Friday, July 09, 2010

Obama – On the Stump for Harry Reid – Assures Sharron Angle’s Election – Other Nevada Dem’s Run for Cover

The Next Senator from Nevada Get a Little Help from Obama?

Obama was on the campaign trail again, this time in Las Vegas stumping for embattled Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Obama’s ability to help in Reid's reelection came under scrutiny in theLas Vegas Sun, which noted that his record for helping Democrats win elections is not particularly stellar. In fact, it is so well-known that an appearance with Obama on the campaign trail is the “kiss of death” that Rep. Dina Titus and Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, both skipped the “pep” rally, rather than take a chance that both campaigns would be further tainted by Obama’s endorsement.

During the dog and pony show with a somewhat low attendance of the faithful, Obama attacked Sharron Angle, Reid’s opponent, not by name, but calling her out for remarks made regarding the never-ending Gulf Oil spill and the BP Fund set-up by the Feds – Obama characterized Angle as: “more extreme than the Republicans we've got in Washington. That's saying something."

As the Sun points out, Obama’s falling poll numbers, both in Nevada and nationwide, may not bode well for Harry. Could it be possible that the Presidents insistence that Bush is to blame for the deficit the nation now faces (instead of Obama’s Congress – where the blame lays), his lack of response to the Gulf Oil spill (most voters understand that from day one, other nations, and individuals have begged to assist, only to be turned down.), his possible culpability in a pay to play scheme coming out of the Blagojevich trial in Chicago, and most recently and germane to the citizens of Las Vegas, his suit against the State of Arizona, may make him appear both extreme and incompetent?

The Sun further profiles those in attendance who support Obama:

A 35-member coalition of Las Vegans who support immigration reform got in line four hours before the event. They wore T-shirts stating, “We need you Obama, keep pushing.”
One coalition leader, 22-year-old UNLV student Michael Flores, said he came to the rally because “Reid is a hero in Nevada.”
“I want someone in power who can bring things to Nevada,” Flores said. “I don’t see any valid points in what Sharron Angle is saying. She’s out of touch.”
George Matz, 83, a retired business agent, said he supports Obama and Reid despite the nation’s ongoing economic troubles.
“Most of that was inherited. In the eight years we had with President Bush, this country went downhill.
“I don’t know what’s going to create more jobs,” Matz said. “But Reid’s doing a good job for the country and he has continuously delivered for senior citizens.”

Basically, the Sun found 35 people who most likely are boycotting Arizona, one college student and an 83 year old retired business agent (Blaming Bush) to comment, and those were people who had come to the rally to join the choir.

How successful was Obama? In a visit to Angle’s website, one can see the donation counter climbing - , currently it stands at $1,611,034.53 although that amount might seem paltry compared to the $800,000 Obama is expected to raise from the 3,000 people in attendance at the Vegas rally, but it is early. One has to recall that in the high profile race between “The People of Massachusetts” (one Scott Brown) and Martha Coakley (Obama also paid her a visit), one Brown internet "money bomb" so far exceeded the expectation that National Republican’s actually took notice of Massachusetts and now the NRCC is actively supporting Congressional candidates in the Bay State (a first, and under reported). As September nears, one can well imagine that whatever spare change people may have left in their pockets will be going to candidates like Angle, and of more import, perhaps, their vote in November.

Note: The latest Poll shows Angle with a 7 point lead over Reid.

