Top 10 Conservative Successes In 2010

The just-passed 2010 will be remembered as a banner year for conservatives. Here are the Top 10 successes for the conservative movement last year.

(1) GOP captures House: Republicans made historic gains in the House of Representatives, picking up 63 seats in the midterm elections and regaining control after four years in the minority. With the presidency and Senate still in Democratic hands, picking up the chamber will provide a much-needed check on the Left’s ambitious agenda. And the best news of all: Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

(2) Rise of the Tea Party: The Tea Party became a major force in the American political landscape. With its fiscal responsibility agenda, the amorphous Tea Partiers had a major impact on the midterm elections and breathed new life into a GOP that was still reeling after its 2008 electoral shellacking. Now if they just could do a better job in vetting some of their candidates (see Colorado, governor).

(3) States turn Right: The midterms also saw massive conservative gains in the states with Republicans picking up 680 seats in legislatures across the country and winning gubernatorial posts from Democrats in such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. That means the redistricting based on the 2010 census will strongly favor the GOP, resulting in more House pickups in 2012.

(4) Judge rules against Obamacare: Federal Judge Henry Hudson ruled that Obamacare’s individual mandate was unconstitutional. With Obama holding a veto pen, the best way to stop Obamacare will be in the courts. It probably will all come down to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

(5) Omnibus spending bill defeated: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acted as if the election never happened and tried to ram a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill through the Senate during the lame-duck session. Republicans held firm, and Reid pulled back the pork-filled legislation. By flexing their muscles, Republicans made it clear that the election pushed the power pendulum in the Senate to the right.

(6) Gains in the Senate: While falling short of taking back the Senate, Republicans still gained six seats and will have plenty of solid conservatives in the freshmen class. Senate newcomers Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) are rising stars in the party. With Democrats having more than twice as many seats to defend in 2012, look for a Republican Senate takeover in the next election.

(7) DREAM Act defeated: Harry Reid also tried to sneak the DREAM Act through the Senate during the lame-duck session — a payback to Hispanic leaders for their help in his tough re-election bid. The DREAM Act, intended to give amnesty to illegal immigrants who enroll in college or enlist in the military, fell five votes short of the total needed for cloture. With the GOP House takeover, immigration policy will likely be toughened.

(8) GOP diversity: The GOP had never fielded so many winning women and minority candidates. Just look at the list: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Florida Rep. Allen West, South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. It will be hard for the Left to pin the racist/sexist label on the Republican Party when it is running so many attractive, dynamic and diverse candidates.

(9) Cap and trade dead: The midterm election put the final stake in the heart of the cap-and-trade legislation, with Harry Reid not even trying to revive it in the lame-duck session. While there is virtually no chance a similar bill could make it through the new, more conservative Congress, Republicans need to work to keep the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting the measure administratively.

(10) Obama tanks: Obama fell hard from his messianic pedestal as even the Left soured on him. His drop in the polls was a result of his own failures: his tepid response to the Gulf oil spill, his economic policies not creating jobs, his crusade to enact an unpopular Obamacare. And his ineffective and gaffe-filled campaigning for the Democrats in the midterms was a gift to Republicans eager to nationalize the elections.

by Kenneth Hanner Posted 12/31/2010 ETKenneth Hanner is former national editor of The Washington Times and former managing editor of HUMAN EVENTS.Copyright © 2010HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.


Their goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not.

The Liberal Reckoning of 2010

The year voters saw the left’s unvarnished agenda and said no.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent out a press release last week headlined “111th Congress Accomplishments.” It quoted a couple of Democratic Party cheerleaders calling this the greatest Congress since 1965-66 (Norm Ornstein) or even the New Deal (David Leonhardt), and listed in capital letters no fewer than 30 legislative triumphs: Health Care Reform, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a Jobs Package (HIRE Act), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Food Safety, the Travel Promotion Act, Student Loan Reform, Hate Crimes Prevention, and so much more.

What the release did not mention is the loss of 63 House and six Senate seats, and a mid-December Gallup poll approval rating of 13%. Never has a Congress done so much and been so despised for it.

While this may appear to be a contradiction, it is no accident or even much of a surprise. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party had been waiting since the 1960s for its next great political opening, as we warned in an October 17, 2008 editorial, “A Liberal Supermajority.” Critics and some of our readers scored us at the time for exaggerating, but in retrospect we understated the willful nature of that majority.

Democrats achieved 60 Senate votes by an historical accident of prosecutorial abuse (Ted Stevens), a stolen election (Al Franken) and a betrayal (Arlen Specter). They then attempted to do nearly everything we expected, regardless of public opinion, and they only stopped because the clock ran out.

The real story of 2010 is that the voters were finally able to see and judge this liberal agenda in its unvarnished form. For once, there was no Republican President to muddle the message or divide the accountability. The public was able to compare the promise of 8% unemployment if the government spent $812 billion on “stimulus” with the 9.8% jobless result. They stood athwart liberal history in the making and said, “Stop.”

Note well, however, that the Democrats still standing on Capitol Hill remain unchastened. In her exit interviews, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would do it all the same way again, and her colleagues have seconded her lack of remorse by keeping her as their leader despite their November thumping. Her consolation to defeated Democrats was not to invite them to the House caucus meeting when she denounced President Obama’s tax deal with Republicans.

