – we must fight back.

In the meantime, I wanted to share an email SEIU sent out today – apparently, they smell blood in the water, after 120+ advertisers dropped their support for Glen Beck, so they’re going after the rest, including the Ad Council – see below:

Dear     ,

At least 120 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck’s Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people" last summer.

Since that time, Beck has not slowed his demonizing on-air rampages. Recently, he suggested that the progressive movement and the Democratic leadership are "wielding a gun [that] they’re ready to use against the American people."

Over 6,000 people joined you in petitioning Beck’s sponsors last week. Now, we need to send a message to Fox’s remaining advertisers: Put your money where your mouth is.

The Ad Council is one of several dozen brands that has recently advertised on The Glenn Beck Show. In fact, on Wednesday they ran a PSA on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s campaign for child seat safety.

Will you call The Ad Council at 212-984-1923 and ask them to stop supporting Glenn Beck’s brand of hate? (You’ll be connected with the Manager of Corporate Communications). Report how the call went:  http://action.seiu.org/page/s/stopbeckads4

In  Solidarity,

Michelle Ringuette
SEIU

In the letter, they mention that “6000 people” joined their effort get advertisers to drop Glenn Beck.  Wow – 6000.  So, should companies, like the Ad Council, listen to the millions that watch Beck’s show or to the 6000 that do not?

These folks are small in number but can be effective unless conservatives respond.  We must let these same advertisers know that they’ll lose millions of customers if they cave to the hard left.

PLEASE CALL THE AD COUNCIL and let them know you support Glenn Beck and you oppose SEIU’s attempt to shut down free speech in America.

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Glenn-Beck SEIU features, on it’s home page, a campaign to send letters to Glenn Beck advertisers.  I love finding campaigns like this – because it gives me a chance to directly lobby the same people, politicians and companies the left is targeting, but with my principled conservative message included in the "comments" section that accompanies each letter to give it a "personal touch".

Here’s the campaign and letter:

“Add your name asking Glenn Beck’s advertisers to stop sponsoring hate.

Sign your name and leave a comment for Glenn Beck’s remaining advertisers letting them know that as long as they support his show, they are inextricably linked to the threatening calls, racist taunts and dangerous behavior being displayed by "Tea Party" Republicans across the country.

We’ll be sure to deliver the following letter to Beck’s sponsors

To President/CEO & Board:

I want to alert you to the fact that Glenn Beck – whose show you sponsor on FOX – is using his platform to make outlandish accusations about the President and Democrats and to advance baseless theories that prey on race-based fears.

His kind of rhetoric can instigate unbalanced individuals into committing rash and violent acts. 

I presume your company does not want to enable such rhetoric, nor have your products or services associated with the kind of views and tactics espoused by Beck. I urge you to immediately cease all advertising on the Glenn Beck Program on the FOX News Channel.”

Like many other “personal lobbying” tools, it provides a form to add your name (I use one of our founders), email (I use one they can’t trace) and additional content in a comments box – here’s what I wrote in mine: 

This is the ‘Astroturf’ Speaker Pelosi warned about – from the left! Please ignore these pleas from the Progressive fascists from SEIU. 

"First of all, the charges are baseless. There’s nothing ‘race-based’ about fearing, for the first time in history, America’s loss of a AAA credit rating because the President and Congressional Democrats are bankrupting U.S. and leaving our children a debt they cannot repay simply to help their union buddies ride out Obama’s economic storm. 

Second, only 14% of US is a member of unions like SEIU. Even if their membership agreed with their leadership’s Progressive agenda (most don’t), a 14% membership means that for every union member who stops watching Glenn Beck, 7 non-union members will watch Glenn Beck, and buy your products, because of his pro-freedom, Common Sense, anti-Progressive message. 

Please keep supporting Glenn Beck and 86% of Americans will support your company."

If handled properly, campaign’s like this one, with the stated intention of shutting down Glenn Beck’s free speech, can have the opposite effect.  Some companies may get SEIU letters and cave to union pressure.  Some may take a fresh look at how unpopular unions are and shift more dollars to popular shows like Glenn Beck because it makes financial sense.  But I hope many CEOs and VPs of Marketing are like many other Americans – they’re patriotic, they value free speech, they resent SEIU’s manipulative tactics and campaigns like this will only strengthen their resolve to support others who value freedom.

 

SEIU - Warning SEIU Attending This Meeting

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