Last week, a New York grand jury declined to indict a police officer who, in efforts to restrain a non-compliant suspect, held him in what many saw as a chokehold. Their announcement came in the wake of public uproar over controversial events nearly 1,000 miles away in Ferguson, Mo.
Americans were fixated on a St. Louis County, Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer, Darren Wilson, for shooting at an 18-year-old aggressor following a convenience store robbery.
Although the facts of the cases are dramatically different, good people have raised legitimate questions about police tactics and a perceived divide between law enforcement and at-risk communities.
But it is time to take a step back and look at the long-term ramifications of the behavior of those surrounding the ordeals – the media, the Obama administration and radical activists.
In addition to exacerbating the problems in Ferguson, all three have contributed to an epidemic that will most adversely affect those for whom they claim to advocate. Their insistence that law enforcement is inherently biased against or willfully ignorant in their dealings with the African-American community is transparently political.
Their words and actions have insinuated – if not altogether declared – that America's police work actively in opposition to the people they are supposed to serve. In sowing these seeds of distrust and discontent in our inner cities, those seeking to undermine law enforcement are implying that police are simply untrustworthy, making it less likely those living in at-risk communities will cooperate with the very officers who seek to protect them. Without civilian cooperation, the police cannot keep communities safe.
The Obama administration set the tone by sending three representatives to the funeral of Michael Brown. It is reasonable to assume that in doing so, the White House was demonstrating they believed Brown to be the victim and the police officer to be the aggressor.
The Obama administration knew what it was doing when they invited radical racial activists, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton – who owes a whopping $4.5 million in back taxes – to participate in a "civil rights" discussion at the White House. Of course, this discussion resulted not in a call for greater accountability in urban communities, but instead, in additional directives for police, yet again implying that law enforcement created the catastrophe we're experiencing, not criminals.
This false narrative, accepted by too many as true, imposes a chilling effect on the decision-making of good police officers across the country. Instead of maintaining the confidence necessary to adequately and competently perform their jobs, leaders in the law enforcement community worry that cops will second-guess their training for fear that their actions will be characterized as racist, malicious, unrestrained or irresponsible.
We witnessed a gut-wrenching example of this very form of contrived circumspection when police stood by as the town of Ferguson disintegrated into mob rule and a dozen local businesses were burned to the ground. Law enforcement, having in August been criticized as hyper-militarized and heavy-handed, mutely looked on as the St. Louis suburb was ignited, crushing the spirit of countless residents who watched their American Dreams go up in smoke.
These false ideas ultimately served to denigrate due process protections and the rule of law in our nation. While Officer Wilson was exonerated by a grand jury for his split-second decision-making on that August afternoon, he was unjustly regarded as "guilty until proven innocent" in the court of public opinion. His life is forever threatened and his family will always be at risk.
Many yearned for a scalp so desperately that they quickly discounted inconvenient facts, while demanding their desired result. As the grand jury discovered after weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses, Michael Brown was the aggressor on August 9th. Brown controlled his own fate, Brown made his own flawed decisions.
The reason Officer Wilson intersected Brown had nothing to do with biased policing. The fateful meeting occurred because Brown had just committed a felony by stealing cigars and assaulting the store worker who challenged him. Notably, Brown wasn't stealing food because he was hungry or drink because he was thirsty and had no money. He stole cigars. Why? Because he could. One need only observe his willingness to menace the store employee to get what he wanted to conclude that Officer Wilson received similar treatment.
The remarkably uncurious press seemed all too willing to make this about a white cop shooting an unarmed black teenager, instead of finishing that clause with "…who had just committed a felony." In efforts to sensationalize what was otherwise a local crime story, hundreds of members of the media descended upon Ferguson, attempting to portray the events occurring as part of a larger injustice imposed on black citizens by a reckless justice system. Their presence and excessive coverage served only to fan the flames.
There are real and meaningful justice reforms that must be made to protect our communities and ensure the rights of all citizens. Those begin with an honest assessment of the threats to our communities as well as training and funding of the police rather than the cynical blame-shifting of Ferguson.
As we learn more about the case in New York, it also serves as an opportunity to get it right this time. Let's hope we all seize upon it.
