Dead Cats: SARAH!, 03/10/14, (11)28: James Brody

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CPAC: Kant – Palin “Great Awakening”; McLaughlin – Rand’s drumbeat; York – Christie avoided hard truths; Johnson – Perry wants a little rebellion.

UKRAINE: McElroy – Putin mocks the West; Mezzofiore – Ukraine’s Neo-Fascists.

NATIONAL: Lee – Hannan sees Euro TEA; Barron-Lopez  – Dem’s all-nighter for climate; Zito – TEA folds into GOP; Noonan – Obama vs. our kids; Strassel – Union big money.

NSA: Hattem – Can’t keep data; NYT – Rusberger – Essential to be paranoid.

IRS: Moran – Congress to get all her emails; Will – Taxing credulity.

PA: Folmer’s notes; PA Independent – Stalking loophole.

HEALTH CARE: Taranto – Empty Souk



“It’s not a surprise that Christie didn’t venture far beyond Republican orthodoxy at CPAC. After all, he wasn’t even invited last year. Now, he’s most likely running for president and doesn’t need to alienate some of his party’s most loyal voters.

“But there are a lot of Republicans who believe the GOP continues to need a serious talking-to, and that Christie could be the man to do it. If he is, he didn’t show it at CPAC. . .” Byron York

“. . .CPAC voters now have an unfavorable view of Republicans in Congress, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of the job the GOP is doing on Capitol Hill. Just last year the GOP had a 54 percent approval rating, and in 2012 they held a 70 percent approval rating.

“But a series of tough votes over the last few months that saw Republican leaders work with President Obama to boost spending and raised the government’s debt limit have deepened a rift between the GOP’s leadership on Capitol Hill and conservative activists around the country. . .” McLaughlin & Dinan

CPAC . . .

Garth Kant, WND: “Palin: ‘This is a great awakening’”

“NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – “I have never been more optimistic about the future. The best is yet to come.”

“Sarah Palin ended on that soaring high note, bringing the crowd to its feet for the umpteenth time in a speech that radiated with hope and an optimism that the dawn of a new era of conservatism is here.

The former U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor also offered her own version of hope and change, assuring conservatives, ‘This is the stirring of a great awakening. The age of Obama is almost over. The end of an ‘error.’ He is the lamest of lame ducks.’

“As the closing speaker at CPAC, the annual convention of conservatives just outside of Washington, ‘Mama grizzly’ delivered some political red meat to her adoring cubs, offering a dazzling array of one-liners.

“She explained how a catchy slogan became an alarming reality as ‘Yes, we can’ became ‘No, you can’t.’

“‘No, you can’t log onto the Obamacare website. No, you can’t keep your health care. No, you can’t make a phone call without being spied upon.’ And without Michelle Obama learning that you ordered a pizza for a third time in a week.

“Palin said President Obama’s foreign policy had been reduced to dialing real fast with his phone and threatening to poke Russian President Vladimir Putin with his pen.

“‘But, I’m probably being too hard on the president,’ she said before delivering a line that brought the house down: ‘After all, who could have seen this coming?’

“That was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact she predicted in 2008, accurately, as it turned out, that Putin would feel free to invade Ukraine should Obama be elected, a statement that was widely ridiculed in the mainstream media. . .”

Also: Rick Moran, PJM: “Palin Rocks CPAC, Bashes Establishment GOP

When CPAC organizers invited Sarah Palin to give the keynote speech at the conference, they must have been aware of the former Alaska governor’s desire to lead the charge against inside the Beltway Republican establishmentarians and what she considers their insufficient zeal in fighting the Obama administration’s policies.

“To that end, Palin brought her conservative Inquisition to CPAC and didn’t disappoint the crowd. She railed against GOP ‘Beltway Boys,’ accusing them of joining ‘the lapdogs in the lame-stream to trash the foot soldiers who fought for America.’

“Palin is referring to the effort by Ted Cruz to defund Obamacare and the criticism of the senator by the Republican leadership for making such a futile gesture. Cruz’s gambit shut the government for 16 days, and despite attempts at trying to place the blame solely on Cruz and Republicans, the public ended up blaming both sides for the mess.

“Palin stopped short of endorsing Cruz for president. After all, she may want to take the plunge herself, although she received only 2% in the CPAC straw poll. But it’s clear that she sees Cruz as a soul mate and ally in an effort to purge the Republican Party of those they consider weak-willed and insufficiently committed to stopping the president’s agenda. . .”

