Friday, January 18, 2013

States Take Exception to Federal Gun Ban – using the 10th amendment to protect the 2nd – the Gun Control Measures – “eyewash” – President’s political posturing Creates Fear and Pushback





Does your son or daughter suddenly want a gun license? Thank the President - image from Women of Caliber - a word press blog

The President’s plan to create “new” gun control measures is not going over well outside the confines of the Press – States already have, or are in the process of drafting legislation to ban the Presidents gun ban. The first was Wyoming, which legislation states a 2 year prison term for federal agencies attempting to enforce gun bans in Wyoming. Wyoming soon had company, and an odd mix at that - Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Oregon. One might suggest that the south and the west are so wedded to their guns, that it makes sense, but Oregon, that’s the “left” coast, why would anyone there, or in say, Massachusetts, take umbrage with the President’s plan to bypass Congress and institute gun safety measures as if there were no Constitution? Simply put, any measures that would refer to the Constitution, and changing the laws of the land based on the same, are the purview of the Congress, not the Executive branch.

President Obama has issues 146 executive orders since taking office in 2009 – the list is available at www.federalregister.gov/executiveorders The 23 regarding gun control (and any others) are not yet listed, the orders purportedly include the following (without annotations) from The Lid (A Yid with a Lid)

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary EMBARGOED UNTIL THE START OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS January 16, 2013

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions Today, the President is announcing that he and the Administration will:

  • 1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
  • 2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
  • 3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
  • 4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
  • 5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
  • 6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
  • 7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
  • 8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
  • 9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
  • 10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
  • 11. Nominate an ATF director.
  • 12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
  • 13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
  • 14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
  • 15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies
  • 16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
  • 17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
  • 18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
  • 19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
  • 20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
  • 21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
  • 22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
  • 23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.



  • On the face of it, there does not seem to be a lot new here, as states that offer hand gun permits (as opposed to hunting (long-guns) permits, already do background checks through FBI databases on those applying for a handgun permit. One is fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed. (This is the Massachusetts model). The tie in to mental health should be the priority and nice to see that it’s on the list, but, the problem is not being addressed in total. Unless and until medications prescribed for those specific disorders that have been associated with massive shootings, the nation remains at risk. Any doctors’ office can prescribe a variety of medications for mental health issues, and when that happens there is no follow-up as to therapy or monitoring of the said problem. These types of medication (found in to be present in those shooting at schools, or for that matter, shoving people under trains in NYC), should be dispensed only under the supervision of a Psychiatrist, and only with ongoing therapy. This would, in essence, take the “surprise” out of that nice kid going on a shooting rampage, as his family practice prescribed meds, which make one either homicidal or suicidal, are under control.

    Gun Control is popular in certain circles, yet mental health is apparently just another issue to be shoved under a rug. The list does include a few options, but those options are in the forms of “studies” – which will cost the taxpayer a pretty penny and do, in the end, nothing.

    The President’s actions will do nothing to prevent violence, be it by gun, train, machete, or the kitchen knife.

    What it does is set the tone for a President to sound a bit…imperial. This translates into “I’m taking everyone’s’ guns”. The hysteria results in the following:

    60% of young people plan to buy a gunsuddenly – this from the Campus Reform Blog. The study is prompting fear from the left that the president needs to move more quickie (apparently he read the study), the 60% of high school and college students wanting guns, is perplexing to the left, especially when only 30% lived in households where there was gun ownership.

    What this tells us is that those 60% are more afraid of the President and his ban on guns than they are of the actual gun. There is more than likely not a sudden group of hunters sprung forth from one generation, what the President has done – for mostly show and funds for his favorite departments he has scared the dickens out of both those who are conservative to the core, and the rest of the nation that wants to rush to get a gun before the President takes them away. No kidding, they are blaming him for trampling on their rights.

    Why the executive orders, the pomp, the props (children), the political theater? There has to be something beneath the surface that is more important that the focus of the public is currently on guns.

    One can surmise (given the history of this President and his Friday announcements), that the focus on guns and disarmament of legal gun owners (as opposed to criminals who can buy anything, including anti-aircraft , bunker busting weapons) means there’s something more beneath the surface.

