Senator Ted Cruz Releases List Of Obama Regime’s Lawless Actions And Abuses Of Power

Ted Cruz Releases Definitive List Of 76 ‘Lawless’ Obama Actions – Daily Caller

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz released a definitive list Wednesday of 76 “lawless” Obama administration actions and abuses of power.

Cruz’s “The Legal Limit Report No. 4,” obtained by The Daily Caller, delves into little-known and little-reported details of President Obama’s executive actions. Cruz was set to discuss his report at the Federalist Society in the Promenade Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington at 2:15 PM Wednesday.

“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Cruz stated in the report’s introductory remarks.

“President Obama has openly defied [rule of law] by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act,” Cruz wrote. “In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.”

Cruz details 76 specific actions over eight chapters. We’ve listed eight of them, as chronicled by Cruz, below:

1. “Obama implemented portions of the DREAM Act by executive action”

2. “Ended some terror asylum restrictions”

3. “Recognized same sex marriage in Utah despite a Supreme Court stay on a court order allowing the institution”

4. “Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation”

5. “Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies”

6. “Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union”

7. “Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.”

8. “Government agencies are engaging in ‘Operation Choke Point,’ where the government asks banks to ‘choke off’ access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as ‘ammunition sales.'”

See the full report:

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THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER
Report No. 4:
The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Ranking Member
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution,
Civil Rights and Human Rights

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.

The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one – and especially not the president – is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.

For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.

That would be wrong – and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.

GOVERNING BY EXECUTIVE FIAT

1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). (1)

2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action. (2)

3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists. (3)

4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status. (4)

5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. (5)

6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay. (6)

7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums. (7)

8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes. (8)

9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository. (9)

1 Caroline May, Obama administration ‘guts’ welfare reform with new HHS rule, Daily Caller, Jul. 13, 2012.
2 Mark Krikorian, Today is A-Day, National Review Online, Aug. 15, 2012.
3 Reid J. Epstein, Obama administration ends some terror asylum restrictions, Politico, Feb. 5, 2014.
4 Julia Preston, Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve, N.Y. Times, Nov. 15, 2013.
5 Matt Apuzzo, More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2014.
6 Charlie Savagejan, U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriage Despite State Stance, N.Y. Times, Jan. 10, 2014.
7 Pete Williams & Michael O’Brien, Holder: ‘New Approach’ to reduce mandatory drug sentences, NBC News, Aug. 12, 2013.
8 Charlie Savage, Obama Takes New Route to Opposing Parts of Laws, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2010.
9 Joel B. Pollak, Nuclear fallout: Yucca decision would affect immigration, obamacare, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2013.

NATIONAL SECURITY

1. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, (10) and then lied about the White House’s involvement. (11)

2. Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation. (12)

3. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S. (13)

4. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process. (14)

5. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup. (15)

10 Bill Flax, Benghazi: Four Americans Died, Obama Lied, and the Press Complied, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2012.
11 Michael D. Shear, Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi, N.Y. Times, Apr. 30, 2014.
12 Mike Levine, President Obama’s Surprise Revelation of Sealed Benghazi Indictment, ABC News, Aug. 9, 2013.
13 Obama’s Magnitsky Walkback, Wall St. J., Jan. 5, 2014.
14 Karen DeYoung & Peter Finn, U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations, Wash. Post, May 22, 2013.
15 White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt, Reuters, Aug. 20, 2013.

OBAMACARE

1. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant. (16)

2. Delayed the individual mandate for two years. (17)

3. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare. (18) Extended this delay until 2016 – past the mid-term elections. (19)

4. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare. (20)

5. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. (21) Twice. (22)

6. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs. (23)

7. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments. (24)

8. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies. (25)

9. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate. (26)

10. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force). (27)

16 Margaret Talev & Alex Wayne, Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans, Bloomberg.com, Dec. 20, 2013.
17 ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption, Wall St. J., Mar. 11, 2014.
18 Stephanie Condon, Obama letting people keep canceled health plans for another year, CBSNews.com, Nov. 14, 2013.
19 Louise Radnofsky, Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve, Wall St. J., Mar. 5, 2014.
20 David Martosko, Busted! After promising ‘no delay’ in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new ‘honor system’ extension through mid-April , Daily Mail, March 25, 2014.
21 Sarah Kliff, White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015, Wash. Post, July 2, 2013.
22 Juliet Eilperin & Amy Goldstein, White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-seized employers until 2016 , Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 2014.
23 Ezra Klein, In 2014, Congress gets Obamacare. Here’s how they’ll pay for it., Wash. Post, Aug. 1, 2013.
24 Avik Roy,Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2013.
25 Avik Roy, Not Qualified for Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just lie – Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility, Forbes, July 6, 2013.
26 Joel Gehrke, Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement, Wash. Examiner, Sept. 24, 2013.
27 Milton Wolf, Obamacare waiver corruption must stop, Wash. Times, May 20, 2011.