Seth McLaughlin, Washington Times: “Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty”

Sen. Rand Paul urged the thousands that turned out for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to imagine electing a “friend of liberty” to the White House who will defend the Constitution and push back against a federal government that is trampling over their individual rights.

Mr. Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, suggested that he might fit the bill, and said it will take a “national revival of liberty” to restore the constitutional rights that have have been under assault by the Obama administration.

““You may think I am talking about electing a Republican. I am not,” Mr. Paul said. “I am talking about electing lovers of liberty. It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action that will lead us back to greatness.”

The remarks sparked a round of applause from libertarian-leaning crowd, which is champing at the bit for Mr. Paul to followed in the footsteps of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, by running for the White House.

“There is a great battle going on,” Mr. Paul told the crowd. “It is for the heart and soul of America. The Fourth Amendment is equally important as the Second Amendment and conservatives cannot forget this.”

The roughly 20-minute address touched on some of the same themes that the Kentucky Republican raised in his 2013 CPAC speech, when he said the “GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered.”

Also: David Martosko, UK Mail: “‘What you do on your cell phone is none of their damned business!’: Rand Paul thrills libertarians and unites CPAC with anti-NSA stemwinder

“Paul, a Kentucky senator, got the Conservative Political Action Conference’s loudest applause with a libertarian message

“He railed against President Obama for allowing the National Security Agency to seize millions of Americans’ phone records with a single warrant

“Paul is seen as a major 2016 presidential contender

“The CPAC even has heard from other crowd favorites Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump

“Paul sued the Obama administration, and the president personally, in February over the alleged NSA abuses.

Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Chris Christie avoids hard truths at CPAC”

“. . . The lesson of the story seemed clear on Thursday when Christie faced Republicans and conservatives who have won the popular vote in just one of the last six presidential elections; who were roundly defeated in 2012 amid economic conditions that likely would have assured victory at any other time; and who are on the losing end of demographic trends that could prove disastrous for the party in coming decades. Perhaps more than anything, Republicans desperately need ideas to re-connect with middle-class voters who have abandoned the GOP in droves.

“So did the famously outspoken Christie tell the gathered Republicans and conservatives any hard truths they didn’t want to hear? Did he say they might hate him now but that in 10 years they’ll be sending him thank you notes?

“Not at all.

“The moral of the New Jersey story for Republicans, Christie said, is not that the GOP needs to face any difficult realities, but that they have a messaging problem. ‘We’ve got to start talking about what we’re for, and not what we’re against,’ Christie said. ‘And the reason we have to start talking about what we’re for and not continuing to rail against what we’re against is because of one simple reason: Our ideas are better than their ideas, and that is what we have to stand up for.’

“It’s the oldest shibboleth in politics, especially favored by parties that have problems with the voters but don’t particularly want to change: Our positions are great, we just need to communicate them better. . .”

Andrew Johnson, NRO: “Perry: ‘Time for a Little Rebellion’

“Texas governor Rick Perry broke through as a serious presidential hopeful Friday with a spirited speech to a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Perry brought the audience to its feet with a call to bring the successful conservative policies of red state governors to the national level.

“Perry took jabs at targets including New York, California, and the Department of Education, noting that common-sense governance has been absent not only from blue states but from Washington, D.C.

“‘It’s time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas,’ the Texas governor said, paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson.

“‘We don’t have to accept recent history — we just need to change the presidency,’ Perry continued. “We must elect the right kind of leaders to represent us to Washington.”

“While left-leaning states face worsening economies, Perry pointed to the progress in Republican-led states such as South Carolina, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Florida.

“‘Let’s take a red state. Shoot, let’s take Texas,’ Perry said to cheers and laugher, before using his favorite U-Haul example: It costs more to rent a truck to go from San Francisco to Austin than vice versa. . .”

Also: Cameron Joseph, The Hill: “Perry’s fiery speech ignites CPAC”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) rallied the early morning crowd to its feet to kick off the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, giving one of the more rousing speeches so far delivered at the three-day event.


“‘It is time for Washington to focus on the few things the Constitution establishes as the federal government’s role. Defend our country, provide a cogent foreign policy, and what the heck, deliver the mail, preferably on time and on Saturdays,’ Perry said, bouncing on his heels and waving his fist, whipping the conservative crowd into a frenzy.