Note, too, that the organized left and its media allies are also beginning to rewrite the story of the 111th Congress as an historical triumph. The same people who claimed that ObamaCare was a defeat because it lacked a public option are suddenly noting it will put 32 million more Americans on the government health-care dole. It won’t be long before liberals and the press are defending the 111th Congress’s every achievement as historic.

There is a lesson here both about modern liberalism and for Republicans who will soon have more power in Congress. For today’s left, the main goal of politics is not to respond to public opinion. The goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not. Sooner or later, they figure, the anger will subside and Americans will come to like the cozy confines of the cradle-to-grave welfare state.

This is the great Democratic bet with ObamaCare. The assumption is that once the benefits start to flow in 2013 the constituency for “free” health care will grow. As spending and deficits climb, the pressure for higher taxes will become inexorable and the GOP will splinter into its balanced budget and antitax wings. A value-added tax or some other money-machine will pass and guarantee that the government will control 40% to 50% of all economic resources.

If the price of this bet was losing control of the House for a moment in time in 2010, Mrs. Pelosi’s view is so be it. You have to break a few Blue Dog careers to build a European welfare state. Liberals figure that as long as President Obama can be re-elected in 2012, their gamble will pay off and the legacy of the 111th Congress will be secure. The cheerleaders will write books about it.

The lesson for Republicans is to understand the nature of their political opponents and this long-term bet. The GOP can achieve all kinds of victories in the next two years, and some of them will be important for economic growth. But the main chance is ObamaCare, which will fundamentally change the balance of power between government and individuals if it is not repealed or replaced.

While repeal will no doubt founder in the Senate in the next two years, Republicans can still use their House platform to frame the debate for 2012. They can hold hearings to educate the public about rising insurance costs and other nasty ObamaCare consequences. And they can use the power of the purse to undermine its implementation.

The difference between the work of the 111th Congress and that of either the Great Society or New Deal is that the latter were bipartisan and in the main popular. This Congress’s handiwork is profoundly unpopular and should become more so as its effects become manifest. In 2010, Americans saw liberalism in the raw and rejected it. The challenge for Republicans is to repair the damage before it becomes permanent.

The Wall Street Journal

Net Neutrality Is Theft

By  on 12.29.10 @ 6:09AM

The Internet is not a natural resource. It does not grow on trees, or appear on the ground like dew on a spring morning. Nor does it operate by magic. The Internet exists only to the extent it is built, and then maintained and operated.

That requires big bucks, especially for broadband access. Broadband requires hundreds of billions if not trillions in investment to lay cables under streets, or to build and then launch satellites into orbit.

Where does that money come from? It comes from private investors. And when they put their money into the ground, or in orbit, to deliver to the people the new world of Cyberspace, those delivery vehicles are their property, just like the FedEx delivery trucks and planes that deliver your packages overnight are the property of FedEx.

Just as the government is not needed to tell FedEx what delivery routes to use, or how to get the packages to their destination overnight, it is not needed to tell Internet Service Providers and broadband operators how to deliver their access to Cyberspace. Those ISPs and broadband operators are subject to fierce market competition, and are driven by market incentives to get a return on all that investment money they put into the ground or into orbit. These factors force them to serve the people, far, far better than politics forces government to serve the people. That is why the Internet works so well.

As the Wall Street Journal explained on December 22, “There is no compelling reason to subject the Internet to more regulation. New devices and applications proliferate. Competition among broadband providers is robust, barriers to market entry low, and evidence of market failure non-existent.”

FCC Pirates Board the Ship

Yet, without compelling reason, law or even politics on their side, on December 21, on a 3-2 party line vote, the FCC voted to impose its “net neutrality” rules on the Internet. What net neutrality means is that the government now has the power to decide how ISPs and broadband operators manage the access they provide to the Internet. It is as if the government decided to regulate how FedEx delivers its overnight mail, and what routes and what vehicles they use.

The FCC starts out by proclaiming that its net neutrality rules are just meant to ensure equal access by all to the Web. But as George Orwell showed us, that is how socialism started out too, until we later discovered that some were more equal than others. Once the founding principle is laid for government regulation and control, then that power can be used to regulate and control access to the Internet “in the public interest.” In English translation, that means in the special interest of the Ruling Class. There are precedents in China and Iran for how that has worked out in practice.

Dissenting FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell explained further in the Wall Street Journal on December 20 why the FCC’s net neutrality regulation makes no sense:

Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

But what I have learned in life is that when something doesn’t make sense, that means there is something else behind it that people are trying to hide.

And that is exactly what we have here. For what is behind the FCC’s net neutrality crusade is reflected by an organization calling itself Free Press. That is an Orwellian title in this case, because what Free Press is for is the opposite of a free press. Free Press is one of those pseudo-Marxist front groups that Barack Obama has always traveled with so easily throughout his life. It is a grown-up, slick, sophisticated version of those campus radicals who shout down college speakers with whom they don’t agree.

That is what Free Press is after with its “net neutrality” regulation. It is laying the groundwork for government control of the Internet. Once that it is established, it will be able to shout down websites with which it doesn’t agree, if not shut them out altogether.