Ronald T. Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, served as assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until April 2014.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments for the King v. Burwell case starting March 4th, with a decision likely to come down sometime in June. The Court’s decision will determine whether the IRS’ illegal implementation of ObamaCare subsidies to states that refused to set up insurance exchanges can continue. If not, the true cost of ObamaCare will be revealed to the American public, a cost that has until now been partially concealed by the IRS’ decision to circumvent the written law.
Many conservatives have come to view King v. Burwell as a potential death blow for ObamaCare. If the court rules as we believe they should, the perception is that the president’s signature law will collapse and health care freedom will be restored.
But this mindset is a delusion, and a dangerous one at that. To be sure, a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court would be a great opportunity, but it’s one that, if not taken advantage of, could end up doing more harm than good to the cause of health care freedom.
Here’s why: suppose the Supreme Court finds in favor of King. In that case, states currently receiving subsidies through federal insurance exchanges would have that money cut off, meaning that millions of people will see the full price of their health plans—plans they are legally obligated to purchase, mind you—for the first time. This is the true effect of ObamaCare, and one that is totally unacceptable both from a policy and a humanitarian perspective. Congress abhors a vacuum, and in the rush to correct this problem—a problem created, it must be remembered, by ObamaCare, not by King—they are likely to follow the path of least resistance.
What that path is depends largely on how hard Republicans are willing to work in the intervening months. If they do nothing, things are surely going to get worse for health care, not better. One possibility is that Congress simply passes a small revision to the language of the Affordable Care Act, codifying the IRS subsidies as legal. This would restore the post-ObamaCare status quo, which for those of us who value freedom and opportunity is wholly unacceptable. A second possibility is that states simply set up their own insurance exchanges as the law originally expected they would. Once again, this does nothing to move the country towards patient-centered health care reform.
The sense of urgency created by the crisis could make it easier for the president and his party to further entrench the worst provisions of ObamaCare into law, making it all the more difficult to get rid of in the future.
To quote Dickens, “Are these the shadows of things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?" As I said, King v. Burwell is a great opportunity. If Republicans get their act together and have a credible, patient-centered alternative to ObamaCare on the table before the Supreme Court’s decision drops, we have a chance to end an unpopular law that was only able to be passed by lying to the American people about its true cost.
Mogadore, Ohio - The Portage County TEA Party Executive Director, Tom Zawistowski, pushed back today on comments made yesterday by radio host Glenn Beck who strongly suggested that the TEA Party needs to change it's name. His own news website, www.theblaze.com, said "Glenn Beck on Thursday begged the Tea Party to find a new way to identify itself, saying the name has been “so maligned that people stop hearing you now.” Beck went on to explain that the TEA Party needs to change it's name to be more like the regressive left and mislead people by, as he called it "shapeshifting" and constantly changing your name, to get people to listen to your message.
Zawistowski countered by saying "If our name, TEA Party, is so bad, how come the Caddell & Assoc. Poll in January said 57% of Republican's supported the TEA Party and the Gallop Poll in September of last year said 24% of ALL American Adults supported the TEA Party? How many organizations in this nation can claim support by 24% of the population? Very few. Why would anyone be foolish enough to throw that market share away, which was so hard earned? Yes, we need to manage our brand better. However, for a Movement with little to no resources, a hostile media that goes out of it's way to hide our successes and focus on our flaws, no consistent national spokesperson to counter the attacks on us, and no Madison Avenue advertising agency managing our brand with millions of dollars of paid advertising, I would say we are doing pretty damn well. It is the quality of our message of Freedom and Liberty, limited government and personal responsibility, that is resonating with the people and makes our brand so strong and so valuable."
Zawistowski concluded by saying, "We have no intention of changing our name and no other groups should either. We have every intention of continuing our efforts to protect our Freedom and Liberty and that of all Americans, by educating citizens about the Constitution and the unique role "We the people" play in our own governance. The greatest achievement of the TEA Party in the past five years, has been our ability to raise the political IQ of the American people, thereby creating a more "informed" electorate. As Thomas Jefferson said "An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight." With the total failure of our public school system to educate our citizenry, and the direct effort of the ruling class and the media to intentionally mislead the people on everything from the unemployment rate to the truth about Obamacare and Benghazi, it is the TEA Party that has stepped in and enabled Americans to become sufficiently educated to exercise oversight. Much more, and much more effective, "Oversight" is exactly what the TEA Party intends to bring to our nation in the years to come."
