The Obama campaign announced Monday that former lobbyist and veteran Democratic attorney Broderick Johnson will serve as senior adviser to the President’s 2012 reelection team. Before founding a communications company this spring, Johnson worked for the powerhouse lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP, where he represented a number of high-profile clients, including FedEx, Comcast, Microsoft, and TransCanada, the Calgary-based energy company planning to build the controversial 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline which would transport Canadian crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast. Johnson has some experience in campaign politics, as he was "closely involved" in past Democratic presidential bids, and in 2008, he "served as an informal advisor to the Obama presidential campaign," according to his communications firm’s website.
"I accept this opportunity to join the senior staff of the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign with great pride and a strong sense of duty," Johnson said in a statement. "We must reelect the President in order to build an economy that rewards hard work and restores economic security for the middle class and that provides an opportunity to families working hard to rise above poverty."
"Broderick joins the campaign with the insight of many years of experience in public service and on campaigns, including the 2008 campaign," applauded Jim Messina, campaign manager for Obama’s reelection team. "Broderick will be an invaluable advisor to the campaign as well as our representative at key events around the country."
It wasn’t long after World War II ended that U.S. troops were once again involved in another foreign war. This time, however, there was a notable difference. After North Korea invaded the South in 1950, President Truman intervened with U.S. combat troops in a United Nations “police action.” There was no congressional declaration of war. There was not even the slightest pretense of consulting Congress.
On five different occasions, the United States had declared war on other countries: the War of 1812, the Mexican War (1848), the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917), and World War II (1941 against Japan, Germany, and Italy; 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania).
That Congress issued these declarations of war doesn’t necessarily mean that they should have been issued. It just means that it was recognized that a major military engagement called for a real declaration of war by the Congress according to Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution.
But not only did over 36,000 American soldiers needlessly die in the Korean War when we entered that conflict under the auspices of the UN, the results of this unconstitutional action are still with us today. Since the armistice was signed in 1953, a day has not gone by when the United States has not had thousands of troops stationed in South Korea. There are at least 25,000 U.S. soldiers still in Korea, some no doubt the grandchildren of the soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
Critics note that the Obama administration is forging ahead with its mission to make the U.S. Congress absolutely obsolete. The latest endeavor involves circumventing Congress in order to push the President's housing and student loans agenda.
Earlier this year, Obama indicated that he would bypass Congress when he felt it necessary in order to achieve his goals. Appearing before the radical Hispanic group La Raza in July, the President admitted that it is “very tempting” to do things his own way. He later made similar assertions before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, proclaiming, “There are times where — until Nancy Pelosi is Speaker again — I’d like to work my way around Congress.”
A Florida elementary school principal has been targeted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) for promoting a regular prayer gathering at his school. On October 11 the Wisconsin-based secular watchdog group sent a letter to Ben Wortham, superintendent of the Clay County school district near Jacksonville, to complain about the weekly “Prayer Around the Flagpole” meetings that principal Larry Davis was allowing at Clay Hill Elementary School. FFR was particularly alarmed that Davis had promoted the prayer meeting, which is led by local pastors, in a school newsletter to staff members.
“Our prayer around the school’s flagpole event is to pray for the nation, for each other, and for the school,” Davis explained in the newsletter. The principal referred to a Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries, whom he said was “calling Christians nation-wide to bring back the Holy Bible and Christian prayer to schools.”
In the memo, Davis quoted Andrew as saying that the First Amendment was meant “for Christianity, not other religions,” and that America’s Founding Fathers “fought for God’s unalienable rights of Christian life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Declared Andrew in a September press release, “Freedom comes from obeying God. Let’s get active to bring back the Holy Bible and Christian prayer to schools.”
I have a theory about the canary in the coal mine. I expect that before it died of asphyxiation, it would panic and chirp loudly and vigorously at the prospect of its coming demise. It would then fall silent, and pass out, and its change in behavior would warn the miners that the air in the mine had become foul.
The use of canaries in coal mines to warn miners of the danger of accumulating noxious vapors is not just an "old wives' tale." As recently as the 1980s, miners in the UK used the birds to warn of danger. The practice was described by the BBC, which noted that, beginning in 1911, tradition held that two canaries should be "employed by each pit."
The canaries served to warn miners of danger until 1986 when the British government decided to replace them with modern electronic equipment, to the disappointment of the miners. But until that time, the canaries kept the miners safe, changes in their behavior warning of the coming of danger.
Today, in America, the canary in the political coal mine is panicking, and like the miners of old, we should take heed.
The Nullify Now! tour sponsored by the Tenth Amendment Center has gained momentum since its inception last year and has effectively brought states rights to the forefront of political discussion amongst conservative groups. This past weekend, the tour made its way to Jacksonville, Florida, where state sovereignty was highlighted and asserted to be the last best hope against a federal government operating in an unconstitutional manner.
