Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

The Revolution Passed in the Night 

Without Hope You’re Hopeless

Real Rebels and the Counter Revolution

Think ofAmerica’s Founders.  These were real rebels.

Sam Adams agitated against the imposition of taxes.  He penned the petitions which brought forth the rallying cry “No taxation without representation!”  While avoiding violence he led the effort to organize resistance to tyranny.  He founded the Committee of Correspondence inMassachusetts and inspired its spread to the other colonies.  He organized boycotts of British goods and the public trial of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.

In a world of divine right kings where the common man was a pawn to be exploited and demeaned James Madison made these revolutionary statements, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”  And, “An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

Patrick Henry did more than say, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  Before the Revolution, as a member of the Assembly in Virginia he led in the formation of a resistance movement against the tyranny of the British crown.  During the Revolution he served in the Continental Congress that passed the Deceleration of Independence.  After the Revolution he was not afraid to stand up against the desire of many to impose a Constitution without a Bill of Rights leading in the fight to maintain the greatest amount of individual liberty and the strongest limits to the central authority possible under the new Federal Government.  As if he could see the convolutions which currently threaten to swallow the Republic Mr. Henry reminded us at the beginning of our national experiment in limited government, “When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”

Today the world is turned upside down.  The so called radical rebels of the sixties now own or control most things including the government.  The anti-establishment has become the establishment and the silent majority is being told to remain silent while this progressive minority transforms our nation into what their collectivist programmers have taught them it should be.  And yet they still see themselves as the rebels fighting a faceless bureaucracy for freedom never realizing they have met the enemy, and they are them.

All of this made me think about my old friend the professional revolutionary and something hit me.  He has always considered himself a rebel.  And considering he has made a living out of being a spokesman for the movements dedicated to destroying theAmericawe have always known that kind of made sense at one time. 

But in reality he is now and has consistently in the past loyally spouted the logical progression of the anti-American, anti-capitalist garbage that many of the teachers at our good old public High School tried to shove into our young skulls full of mush.  He also sounds exactly like all of our contemporaries who have spent a lifetime drinking at the well of the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media. Though they see themselves as deep thinkers it has always been obvious they receive their programming, their news and views from the major networks, and the transcripts in the print media.  They spout the same anti-traditional values pro-socialism talking points time after time.

Their representatives have spent decades chipping away at the America we love in the movies, on television, and in songs.  They have gained control of one component of society at a time: education, the media, the board room, the Congress, and finally the White House.   Through patience and planning they have gained control of the entire federal government and the elites of most areas of society.  Therefore I cannot see why we should continue referring to them as rebels merely because they see themselves that way.  When you listen to their current spokesmen such as the Daily Show, Bill Maher, or any of the MSNBC line up they come off as so hip and so cutting edge when in fact they agree 100% with the current administration and its collectivist anti-life New Age agenda.  What’s rebellious about that?  That’s like saying Pravda was a radical spokesman for change when they parroted whatever the leaders of the formerUSSRhad to say.

Today my friend the professional rebel is actively helping recruit and train the brown shirt Occupy troops?  They may rail against Wall Street but that same Wall Street promotes and funds the very people these protesters vote for.  Someone is being used for something, but they never seem to wake up to ask, “Why should we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?”

I can no longer consider myself a conservative.  What is there left to conserve?  I am a radical and a rebel, because I advocate for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  These 1960s retreads who continue to advocate for the progressive collectivists who have won their revolution and now occupy the seats of power are faux rebels: organizational apparatchiks spouting the party line.

Look at how revolutionary some of our real rebels still sound today:

Sam Adams said, “The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” And “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”  He also said, “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”

Patrick Henry said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”  And, “We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power… the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”  When thinking of his most famous statement we should keep it in context and recall the whole quote, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

So the next time the nightly faux news shows are filled the antics of the faux rebels demonstrating for more government power, or the next time one of your relatives or old friends wants to fill your ear with their oft repeated mantras for the collectivist establishment tell yourself, “This is the time for real rebels and the counter revolution.”

And if pointing out the transparent hypocrisy of the faux rebels of today should ever be considered too rebellious for the faint of heart let me share one more quote from Patrick Henry, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ © 2012 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens



In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama’s qualifications for the presidency, the group “Americans for Freedom of Information” has Released copies of President Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental College … Released today, the transcript school indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship.

This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama’s detractors have been seeking. Along with the evidence that he was first born in Kenya and there is no record of him ever applying for US citizenship, this is looking pretty grim. The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama’s legitimacy and qualification to serve as President article titled, “Obama Eligibility Questioned,” leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama’s first official visit to the U.K. In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama’s legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey . This lawsuit claims Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president.. Donofrio’s case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama’s citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama’s campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. Attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter…


Subject: RE: Issue of Passport?
While I’ve little interest in getting in the middle of the Obama birth issue, Paul Hollrah over at FSM did so yesterday and believes the issue can be resolved by Obama answering one simple question: What passport did he use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi?
So how did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981, without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later?
And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi, what passport was he offering when he passed through Customs and Immigration?
The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions, they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama’s citizenship a rather short and simple one.
Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?
A : Yes, by his own admission.
Q: What passport did he travel under?
A: There are only three possibilities.
1) He traveled with a U.S. … Passport,
2) He traveled with a British passport, or
3) He traveled with an Indonesia passport.
Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?
A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. .. State Department’s “no travel” list in 1981.
Conclusion: When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a British passport or an Indonesian passport.
If he were traveling with a British passport that would provide proof that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.. And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a “natural born” American citizen between 1981 and 2008.
Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.
If you Don’t care that Your President is not a natural born Citizen and in Violation of the Constitution, then Delete this, and then lower your American Flag to half-staff, because the U.S. Constitution is already on life-support, and won’t survive much longer.
If you do care then Forward this to as many patriotic Americans as you can,
because our country is being looted and ransacked!

Smoke and Mirrors

Like a sleight-of-hand-artist on a busy street with a briefcase that turns into a table, three walnuts shells and a pea the perpetually re-elected and their town criers in the Corporations Once Known as the mainstream Media appear to be perennially able to fool the perpetually distracted by pulling a metaphorical quarter out of their ear. 

I know a professional revolutionary.  We grew up together.  He has correctly diagnosed America’s disease as a corporate cult in a symbiotic relationship with a corrupt government.  He deftly outlines the general theory, although not the specifics of how crony capitalists and political hacks have crafted a system wherein money laundering has become national policy.  The political hacks fleece the sheeple through taxes and inflation.  They give the money to their accomplices in the flimflam corporations who funnel huge chunks of cash back to the hacks for re-election.  Every few years the sheeple rouse themselves out of their media induced coma long enough to be herded to the polls to vote for more of the same. 