The entering wedge for net neutrality so far is not public freedom to access and navigate the Internet, which no one can credibly claim is not currently as free as could be. The entering wedge for now is use of Internet access and broadband services by competing commercial concerns like Netflix and YouTube, which consume huge proportions of bandwidth that can consequently interfere with use by consumers and others.

The problem has not become unmanageable yet, but threatens to be. The concern is that broadband operators will limit use of their service by other commercial operations that are effectively bandwidth hogs, to preserve the viability of their service for the general public, which is exactly what they should do. The supposed purpose of net neutrality regulation so far is to prevent broadband operators from doing this.

The solution is for broadband operators to charge heavier commercial users of their service heavier fees to cover the costs. Those heavier fees can then be used to build even bigger and better broadband and Cyberspace access, sufficient to fully accommodate even the heaviest commercial broadband users.

But that doesn’t involve the expanded government power that Obama’s FCC and net neut advocates like Free Press are after. So it is not on the table as the answer. Government takeover is the only answer they will consider, just as in health care. But if the government is going to take control over the big investment bucks broadband providers put in the ground or into orbit, America is not going to get the Internet investment and access it needs. That is why America’s Internet access is already lagging behind other countries.

Democracy and the Rule of Law, or Not?

On April 6, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Comcast Corp. v. Federal Communications Commission that the FCC does not have the power to issue net neutrality regulation. That decision resulted because the FCC already tried to impose an earlier, more limited version of net neutrality regulation through administrative adjudication of a particular case, rather than by broader rulemaking.

The case arose when Comcast responded to commercial users trading large files directly on its broadband service, rather than the users going through a central server. The FCC claimed authority to regulate the network management practices of Internet service providers like Comcast based on statutory language which authorizes the Commission to “make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.” This is Hugo Chavez style reasoning.

Rejecting that reasoning in an opinion written by one of the Circuit’s more liberal Judges, David Tatel, the Court had to remind the FCC that “administrative agencies may act only pursuant to authority delegated to them by Congress.” The Court said regarding the FCC’s reasoning, “if accepted it would virtually free the Commission from its congressional tether.” The Court added that “without reference to the provisions of the [FCC’s governing] Act directly governing broadcasting, the Commission’s ancillary jurisdiction would be unbounded.” Indeed, the FCC’s lawyers suggested to the Court in oral argument that in the agency’s view it already has the power to impose price controls and rate regulation on Internet service providers and broadband operators.

Yet, the FCC just flouts this decision in going ahead and issuing its net neutrality regulations by rulemaking last week. Moreover, McDowell explains in the Wall Street Journal that it also flouts Congress, as before the FCC issued the new net neut regs, “More than 300 members of Congress, including 86 Democrats, contacted the FCC to implore it to stop pursuing Internet regulation and to defer to Capitol Hill.” McDowell adds that this was “a rare event in Washington: a large, bipartisan majority of Congress agreeing on something.”

And the FCC’s action also flouts democracy and the American people. In the last election, net neut schemers like Free Press concocted a net neutrality pledge for candidates to run on. They got 65 pledge signers. All 65 lost at the polls. That is because the people are smart enough to recognize that government regulation over the Internet is going to be the opposite of Power to the People.

This FCC episode raises a broader question about the Obama Administration in the next two years. Because what we see here is what we are already seeing elsewhere in the Administration as well, from HHS Secretary Sebelius’s takeover of health insurance, to the EPA’s takeover of the economy based on global warming fantasies. That broader question is: Are we going to be governed by democracy and the rule of law in America, or not? What these opening skirmishes indicate is the Administration will severely test that proposition in the next two years rather than work with the newly Republicanized Congress.

The Republican majority in the House must be equally tough in responding to this fundamental challenge to the governance of America. One of those responses must be to act to remove Administration officials who attempt to flout the courts, the Congress, democracy, and the will of the American people.

The House should open hearings on removing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for failing to abide by the ruling of the Federal appeals court, as well as blowing off Congress, and the American people. Those hearings would be all about stopping the government’s takeover of the Internet, an issue on which the American people overwhelmingly agree with the Republican view. The hearings should focus as well on removing FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who has more openly expressed his opposition to freedom of speech for people with whom he doesn’t agree, a viewpoint America cannot allow to anyone in position of authority.

Let me reiterate that Republicans can never consider impeaching Obama himself, no matter what he does. I have suggested before that one of the reasons to vote Republican for President is that Republican Presidents are subject to the rule of law, a principle established in the early 1970s. But Democrat Presidents are not subject to the rule of law, a principle established in the late 1990s. Democrat Presidents are free in our system of government to flout the law with impunity.

But Republicans can and must send the message that Administration officials perfectly prepared to assist in a slow motion coup against the rule of law and democracy will themselves be removed.

The ultimate solution, however, to protect the Internet, and freedom of speech in America, is to privatize the FCC. That would be accomplished by auctioning off property rights in the airwaves and broadcast spectrums. In the free market, private owners would use those resources to best serve the public, in order to maximize the value of their investment. That would apply to all radio broadcasting and TV broadcasting licenses. The FCC would not be needed then for any purpose, and should be abolished. The spectrum auctions would raise funds to be used to help balance the budget.

Senate Majority Leader Joe Manchin

News reports in the National Journal and indicate just how fevered Obama’s anti-democracy Democrat party has become. Those reports reveal that Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats are plotting to remove the filibuster from Senate rules when the new Senate convenes in January, which involves adopting the new rules for each House of Congress. This is another Hugo Chavez style move.