Also: three additional states may be joining Arizona: Oklahoma, Utah and South Carolina

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Update Chicago: Selective Memory and Outright Lies Dominate Blagojevich Trial - Fear and Loathing In DC

As the Blagojevich Trial Continues: The Sun Times is reporting on two separate incidents involving Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Gerry Kozel, a contractor with ties to the Chicago Political Machine. First, Kozel, who is under immunity from prosecution, admitted that he lied to FBI investigators who came to his home:

When the FBI showed up at Krozel's home in the early morning of Dec. 9, 2008, Goldstein noted, Krozel told them he did not feel pressured and that there was no connection between the fund-raising request and the tollway project.
"You are telling your story, but it's a different story than you told on Dec. 9, 2008," Goldstein said, as the witness grew increasingly flustered. "You lied."
Krozel rubbed his forehead and asked to have questions "rephrased" before delving into an emotional explanation: When the FBI showed up, he had been dressing his handicapped wife and was "terrified" that he was going to be arrested and taken away.
"She cannot talk, she cannot write, she loses her balance," the 70-year-old exclaimed from the stand. "I just wanted to get the FBI out of my house."

Jesse Jackson Jr. and his insistence that he had never contacted nor been involved in a pay-to-play for Obama’s vacant Senate Seat has been debunked.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday for the first time that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. attended a meeting in 2008 at which $1 million in fund-raising for Rod Blagojevich was discussed in exchange for Jackson's own Senate seat appointment.
The meeting described by prosecutors was not previously disclosed by Jackson.

Over at Politico the Headline Blares “Rod Blagojevich trial could singe White House” The piece goes on to detail some of the finer points of the trial so far, specifically as regards Obama sending his Union lackey, Tom Balanoff, to discuss the Senate Seat appointment with Blagojevich. Defense lawyers are about to roll out witnesses, and have successfully subpoenaed Rham Emmanuel and Valerie Jarret, however, a judge ruled that Obama did not have to appear.

That said damage, according to Politico, has been minimal due to the multitude of issues catching the nation’s attention at the movement. From the Oil Spill in the Gulf, Judicial Appointments, ET al, have kept the national limelight off the case, but for how long? With Blagojevich’s Defense Team readying for several weeks of testimony and witnesses who have long ties to the Obama administration and Chicago Politics, chief among them, David Axelrod, who engineered both Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and Barak Obama’s elections.

Is the White House Concerned? According to Politico – yes:

Said one aide to a top Illinois elected official: “People may be breathing easier, ‘cause there’s been no major revelations really connecting Obama or Rahm to this guy. But you never know what the long-term damage will be. The Obama people may be playing it cool, but trust me, they’re plenty worried.”

A few things to consider coming out of the trail in the next few weeks: Should the trial turn national (and it has begun) especially in August, with only 3 months until the general election in November, the impact of the aspersions cast on the administration, regardless of merit, will stick. Additionally, should Obama be tied to the pay-to-play scheme in his home state of Illinois, with allegations of the same in Congressional district races in both Pennsylvania and Colorado (and at this point, there may be others yet to come forward), Congressional Investigations cannot be far behind. Although Impeachment proceedings appear unlikely, but not improbable, the collective damage to the Administration to date, coupled with an aura of Politics gone dirty, will put whoever runs for the White House (be it Hillary Clinton, Palin, Romney, or, more likely the candidate we have not met) in the driver’s seat for 2012. If Obama, who expertly channels Jimmy Carter, was doomed to be a one-term President, then this trial will, in all likelihood, play a part in ensuring that he faces early retirement.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Obama Vs. Arizona – Immigration – Not specifically treated in the U.S. Constitution – Interpretation by Presiding Justice Will Herald Win or Loss

The Federal Suit Against Arizona is Joined by Mexico

The Obama Administrating filed a law suit this week against the State of Arizona, specifically to stop enforcement of a State Law which mirrors a Federal Law governing Immigration. The Federal Suit has been Joined by a Suit filed by the Mexican Government. (See references to Article 10)

The Brief (download here PDF via Washington Post) contains the following:

“In this action, the United States seeks to declare invalid and preliminarily and
permanently enjoin the enforcement of S.B. 1070, as amended and enacted by the State of Arizona, because S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the
Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.”


“ In our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to
regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. The nation’s immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests. Congress has assigned to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Department of State, along with other federal agencies, the task of enforcing and administering these immigration-related laws…”

Regardless of the content of the suit, the Federal Government, by first naming the Supremacy Clause, hopes to end any challenge from Arizona based solely on this particular clause – which, according to the original verbiage used in the US constitution may not apply. The Clause, so named, refers to Article IV, which states (FindLaw):

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.

As far as any one is aware, the State of Arizona has not entered into any treaties – strictly construed.

The Supremacy Clause referred to in Obama’s (Holder’s) Brief:
(Find Law on Marshals interpretation of the Supremacy Clause as it applies to States) – the findings regarded the imposition of taxes, trade, terrifs and finally treaties:

The Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States are as much a part of the law of every State as its own local laws and constitution. Their obligation ''is imperative upon the state judges, in their official and not merely in their private capacities. From the very nature of their judicial duties, they would be called upon to pronounce the law applicable to the case in judgment. They were not to decide merely according to the laws or Constitution of the State, but according to the laws and treaties of the United States--'the supreme law of the land'.'' 18 State courts are bound then to give effect to federal law when it is applicable and to disregard state law when there is a conflict; federal law includes, of course, not only the Constitution and congressional enactments and treaties but as well the interpretations of their meanings by the United States Supreme Court.

The preceding opinion by Justice Marshal was based upon Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, specifically as applies to tariffs, treaties, and the like. The so called “Supremacy Clause (i.e. The Federal Government Always Wins), has not, to date, addressed immigration.

Perhaps this is because Illegal Immigration is not specifically addressed in the Constitution – The Argument: found at US Constitution. Net, entitled “Things Not Found in the Constitution”

The Constitution never mentions immigration, so how is it that the rules for immigrants, and quotas from countries, are set by the federal government and not by the state governments? After all, as the 10th Amendment states, are the powers not delegated to the United States held by the states, or the people?
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congressional power to regulate naturalization, in Article 1, Section 8, includes the power to regulate immigration (see, for example, Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88 [1976]). It would not make sense to allow Congress to pass laws to determine how an immigrant becomes a naturalized resident if the Congress cannot determine how that immigrant can come into the country in the first place.
There is also an argument that immigration is an implied power of any sovereign nation, and as such, the federal government has the power to regulate immigration because the United States is a sovereign nation. While it is true that the United States is a sovereign nation, and it may be true that all sovereign nations have some powers inherent in that status, it is not necessary to determine if immigration is such a power that does not even require constitutional mention, because the Naturalization Clause handles the power.

Therefore, as it appears the State of Arizona has not entered in to any Treaties, and it by strict interpretation of the Article 8, which states nothing specific regarding immigration being the federal domain - strictly speaking – the Federal Government may be about to trample on the Kicker:

The 10th Amendment: (Or Powers prohibited to the States)

The State of Arizona, embattled on their borders

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Taking the 10th Amendment regarding the limitations of States right, there is no mention made of anything other than Congress and its ability to hold the national purse strings. However, it does give Arizona the right to protect itself, implicitly.

As Arizona has been invaded by criminals from another country, it has every right to assemble its own army and enter into war, as it has been invaded and the citizens (according to several news accounts) have been murdered – delay, to the Citizens of Arizona, is not an option.

Therefore, although loosely interpreted as broad powers granted to the Federal Government in the Supremacy Clause, the argument can validly be made that illegal immigration and enforcement is not addressed specifically in the U.S. Constitution (rather naturalization of foreign citizens as outlined by Marshall’s Court so long ago.)

Arizona, therefore, is within its Constitutional rights as regards the enforcement of criminal laws within its borders, and, as the Arizona Law mirrors the Federal law, it does not attempt to usurp Federal Power. Should Jan Brewer decide to call a militia together, arm them, and enter into a war on the border, she’s within her rights as the Governor of the State, under the 10th Amendment.