The TEA Party is not a political party but a grassroots cultural movement. The movement is educating American citizens about the Constitution and the uniquely American form of self-governance that has made our country so successful. Through this education, the movement is attempting to re-define what it means to be an American citizen, by encouraging individuals to vote, to run for office and to attend government meetings in their areas so that they can participate in their self-governance. The acronym TEA stands for Totally Engaged Americans.
Let everyone at Fox know that John Kasich is no Conservative!
It is time for Ohioan's to let the people at Fox News know what we know about John Kasich. Please forward the email below, or parts of it, or your own note to Fox using these email addresses (Just click on them and it will open up a new email in your mail program):
This week Fox News "featured" their former coworker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, as a potential Republican Presidential Candidate. Highlighted by his being on with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Let me assure you that we in the Ohio TEA Party Movement were fooled in 2010 when we elected him as a "conservative" Governor. Since then he has:
• Increased the size of state government by 22% over his Democratic predecessor
• Forced Medicaid expansion down our throats without the approval of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate both of which are run by a super-majority of Republicans
• Forced Common Core down our throats despite the fact that 72% of registered Ohio Rupublicans are against it
• Keeps trying to raise taxes on our Oil and Gas producers who are the only ones creating jobs
• Then runs his mouth about how Ohio's job growth is so great, thanks to him, when we still have 323,300 LESS people employed in Ohio than we did in 2010!!!
Some success story!
As the chart below shows, John Kasich is nothing but a big government, progressive RINO. Kasich was quoted this month as saying he believes opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative is “hysteria” and in the November election he tried to take out every conservative on the Ohio State School Board who spoke out against CommonCore. Read my attached letter to Kasich in 2012 explaining to him that the State of Ohio did not "own" the oil and gas under private citizens property and yet he is still pushing to tax our Oil and Gas companies by saying "we can’t let these companies take our valuable stuff out of the state and not pay for it" . When in fact they are paying the citizens who own the land and oil and gas rigths plenty and both those citizens and Oil and Gas companies are paying plenty of state taxes. That's not enough RINO John Kasich - he's determined to take a share for big government.
He is such a RINO he told the AP that he has never even read the Republican Party National Platform:
“The platform doesn’t mean diddly to normal people out there,” he told the AP. “You think somebody ever read … I’ve never read the Republican platform. I mean, who reads a platform?”
Republicans do Governor and Republicans wrote it so that when we vote for Republicans we know what they stand for. That is why you are not a Republican or a Conservative, you are the definition of a RINO!
Shame on Fox for giving their buddy Kasich a pass. Don't be fooled! Make sure you forward this email to every conservative in your state. It's bad enough we have to put up with this traitor as our governor in Ohio for four more years, I think I have made it clear why you don't want this guy anywhere near the White House.
P.S. If your curious about Kasich's supposed landslide victory last November where a million people stayed home rather than vote for him - check out this explaination. It will tell you all you need to know about John Kasich.
We invite you to read ALL of his I have a Dream Speech: August 28, 1963
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Several weeks ago the possibility of ousting Congressman John Boehner from the speakership was inconceivable. With no momentum, no one stepping up to replace Boehner, and no activity to even try to challenge him, the idea of replacing Boehner seemed virtually impossible. Over the last 72 hours, that has all changed, and here is why:
First, a staggering new poll from Caddell Associates shows there is an overwhelming desire among GOP voters to get rid of Boehner.
§ Highlights from BIZPAC Review: “The poll found 60 percent of Republican voters ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ preferred someone new to take over the speaker’s post when the 114th Congress organizes next week, compared to only 26 percent who ‘definitely’ or probably favored the Ohio Republican retaining the post. Possibly most damning, the poll found a solid majority — 64 percent — of Republicans polled think Boehner has been ‘ineffective’ in opposing President Obama’s agenda and only about half of them trust the speaker to ‘fight for interests that are most important to Republicans.’ There is no confidence in Boehner leading as speaker.
Second, staunch conservatives have started coalescing and stating they will not vote for Boehner as speaker.
§ Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK) talks about Boehner’s betrayal on the egregious Cromnibus: “He [Obama] has refused to enforce the laws on border security, Obamacare, illicit drugs and the release of detained terrorists. His activism in his last two years has accelerated to include executive amnesty, initiating international climate deals without a treaty, and establishing an embassy in Cuba without consulting Congress. When our Constitution is under assault and House Republicans give away our constitutional power of the purse, they share the guilt of abandoning our founding principles. The CR/omnibus legislation sufficiently undermines the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution that it warrants my pending vote against the speaker. John Boehner went too far when he teamed with Obama to advance this legislation. He relinquished the power of the purse, and with it he lost my vote.”
