Texans around the state, and other Americans who have followed the travails of passing an anti-TSA groping bill in Texas this year, were stunned and disheartened when the Lone Star State’s special session ended early Tuesday without passing the popular Traveler’s Dignity measure.
It was a wild ride on a bucking bronco for the bill. It first sailed through the Lone Star State's regular House session (with unanimous approval), but the feds then threatened not to allow commercial flights in the state if the bill were to become law. The threat caused the state Senate to back away from the bill, which died without a vote in the Senate chamber. But after the regular legislative session, Texans deluged Governor Rick Perry's office with emails and phone calls imploring the Governor to call up the anti-TSA groping bill in a special session of the Texas legislature that had been convened for other purposes. During this time, two Texas officials denounced the groping they were subjected to by the TSA, and their personal stories, circulated on YouTube, fueled the firestorm of grassroots support for the anti-TSA groping bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 held major portions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act of 2002 an unconstitutional abridgement of the First Amendment's guarantee of "the freedom of speech." On Monday of this week, the Court also held a state law to be in violation of the same Bill of Rights guarantee, despite an attempt to justify it with the same high purpose the federal law proclaimed: an attempt to eliminate the corruption of elections by moneyed interests.
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled Arizona's 1998 Citizens Clean Elections Act unconstitutional because its effect, and its all but certain intent, is to punish candidates who spend their own or privately donated money on campaign advertising beyond the level of the public funding available to all candidates. Expenditures of private funds by a candidate triggered an increase of public funds to the candidate's opponent or opponents, who would receive the extra money without having to go through the work of soliciting it. Spending by independent groups supporting a privately financed candidate also triggered matching donations of public funds to opponents, despite Court rulings that independent expenditures are core political speech and do not give rise to corruption.
The Pledge of Allegiance continues to cause controversy, this time for the city council of Eugene, Oregon. The council debated whether or not the pledge should be recited before every council meeting, but the proposal was voted down. Instead, the council came to a compromise that apparently appeased no one.
The compromise proposed that the pledge be recited at just four council meetings a year — those closest to patriotic holidays: the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Flag Day. Reciting the pledge would be voluntary. Councilman Mike Clark had hoped that the board members would be pleased, but found that when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance, no there is no simple solution.
Somebody once said that making laws is a lot like making sausage, so we’re better off not watching the process.* But Texas’ bout with a bill to prohibit Leviathan’s lackeys from groping us at airports and elsewhere resembled opera more than sausage-making: the legislation was near passage, then it suddenly died before triumphantly resurrecting, only to limp mutilated and weakened from Texas’ Senate. The House votes on it again today – or never. Will it finally become law? It isn’t over till the fat lady sings.
This bill should have generated no controversy whatever since it simply affirms the Fourth Amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure:
Of the many things in which George Soros has been involved, critics now say he is working to “stack the courts.” Soros has already established a reputation for spending millions of dollars each year in support or political, social, and global issues. As he is well known for his financial ability as a political maneuverer, this latest revelation should come as no surprise.
According to Fox News, Soros’ newest priority of "replacing elections for judges with selection-by-committee" has now drawn the attention of critics who are accusing him of attempting to stack the courts.
On Monday, a federal judge blocked portions of a Georgia law that would crack down on illegal immigration, at least until a legal challenge is fully resolved. In his ruling, the judge asserted that the role of enforcing immigration laws should be left to the federal government.
The order was handed down by Judge Thomas Thrash — a 1997 Bill Clinton appointee — who granted a request to block provisions in the law that would punish those who knowingly and willingly transport illegal aliens while committing another crime. Thrash also put a halt to the part of the law that would authorize police officers to verify the immigration status of someone who is unable to provide proper identification at the time of a stop.
How time flies when you're under the boot!
By now, most people are well-acquainted with the latest atrocities imposed in the name of crime and terrorism by our ruling class, exemplified most prominently this year by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the most recent outrage, this June Mrs. Lena Reppert , a wheelchair-bound 95-year-old lady dying of leukemia, was forced to remove her soiled adult diaper, while her distraught daughter accompanied her from Florida to Michigan to be with relatives prior to a planned relocation to a nearby assisted-living facility.
The TSA, as always, absolved themselves by alleging the woman “had other options.” Yes, indeed: Missing her flight — in this case not an option due to her precarious medical condition.
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., referring to his race and the Constitution on John Stossel's recent show "The State Against Blacks," said, "I wasn't even considered three-fifths of a guy." The Rev. Al Sharpton, debating on Sean Hannity's show, said, "Any black, at any age at any stage, was three-fifths of a human." Even eminent historian John Hope Franklin charged the Founders with "degrading the human spirit by equating five black men with three white men." Statements such as those either represent ignorance or are part of the leftist agenda to demean the founding principles of our nation by portraying the nation's Founders as racists. Let's look at the origin of the three-fifths clause.
Northern delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and those opposed to slavery wished to count only free people of each state for the purpose of representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Southerners wanted to count slaves just as any other person. By counting slaves, who didn't have a right to vote, slave states would have had greater representation in the House and the Electoral College. If slaveholding states could not have counted slaves, the Constitution would not have been ratified and there would not be a union. The compromise was for slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person in deciding representation in the House and Electoral College. The compromise reduced the power of slave states relative to the South's original proposal but increased it over the North's original proposal.
Texans in support of the exceedingly popular anti-TSA groping bill, which garnered national attention, experienced yet another harried ascent on the roller-coaster that has been the bill’s life in this legislative session. After being stomped by Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus last week, passage appeared all but lost in the special session, but the House yesterday managed to pass a weakened version. It was sent to the Senate and a surprise move by Senator Dan Patrick restored some teeth to the bill, which had been so watered down it had even lost support from some grass roots movements. Passage by the Senate sent the bill back to the House today, and it appears victory may be snatched from the jaws of defeat.
The Texas legislature has for some time now been considering legislation to criminalize the Transportation Security Administration’s groping of airplane passengers. The Lone Star State has not, however, tried to get the entire TSA banished from its borders, and with good reason: Last year the state made $300,000 from the sale of items confiscated by TSA agents.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that a state surplus store in the capital has “one small room” nearly filled with “items that were left behind or confiscated — ‘We say willfully surrendered,’ said cashier Roberta Siller — at airport security checkpoints.” Those items were “willfully surrendered” in the same way one willfully surrenders his wallet to an armed robber blocking his exit. Travelers had no choice but to hand them over to the TSA’s armed agents if they wanted to fly.