For almost 150 years, the filibuster has provided essential protection for deliberation and broader consensus in America’s governance. It was the Senate filibuster that stopped cap and trade, the suspension of the secret ballot in union elections, and the outright socialized medicine of the public option in Obamacare. The filibuster is part of the basic American democratic tradition, and even our folklore, as demonstrated in the Jimmy Stewart film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Harry Reid is also under the delusion that any vote on repealing Obamacare would just be outright prohibited under Senate rules as well. Reid is quite simply unfit for service as Senate Majority Leader.

Republicans have 47 votes in the new Senate to get behind someone else other than Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. They can devote those 47 votes to another Democrat who may be able to draw additional Democrat votes as well, rather than to a Republican.

A good candidate for this would be Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who won reelection as an Independent rather than as a Democrat. Just three more Democrat votes are needed under this strategy to replace Harry Reid with this alternative. With 24 Democrat Senators up for reelection this year, this may be more plausible than it might seem otherwise.

If Lieberman can’t round up a sufficient posse of Democrat supporters, another option would be newly elected West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who won his race with an ad where he uses a rifle to shoot a bullet through cap and trade legislation. New legislation is going to be needed to stop EPA from imposing cap and trade on its own, which has already begun. Manchin could be in no better position to carry through on that then as Senate Majority Leader.

Peter Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation, a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute, a senior fellow at the Social Security Institute, and general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the first President Bush. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is author of The Obamacare Disaster, from the Heartland Institute, and President Obama’s Tax Piracy.

Obama Using Regulation Against The Will Of The People

by Robert Allen Bonelli

Written into the Declaration of Independence is a simple imperative, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Our nation was built on this concept, but the Obama administration is using its power to write regulation to circumvent the will of the people and advance its own agenda.

Three recent examples of this over reach are shocking and all Americans should demand an end to the practice and a reversal of what has already been done.  Citizens need to think, whether they agree with the reasons for the circumvention or not, about what is at stake.  Using regulation to specifically subjugate the will of the people to the agenda of any president is nothing less than tyranny.

The New York Times and Fox News, an unlikely combination, recently reported that the Obama Administration is taking advantage of a rule in the final version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“Obamacare”) that authorizes Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations.  The new rule says Medicare will cover voluntary advance care planning to discuss end-of-life treatment as part of an annual visit.  The mandate for end-of-life planning, commonly referred to as death panels, was specifically legislated out of Obamacare because of the uproar by the majority of Americans.  Most recent polls show 60% or more of the electorate wants Obamacare repealed, but this particular mandate was rejected by the people before the law was passed.

Using this embedded rule, one of the hundreds of Obamacare surprises that will be revealed over time, the Obama administration is able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process.  In this case, doctors will be encouraged to provide information on how to prepare an advance directive, stating how aggressively patients wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.  Regardless of the merits, this is not what the people want.  If this seemingly harmless step is allowed to be taken, what else can be written into regulations that will further circumvent the will of the people?

Early this month, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) voted to regulate the Internet for the first time. This scheme, known as Net Neutrality that forbids Internet service providers from impeding access to legal web content, may seem minor but it raises larger free speech issues and the threat of more intrusive regulation.  Even Congress has been sensitive to the First Amendment implications of any legislation regulating the Internet and has been careful in taking any action to date.

The people want debate by their elected representatives on this issue, not the imposition of new regulation at the whim of a president who believes he knows better than the citizenry.  This move, along party lines by the appointed commissioners of the FCC and publically welcomed by Mr. Obama, is nothing more than a power grab in defiance of the will of the people.

Perhaps the most dangerous use of regulatory power hanging over the American people is the judicially extended powers of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to regulate specific greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, as pollutants under the forty year old Clean Air Act.  The Clean Air Act was originally written to regulate air pollutants, not something that is ever present in the air – and certainly not something that is part of life itself!

The Supreme Court made the ruling in April of 2007 in the case The State of Massachusetts v. the Environmental Protection Agency but little has been done since.  However, with the support of the Obama administration, the EPA is now ready to regulate carbon dioxide.  The Clean Air Act, as it is now written, requires that any source that emits more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year be required to capture those emissions.  That threshold is so low that not only would it impose higher costs on power plants and refineries, but also farms, rural schools and hospitals.

If the EPA is allowed to follow through on using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide, Washington D.C. bureaucrats will have more control over the lives of citizens and their businesses than the citizens themselves.

These three examples clearly prove how the Obama administration is poised to use the regulation-writing process to advance its own agenda regardless of what the American people want.  The administration is also acting in open defiance to our form of representative government.  Regardless of where anyone stands on these three particular issues, it is the dictatorial action implied by this process that should be rejected.  The 112thCongress can use its power to review any regulation to strike down this power grab.  The American people need to demand that this new Congress act swiftly to send the president notice that our liberty will not be taken from us by the stroke of a pen.

Robert Allen Bonelli is the author of “Liberty Rising,” an accomplished business executive, public speaker and involved citizen.



The Democratic Congress is trying to pull a fast one — two, in fact!

