Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dodd-Frank is an Unconstitutional Disaster

In his first term, President Obama passed two of the most sweeping expansions of federal power in history. The first, his federal takeover of the health care system, narrowly survived at the Supreme Court thanks to the refashioning of its mandate into a tax by Chief Justice John Roberts. The second , his federal takeover of the financial system, may not fare as well.

That law, Dodd-Frank, is being challenged in State National Bank of Big Spring v. Geithner. The lead plaintiff is a community bank that has had several of its business lines shut down by Dodd-Frank. Co-plaintiffs include the libertarian powerhouse the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the leading conservative seniors group the 60 Plus Association, and the states of South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Michigan. The case contends, correctly, that provisions of Dodd-Frank violate the separation of powers as well as the Constitution's bankruptcy clause.

The constitutional defects of Dodd-Frank are numerous, serious, and by design. Even the New York Times acknowledged when the bill passed that it was "basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact."

These vast new regulatory powers are delegated without constitutionally required checks and balances.

Consider the so-called Orderly Liquidation Authority, under which the Treasury can petition a federal district court to seize any bank (or non-bank declared systemically important) that it deems a threat to financial stability. A judge would have to decide within 24 hours not to allow the seizure or it would be automatically approved. Liquidation would then proceed with no possibility of judicial review in accordance with arbitrary procedures that could treat similarly situated creditors differently at the whim of regulators.

Neither the company being liquidated nor the creditors would have access to any legal recourse, violating the due process clause. And this process is completely different from the normal bankruptcy process, despite the constitutional requirement that Congress pass "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies."

C. Boyden Gray, counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, has written: "There is little precedent for this kind of unreviewable 'Star Chamber' proceeding, even with respect to government-supported entities; there is much less justification for applying such treatment to financial companies that are not federally regulated or supported."

The new so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with sweeping powers to regulate nearly any consumer financial transaction in the economy, is also constructed to be outside of constitutionally required checks and balances. It is not subject to annual appropriations in Congress, instead being funded by the Federal Reserve - which is nonetheless itself prohibited from exercising oversight. All power is vested in one individual, Richard Cordray, who Obama "recess appointed" on a day the Senate considered itself not to be in recess. While the CFPB's decisions are subject to judicial review, there is a requirement in Dodd-Frank that judges give extraordinary deference to the agency.

Dodd-Frank was created in a corrupt feeding frenzy of special interests exploiting the financial crisis to advance their own longstanding agendas. Every left-wing special interest-from the trial lawyers, to the racial grievance groups, to the unions-got a special payoff in the bill. But the whole structure of the bill rests on an unconstitutional foundation.

Every state attorney general should follow the strong leadership of South Carolina's Alan Wilson, Oklahoma's Scott Pruitt, and Michigan's Bill Schuette and join the effort to stop this outrageous unconstitutional takeover of our financial system. 

The GOP's Immigration Mess

On Saturday I will be debating Mark Kirkorian on immigration policy before the National Review Institute.

I am a "wet," on the topic. Have been since I opposed California's proposition 187 in 1994.

Mark, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, is a "dry."

Here's the interesting thing about out "debate," to be moderated by National Review's Jim Geraghty: Even if one or the other of us succeeds in persuading everyone in the room of our point of view, it doesn't matter.

Not a lick. The GOP is branded as an anti-immigrant party, especially with voters under 30, the suicide demographic. I call it that because if that demographic remains fixed against one or the other of the parties, it is suicide for that party.

So all the debates in the world don't matter. We have to get past the issue. Every day in which immigration is debated in the national media is another day the GOP loses a media cycle. Bringing up "deportation" hasn't quite reached the level of self-destructiveness as discussions of rape, but it is a close second. The GOP needs to welcome whatever bill the president sends up, improve on it by substituting some of the best ideas of Senator Rubio, and passing it. ASAP.

If the president dawdles, then Rubio should introduce his and arrange for co-sponsors in the House. Going slow is the political equivalent of ecotourism in the Korean DMZ. Nothing worth seeing and a good chance of getting killed.

In 2007 I opposed the GOP immigration reform bill because it was lousy. I read it line by line and it was a mess, as was quickly admitted by even some of its sponsors after it appeared. I am worried the same staff geniuses who brought that forward now bring us Nightmare 2.0. Hopefully Rubio will stop them.

Immigration reform is fairly simple: Good people who are here illegally get to stay but not be eligible for some benefits immediately and they do not get to vote in a vast regularization. If you want to be a citizen as opposed to a permanent resident you have to go home and get in line for what should be a vastly expanded visa system. We keep upping border security by finishing the fence and overhauling the visa system.

To those who say we don't need more people, I refer them to the pro-life movement which is this week memorializing the loss of 55 million unborn Americans. Clearly the country has a lot of population growth it could use.