    It is not that individuals shouldn’t take umbrage with the President’s actions. For the most part, these executive orders require more spending and more government oversight. This President handles the Constitution just as Lincoln did – with no regard for the document (which is why they no longer teach real history to anyone – too much information that may allow “the masses” to figure, that maybe something a politician is doing, has been done, and that action did not turn out well).

    Therefore, while the President is calling very well staged press conferences, and issuing orders that involve the Second Amendment, instead of getting rave reviews from the citizens (there will be the 36% identified as “Democrats”), he has received threats from States within the Union that they simply will not comply with Federal controls. He’s scared the bejesus out of the younger generation, those prior Obama voters, into getting guns (that should be teeing off a whole bunch of mothers) – the later is happening quietly with one little blip on that study. Texas is enjoying an influx of young, bright, and future gun toting residents. (Massachusetts and like states will be losing those bright young future gun toting residents, and those residents lured by jobs and no taxes.) Some of those may become historians and in the coming decades will write biographies regarding this President, possibly refuting his personal historians glowing review. (See James Carter).

    The point it, that it is not about guns, it is about the government and the President (who is the face of the Government) controlling the population. That’s the crux of ht e matter. This President was fine when he was on the campaign trail promising to do away with student loans, or save birth control, (all nonsense) and those that jumped on the right to default from their loan obligations and to buy birth control at will, have found out he following: it was a campaign promise only. That’s the lesson of Youth: live and learn.

    Out there, surely someone is picking up on this and thinking of the political potential – or as is the case in Washington both the GOP and the DNC are more concerned about holding onto their jobs than actually doing anything significant (like demand a budget, demand cuts prior to raising any debt ceiling, and demand so many that it won’t be necessary to raise the debt ceiling).

    What we don’t know, is what is up the President’s sleeve, as we are distracted by the dog and pony show in those 23 Executive orders.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Gov. Deval Patrick –Tax Hikes on Income Tax for those Working – Sales Tax Decrease for those Not Working – “But government has a role to play in helping our citizens help themselves”





    The State of Massachusetts - might expect, yet another exodus image from biotechstart.org

    Governor Deval Patrick has been extremely busy these past few weeks, first proposing changes to the State employee retirement benefits, and consolidating State Government agencies, to name a few. The fact that the Governor was going after one of the Democrats “holy grails”, i.e. state employees and their unions, was a bit shocking, as it is not the nature for a tax and spend Progressive Democrat (as opposed to a Democrat, who might be fiscally or socially conservative) not to have something else up their sleeve. The nature of man became apparent when he delivered is “State of the State address. The full transcript of the speech is available here, at theBostonglobe.com. In his speech, Patrick outlines plans for more funding on K-12 education (nod to the teachers union), and an overhaul of the public transportation system to include the South Coast and Western Mass., so that they may take advantage of the state’s prosperity. In his remarks, the following statements were made:

    “Now, hear me clearly. Government is no substitute for the private sector. Nothing can replace private initiative and personal ambition. Business, not government, creates jobs. But government has a role to play in helping our citizens help themselves. That’s why investing in education and infrastructure -- together, through government -- is so important to generating private sector growth. But in our schools and in transportation, there is unfinished work”.

    ….

    Because we all have a stake in that future, we should all contribute to paying for it.

    In my budget, I will propose that we cut the sales tax from the current rate of 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent and dedicate all the proceeds to a public works fund. That fund will support the transportation plan I have laid out -- both our existing responsibilities and the necessary expansion projects -- as well as the school building fund and other public infrastructure. Under my plan, sales tax proceeds would be off limits for any other purpose.

    To support our education initiatives, my budget will propose that we increase the income tax by 1 percent – age point - to 6.25 percent. To make that increase fair to all according to their ability to pay, I will propose that we double the personal exemptions for every taxpayer and eliminate a number of itemized deductions. Making those changes gives us a tax code that is simpler and fairer.”
    (Transcript from the Bostonglobe.com)

    What stands out in these statements?

    “Government has a role to play in helping our citizens help themselves.” – In reality, government has a role, but helping citizens help themselves isn’t one of them. From the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

    “The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.”