§ Rep. Tom Massie (KY), who also expressed disgust with what transpired with the Cromnibus bill, shares his reason there needs to be a change. “…[H]e will not support John Boehner for a third term as speaker—saying the House Republican leadership is a "significant source of the dysfunction" in Washington. Massie, R-Garrison, said in a statement that he would support "a new speaker who will consistently articulate a constitutional vision for America and facilitate an inclusive and orderly legislative process."
§ Rep. Water Jones (NC) publicly states his vote against the speaker and how others are joining him. “Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, one of the few Republicans who are publicly against the speaker, says he "cannot vote in good conscience for John Boehner." "Right now, I’ve been meeting with a small group, and we — about 16, 18 — and we’re hoping to have a name of a sitting member of Congress that we can call out their name," he told North Carolina’s Talk of the Town radio program.”
Third, Representatives Ted Yoho (FL) and Louie Gohmert have thrown their hats into the ring to challenge Boehner.
§ On Saturday, Rep. Ted Yoho stated that he would run as a replacement for Boehner. “‘I ran for Congress in 2012 because I had had enough,’ Yoho said. ‘Enough of career politicians, enough of political gamesmanship, and enough of the lack of leadership in Washington.’ ‘The American people have spoken loud and clear by their choice to elect conservative Representatives to serve them in Washington,’ Yoho continued. ‘It’s our turn now, as Members of the People’s House, to echo their demands by electing a new Speaker.’”
§ Sunday morning on Fox News Rep. Louie Gohmert announced he would also be challenging Boehner, echoing some of the same frustrations as Bridenstine and Massie. “Gohmert said Sunday. ‘You [Boehner] deceived us when you went to Obama and Pelosi to get your votes for the Cromnibus. You said you’d fight amnesty tooth and nail. You didn’t, you funded it.’”
What you need to understand:
§ In order to start the process of unseating Boehner, we need 29 Republicans to vote BY NAME for someone (Gohmert, Yoho or someone else). The amount of votes needed is based on those present and voting for someone by name. This is important: if someone votes “present” or abstains from voting that lowers the threshold of votes needed for Boehner to retain his speakership.
§ This process can be confusing, which is why we are pleased that Heritage Action created a procedural fact sheet, which is easy to understand. Click here.
§ There are numerous myths of why Boehner’s speakership should not be challenged. Of course, some of these “excuses” are being espoused by the establishment. Conservative Review has written an excellent piece on debunking the myths. Click here.
§ While momentum is building, this is still a long shot. We do not want to give anyone false hope, but on the other hand, we must do all we can to affect good, conservative change in Washington. We must do this – now is the time.
How you can take action:
It is important that we send a loud message to Ohio Congressmen. The vote will take place Tuesday, January 6th. We urge to take the following actions on Monday.
§ Call Congressman Renacci at his DC and local offices and demand that he vote for someone other than Boehner. Ask him to explain why he would oppose a large majority of Republican voters and continue to support Speaker Boehner. Remind him that a “present” or “abstain” vote is still a vote for Boehner.
§ Call, email and send Facebook and Twitter messages to all Ohio Congressmen, urging them to stand with Bridenstine, Massie, Yoho, Gohmert and 60% of GOP voters.
§ Send this to all your liberty-minded friends and encourage them to do the same.
TEA Party Group Supports Bill to provide "Clean Audited Financial Statements" for Federal Government
Akron, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, came out today in support of the Renacci-Carney "Federal Financial Statement Transparency Act of 2014". The bill would require that the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) provide Congress, and the public, with "Clean Audited Financial Statements" of the Federal Government's assets and liabilities without interference from the Treasury Department or any other part of the Executive Branch. The bill has been introduced in the US House by Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Renacci and Delaware Democratic Congressman John Carney. The bill fixes a major transparency issue caused by the fact that the United States Federal Government is currently the only government entity in the nation that is not required to produce "Clean Audited Financial Statements" or follow the rules created by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) which all state and local governments must follow.