ECONOMY

1. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union. (28)

2. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium. (29)

3. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy. (30)

4. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy. (31)

5. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws – but no charges were filed. (32)

6. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as “ammunition sales.” (33)

28 Steven Greenhouse, Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2011.
29 Frederic Frommer, Government takes third attempt at drilling moratorium, Associated Press, Jul. 13, 2010.
30 An offer you can’t refuse, The Economist, May 7, 2009.
31 Emails: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of nonunion Delphi workers’ pensions, Daily Caller, Aug. 7, 2012; Report: Obama administration played key role in GM Bankruptcy as pensions cut for salaried workers, not unionized ones, Associated Press, Aug 16, 2013.
32 Deborah Zabarenko, Gibson Guitar CEO slams U.S. raids as “overreach”, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2011.
33 Frank Keating, Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold, Wall St. J., Apr. 24, 2014.

EXECUTIVE NOMINEES AND PERSONNEL

1. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess. (34) Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.

2. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd (35) and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. (36)

3. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes. (37)

4. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes. (38)

34 Timothy Noah, Cordray’s Recess Appointment Sure Doesn’t Look Constitutional to Me, New Republic, Jan. 4, 2012.
35 John Bresnahan, Byrd: Obama in power grab, Politico, Feb. 25, 2009.
36 Jordan Fabian, Feingold questions Obama ‘czars’, The Hill, Sept. 16, 2009.
37 Andrew Malcolm, 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 26, 2012.
38 Richard Rubin, Number of Tax-Delinquent Government Workers Up 11.5%, Bloomberg, Mar. 8, 2013

FREE SPEECH AND PRIVACY

1. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny. (39)

2. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities” – and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all. (40)

3. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases. (41)

4. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions. (42)

5. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak. (43)

6. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press. (44)

7. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements. (45)

39 Greg Sargent, Conservatives have themselves a real scandal on their hands, Wash. Post, May 10, 2013.
40 Mark Tapscott, ‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs, Wash. Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014.
41 Ellen Nakashima, Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2013.
42 Richard Pollock, CFPB’s data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing, Sept. 13, 2013.
43 Another Chilling Leak Investigation, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2013.
44 Mark Sherman, Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe, Yahoo News, May 13, 2013.
45 Eric Lichtblau, Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2010

OTHER LAWLESS ACTS

1. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws – as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.” (46)

2. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious, (47) and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation. (48)

3. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election. (49)

4. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012. (50)

5. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools. (51)

6. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown. (52)

7. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains. (53)

8. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory. (54)

9. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA. (55)

46 Stephen Dinan, Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States, Wash. Times, Dec. 19, 2013.
47 DOJ Inspector General, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, Sept. 2012.
48 Jerry Seper & Stephen Dinan, GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious, Wash. Times, Aug. 13, 2012.
49 Kevin Bohn, Justice Department drops charges in voter intimidation case, CNN.com, May 28, 2009.
50 Senator Ted Cruz, The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Expand Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz,Addendum – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum 2 – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power.
51 Obama, Holder Stand in Louisiana Schoolhouse Door, Investors Business Daily, Aug. 30, 2013.
52 Alex Pappas, Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown, Daily Caller, Oct. 4, 2013.
53 George Neumayr, Muzzling Military Chaplains, The American Spectator, Jan. 9, 2013.
54 Editorial: Firehouse flunkies, Wash. Times, Mar. 7, 2011.

OTHER ABUSES OF POWER

1. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee, (56) who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s. (57)

2. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. (58)

3. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.” (59)

4. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism. (60)

5. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, (61) and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses. (62)

6. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign. (63)

7. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. (64)

8. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms. (65)

9. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble. (66)

10. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work. (67)

11. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools. (68)

12. Nominated Timothy Geithner – who had significant tax issues (69) – to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws. 13. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN. (70)

14. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office). (71)

15. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order. (72)

16. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration – purportedly saving $18,000 per week – even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before. (73)

17. Adopted pro-union “mbush election”rules. (74)

18. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad. (75)

19. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests. (76)

20. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel. (77)

21. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown. (78)

22. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI. (79)

23. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines. (80)

24. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet. (81)

25. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16. (82)

26. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento). (83)

