Friday, August 6, 2010

How Can Republican Victories This Fall Help Kill Obamacare?

This question came up in a Facebook discussion yesterday. I made a casual comment that Republican victories could help kill Obamacare and got a fair question. How?

First of all we have the court cases challenging the notion that the federal government can force you to purchase a commodity because you are alive. This runs counter to any principles or ideals Americans generally hold, as well as the Constitution, but without this part, Obamacare does not work. The Virginia case has gone farthest. This case will end up in the United States Supreme Court. Only five justices have consistently shown a dedication to restrained government and the Constitution. If one gets sick or dies, a Republican Senate can ensure that we keep socialists off the bench. It can also prevent any attempt by Obama to enlarge the court to get what he wants.

Second comes the matter of funding. All money bills start in the House of Representatives. The best way to kill a bad policy is to either vote it out or simply defund it until it dies of its own accord.

Finally there is the matter of states' rights. Missouri voters by an overwhelming margin (71% of the vote, more than Manchin got in West Virginia in 2008!) put into law a proposition that nullifies the federal government's power to compel anyone to purchase health insurance. This high percentage shows that mainstream Democrats do not even support this mandate. Other state legislatures have voted to opt out of and resist other facets of Obamacare. A leftist Congress can punish states by witholding highways funds. A Republican Congress will sympathize and work with them to get rid of this bad law.

Republican gains will help destroy Obamacare. Even if they cannot overturn it in one fell swoop, they can kill it with the death of a thousand cuts. Since 60% of the people still hate Obamacare and only 40% approve of Obama at all, this looks increasingly likely.

Oh and we hope everyone enjoys the fact that the First Lady is vacationing in Spain with seventy-seven secret service and forty of her best friends on your dime. And no, she is not in the Holiday Inn, either.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Open Letter to Doug and Sue McKinney

Dear Doug and Sue,

As a West Virginia Republican I want to thank you for your leadership in difficult times. Around the nation, our party saw declining influence, electoral defeats, and falling contributions. Despite those obstacles you cleaned up party finances, put us in a new headquarters, and brought in professional help to build an organization. It may be easy for some to forget those dark days, but I remember the discouragement of 2006 and 2008. We lost Congress and the presidency because many of the Republicans elected around the country tended to do what was expedient and not what was right. Hopefully we have found our way again as a national party. Our recent victories seem to indicate that. We may be seeing sunny days right now, but the storm clouds just passed for us. Your leadership kept us viable, active, and moving forward during those trying times.

On a personal note, I want to thank you for all your help, advice, and support. I cannot remember one major event that we planned where we invited you to come and you declined. Any questions I had got your response quickly. I appreciate that because I am not on the state committee, I am just a regular voting Republican who likes to help out when he can. You were accessible to people and that is important.

To close, I want to express my respect and my appreciation for all the hard work you put in during very difficult times. You kept us going despite all odds.

Thank you,

Stephen Smoot

Environmental Protection Agency Continues Its March to Irrelevance By Cracking Down on Farm Dust

Farm dust. Yup. Dirt stirred up by men and women working in the ground. The EPA is considering calling dust a pollutant and enacting stringent new regulations to harm our nation's farmers. As usual, this is something that will drive the little man out of business and benefit the big conglomerates.
I live right beside the Potomac State College farm. Yes there is a little bit more dust there than you would normally see. But is it really a pollutant? It is no more a pollutant than pollen that comes from certain flowers or crops. Will the EPA go after that next? I'm not joking. If they are going to regulate dust, the sky is the limit on stupid laws eminating from this agency. Will they next require states to pave every little country road in existence? What is the point of this and where will it stop? Seems to me that those who live by a farm simply have to buy a little bit more Pledge or move. Farmers have a right to use their property to make a living without so much government interference that they cannot operate.
At some point, the EPA will regulate itself into complete irrelevance. Bureaucrats who have never seen a farm are trying to force insane regulations onto teh backbone of this nation. It is constitutionally questionable whether or not the EPA actually has the authority to regulate anything. Just because we have allowed it to does not mean that it has the constitutional authority to do so.
We need to make our state legislators aware of this movement. It would not be hard to get a bipartisan group of West Virginia legislators together to petition our senators and representatives to halt this insanity.
Story below

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stopping the Slow Death of Mexico

What is the biggest national security problem that America will face in the next ten years?
Islamic fundamentalist and other forms of terror certainly have the capacity to hit our country hard. However they took their best shot at our institutions on 9/11 and we bounced back domestically while aggressively demolishing much of their organization. Outside of blowing up several atomic bombs or crashing the internet, terrorists have the capacity to injure, but not undermine.
Americans need to start looking south of the border. Mexico's slow collapse should raise alarm bells for everyone. It was not that long ago that parents had no qualms in sending their eighteen year olds to Mexican resorts to celebrate graduating high school. Now full grown and seasoned adults risk a great deal to party on those beaches.
Always corrupt, Mexico has seen its institutions further degraded by the growing power of drug cartels in its northern states. Drug bandits control huge parts of the desert and mountain regions and until recently owned Ciudad Juarez, a large city across the river from El Paso, Texas. They have grown increasingly assertive against American law enforcement as well, threatening police officers and also allegedly putting prices on the heads of some Arizona sheriffs. Murder, theft, and rape have skyrocketed in Arizona cities in the past few years, fueled by illegals with cartel connections.
The common denominator in this entire issue is the existence of these cartels and the power they wield in Mexico. They destroy the effectiveness of government, hinder economic development, and are destroying the fabric of that nation. Mexico has proved itself unable to deal with this threat on its own. The cartels have even staked out federal land in southern Arizona for observation posts. Clearly they seek to spread their reign of chaos to the border states of this nation. The wreckage they have caused drives illegals into this country. Many of them work for the cartels, others seek security. Regardless, we cannot afford to relax our laws to accomodate anyone.
The solution lies in a long term and sustained covert operation to destroy the cartels in Mexico run by the Central Intelligence Agency. They need the latitude to assassinate drug kingpins, blow up facilities, and disrupt in every way possible these organizations. On our side of the border, the FBI needs to infiltrate and destroy street gangs in the same manner as it knocked out the power of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s. We also need an armed National Guard presense on the border with orders to act as a military force against these people.
Think of it this way. The drug cartels have slowly invaded the United States. They occupy our sovereign territory, threaten our elected law enforcement officials. Like Middle Eastern terrorists, they are a non governmental threat to our national security. The threat comes not just in the form of what they do here, but also the effect they have on Mexico. We cannot afford to see Mexico turn into a Somalia. It is time to come up with a plan and act, regardless of th eposition of the Mexican government.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Candidates and Community

It takes a lot of time, commitment, money, and effort to run for office and I respect anyone who takes the plunge and follows through with fundraising, door to door walking, attendance at fairs and festivals, and anything else necessary.

That being said, some candidates tend to earn more respect than others from their communities. Those are the ones that didn't just start caring about community because they ran, but ran for office because they cared about their communities.

One great example is Harley Staggers Sr. Almost everyone has a story about his commitment to this region before and after his election as congressman. He taught kids to play ball, helped the sick find doctors in the middle of the night, and commuted to and from work in Washington most days. Remember, that was prior to four lane highways, too. His son keeps that family tradition alive by coaching middle school basketball in Keyser.

You see other candidates around the state with that same mentality. Charles Minimah and his wife are both running for the Legislature from districts in Charleston on the Republican ticket. They run a small business and have been active for many years in promoting black heritage in the Kanawha Valley. Locally you see Gary Howell active in Rotary, Rose Ann Maine in Kiwanis, and all our legislators, Dave Sypolt, Ruth Rowan, and Allen Evans, contributing by sponsoring livestock at the fair. You see them at the community dinners and gun bashes in and out of the political season. School Board candidate and recent addition to the county Republican executive committee, Butch Wahl has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Keyser High School athletic complex. They show their support for local fundraising by purchasing tickets and attending events whenever possible.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Clip from California Representative Pete Stark, Hat Tip to Hot

Clearly in the minds of Democrats, power trumps the law of the land.

Legislation By Lawsuit Must Stop

A long time ago, judges and justices held a belief that their purview had fairly narrow limits. Issues that the legislative branch could handle were generally left to Congress or the states. They understood that in a republic such as ours, the judicial branch had to remain restrained and that the elected officials must make the decisions. Only in egregious situations, such as the severe and unwarranted violation of civil rights, should courts intervene.

That was generations ago. Elena Kagan represents only the latest of an army of activist judges and justices. They believe that they shape the law as opposed to an earlier time when courts saw themselves as restrained by it. A court decision can affect the lives of millions and never reach the desk of someone elected by the people.

This encourages "legislation by lawsuit." If legislatures will not act on an issue, find a court that is friendly to the issue and file suit. You can get products banned from the market, tourists banned from beaches, and beneficial state laws blocked. A federal court last week issued an injunction against Arizona's law which merely asks individuals involved in traffic stops or arrests to prove their identity. Last I checked, we all had to do that anyway. Down in North Carolina, local communities fear that special interest group lawsuits will close beaches that bring millions in revenue to the eastern part of that state. It only takes one environmental kook judge to ruin it for everyone.

We need restrained government and we need restrained judges.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stretch Run

It will be here before we know it. Not the Christmas rush, but the November elections. I've been hibernating for a week at the Outer Banks myself and most folks have taken the whole summer off from politics. However, now that August is here, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

In all the hubbub over the replacement of Senator Byrd and the special election bill, West Virginia's fine nominees for Congress have gotten less attention. David McKinley and Spike Maynard need our help to overthrow the Pelosi machine and return Congress to sanity. Shelley Moore Capito's re-election will put her in a prime position to assume House leadership roles if the GOP regains control. Those working for Warner and Raese hopefully will put their efforts behind the nominee this fall.

Don't forget state legislative and county level races. These candidates need help as well. They inluence our daily lives more directly than anyone so these candidates races are crucial.