Yes, the professional revolutionaries and their government educated followers have correctly diagnosed the disease.  However, they have prescribed poison instead of medicine.  Their answer to the curse of Corporatism’s National Socialism is less nationalism and more socialism.  Since corporatism has built a coffin our body politic cannot seem to claw its way out of, he prescribes cutting out the crony capitalists and giving the whole operation to the political hacks. In other words if the black shirts have ruined the country let’s try the reds.  That would be as transparent as fighting the most horrendous war in human history because Hitler attempted to pull Poland into his freedom smothering embrace and then giving Poland to Stalin. 

Headlines and talking heads scream for days, “The Super Committee cannot fail or the sky will fall!”  Endless hours in the 24 hour news cycle are devoted to debating, “Will the Super Committee succeed or will they fail?”  Meanwhile most of the sheeple are consumed with concern about the NBA strike, a celebrity drowning thirty years ago, or was Kim’s wedding a set-up all along.  Then we’re told he Super Committee failed accompanied by endless squabbling about who caused the failure. 

It is all nothing but Kabuki, a form of Japanese drama based on popular legends and characterized by elaborate costumes, stylized acting.

Remember how the Super Committee became so super?  It didn’t come from another planet with a red sun and lower gravity.  It was instead the Frankenstein created as the cover for another rise in the debt ceiling.  The Tea Party had just made a Herculean effort in the 2010 elections and achieved an historical sweep of the House of Representatives.  Over sixty newly minted congressmen owed their seat at the table of plenty to the greatest grassroots movement America has seen in generations.  They had campaigned on changing the culture of corruption in Washington, stopping the deficit spending, severing the cord to the crony capitalists, and paying down the national debt. 

Before they could even arrive the Republican leadership colluded with a recently humiliated inexperienced president and a recently repudiated Democratic leadership to extend the Bush tax cuts in exchange for more spending in the lamest of all lame duck sessions.  Then as soon as the fresh troops arrive they raise their hands in salute to the same old Republican leadership, renew the patriot Act, pass a series of continuing resolutions allowing the drunken sailors to continue spending, and then vote to raise the debt ceiling by another few trillions. Oh but they fought!  They wrangled and they refused to give the Spender in Chief more trillions of our great grandchildren’s money unless he agreed to a Super Committee backed up by automatic cuts and automatic tax increases in future deficits totaling trillions of dollars in cuts.  This was drama worthy of As Washington Turns.  If it was joke it wouldn’t be funny. 

To begin with the Super Committee wasn’t filled with deficit hawks and balanced budget advocates.  It was instead filled with the most partisan members from both wings of the Party of Power guaranteeing there would be no settlement.  Obviously the plan all along was for the automatic cuts and taxes to come into play, over the next ten years.  In other words the spendaholics of this Congress are going to place limits on the credit card of following Congresses who have the ability to vote away the limits any time they want to.  How could that ever fail? 

The smoke and mirrors of political theater is meant to hide the fact that all they’re arguing over is reducing the yearly deficits way off there in the future somewhere.  All they ever discussed was slowing the rate of increase.  Even if the most draconian plan so far introduced by the young firebrand Representative Ryan had been adopted the budget still went up every year, and the national debt still grew every year.  And though there would have been more and more spending with no end to the red ink in sight Ryan was portrayed as pushing Grandma off the cliff and a large percentage of the population believes it.  This is baseline budgeting wherein the proposed budget becomes the base for what is cut.  In other words our leaders can cut all day and the spending still goes up

It is time to tell our hypnotized fellow citizens to take the blinders off.  Wake up!  The house is on fire and the firemen are pouring gasoline on the flames. 

The system is broke and it is becoming very clear that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put this thing together again.  The spending goes on every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  The tax code that ostensibly is designed to pay for it all is in reality a bewildering maze meant to trap those unsophisticated enough not to hire an army of tax lawyers and accountants while legally recognized persons such as GE file 57,000 page tax returns on fourteen billion in profits and pays no tax at all. 

While the hemorrhaging of our descendants wealth goes on night and day we are being set up for the next battle to raise the debt ceiling, the balanced budget amendment.  Even if this long threatened turkey could finally make it to the block what good is a balanced budget amendment?  The spendthrifts we call a government can still spend all they want as long as they raise enough money to pretend to cover at least the on budget portion of the swag.  And where do you think they will raise the money?  They will either raise taxes or print money.  Either way we pay so they can play. What we need is a spending amendment that limits spending to a prescribed percentage of the GDP.

At one time the best tongue in cheek advice for coping with the policies of the convention of confidence men masquerading as the American government was get a government job and study Spanish.  Now the situation has descended even beyond the black humor of that cynical joke.  Today the best advice may be to hunker in the bunker, store food, and learn enough History so you can tell those who come after what America used to be. 

Last year I thought it was time to take the gloves off and tell America the emperor has no clothes.  To do so this advocate of the Constitution and limited government wrote The Constitution Failed.  A book which places current events in a constitutional and historical context proving that while our nation was founded upon a document meant to limit government we now stand face-to-face with an unlimited government.  I believed it was time to sound the alarm.  I thought people were ready to admit the terrible truth; our government does little more than tip its hat to the Constitution while doing whatever it wants.   The first step in solving any problem is admitting you have a problem.  The second is recognizing what that problem is.  My hope is that The Constitution Failed will help people recognize and identify the problem so that we the people can reach a solution.

As one who has been pounding this drum and singing this song for fifty years all I can do is wonder, will the drowning Lady Liberty finally see the life preserver as she goes down for the last time?  Will she finally grasp the Constitution as the only thing that has ever guaranteed limited government, personal freedom and economic opportunity in America?  Will she remember her past and save her future or will she sink beneath the waves of government regulation and drown in the red tape of an all-powerful central government? 

I wrote The Constitution Failed to make a difference.  I wrote it because I see my beloved country walking off a cliff into the abyss of socialism and I am compelled to throw out the life line. 

If you want to read The Constitution Failed send me an email with your address and I will send you a complimentary copy.  I want to see the re-birth of limited government.  I want to see personal liberty and economic freedom continue to exist in this: the last best hope of mankind.   And I’m ready to put my money where my heart is, limited government, personal liberty and economic freedom.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

We Can Trust Us

Listening to the lies of the politicians as presented by the prattle of the biased it is easy to lose hope in a secular sense.  My hope in an eternal sense is founded on the rock of an unshakable faith in Jesus and so it cannot be shaken.  However, in the secular resting, as it must upon the shifting sands of man in America today, hope as a measured commodity is all too often hopeless.  Seeking for hope in current events, a diamond among the discards and a point of light in a sea of darkness, is seeking something positive among the gathering gloom of an empire in eclipse.   

