I Don’t Even Play One on T.V.

Once again, gentle reader of my blog, (all 1 of you, you know who you are ;), we cite the excellent writing at American Thinker.  This morning’s piece is on the dusty-old, but, to civics-geeks, exceedingly exciting matter of the Origination Clause, as it specifically relates to Obamacare, and more specifically, a SCOTUS* lawsuit to kill Obamacare.  I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on t.v., but I need help with this  American Thinker piece’s anti-Obamacare legal argument because it reads to me like a pro-Obamacare legal argument, save the last paragraph.

By way of a quick review, since I presume you have a life and haven’t followed the minute particulars like those of us who haven’t seen daylight since Obama showed up, Obamacare was born by (then) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gutting a piece of  revenue-raising House legislation he found languishing in the bottom of a desk drawer, and inserting Obamacare.  Why did Dirty Harry do this?  Because only the House can tax the people and Harry needed a piece of paper with a big “H” on it to morph it into the biggest tax & redistribution legislation in the history of human-kind, Obamacare.   The Senate is allowed, of course, to “amend” House legislation, so Harry decided “amend” meant ripping absolutely e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g out of that piece of paper except the “H” and the bill number.  No… Really.  I mean it.  Literally.  That’s “amending” a piece of legislation in the new America post-January 20, 2009.  The bill could have been on curtain rods, but instead of amending it to include curtains, he “amended” it to include fish-bait.  Does that sound like an “amendment” to you?  An normal person?  No.  Of course not.

Now, I know that’s a quaint, and antiquated matter these days, that pesky Constitution, but Harry’s been around a long time and knows he needs to cross his t’s and dot his i’s down there on the Hill, being without the expansive powers of the magic “pen and a phone” of his consigliere at 1600 Penn.  So he figured as long as the origination bill had an “H-0000” on it, who the hell would notice, right?  I mean… Really?  It’s not like we have an adversarial press, and Obama-voters were watching “American Idol” not CSPAN.

Well, unhappily for Obama, not everyone was smitten with the Black Jesus, nor was everyone was watching “American Idol,”  including the author of this piece who says he is trying to help anti-Obamacare people by dint of his research, in the form of a scholarly article he summarizes for the masses at American Thinker, which I include in full below. But dang it all if it didn’t seem to do the opposite to me!  I read the entire thing, twice, and the ENTIRE article – SAVE the LAST paragraph – tells me how the author’s reading of the past HELPS PRO-Obamacare people – then WHAM! In the last paragraph, based on what I regard as an argument UNSUPPORTED BY EVERY SINGLE PARAGRAPH PRECEDING IT, says “NO WORRIES! It’s all good! SCOTUS will kill O’care because… non-‘germane’ amendments.”

Can some smart reader here help me? Because to a TOTAL non-lawyer it TRULY seems to me the last paragraph stands unsupported by all the previous paragraphs… Am I wrong here?

*SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States


Obamacare’s Constitutionality and the Origination Clause: New Evidence

April 27, 2015

One of the constitutional disputes triggered by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is whether by substituting new material for the original House-passed bill (H.R. 3590), the Senate exceeded its constitutional power to amend the original measure. This, in turn, has provoked a debate over whether the Founders considered complete substitutes to be valid amendments.

A recently-republished piece of evidence suggests that they did. The Constitution’s Origination Clause requires that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” Because the final version of Obamacare imposed a variety of taxes, it unquestionably was a “Bill for raising Revenue.”

Obamacare’s taxes, appropriations, and health-care regulations did not exist in the House-passed version of H.R. 3590. That incarnation of the bill was only a few pages long and was limited to making minor adjustments to the Internal Revenue Code irrelevant to health care. Under the guise of amendment, the Senate gutted the original language and substituted over 2000 pages of Obamacare.

Some writers argue that complete substitutions were not considered valid amendments during the Founding Era, while others contend that they were. Last year, I undertook a wide-ranging investigation into the subject that will be published within the next few weeks by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public PolicyThe article is summarized at length here.

I found that complete substitutions may have been unknown in the British Parliament, one source of the Constitution’s House-origination rule. I also found, however, that they were occasionally used in several states between Independence and the time the Constitution was ratified, and that they were considered valid amendments in those states.

This year, the Wisconsin Historical Society issued two new volumes of the magisterial Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Those volumes cover the debate over the Constitution waged in Maryland from 1787 through the end of 1788.