    The Governor’s next interesting quote: “Because we all have a stake in that future, we should all contribute to paying for it.” This sounds fair and reasonable enough, however, taxpayers in the Commonwealth are those who are working, and subject to both burdensome state taxes and increasing the income tax rates will do nothing but drive those working over the Massachusetts border. (See 2010 census whereby Massachusetts lost such a huge percentage of his citizens that the state lost a Congressional Seat – destinations: New Hampshire, Texas, the Sunbelt, anywhere there is fewer or lower tax rates and jobs that do not exists in Massachusetts on a scale that would support the entitlement programs in place.

    Finally, The governor’s plan to cut the state sales tax by 2% to increase revenue and solely fund the transportation program sounds wonderful, however, with the decrease in income due to tax increase in the state, the inflation in food (meat, wheat products, sugar products) that is due to hit all states, and the taxes associated with the Federal Health Care plan, let alone the State plan that has driven health insurance premiums to the highest level in the nation, 2% won’t cut it. One might think that there would be more spending in the state, from other states nearby, which may be the case, however, will that spending be enough to fund this billion dollar project without the need for additional taxes?

    The increase to the State Income tax, with closing loopholes and increasing personal exceptions, would make a more fair tax system, however, it is not entirely apparent that the economy here, or in the balance of the country (sans Texas and similar states) can support any income tax increase.

    Of note: when reading the end of the transcript, the Governor refers to the tax increases as a “show of political courage” as it is not a popular thing to do.

    There is a reason why the affable former Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, is not rushing into a contest for Senator Kerry’s possible seat – there is a better position, within the Commonwealth for Brown, as Governor. With his legislative history, in both the Massachusetts House and Senate and then the Federal Senate, he has proven to be fair minded and non-partisan, and above all, a man with common sense. With a man of such caliber at the helm of the Commonwealth, one could be assured that there were be less concern for legacy and cronies, and more concern for the people as outlined in the Commonwealths Constitution. It is hoped that he has not washed his hands of the political arena, and asking the man to serve in this capacity, given that the burden of taking on the office of the Governor of this Commonwealth, given hit’s corrupt political history, and it’s overwhelming one-party rule, may sound harsh, however, the Commonwealth is in dire need of true reform. In speaking of the Commonwealth as a resident, to one who is not, the fact that taxes are consistently rising and the State government believe itself to be “helping the people, help themselves”, is contrary to the history of the Great State – the struggle of the colonist against the heavy burden of taxation by their British King, to have the right to pursue their own destiny, with a limited government, appears to have, at the present time, been for naught. Any public servant should be reminded that it is those that work, and those that contribute through their own successes to the government so that it may survive. Without the taxpayer, there is no government.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    States Rights and the Second Amendment – The Right to Bear Arms – Against Tyranny – the Political Pitfalls of Executive Gun Control





    The Second Amendment and its purpose - image from gosanangelo.com

    Today, President Obama is going to release his Gun Control measures under “Executive Orders”, as well as additional spending that may or may not have much to do with Gun Control (See Debt Ceiling and why it is raising) From the Washington Post:

    Obama will begin this effort Wednesday in the presence of children who wrote him letters after last month’s mass shooting at a grade school in Newtown, Conn., and who have been invited to Washington to attend the rollout.

    In addition to background checks and restrictions on military-style guns and ammunition magazines, Obama is expected to propose mental health and school safety initiatives such as more federal funding for police officers in schools, according to lawmakers and interest group leaders whom White House officials briefed on the plans.

    Obama also is expected to present up to 19 executive actions that his administration will take, the lawmakers and advocates said. These steps include enhanced federal scientific research on gun violence and a modernized federal database system to track guns, criminals and the mentally ill.


    For those living in States (or a Commonwealth) that has strict gun control laws on the books, such as Massachusetts, where many of the President’s proposals are already in force (See Application for FID, or other Licensure in Massachusetts here at Mass.gov in PDF Compare to Texas where the laws here are less stringent as to typical long-guns, rather a license to carry a hand gun is a bit more standard (pdf here) asking similar information to that of Massachusetts.) In other words, the States already have the apparatus in place that would suggest those who are either criminals and or are not mentally fit to own a gun – do not. One might think, therefore, that state governments that have strict legal gun ownership, would have low crime rates – think again. The City of Springfield, MA repeatedly appears on the FBI’s most dangerous cities list – 2013 being no exception along with Brockton, Fall River, Worcester, and New Bedford One living in Massachusetts need only listen to the local news to hear report after report of shootings – drive-by- gang-related or similar. What this tells us is that those who legally own guns in Massachusetts, or those who want to legally own a gun in Massachusetts go through a variety of tests to insure they are capable mentally and criminally, while, the criminals actually still get their hands on guns.