The all-day event at the Jacksonville Riverfront Omni Hotel, attended by approximately 250 people, featured an informative agenda and prominent experts on the subjects of constitutionalism and nullification.
The Tenth Amendment Center’s Francisco Rodriguez told The New American, “We were glad to see a broad array of people interested in these subjects, ranging from monetary policy to Agenda 21. There was a good response overall.”
Rodriguez also discussed his excitement at the launch of the Tenth Amendment committees, which he describes as “groups within groups” whose goal “is to get people engaged after the event, providing them educational classes on the constitution, the Tenth Amendment, and nullification.” Rodriguez added that his group is “looking forward to the committees being a big success.”
New York City's Comptroller, John Liu, long touted as a top-tier candidate to be the city's next mayor, has hit some stumbling blocks. Liu, the first Asian-American elected to citywide office, raised more than one million dollars in campaign donations in the first half of 2011, but the source of much of that political war chest is now being questioned. In an October 11 front-page story, the New York Times, which has in the past been a big booster of Liu, reports that its investigation of Liu's donors has uncovered troubling irregularities. The Times story by Raymond Hernandez and David W. Chen reports:
"Canvassing by The New York Times of nearly 100 homes and workplaces of donors listed on Mr. Liu's campaign finance reports raises questions about the source and legitimacy of some donations, as well as whether some of the donors even exist. Some two dozen irregularities were uncovered, including instances in which people listed as having given to Mr. Liu say they never gave, say a boss or other Liu supporter gave for them, or could not be found altogether." The story continues:
Two people who described attending banquets in which Mr. Liu appeared and posed for photos said that company executives who support him provided donations in the names of those in attendance.
"In addition," says the Times piece, "Mr. Liu is not complying with some basic campaign finance laws: To protect against so-called straw donors, the city requires that donor cards submitted with campaign contributions be filled out only by the person making the donation. In numerous instances in Mr. Liu's campaign, one person appears to have filled out cards for multiple donors."
Newt Gingrich emerged as the winner of the October 22 Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum, if measured by the level of audience applause. The Christian-right audience gave the thrice-married Gingrich several rounds of loud applause and an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of his address.
Gingrich — a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who began the presidential race with a devastating resignation by much of his campaign staff — had been judged not a viable candidate. He was even parodied several times on Saturday Night Live as a "curio from a bygone era." Yet Gingrich has gradually risen in the polls after performing well in recent debates, and has been scoring in the high single digits in national polls in recent weeks.
The national Faith and Freedom Coalition is run by former Pat Robertson functionary Ralph Reed, who served as head of Robertson's Christian Coalition. Both the Christian Coalition and the Faith and Freedom Coalition focus upon social issues such as the sanctity of marriage, abortion, and opposing the homosexual agenda.
The additional irony of the strong crowd enthusiasm for Gingrich (other than his personal life) is that the former House Speaker's record is far from the conservative crowd's well-known small government preferences. Gingrich's record has proven he's no friend of limited government, even though much of his rhetoric sounds good. As a Congressman, Gingrich voted with President Jimmy Carter to create the U.S.
Where does Herman Cain stand on abortion? In an October 19 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, the GOP presidential candidate managed to paint himself into a corner on the issue, causing some conservative voters who had supported him to wonder if the self-described pro-life candidate is really subtly pro-choice.
Cain began the interview solidly enough, answering Morgan’s query, “What’s your view of abortion?” by declaring: “I believe that life begins at conception, and abortion under no circumstances.”
But then things began to go badly. Feigning disbelief at Cain’s response, Morgan baited the rookie politician, wondering, “No circumstance?” adding, “… because some of your fellow candidates qualify that — rape and incest, and so on. Are you honestly saying that … if one of your female children, grandchildren was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?”
Cain told Morgan that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” Using rhetoric that pro-life observers said made him sound like an abortion activist, Cain added that “it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. Whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”
With practically each passing day, we are becoming ever more familiar with the recently identified PDS — Paul Derangement Syndrome. Also known as “Paulophobia,” PDS, it has now been determined, compels its victims to create for themselves an alternate reality, a parallel universe that is, in some critical respects, quite literally the mirror image of our own.
In the real world, those who are looking for a tireless, consistent champion of “limited government,” “individual rights,” “states’ rights,” and the like — i.e. “conservatives” and constitutionallist Republicans — know that there is but one person in the field of GOP presidential candidates to whom they can turn. That person, of course, is Congressman Ron Paul. In the real world, of this field of candidates, the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, has a record that exposes him as the least likely of such candidates to advance these principles.
But in the parallel universe that the Paulophobe labors incessantly to create, Mitt Romney is the GOP’s “frontrunner” while Ron Paul is treated as if he is marginal at best, non-existent at worst.