First, the Senate is jamming through a pork laden budget bill filled with projects that are payoffs to each Senators campaign donors. The budget bill also includes a $1 billion appropriation to fund Obamacare — enough to get it moving. We need to beat this bill! We have enough Republicans to do so if they hold together. But Voynovitch from Ohio and Kit Bond from Missouri are both possible defections. Neither one is running again. We need you to write and call your Senators to urge them to vote no on the budget and particularly no on the Obamacare funding!

Second, they are using their lame duck majority — explicitly rejected by the voters of America — to compromise our national security by ratifying the START treaty.

The treaty limits the US missile defenses and the preamble suggests that we would not engage in any new military technologies to thwart nuclear weapons! It also says we cannot convert any of our rockets into interceptors and it locks in about a ten thousand Russian edge in tactical nuclear warheads. It reduces strategic warheads — where there is now rough parity — but not tactical ones where Russia has a huge advantage.

And, why should we be rewarding Russia by relieving them of the expense of building new missiles and defense systems? Had Reagan followed this line of liberal thinking, the Cold War would never have been won! Remember that Russia’s economy is less than one-tenth the size of ours. So the best way to reduce their power is to make them divert spending into the military. That is the best way to accomplish our basic goal: To bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.

So please hit the phones!!!!!

Virginia Judge rejects key part of Obama healthcare law!!

Legalize America’s Constitution once again!

Outlaw the Progressive’s perverted constitution.

RICHMOND, Va. – A federal judge in Virginia has declared the Obama administration’s health care reform law unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson is the first judge to rule against the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

He argues the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement.

Other lawsuits are pending, including one filed by 20 states in a Florida court. Virginia is not part of that lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department and opponents of the health care law agree that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word.


By Jeremy Pelofsky and Lisa Lambert – 36 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge in Virginia on Monday declared unconstitutional a key part of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law in the first major setback on an issue that will likely end up at the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, backed arguments by the state of Virginia that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring that individuals buy health insurance by 2014 or face a fine.

“The Minimum Essential Coverage Provision is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution,” Hudson wrote in a 42-page decision. However, he declined to invalidate the entire healthcare law, a small victory for Obama.

The Obama administration will likely appeal.

Virginia’s lawyers argued that the federal government could not regulate someone for not buying a good or service under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and could not penalize them for failing to buy health insurance.

Hudson said that neither the Supreme Court nor the various appeals courts had ever extended the “Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.”

“This dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate,” Hudson wrote.

The decision is the first finding against the law that was passed in March and aimed at overhauling the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

Two judges rejected other challenges to the law, including one in Virginia last month.


The law has become a cornerstone of Obama’s presidency, aiming to expand health insurance for millions more Americans while curbing costs, and his Justice Department lawyers have been sent around the country to defend it in federal courts.

Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress have said one of their top priorities next year when they control the House of Representatives is to repeal the law. But chances of that are slim because Obama’s Democrats still control the Senate.

The Obama administration has vigorously defended the law and said that the state of Virginia did not have the legal standing to challenge it on behalf of its citizens, particularly for something that has yet to take effect.

The individual coverage mandate is a major component of the overhaul law, a bid by the Obama administration to expand coverage to the tens of millions of Americans who are without insurance and to thereby help lower exploding healthcare costs.

Reject S.510 now cloaked as H.R. 3082 – Protect America’s Small Farms & Food Producers

Please contact your Senators and ask that they “Vote “NO” on cloture for H.R. 3082 and to oppose the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act”!

Sign the petition at:

More than ever, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (the “Act”) represents a major threat to the local food movement, states’ autonomy to regulate food, and the country’s ability to become self-sufficient in food production.

The Act will greatly expand the power of FDA, an agency that does not respect your freedom of food choice. The FDA has stated as a matter of public record that people have “no fundamental right to their own physical and bodily health” and “no fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”

Passage of the Act into law will enable FDA potentially to regulate all farms marketing food products direct to consumers even if the farms engage only in intrastate commerce. [NOTE: The Amendment offered by Jon Tester was adopted 11/18/2010 to mitigate the most immediate impact on small farms and counter the trend of consolidation of the food supply; however, the bill is still fundamentally flawed.] The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010(in whatever form) needs to be stopped!

The Conservative Blind Spot: “Sustainable Development”

There is a blind spot in the main stream Conservative movement that threatens everything the movement says it stands for. The blind spot is refusal to acknowledge the threat of Sustainable Development, the policy of the UN’s Agenda 21 that now permeates into every American city. Somehow, the Conservative leaders who have always been there to fight off such utopian, socialist nightmares now seem to slumber blissfully in their ignorance at the very moment when vigilance is most urgently needed.

Sustainable Development is the greatest threat ever perpetrated against the American ideal of liberty. Sustainable Development is based entirely on the concept of wealth redistribution. Under Sustainable Development there can be no free enterprise, no individual liberty and no private property. If you doubt that, then here is a direct quote from the UN’s Habitat I 1976 conference where Sustainable Development was first being developed: “Land…cannot be treaded as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice.” That quote alone should bring the libertarians to battle-ready.

Yet, as I attend traditional Conservative meetings around the country where the defense of property rights should be paramount, Sustainable Development is rarely mentioned. Speaker after speaker addresses the audience about issues like abortion, taxes, and national defense. They declare their dedication to the fight for limited government. Only a few years ago I even heard some of these speakers gleefully declaring that we are in a “conservative era.” If they believe this then they are seriously deluded.