The opportunity of an immigration bill is that it could be interwoven with an education reform bill that would ensure the children of immigrants are not trapped in horrible, failing schools. Tying immigration reform to school reform makes sense and good politics. At a minimum, conditioning regularization on increased funding for public charters and expanded choices of enrollment for immigrant children makes sense.

I will open my talk in DC by talking of my love for Cadillacs. I don't own one and never have. I won’t buy one or any GM car until the government divests from the company. But even when that happens I will have a hard time persuading my wife. She says it has a horrible brand as a car for septuagenarian white men with tee times. That is the power of brand. Try as Cadillac might with its ads of cliff-hanging daredevil driving, the brand is still the brand. It was built over a very long time and will change only with real change in the car's styling and selling.

The GOP's brand with Latinos is just as terrible as Cadillac's with 20-somethings when it comes to immigration. Vis-vis these voters on this issue, Mark Kirkorian and I are in the position of the teacher in a Charlie Brown special talking and talking while the class only hears a low trumpet playing "whah-whah-whah-whah-whah.".

Marco Rubio has credibility and the gift to cut through the noise and get regularization done. Listen to him. Do what he says. It isn't that complicated.

TRAITOR...Obama surrounds himself with fellow traitors

Kerry: Cutting aid to Pakistan would be "unkind," they helped us find bin Laden

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Who is Kerry trying to fool? The Pakistani government didn't help the U.S. find bin Laden. In fact, they were enraged that they had not been filled in on the details of the hunt, which was a wise decision in light of the jihadist ties of the ISI, the Pakistani spy service. How enraged were they? Look:

Pakistani parliament condemns bin Laden raid, threatens U.S. with sanctions -- May 14, 2011
Pakistan: Prayers for Bin Laden in National Assembly -- May 11, 2011
U.S. suspects Pakistan leaked CIA station chief's name in retaliation for bin Laden raid -- May 10, 2011
Who sheltered bin Laden? Suspicion falls on Pakistan army chief -- May 9, 2011
Saudi Arabia and Turkey tried unsuccessfully to persuade Pakistan to hand over bin Laden to U.S. -- May 8, 2011
Bin Laden may have lived in Pakistan for over 7 years -- May 7, 2011
Pakistan opposition leader on bin Laden killing: "This is the biggest tragedy in the history of Pakistan after the fall of East Pakistan in 1971" -- May 6, 2011
Pakistan warns U.S. of "disastrous consequences" for any more bin Laden-style raids -- May 6, 2011
Pakistan paying U.S. lobbyists to deny it helped bin Laden -- May 5, 2011
CIA confirms: Pakistanis not notified of OBL takedown over fears they would "jeopardize the mission" -- May 3, 2011
Pakistan's jihadist ties may have led U.S. to hit bin Laden alone -- May 2, 2011
Pakistani security forces protected Osama bin Laden for 10 years -- May 2, 2011
Huge numbers of people in Pakistan hated the bin Laden raid as well:
Most Pakistanis grieve for Osama bin Laden -- May 17, 2011
Pakistan: 4,000 rally to protest bin Laden killing, chant "America is the worst enemy of humanity!" -- May 15, 2011
Pakistan: Tiny Minority of Extremists buys 100,000 Osama bin Laden posters -- May 10, 2011
Pro-Osama rally in Pakistan: "Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed" -- May 2, 2011
And this is still true:
Time to cut off Pakistan -- Robert Spencer, May 17, 2011

"Aid cut to Pakistan will be unkind, argues Kerry," by Anwar Iqbal in Dawn, January 24 (thanks to Lookmann):
WASHINGTON: Senator John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of state, said during his confirmation hearing on Thursday that cutting US aid to Pakistan, would be a “dramatic, draconian and sledge-hammer” measure. 
Senator Kerry also said that Pakistan’s role in leading the United States to Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad had not been sufficiently appreciated.
In his first appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his new role, Mr Kerry told the senators he foresaw a “more rapid” transition in Afghanistan, allowing an accelerated withdrawal of US troops before the 2014 deadline.
But the senator, who headed the committee before his nomination, assured the Afghans that America’s counter-terrorism mission in their country would continue beyond 2014.
It was Senator Rand Paul, a new Republican face in the committee, who suggested cutting US aid to Pakistan “if they do not release Dr Shakil Afridi” who, he said, was imprisoned for helping the CIA in locating Osama bin Laden. The Al Qaeda leader was killed in a US military raid on his compound in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
Mr Kerry informed the senator that he had discussed this issue directly with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and like most Americans found it “incomprehensible if not repugnant, that somebody who helped us find Osama bin Laden is in jail in Pakistan”.
And “that bothers every American,” he added.
The senior US lawmaker, who stayed engaged with both Pakistan and Afghanistan as President Obama’s informal emissary during his first term, urged Senator Paul to also look at what the Pakistanis say.
“Pakistanis make the argument Dr Afridi did not know what he was doing, who he was specifically targeting … it was like a business for him,” he said, adding that this was no excuse for keeping the physician in jail.
But he said that he would stay engaged with Pakistan rather than resorting to “a pretty dramatic, draconian, sledge-hammer” approach of cutting US aid to the country Senator Paul had suggested.
Senator Kerry told the committee that the US had “a lot of interests” in this relationship, such as using Pakistani roads for sending critical supplies to US troops in Afghanistan.
The United States, he noted, was also receiving valuable on the ground intelligence cooperation from Pakistan, which also helped the Americans locate OBL.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: I'm not confiscating guns