In supporting the bill Zawistowski said, "No business would ever attempt to address their financial situation without the critical accounting information provided by "Clean Audited Financial Statements". Yet the largest business in the world, the US Government is doing just that. We can not make good decisions in Congress without knowing both sides of the ledger. How much debt do we really owe? What are our other liabilities? What assets do we the American people hold through our federal government? How much are those oil assets worth that are under federal lands? How much land do we own and what is that worth? Could we reduce our debt by selling some of our land? Without this bill, it is impossible to make those kinds of decisions. This is a non-partisan issue. We all need to know where we stand financially, in our personal lives, in our businesses and yes in our government. This bill is critical to our being able to make intelligent decisions concerning our financial future."
Zawistowski concluded by saying, "We ask all citizens to contact their Congressman and Senators and ask them to support this bill and to get this bill passed. It is incredibly disturbing to citizens, who give so much of their hard earned money to the government, to learn that no one actually knows what the assests and the liabilities of the United States are at a time when we are constantly debating issues like debt and spending. It is the law in this nation that no one can sell securities without having clean audited financial statements, yet the US Government is selling securities through the Treasury Department, in violation of the law, because it can not produce clean audited financial statements. This must be rectified. The TEA Party Movement will be actively engaged in supporting passage of the "Federal Financial Statement Transparancy Act of 2014."
House conservatives are griping that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is putting the squeeze on them by rushing through a $1 trillion spending bill in Congress’s last week in session.
Appropriators are expected to roll out the legislation early next week, giving critics scant time to figure out what’s inside before they cast their votes by the end of the week. The government would shut down on Dec. 12 without a new funding bill.
“Here we are doing the appropriations bill the last couple days” before a government shutdown, conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said in an interview this week. “That’s not to squeeze Harry Reid. That’s to squeeze us.”
Boehner critics say there’s no reason the Speaker couldn’t have brought the spending package to the floor this past week, giving the House more time to consider it.
But doing so would also give more time for the right to build a case against it.
“They don’t want you to read it, that’s why! You think they want you to analyze all the mischievous items in there?” Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) told The Hill.
Asked if the timing of the plan was aimed at jamming the Senate or House conservatives, Jones replied: “I think its aimed at screwing over the American people. You can quote me on that.”
Pushing a government funding bill through Congress at the 11th hour is nothing new.
What’s striking this time, however, is that Boehner and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are mostly in agreement on how to do it.
And the Speaker, fresh off a big midterm victory, seems in no mood to kowtow to conservatives who’ve been agitating for a lame-duck spending fight to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration.
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the legislation will be unveiled on Monday, setting up a likely House vote on Wednesday — just one day before money runs out for the government.
Boehner and Rogers blame the Senate for the bill’s timing.
The House passed seven of the 12 appropriations bills this Congress, while eleven passed out of committee. The Senate passed zero.
“And as a result, it makes it that much more difficult to come to an agreement with the Senate on an omnibus appropriations package,” Boehner told reporters on Thursday.
Rogers also pointed the finger at the upper chamber and said House negotiators were doing “the best we can.”
“Look, we were given less than a month to put an omnibus bill together for the entire government for the entire year — it’s a trillion plus dollars with thousands of items,” Rogers said. “And since the Senate did not pass any of the appropriations bills, it forced us to put together an omnibus.”
While work on the package will continue this weekend, the general framework is known.
Most of the government will be funded in an 11-bill omnibus running through the end of the fiscal year in September. The Homeland Security Department would be kept on a shorter leash, funded with a short-term continuing resolution that would keep money flowing only until February. The combination is being called the “cromnibus.”
The short-term funding for Homeland Security is intended to push the fight over Obama’s immigration actions into next year, when Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.
Boehner signaled it's unlikely he'll make any significant changes to the package’s framework, ignoring demands by immigration hard-liners to include language to de-fund the implementation of Obama’s immigration actions, which could give legal status to up to five million undocumented workers.
GOP leaders appear to have much of their conference behind them, though many conservatives are expected to vote no.
“I think the fix is in,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) told The Hill.
He wanted GOP leaders to bring the spending package to the floor this past week with stronger immigration language. That way, the House would have had time to respond to any changes the Senate made to the legislation.
Boehner instead called a vote Thursday on a messaging bill that rebukes Obama’s immigration move, a measure the Senate will not take up.
“I’ve implored them. I’ve begged them. I’ve spoken in various meetings so that we wouldn’t be up against some crisis. … This is not the way it’s supposed to be done,” Salmon said.
Some conservatives acknowledge that they’ll have no chance of blocking the cromnibus if House Democrats decide to get on board. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned Republicans Friday not to bog down the package with “destructive” riders, including proposals to roll back environmental regulations or halt a new law that legalizes marijuana in D.C.
But sources in both parties said they expect a good number of Democrats to cross the aisle and vote for the spending plan in the end. Especially since it’s based on months of work from House and Senate appropriators from both parties.
“I believe we need to fund the government through Sept. 30. If not, it will be very chaotic next year,” said retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.), a House appropriator who is leaning toward voting for the plan. “An omnibus bill is a lot better than a CR or continuing resolution. So this is the best of two worlds.”
NOTE: READ THE HILLARY CLINTON-SAUL ALINSKY LETTERS HERE.
Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveals new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.
Clinton met with Alinsky several times in 1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.
Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beaconshow.
The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.
The letters also suggest that Alinsky, who died in 1972, had a deeper influence on Clinton’s early political views than previously known.
A 23-year-old Hillary Clinton was living in Berkeley, California, in the summer of 1971. She was interning at the left-wing law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, known for its radical politics and a client roster that included Black Panthers and other militants.
On July 8, 1971, Clinton reached out to Alinsky, then 62, in a letter sent via airmail, paid for with stamps featuring Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and marked “Personal.”
“Dear Saul,” she began. “When is that new book [Rules for Radicals] coming out—or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?”
“I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people,” she added, a reference to Alinsky’s 1946 book on his theories of community organizing.
Clinton devoted just one paragraph in her memoir Living History to Alinsky, writing that she rejected a job offer from him in 1969 in favor of going to law school. She wrote that she wanted to follow a more conventional path.
However, in the 1971 letter, Clinton assured Alinsky that she had “survived law school, slightly bruised, with my belief in and zest for organizing intact.”
“The more I’ve seen of places like Yale Law School and the people who haunt them, the more convinced I am that we have the serious business and joy of much work ahead—if the commitment to a free and open society is ever going to mean more than eloquence and frustration,” wrote Clinton.
According to the letter, Clinton and Alinsky had kept in touch since she entered Yale. The 62-year-old radical had reached out to give her advice on campus activism.
“If I never thanked you for the encouraging words of last spring in the midst of the Yale-Cambodia madness, I do so now,” wrote Clinton, who had moderated a campus election to join an anti-war student strike.
She added that she missed their regular conversations, and asked if Alinsky would be able to meet her the next time he was in California.
“I am living in Berkeley and working in Oakland for the summer and would love to see you,” Clinton wrote. “Let me know if there is any chance of our getting together.”
Clinton’s letter reached Alinsky’s office while he was on an extended trip to Southeast Asia, where he was helping train community organizers in the Philippines.
But a response letter from Alinsky’s secretary suggests that the radical organizer had a deep fondness for Clinton as well.
“Since I know [Alinsky’s] feelings about you I took the liberty of opening your letter because I didn’t want something urgent to wait for two weeks,” Alinsky’s long-time secretary, Georgia Harper, wrote to Clinton in a July 13, 1971 letter. “And I’m glad I did.”
Harper told Clinton that Alinksy’s book Rules for Radicals had been released. She enclosed several reviews of the book.
“Mr. Alinsky will be in San Francisco, staying at the Hilton Inn at the airport on Monday and Tuesday, July 26 and 27,” Harper added. “I know he would like to have you call him so that if there is a chance in his schedule maybe you can get together.”
It is unclear whether the meeting occurred.
A self-proclaimed radical, Alinsky advocated guerilla tactics and civil disobedience to correct what he saw as an institutionalized power gap in poor communities. His philosophy divided the world into “haves”—middle class and wealthy people —and “have nots”—the poor. He took an ends-justify-the-means approach to power and wealth redistribution, and developed the theoretical basis of “community organizing.”
“The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,” wrote Alinsky in his 1971 book. “Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
Clinton’s connection to Alinsky has been the subject of speculation for decades. It became controversial when Wellsley College, by request of the Clinton White House, sealed her 1968 thesis from the public for years. Conservative lawyer Barbara Olson said Clinton had asked for the thesis to be sealed because it showed “the extent to which she internalized and assimilated the beliefs and methods of Saul Alinsky.” Clinton opponent turned Clinton defender David Brock referred to her as “Alinsky’s daughter” in 1996′s The Seduction of Hillary Rodham.
The paper was opened to the public in 2001. While the thesis is largely sympathetic to Alinsky, it is also critical of some of his tactics.
Clinton described the organizer as “a man of exceptional charm,” but also objected to some of the conflicts he provoked as “unrealistic,” noting that his model could be difficult for others to replicate.
“Many of the Alinsky-inspired poverty warriors could not (discounting political reasons) move beyond the cathartic first step of organizing groups ‘to oppose, complain, demonstrate, and boycott’ to developing and running a program,” she wrote.
The letters obtained by the Free Beacon suggest that Clinton experimented more with radical politics during her law school years than she has publicly acknowledged.
In Living History, she describes her views during that time as far more pragmatic than leftwing.
She “agreed with some of Alinsky’s ideas,” Clinton wrote in her first memoir, but the two had a “fundamental disagreement” over his anti-establishment tactics.
She described how this disagreement led to her parting ways with Alinsky in the summer before law school in 1969.
“He offered me the chance to work with him when I graduated from college, and he was disappointed that I decided instead to go to law school,” she wrote.
“Alinsky said I would be wasting my time, but my decision was an expression of my belief that the system could be changed from within.”
A request for comment from the Clinton team was not returned.
Where can I find separation of church and state in the constitution?
Although most people believe the words "separation of church and state" are actually in the U.S. Constitution, the words cannot be found there. Rather, they are words penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter which explains the First Amendment of the Constitution or at least Jefferson’s view of it. The actual words in the First Amendment of the Constitution read as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ."
“Wall of separation between church and state”—History of phrase
In the fall of 1801, the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association sent Jefferson a written address congratulating him on his election. In his reply on January 1, 1802, Jefferson penned these now famous words:
“. . .I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
According to the Library of Congress, in 1802 presidential replies to public addresses were prime vehicles for the expression and dissemination of partisan views. Such replies were carefully drafted with a view toward advancing the writer’s political agenda.
We know that Jefferson went through at least two drafts of his reply. The first draft was reviewed by two Republican Cabinet members from New England, including Attorney General Levi Lincoln. In a cover note to Levi Lincoln, Jefferson revealed that he hoped to accomplish two things in the reply. One was to condemn any alliance between church and state. His views on this subject were generally those of his political party, the Republicans of the time, and well known from his previous writings. They were in direct opposition to the views of the Federalist party. Jefferson also told Levi Lincoln that he saw the reply as an opportunity to explain why he did not proclaim fasts and thanksgivings as his presidential predecessors had. However, sentences in his original draft specifically referring to fasts and thanksgivings were deleted on advice from Levi Lincoln that they would offend New England Republicans for whom the proclamation of various fasts and thanksgivings was respected tradition.
A Massachusetts newspaper printed Jefferson’s in 1802. It was then forgotten for 50 years until it was re-published in an edition of Jefferson’s writings in 1853 and reprinted in 1868 and 1871.
Use by the U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court highlighted the phrase “wall of separation” in 1878 by declaring in Reynolds v. U.S. “that it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [first] amendment.” Since that time, the phrase has become common in American jurisprudence.
Controversy over use
The use of the phrase “wall of separation between church and state” has been controversial, even among members of the Supreme Court. In 1962, Justice Potter Stewart wrote that jurisprudence is not "aided by the uncritical invocation of metaphors like the 'wall of separation,' a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution." In 1985, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist called Jefferson’s phrase misleading, stating "unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson's misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years." Many Americans believe that relying on a vague metaphor penned by a partisan politician who was not present when the Constitution was written, rather than the words of the Constitution as drafted in compromise by people of varying political views and ratified by the states, is grossly inappropriate and allows the courts to declare unconstitutional many practices which are not actually unconstitutional.
Was Jefferson merely assuring the Danbury Baptists that the government would never interfere with matters of the church or was he severing all connection between government and religious practice? It’s revealing to note that two days after sending his reply to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson attended a Sunday worship service held in the House of Representatives and continued to attend these services throughout his two terms in office. He also granted permission to various church denominations to worship in executive office buildings and conveyed in his First Inaugural Address the position that religion was necessary for the welfare of a government by the people and for the people.