Sustainable Development is not a partisan issue. Both parties are guilty of its enforcement. The Bush Administration did more to help entrench Sustainable Development policies than the Clinton Administration could have hoped for. Of course, Obama continues the assault.

Respected Libertarian and Conservative organizations such as CATO, Heritage and Reason Foundation support and promote the Agenda 21 concept of Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs), calling them a free market answer to government. They tell us this is a way to use private money to build infrastructure without raising taxes. How can people who say they advocate free markets ignore the fact that PPPs are right out of the Mussolini fascist play book where government and private companies meld together until they are inseparable? The image of the pigs and the farmers in George Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind.

The PPPs are tied together through agreements for special treatment, tax breaks and guarantees that no one can compete with them, creating an elite that can use government and the market as their own unhindered play ground. That is not free enterprise by any definition of the word. How can anyone who says they believe in free enterprise support these government – sanctioned monopolies? They call it Free Trade – but that’s Sustainable Development as promoted through the United Nations.

Again, these groups are great at fighting policies like Smart Growth, Global Warming and Cap and Trade and doing a great job of defeating such monstrous plagues on human society. Yet, they fail to make the connection to Agenda 21. They don’t talk about the land grabs and the controls on farming and the banning of technology. They ignore statements by Supreme Court Justices about using international policy as the basis for their decisions. And they downplay the threat and significance of the UN, saying it is not relevant to the policy process. If the UN is not relevant, then why does the United States spend billions of dollars supporting UN programs – most of which are based on Agenda 21 and have a direct affect American domestic policy?

Through enactment of Agenda 21, American government is being transformed, controlled by “stakeholder councils.” These councils enforce Sustainable Development through the “consensus process” whereby debate on issues is control to the point of non-existent through the use of trained facilitators. The facilitator’s job is to control the discussion, leading it to a pre-determined finish, all the while making the group think it was their idea in the first place. Such a practice is used in nearly every public meeting in every community in the nation. Where is the outrage by these Conservative leaders to the destruction of free speech and the open process designed by our Founders?

Worse, these advocates of freedom ignore the most important plank of Agenda 21 – social equity. Sustainable Development’s Social Equity plank is based on a demand for something called “social justice,” a phrase first coined by Karl Marx. Social Equity means that individuals must give up selfish wants for the needs of the common good or the “community.” Through such a policy, everyone has the right to a job with a good wage, a right to health care and a right to housing. To assure those rights, wealth must be redistributed. Property ownership is a social injustice which brings wealth to some. Business and property are to be controlled by all of society. How can those who led the fight against communism during the Cold War now ignore the exact same policies today, especially when they are now entrenched in every government planning decision?

Many Conservative donors are woefully ignorant of Sustainable Development. They think they are giving their money to help the environment or to preserve historic places. Instead they are only helping to murder the very freedoms they profess to uphold. Conservatives would never concede their liberty to Swastikas or Hammer and Sickles, but tuck it in a Green blanket called“environmental protection” and they will toss those liberties on the fire like an old-fashioned book burning.

Conservatives must heed the warning now! Sustainable Development is anti- science, anti-knowledge, anti-human and anti-reason. It is the creed of the mindless savage who seeks brute force over liberty.

If Conservatives don’t learn of its evil now, if we don’t heed the warning and rip Sustainable Development out of every level of government by its well-entrenched roots, then American life, indeed human existence as we know it, will enter a new dark ages of pain and misery unlike any ever experienced by the community of man.

The Conservative philosophy advocates limited government intrusion into the lives of individual citizens. The root of that philosophy goes back to the ideals of the Founding Fathers and particularly John Locke who said, “man creates value and therefore property out of his own labor.” He said that no government could take the fruits of one’s labor without a compelling public need and without just compensation and then only through the rule of law.

James Madison used that theory to write the Fifth Amendment. John Adams said, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and there is not the force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

Under the guarantee that government’s only real job is to protect the rights of individual Americans to engage in commerce and to protect their property and person from thieves and murderers, Americans set about creating the most prosperous and free nation on earth.

Today, these American ideals are under severe challenge from the international community under the banner of Sustainable Development. Time and again, news reports indicate that sustainable development is an environmental issue. It is not. Sustainable Development is the driving force of what Al Gore called a “wrenching transformation” that society must endure to repair what he perceives as the damage of the 20th century’s Industrial Revolution. It is the same Industrial Revolution that gave us modern transportation, medicine, indoor plumbing, healthy drinking water, central heating, air conditioning, and electric light.

Sustainable Development is not about environmental clean up of rivers, air and litter. It is an all-encompassing socialist scheme to combine social welfare programs with government control of private business, socialized medicine, national zoning controls of private property and restructuring of school curriculum which serves to indoctrinate children into politically correct group think.

Sustainable Development advocates seek oppressive taxes to control and punish behavior of which they don’t approve and there is much these advocates disapprove, including air conditioning, fast foods, suburban housing and automobiles.

Every aspect of our lives is affected by Sustainable Development policies. It is top-down control from an all-powerful central government; specifically the United Nations which seeks to assert such control. That is the true significance of all of the international conference on climate change and Sustainable Development.