'I don't care what they say from Washington'

Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a local radio host that the federal government is “going to have problem” if they expect him to confiscate guns from private citizens.

“I took [multiple] oaths of office, and they all say I will defend the Constitution of the United States,” Arpaio told Mike Broomhead of KFYI Radio in Phoenix, Ariz. “Now if they’re going to tell the sheriff that he’s going to go around picking up guns from everybody, they’re going to have a problem. I may not enforce that federal law.”

Broomhead pushed the man sometimes called “America’s toughest sheriff” even further, asking Arpaio if the feds passed a law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, would his deputies confiscate such magazines?

“No,” Arpaio said. “My deputies, I said before, I’m going to arm all my deputies – a month ago I said before this – with automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. We’re going to be able to fight back. … I don’t care what they say from Washington.”

Arpaio expressed a certain camaraderie with many other sheriffs around the country who have similarly warned they will not enforce what they believe to be infringements on the citizens’ 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

Some of the strongest language to that effect has come from Utah, where 28 of the state’s 29 elected sheriffs signed a letter to President Obama warning him not to send federal agents to start confiscating guns.

“[M]ake no mistake,” the sheriffs wrote, “as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights – in particular Amendment II – has given them.

“We, like you swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the sheriffs concluded, “and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”
Similarly, in New Mexico last week, 30 of the state’s 33 county sheriffs paid a visit to the state house, reminding the governor and state congressmen that a sheriff’s job is to defend the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment.

And in Oregon, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer penned a letter to Vice President Joe Biden warning, “I will not tolerate nor will I permit any federal incursion within the exterior boundaries of Grant County, Ore., where any type of gun-control legislation aimed at disarming law-abiding citizens is the goal or objective.
“We live in a free society,” Palmer continued, “and firearms ownership [is] the right to defend oneself from becoming a victim of a criminal act or from a far-reaching government attempting to enact laws that are unconstitutional.

“I will refuse to participate or stand idly by,” he concluded in the letter to Biden, “while the people are made into criminals due to your unconstitutional actions.”

Similar sentiments have been expressed by sheriffs in Missouri, California, Kansas, Montana and in dozens of counties in several states across the country. A growing list of now more than 90 sheriffs who have reportedly vowed to uphold the Constitution against gun-control measures is being accumulated by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and can be seen here.

Media elites unhinged

Media Research Center. America's Media Watchdog
Dear Diane,

Newsweek stopped its print edition at the end of 2012, but they still tried to scandalize the country by producing a fake cover honoring Obama's second inauguration as "The Second Coming." This absurd attempt at myth-making is a natural progression. The "cover" story was written by Evan Thomas, who proclaimed on MSNBC a few years ago that Obama was "sort of like God" in being above the gritty political fray.

It was just as absurd when Newsweek writer David Frum, the formerly conservative Bush speechwriter, tweeted this piece of media-elite nonsense: "First term Obama: punchee, 2nd term Obama, puncher."

No one calling himself a "political observer" can say Obama was some sort of mute victim, consistently under fire, on defense over the last four years. Quote Obama from anywhere, and he's fiercely bashing the GOP. In April 2011, he said the House GOP budget plan would force "poor children," "children with autism," and "kids with disabilities" to "fend for themselves." In another 2011 speech, he described the Republican plan as "let's have dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance."

These aren't even the Obama-Biden 2012 TV ads. They were pure gutter sleaze.

In truth, the media elites want Obama to destroy conservatives. Too far-fetched, you say? published an article by John Dickerson on January 18 headlined "Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party."

This "reporter" is the political director of CBS News. The spirit of Dan Rather remains.

Dickerson said Obama doesn't want to rest on his first-term laurels. So "Obama's only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents." He needs "clarifying fights over controversial issues," so "he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition's most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray."