“‘Get out of the healthcare business. Get out of the education business. Stop hammering industry. Wake the sleeping giant of American enterprise,’ Perry said to roaring cheers.

“The Texas governor has been working to rehab his image with the GOP base since his epic flameout as a 2012 presidential candidate and is mulling another run for president in 2016. While he starts off in a much weaker position than he did four years ago, the CPAC speech proved Perry can still get conservatives excited.

ABC: CPAC 2014: Live Updates, Schedule, Speakers and Best Moments

John McCormick, Bloomberg: “Christie to Cruz Show Rare Unsettled Republican 2016 Field”

The wide-open, potentially divisive nature of the 2016 Republican presidential race is on full display this week on a ballroom stage outside Washington.

“Five potential candidates wooed the party’s base yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and four more did so today. None is an obvious favorite in the party’s early race for the nomination, a rare case for Republicans.

“A year from now, those who push forward in the White House contest will be traveling to early primary states to compete for attention, campaign leadership and money. For now, they’re courting the party’s base and fleshing out their messages.

“Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who drew the largest crowd of any of the potential candidates appearing at the convention of party activists in Oxon Hill, Maryland, said in his speech today that ‘lovers of liberty’ can’t always walk in step with the Republican Party.

“‘It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils,’ Paul also said. ‘We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness.’

“Other possible contenders who spoke today were former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Texas Governor Rick Perry. The convention heard yesterday from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee.  . .”

Drudge Report (3/9/14)


Paul – 31%; Cruz - 11%; Carson – 9%; Christie – 8% . . .
Coulter: I've Never Seen Evidence GOP Hates Black People Until I Read Rubio's 'Amnesty' Bill...
Huckabee Warns of God's fiery judgment...
Palin Re-Writes Dr. Seuss...
'I Do Not Like This Uncle Sam, I Do Not Like His Health Care Scam'...


Damien McElroy, UK Telegraph: “Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off gas supplies”

“Russian leader says does not want ‘new cold war’ but threatens to disrupt European gas supplies

“Vladimir Putin has mocked diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis as Russia threatened to disrupt European gas supplies by cutting off sales to Kiev over its unpaid debts.

“The Russian president said through his official spokesman that, despite deep disagreements with the West, he did not want a confrontation over Ukraine to spiral into a ‘new cold war’.

“Nevertheless Dmitry Peskov ridiculed Western demands for direct talks between the Kremlin and the new Kiev government, claiming that the loss of credibility involved ‘puts a smile on our face’.

“The remarks were broadcast during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, where the Ukrainian athlete carrying his national flag was given a loud cheer.

Eugenia Tymoshenko: ‘My mother can help to build a new Ukraine’

07 Mar 2014

Warning shots fired as international monitors refused entry to Crimea: live

08 Mar 2014

European monitors blocked from entering Crimea

07 Mar 2014

Dispatch: Crimea’s past is dictating its future

08 Mar 2014

“Earlier, Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant, said it would start to reduce deliveries to Kiev, a move that would disrupt supplies to Europe. Gazprom said Ukraine had failed to make payments on its £1.2 billion debts.  . .”

Gianluca Mezzofiore, Intl Business Times: “Ukraine’s Neo-Fascist Right Sector Leader Dmytro Yarosh to Run for President”

“Ukraine’s leader of the far-right Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) paramilitary movement Dmytro Yarosh has announced his presidential bid in elections planned for 25 May.

“The ultra-nationalist movement’s chairman Andriy Tarasenko said that Right Sector will also become a political party.

“‘Dmytro Yarosh will run for president,’ he said. ‘We are preparing for a congress, at which the party will be renamed, and we will participate in the elections in Kyiv, the elections in all local councils, towns and villages.’

“‘We remain the leaders of this revolution. We are mobilising, we are preparing to react to foreign aggression,’ Tarasenko added, claiming that the movement was ready for a full-scale war with Russia.

A leading figure in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Yarosh advocated a ‘national revolution’ during the protests and dismissed ousted Viktor Yanukovich’s administration as an ‘internal occupational regime’. . .“

Drudge Report (3/9/14)

Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea...
Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off European gas supplies...

Obama Continues 'Telephone Outreach' From Florida...
Hits links with celebs...


Tony Lee, Big Peace: “Daniel Hannan: European Tea Party Movements Becoming Mainstream

“On Breitbart News Saturday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125, Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament who represents the UK Conservative Party, said that so-called Tea Party movements against the European Union and Brussels are becoming “mainstream” in Europe.

“Speaking to co-hosts Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon live from CPAC, Hannan blasted the so-called ‘Party of Davos’ and said that the ‘Davos corporatists are at odds with the people in every country.’ He said that they are all ‘indistinguishable’ and united in their ‘distrust of the electorate’ and regular people. In many ways, the global elite are not distinguishable from the permanent political class in Washington, D.C.

“What’s worse, according to Hannan, is that there are bureaucratic institutions set up in Europe “where these guys are immune to the ballot box.” He stated that being “pro-market and pro-business” are two “completely different things” and that every big corporation “starts behaving like a nationalized industry.”

Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill: “Senate Dems stage climate all-nighter”

“At least 28 Senate Democrats are pulling an all-nighter on Monday to wake up “stubborn” climate change deniers in Congress.

“With substantial climate change legislation all but dead in Congress, the senators involved in Monday’s climate-fest just want to get to a point where lawmakers can agree that climate change is a scientific fact.


And having the Senate Democratic leadership on their side doesn’t hurt, said Sen. Brian Schatz, (D-Hawaii), who helped spearhead the push for congressional action on climate change.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) will be among those participating in the talk-a-thon on the Senate floor, along with Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), along with 22 others.

“Notably absent from the marathon session will be the four most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection this year: Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Mark Begich (Alaska) are not scheduled to take part, according to a list of speakers.

“However, they were invited, Schatz said, adding that their Republican colleagues were verbally invited as well. The response, Schatz admitted was far from enthusiastic. . .”

Salena Zito, RCP: “Original Tea Partyers Returning to GOP Fold”

“Fortunately, the actual voters behind the tea party movement of 2009 did some good before the vultures arrived.

“Since that movement’s peak in 2010, the sentiment of those original voters — a pretty even split of Republicans, Democrats and independents — has been hijacked by every political circus-barker able to buy a domain name that includes such key words as ‘freedom,’ ‘liberty,’ ‘warrior,’ ‘conservative’ or ‘tea party.’

“These same political operators have no problem making money from frustrated voters by challenging incumbent Republican officeholders with often untested, unsophisticated but deep-pocketed candidates — with mixed results.

“People fed up with the government are still around, still energized, still anxious to give voice to their votes.

“They just wearied of those trying to make a buck with a website, a campaign or a book reflecting an inflexible, often extreme ideology that shares little with the tea party’s original purpose.

“And they don’t like to be politically bullied. . .”

Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “The Ideologue vs. the Children”

“New York’s new mayor attacks charter schools, proving his critics right.

“What a small and politically vicious man New York’s new mayor is. Bill de Blasio doesn’t like charter schools. They are too successful to be tolerated. Last week he announced he will drop the ax on three planned Success Academy schools. (You know Success Academy: It was chronicled in the film ‘Waiting for Superman.’ It’s one of the charter schools the disadvantaged kids are desperate to get into.) Mr. de Blasio has also cut and redirected the entire allotment for charter facility funding from the city’s capital budget. An official associated with a small, independent charter school in the South Bronx told me the decision will siphon money from his school’s operations. He summed up his feelings with two words: ‘It’s dispiriting.’

“Some 70,000 of the city’s one million students, most black or Hispanic, attend charter schools, mostly in poorer neighborhoods. Charter schools are privately run but largely publicly financed. Their teachers are not unionized. Their students usually outscore their counterparts at conventional public schools on state tests. Success Academy does particularly well. Last year 82% of its students passed citywide math exams. Citywide the figure was 30%.

“These are schools that work. They are something to be proud of and encourage. . .”

Kimberley Strassel, WSJ: “The Really Big Money? Not the Kochs”

“Harry Reid surely must have meant the unions when he complained about buying elections.

Harry Reid is under a lot of job-retention stress these days, so Americans might forgive him the occasional word fumble. When he recently took to the Senate floor to berate the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch for spending “unlimited money” to “rig the system” and “buy elections,” the majority leader clearly meant to be condemning unions.

It’s an extraordinary thing, in a political age obsessed with campaign money, that nobody scrutinizes the biggest, baddest, “darkest” spenders of all: organized labor. The IRS is muzzling nonprofits; Democrats are “outing” corporate donors; Jane Mayer is probably working on part 89 of her New Yorker series on the “covert” Kochs. Yet the unions glide blissfully, unmolestedly along. This lack of oversight has led to a union world that today acts with a level of campaign-finance impunity that no other political giver—conservative outfits, corporate donors, individuals, trade groups—could even fathom. . .”

NSA . . .

Julian Hattem, The Hill: “Court rejects NSA request to keep data

“The secretive federal surveillance court has denied the National Security Agency’s (NSA) attempt to hold onto people’s phone records for longer than the law allows.

In an order released on Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the Justice Department’s attempt to authorize keeping the records beyond the current five-year legal limit “is simply unpersuasive.”

“‘The Court has not found any case law supporting the government’s broad assertion that its duty to preserve supersedes statutory or regulatory requirements,’ Judge Reggie Walton wrote in the court’s decision.

“Last month, the Obama administration asked the court to let it keep the phone records, called metadata, past the five-year limit. The Justice Department said that it needs to hold on to the records in order to deal with a handful of lawsuits from the ACLU, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and others challenging the agency’s surveillance program.

“The spy agency said that it would keep the records ‘for non-analytic purposes’ until the cases were finalized.

“The government, the court declared, ‘makes no attempt to explain why it believes the records that are subject to destruction are relevant to the civil cases.’

“‘To sum up, the amended procedures would further infringe on the privacy interests of United States persons whose telephone records were acquired in vast numbers and retained by the government for five years to aid in national security investigations,’ Walton wrote.

“’The government seeks to retain these records, not for national security reasons, but because some of them may be relevant in civil litigation in which the destruction of those very same records is being requested..’ . .”

NYT: “The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger: ‘It’s Essential to Be Paranoid’

“. . .Were you surprised at how critical some American journalists were of Greenwald? It’s a story that polarizes people. But I think there was a strand of American reaction to him that said, You’re not a proper journalist, you are just a blogger. I think that misses the point. He got the biggest story of the year, if not the decade.

“In the Guardian reporter Luke Harding’s book about the Snowden files, he says American journalists are too deferential to government sources. Do you agree? I think America has some of the best newspapers and journalists in the world. I don’t think Britain is in any position to lecture the rest of the world on that.

“He wrote in The Guardian that words were disappearing from his screen as he was writing about the N.S.A. Has anything like that happened to you? Odd things have happened, but the trouble is, you sound paranoid if you talk about them. We have assumed that a number of people might be trying to monitor what we’ve been doing, so we’ve done our best to take precautions. One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.

Also: Drudge Report, 3/9/14:

Snowden: 'Many' Spy Programs Remain Secret -- For Now...
ASSANGE: 'Ability to surveil everyone on planet almost there'...

IRS . . .

Rick Moran, PJM: “IRS to Provide Congress with All Lerner Emails Since Targeting Began

“One imagines that the reason the IRS has changed its tune and will now supply all the emails Congress requested eight months ago is that they’ve had the opportunity to go through them and have found nothing incriminating.

But the value of of [sic] examining all of Lois Lerner’s emails during the months in question has to do with the two-track approach to the IRS investigation that Republicans have initiated.

“The first track is an examination of the targeting scandal and all the related issues associated with IRS actions. The second, and equally important, track, is getting to the bottom of how the IRS came up with its new set of regulations that govern what ‘political activity’ is legal for 501(C)(4) organizations.

“The significance of the IRS relenting in giving Congress Lerner’s emails is that she was at the center of conversations at the agency regarding how these rules were developed — and why. Republicans want to know why political activities that were legal under the old rules have suddenly been declared illegal by the IRS. . .”

George Will, WaPo: “The IRS’s behavior taxes credulity”

“What’s been said of confession — that it is good for one’s soul but bad for one’s reputation — can also be true of testifying to Congress, so Lois Lerner has chosen to stay silent. Hers, however, is an eloquent silence.

“The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.

“So, the IRS, far from repenting of its abusive behavior, is trying to codify the abuses. It hopes to nullify with new rules the existing legal right of 501(c)(4) groups, many of which are conservative, to participate in politics. The proposed rules have drawn more than 140,000 comments, most of them complaints, some from liberals wary of IRS attempts to broadly define “candidate-related political activity” and to narrow the permissible amount of this.

“Lerner is, so far, the face of this use of government to punish political adversaries. . .”

PA . . .

Senator Mike Folmer: “Week of March 10, 2014”

Below is a column I recently submitted to local newspapers.

Picking and Choosing Rights
Sometimes when I cite the Constitution, people often say: “times have changed; we need to change with them.” This is the theory of a ‘living Constitution,’ it does not need to be amended, just interpreted to fit modern-day.

I disagree with this theory.

The Founding Fathers established the amendment process to ensure We the People are protected from whims of the moment. It is what makes our Constitutions, both federal and state, our rules of law. It is also why we should periodically read the documents, to familiarize and understand our rights.

Consider the 3rd Amendment, which is rarely questioned or interpreted: “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

This was an issue during colonial times, has not been a problem since our Constitutional Republic was founded.

Fast forward to 2014, and imagine a proposal which would require homeowners to quarter soldiers for the purpose of saving tax dollars and expressing appreciation for their military service. Advocates may say (like they so often do when pushing certain issues) opposing such a plan would mean not supporting our troops. They may also say, “times have changed; we need to change with them” under our “living Constitution.”

Preposterous? Think about laws which have been passed in the name of safety and security, but have impacted Liberty.

The next time you hear someone say it is okay to (re)interpret our rights because “times have changed” and we have a “living Constitution,” consider what rights could be lost by going down such a path:

Freedoms of religion, speech, press, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition government (1st Amendment) (emph added, jb);

Right to keep and bear arms (2nd Amendment);

The right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures (4th Amendment);

Right to trial by jury (7th Amendment); and

The rights of states, the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

If our Constitution is to be more than just words on paper, we must stop loose readings to find answers to issues not previously anticipated or provided for. Such picking and choosing begs the question: why is the Constitution necessary at all?

Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

When contacting my office by e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone number, and address so that we can follow up with you in a timely manner. Many inquiries can be handled with a phone call or email

PA Independent: “. . . union indictments call attention to loophole”

“Union indictments rekindle debate over stalking exemptions

“The indictments of 10 labor union members in Philadelphia have prompted lawmakers in Harrisburg to take another look at a state law that can prevent prosecution of some crimes if they’re committed by individuals engaged in a labor dispute.

“Under the 2002 law that defined ‘stalking’ as a crime, a specific exemption was made for labor union members and others who might be engaged in a labor dispute.

“Conservatives say that’s an unfair and arbitrary loophole carved out for one of the state’s most powerful special interests, but labor unions contend the measure is necessary to ensure a broad interpretation of the stalking law so union members engaged in organizing activities don’t get dragged into court.

A bill to eliminate the exemption has been sitting in the House since last year, but has yet to receive a vote.

“‘It sets a tone and an atmosphere that is clearly wrong,’ said state Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, the bill’s sponsor. “I don’t want to see anyone on the union side or the management side threatened, harassed or stalked.”

“Pennsylvania is one of four states with that odd legal exemption on the books. . .”

Read the full story here.


James Taranto, WSJ: “Empty Souk”

“The uninsured aren’t buying what the ObamaCare marketplace is selling.

“ObamaCare is now in the sixth and final month of its extended inaugural open-enrollment period. If you want to buy medical insurance through the exchange–a big if, we realize–you have until the end of the month to do it, or wait till autumn to buy a policy for next year.

“This column has analyzed the disaster of ObamaCare in terms of three phases. Phase 1, the technical failure, was evident as soon as open enrollment began on Oct. 1 and many of the exchange websites proved to have been incompetently designed. Technical problems continue to emerge, including, as noted here last week, the Internal Revenue Service’s tardiness in preparing the final instructions for Form 8960, which taxpayers must file if they owe the new ObamaCare “net investment income tax.”

Phase 2 is the revelation that ObamaCare’s central promise–“if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”–was fraudulent. In an effort to appease defrauded consumers, the Obama administration has announced a series of unlegislated exceptions to the law, which the president himself attempted to explain the other day. The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne has the quote:

“There are some people who have very bad insurance, but they don’t know it because they don’t understand the fine print,” Obama said yesterday. Politico Pro reports that the President continued:

“We said, ‘You know what, you’re right. You should be able to keep the health insurance you have even if it’s not very good. Even if you could get insurance on, you should be able to keep it.’ And that’s the part of the law we’ve extended.”

“We know what’s good for you and we aim to please! If this seems incoherent, it’s because the real logic is political, as we noted Tuesday. Administration officials hope to minimize the number of voters adversely affected by ObamaCare before this year’s election and thereby help vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents . . .”

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