55 Terence Jeffrey, IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address, CNSNews.com, June 21, 2013.
56 U.S. judge orders release of mentally ill Guantanamo prisoner, Yahoo News, Oct. 4, 2013.
57 The Guantanamo Docket: Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, N.Y. Times.
58 Jason Allardyce & Tony Allen-Mills, White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, The Australian, July 26, 2010.
59 Alex Pepper, White House, NASA, Defend Comments About NASA Outreach to Muslim World Criticized by Conservatives, ABCNews.com, July 6, 2010.
60 Aaron Goldstein, Obama Still Doesn’t Get 9/11, American Spectator, Sept. 11, 2012.
61 Dana Bash & Ted Barrett, Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill, CNN.com, Mar. 18, 2009.
62 Helene Cooper, Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses, N.Y Times, Mar. 16, 2009.
63 Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin, Daily Caller, Sept. 1, 2011.
64 Josh Gerstein, 5 unmet promises of President Obama, Politico, Oct. 16, 2012.
65 Mark Knoller, National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush, CBSNews.com, Mar. 19, 2012.
66 Prashant Gopal, Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid: Mortgages, Bloomberg, Mar. 5, 2012.
67 Washington Elitists Want to Take Over the Family Farm, Investors Business Daily, Apr. 26, 2012; Dave Jamieson,Child Labor Farm Rules Scrapped by White House Under Political Pressure, Huffington Post, Apr. 27
68 Maxim Lott, Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong Man For the Job, FoxNews.com, Sept. 23, 2009.
69 Jonathan Weisman, Geithner’s Tax History Muddles Confirmation, Wall St. J., Jan. 14, 2009.
70 Chip Reid, Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency, CBSNews.com, Jan. 7, 2010.
71 Jim Harper, The Promise That Keeps on Breaking, The Cato Institute, Apr. 13, 2009.
72 Ed Henry, Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, FoxNews.com, Jan. 28, 2014.
73 Tom Blumer, Our Petty, Country-Be-Damned President, PJ Media, Mar. 8, 2013.
74 Senator John Thune, NLRB’s ambush elections would hurt local businesses, The Hill, Apr. 19, 2012.
75 Daniel Howes, WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad, FoxNews.com, Sept. 27, 2011.
76 Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests, Judicial Watch, July 10, 2013.
77 George Will, When the looter is the government , Wash. Post, May 18, 2012.
78 Update: Let’s Move Website Works Fine – Obama plays Politics with Lost Children, shuts down Amber Alert website, The Right Scoop, Oct. 6, 2013.
79 JW Forces Release of DHS Report on Illegal Alien Charged with Killing Virginia Nun in August 2010 Drunk Driving Incident, Judicial Watch, Mar. 4, 2011.
80 Stephen Dinan, Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk, Wash. Times, Feb. 13, 2012.
81 Nick Schulz, How Effective Was The 2009 Stimulus Program?, Forbes, July 5, 2011.
82 Thomas Cloud, Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to ‘Translocate’ One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project, CNSNews.com, Apr. 12, 2012.
83 Susan Crabtree, Allies of official fired by Obama mount defense, The Hill, June 24, 2009.

Office of Senator Ted Cruz
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5922
http://www.cruz.senate.gov

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Your Daley Gator Article V Convention Of The States Post-Apalooza (Videos)

Indiana To Host Meeting For Planning Article V Convention – American Thinker

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The movement toward calling a state-led Constitutional Convention for the purpose of altering the Constitution bypassing Congress, as specified by Article V of the Constitution, has taken a step forward. Dan Carden of the Northwest Indiana Times reports:

Legislative leaders in all 50 states have been asked to send delegates to Indianapolis for a second discussion on the state-led process for crafting amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and to begin shaping the rules and procedures a Convention of the States that would follow.

Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is among the organizers of the June 12-13 meeting of The Mount Vernon Assembly that will convene in the Indiana Statehouse.

He said delegates won’t be proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution this time. Instead, the goal is “to put a structure and a foundation in place for a Convention of the States, so that we can have consensus on how this thing is going to be run.” (snip)

Long said he’s heard the calls for fast action on an Article V convention, but is confident the careful, thoughtful approach being taken by The Mount Vernon Assembly is the best way to ensure Congress authorizes a Convention of the States and that any proposed constitutional amendments are seen as legitimate.

“This is the one group that is moving forward, with state legislators, putting a process in place so whatever ideas ultimately win out and get to a convention, we will have everything ready to go and the process will work effectively,” Long said. “Without this structure, it won’t work.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from 33 states initially met in December at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia to see if there was sufficient support to move forward with planning for a Convention of the States.

Long said he expects The Mount Vernon Assembly will meet a third time later this year to tweak and finalize the decisions it makes at the Indianapolis session. Then state legislatures in 2015 can begin sending identical resolutions to Congress requesting a Convention of the States.

He said the topic of the first proposed amendment likely will be a requirement for a balanced federal budget or some other plan to rein in the national debt.

“We need something to change and this is, I think, the only way it’s going to happen – the states are going to have to take charge,” Long said.

The process outlined by Mark Levin in his bestselling book, The Liberty Amendments, is beginning to unfold. Sen. Long is to be commended for his careful and deliberate process. It won’t be easy or quick, and a lot of debate lies ahead. The right has no monopoly on Article V consideration:

On Friday Vermont became the first state to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which precipitated a flood of cash into politics.

Mike Monetta, 37, drove from Boston with a colleague and spent more than 10 hours Thursday in the House gallery waiting for the lower chamber to vote on the Senate-passed resolution, which – as lawmakers race to wrap things up before the end of the biennium – was taken up at the end of a marathon floor session.

He was back in the gallery Friday morning to see Vermont’s resolution get final approval from the House. Monetta is the organizing director for Wolf PAC, which he described as a political action committee to end all political action committees.

“We exist for only one purpose and that’s to get a 28th amendment to get all money out of politics,” he explained.

The Left wants to limit the scope of the First Amendment freedom of speech guarantees, while conservatives want to limit government. Which do you suppose will better stand up to debate?

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THE FEDERALIST NO. 85 – JAMES MADISON

(Excerpt) – By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States [which at present amount to nine], to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof.” The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. And of consequence, all the declamation about the disinclination to a change vanishes in air. Nor however difficult it may be supposed to unite two thirds or three fourths of the State legislatures, in amendments which may affect local interests, can there be any room to apprehend any such difficulty in a union on points which are merely relative to the general liberty or security of the people. We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.