We're informed that "extreme" conservatism, as defined by the Tea Party or the NRA, should be "illegitimate." This is precisely what CBS was selling about Ronald Reagan 32 years ago. Dickerson wants Obama to be liberal enough to spur "more tin-eared, dooming declarations of absolutism like those made by conservatives who sought to define the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape – and handed control of the Senate to Democrats along the way."

In imagining a slow political suicide of the American right, Dickerson isn't so much out in front of Obama as helpfully channeling Obama. On Saturday's "Early Show" on CBS, Dickerson explained Obama's thinking: "We heard in his press conference this week – which is, confrontation has to be the order of the day. He's tried to work with Republicans and as he said, you know, I could have more parties with them but it doesn't change the way they behave."

It's preposterous that a "journalist" would say all this. It is mind-boggling to consider he actually believes this.

Another CBS star, Bob Schieffer, demonstrated the media's impatience with anything but a fervently leftist Obama in a second term. After the president made a speech for more gun control, Schieffer leaned on history to insist that beating the "gun lobby" has to be easier than killing Osama bin Laden or "defeating the Nazis."

Schieffer argued, "the president is going to have to do more than just make a speech about it. This is one of the best speeches I've ever heard him deliver, but it's going to take more than that from the White House. He's going to have to get his hands dirty."

Liberal journalists don't want lofty oratory in the second term. They want conservatives defeated and "delegitimized." They want a smash-mouth Obama who accomplishes their agenda of "responding to the threat of climate change," and marriages for our "gay brothers and sisters" in all 50 states, and amnesty for "bright young students" so they "will be enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country." All of these and more were promised to liberals in Obama's second inaugural address. 

Richard Stevenson at The New York Times passed along the Orwellian echo of Obama's "unapologetic argument that modern liberalism was perfectly consistent with the spirit of the founders."


L. Brent Bozell III
Founder and President
Media Research Center

The Shark Tank

Allen West On Women in Combat- ‘Maintain Same Standards’ as Men

One of the country’s leading politico’s who is raising questions about the recent lifting of the ban on women serving in combat, such as in infantry and artillery units is former Congressman  and current Director of Next Generation programming for PJTV, Allen West.

Unlike some other national politicos, like Senator Marco Rubio who have come out in favor of lifting  the ban, but  have never served in the military, West served twenty-two years in the U.S. Army and knows all to well the impact that females serving in these combat units could bring to the cohesiveness and readiness of the unit.

West is not concerned that female would be fighting along side with males, because they are already doing that. West is more concerned with the ability of these female soldiers to physically perform to standard in these infantry and special operations units, that call for soldiers  to meet more strenuous physical conditioning standards.

West also adds that he doesn’t know if the American people are “culturally” ready to see women in these units, this after the highly publicized capture of a female soldier who was sexually assaulted by her captures during the Iraq war.
"I remember the young soldier who was captured back in the early days  of the Iraq war and how there was such an outcry in this country about how we needed to quickly rescue her, and find her, I think then we come to find out that she was sexually assaulted. So I don’t know culturally if the American people are ready to have women in infantry units or in some of our Special Operations units."
"The biggest concern that I have is that the standards must be maintained, we cannot adjust the standards. We want to maintain a high level of readiness and that’s the most important concern as we’ll continue to fight against a very determined enemy."-Allen West
"Absolutely, if you look at the Army’s physical fitness test you will see that currently there is a difference between the standards for  push-ups, sit ups, two-mile run for males varying with the age group, as opposed to females. And I don’t believe that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the standard or adjust the standard, that is not the right thing to do, standards have to be high, they have  to be maintained, and that is my big concern that people have not thought that through."
West added that female soldiers have already been carrying weapon, going out on different types of missions like resupply, military police, and flying attack helicopters. The real issue for West is female soldiers being assigned into elite units within infantry, Rangers, Marine Corp RECON, Navy Seals, Delta, and other elite units.
"There are very elite standards for these elite warriors, and we need to make sure these standards are maintained".-Allen West
West added,” that means there could be some man that cannot make that standard to get in some of these elite units or to be in an infantry unit, but that doesn’t mean you lower the standards.”
 "The military is not so much about fairness and equality"-Allen West
We then asked him if he thought that a female soldier could posed  a risk to combat preparedness considering their monthly ‘changes.’
"You bring up a great point about physiological differences and that  we have to look at, because it affects the readiness."
"You are not afforded at some of these small, close-quarter combat units the ability to have separate facilities, and things of that nature especially when you have remote forward operating bases where you are living very Spartan, so  those are the types of things, when such as if you are talk about units that have to go in and train with foreign internal defense, with other countries like we have done with Mali, like we have done with the Afghan military, the Iraqi military, will we really be able to effectively implement this with females in infantry, combat, special forces type of units."-Allen West