EnduringSense

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Posts Tagged ‘Reid’

Attack on Constitution’s First Amendment

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 21, 2017

The U.S. Constitution is a remarkable document, including the United States’ supreme law. The Constitution initially paved the way for 13 diverse colonies to come together and form a Federation by preserving rights of each colony (state). Its fair and stable legal platform played a huge role in the Country’s success.

Amending the Constitution was purposely made difficult to inhibit changes made on the political whims of populists. Amendments require the calling of a Constitutional Convention or two thirds supermajorities in both houses of Congress. Still, the Constitution has been amended 27 times by Congress, including the pivotal Bill of Rights with its 10 amendments made in 1791.

The First Amendment under the Bill of Rights states:bill-of-rights

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment, free speech has come under attack in recent years through the use of political correctness with its social pressures. More recently, some on the Left have been more transparent in efforts to inhibit speech with increased ferocity since Donald Trump’s election.

This Blogger recently discussed the First Amendment with a slightly left-of-center acquaintance who would curtail speech in the name of public safety. In justifying the control of speech, he used the example of crying fire in a crowded movie theater and its risk of creating injury. He equates this example to those who take an anti-illegal immigrant philosophy in America, believing that it leads to attacks on immigrants or aliens. This author believes the comparison is a canard used to curtail the discussion of disagreeable ideas.

Inhibiting free speech, either through social pressures or the legal system, is a slippery slope traveled in the past. McCarthyism was a hammer used by the Right to inhibit the speech of liberals in the 1950s. A similar tactic is now in vogue by the Left, but for a different political agenda. For those who dare to discuss immigration policy, religion security issues, sexual mores, or social benefits, for example, are microphone labeled bigots, homophobic, Islamaphobic, or as Hillary said, “deplorable”.

The key issue with any attack on free speech should be how do we choose who gets to determine what constitutes calling the fire in a theater? Should the curtailing be to the benefit of ones’ political views, they are more likely to agree with the First Amendment attack. However, sooner or later the opposing side gains power and that is why the slippery-slope should concern all, irrespective of political views.

In a relevant example, a few years ago Harry Reid used the nuclear option in the Senate to allow Democrats to use a simple majority to get Obama appointments approved quickly. Previously this required a 60-vote Senate majority. Reid justified this drastic action claiming the Republicans to be the “party of no”, inferring that the step was required to keep government moving. Obama and fellow Liberals were all too happy to go along, irrespective of future consequences. Now, Trump and the Republicans have the use the nuclear option and the Democrats are screaming.

The Senate’s 60 vote requirement was created to make political appointments bipartisan, not easy. Similar to the Second Amendment, this rule had the long-term good of the Country behind it, with the goal of further legitimizing presidential power. The nuclear option has increased polarization and the divide in the Country and government. Instead of looking to Reid’s or Obama’s role in increasing political divisiveness, Trump is demonized for appointments.

Americans on the Left and Right would do well to look at the Constitution is a set of laws created to protect the long-term interest of all. Those that would mold it to fit their short-term agendas do so at the peril of their own future rights.

Posted in Constitution | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Harry Reid Claims “Border is Secure”

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 16, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is known for making outrageous, partisan and downright stupid statements.  However, even by these standards, Reid went over the top this week during comments he made to reporters after the weekly Democratic caucus meeting.  In it, as included in the video below, Reid claims “the border is secure.”  That ridiculous claim brings into question Reid’s sanity, if not his intelligence.  Just imagine the clamoring from the mainstream media had Sarah Palin made such an outrageous comment.

Posted in Harry Reid, Illegal Immigrants | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

“Dirty Harry” Reid Exposed by MSNBC

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 5, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is known for his hyper partisan politics and a willingness to use lies in attacks against opponents.  One of the better known examples was his claim during the last presidential campaign that Mitt Romney did not pay income taxes.  While the attack was proved false, Reid was unapologetic.

