The imminent rebellion: States vs the Federal government

Note:  This is a guest blog entry submitted by James Williamson, one of my younger brothers, who is an Ohio native currently residing in Utah.

Not long ago while listening to KSL radio in Salt Lake City I heard that the state legislature was proposing an unusual move if the US congress passes the “Obamacare” bill:  nullification.  While this concept is not new it has been a while since we have seen it surface in this country from legitimate sources.  The state legislature here discussed passing a measure that would nullify the federal law and put in its place a state law.  I am not sure of the legal arguments for such a move but it seems our legislature here in Utah is not alone.

This quote is lifted directly from Wikipedia after searching for secession movements in the United States:

“On April 1, 2009, the Georgia State Senate passed a resolution 43-1 which affirmed the right of States to nullify Federal laws. The resolution also included the assertion that if Congress took certain steps, including restricting firearms or ammunition, the United States government would cease to exist ”  http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/fulltext/sr632.htm is listed as the reference and contains the full text of the resolution.

Why the Georgia state legislature felt the need to pass this resolution is becoming increasingly apparent.  A few of our legislative and executive branch leaders have apparently lost touch with reality. Voter rage was already on the rise with the passage of the TARP bailout in the fall of 2008.  Unfortunately it was not sufficient to create a significant change in the landscape of the congress.  The White House changed hands but it did not take long to find a new source of public outrage sponsered by the White House in the health care reform debate.  Rather than respond to the voters a few of our “fearless leaders” have decided to bully and intimidate congressmen and senators that do not share the view of our new “politiboro”.  This has been tried many times in the past in other countries with varying degrees of success but it is a rare occurence here and is one of the things that keeps our country free and makes it so great.

This political freedom of expression in terms of votes is now in real danger as there is a large disconnect between the will of the voters and the will of the elected.  Thus the drive to get things done quickly, hoping that things will improve before the next election and the voter rage will have time to cool.  In this I believe the hope of the current oligarchy will fail.
Consider the next statement by the governor of Texas (lifted from the same Wikipedia page):

“In April 2009, Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, raised the issue of secession during a speech at a Tea Party protest: “Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that…My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.”[39] After Perry’s comments received considerable attention and news coverage, Rasmussen Reports polled Texans and found that 31% of them believed that Texas has the right to secede from the United States, although only 18% would support secession.”  Reference: “In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay“. Rasmussen Reports. 2009-04-17. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/states_general/texas/in_texas_31_say_state_has_right_to_secede_from_u_s_but_75_opt_to_stay. Retrieved 2009-04-19.

Secession movements have always existed in this country to some extent, but when the governor of the third most populous state (and right now perhaps the most solvent) starts talking secession someone in Washington ought to think twice about what they are doing.  This statement was made in April.  It is now August and the disconnect between the ambitions of the White House, Speaker, and Pro-tempore and the public will only seem to be growing daily.

Not long ago a Russian former KJB financial analyst (his name escapes me) predicted that the US would break up over the growing discontent of the financial inequity among the states.  Specifically that the states that have the greatest revenue gap (send more in taxes than they receive from the federal government) would stop sending tax revenue to Washington and that would cause a collapse of the system.  Ohio is the poster-child for this problem.  While unemployment escalates and economic activity stagnates Ohio continues to shoulder much more than its fair share of the financial burden imposed by the federal government exacerbating the difficulty of lasting economic recovery, while California is on the receiving end.  Why the preferential treatment for California?  Could it be the number of congressional votes?  Could it be the large population of “undocumented” immigrants that bloat census district populations but have very little political voice and are easily bought with things such as immigration reform promises and free healthcare for mothers who deliver “anchor babies”?  These inequalities cannot persist forever and if our government doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee soon they will wake up to the smell of burnt toast…

I don’t know who first coined the phrase “ObamaNation” but they forgot two words:  “of Desolation”..

Kennedy’s in Lorain? Meet Daly’s in Sandusky.

Deja vu all over again.  I’d written about the poker scheme hatched by Kennedy’s Billiards in Lorain.  Voila!  Read the Sandusky RegisterSame story, but this time the gambling scheme is being sought by Daly’s Pub in downtown Sandusky.

Governor Strickland, thanks to you, I think we are sliding headlong down that slippery slope.  I hope you feel guilty.

$876,831

Take a guess what that number means.  Need a hint?  The source of that number comes from the Contra Costa Times, of Contra Costa, California.

Have you figured it out yet?

It’s what one person earned last year.  But these weren’t the earnings of a celebrity, nor were they the earnings of a lottery jackpot winner, nor were they even the earnings of some evil capitalist.

This person works for the government.  Not the federal government, mind you.  Not even a state government.  This person works for local government, but at a regional level rather than a municipal level.

According to the story in the Contra Costa Times, this person is the chief executive officer of the Washington Township health district of Alameda County, California.  The news organization is working on compiling a database revealing salaries of all public employees in the San Francisco Bay area, and they’ve provided two links for those who wish to peruse the database: here and here.

I have two thoughts that spring to mind.

First thought:

Umm . . . are we talking about  . . . the PUBLIC HEALTH sector?  You, know, the health sector that’s NOT capitalistic, that’s supposedly compassionate yet efficient and not overly expensive?

And after you look through more of that database for that one small segment of the country called the Bay Area, and you eyeball some other salaries of public health officials, could it make you question whether Obamacare will bring any improvement?  Oh, and, how about that PUBLIC OPTION?  Hmmm?  Will that add up to savings?

Second thought:

Regionalism.  Yuck.

Talking heads in the Cleveland area have been talking about regionalism.  There are already some regional bureaucracies in place in Northeast Ohio.  (NOACA comes to mind . . . yuck!)

Here’s the rub:  What kind of input do voters have on regional bureaucracies?

Would this CEO of a regional public health district in California be raking in $876,831 (her base salary, alone, is $633,393) if the voters had a say in the matter?

Don’t regional bureaucracies lend themselves to patronage appointments that are untouchable by voters?  What accountability mechanisms would voters have at their disposal?

From what the Contra Costa Times reports, it was like pulling teeth just to get these salaries disclosed to the public.  The fight went all the way to California’s Supreme Court in 2007 just to clarify that these salaries are matters of public record.  Beyond salaries, what other information might be lingering in the shadows of regional bureaucracies?

And when thinking about what reforms you’d like to see in Cuyahoga County government, be wary of proposals that place emphasis on appointed rather than elected officials as key to the reforms, because appointed officials are a step removed from voters.  Appointments don’t make government less political, nor do they make government less prone to scandal.  I still think the best remedy for Cuyahoga and other Ohio counties would be simply to change the election years for commissioners to odd numbered years.

Erie County gambling petitions: “I see dead people”

Give this Democrat his own TV show

I’ve seen soundbite interviews with Pat Caddell, a self-described liberal Democrat and former pollster for McGovern and Carter, and wanted to hear more of his down-to-earth insightful analysis.

Why?  Because he’s not happy with Washington DC . . . and, quite frankly, neither am I.

So I did a google search hoping to find something longer than a soundbite, and I found one (though it’s more than two weeks old).  This interview with Pat Caddell is over 22 minutes long, and it engrossed me so much, I thought I’d share a link to it with my readers.

Hey, Fox News (or any other network, for that matter), will you please give Mr. Caddell his own TV show?  I guarantee you, this guy is not astroturf, and I’d like more of the featured voices from the left to be genuine and thoughtful, not cloned by Axelrod and knee-jerk.  He has so much information to share, soundbite appearances just don’t cut it.  He needs a lengthier format.

Good old boys of the Democrat machine prevail in Lorain

I’m eating crow now.  My prediction about what would happen next in the Lorain law director election race was dead wrong.  In a blog entry asking whether Pat Riley’s name should appear on the November ballot, I wrote:

So here’s what will happen next:  A meeting of the Elections Board members will vote to put Riley on the November ballot anyway.  That vote will end up deadlocked at 2-2, with the 2 Democrats voting in favor, and the 2 Republicans voting against.  Mike Scherach will then file a protest against Riley’s candidacy, and the deadlocked vote will forward the matter to the desk of Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s Secretary of State.

The Lorain Morning Journal and the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram are reporting that the Elections Board voted 2-1 to place Pat Riley’s name on the November ballot, even though Riley, as indicated by lack of evidence, failed to file for election.  Republican Helen Hurst was absent from the vote, as she was hospitalized.

The rhetoric from the Democrats is laced with hypocrisy.  Let’s look at a couple of samples, shall we?

From the MJ:

“I am elated to be on the ballot. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Riley said. He was embraced by numerous supporters after the vote. Riley said he hoped the board’s decision would change what he believes to be the wrong mentality among the staff at the elections board of placing partisan politics over the importance of serving the public.

Umm . . . excuse me, but it’s due to extreme partisanship (Rules?  What are they?  Rules only exist for suckers, like Republicans.  Rules don’t apply to Democrats.) that your name even appears on the November ballot.  Spare me the lecture on partisanship.

Next, a sample from the C-T:

Candelario said the investigation into what happened to the document is ongoing, and he is working to implement changes to make certain a similar problem doesn’t happen in the future. The most immediate change has been a shifting of many staff members, including Allyson Hurst, to new jobs.

“We will be reviewing policies to increase the integrity and preservation of any documents filed and certified,” he said.

Jose Candelario, Director of the Board of Elections, is the weakest link in this whole fiasco.  He was the one who received whatever paperwork there was from the Riley campaign, but he never bothered to provide the Riley campaign with a receipt of any kind before handing off the paperwork to someone else.  Isn’t the remedy quite obvious?  The first order of business is to immediately create a paper trail by issuing receipts as soon as paperwork is received by the Board offices.  Instead of applying a double-standard by imposing new conditions on everyone else at the board, he should take responsibility for his own behavior.  The scapegoat-ism in this instance is highly partisan, so Riley’s platitudes about a more post-partisan Elections office are way off the mark, as Candelario is heightening the partisanship, not reconciling it.

What does this precedent portend for future election cycles?  I suppose this victory for the good old boys of the Democrat machine paves the way for similar abuses in the future.

Sutton creating myths about reform?

Is Betty Sutton, Ohio’s 13th Congressional District Representative (D-Akron), using teleconference calls to fabricate tall tales about what’s in the Obamacare bill that would otherwise be called into question if she were holding a town hall in an arena or stadium?

That she only addressed 9 questioners in one hour is, in itself, a slap in the public’s face.

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