The question is whether Conservatives will rally to American principles of freedom against the onslaught of Sustainable Development’s socialist tyranny, or remain blind to the threat.

The Tea Party’s Next Challenge

November 8, 2010 -By Henry Lamb

Americans can do whatever they decide to do. Witness the politiscape littered with the careers of Democrats deposed by determined Americans who have had enough big-government socialism forced upon them. The next challenge for the tea party – and other organizations – is local and state governments that are systematically implementing freedom-robbing policies in the name of comprehensive planning, smart growth,sustainable development and environmental protection. If the word “freedom” is to have any meaning at all, it must mean that people are free to live wherever they choose, and free to use their property as they choose. For nearly 150 years, no one questioned this fundamental freedom. Then, in 1916, the Equitable Life Insurance Company built a 38-story building at 120 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The controversy about the building’s effect on the neighborhood resulted in the first zoning laws. In 1924, the Department of Commerce issued the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act, which many states adopted. Zoning simply allowed elected officials to establish areas within a city that were reserved for industrial, residential, municipal, or recreational use. People were still free to build what they wanted within these zones.


By the 1970s, however, zoning fell out of favor, and the new fad became planning. The American Planning Association emerged in 1978 to advance the “science” of planning. Planning gave the government the power to control the use of land. Control of the use of any asset is the first evidence of ownership – but this new “science” of planning allowed government to disavow ownership of the land, continue to force the owner to pay taxes on the land, and still dictate to the owner how the land might be used, or to prohibit all uses whatever. The first purpose of government is to secure the unalienable rights of the people who created the government. Among these rights are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So says the Declaration of Independence and most state constitutions. The U.S. Constitution requires that just compensation be paid to any person whose property is taken for public use. The new science of planning allows government to take from the owner the privilege of ownership – without compensation – while forcing the owner to bear all the responsibilities of ownership. State and local governments have lost their way, just as the federal government lost its way.


The tea party – and other organizations – started last week on a path to put the federal government back on track to protect the unalienable rights of the people who created it. Now it is time for these same determined Americans to focus on state and local governments, and put them back on the right track to protect the rights of their citizens as well. The first policy statement in a Missouri county’s comprehensive plan says: “The County shall work to prevent urban sprawl. …” Considering the first purpose of government, would it not be more appropriate for the first policy statement to be something like: “The County shall work to protect the private property rights of its citizens. …” The words “property rights” do not appear anywhere in the entire plan. Local and state governments, as well as the federal government, have forgotten the first purpose for which they were created. They must be reminded at each and every election, and on a regular basis between elections.


Every community has a comprehensive land-use plan, or has such a plan under development. These plans inevitably destroy private property rights and property values. Local citizens must hold their elected officials accountable by attending public meetings and asking why it is more important for the county to prevent urban sprawl than to protect the private property rights of its citizens. Throughout Florida, tea-party organizations are beginning to accept the challenge of preventing local government from crushing their property rights under a comprehensive land-use plan.


In Amarillo, Texas, a group of everyday citizens has formed to learn how to convince their elected officials to reject the plan that stifles property rights – and economic development. In city after city, and county after county, local citizens are discovering that they can change the direction of their government. Tea parties will have a few months before the battles for the 2012 elections heat up. There’s no better training ground or more productive enterprise than to persuade local and state governments to abandon the socialist idea of controlling land use, and return to the practice of protecting the rights of the people who created the government – especially the rights inherent in private property ownership. If freedom is to be restored to the American people, it must be restored at home, as well as in Washington.