    The history of gun control therefore, shows that it does nothing to stop the use of illegal firearms.’=

    The sane population understand this, which is why there is some pushback to the President’s announcement up to and including a certain member of Congress considering “impeachment” proceedings against the President for stepping on the Constitution(Huffington Post)

    Other fallout from any gun control measures put in place by the President are most probably going to hit the senate – as in the form of 2014 elections and the loss of Democrat seats See House Dems Face Challenges in 2014 from The Hill

    An Article this morning in RedState by Erick Erickson, explores the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the specifically the 2nd amendment and why it was felt necessary to include the same in the Constitution - suggested reading for historical accuracy. The 2nd Amendment was, indeed, added to protect the citizens of each state from the Federal Government (or Monarchy) in the event things went “south”.

    To Learn More:

    The British Bill of Rights, includes timelines, reference - from Avalon.law.yale.edu

    The Federalist Papers, specifically #84, written by Alexander Hamilton, in the debate leading up to the framing of the Constitution from a Confederacy- Hamilton was concerned about the “Bill of Rights” coming from New York, (each state had their own, and continue to do so (read comments section under Red State Article, look for 1Richard, who lists all states that include langue regarding citizens rights to bear arms, including Massachusetts!!).

    Of particular concern to Hamiltonwas the entire Bill of Rights, as he points to these are being more British than American and further, finds them somewhat “dangerous”, specifically as regards freedom of the press:

    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

    On the subject of the liberty of the press, as much as has been said, I cannot forbear adding a remark or two: in the first place, I observe, that there is not a syllable concerning it in the constitution of this State; in the next, I contend, that whatever has been said about it in that of any other State, amounts to nothing. What signifies a declaration, that “the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved”? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.3 And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.


    Therefore, what this tells us is that those that framed the Constitution and those Fledgling states, wanted to insure that all was kept separately, that the right to bear arms (2nd amendment) was for the express purpose of protection against the Government, or criminals, based on self-preservation and the English Glorious Revolution. We also understand the Founders, through reading the Federalist papers and other tomes written at that time, took a slow and thoughtful process, arguing via letter, on the fine points to craft a document that would protect people from the power of the Federal Government – a throwback to fear of the English Crown.

    This remains relevant in terms of both the content and in terms of how fear today of restrictions place on the people of the states by a Federal Government, (that also has managed to incur great debt (See founders), and establish a strong, almost imperial presidency (see fear of Monarchy), which is backed by a national press (See Hamilton on fear of the press and subsequent discussions on the press aiding an overthrow of the government.)

    The What If’s :

    The President, surrounding himself with children in order to bring his message to public, and ask for additional funding, will further restrict legal gun owners, the criminals; however, will still be able to obtain anything they like. Several states, including Wyoming and Texas have already proposed that they will not allow the Federal Government to impose gun regulations on the states claiming the 10th amendment and states’ rights, as well as states sovereignty.

    Crime will not go down, neither will multiple murders at schools, restaurants, and others, as the issue that must be address is that of mental illness and the unrestricted, and unmonitored use of prescription medications. (That would offend the hard working Pharmaceutical lobby.)

    The NRA will enjoy a huge membership.

    Fear of the government by those who are increasingly concerned, will grow.