I don’t know about you but I cannot focus on the negative trends of our current situation for long without at least contemplating depression and I don’t mean the economic kind.  I am thankful I have a peace that passes all understanding and a hope that cannot be taken away, and I am also glad that I have a sense of History which gives me a context to frame the Now.  For if all we have is the Now it can always be changed with the next headline, the next news bulletin or the next press release.  Having a historical context brings things into focus fitting the events of today into flow of time from yesterday to tomorrow. 

Truth often becomes the victim of expediency.  For what seems true at the moment may end up as the lie of the hour.  Politicians bend truth like gravity bends light: the heavier the perceived need the greater the unperceived distortion.  Lies can become so widely believed that truth is swallowed in truism. As lies become the accepted wisdom of professional pundits chattering endlessly supporting that which ultimately must fall for those who seek to surf a tsunami into a safe harbor.  The news is filled with half-truths and as my second favorite philosopher, Anonymous once said, “Beware of half-truths, you may have gotten the wrong half.” 

We live in a twilight time.  Twilight by definition is a time when two sources of light pierce the gloom, that quivering moment when both the sun and the moon hold back the darkness.  The darkness of confusion is dispelled by the brightness of the sun of truth but it is disputed by refracted light of the moon of opinion masquerading as truth. 

Casting about for something solid in the midst of the swirling fog of conflicting facts, shifting observations, and contradictory visions in the secular sense I must focus on one thing: the people.  I trust the American people.  I trust them to make the right choice when presented with unvarnished reality.  I trust them to do what must be done to preserve the bequest of our forefathers for the inheritance of our posterity. 

The Declaration of Independence was written to proclaim the righteousness of the actions of “One people” with the courage to declare to a world sold into bondage that our liberty was founded upon truth. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”   

We the People wrote the Constitution in order to perfect that which had been founded upon the truth.  “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”   

It is to this one people, this “We the people” that I look for secular hope, political peace, and the eventual solution to our current cultural conundrum. The popular definition of a conundrum is a problem without a solution.  However it also has another meaning, a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun.  Since I am referring to the second meaning I will present the riddle, “How is liberalism the solution to the problem of liberalism?”  

In our through-the-looking-glass world politicians use actual truth to obscure the obvious truth.  Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference to answer questions about the House Bank scandal said, “They gave me a book of checks. They didn’t ask for any deposits.”  While I’m sure it is true he was given a book of checks, obviously one needs to make deposits if one is to honestly write checks.  In this same manner the leaders of our free country promote socialism as the solution to the problems socialism has caused knowing that you cannot honestly write checks if you don’t make deposits.  Capitalism makes the deposits and socialism wants to write the checks.  As Churchill said “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” 

We are awash in polls.  Every campaign and every major news source constantly trumpet polls many of which contradict each other.  No matter what the polls say I believe that the American people still believe in freedom.  I believe they still believe in the equality of opportunity and the opportunity of equality.  We all aren’t the same.  Each of us is born with a particular set of talents and each of us uses those talents in a certain way.  It is my belief, that given the level playing field of individual liberty and economic freedom, the vast majority of Americans will work hard to earn what they deserve.  This is my secular hope. Heaven on earth is not possible but given individual liberty and economic freedom inherently promised in the perfect union we the people sought to create we can at least avoid remaining in the hell of socialism the Progressives are currently foisting upon us, and as Churchill also said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” 

Oh, by the way, the answer to the riddle is that Classical Liberalism promotes the general welfare by promoting the limitation of government and the liberty of the individual in order to better serve the whole. Welfare Liberalism erodes the general welfare by expanding the government at the expense of the individual in order to better serve the individual.  Thus Classical Liberalism is the solution to the problems caused by Welfare Liberalism.  And that’s the truth which brings me to one last Churchill quote for the day, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.” 

Don’t be discouraged by the blather of the pontificating politicians or confused by the conflicting ruminations of the professional talkers. When all is said and done we can trust us.  We the people will eventually come down on the side of truth, justice, and the American way. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

TN School Tells Coaches Not to Bow Heads During Prayer

It Begins. TN School Tells Coaches Not to Bow Heads During Prayer

It was a student-led prayer.
by  Jim Hoft

Now they’re telling us that we can’t bow our heads.

Football coaches in Sumner County, Tennessee, are in trouble for bowing their heads during a student-led prayer.

Some football coaches are in trouble for something they did with their players. They said a prayer. That has the school district taking action. And the policy, while it may be the law, has plenty of people up in arms.

Every school district has a responsibility to follow the law, and separate private faith from public school. It can be a fine line at times. One crossed in Sumner County, it seems, when the coaches didn’t say a word during a student-led prayer, but they did bow their heads. In a town like Westmoreland, faith and football seem to matter.

“We’re just respectful, God-fearing people up here,” resident Tony Bentle said. Bentle called games for Westmoreland High School for 42 years. “A lot of history. A lot of changes. A lot of football,” he said.

So when he, like a lot of people, heard what happened after a recent game at the middle school. “It actually blew my mind, that we had come to that point,” he said. “Nobody in this town is offended if you pray. Nobody.”

During a student-originated, student-led prayer, four coaches bowed their heads. They didn’t say a word.

Step by step democrats are erasing Chrisitianity from American culture. When will Americans stand up and say enough is enough?

Jim Hoft is the proprietor of Gateway Pundit Blog from the heart of America– St. Louis, Missouri.  He is also a guest-blogger for HUMAN

Where Did This Debt Come From Anyhow?

Have you ever wondered where the National Debt came from?  Do you wonder who started it?  Do you ask yourself is the National Debt constitutional? I believe that a lack of Historical knowledge and context is a major contributing factor in our current state of political deterioration.  Unless we know where we came from we cannot truly appreciate where we are and we have no point of reference to guide us to where we want to go.

The National Debt didn’t start under Barak Obama or George Bush.  It didn’t start under FDR or Wilson or Lincoln.  So where did it come from and when did it start?

The National Debt and the economic outlook inherent in its creation have not only been with us since the beginning it was one of the most powerful arguments for the ratification of the Constitution.  I may have just lost many of the recently awakened.  I most assuredly lost those who worship the Constitution as American Scripture and the Framers as demigods who brought the tablets down from on high.

Don’t misunderstand the intent of the following article.  It is not to malign the Constitution.  I believe it is the greatest political document to come from the hand of man.  I have spent a life time testifying to its importance and working to educate people as to its continued relevance.  However I also believe we need to know the History of its development, ratification and the continuing saga of its effectiveness.  If we don’t learn from History we will be forced to learn from our own mistakes.  It’s always less painful to learn from the mistakes of others.