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ARTICLE V CONVENTION DEBATE

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THE ARTICLE V CONVENTION TO PROPOSE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR CONGRESS – CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

(Excerpt) – Thomas H. Neale
Specialist in American National Government
April 11, 2014

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two ways of amending the nation’s fundamental charter. Congress, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, may propose amendments to the states for ratification, a procedure used for all 27 current amendments. Alternatively, if the legislatures of two-thirds of the states apply, 34 at present, Congress “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” This alternative, known as an Article V Convention, has yet to be implemented. This report examines the Article V Convention, focusing on contemporary issues for Congress. CRS Report R42592, The Article V Convention for Pro posing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress examines the procedure’s constitutional origins and history and provides an analysis of related state procedures.

Significant developments in this issue have occurred recently: in March 2014, the Georgia Legislature applied for a convention to consider a balanced federal budget amendment, revoking its rescission of an earlier application; in April 2014, Tennessee took similar action. While both applications are valid, they may revive questions as to the constitutionality of rescissions of state applications for an Article V Convention and whether convention applications are valid indefinitely. Either issue could have an impact on the prospects for a convention. In other recent actions, the legislatures of Ohio, in November 2013, and Michigan, in March 2014, applied to Congress for an Article V Convention to consider a balanced federal budget amendment; these are the first new state applications since 1982 and are also the 33rd and 34th applications for the balanced budget amendment convention. If all 32 previous related state applications are valid, it is arguable that the constitutional requirement for requests from two-thirds of the states has been met, and that Congress should consider calling a convention.

Internet- and social media-driven public policy campaigns have also embraced the Article V Convention as an alternative to perceived policy deadlock at the federal level. In 2011, the “Conference on a Constitutional Convention,” drew participants ranging from conservative libertarians to progressives together to discuss and promote a convention. In December 2013, a meeting of state legislators advocated a convention, while the “Convention of States” called for a convention to offer amendments to “impose fiscal restraints and limit the power of the federal government.” Also in 2013, the advocacy group Compact for America proposed the “Compact for a Balanced Budget,” an interstate compact that would provide a “turn-key” application, by which, with a single vote, states could join the compact; call for a convention; agree to its format, membership, and duration; adopt and propose a specific balanced budget amendment; and prospectively commit themselves to ratify the amendment.

Congress would face a range of questions if an Article V Convention seemed likely, including the following. What constitutes a legitimate state application? Does Congress have discretion as to whether it must call a convention? What vehicle does it use to call a convention? Could a convention consider any issue, or must it be limited to a specific issue? Could a “runaway convention propose amendments outside its mandate? Could Congress choose not to propose a convention-approved amendment to the states? What role would Congress have in defining a convention, including issues such as rules of procedure and voting, number and apportionment of delegates, funding and duration, service by Members of Congress, and other questions. Under these circumstances, Congress could consult a range of information resources in fashioning its response. These include the record of the founders’ original intent, scholarly works cited in this report and elsewhere, historical examples and pr ecedents, and relevant hearings, reports, and bills produced by Congress from the 1970s through the 1990s.

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How Michigan May Have Triggered Convention To Amend U.S. Constitution – Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature may have inadvertently made history last month when it adopted a resolution urging a convention of the states for the purpose of drafting a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Article V requires Congress to authorize a convention when 34 states have called for an amendment on the same topic, but that threshold has never been reached.

Conventional wisdom suggests – and supporters repeatedly stated – that by adopting its resolution, Michigan had joined more than 20 other states with similar applications.

But Michigan may unknowingly have been the 34th state to call for a federal balanced budget amendment, according to at least one constitutional scholar. A California Congressman is asking U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to consider the argument and explore whether a convention should be called.

The dispute hinges on an apparently untested legal question: Can a state rescind an application after petitioning Congress?

“There is a school of thought – scholars are very divided on the subject – that once a state Legislature has said ‘yes’ to an Article V Convention, it is without the ability to then turn around and change it’s mind and say, ‘No, we don’t want that any more,” said Gregory Watson, a constitutional expert who works as a staffer in the Texas House.

“The issue has never been brought before a federal court, and that’s why I think perhaps, maybe, possibly someone somewhere – not necessarily in Michigan – could file a lawsuit in a federal court claiming that the 34-state threshold has indeed been met.”

Watson, best known for spearheading ratification of the 27th Amendment some 200 years after it was proposed, believes that Michigan became the 22nd state with a clearly active application calling for a convention and balanced budget amendment. By his tally, 12 other states applied decades ago before they later changed their minds, but he’s not sure they had the authority to do so.

“If a federal judge were to rule that the activities that occurred in Lansing on March 26, 2014, did indeed make it the 34th state, then it was a very historic day,” Watson said. “If the judge ruled that, ‘No, a state can repeal it’s previous request,’ then it was not a historic day.”

Michigan’s resolution made national headlines last week, with The Washington Times and Fox News reporting on the prospect of a constitutional convention and questions over how many states have active applications.

Citing published reports, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) sent a letter to Boehner suggesting that the House “should lead an effort to ascertain whether 34 states have voted affirmatively” for a convention and asking the speaker to direct appropriate entities to make that determination.

“A balanced budget amendment is long overdue and remains an effective tool to address runaway spending and deficits,” Hunter wrote. “With the recent decision by Michigan lawmakers, it is important that the House – and those of us who support a balanced budget amendment – determine whether the necessary number of states have acted and the appropriate role of Congress should this be the case.”

Still, even some supporters are skeptical.

Rob Natelson, a constitutional scholar and former law professor, told The Washington Times that states have always had the ability to rescind applications and does not think Michigan’s resolution is the 34th of its kind.