    From a personal perspective: This blogger, 30 years ago, enjoyed the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, and included a license to carry, in Massachusetts. The purpose was twofold, on the one hand, boy’s always had better “toys” and target shooting is fun and on my turning 30, bucket list. The second reason: single women tend to meet a lot of men – from police to military, all very nice men. Men one might have, at that time, taken home to meet the parents. As years passed and my daughter was about to be born, I did what I felt was necessary: I disarmed and let my permit to carry concealed expire, as I was concerned about having guns in the home with a small child. I did, admittedly miss my sport and miss the comradery of the local gun club. Now, at the age of 19, my child has asked me to help her get her “gun permit” before “they are not allowed to have guns ever!” She is concerned for the potential loss of a right to protect herself. We will be going together to take the safety course, and, although she may never own a gun (legally in MA she cannot have a hand-gun, but rather a long-gun for hunting), she will have the peace of mind that she has this slip of paper. The NRA will also see a new member. One would hazard to guess, as politics are not openly discussed in my home, that she may have come to this conclusion from watching the news, and/or through friends. These youngsters have grown increasingly less liberal in their viewpoints in the past few weeks, and one might suspect that those that would normally not consider owning a gun are lining up as fast as they can. Sometimes, gun control, does have unintended consequences, especially when the President is viewed as someone who can take away rights. This is the Presidents growing legacy, the legacy of fear. It is a sad, very sad, that he chose to politicize (he skipped the Aurora Colorado shooting), Sandy Hook, and use executive powers, to remove power from the people and the States, that alone is sending up red flags to an entirely new generation.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Obama Demands Hike in Debt Ceiling – yet – No Budget and Attack on Second Amendment - Following Lincoln’s playbook.



    First, anyone who has not been living under the proverbial “turnip truck” understood, that after the last rise in the debt ceiling, and no end in sight as far as Federal Spending was concerned, that one would eventually see another request to for a rise in the debt ceiling! At each juncture over the past four years, there has been a call from the public to put a half to the prolific spending, yet, few members of the elected body are paying attention. After the “Fiscal Cliff” kicked the can down the road for a month, the tax on “millionaires and billionaires”, to those who pay zero attention to details not always present in the late night news addition, did nothing to avert a lower paycheck, with the promise of additional taxes down the road for those earning peanuts compared. That was a shock to some, who could not grasp the fact that the reduction came from a temporary cut in the Social Security Tax, and that expired. In addition, some are also shocked to find that those working, or their employers, will be paying “taxes” to supplement “Obamacare”. Those individuals are somewhat surprised as they thought the “government was going to pay for everything”. The fact that most people don’t understand that the government has no income except to “tax”, is a testament to the educational system that neglects to teach students civics, or basically how the government works in the U.S.

    Now the President, who is being maligned on the right, for doing exactly what those on the right and the 10 percent knew he would do – is ”Demanding that the debt limit be raised, again. He also suggests that a rise in the debt ceiling does not make us a “deadbeat nation.” (Washington Post). One might wonder why the President had to insert that phrase “deadbeat nation”, into his press conference, if not for the fact that – in reality – we, the U.S. is headed in that direction. The problem lays in the fact that if one cannot pay their bills, and overspends, and the money runs out and they cannot pay their bills, then one is a deadbeat. (Recognized by the 10 percent.)

    Further, in his demands to raise the debt ceiling, while using partisan rhetoric and threats to do so (see: President Obama demand that Congressional Republicans’ take quick action to raise debt limit or those receiving Social Security Checks and Veteran’s Benefits will go without. The Desert News.

    The message from the press is that the Republican’s are obviously the problem,, we can just borrow a few hundred trillion more, spend until the cows come home, and continue to send out Social Security Checks and Veterans’ benefits, back businesses that the Government prefers, give out free phones, extend unemployment benefits, provide, provide, provide – and by the way – we’re going to bypass Congress and take away your guns! (CNN) (The President really did not say that, but he did mention (through his mouthpiece , Vice President Joe Biden, that there were nineteen executive orders ready to go to “fix” the gun problem (Politico)

    To those who have been breathing the past four or five years, the message is simple: The President wants the Congress to give him another blank check, and the President wants to, by executive order, going around Congress, circumvent the Constitution specifically the 2nd Amendment clause on the rights of the people to have weapons (guns) in order to protect themselves from – the government. (The preceding from )The U.S. Constitution.)

    Therefore, you have a divided nation – those that are rooting for the President to raise the debt ceiling and continue to allow the government to take care of everything, and remove those nasty guns so that no madmen can murder innocents, and those that are deeply afraid that the government and country they once loved, is gone. These are legal gun owners, and those that work for a living and balance their checkbooks.

    The question on whether or not the President can run circles around the Constitution or even suspend the Constitution is found in history. Specifically the history of one President, Abraham Lincoln, who suspended the Constitution via executive order(The Presidency Project). When Lincoln did not care for what he was hearing (anti-war, etc.) – he merely placed newspaper editors in prison, and due process under the law was suspended. Lincoln was also a shrewd attorney and a habitual politician, something one might want to keep in mind.

