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  • Emergency Laws Destroy Democracy when Imposed Domestically

Emergency Laws Destroy Democracy when Imposed Domestically

William L. Kovacs

March 2022

Emergency Laws Destroy Democracy when Imposed Domestically

Citizens received an education in the last year on the destructive capacity of the government’s use of emergency laws to address Covid and the Southern Border Wall.  The government invoked these emergencies to drive its political agenda by enhancing its power. It is one thing when a government uses emergency powers against warring countries like Russia or Iran but quite another when applied to average citizens seeking to protest their government. Unfortunately, the “leaders” of governments are softer on dictators and terrorists than on citizens. The reason, those who lead governments worldwide share a common bond – protecting incumbent leaders, including depots, is more important than protecting citizens.

Russia’s vicious war crimes against Ukraine are being punished with sanctions, but there is a refusal by the U.S. and Europe to impose the financial death penalty – sanctions on all oil and banking to literally shut down Russia by isolating its assets and resources. Iran, a terrorist state is another example. The U.S., with Russia’s assistance, is negotiating cash for hostage trade, which would unfreeze $11 billion of Iranian assets. The U.S. goal is to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in the hope that Iran will restrain its ability to develop nuclear weapons. Realists, however, assert the agreement allows Iran to build nuclear weapons and sell more oil to support more terrorism. These actions make no sense in that Russia and Iran seek to destroy the U.S.

Putting aside stupidity in the foreign policy arena, the question that needs to be addressed is why do emergency laws apply in domestic matters? Canada’s recent use of its Emergencies Act illustrates it is an economic and social death penalty for the citizens it is used against. Should civilized governments, yet alone democracies, set out, without due process, to socially and financially destroy its own citizens?

In the 21st century, governments know they do not have to beat people bloody in front of cameras to destroy their lives. The government needs only make laws so unjust and lacking in due process, that people cannot defend themselves.

During the truckers’ protest in Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau invoked the  1988 Emergencies Act, claiming the protest is an illegal blockade endangering public safety. The Act is to be used in situations that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians.” The types of situations it is to address include espionage, foreign influence activities, serious threats of political violence, or acts intended to undermine or overthrow a constitutionally established government. None of these situations apply to peaceful protests whose offense is blocking streets and making noise.

The Emergencies Act allows the government to force banks to freeze the social media accounts that collect money to support the protesters, freeze the bank accounts of the protesters, seize their [300] trucks, revoke their driver’s licenses, deny them insurance on their trucks, and of imprisoning them for years. It also authorizes the government to deny citizens the right to assemble and prohibit travel in certain areas of the country.  By cutting off the ability of truckers to make a living, Trudeau is executing their ability to live a normal life. Trudeau was the first prime minister in the thirty-four years since its enactment, to invoke the Emergencies Act. Trudeau finds peaceful resistance to be so extreme as to be a threat to the state.

In the U.S., our federal government does everything “bigger and better” than any other country. If at any time the president of the U.S. feels, thinks, or worries about an emergency, he has the power to declare it through an emergency proclamation. While the U.S. has only one law designated “National Emergencies,” NYU’s Brennan Center identifies 136 laws or other authorities that allow the president to establish a national emergency. Ninety-six of these laws require nothing more than the signature of the president on an emergency proclamation. Fifteen of these emergency laws have restrictions such as involving a specific subject matter or the need for armed forces. Only thirteen of these emergency laws require a congressional declaration of emergency.

These 136 emergency laws are part of a massive legal framework that contains over 3000 separate criminal offenses in 50 titles of the U.S. Code and 23,000 pages of federal law. That was the last count in 1980. More troublesome, the National Emergencies Act “…does not define what constitutes a national emergency.”

Without a legal definition, determining the statutory meaning of the term falls to the common meaning found in a dictionary. Merriam Webster defines a national emergency as “a state of emergency (an unforeseen circumstance needing immediate action) resulting from a danger or threat of danger to a nation from foreign or domestic sources and usually declared to be in existence by a governmental authority.” A very subjective definition.