This week Reid was at it again, calling the Koch brothers un-American for supporting conservative candidates with their wallet.  The attack was pure McCarthyism now embraced by the Liberal Left.  However, it even made some on the Left uncomfortable as demonstrated by it being condemned by a media ally during MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.  During the show, host Joe Scarborough correctly called Reid a liar and none of the other host or guest were willing to come to Reid’s defends.  In fact even unabashed Democratic supporterMika Brzezinski criticized the Majority Leader indicating that she “cringed” at Reid’s comments.

The fact that Harry Reid is a partisan politician is not news.  That could be said for most of his fellow senators on both sides of the political aisle.  The fact that Reid is a liar places him in a bit smaller group of fellow senators.  However, it is the way Harry Reid has damaged the stature of the office of the Majority Leader that is so disgraceful.  It shows how little regard Reid has for his country.

Posted in Harry Reid, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Senate’s Rejection Vote on Adegbile Shows Obama to be Tone Deaf

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 6, 2014

A few months ago Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used the so-called “nuclear option” and changed the Senate’s filibuster rule for presidential appointments.  Prior to Reid’s rule change, the filibuster rules required a 60 vote supermajority to approve presidential appointments.  This rule was in play for much of Senate’s history and was designed to give the minority party more of say in passing Senate legislation.

Reid’s gamble on the rule change set a dangerous precedent, significantly increasing the majority party’s power.  While that currently serves the interest of Democrats and their liberal allies, it guarantees that sometime in the future it will increase the power for Republicans.  This procedural change should concern any American who believes the country needs checks and balances to keep it from swaying too far to the Left or Right.

AdegbileEarlier this week the Senate handed Pres. Obama a stunning defeat when Democrats could not get even a simple majority to approve his nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division.  By a vote of 52 to 47, seven Democrats abandoned the President and joined all Republicans in blocking Adegbile’s nomination.

Obama’s Adegbile nomination was controversial from the start.  Adegbile spent significant legal effort supporting Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer in 1981.

Supporters of Adegbile claim he is being mistreated and that he was merely doing his job as a legal advocate when representing Abu-Jamal’s interests.  While that logic may be appropriate for many future employment opportunities, Adegbile’s past associations are fair game when seeking an important post within the Justice Department.

Even though seven Democrats joined Republicans in rejecting Adegbile, Obama was unapologetic labeling the vote a “travesty” based on “wildly unfair” attacks.  The President further stated:  “Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications are impeccable.  He represents the best of the legal profession, with wide-ranging experience, and the deep respect of those with whom he has worked.  As a lawyer, Mr. Adegbile has played by the rules.  And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him.”  History is littered with tales of many individuals who played by the “rules”, but took inappropriate actions.

During his first campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama promised to be the president for both blue and red states.  This was one of many broken promises by the President.  Many of Obama’s nominees are far to the Left of center politically, to the point of being radical.  However, to this president, people like Van Jones, William Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, and Debo Adegbile merely represent his own radical Leftists views.

Posted in President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pelosi Heckled at Town Hall Meeting

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 19, 2011

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, was heckled yesterday at a town hall meeting by some who did not agree her vote for the debt ceiling compromise.  Surprisingly these complaints came from fellow Lefties in a San Francisco town hall meeting.  I thought it was those nasty Right-wingers who refused to compromise?

You would expect Pelosi, Reid and Obama to take heat from the Right.  And to this the growing attacks from the Left and you can see the makings of a Party and Presidency in turmoil.

Posted in Nancy Pelosi, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Retiring Democrat Discusses Party’s Mistakes

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 31, 2010

As the elections have gotten closer and the Democrat’s poll numbers got worse, it has been amazing to watch the denial from the Party’s leadership.  When confronted with the numbers, Obama, Reid and Pelosi would indicate that the problem was their “communications” or caused by Fox News, Limbaugh and others.  Never would they admit their errors and misunderstanding of the People’s desires.