    Other things to keep in mind, under U.S. Law, the Congress (both bodies) are to present to the President a budget, each year, and that budget must be passed. As of now, the Congress has done due diligence in presenting a slew of budgets, but the Senate and the Executive Branch (the White House) have not.

    If one were adhering to the U.S. Constitution, and following events taking place, one might consider that the President intends to suspend the Constitution (or portions thereof), and that the President and the Senate are breaking the law. (And therefore are subject to removal by impeachment (also in that same Document.)

    Some suggest we are at a precipice, one the one hand, the President is demanding that we fund programs with no cuts to the excesses. On the other hand, there are those “fiscal conservatives” who understand that the more debt we assume, with less ability to pay, the dollar and the value thereof suffers.

    The President is intent on issuing Executive Orders, which every President since inception of the office began has been prone to do – the most prolific – FDR. Some of these executive orders may override Congress (which is illegal under the Constitution), but some Presidents can get away with it in certain circumstances (See Lincoln). Those on the other side see this as a power grab in order to further divide the nation.

    There you have it, as reported by the press and the “other side”.

    The 10 percent

    Several weeks ago, during a conversation with a friend regarding the divide and the problems that are rampant in this nation, this friends suggested the following: Only ten percent of the population “get’s it”, people don’t really pay attention and watch the news, they make uninformed decisions when it comes to voting, and it’s as if they just don’t get “it”. The “it” is the premise of the power centered in Washington by both political parties, the fact that there are possibility that the Constitution could be trampled, and or, historically, that should the Republican’s decide not to raise the debt ceiling and shut down the government, it would not be the end of the world – it has happened before, when people actually paid attention to history and what happened yesterday. In fact, what did happen were a balanced budget, and some reforms that were necessary. The 10 percent are educated before the great dummying down of America, or have educated themselves since (by reading – books, by looking at both sides, not one side, and by understanding how our Government really works and how it was intended to work.)

    It was so long ago, however, so many people cannot remember those horrid Republican’s under the leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich and the most admired Democrat to come out of the 20th century –one William Jefferson Clinton.

    We experienced prosperity, and Gingrich took one for the “team” – as is often the case with said political party.

    What we now have is bordering on panic, prompted by both sides of the political spectrum, and the ten percent understand that this is all for show. It is a game of political chess that is being played – rather than a precipice that the nation sits upon.

    What should occur:

    The Congress should tell the President, we’re shutting this down until you come up with a meaningful budget, and that’s the way it is. Previously, when a shut down occurred, unlike what the President suggests, checks were still delivered to those in need, it should be no different this time.

    The Congress should, if the President moves to usurp the Constitution, issue articles of impeachment – that would keep him busy defending himself, and make the Republican’s widely unpopular (so would the shutdown), but, and here is the but, the outcome would ensure the following: The President would be more careful as to how he chose to use his powers, and the government would be living within its means.

    This is what should happen.

    It is most unlikely today as the powers in Washington, on both sides, are more interested in their own political fortunes, than in the fortunes, small and middling, of those whom they serve.

    The ten percent get this. Those that are waking up to the fact that promises are made to be broken are also “getting it”, but they are “getting it” in a mixed message of “hysteria” prompted by political speak. They are the 25 and under and those on Social Security and those still working. Life in this nation, should not be lived in suspicion of the government, nor in fear of a loss of rights, nor in fear of a loss of “government programs”. There’s so much be done.

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Gov. Deval Patrick Set to Curb Public Employee Retirement and Health Benefits and “Double Dipping” – Unions Quietly Balk – As Goes Massachusetts – so goes the Nation.





    Pictured: Deval Patrick, Barack Obama (background), David Axelrod (mentor, campaign manager and adviser to both). From Black and right.com, article: the Last Black President

    Governor Deval Patrick has set what some have noted as a very ambitious agenda in his, self-stated, final term as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In fact, if one looks at the majority of the proposed changes to the way the State runs, one would think Patrick was more of a Republican than a Progressive, especially when dealing with Public Employee Unions. If Patrick were to announce next that the State would be become “right-to-work” it would not be surprising, considering the focus on public employees.