At the turn of the twentieth century Historian Charles Beard published An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States and set off a debate that still rages around the idea that the Constitution was a the product of a conflict between competing economic interests.  The argument goes like this: the Founders, who supported a strong, centralized government and favored the Constitution during its drafting and ratification, were men whose primary economic interests were marked by extensive personal property. They consisted primarily of people involved in commerce such as merchants, shippers, bankers, speculators, private and public securities holders, southern planters and all they could influence. Those who opposed the ratification of the Constitution were supporters of a decentralized government such as already existed under the Articles of Confederation.  These were people whose economic interests were connected to real estate.  They consisted primarily of isolated, subsistence non-commercial farmers and laborers, people who were often also debtors, and the people they could influence.  This article fits into that debate.

Building within the above outlined framework, although James Madison is generally called the Father of the Constitution when it comes to economic concerns I believe the title should belong to Alexander Hamilton. 

When the Annapolis Convention which was called in September, 1786  to deal with economic concerns failed to attract enough state delegations for a quorum Hamilton requested permission from the Congress of the Confederation to call another convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation.  Once they closed the doors though they had no authority. The delegates from the twelve states attending wrote a new constitution. Then ignoring the provision of the Articles which required unanimous consent to alter the nature of the American government the Framers sent the Constitution out to be ratified by special ratification conventions by-passing the State legislatures.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies.  By the time he was fifteen his father was bankrupt.  At sixteen he moved toNew York and went to work in an accountant’s office.  He was a self-made man who put himself through Columbia University and personally raised artillery regiments for the Revolution.  He spent most of the war as Washington’s top aide.  Hamilton had a desire to create a central government both politically and financially strong. 

Once the Constitution was ratified and Washington elected as the first president he chose Hamilton as his Secretary of the Treasury.  Hamilton hit the ground running.  He soon submitted three ground-breaking reports to Congress, one of which impacts the present discussion. 

His Report on Public Credit caused controversy because of its social and financial implications.  During the Revolution the Confederation and the individual States had run up large debts to both foreign and domestic individuals.  Hamilton proposed that the Federal Government assume all the war debt of the states which helped the measure gain approval in Congress.  These debts had devalued in worth due to the inflation.  As the debts lost their value they were bought up by speculators at a fraction of their face value.  Hamilton proposed to redeem them at their original value giving tremendous profits to the speculators, many of whom were prominent in Congress and State governments.  The new national government was short on cash, soHamiltonproposed to pay the war debt by issuing interest-bearing bonds, and thus the national debt was born at the dawn of the Republic.  It has existed ever since.  It has never been paid down to zero and it never will be.

Is the national debt constitutional?  Yes, in two ways.  Article VI among other things states, “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.”  And because the 14th Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”  So the Constitution both in its original form and as amended both validates the debt and takes the question of its legality off the table.

Over the hundreds of years since its inception our nation has continuously had a National Debt.  Every President has faced it when they took office and every president has left it for their successor.  Some have reduced it, most have increased it.  At times it has contributed to our strength and stability.  At first by helping to establish the credit of the United Statesand then by proving the trustworthiness of our government, no one ever doubted redemption.  Today the National Debt soars beyond the perceived ability to redeem.  It races ahead at an average rate of $3.93 billion per day which is $163,750,000 dollars per hour, $2,729,166,666 per minute and, $45,486 per second.  We all know from our personal finances debt in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.  We also know unsustainable debt is.  No one can afford to spend more than they make forever.  Unless of course they have their own printing press then they can do it until no one will accept the paper any more.  Then they will do something else. 

Stand by for something else.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

The Ratification Debate Part Three

Concluding my three part series in celebration of our nation’s 235th Birthday, we will look at arguments advanced by both sides.  Last week we ended with the question, who were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists and why does it matter to us today?  This week we will learn the answers to the questions.  Who was debating?  What did they have to say?  Who won?  And, why does it matter to us today?

The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers are a collection of eighty five essays published inNew Yorknewspapers.  They outline how the government, as proposed in the Constitution, would operate and why this highly centralized type of government was the best for theUnited States of America. All of the essays were signed by “PUBLIUS.” To this day there is some dispute as to who authored some of the articles.  However, after much study the consensus is generally believed that Alexander Hamilton wrote fifty two, James Madison wrote twenty eight, and John Jay wrote five.

Just as in every state, the debate over the ratification of the Constitution was intensely followed by the public inNew York. Immediately after the conclusion of the Convention, the Constitution came under intense criticism in manyNew Yorknewspapers. Echoing the sentiments of several of the prominent men who had been delegates to the Convention some contributors to the newspapers said the Constitution diluted the rights Americans had fought for and won in the recent Revolutionary War.

As one of the leading designers and loudest proponents of the Constitution Alexander Hamilton worried that the document might fail to be ratified in his home state ofNew York.   Therefore, Hamilton, a well trained and well spoken lawyer, decided to write a series of essays refuting the critics and pointing out how the new Constitution would in fact benefit Americans.  In the Convention Hamilton had been the onlyNew Yorkdelegate to sign the Constitution after the other New Yorkers walked out of the Convention, because they felt the document being crafted was injurious to the rights of the people.

Hamiltonwas in favor of a strong central government having proposed to the Convention a president elected for life that had the power to appoint state governors. Although these autocratic ideas were thankfully left out of the finished document Hamilton knew that the Constitution, as written, was much closer to the kind of government he wanted than the one which then existed under the Articles of Confederation.

Hamilton’s first essay was published October 27, 1787 in the New York Independent Journal signed by “Publius.” At that time the use of pen names was a common practice.Hamiltonthen recruited James Madison and John Jay to contribute essays that also used the pen name “Publius.”

James Madison, as a delegate fromVirginia, took an active role participating as one of the main actors in the debates during the Convention.  In addition he also kept the most detailed set of notes and personally drafted much of the Constitution.

John Jay ofNew Yorkhad not attended the Convention.  He was a well known judge and diplomat.  He was in fact a member of the government under the Articles currently serving as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

“Publius” wrote All eighty five essays that were written and published between October 1787 and August 1788, in newspapers of the state ofNew York.  But their popularity, readership, and impact were not limited toNew York. They were in such great demand that they were soon published in a two volume set.

The Federalist essays, also known as the Federalist Papers, have served two distinct purposes in American history.  Primarily the essays helped persuade the delegates to the New York Ratification Convention to vote for the Constitution.  In later years, The Federalist Papers have helped scholars and other interested people understand what the writers and original supporters of the Constitution sought to establish when they initially drafted and campaigned for ratification.

Knowing that the Federalist Papers were written by such luminaries as Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury; James Madison, the fourth President of the United States; and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the question asked is, who were these Anti-Federalists who dared speak against the founding of the greatest nation that has ever existed:  Some fringe people who didn’t want the blessing of truth, justice, and the American way?!

The Anti-Federalist Papers

The list of Anti-Federalist leaders included: George Mason, Edmund Randolph, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and even though he was not in the country at the time, Thomas Jefferson.

There is one major difference between the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers: the former are compact and relatively unified the latter are not really a single series of articles written by a united group with a single purpose as the Federalist Papers were. Instead there were many different authors and they were published all over the country in pamphlets and flyers as well as in newspapers.  Among the many the most important are: John DeWitt- Essays I-III, The Federal Farmer- Letters I and II, Brutus Essays I-XVI, Cato, Letters V and VII.

The first of the Anti-federalist essays was published on October 5, 1787 in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer.  This was followed by many more published throughout the country which charged that any new government formed under the auspices of the Constitution would:

  • Be injurious to the people because it lacked of a bill of rights.
  • Discriminate against the South with regard to navigation legislation.
  • Give the central government the power to levy direct taxation.
  • Lead to the loss of state sovereignty.
  • Represent aristocratic politicians bent on promoting the interests of their own class

The Federalists had the momentum from the beginning.  They were wise enough to appropriate the name Federalist, since federalism was a popular and well understood concept among the general public even though their position was the opposite of what the name implied.  They also had the support of most of the major newspapers and a majority of the leading men of wealth if not of all the original revolutionary patriots.  They also used a tactic of trying to rush the process as much as possible calling for conventions and votes with all dispatch.  And in the end these tactics combined with the great persuasion of the Federalist Letters and the prestige of General Washington carried the day. The Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788.

Although the anti-Federalists lost their struggle against the ratification of the Constitution their spirited defense of individual rights, personal liberty, and their deep-rooted suspicion of a central governmental power became and remain at the core American political values.  Their insistence upon the absolute necessity of the promise of enumerated rights as a prerequisite for ratification established the Bill of Rights as the lasting memorial to their work.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Obama’s Czars

Article II section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that:

the President shall nominate, an by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.”

However, President Barack Obama has been taking advantage of a recent precedent by appointing government officials who are not subject to Senate approval. These “czars” have tremendous power to regulate and control enormous parts of the American economy and government. And, as powerful as these czars are, some of them may not have even been subjected to a basic FBI background check.

This has allowed Obama to appoint several people with radical left-wing views, including one who supported the “9/11 truthers” movement (which believes the Bush administration may have been behind the 9/11 terror attacks on America) and another who called for “white people” to be removed from powerful positions in the media to make way for “people of color” and gays and voiced support for virulently anti-American Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. These czars have responsibilities that include managing America’s Middle Eastern policy, “diversity,” the auto industry, science, so-called climate change, “safe schools,” health care and even the dispersal of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Judicial Watch is concerned that some of these czar appointments raise significant constitutional questions. Our goal is to find out exactly what these czars are up to, what their missions are, and how much taxpayer money and government personnel they have at their disposal. In that effort, Judicial Watch has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and document requests for all 41 of the czars that Obama has appointed so far. Several of these investigations have already resulted in lawsuits due to the Obama Administration’s stonewalling with regard to the release of relevant documents. Judicial Watch has also been key in publicizing the connections some of Obama’s czars have had to radical, racist and even communist organizations.

Czar watch:

Obama Energy Czar Leads World Socialist Group – Barack Obama has picked a high-ranking leader of an international socialist group that harshly criticizes the United States to be the nation’s energy czar.

The newly created Obama Administration position, officially called Energy Coordinator, will be the White House guru of energy and climate policy. Carol Browner, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency under Bill Clinton for nearly eight years, will fill the post.

Also a former Secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Regulation, Browner is an established socialist and leader in the Socialist International, an umbrella group for the world’s socialist parties. ACanadian news organization reported over the weekend that Browner’s picture and profile were immediately yanked from the group’s web site after Obama officially nominated her to the energy post.

However, the news site posts Browner’s profile as a leader of Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society before Team Obama ordered its removal last week. It features a color picture and brief biography of Browner as well as the commission’s 13 other top officials.

The socialist world commission calls for “global governance” and says rich nations must shrink their economies to address climate change. They must also reduce consumption, according to the commission, and commit to limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Czar Says Obama Has No Plans To Restrict TARP Lobbyists -The czar of Obama’s massive bank bailout says the president’s promise to restrict lobbyists from influencing how the government allocates the program’s $700 billion was a political stunt and no rules have been implemented.

Furthermore, the administration claims to fear that issuing rules against lobbyist communications could violate the First Amendment’s guarantee to free speech. So, Obama breaks yet another transparency and accountability pledge in failing to curb lobbyists’ access to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Amid bipartisan concerns that lobbyists would sway how tax dollars got disbursed to failing banks, the president vowed to limit political influence and disclose where the money was going. More than half a year later neither has happened and this week a news report sheds light on why.

Obama’s one-time TARP czar, Neel Kashkari, actually told a special TARP inspector general that the commander-in-chief’s promise to restrict lobbyist access to the bailout was made purely for political reasons and $200 billion later no rules have been issued. The program has functioned under a cloak of secrecy and some lawmakers are accusing the administration of misleading the American people.

Demanding full transparency, the senior Republican on the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives (California’s Darrell Issa) says the Treasury Department has actively obstructed the committee’s ability to determine what TARP recipients are doing with taxpayer dollars. He calls Obama’s talk of curbing lobbyist influence nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Treasury Department to obtain records related to the government’s evaluation procedures to determine which financial institutions got TARP funds. Of particular interest is a $12 million TARP infusion to a Boston bank that didn’t qualify for a bailout but received one after a congressman intervened.

Obama “Car Czar” Threatens Automaker’s Creditors –Already connected to a massive kickback scandal involving his New York investment firm, the president’s shady car czar threatened Chrysler creditors when they refused to support the administration’s controversial bankruptcy plan.

Steven Rattner, a top Democratic fundraiser handpicked by Barack Obama to save the nation’s failing automaker, is a pro at abusing political influence to bully for profits. As head of the hedge fund Quadrangle Group he used his power to somehow convince a consultant for New York City’s pension fund to invest in his company. The lucrative arrangement is the subject of recent federal convictions for illegal kickbacks and Quadrangle is under investigation in the scandal.

As the nation’s auto task force leader Rattner personally threatened investment banks to drop their opposition to a plan for keeping Chrysler out of bankruptcy. About 20 lenders had objected to a deal that offered them just 29 cents on the dollar and the White House applied heavy duty political pressure to firms that didn’t sign off on its restructuring plan.

Lawyers for several of the creditors subsequently revealed the controversial White House intervention and one identified Rattner as the guy making the threats. The official White House version, not surprisingly, is to deny that any of it happened. The creditors evidently agreed to bend over and take the huge hit all on their own.

One political columnist points out that, with Rattner in the driver’s seat, Obama’s auto industry policy promises to heighten the influence of lobbyists and open the door to ethical transgressions, even outright corruption. That’s because he’s a financier and Democratic fundraiser steeped in cozy business-government relationships.

U.S. Gives Corrupt Mexican Govt. $400 Million In a miserably unsuccessful effort to combat the rampant violence created by Mexican drug cartels, the United States is giving that country’s corrupt government hundreds of millions of dollars even though its official “drug czar” got busted taking huge bribes from renowned cartels.

The U.S. continues to pour huge amounts of tax dollars into a notoriously crooked Mexican administration that often collaborates with the sophisticated drug operations that have infested the southern border as well as cities throughout America.

This fiscal year alone, the U.S. has given Mexico $400 million to fight drug cartels yet the operations appear to be thriving like never before. Drug-fueled violence has led to more than 5,000 deaths and unprecedented amounts of narcotics have been smuggled north of the border.

Senior U.S. counter narcotics officials confirm that the U.S.-Mexico relationship has for years been stormy and infested with mistrust and neglect. That’s because, like most Latin American countries, Mexican administrations have long been plagued by major corruption at the highest levels.

A perfect example is the recent arrest of the Mexican government’s official “drug czar,” Noe Ramirez Mandujano. Authorities say he took nearly half a million dollars in bribes from drug cartels, making it impossible to take his government’s promise to battle drug operations seriously.

Dem. Senator Blasts Obama’s Czars – The longest serving Democrat in the U.S. Senate is blasting the president for appointing several White House czars to oversee federal policy, claiming they can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances.

West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, the Senate pro tempore, believes President Obama’s newly created positions risk expanding executive privilege and weakening the authority of Congress. In a two-page letter to the president Byrd supports his assessment with examples of past administrations—Nixon and Bush II—that allowed White House staff to assume too much power.

Byrd criticizes Obama for the creation of White House czars to oversee Health Reform, Urban Affairs Policy and Energy and Climate Change Policy, stating that these types of positions can blur the lines of authority and responsibility to shield information and obscure the decision-making process.

He asserts that the rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances, pointing out that these presidential assistants are not accountable for their actions to Congress, rarely testify before congressional committees and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege.

Obama has hired so many influential advisors and so-called czars to shift power from traditional cabinet posts that one news report referred to his White House as the West Wing on Steroids. Another said Obama’s staff is so loaded with big names and overlapping duties that it could collapse into chaos unless managed with a juggler’s skill.

Two More Radical Obama Czars – A self-described “rowdy black nationalist” turned communist and a renowned Ivy League scientist who advocates forced abortions will lead crucial departments as highly touted Obama Administration czars.

The president who has shattered the so-called czar record by appointing more than any previous commander-in-chief has picked two real winners to head science and a newly created White House Green Jobs department. Their respective radical backgrounds may concern mainstream America, however.

First let’s take a look at Obama’s heavily promoted “Science Czar,” acclaimed Harvard ecologist Paul Holdren. For about a decade and a half Holdren, who has degrees from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, headed a science policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

To oversee human population levels and protect the planet, Holdren believes in forced abortions, “compulsory sterilization” and the creation of a “Planetary Regime,” according to a textbook that he authored and that the White House concealed during Senate confirmation hearings. A major news organization recently exposed the alarming, radical ideas of the president’s chief science adviser.

Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” has an equally controversial history. Van Jones is a Yale Law School graduate and longtime civil rights lawyer who became a communist after the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles and says he loathes capitalism because it exploits nonwhite minorities worldwide. He’s a committed Marxist-Leninist-Maoist who became a revolutionary after meeting “young radical people of color” in jail and views police officers as the arch enemies of black people.

A few years ago the civil rights attorney expanded his cause by joining the liberal global warming bandwagon, creating a “green” job project for low-income people in northern California. Jones eventually launched an organization (Green For All) dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty and now he’s the president’s official adviser on the subject.

Just a few months ago, Obama’s green czar accused the nation of “environmental racism” for putting industrial incinerators and dumping grounds in poor neighborhoods. Powerful rich people would never have allowed them in their neighborhoods therefore the country would long have a clean and green economy, according to the nation’s new guru on the subject.

Climategate and Geoengineering – During December 6-18, world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark to discuss climate change and the efforts they can contribute to mitigate the looming disaster. But is the disaster even real? The recent climategate scandal has shaken the very core of this debate, questioning the data used by leading climate study institutions (including the EPA). Documents uncovered by a computer hacker reveal that researchers studying climate change may have manipulated their data. In the midst of this scandal, the Copenhagen summit forges ahead with many individuals and nations hoping for a change from the Bush Administration’s lack of support for the Kyoto Treaty. One potential “remedy” that U.S. policy makers are considering for this supposed problem is geoengineering.

As we reported in A Few of Obama’s Favorite Things: Climate Geoengineering, President Obama’s science czar, John Holdren, has openly discussed climate geoengineering with the White House as a potential “solution” to global warming. Geoengineering, however, is a highly dangerous remedy in which the side-effects may be worse than the original malady. One of the notorious ideas is to shoot particles into the clouds to alter the temperature. This notion of cloud dispersion could potentially alter the climate to the point of causing devastating consequences. Cloud dispersion has become Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s preferred method of preventing snowfall.

While academics have discussed geoengineeering since the 1970s, the discussion has only recently taken root within the federal government. If geoengineering at any point were to become part of a climate solution, the agencies involved would be:

(on the science side)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
the Department of Energy

(and on the policy side)
the Office of Science and Technology Policy
the Department of State

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Judicial Watch asked each of these scientific agencies for their records on geoenegineering and to date has received responses showing that geoengineering is not just science czar John Holdren’s quiet thoughts, but rather is a strategy part of a larger discussion and perhaps a motive for climate data tampering.

Government agencies are well informed on the academic proposals concerning geoengineering. For example, Judicial Watch obtained through FOIA  an EPA PowerPoint presentation authored by John Holdren, titled, “Should There Be a Role for Geoengineering in the Mitigation of Climate Warming?” The presentation includes a summary of various strategies including “floating styrofoam disks in mid-ocean gyres” and “phytoplankton fertilization [which] must be carefully managed to avoid damaging ocean ecosystems.”