Whichever Justice hears this case; they may stop at the Supremacy Clause, and rule in Favor of the Administration, (extremely loose interpretation). At that point, one would hope Jan Brewer takes this all the way to the Roberts Court.

Addendum: As noted in his inaugural address, President Obama’s favorite President remains Abraham Lincoln, which one would think odd, as Lincoln was a member (or founder some say) of the Republican Party, and/or it may have been looked upon due to his role in the Civil War and Slavery – However, what is not often mentioned is that, of all the Presidents, Abraham Lincoln suspended the Constitution, used the Constitution to increase the powers of the Executive Branch, imprisoned journalist and editors, ad nasuem. It was that aspect of the historical nature of Lincoln that made one shudder when Obama declared him “his favorite”. Here’s to Arizona, who is in need of a strict constructionist.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Anti-Incumbent Fever Catches On – the Long Hot Summer of Discontent - Tea Party Expansion

What began as small pockets of individuals meeting in groups and venting their frustrations over high taxes and Congressional Representatives that either failed to listen, or disparaged those who dared to question the wisdom of deficit spending of historical proportions has morphed into a viable political force – the Tea Party. The Tea Party has fielded and supported candidates for both the House and the Senate across the country, and those candidates are not recessing for the summer. One will hear about a group of “angry white men”, yet when looking at the Tea Party on a local basis, one finds that the opposite is true – not only are tea party groups inclusive of all ethnicity's and races, they are also inclusive on all political affiliations - the most prominent being those “unenrolled” or “independents” who previously felt neither major political party had what the individual was seeking.
What is it that Tea Party members are seeking in a candidate? The seek a candidate who offers strict adherence to the Constitution, someone who has worked for a living and understands the needs of the average American, someone who is fiscally responsible and believes in a balanced budget and, most importantly, tax cuts. Those members are specifically interested in someone who has not set foot in Washington DC. Yet, they are not exclusive to members of their own Party, they will support candidates who echo their core principals, which most often are registered Republicans.

The wisdom that has, for generations, pervaded the political class, is that of “experience”. For example, ads will run in Congressional races touting the 3, 4, or 10 terms a Congressional Representative and/or Senator has served; noting that they hold the keys to more benefits for their respective states due to their appointments to high profile committees. Candidates that ran against incumbents in the past, faced grilling from Editorial Boards and journalists, (and still do), about their “lack of experience”. Today, however, that lack of experience is particularly appealing to a growing block of voters, many of which have never attended a Tea Party meet-up and/or know all that much about the party.
The new wisdom is, simply put, if someone cannot get a house in order in a specific amount of time, or has consistently voted against the wishes of their constituents, or has voted for spending measures, then they are no longer considered a viable candidate and therefore, should be replaced, preferably by someone who has never served in the Congress. A true citizen legislature is what is sought by a growing body of voters – Tea Party or Democrat, or Green Party or Libertarian or Republican.
The dissatisfaction with the current two-party system did not begin, as one would be led to believe, as a response to the election of Barak Obama, and his policies which mirror those of former President Jimmy Carter, it began when the individual noticed they had no choice at the ballot box in each and every election – by that – most incumbents ran unopposed, and or opposition candidates were so few and far between with little funding, no media attention and a lack of cohesive support. Massachusetts, for example, has for years been considered the “Bluest State” simply because Democrats dominated all aspects of politics in the state, from the local and state level to the few Federal seats available - the logic followed, that no Republican could get elected in the State. Massachusetts was not an anomaly, other states followed suit, and the entire Northeast looked to be a sea of Blue with each election cycle.

This change began to evidence itself in 2006 and 2008, when additional candidates began to appear on the ballots, where none had appeared before – from California’s 8th District to the 4th District of Massachusetts – these individuals ran against deeply entrenched politicians and were immediately dismissed by both the media and the electorate – however, the later did not dismiss them entirely, with the candidate receiving at the least a percentage of the votes – giving those who were tired of seeing the same name on the ballot an option, which gave them hope for the future.