    The first step came last year, when Governor Deval Patrick, approached by two dozen municipalities, including Amherst, MA regarding the growing problem with municipal funded unemployment benefits, called for a study which was a real eye-opener. . The Springfield Republican headlined this past week: “Deval Patrick plan looks to stop municipal unemployment insurance abuse in Massachusetts” which will stop the practice of those employees “double-dipping”, or receiving retirement pensions, working several months, then collecting unemployment. Those who are collecting benefits, including teachers, safety workers, election officials and school bus drivers, have done so within the current letter of the law. Yet the cost is, to say the least, in the millions each year, and has becoming increasingly burdensome to those towns and cities, where keeping a taxpayer is growing increasingly more difficult. Massachusetts is not the hot destination for those seeking employment, etc. to relocate, in fact just the opposite as Massachusetts loss in population cost a Congressional Seat as a result of the 2010 census, and most likely will stand to lose another within the next 10 years. Therefore, to keep the ship afloat, there has to be cuts in government spending.

    Patrick decided to start with the Municipal Employees, where, as proven in bankrupt states and cities (See California) elsewhere in the U.S. are largest expense of a state, municipalities, other than, in Massachusetts, the entitlement programs.

    Next on the agenda The Springfield Republican headlines: “Gov. Deval Patrick unveils plan to overhaul Massachusetts retiree health insurance for government employees” , whereby the Governor plans to change the retirement age, upward, increase the “time-worked” in order to be eligible for benefits from 10 to 20 years, and also includes the notion that public employees pay for part of their insurance benefits. The towns and municipalities insist this does not go far enough, as they are spending a rather large percentage of their budget on the current system. According to the Republican article, the state and municipalities now face a 46 Billion bill due on unfunded retiree benefits. The unions are not particularly pleased: WWLP (Local NBC Affiliate), suggests that the Nurses Unions is “upset” that the Governor is forcing municipal workers to pay more for their health insurance(and making them work an extra 10 years to be eligible for benefits, and so on.).

    Unlike Republican Governors in other states where measures to curb Union excesses have resulted in massive demonstrations, none are taking place in Massachusetts. On the contrary, it is quiet on the Western Front.

    It’s possible that there may be a kick back of sorts for the Teamsters (employees of the Mass Turnpike system) in the Governor’s plan, that will be announced today, to Overhaul the Public Transportation Financing(Boston Herald). Then again, perhaps not, given the fact that Patrick has crossed the line in public retiree benefits. Those who are heavily vested in Public Transportation in Western Mass, are hoping for “investments” from the State when the plans are released, and ways to pay for those investments, including higher gasoline taxes, and possibly a raise in the stales sales tax. (The sales tax was increased within the last two years, sending scores of residents to New Hampshire to shop). That said, it was noted in the Republican (Mass Live) article that those asking for increases in state funding, “are aware of the distaste for Government spending”. Apparently that distaste is also present in Massachusetts.

    Further, Patrick is ready to consolidate and eliminate state agencies to cut costs! As noted in Metro-West’s editorial, “And that’s just the first week”.

    Those reading these articles and following the Commonwealth’s Governor, may feel they woke up in Texas, or at the last Wisconsin following the series of suggested “reforms”. Some commenting on the articles suggest that perhaps Deval Patrick plans a run for the Presidency in 2016, perhaps, but more likely perhaps not. It may be that, as in the past, Massachusetts is used as “testing ground” for national programs and campaigns (from “Yes we can” (2006 Deval Patrick Campaign for Governor and the Massachusetts Health care Plan – now known as “Obama-care – to name two that might ring a bell). Therefore, it is not a stretch of the imagination to suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, there may be an overhaul of the Federal system, and or other states with huge state and municipal employee dept, should Patrick quietly succeed with little or no pushback from the unions. There is also little found on these "reforms" broadcast outside of the Commonwealth.

    For now, suffice it to say, the Governor, who a year before he was up for his last re-election, went on a “taxing spree”, raising 19 different taxes, the Head of a State where corruption is rampant and double dipping is the least of the problems, suddenly sounds like a Tea-Party fiscal conservative. Or perhaps it’s just a dose of reality mixed with the fact that legacy’s are used to promote larger price tags on speaking engagements (ok, cynical). Regardless, if public employee unions across the nation are thinking it’s going to be smooth sailing from now to eternity in those bankrupt states and the federal government, they may want to think again, if history repeats itself, as it is so often prone to do.

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