The first of the volumes reprints a pamphlet written in favor of the Constitution by “Aristides,” the pen name of jurist Alexander Contee Hanson. Hanson was a respected figure in Maryland, and his pamphlet was read widely both in that state and in Virginia. At one point he addressed the question of whether the Constitutional Convention exceeded its authority on the (substantially false) assumption that the delegates’ commissions had been limited to proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Hanson argued that proposing a substitute was a recognized form of “amendment:”

Amendment, in parliamentary language, means either addition, or diminution, or striking out the whole, and substituting something in its room.

Hanson’s assertion is particularly relevant to the Constitution’s original meaning because his own state legislature is not among those offering contemporaneous evidence of complete substitutions. Hanson was reflecting, in other words, an understanding that extended beyond his own state’s boundaries.

Unfortunately for advocates of Obamacare, the validity of complete substitutions as “Amendments” does not resolve the issue of constitutionality. During the Founding Era, even complete substitutes had to be connected to the subject matter of the original bill — or, in modern language, “germane” to the original. Otherwise, they were new bills, not valid amendments.

For reasons documented in my article, H.R. 3590 as passed by the House qualified constitutionally as a “bill for raising Revenue” (even though it was revenue-neutral) because it amended the tax code. Under Founding-Era rules all the Senate’s revenue changes were germane to the original, and therefore valid. However, the Senate-added appropriations and regulations were not germane to the subject of revenue. By including them, the Senate exceeded its authority to amend a “bill for raising Revenue. This means that by the Founders understanding of the Origination Clause, those additions were unconstitutional and void.

Rob Natelson is Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence, Independence Institute & Montana Policy Institute, and Professor of Law (ret.), The University of Montana

Filibuster Revenge Without Losing Your Soul


I’ve embarrassed this nice young man before (Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute. You can read a quick, entertaining bio of him here) w/my middle-aged housewife love for him (I just think he’s wicked smart and kinda cute and we had a nice Twitter exchange a while back when I relayed those feelings to him.) and though I tweeted this article out I wanted to be sure to feature it here for the 1 or 2 people who actually visit my blog on a semi-regular, hung-over, ‘damn what did I click’ basis. Mr. Cannon first came to my attention when I saw him testifying on the Hill a few years back and the guy is sharp and fearless and more importantly, there appears to be a deep river of morality running as undercurrent to his political philosophy. Meaning, ‘he hasn’t lost his soul’ as Glenn Beck might say, which is really another way of saying he knows the bedrock upon which we were founded, has read The Federalist, knows the Constitution backwards and forwards, and thinks it’s a pretty nifty document. In other words, my kind of of guy!

So as we approach the 114th Congress in January, the new Senate will have a choice: undo the “nuclear option” Harry Reid undertook w/the filibuster rules, or keep them and shove them down their throats? Revenge is tempting, but Mr. Cannon has an excellent way to… well… stick it to the Democrats, but still leave Revenge to the Lord, where it belongs. (Even for a fallen woman like me, a pagan, I recognize the wisdom of leaving capital “R” revenge to a hand larger than man’s. It is not mine. Or “ours.” Put another way, I firmly believe in having my patience rewarded by a city bus rolling over the bastards; keeps my hands clean and still gives me a warm feeling inside. You know… ;))

It’s a bit of a read, but well worth it. Enjoy.

If Dems Can Nuke Filibuster For Judges, GOP Can Nuke It For ObamaCare (And Still Save Senate)

Republicans won an impressive number of victories last night, including a larger and more conservative House majority and enough wins to give the GOP at least a 52-seat majority in the Senate. As Jeffrey Anderson and Robert Laszewski have noted, Republicans made ObamaCare a major issue in the election  (the New York Times’ denials notwithstanding). Senate Republicans will fall several seats short of the 60-vote super-majority needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster of an ObamaCare-repeal bill, though. ObamaCare opponents are therefore debating whether and how Republicans could repeal some or all of the law via the Senate’s “budget reconciliation” process, which allows certain legislation to pass the Senate with only 51 votes. Some opponents have proposed getting around these difficulties by getting rid of the filibuster entirely. I think there’s a more prudent, targeted way Republicans could put ObamaCare repeal on the president’s desk , give Democrats a taste of their own majoritarian medicine , and convince Senate Democrats of the virtues of restoring the filibuster on legislation and judicial nominations.

The Lego Senate. Source: Mashable.com.