Yesterday, Wall Street Journal writer John Fund wrote of an interview with retiring Democrat Congressman, Brian Baird of Washington state.  Baird voted for Nancy Pelosi’s major legislative priorities including the Stimulus Package, Cap and Trade and Healthcare reform.  However, this six-termer had enough of politics, wanting to spend more time with his family.  He was therefore willing to openly discuss the issues that will lead to the upcoming carnage the Democrats will face in next week’s election.  Baird’s conclusions include:

  • On Pelosi’s House leadership: “It’s been an authoritarian, closed leadership.  That style plus a general groupthink mentality didn’t work when Tom DeLay called the shots”.  “We’ve made some of the same damn mistakes, and we were supposed to be better.”
  • On Pelosi’s reforms to make the House more ethical and deliberative: “We abandoned all that work after the election, and leaders told us we should trust them to clean things up.”
  • On fiscal responsibility.  “We initially had numbers a bit more honest than the Republicans – we at least included war costs in the budget.  Now we’re authorizing programs for three years instead of five in an attempt to pretend we’re saving money.”
  • On Cap and Trade“You don’t get real reform by pandering to every special interest.  With cap and trade we wound up with a bill that didn’t accomplish much, was enormously complicated and expensive.”
  • On Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who helped create the housing meltdown: “When I was first elected I was puzzled why they were holding events in my honor as a mere freshman.  I asked myself, why is a federal entity so involved in political activity?
  • On Healthcare reform:  “What the hell were we doing voting on this?  I had labor groups come to me and insist the bill was so important we couldn’t wait to know what was in it.  I asked them if they were handed a new union contract and told it was so important they had to agree to it without reading it, would they go along?
  • Also on Healthcare reform:  “I warned my fellow Democrats that the insurance companies they were whacking could increase premiums just before the midterm election and blame them for it.  I pointed out that the major benefits wouldn’t kick in till 2014, but the costs were up front.  I asked them, where was the political win?  There was no real answer.”
  • In his new book, Character, Politics and Responsibility, Baird said:  “I would eliminate the concept of entitlements and move to needs-based social insurance.  The key is to both promote personal responsibility while lowering expenditures by not promising or giving money or other benefits to those who don’t need it.”  While questionable logic, the honesty is refreshing.
  • On the Democrats’ willful blindness:  “Back in September, we had pollsters and strategists from my party tell members that the mass of people didn’t care about the deficit.  The mind-boggling lack of reality coming from some of the people who give us so-called advice is stunning.
  • On the upcoming elections: “It looks like we’re going to lose the House, possibly badly, and could lose the Senate.  We will lose a lot of centrists while the people in the Party some voters are most mad at survive in safe districts.  A lot of rethinking is needed”.

Finally, Baird has some advice for the soon to be elected newbie’s (Republicans):

“Governing isn’t as easy as you think.  Many of you have taken pledges that are contradictory – to balance the budget and cut taxes, for example.  You must be honest about the numbers, since our annual deficit now exceeds all discretionary spending combined.  If you set as your goal to roll back the size of government, you have an obligation to answer the tough questions and show real courage, not just appeal to ideology.  Treat the voters like adults.”

The Republican Party would do well to heed Mr. Baird’s sage advice.  They should remember  that it was the failure of their Republican Party that got the Country in the frame of mind where it was willing to vote for a man with no executive experience and give him the keys to the kingdom by also giving his Party control of both houses of Congress.

 

 

Posted in Democrats, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reid Breaks with Obama on NYC Mosque Location

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 18, 2010

President Obama threw many Democrats under the bus Friday when he came out strongly in favor of building the mosque at the 9/11 site.  Now some Democrats are separating themselves from the President.

Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, through a spokesman said: “The First Amendment protects freedom of religion.  Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else.”

Given the political ramifications of the President’s latest disagreement with the will of most Americans, some interesting questions arise.

  1. Is the President tone-death to the will of the American people?
  2. Is Obama politically naïve?
  3. Is Obama trying to get the Democrats kicked out of Congress in November so he’ll have Republicans to blame for a weak economy when he runs for reelection?