Not surprisingly, much of the data used in the EPA’s presentation of its climate analysis is the tainted data originating from the UK’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) and duplicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Climate Assessment Reports. In order for geoengineering to be justifiable, man-made climate change would have to be so egregious that simply reducing the use of carbon dioxide emitting products would not be sufficient and drastic action would be absolutely necessary. To posit this theory, the EPA slideshow contains the IPCC’s Atmosphere Mix Log Scale. The scale shows carbon dioxide, which is widely believed to largely derive from human consumption of fossil fuels, to be the most abundant green house gas.  This premise’s correlation is often used as causation indicating that global warming is a man-made event. The EPA further uses IPCC data to project global average surface temperature changes. In fact, the entire presentation is based on the assumption that IPCC data is accurate and that global warming is impending and therefore the United States must at least consider these “last resorts” as potential “solutions.”

NASA will certainly have a role in any geoengineering strategy. NASA is a global leader in studying climate variability  and is a technological heavyweight with the satellites to monitor the climate data. To date, however, NASA is inhibited from taking the lead on any strategy and instead has remained on the fringes of the geoengineering debate. Internal correspondence notes that “it seems likely that geoengineering could well become one of the ‘scenarios’…[but] that [they] don’t want to be ‘out front’ on this.” Part of their concern seems proprietary in that they fear “spending a lot of up-front time providing scientific-justification for geoengineering ideas, and developing a (good and creative) science program to go along with an initiative…[and then] NOAA appropriating the whole thing.”

Another prohibiting factor to geoengineering is the cost. While academics have proposed that a wealthy individual could potentially afford his or her own geoengineering solution, individuals within NASA find it “challenging to provide a convincing case that spending zillions of dollars in geoengineering will have a specific positive impact.”

Despite little action on geoengineering, the strategy is circulating around the federal government. NASA’s emails note that “DOE, because of their CCTP [Climate Change Technology Program] focus, have been thinking grand thoughts in this area” even though DOE claims to have no records on the subject (for 2008 and 2009). Geoengineering is in its preliminary stage, with the government currently assessing the strategy from a financial and managerial view. The financial dimension is certainly significant, but the larger concerns should be the potentially irreversible ramifications as well as the actual necessity. Just as the United States intended to hit the reset button with Russia on diplomatic relations, the climategate scandal necessitates the need to pause and reset our notion of climate change. Dissenting views in climate science need to stop being suppressed  so that the data showing cyclical variations over hundreds of years can be evaluated alongside the “crisis” data of just the past 60 years. In addition, agencies need to be responsible for producing accurate data, and geoengineering ideas of space mirrors need to remain science fiction at least for now. Judicial Watch will continue to investigate geoengineering and climategate.

Another Unconstitutional Obama Czar? – Remember at the outset of the financial crisis when the government told us only “healthy banks” were going to receive bailout funds? Well apparently that requirement does not apply to banks with friends in high places.

This week we received new documents from the U.S. Department of Treasury about the controversial $12 million bailout grant provided to Boston-based OneUnited Bank.

We got the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed against Treasury. Included are internal Treasury emails describing the substandard condition of OneUnited prior to the taxpayer funded bailout, which allegedly occurred at the behest of Reps. Maxine Waters and Barney Frank.

Here’s what we found out in a nutshell: OneUnited Bank was in deep trouble due to incompetence and mismanagement. Government officials knew all about it. And yet, they bent the rules for Waters and Frank and “invested” taxpayer funds in the floundering enterprise.

Consider this September 15, 2008, email from former Treasury Senior Advisor Michael Scott to Director of the Office of Financial Institutions Mario Ugoletti. It includes a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluation administered by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) noting serious issues with OneUnited’s lending practices:

2004 CRA Public Evaluation: While the institution received a CRA rating of “Low Satisfactory” on an overall basis, OneUnited Bank’s CRA rating for Massachusetts was “Needs to Improve” for both the Lending Test and the Investment Test. Under the Lending Test, the report stated that “OUB has done a poor job of meeting the credit needs of its [Boston, MA] assessment area. A review of the 2002 and 2003 HMDA data revealed a total of one loan. There were no reported Community Development Loans (CDL) and any innovative or flexible lending programs were apparently ineffective.” For the Massachusetts Investment Test, the report stated that “the level and complexity of investments within the Boston assessment area is less than satisfactory there were no equity investments or qualified deposits within the assessment area. The low volume of qualified investments within the assessment area is a concern.”

In Florida, the institution received a CRA rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” which also represented the subordinate rating for the Lending Test…

A subsequent 2007 CRA evaluation noted continued problems with OneUnited’s lending program, particularly in Florida.

The documents also include a January 3, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, to former Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari highlighting Barney Frank’s intervention in the OneUnited Bank bailout and calling attention to significant concerns about the OneUnited transaction:

According to the WSJ [Wall Street Journal] Barney Frank told them that he specifically put section 103-6 in the bill in order to help this particular bank. Apparently this bank also had an issue with a Porsche that the regulators had made them get rid of. The story will run later this week and will highlight three banks that they think raise questions and are not “healthy” banks…

(As I’ve noted previously, according to the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, Treasury indicated it would only provide bailout funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending.) Judicial Watch also uncovered a memorandum entitled “Regulatory Financial Highlights” that includes detailed financial information related to OneUnited as well as a summary of information collected by Treasury during its investigation of the bank.

According to these documents, OneUnited sought government assistance in part because the company owned $52 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock that was “irrevocably impaired” when the government seized control of the two GSEs. However, as noted by one Treasury email from Michael Scott, OneUnited “purchased their Fannie/Freddie stock in the first quarter of 2008,” long after the problems cited in the government’s two CRA assessments. The official commented, “Interesting, huh?”

Yes, it certainly is…

n light of these documents, I do not think there is any question that, if not for the corrupt intervention by Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, OneUnited would not have gotten a $12 million taxpayer bailout. And this so-called community bank wasn’t actually lending much to the “community” that Frank and Waters were purporting to help.

Today’s Washington Post adds more devastating detail to this scandal (and references documents first obtained by Judicial Watch). The paper reports that regulators knew that OneUnited could not get aid under law. So Frank, for Waters, inserted a provision into the TARP legislation designed to help OneUnited. But that wasn’t enough because the bank was so poorly run. And the rules were bent further:

Still, OneUnited did not meet the normal threshold for obtaining TARP money. As the inspector general for the TARP program, Neil M. Barofsky, said in a 2009 report that referred to OneUnited’s troubles without citing its name, the bank had not met five metrics, indicating it was not adequately capitalized.

Moreover, the FDIC, in a memo to the Treasury Department analyzing its TARP application, warned explicitly that the bank was in a “precarious financial position”…

But a committee of regulators and a group of top Treasury officials then departed from customary practices. They did so even though one Treasury member said that “he was very concerned about this bank,” according to Barofsky’s report.

The report said these reviewers decided that the bank’s viability could be assessed “with applied-for TARP funds taken into account” as an existing capital asset on its balance sheet. In short, the reviewers assessed the bank as though it already had the money, to make it eligible for the aid.

The resulting $12 million boost to OneUnited’s bottom line – again without a penny moving anywhere – finally allowed it to look healthy enough to win the loan…

The Obama administration has thus far produced 639 pages in response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA investigation of the Waters/Frank bailout scandal. But they’re still keeping 203 pages under lock and key. It is not hard to see why.

For politicians, reporters, and political consultants trying to figure out the Tea Party and why so many Americans are angry at Washington corruption – they might want to look at this corrupt mess in TARP uncovered by Judicial Watch.

Constitutional Government Under Assault with New Consumer Czar

There’s a new Wall Street Sheriff in town. Her name is Elizabeth Warren and she’s President Obama’s pick to help set up (control) a brand new Big Government agency called the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. (Just so you know, this new agency was the brainchild of the corrupt Fannie and Freddie twins, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. The laughably named Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Acteffectively gives the federal government control of our nation’s financial sector. (Think of it as Obamacare for Wall Street, the stock market, and credit cards.)

Obama and his allies have been big promoters of Warren, who is the left-wing patron saint of so-called consumer protection.

There’s only one problem. In the dubious tradition of Obama czars, Warren is a leftist radical with a “penchant for provocative statements” and has very little chance of being confirmed by even a Democratic Senate. How anti-business? Well, in a blog she crafted for in 2005, Warren said: “…big corporate interests, led by the consumer finance industry, are devouring families and spitting out the bones.”

And that’s just one example.

Even Democrat Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, sees thewriting on the wall on a Warren appointment. Dodd has publicly stated that he doubts Warren could muster the votes for confirmation. Many others in Congress agree, even if they won’t say it publicly.

So, how do you think this President plans to “move forward” with this appointment in light of a looming confirmation war? By ignoring the Senate confirmation process! The Obama White House had Warren post a propaganda item today announcing her appointment:

The President asked me, and I enthusiastically agreed, to serve as an Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has also asked me to take on the job to get the new CFPB started—right now.

Warren goes on in her statement to push the socialist trope of “leveling the playing field” in the consumer credit market. Obama White House officials are spinning this as an “interim appointment.” But we all know the strategy: Get Warren in the back door, and have her put her stamp on the “creation” of this powerful new agency, while really running it. (Obama calls this an “interim appointment.” We call it a “czar.”) Indeed, Obama’s statement today about the Warren appointment shows that he is essentially giving her the keys to the kingdom of the new government agency.

But our Constitutional Professor-in-Chief needs to heed the Appointments Clause of the US Constitution (Article II, Section 2) states that “officers” of the United States must be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. As the Justice Department explained in 2007: A position is an office of the United States if it is “(1) invested by legal authority with a portion of the sovereign powers of the federal Government, and (2) it is ‘continuing.’” Such “sovereign powers” generally involve “binding the Government or third parties for the benefit of the public, such as by administering, executing, or authoritatively interpreting laws.”

It sure seems to me like Ms. Warren is set to act as an officer of the United States. Except her legal authority, since she’s unconfirmed by the U.S. Senate, is null. But, according to Businessweek, Warren will have a “$400 million budget and the power to impose federal rules on mortgages, credit cards, layaway plans and other consumer credit products.”

With this much money and this much power at Warren’s disposal, don’t you think her record ought to be thoroughly examined by Congress? We do. Most Americans do. And the Constitution certainly mandates it. But none of this is of concern to President Obama as he continues to preside over the massive and unprecedented expansion of federal government.

Even the Left has raised hackles about this lawlessness. The notoriously radical Internet site Daily Kos posted an article that highlights the legally dubious nature of Obama’s new czar appointment. The piece, by a supporter of Warren’s, suggests that Obama has no authority to install her.

Judicial Watch has an ongoing, thorough investigation of Obama’s czars. You can read all about it by clicking here. By our count, Obama has appointed 42 czars, with Warren’s appointment perhaps being the most striking example of Obama’s abuse of office, his contempt for Congress, and his disrespect for our republican form of government.

AZ Illegal Immigration Update

As I’ve noted in recent weeks, Judicial Watch is smack-dab in the middle of the nation’s most critical and contentious legal battle – the Obama administration’s full-scale assault on SB 1070, Arizona’s strong, new illegal immigration law.

First, we filed a “Motion to Intervene” on behalf of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who authored the legislation. And we then filed a brief on behalf of Sen. Pearce with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking the court to lift an injunction granted by the lower court that had put a hold on key components of the law.

Most recently Judicial Watch assisted a national group of state legislators who support the law and want the preliminary injunction lifted.

Here’s a squib from the press release. (And you can read the brief here.)

Pennsylvania State Representative and State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) founder Daryl Metcalfe announced today that this nationwide coalition of state lawmakers has filed an amicus brief with the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the Obama administration’s legal challenge to Arizona’s newly enacted illegal alien apprehension and deportation law (Senate Bill 1070)…

…SLLI’s amicus brief was filed on behalf of the state of Arizona and Governor Jan Brewer with the assistance of Judicial Watch ( Signed by a total of 51 state lawmakers from 24 state legislatures, the brief urges the court to reverse the preliminary injunction granted on July 28, 2010, and allow all the provisions of Senate Bill 1070 to be enforced immediately.

“It is beyond unconscionable for the Obama administration to launch a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the state of Arizona for passing a common sense law that is in full accordance with Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution…,” said Rep. Metcalfe.

Unconscionable, yes, but not unexpected. Obama and his consitutiencies have shown that they are dead set against enforcing the rule of law.

And when the courts don’t work quickly enough, they find another way. If you’ve been reading this column over the last couple of months, you already know about the Obama administration’s various schemes to enact stealth illegal alien amnesty.

For example, The Houston Chronicle published this story on August 24: The Obama Department of Homeland Security is “systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records…”

And then there was the scandalous Obama administration internal memo outlining a potpourri of “administrative” strategies to grant amnesty without approval by Congress.

(On August 23 Judicial Watch joined a number of other conservative organizations andsent a letter to the president expressing our extreme dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s unlawful strategy as outlined in the memo.)

But, as it turns out, liberals in Congress, led by Nevada Senator Harry Reid, are still working hard to pass amnesty legislation and render these “administrative” strategies unnecessary. According to CNN:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.

The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Reid called the DREAM Act “really important” and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.






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