It goes like this. Senate Republicans would bring a reconciliation bill to the Senate floor. They would offer a one-line amendment: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is hereby repealed.” Democrats would raise a point of order against the amendment, most likely under the “Byrd rule.” There is some disagreement about whether the parliamentarian would uphold that point of order, but rather than get into the details, I will assume she does. The amendment would be dead unless Republicans could muster 60 votes to overrule the parliamentarian (technically, the presiding officer, Joe Biden), which they cannot do.

However: all Senate rules are adopted and can be amended by a simple 51-vote majority. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and his caucus reminded the nation of this fact when they “nuked” the filibuster for most judicial nominations.

Immediately after the parliamentarian rules the ObamaCare-repeal amendment out of order, therefore, Senate Republicans would give the required notice that they plan to change the Senate rules such that no budget-reconciliation point of order shall lie against any legislative provision repealing part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 .  The next day, Senate Republicans would enact that rules change, and pass a bill repealing ObamaCare.

Consider the benefits of that simple, targeted, and proportionate rules change.

First, it would move the ball closer to the end zone by enabling Republicans to put an ObamaCare-repeal bill on the president’s desk. Getting a repeal bill to his desk and forcing him to veto it would further undermine the legitimacy of a law enacted and implemented against the will of the people, and demonstrate that the opposition to the law has not faded.

20141027 HuffPo-Pollster ObamaCare pollsObamaCare: Four Straight Years of Unpopularity. Source: Huffington Post/Pollster.com.

Second, this rule change would make life very unpleasant for ObamaCare’s supporters in the White House, Congress, and the 2016 presidential race.

After the president vetoes one reconciliation bill fully repealing ObamaCare, congressional Republicans could send him further reconciliation bills repealing just the law’s most unpopular features, like the individual mandate, or making good on the president’s “if you like your health plan, you can keep it” promise.

Republicans could force the law’s congressional supporters to cast lots of difficult votes, force the president to issue lots of difficult vetoes, and force pro-ObamaCare presidential hopefuls to field lots of uncomfortable questions. (“Mrs. Clinton, would you let people keep their health plans? Would you veto repeal of the individual mandate? How does it feel watching President Obama do so after he became president by attacking you for supporting it?”)

Third, this targeted rule change would only affect ObamaCare, and only through the reconciliation process. That makes it a proportionate response to the way Senate Democrats used and abused the reconciliation process to pass ObamaCare, then nuked the filibuster on judicial nominations to protect the president’s unilateral expansion of the law (see herehere, and here). If Democrats can use a majoritarian process first to enact a law opposed by the people, then again to protect that law from the people, certainly Republicans can use a majoritarian process to give voice to the people by repealing that law.  This rule change is also a proportionate response in that it would expire the moment ObamaCare does.

Finally, by giving Democrats a taste of their own majoritarian medicine, this rule change could help Democrats see the virtues of the filibuster, and thereby help restore regular order and minority rights to the Senate.

Since Democrats effectively linked judicial nominations and ObamaCare, Republicans could even offer to restore the filibuster on judicial nominations in exchange for Democratic votes on repealing ObamaCare. Vulnerable Senate Democrats who want to block future Republican judicial nominees could conceivably go along. Some Republicans might think that’s a lousy trade. They should consider that every day ObamaCare remains on the books, its subsidies (legal or illegal) are minting new pro-ObamaCare voters, which will frustrate their efforts to reshape the courts.

Though I used to work for the Senate leadership and scurry about the Senate floor, I’m hardly an expert on Senate procedure. So there could be wrinkles I’m not seeing. But Republicans do have it within their power to get an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president’s desk, and maybe even save the Senate in the process.

~end~

Breaking Birther News

Below is an excellent summary of recent events via The Post & Email:

Breaking: Prosecutions Coming in Obama Document Fraud

“THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER”
by Sharon Rondeau
The image posted on the White House website representing Obama’s long-form birth certificate has been found to be a “computer-generated forgery”

(Dec. 9, 2013) — On Monday morning, The Post & Email received a message from Tea Party Power Hour host Mark Gillar containing a video which states that “people will be prosecuted” in connection with the Obama long-form birth certificate forgery.

Gillar has interviewed Maricopa County, AZ Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo on several occasions. He called in to Mike Volin’s WheresObamasBirthCertificate radio show on Friday evening and while speaking with guest Mark McFarlin, candidate for Michigan governor, hinted that action might be coming in the near future on “multiple counts of document fraud” relating to Obama.