Historically, emergency powers were limited to wartime. But today, non-war-time presidents want war powers to control citizens in a domestic setting. The Covid pandemic is the most recent use of emergency powers. Relying on emergency public health powers the federal government-imposed mask and vaccine requirements on the entire population of the nation while keeping the science supporting its proclamation secret. It locked up the entire nation for two years. Another recent example, on inauguration day, Joe Biden, without the involvement of Congress, terminated all authorities requiring the construction of the Southern border wall which was being built to keep drug cartels, sex traffickers, and criminals out of the U.S.

The troubling use of both proclamations is that they were invoked without any direct factual findings to support the actions of the government. The public health emergency law referenced a waiver of liability law for those assisting the federal government address Covid, i.e., protecting the pharmaceutical companies. As for revoking authority to construct the Southern border wall, president Biden proclaimed the wall “is not a serious policy solution.” So much for the rule of law.

The only requirement to implement emergency power is the president must specify the provision of law under which he will act. The provision cited does not need to relate to the actions taken.

The emergency law terminates on the anniversary of its declaration unless the President notifies Congress of its continuation. The other option for terminating an emergency is for Congress, by joint resolution to terminate it. Since joint resolutions must be signed by the president, Congress needs a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto. Otherwise, these emergency powers are continuously available to the president.

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 38 which would terminate the Covid emergency declared by former President Donald Trump on March 13, 2020, and which has been extended multiple times by President Joe Biden. President Biden is threatening to veto the Joint Resolution, should the House of Representatives pass it. A presidential veto is likely to be sustained since the Democrats control the House. The president keeps his emergency powers to again shut down the nation, at his whim.

In addition to health emergencies and the Southern border wall, other powers available to the president include the ability to control airports, industrial facilities, and any device capable of emitting electromagnetic radiation, i.e., our communications system. The authority most used is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”). It authorizes the president to invoke emergency powers relating to U.S. national security, foreign policy, or the economy, including financial and commercial transactions. Sanctions can be imposed on individuals as well as countries, including the freezing of bank accounts and the seizure of assets. While there is a requirement that the threat be related to an activity in whole or part outside of the U.S., it is easy for a president to assert a foreign connection merely by accusation. The IEEPA has been invoked 55 times.

Literally, Congress through the enactment of the National Emergencies Act gives all presidents the power to be a dictator, at the time of their choosing. The only possible restraint is for Congress to remove such power, at least as it applies domestically. 3000 criminal laws should be sufficient for any government to keep the peace.

 

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the US Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law DC law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic, quotes the Left on how it intends to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Comparing Leaders in Ukraine, the U.S. and Canada

Comparing Leaders in Ukraine, the U.S. and Canada

William L. Kovacs

March 2022

Comparing Leaders in Ukraine, the U.S. and Canada

The outcome of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is far from certain. However, what is certain is that Ukraine is fortunate it is not led by the type of leaders present in the United States and Canada. This comparison is best told by a series of interviews that illustrate the starkness of the different leaders and “leaders.”

The first comparison is Kira Rudik, a Ukrainian Parliamentarian, and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, (“AOC”) a member of Congress. The second comparison is between Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, and Joe Biden, president of the United States and Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada.

Kira Rudik, was awakened at 5 AM by the Russian bombing of Kyiv on the morning of February 24, 2022. She took her family to a bomb shelter but left at 9 a.m. to attend a meeting of the Parliament to vote on imposing Marshall Law to protect citizens. After the vote, she went to the Army’s warehouse where she picked up a Kalashnikov automatic rifle to defend her country.

Later in the day she was interviewed and asked about being on the Russian’s “hanging list.” She acknowledged the Russians wanted to hang her, president Zelenskyy and other parliamentarians on the same street. She noted in the interview, however, she had to show support for the Ukrainian army and people. “Leaders must show people how to act. I am not going anywhere; I am self-armed.”

Compare Kira Rudik’s bravery to AOC hiding, barricaded in her bathroom, during the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Several facts are solid based on the numerous interviews of AOC and others observing AOC during the riots. AOC was not at the Capitol during the riots. She was in a House of Representatives Office Building which is about a third of a mile away.