None of these reasons point to man with character.

Posted in Islam, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Leftist Las Vegas Convention Shows Frail Nerves

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 25, 2010

Leftist MSNBC reported on the less than successful Netroots Nation gathering, a meeting of the Loony-Left just completed in Las Vegas.  In trying to sooth the Party’s left fringe, President Obama said via video: “Change hasn’t come fast enough for too many Americans.  I know that.   I know it hasn’t come fast for many of you who fought so hard during the election.”

What an incredible statement.  The Democrats are poised for a historic defeat in November because the American people have rejected Obama’s radical changes.  Yet, the President is preaching that he hasn’t moved “fast enough”.  That speaks volumes as to how this President views the citizens he works for.

Then, the President raised two issues that needs to be pushed: the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military and the closing of the U.S. prison for terrorist at Guantanamo Bay.  How ludicrous.  No matter where you stand on these issues, the President and his Democrat cronies have ruled the executive and legislative branches of government.  Had he really want these issues brought to a conclusion, they would have been.  This guy is trying his slight of hand even with his Loony–Left friends.

Some of the Left’s great warriors also spoke at the Netroots Nation gathering.  Senator Harry Reid earned applause by stating: “I know that there are times, I’m told, I get on your nerves.”  Mr. Reid, you can be assured that you get on all of our nerves.

Representative Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation for her Progressive dribble.  Pictured is Ms. Pelosi taking questions.  Sure looks like a deer-in-the-headlights, doesn’t she.

Let us conclude by reviewing further words of The-progressive-in-Chief, Barrack Obama who said:

In ways large and small we’ve begun to deliver on the change you fought so hard for. We can’t afford to slide backward.  And that’s the choice America faces this November.”  Indeed Mr. President, that is our choice and we can’t afford any more of your radical policies.

Posted in Democrats, President Obama, Progressives, Radical Left | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

European Union Declares Vacations Human Right

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 24, 2010

The Progressives in Brussels who run the European Union (EU) have proven to be larger knuckleheads than the group in Washington.  Small consolation!

According to Fox News, Antonio Tajani, the EU commissioner for enterprise and industry has come up with a bonehead plan to make vacations a right like one’s right to vote.  Specifically, Tajani said: “Travelling for tourism today is a right.  The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life.

Now let’s see:  Europe, like the rest of the world, is in the midst of a deep recession.  Greece is ready to default with a few other Euro countries not far behind.  Now, this Progressive bureaucrat, Antonio Tajani, wants to add hundreds of millions of Euros in costs for a new human right.  That’s madness.

Given the madness that the Progressives in Europe continue to exhibit, why are Obama, Pelosi and Reid taking America down this same path?  Could it be that madness is actually a contagious disease?

Posted in Euro, Governmental Intervention, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

America: a Great Country with Great People – Colonel Allen West

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 31, 2010

Sometimes those of us who are concerned with that direction America has taken in the last couple of decades lose sight of the larger picture.  We see the growing public deficits and loss of moral courage in government and the private sector and allow them to cloud our view of the overriding good that is America.

Today, two associates shared with me separate items that helped put things in a more realistic perspective and I would like to share them with you.  First, a quoted from the Associated Press by e:

“A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears”.

Let us not get lost in the fear of what Pelosi, Reid, Obama and the rest of the Progressives continue to preach.  Let us instead need to focus on implementing positive change and that brings me to a video that has gone viral on You Tube, a speech by Colonel Allen West who is running for Congress in Florida, linked below.

The Republican Party has lost its way since the mantle was passed by Ronald Reagan.  We need new blood with a passion to bring this country back to the correct path.  With a younger generation like Colonel West starting to “percolate”, there is reason for optimism.  Remember, it took the high-priest of Progressivism, Jimmy Carter, to bring us President Reagan.

Posted in Colonel Allen West, Conservatism, Protectionism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »