Wednesday June 19, 2013
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You know that I rarely take a position in a strongly partisan battle, but reading the news lately I can't help but feel that President Obama has made a grievous error. He seems to be dragging his feet where immigration reform is concerned, and I suspect he is doing for two reasons:
The GOP is recovering from the blow dealt to it in the last election, and is beginning to realize that the numbers aren't as bad as they thought they were at first. And so the chances of ramming through an extreme version of an immigration "reform" bill are not good.
Obama would secretly like to make it look as though the GOP is at fault for no legislation at all getting through, making it an excellent campaign issue for 2016.
However, there's a lot more to this than you may realize. It looks like someone has caught the President with his hand in the "sworn to uphold the Constitution" cookie jar.
Janet Napolitano (remember her?) has circulated President Obama's 2012 executive order regarding immigration. Have you read that? It plainly orders federal employees to implement large parts of the "Dream Act" even thought that act was never passed by Congress.
Can't do that, Barack. You're the President, not the King.
You see, the 1996 immigration act requires federal employees to start formal proceedings against immigrants who can’t prove their lawful status. Doesn't matter that there was ALMOST a law that might have protected them; the law is the law.
And guess what?
Ten federal employees have taken it to court. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were instructed not to initiate legal proceedings against so-called "Dreamers," and in the view the ten agents, this amounts to ordering them to break the law. Which, of course, it does.
According to Time Magazine, which oddly enough seems to be enjoying this, “The Directive commands ICE officers to violate federal law,” says the complaint, which was written by attorneys Kris Kobach of Kansas and Michael P. Jung of Texas, a formidable and conservative pair. The order also “commands ICE officers to violate their oaths to uphold and support federal law … unconstitutionally usurps and encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress … and violates the obligation of the executive branch to faithfully execute the law.”
The White House tried scoffing at the law suit, but that all changed when the State of Mississippi joined in. Mississippi, you see, claims--correctly--that it will lose millions that it will have to pay in benefits to "Dreamers" who should be deported.
And so the fight is joined. But other states could also jump in.
Want to know what led me me to write this post?
I wonder if ordering federal employees to break the law is an impeachable offense?
Is it time to drain the swamp and start fresh? Trying to fix the problems in Washington that are so prevelent even a three term third grader can see it, by sending people up there piecemeal hasn't worked as long as I've been voting. Won't work in the future either.
I'd love to answer your question, but I'm not sure what you mean.
All I know is that people go to Washington and work very hard to stay there, not to get the country running.
Maybe what we need is a new law, one that says
Phoeey, I'll quit right there in the middle of a sentence! Until the people we elect decide to forget about reelection and start trying to run the country nothing will ever be right.
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--"
It was applicable when the Declaration of Independence was penned, and it seems to me it is applicable currently. Not saying nor promoting a "revolution" of the type that actually gave us our freedoms, but it has been appairent for decades that simply electing a few folks on occasion to "straighten up the nation's house" is futile. The "system" has been so construed that the "elite" make the rules that protect them and their agenda from any outside influence and meddling by "the People". Isn't going to be pretty and certainly not something that one would wish to confront, but I see little chance of ever correcting the ship of state without a major upheaval. The "legal" way has been taken away from us by the very people who are in most need of being sent packing. Those are my thoughts, your milage may vary.
I see what you are saying, Ron.
There is no doubt that we are in BIG trouble. The Constitution was written as a set of rules under which we were to run, but Congressmen have screwed up everything by writing other rules by which they run. I have always thought that the House Rules were ridiculous, and the Senate Rules were not much better. You know doggone well that the founding fathers didn't expect Congress to write page and page of "gotcha" rules, but they have.
It is going to take one of two things to get the ship of state off the rocks without some kind of armed rebellion. A strong President with the solid support of the people could do it. And a Constitution Convention called by, and run by, the states could do it.
I know that our people are now "divided against themselves" by partisan politics and by a media which often makes it worse, but I believe that if the right man came along he might be able to do the job. The problem is: How do we elect the right man? Surely, there are not just a few, but many thousands of people who are honest, intelligent, and willing to take on the task of cleaning house. But how do we get one of them in the White House?
After that--if it can ever be done--all that would be needed is someone who would speak directly to the people, telling them the truth. We all--Democrat or Republican--know what is wrong; we just need someone to speak to Americans, not to party members.
For example, suppose someone in the White House were to get up tomorrow and speak these words: "I ask you one question, do you, or do you not, want our laws to say who can, and who can't, come into our country? If the answer is yes, then we have to have laws which do a few things: One of them is to send home, with some fair-minded exceptions, anyone who is here illegally. Another is to change the law that allows someone to come here illegally and have a child which is then a citizen. And the third is to find ways to close our borders. The choice is yours. Straight up and down, YES or NO, do you want me, and Congress, to take steps to do those three things or not? Straight up, YES or NO? No vote chasing, no sound bites, no putting party affiliation ahead of being an American, just tell me how you feel, People of America. Do you want those borders closed or do you not? You speak and I will act. And one last word, if you cast you ballot as a Democrat or a Republican instead of as an American you will deserve what you get."
That's the way you have to talk to people. Not in high flown words. Not in clever sound bites, not as a politician, but as an honest man who gets up in the morning and puts his pants on one leg at a time.
I believe that people will follow such a man.
I suppose something like you mentioned might work. But as I often tell people who were either extremely criticle of Goeorge Bush or Barack Obama, the President is simply one person and their role is fairly defined by the Constitution. It is the entrenced career politicians in America's congress that are acting like the senior members of some country club. It is Congress that has written all those "rules" that have literally warped the intentions of our founders. That is the swamp we need to drain. As I see it, the POTUS is at most around for 8 years and even that person is limited by their ability to get Congress to go along with their agenda. The POTUS, although the head of the party to which they belong, should be the referee between the two or however many political parties that are in Congress. Everyone knows that under the current situation, as soon as a person gets elected to Congress they immediately set about getting re-elected and sell their souls to some special interest groups to see that they are successful. It's a giant game and the way it's played is so obvious to all. It was not supposed to be that way. Some are critical of my extreme cynicism towards our government, especially at the Federal level, but being an observant citizen for all these years, I wouldn't give them spit because of what I've witnessed all these years. I know that I tend to paint with too broad a brush at times, but I really haven't seen but a few who , by the time they reach that level of political power, haven't already been "purchased". And the common view that "all politicians lie" as part of their nature, didn't just fall from the sky. That accusation was earned over and over again. The type of individual, by and large, that assends to the Federal level are not representative or "peers" of mainstreet America. They are creatures of their own making and couldn't be more distant and alienated from the "folks".
You are right. It is in Congress that the cancer of cynicism runs deepest, and that is where the knife has to go in. As I look at our history since WWII I see a time when one man--just one--by speaking directly to the people, and by choosing the enemy of liberty as his opponent instead of the opposing party changed everything.
Still worn out from the long fight in WWII we stopped short of victory in Korea. By doing it we encouraged the enemy. Then we "fought" in Vietnam from 1958 until a shameful surrender under Johnson and Nixon. At that moment it was transparently clear that we were losing the Cold War. We had failed to stay the course in Korea and been chased out of Southeast Asia with our tails between our legs. China was gone, North Korea growing stronger, Pacific nations lost to communism, and African nations ripe for it. England was lost to socialism and Europe toying with it. Eastern Europe was a part of the USSR and the gross mishandling of the war in Vietnam by both parties had turned much of the youth of our nation against the global fight for freedom.
Then came two useless presidents, Ford and Carter, one a drone and the other a fool and both chosen not to do win the global war, but to win an election. The only thing holding us together during their terms of office was sheer inertia; we had fought hard and long during WWII and sheer inertia was keeping us going. But we were finished as a nation. Dead. Walking dead. We hadn't keeled over yet, but lacking a clear-cut vision of the true enemy we soon would.
Then one man--just one man--showed up and turned the entire world around. And he did it by standing on his two hind legs and speaking the truth directly to the people of this nation--and to the world. The appeal of Ronald Reagan was not to the usual base of the Republican Party; it was to young Americans who still believed in the America forged during our War of Independence. The idea that liberty was still alive and well if only we were willing to fight for it, to stand our ground and make whatever sacrifices were needed to preserve it, was all it took to unite us again. One brave man, one man with a vision spoke to us and we responded. And then, with one last push from the outside, an evil empire, its core already rotten, fell.
We have another evil empire. It sits under a dome in Washington. You know it, I know it, and all Americans--both liberal and conservative--know it.
What we need today is a man to unite us as Ronald Reagan did, to challenge us to fight the fight that must be fought, the fight with our own evil political system, to show us that we are Americans first and Democrats and Republicans second.
Where is he? Who is he? I don't know, but wherever he is, and whoever he is, his appeal must be made directly to the people as was the appeal of the man who won the Cold War--Ronald Wilson Reagan, a man, you may remember, who stood astride the line that divides us.
Take away all the perks, retirement and the kind of people that are now elected won't be intrested. They can stay in thier calling as attorneys.
You may be right, Pat. Now that I see that each Senator gets to spend about $3 million a year, I am convinced that a lot of that goess into pockets where it doesn't belong. I've always wondered about that kind of thing. Back in Port Arthur, Texas, we elected a mayor who was worth about $225,000 to a job as mayor that paid $50,000 a year. Five years later he was worth $5 million. How come?
Those people elected to office at the Federal level get their compensaton for life, even if they serve one term in office. Our military hero's can serve for 20 or more years and retire with perhaps half of their compensation . See anything wrong with this? I certainly do.
Having the rules made by the people who are going to benefit by them is like having the fox run the henhouse. If Congress had any kind of honesty it would create a referendum, recall, and initiative amendment, so that some things could be voted on directly by the people. Then it would promote a system where changes in Congressional benefits were done by direct vote of the people.
I used to wonder what the appeal of politics was. It always seemed to me to be a hard job with very little personal reward except for the feeling that you were serving the nation. But now that I look at how much money is spent actually operating the legislative and executive branches of the government I think differently. A man or woman with very little ability can get in there, live a soft life, and retire wealthy.
What is incredible is the number of employees just in the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch.
Forgetting entirely about the hundreds of thousands of people employed in USDA, DOE, Justice, Labor, Treasury, and on and on, which comes to over 4 million people, we have 1,800 working directly for the President and another 31,000 people working for Congress.
That means that it takes about 65 employees for each of our Senators and Representatives.
By the way, go out on the net and try to get numbers on any of this stuff. You will run into so many hide-the-real-numbers sites put up by Congress that you'll go nuts.
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