After AOC gave many AOC interviews of her “near-death experience,” in her barricaded bathroom, Representative Katie Porter, revealed

“…that during the riot, Ocasio-Cortez walked into her office, didn’t stop to speak to her, and just began opening cabinet doors.

‘I was like, ‘Can I help you?’ Like, ‘What are you looking for?’” Porter shared during an MSNBC appearance.

‘I’m looking for where I am going to hide,’” Ocasio-Cortez reportedly responded.

Porter said she tried to calm AOC down, saying that she was a mom and had plenty of supplies in the office to sustain them.

She said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don’t die today,’” according to Porter, who works next door to Ocasio-Cortez…

Prior to AOC’s “fear of death,” from a protest, she was very outspoken about the need for protests on Twitter.  AOC emphasized “The whole point of protesting is the make ppl uncomfortable… To folks who complain protests demands make others uncomfortable…that’s the point.”

The rioters were never her Office Building. AOC was never under threat.  No one should ever assume AOC will defend the United States. She is doing all she can to destroy it.

Now turn to the big guys, presidents, and a prime minister.

Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy stayed in Ukraine to lead the resistance, knowing if he was captured, he would be the first to be hanged by the Russians; his family would be second. Bravely, he told the nation by video, he would not leave, he would stay to defend the nation.

The United States offered to extract Zelenskyy from Kyiv, but he immediately refused to leave, stating: “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Now to examine how the “big” leaders in Canada and the U.S. act under pressure.

During the recent truckers’ peaceful protest in Ottawa, Canada, trying to find Prime Minister Trudeau was as difficult as finding “Waldo.” The truckers’ protest is summed up by Harold Jonker who told BBC, “We want to be free, we want to have our choice again, and we want hope – and the government has taken that away.” Trudeau, surrounded by his security detail, “bravely” taunted the truckers characterizing their rhetoric as hateful, violent, and disrespectful. He also called them racists and fascists; however, he chose not to go anywhere near the protests. As the protests gained momentum, Trudeau and his family fled Parliament Hill for an undisclosed, secure, location, where he felt safe.

As for the U.S. president, in his first year in office, he constantly moves around so the public does not observe how incapable he is of leading the nation. He spent 73 days at his home in Delaware, another 16 days at his beach house, and 37 days at Camp David. And, when in DC he does not use the White House for meetings. He uses a digital view of the Rose Garden so he can read from a teleprompter as a way to have the public believe he knows what he is doing. He has been ridiculed for using a  “literal game show set” as president. Jack Posobiec, a commentator called it the “Truman Show Presidency,” adding that “they gave Joe Biden a playschool desk and a fake Oval Office in a fake White House.”

This is the same Joe Biden who “spent months of his presidential campaign safely ensconced in his basement, communicating to the country via a television camera. His convention speech was delivered to a near-empty room in Delaware.”

President Biden will never be caught off-guard by protesters or an angry mob. He will not be found at the White House. Joe Biden doesn’t really live there anymore; he is a virtual president.

http://spidercreative.co.uk/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron=1623870602.0397629737854003906250 Leadership is about working with people to achieve results. One of the key traits of leadership is courage which allows leaders to step up at a critical moment to move a situation in the right direction. When these critical moments arrived, the “leaders” of the U.S. and Canada lacked the courage to undertake or endure situations they believed dangerous. That is cowardice. One barricaded herself in a bathroom hoping to be invisible. One used a fake setting to appear presidential and absented himself from a presidential campaign and the White House to hide his inability to lead the American people.  One took the proverbial ride to safety.

Contrast North American “leadership” to the actions of President Zelenskyy and the parliamentarian Kira Rudik. President Zelenskyy stepped up at the moment of peril, told the world he needed “ammunition, not a ride.” He stayed and led his nation in a fight against Russian invaders. Kira Rudik, after fulfilling her obligations to her family and parliament, went to the warehouse and picked up her automatic rifle to join the resistance. These actions are defined as courage – the moral strength to persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Wake up America and Canada, virtual leaders are not useful in a dangerous world.

 

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the US Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law DC law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic, quotes the Left on how it intends to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.

 

 

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  • Uncle Joe, You Have Diminished the Value of My Citizenship

Uncle Joe, You Have Diminished the Value of My Citizenship

William L. Kovacs

November 2021

Uncle Joe, You Have Diminished the Value of My Citizenship

Dear Uncle Joe:

Mr. President, while you are not my uncle Joe, we did grow up in the same neighborhood in Scranton. I know Scranton’s values well. Unfortunately, you lost those values many years ago.

You remind me of my old, crazy uncle Timmy. He was an embarrassment to us all. He was a danger on the streets, touching everyone who walked near him. And certainly, we never let him walk down the street to the popcorn vendor with a monkey.

Occasionally, we had to be very direct so he understood the seriousness of what he was doing. Unfortunately, this is one of those times your American family must deliver you a straightforward message – your actions are diminishing the value of American citizenship. Let me explain.

The government you “manage” identifies the benefits of citizenship, specifically: protection from deportation, easier entry, and reentry into the U.S., travel without restriction in the states, the right to pay taxes and receive the same tax benefits as other Americans, the right to work for the federal government and receive government subsidies and the right to vote.

Before you assumed “management” of the U.S., these benefits were of great value. They generated patriotism, love of country, and respect for the rule of law. Your management style is so disrespectful to citizens, you treat us as commodities that send money to the government for the horror of watching the nation wither into a chaotic, authoritarian state.

And when you rudely turn your back and walk out of the room when reporters ask you simple questions, you act exactly like my crazy uncle. Worse, turning your back is an insult to us citizens. A good mother in Scranton should have told you it is not polite.

Perhaps your craziest decision is opening the southern border for anyone to freely enter the country. You have inflicted more crime on our cities. You are forcing local governments to care for the illegal, mostly unvaccinated, masses. This drains resources needed for schools, police, and health care. Worse, it is a violation of your oath to defend the country. You may not remember it but you were on television on January 20, 2021 and repeated the oath in front of millions of us. Many Americans thought you understood what you were swearing to?

No one knows why you opened the border; you may truly believe drug cartels; sex traffickers and the slave trade are capitalist enterprises. Please note it is not the type of business activity most parents want in their neighborhoods.

Also, no one understands why you stopped building the southern border wall after we paid for it? Obviously, you like walls since you ordered the American people to build a huge wall around your beach house. I am assuming it is your modesty when swimming nude. Believe me, uncle Joe, no one will look, we would all be too embarrassed for you.

If one of the benefits of citizenship is the ease of entry and exit from our country, you have made it far easier to enter and exit for illegals than citizens. Almost two million illegal immigrants from 75 countries walked across the southern border into the U.S. this year. None were required to prove they had been vaccinated or tested for Covid-19. At the same time,  citizens, returning from a foreign country, could not reenter the U.S. without proof of “a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three (3) calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.”

Another of the mentioned benefits of citizenship is free to travel throughout the U.S. While citizens have such a right, it is limited to lawful activity. Citizens committing crimes are arrested, no matter where they are caught.  Illegals, however, under your new order, have many safe areas where they cannot be arrested. These locations include schools, including daycare centers, medical facilities, playgrounds for children, social service establishments, churches and demonstrations, and parades. You are giving those coming to the U.S. illegally, more protection than given Americans. That doesn’t seem fair, crazy uncle Joe?

And now, you want to give illegals who were separated from their children when detained at the border, $450,000 per person, as damages for the temporary separation. What about our homeless and/or disabled veterans?  Are they less valuable than illegals because they fought to defend the U.S.?

The most ironic passage in one pamphlet is the discussion which notes all citizens have the same tax benefits as other Americans. I do not know many Americans who believe paying taxes and having the same tax deductions as other Americans is a benefit. First of all, most Americans do not have the same tax benefits as the super-wealthy. Few Americans can take advantage of carried interest tax avoidance scheme for hedge fund managers or the $12 million estate tax exemption or trillions that can escape taxation forever, with a stepped-up basis for capital gains at death. You have such benefits, but very few Scrantonians have those benefits. You should nominate the brochure’s writer for inclusion in Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. There will be a hefty referral fee for Hunter, and the author will live forever as the dumbest person in the world.