The Cold Case Posse website does not appear to be functioning as of this writing.  Some information on its activities is available through the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website.

On his Facebook page this morning, Gillar posted the same video with the statement, “Break in Obama Fraud Case. The Smoking Guns Have Been Found. This trailer hints of much more to come.”

On April 27, 2011, the Obama regime posted what it said was a scanned certified copy of Obama’s original long-form birth certificate held at the Hawaii Department of Health to convince the public that Obama was born in Hawaii and eligible to hold the presidency after real estate mogul Donald Trump challenged Obama on that and other points.  The mainstream media ridiculed Trump, broadcast the short presser Obama held, and abandoned the issue, even after experts quickly declared the image fraudulent.

In September 2011, the Cold Case Posse began an investigation of the image and found that it did not emanate from a paper document.  The Cold Case Posse declared the birth certificate and Obama’s Selective Service registration form “computer-generated forgeries” at an initial press conference, although the mainstream media still refused to report or investigate the matter.  Following a second press conference on July 17, 2012, some in the media turned on the investigators, and Obama went on to campaign and win purported re-election to the White House.

Since the election, numerous “scandals” and evidence of deep corruption have been exposed by both whistleblowers and victims on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party and other groups; the seizure of journalists’ phone records without their knowledge; the cover-up perpetrated by the White House on the events of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed; Obama’s dishonesty about the provisions of the health care bill known as Obamacare; and on Sunday, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh declared that the Obama regime fabricated evidence in an apparent attempt to convince the public that the U.S. needed to invade Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Gillar’s YouTube channel contains the recent video release as well as previous videos on the Cold Case Posse investigation and other topics.

Several weeks ago, Gillar interviewed typesetting expert Douglas Vogt, who filed a Notice of Commission of misprision of felony and misprision of treason with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle on the Obama birth certificate forgery.   Vogt claims to know who the forger is and to have shared his findings with the posse.

After the court mischaracterized the filing and stated that it did not have jurisdiction, Vogt appealedto the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he is awaiting a response.

Volin will be interviewing Vogt on Monday evening.

Late last week, RedEye host Greg Gutfeld said on his show that Obama is “Kenyan-born.”  The Cold Case Posse has stated that there is no evidence that Obama was ever in the state of Hawaii before the age of five, contrary to his public life story.

On Volin’s show last week, Gillar had cautiously stated that there is an unprecedented level of optimism among those close to the Cold Case Posse’s 27-month investigation, which has reportedly gone far beyond the fraudulent birth certificate image.

At approximately the same time as Gillar’s video trailer was released, “RC” of Reality Check radio released a video stating that the birth certificate image “is not a forgery.” It is believed that a cabal of Obama supporters has assisted in perpetrating the forgery as authentic, ridiculing those who questioned it, and threatening anyone writing or reporting about it, including this writer.

Zullo has said that the image is a forgery beyond any reasonable doubt.  He has stated on several occasions that members of the media were intimidated into falling silent about the birth certificate/eligibility issue beginning in 2008.

Gillar stated that a number of individuals have been obfuscating the document fraud, including Obama’s former literary agent, “people in [Gov. Neil] Abercrombie’s office…people at the U.S. Postal Service…”

“Never has there been so much enthusiasm, so much confidence, such a high level of morale as there is right now…” Gillar said.

At the end of the video trailer, Gillar promised that more videos would be “coming soon.”

The Mask is TOTALLY Off Now

The president’s speechwriter (Favreau) isn’t even bothering to pretend anymore. This isn’t about alleviating suffering. It’s nakedly political. And they don’t care if you know it. Well, I care. I wanted them to know somebody was paying attention. I also thought it was time I was audited, you know? 🙂

 

ORIGINAL NBC “Obama Knew” Screenshot

This is the story, in full, as posted, exactly as it looked at 6:11pm, Monday, October 29, 2013 before Jay Carney or some WH thug called NBC and ordered a “friendlier” version which went up around midnight.  Surprised it took so long 😉 …This is still America, right?

PS:  Note to WH thugs: It’s printed, on paper, along with every other important document on my hard drive, and I have multiple, redundant OFF LINE back up protocols in place for my hardware. So knock yourself out. It ain’t, and *I* ain’t going anywhere. By the way, if you find my 2nd child’s second grade Christmas program, will you let me know? That’s the one document, prior to all my back up protocols were in place, that I can’t seem to reproduce. Thanks, guys. Have a nice day 😉