“I think it’s unlikely that a request for Congress to call a convention at this point would get anywhere,” said Natelson, who wrote an Article V handbook for state lawmakers published by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization that supports the push for a balanced budget amendment.

State Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) said he was aware that there was some sort of dispute over the status of old applications when he introduced the balanced budget resolution in Michigan’s upper chamber last year, but he was surprised to learn that Congressman Hunter raised the issue with Boehner in D.C.

“The latest count that I was getting back from the group of legislators that I’ve been working with is that we were going to be number 23,” Green said Wednesday.

The issue may very well end up in federal courts, Green acknowledged, but he would prefer that other states sign on soon so that there is no question over active convention applications. Any proposed resolution would have to be ratified by 38 states.

“My goal is to get a balanced budget amendment done, and if it comes sooner rather than later, I’m all for it,” Green said. “I’d like to see it get done right now, when for sure we’d have 38 states that would (ratify) it. After the next election, you never know.”

If all this sounds hypothetical, that’s because it is at this point.

An Article V Convention has never been called, and it’s not even clear whether Congress or states or delegates would set the rules. The nation’s last constitutional convention was its first, as the founding fathers drafted the document now under dispute.

Despite those unknowns, supporters say states must act and force the federal government to stop what they believe is a reckless and now-annual pattern of deficit spending.

Michigan Joint Resolution V, like those adopted by several other states, calls for an amendment limiting federal appropriations to estimated revenues in each fiscal year, allowing exceptions only in the case of a national emergency.

Critics argue that a balanced budget amendment would limit the federal government’s ability to respond to fiscal crises or make strategic investments, and some have suggested the process could devolve into a “runaway convention” ruled more by public pressure, lobbyists and outside influences than sound policy.

“Government would become more beholden to artificial spending limits that would all but ensure that the shutdown of the federal government we just saw last month would become an all too-common occurrence,” State Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) said in November during an early floor debate on the resolution.

“Congress already struggles to complete its most basic functions. Why would we bog down the process even further? This amendment wouldn’t limit government, it would drown it.”

The resolution passed the Michigan House with some bipartisan support, but the Senate vote split directly down party lines, with all Democrats voting against it.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed the push for a federal balanced budget amendment in his January State of the State address but the joint resolution did not require his signature for adoption.

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Article V: Congress, Conventions, And Constitutional Amendments – Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. & Trent England

Advocates of a “living” Constitution argue that the Founders’ Constitution is hopelessly outdated and unable to grow and adapt to the times. The amendment procedure detailed in Article V belies such claims. As Madison explains in The Federalist, the amendment procedure allows subsequent generations to correct errors and make whatever “useful alterations will be suggested by experience.” Yet at the same time, the difficulty of constitutional amendment prevents the Constitution from being deprived “of that veneration, which time bestows on everything, and without which the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability.” By design, the amendment process requires extensive deliberation and ensures that amendments are the settled opinion of the American people. To date, as was expected, every amendment to the Constitution has been proposed through Congress before being ratified by the states. Although there have been several attempts to call an Article V amending convention – some of which have driven Congress to act – the extensive unknowns and significant risks involved in that uncharted option make congressional proposal of amendments abundantly more prudent and the most viable method to achieve serious constitutional reform. This essay is adapted from The Heritage Guide to the Constitution for a new series providing constitutional guidance for lawmakers.

“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, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…” – Article V

The process of amendment developed with the emergence of written constitutions that established popular government. The charters granted by William Penn in 1682 and 1683 provided for amending, as did eight of the state constitutions in effect in 1787. Three state constitutions provided for amendment through the legislature, and the other five gave the power to specially elected conventions.

The Articles of Confederation provided for amendments to be proposed by Congress and ratified by the unanimous vote of all thirteen state legislatures. This proved to be a major flaw in the Articles, as it created an insuperable obstacle to constitutional reform. The amendment process in the Constitution, as James Madison explained in The Federalist No. 43, was meant to establish a balance between the excesses of constant change and inflexibility: “It guards equally against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults.”

In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Justice Joseph Story wrote that a government that provides

no means of change, but assumes to be fixed and unalterable, must, after a while, become wholly unsuited to the circumstances of the nation; and it will either degenerate into a despotism, or by the pressure of its inequalities bring on a revolution… The great principle to be sought is to make the changes practicable, but not too easy; to secure due deliberation, and caution; and to follow experience, rather than to open a way for experiments, suggested by mere speculation or theory.

In its final form, Article V creates two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution: through Congress or by a special convention called by the states for the purpose of proposing amendments. In either case, the proposed amendment or amendments must then be ratified by the states, either (as determined by Congress) by state legislatures or by ratifying conventions in the states.

The Virginia Plan introduced at the start of the Constitutional Convention called for amendment “whensoever it shall seem necessary.” The Committee of Detail proposed a process whereby Congress would call for a constitutional convention on the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. George Mason feared this method was insufficient to protect the states, while Alexander Hamilton thought that Congress should be able to propose amendments independent of the states. Madison (as recorded in his Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787) thought the vagueness of an amendment convention sufficiently problematic to reject the provision: “How was a Convention to be formed? By what rule decide? What the force of its acts?” After further debate, the delegates passed language proposed by Madison (and seconded by Alexander Hamilton) that the national legislature shall propose amendments when two-thirds of each House deems it necessary, or on the application of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Proposed amendments were to be ratified by three-fourths of the states in their legislatures or by state convention.

The Constitutional Convention made two specific exceptions to the Amendments Clause, concerning the slave trade (Article V, Clause 2) and equal state suffrage in the Senate (Article V, Clause 2), but defeated a motion to prevent amendments that affected internal police powers in the states.

Just before the end of the Convention, George Mason objected that the amendment proposal would allow Congress to block as well as propose amendments, and the method was changed again to require Congress to call a convention to propose amendments on the application of two-thirds of the states. Madison did not see why Congress would not be equally bound by two-thirds of the states directly proposing amendments as opposed to the same number calling for an amendments convention, especially when the proposed Article V convention process left so many unresolved questions. In the end, Madison did not object to including an amendments convention “except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum etc. which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.”

The careful consideration of the amending power demonstrates that the Framers would have been astonished by more recent theories claiming the right of the Supreme Court to superintend a “living” or “evolving” Constitution outside of the amendment process. More significantly, the double supermajority requirements – two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and three-quarters of the states – create extensive deliberation and stability in the amendment process and restrain factions and special interests. It helps keep the Constitution as a “constitution,” and not an assemblage of legislative enactments. Most importantly, it also roots the amending process in the Founders’ unique concept of structural federalism based on the dual sovereignty of the state and national governments.

The advantage of the Amendments Clause was immediately apparent. The lack of a bill of rights – the Convention had considered and rejected this option – became a rallying cry during the ratification debate. Partly to head off an attempt to call for another general convention or an open-ended amendments convention, but mostly to legitimize the Constitution among patriots who were Anti-Federalists, the advocates of the Constitution (led by Madison) agreed to add amendments in the first session of Congress. North Carolina and Rhode Island acceded to the Constitution, and further disagreements were cabined within the constitutional structure.

Madison had wanted the amendments that became the Bill of Rights to be interwoven into the relevant sections of the Constitution. More for stylistic rather than substantive reasons, though, Congress proposed (and set the precedent for) amendments appended separately at the end of the document. Some have argued that this method makes amendments more susceptible to an activist interpretation than they would be otherwise.

As Madison predicted, the difficulties inherent in an Article V amendments convention have prevented its use, though some state applications (depending on how those applications are written and counted, an additional controversy in the Article V convention process) have come within one or two states of the requisite two-thirds. Precisely because of the potential chaos of the process, the very threat of an amendments convention can be used to pressure Congress to act rather than risk an amendments convention. The movement favoring direct election of Senators was just one state away from an amending convention when Congress proposed the Seventeenth Amendment in 1911. Most recently, in the 1980s, state applications for a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment led Congress to vote on such an amendment and pass the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act (later declared unconstitutional in part by the Supreme Court) requiring the federal budget to be balanced.

There have been hundreds of applications for an amending convention over the years from virtually every state. Because no amending convention has ever occurred, an important question is whether such a convention can be limited in scope, either to a particular proposal or within a particular subject. While most calls for amending conventions in the nineteenth century were general, the modern trend is to call (and thus count applications) for conventions limited to considering a single, specific amendment. Some scholars maintain that such attempts violate the very mechanism created by Article V: the text says that upon application of the states Congress “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,” not for confirming a particular amendment already written, approved, and proposed by state legislatures (which would effectively turn the convention for proposing amendments into a ratifying convention). Indeed, it is not at all clear as a matter of constitutional construction (and doubtful in principle) that the power of two-thirds of the states to issue applications for a convention restricts, supersedes, or overrides the power of all the states assembled in that convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. Other questions include the many practical aspects of how an amending convention would operate and whether any aspects of such a convention (including going beyond its instructions) would be subject to judicial review.

The Federalist Papers, unfortunately, offer no guidance on this matter. Madison refers to amendment conventions in Federalist No. 43 only in general terms, noting that Article V “equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors.” And in Federalist No. 85, while Hamilton discusses how Congress cannot limit the scope of an Article V convention, he says nothing as to whether states can or cannot do so.

The requirement that amendments proposed by such a convention must be ratified by three-fourths of the states is a significant limit on the process and likely prevents a true “runaway” convention from fundamentally altering the Constitution. Serious scholars will undoubtedly continue to debate the historical record and speculate about the possibility of an amendments convention under Article V. Nevertheless, the lack of precedent, extensive unknowns, and considerable risks of an Article V amendments convention should bring sober pause to advocates of legitimate constitutional reform contemplating this avenue.

While a valid method created and available under the Constitution, “a Convention for proposing Amendments” has never been viewed as just another tool for reform but has become ever more so an ultimate option to be deployed only in extremis for the sake of maintaining the Constitution. Hence, the only time Madison pointed to an amendments convention was during the Nullification Crisis of 1832 as a last-ditch effort to prevent the wholly unacceptable and unconstitutional alternative of nullification and secession that then threatened the continued existence of the United States. Likewise, when Abraham Lincoln looked to constitutional reforms to resolve disputed questions in the midst of the Civil War, he noted that “under existing circumstances” the convention mode “seems preferable” precisely because it “allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose.” Yet when the immediate crisis was over, Lincoln strongly advocated what became the Thirteenth Amendment by congressional proposal and did not pursue an amending convention, despite the amendment’s initial failure in the House of Representatives. It should be noted that in both cases an amendments convention was understood to be free to propose whatever amendments thought necessary to address the problems at issue.

Much greater certainty – not to mention extensive historical experience and proven political viability – exists as to the power of Congress to propose amendments. Since 1789, well over 5,000 bills proposing to amend the Constitution have been introduced in Congress; thirty-three amendments have been sent to the states for ratification. Of those sent to the states, two have been defeated, four are still pending, and twenty-seven have been ratified. Because of the national distribution of representation in Congress, most amendment proposals are defeated by a lack of general support and those amendments that are proposed to the states by Congress are generally likely to be ratified.

In a challenge to the Eleventh Amendment, the Supreme Court waved aside the suggestion that amendments proposed by Congress must be submitted to the President according to the Presentment Clause (Article I, Section 7, Clause 2). Hollingsworth v. Virginia (1798). In the National Prohibition Cases (1920), the Court held that the “two-thirds of both Houses” requirement applies to a present quorum, not the total membership of each body. One year later, in Dillon v. Gloss (1921), the Court allowed Congress, when proposing an amendment, to set a reasonable time limit for ratification by the states.

Since 1924, no amendment has been proposed without a ratification time limit, although the Twenty-seventh Amendment, proposed by Madison in the First Congress more than two hundred years ago, was finally ratified in 1992. Regardless of how an amendment is proposed, Article V gives Congress authority to direct the mode of ratification. United States v. Sprague (1931). Of the ratified amendments, all but the Twenty-first Amendment, which was ratified by state conventions, have been ratified by state legislatures. In Hawke v. Smith (1920), the Court struck down an attempt by Ohio to make that state’s ratification of constitutional amendments subject to a vote of the people, holding that where Article V gives authority to state legislatures, these bodies are exercising a federal function.

Although some scholars have asserted that certain kinds of constitutional amendments might be “unconstitutional,” actual substantive challenges to amendments have so far been unsuccessful. National Prohibition Cases (1920); Leser v. Garnett (1922). The Supreme Court’s consideration of procedural challenges thus far does not extend beyond the 1939 decision of Coleman v. Miller, dealing with Kansas’s ratification of a child labor amendment. The Court split on whether state ratification disputes are nonjusticiable political questions, but then held that Congress, “in controlling the promulgation of the adoption of constitutional amendment[s],” should have final authority over ratification controversies.

In the end, the Framers believed that the amendment process would protect the Constitution from undue change at the same time that it would strengthen the authority of the Constitution with the people by allowing its deliberate reform while elevating it above immediate political passions. “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government,” George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address of 1796. “But the Constitution which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”

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Click HERE to read the first chapter of Mark Levin’s newest book THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS onlline.

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………………Click on the image above to purchase Mark’s book.

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*VIDEO* Democrats: Dumb & Dumber & Dumber & Dumber &…


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Your Daley Gator Benghazi Scandal Picture O’ The Day


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Department Of Veterans Affairs Drops Ball On 1.5M Cases (Video)

Veterans Affairs Drops Ball On 1.5 Million Cases – Reason

If there’s one thing worse than sending men and women overseas to fight for ill-defined reasons, it’s abandoning them in moments of need after they’ve returned to the U.S. Cue the latest story, from the Washington Examiner, about just how rotten the Department of Veterans Affairs really is.

More than 1.5 million medical orders were canceled by the Department of Veterans Affairs without any guarantee the patients received the treatment or tests they needed, the Washington Examiner has found.

Since May 2013, veterans’ medical centers nationwide have been under pressure to clear out 2 million backlogged orders for patient care or services.

They were given wide latitude to cancel unfilled appointments more than 90 days old. By April 2014, the backlog of what the agency calls “unresolved consults” was down to about 450,000.

What happened to other 1.5 million appointments is something that no one, including top officials at the veterans’ agency, can answer.

More here.

A few months ago, Reason TV’s Amanda Winkler asked “Is Government Bureaucracy Failing Our Veterans?” Watch below:

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FINALLY! Trey Gowdy To Head Select Committee On Benghazi

Boehner To Appoint Special Benghazi Committee With Trey Gowdy In Charge – Townhall

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After more than two years of stonewalling from the Obama administration, House Speaker John Boehner has confirmed he will appoint a Special Committee to investigate Benghazi with Congressman Trey Gowdy leading the way. The Weekly Standard was the first to report a possible announcement of a Select Committee earlier this morning.

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Speaker John Boehner
@SpeakerBoehner

Obama admin defied subpoena, compelling House to establish a new #SelectCommittee on #Benghazi. http://j.mp/1lHAElM
12:11 PM – 2 May 2014

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Here is the full statement from Boehner on the Select Committee:

“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen. In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.

“The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?

“The House committees that have been investigating this attack have done extraordinary work, using their subpoena power, holding dozens of hearings, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Without this work we would not know much that we do today. But it’s clear that questions remain, and the administration still does not respect the authority of Congress to provide proper oversight. This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.

“Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change.”

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Your Daley Gator Benghazi Scandal News Roundup (Videos)


ENTIRE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND REFORM COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE BENGHAZI COVER-UP – 05/01/14

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Obama’s ‘Blame The Video’ Fraud Started In Cairo, Not Benghazi – Andrew C. McCarthy

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration-crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success – and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries – indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

One of the e-mails refers expressly to a “prep call” that Ambassador Rice had with several administration officials on late Saturday afternoon right before her Sunday-show appearances. The tangled web of deception spun by the administration has previously included an effort to distance the White House (i.e., the president) from Rice’s mendacious TV performances. Thus, Carney was in the unenviable position Wednesday of trying to explain the “prep call” e-mail, as well as other messages that illuminate the Obama White House’s deep involvement in coaching Rice. The e-mails manifest that Rice’s performances were campaign appearances, not the good-faith effort of a public official to inform the American people about an act of war against our country. Her instructions were “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy”; and “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges” (emphasis added).

Carney risibly claimed that the “prep call” was “not about Benghazi.” Instead, according to him, it was “about the protests around the Muslim world.”

Two points must be made about this.

The first involves the administration’s blatant lying. Benghazi was the only reason Rice was going on the Sunday shows. If the massacre had not happened, there would not have been an extraordinary administration offering of one top Obama official to five different national television networks to address a calamity that had happened a few days before.

Moreover, as is well known to anyone who has ever been involved in government presentations to the media, to Congress, to courts, and to other fact-finding bodies, the official who will be doing the presentation is put through a “murder board” preparation process. This is a freewheeling session in which the questions likely to be asked at the presentation are posed, and potential answers – especially to tough questions – are proposed, discussed, and massaged. The suggestion that Rice, less than 24 hours before being grilled by high-profile media figures, was being prepped on something totally separate and apart from the incident that was the sole reason for her appearance is so farfetched it is amazing that Carney thought he could make it fly.

The second point brings us full circle to Egypt.

Why would Carney claim, with a straight face, that Rice was being prepped “about protests around the Muslim world”? Because, other than Benghazi, the “protest around the Muslim world” that Americans know about is the rioting (not “protest,” rioting) at the U.S. embassy in Cairo a few hours before the Benghazi siege. When Benghazi comes up, the administration – President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Jay Carney, et al. – loves to talk about the Cairo “protests.” Why? Because the media, and thus the public, have bought hook, line, and sinker the fraudulent claim that those “protests” were over the anti-Muslim video. Obama & Co. shrewdly calculate that if you buy “Blame the Video” as the explanation for Cairo, it becomes much more plausible that you will accept “Blame the Video” as the explanation for Benghazi – or, at the very least, you will give Obama officials the benefit of the doubt that they could truly have believed the video triggered Benghazi, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

You see, the Benghazi fraud hinges on the success of the Cairo fraud. If you are hoodwinked by the latter, they have a much better chance of getting away with the former.

But “Blame the Video” is every bit as much a deception when it comes to Cairo.

Thanks to President Obama’s policy of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic supremacists in Egypt, post-Mubarak Cairo became a very hospitable place for jihadists. That included al-Qaeda leaders, such as Mohammed Zawahiri, brother of al-Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri; and leaders of Gama’at al-Islamia (the Islamic Group), the terrorist organization led by the Blind Sheikh – Omar Abdel Rahman, the terrorist I convicted in 1995 for running the jihadist cell that bombed the World Trade Center and plotted to bomb other New York City landmarks.

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, these jihadists plotted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threatened a 1979 Iran-style raid on the embassy: Americans would be taken hostage to ransom for the Blind Sheikh’s release from American prison (he is serving a life sentence). Other jihadists threatened to burn the embassy to the ground – a threat that was reported in the Egyptian press the day before the September 11 “protests.”

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Department also knew about the obscure anti-Muslim video. Few Egyptians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on September 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Joscelyn has elaborated, the Cairo rioting was driven by the jihadists who were agitating for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threatening for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the American flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

Nevertheless, before the rioting began but when they knew there was going to be trouble, State Department officials at the embassy began tweeting out condemnations of the video while ignoring the real sources of the threat: the resurgence of jihadists in Muslim Brotherhood–governed Egypt, the continuing demand for the Blind Sheikh’s release (which underscored the jihadists’ influence), and the very real danger that jihadists would attack the embassy (which demonstrated that al-Qaeda was anything but “decimated”).

The transparent purpose of the State Department’s shrieking over the video was to create the illusion that any security problems at the embassy (violent rioting minimized as mere “protests”) were attributable to the anti-Muslim video, not to President Obama’s policies and patent failure to quell al-Qaeda.

Because there was a kernel of truth to the video story, and because the American media have abdicated their responsibility to report the predominant causes of anti-Americanism in Egypt, journalists and the public have uncritically accepted the notion – a false notion – that the video caused the Cairo rioting. That acceptance is key to the administration’s “Blame the Video” farce in connection with the lethal attack in Benghazi.

At about 10 p.m. Washington time on the night of September 11 – after they knew our ambassador to Libya had been murdered and while the siege of Benghazi still raged – Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama spoke on the telephone. Shortly afterwards, the State Department issued a statement from Secretary Clinton blaming the video for the atrocity in Benghazi. That was the beginning of the fraud’s Benghazi phase – the phase Susan Rice was prepped to peddle on nationwide television. But it wasn’t the beginning of the fraud.

Secretary Clinton’s minions at the State Department had started spinning the video fraud hours earlier, in Egypt. The sooner Americans grasp that, the sooner they will comprehend the breathtaking depth of the president’s Benghazi cover-up.

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