American Freedom and Religious Morality

Liberals and conservatives both believe that as Americans, we should be moral people. The major difference is where their morality intersects with their politics. Most conservatives believe that our morality should come from religion, separate from government. Most progressives incorporate moral guidance as a function of government.
The humanistic tendencies of the political left assume that morality can be governed by state laws and dismiss religion as an origin and arbiter of moral law. Therefore, government must become a humanist’s ultimate authority to address and regulate human nature.
The problem with using the limited resources of government for such a broad purpose is its impracticality. It’s hard to convey “being good” as written law. It’s even more difficult to express that sentiment to those who are not inclined to “be good” and will adhere to only the letter of the law, not the intent. Almost every instance of determining right from wrong must, then, have a clear, enforceable written law.
The founding of the United States took cues from Judeo-Christian principles on freedom and morality…and over 80 percent of Americans today still hold those values. I’ll use a biblical reference to highlight my point: In the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus explained the New Laws, He was teaching that the Old Laws were being adhered to only by the letter, but no longer by the spirit they were intended. Other man-made laws had also been created to supplement a falling away from core commandments.
When we fail to understand why something is right or wrong, we lose our moral compass to arbitrary rules of conduct. Rather than adhere to just the letter of the law — of not committing murder or adultery, for example — Jesus taught that we must understand the sins of the “heart.” Anger leads to murder; lust leads to adultery. As Jesus proves, morality isn’t as easy as following a set of laws; it’s about changing the natural inclinations of our “heart” — our nature.
There is a fundamental point that humanists don’t understand about the power of Judeo-Christian faith in God. To have faith in God, one acknowledges that we are flawed beings and must rely on divine mercy and guidance for morality to rise above our base nature. Humanists believe the “savage” man is not flawed (i.e., in no spiritual need) and that it is possible to create a human Utopia. (See the French Revolution for a complete application of this humanistic theory.)
John Adams once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Our Constitution is based on the view that our morality comes from our religion. It sees the overall role of government as one of basic regulation and protection from foreign and domestic enemies. Therefore, when citizens take responsibility for morality through their religion, the rewards and consequences of those citizens’ actions stay mostly within the realm of spirituality. This self-regulation serves as a positive influence on individual responsibility and personal freedom.
Governmental laws, then, can apply to those sins that affect other citizens, such as theft and murder, to be adjudicated by our court system and with juries of mostly moral peers. This approach to government allows maximum, realistic independence for all American citizens. But when morality erodes, as Adams warns, then our government needs to create more laws to maintain order. These new laws continually limit freedom and will eventually kill the spirit of liberty in America.
Progressives have proven through their regulation and governmental style their belief that morality can be translated into laws, which can then be enforced through government. Leftists’ collective morality, usually called something akin to “social justice,” is what feels fair and right (most recently: moral obligations for universal health caretop-notch education, etc.). The government is the ultimate authority for a morality defined by fickle, subjective social justice issues. However, when government tries to enforce morality in the absence of citizens’ religious faith, secular moral laws quickly turn into draconian rules that take away more and more freedom from citizens.
When morality starts and ends with the letter of the law, it must be conveyed and documented comprehensively — without flaw, redundancy, conflict, or loopholes. This is the only way for government to enforce morality.
So far, our laws have utterly failed in this task. The more laws we create, the more each benefits one group over another. By design, our laws are impossible to fully know and understand, so they become weapons against political adversaries, as nearly everything can be considered a crime. In effect, attempting to fully legislate and secularize morality creates a flawed and tyrannical government.
Governments cannot create and enforce morality — only law. The more corrupt a government becomes (as our human nature predicts), the more laws are created for power rather than justice — which is the reason why governments cannot be the arbiters of morality. In addition, when Americans stop taking responsibility for self-regulated morality, then the heavy hand of government must attempt to control human nature and suffocate our free will. If we lose the ability to know not only what is right and wrong, but why it is right or wrong, then we stop being moral. We become simply law-abiding, compliant.
Andie Brownlow blogs at
December 05, 2010

Page Printed from: at December 07, 2010 – 10:18:07 PM CST

The Audacity of [Democrats’] Economic Ignorance

Economy: Why do we seem so helpless in solving our current mess? A big reason is the shocking lack of basic economic literacy among many of our political leaders. Case in point: Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Brown ripped into GOP Rep. Eric Cantor, saying he “either failed English class or failed logic class or failed history class because these tax cuts for the rich that Bush did twice … resulted in very little economic growth. We saw only 1 million jobs created in the Bush years, 22 million created in the Clinton years, when we reached a balanced budget with a fairer tax system.”

This is false. From 2002, the last year before the cuts, to 2007, the last year before the financial meltdown, the real economy expanded by $1.77 trillion, or 15.2%. “Very little” growth? Jobs increased by 7.77 million, business investment surged 38%, and personal net worth soared 56%. Brown is wrong on every point.

Yes, gross domestic product did fall sharply in 2008 as the financial meltdown hit. But no reputable economist maintains the financial panic was a result of the Bush tax cuts.

Laughably, Brown talks about how “we” reached a balanced budget during the Clinton years. What do you mean “we,” senator? Since budgets are written and passed by Congress, and only approved by the president, Brown must know that it was Republicans who balanced the budget — not Democrats.

That’s right, a GOP-led Congress controlled the spending that led to the surpluses of the late 1990s. It also proposed welfare reform and pushed through cap-gains tax cuts that helped the economy boom. To his credit, President Clinton signed these initiatives into law — but only after much political arm-twisting.

Brown’s idea of “fair” when it comes to taxes is strange. Since when is unequal treatment under the law, which our skewed tax code promotes, considered fair? Talk about failing Logic 101.

He went on to say: “There is no real history illustrating that these tax cuts for the rich result in jobs. It’s extending unemployment benefits that creates economic activity that creates jobs, not giving a millionaire an extra … $30,000 in tax cuts they likely won’t spend.”

“No real history”? Taxes were cut on high-income earners in the 1920s (Coolidge), 1960s (Kennedy), 1980s (Reagan) and again in the 2000s (Bush). These cuts benefited the rich and everyone else. In all these cases, jobs boomed after tax cuts. In fact, history shows that the best way to boost jobs is to cut taxes on the rich.

“Extending unemployment benefits” stimulates nothing. It merely takes money from one person’s hand and puts it into another. How do Brown et al. get it so wrong? Maybe they don’t know any better. They come from a generation schooled on a now-discredited Keynesian model that assumes the economy is driven by consumer spending, and that when consumers falter, it’s the government’s job to step in and “boost aggregate demand” by spending more.

This, too, is exactly backward. Consumer spending doesn’t drive growth; it results from growth. Economies grow mainly because of business investment. The chart above shows how consumer spending barely budged in the last two recessions while business investment plunged. Today we’re still 14% below our peak on business investment, while consumer spending has bounced all the way back.

If we want a strong expansion, business investment must grow. It won’t as long as Brown and his colleagues continue to believe that extending jobless benefits to boost consumption, and raising taxes on the “rich” would create economic activity.

Posted 12/03/2010 07:01 PM ET