In Massachusetts, in 2008 and 2009, individuals began to look at public service, doctors, landscapers, and those who served in the military. In January of 2010, one Scott Brown became the first Republican elected to the Senate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and it shocked the political establishment – who immediately dismissed his election as a “fluke” – blaming Martha Coakley, the Democrat who ran as opposition, for running a shoddy campaign. “They” didn’t get it. Had the media done its research they would have found established anti-incumbent candidates who had formed committees and were ready to run for Congress, the State Senate and the State Legislature.

The Tea Party, a response to the high taxes imposed on U.S. Citizens, began to throw support to these candidates, and has also begun to field candidates of its own.
Words of wisdom from an 86 year old unenrolled voter from the Bay State, who is not affiliated with the Tea Party – but understands the basics of economics gone astray – those currently in office do not deserve to be reelected, ordinary people can do a better job. The intent: to vote for anyone who is not an incumbent. That one older individual is not alone, younger voters, Hispanic voters, the individuals who have had enough, are looking forward to November and the opportunity to vote for the anti-incumbent. Democrats in Massachusetts specifically, are looking to voting for Republican’s for the first time since January 19th, 2010. One coined it, a Revolution, a Silent Revolution at the Ballot Box.

Therefore, when candidates who are either endorsed by or directly fielded by a Tea Party, hold a rally, they draw a crowd. One such that bears mentioning is one Allen West Allen West for Congress West, a candidate for the Florida 22nd, is one of the anti-incumbents to watch. According to the FEC West has to date, raised $2,065,855, while Ron Klein, the incumbent Democrat, has managed to raise $1,860,453 . The fact that West, in a District that leans Democrat, is doing so well with individual contributions at this stage of the game, speaks volumes. A 4th of July You Tube video of West is shown below. It is evident, by his speech, how the population in general views the 2010 election.

In fact, as the days progress, deeply entrenched politicians who were previously considered “untouchable” are now facing opposition – a newly released AP Article speaks to the problems faced by Russ Feingold this election cycle. This would not have been part of the political conversation two years ago.

As the Tea Party grows, and more importantly, the sentiment of the voters aligns with Tea Party principals, going into November on can envision a new Congress forming, one which will hold a few incumbents, and those who were voted in as anti-incumbents which will be in Washington to hold everyone accountable to this and future generations.

Adam West, Florida 22nd District Candidate, Speaking Before a Ft. Lauderdale Tea Party

Monday, July 05, 2010

Election 2010 Impact - Progressive Democrats Lose Ground – NYC Closes its Wallet to Democrats, Teachers Union Not Trusted in formerly Blue New Jersey

An article from Politico on Independence Day spoke to the fact that Democrats are finding it difficult to raise campaign funds from wealthy Donors in New York City, which is a first. Logic (according to what has been long reported and assumed) is that Republicans rather than Democrats have had strong ties to “big money” on Wall Street; however, the DNC has been going to the Wall Street trough, according to Politico, for decades. In fact, up until this year, certain donors would not even “take a meeting” with a Republican – stunned Democrats find that now, wallets are closing and Republican Candidates have been seen in the Big Apple.

The fact that Wall Street, which drives our nations businesses, in spite of corruption, displays of extravagance and the like, has virtually shut down donations to the DNC. More over logic also dictates that this news coming as a surprise to Democrats is either the product of outright arrogance or plain stupidity, perhaps a combination of both.

The New York money comes from several sources, including Wall Street, Jewish Organizations and the Hamptons – where Politico talks about the loss of the Clinton's fundraising in the Hamptons, as if it would make any difference at this point in our economy. Additionally, with the administration being less than friendly to the State of Israel, those going to the Jewish Organizations with hat in hand are finding the door shut. As the administration and members of Congress have set their hearts on demonizing Wall Street, (rule and regulation aside) in order to campaign against Big Business and Republicans (the usual), they are seeing a severe cut in the amount of the donations given.

It’s the economy that has affected both the haves and the have not’s to the extent that giving to a political party, under who’s watch the economy has continued to degrade is not considered a good investment. Therefore, finding the doors shut to DNC fundraisers, should come as no surprise. The article noted that Obama, however, raised money from individuals rather than larger donors – which is bunk - one of the largest contributors to Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign: Goldman Sachs - you can only bite the hand that feeds you so often.

What of those individual donors? Now, in the same position as Wall Street, and with a change in political ideology which goes towards the poor performance of the administration – those individual donors may be slowing a bit – as they are strapped for cash.
July 15th is the next filing for campaigns and PAC’s with the FEC, what to expect, a slowing in donations across the board, but more specifically the Democrats - due to less cash on hand and a whole lot of hurt feelings and mistrust.

Comparing 2008 to 2010 for the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: Total raised in 2010: $2,856,945, compared to 2010 at $1,839, 722 – not much of a difference? Her campaign contributions come primarily from larger business concerns in California, and she faces a real challenger in Republican John Dennis. Should those who had donated to Dennis primary opponent, Walsh (who matched Pelosi in Fundraising in 2009-2010) turn to support Dennis, (which is more probable); his showing on the 15th should improve.

Of course, it’s not always about how much money a political organization or candidate has, that will determine a win or a loss – A recent poll by Quinnipiac on the governorship of one Chris Christie, New Jersey Republican, produced a startling by-product. The residents of the state of New Jersey no longer trust the Teacher’s Union - and by no narrow margin.

New Jersey voters like their teachers 56 – 26 percent, but by a 50 – 24 percent margin they have a negative opinion of the teachers’ union. Voters with children in public school like their teachers 65 – 23 percent, but dislike the teachers’ union 53 – 22 percent. While 45 percent trust the union more to make the right decisions about teacher contracts, 43 percent trust Christie more.
Teachers’ unions are doing the wrong thing in refusing to freeze wages or make other concessions, voters say 64 – 29 percent. Voters oppose 65 – 31 percent property tax increases to avoid cutting teachers and school programs in their district.
“Voters like their kids’ teachers but they sure don’t like the teachers’ union. Voters with kids in school like their teachers more and like the union even less,” Carroll said.

New Jersey Teachers Unions have spent, as of March, 2010, $6 million dollars on negative advertising aimed at the Governor. The fact that this was done, while the Unions refused to allow a wage freeze for teachers and union members for one year, did not set with those New Jersey Taxpayers. It should not sit well with those New Jersey Teachers, who pay $730 a month in Dues, which should go towards health care and pension – one would think. Instead, the bulk of union dues go towards supporting political causes and politicians directly (See Obama Donors link.)
In fact Christie has called on this same union to fore go charging the dues, in order to put into place the desire wage increases this union wants in this recession.

What is of interest is how well or not the DNC will do in total fundraising on July 15th, and if a nationwide survey on trust of unions were taken, how well they might fare in other parts of the country. One would hazard to guess that the poll taken in New Jersey, due to heavy concentration of Registered Democrats in the state, might have given them a few extra points. Therefore, advertisements run by the Teachers union (and other) might not be doing any initiatives or candidates any favors – it also remains to be seen how many teachers might actually end up buying out of their union, and going solo in order to save face and their jobs at the same time. (Yes, one must pay a fee not to belong to the Teaches union.)

As the nation readies for the 2010 and 2012 election cycle, Democrats will find themselves with less dollars for advertising, and if the unions continue to spend dues on negative advertising in a variety states, those watching may be less inclined to believe the union message. There are two basic lessons in this: one: know how thinly stretched the “masses” are before asking them for your trust, and tax dollars, two: don’t bite the hand that feeds you and most impotently: Progressive Politics don’t work in a Democratic Republic, the people balk, get disgusted and then go to the polls.

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