The right to work for the federal government may be the one positive benefit of being a citizen that non-citizens cannot have. It is as close to nirvana as anyone can get. It requires little work, no creativity, and a talent to write what no one can understand. Clean clothes are not required and for the last 18 months, they did not even have to appear in an office. There are 2.8 million of them. Sounds like a lot of jobs to apply for, but openings only happen when a government worker dies or retires. There is a long wait even for citizens.

Fortunately, the illegals know you are trying to get rid of Trump’s Public Charge requirement. If you are successful with your Build Back Better legislation, the illegals will receive free community college, housing, and food subsidies. Since federal subsidies never go away, uncle Joe, the illegals may just get benefits rivaling a federal job without the need to show up for work.

The big benefit of being a citizen is the sacred right to vote. What does the right to vote to mean anymore? Hillary Clinton and the entire mainstream news media told us the Russians, with a massive disinformation campaign, elected Donald Trump in 2016. Trump and his 75 million supporters tell us that millions of illegal ballots, fake news, and the suppression of news like the contents of Hunter’s laptop, elected you in 2020.

In the 2000 election, George W. Bush was elected by the U.S. Supreme Court. Every other year our congressional representatives are elected by a rigged system called gerrymandering. The reelection rates for incumbents range from the low 90% to as high as 98%. Congressional districts are drawn for winners, not losers. Seriously, there was more turnover in the old Soviet Politburo than in Congress.

On its face, having the right to vote is a big deal. It seems to be a distinguishing right for which citizenship is needed. But nothing is more political than voting. Whoever controls the voting process wins. The Democrats are pushing the 800 page, “For the People Act.” If enacted it would nationalize voting. Whoever controls the DC swamp, controls voting in the nation. The bill would require every state to allow voting by mail, mandate online, and same-day voter registration. It effectively eliminates voter-identification requirements by requiring non-registered “voters” to sign a statement attesting to their identity. The bill would mandate drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots, and allow voters to designate another person to drop off their ballots.

Uncle Joe, the “For the People Act: reminds me of the first time, at age 6, I accompanied my uncle Timmy to a Scranton polling place. Afterward, I asked him who will win. He told me the Democrats since they vote early and often so the dead are always well represented.

My message to the illegal immigrants is, do not get discouraged, uncle Joe will soon have you casting ballots for Democrats. As for my vote, it is becoming less and less valuable.

William L. Kovacs, author of Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens, Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Social/Political Change. Former senior vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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  • Constitution Guarantees Defense of Invaded States, So Do It! 

Constitution Guarantees Defense of Invaded States, So Do It! 

William L. Kovacs

October 2021

Constitution Guarantees Defense of Invaded States, So Do It! 

Biden’s refusal to enforce our national immigration laws or control illegal immigration across an open Southern border immediately harms the health, welfare, economic and civic fabric of Texas and Arizona. As millions of more illegals cross the open border and settle in all parts of the U.S., they will need costly social services in a nation massively in debt. Drug cartels, sex traffickers, and organized crime are disrupting cities and the drugs are killing hundreds of thousands of Americans. Biden’s failure to defend Texas and Arizona today is a breach of our Constitution’s Article IV Guarantee Clause. Over time, Biden’s failure to defend the border states will break the bonds of the union.

Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, its “Guarantee Clause,” mandates the United States, as an entity, to guarantee every state a Republican form of government and to protect each of them against invasion. Unfortunately, Article IV is likely the least analyzed and litigated provision in the Constitution. First, the Supreme Court in Luther v. Borden, (1849), held the guarantee of a Republican form of government is a non-judiciable, political question to be decided by Congress. This decision has allowed Congress to ignore the issue for 173 years.  Second, until now, there has never been a need for the federal government to defend a state from invasion.

Since every state in the union elects its officials, all qualify as “Republican forms of government.” There is no need to address this issue., The question arises, however, what constitutes an invasion that triggers the federal government’s duty to protect states?  Is Biden’s open southern border policy allowing millions of immigrants to illegally enter this county, sufficient to constitute an invasion? More than a few members of Congress call it an invasion.

Unlike other provisions in the Constitution that assign responsibilities to specific branches of government, Article IV mandates the entire federal government, all three branches, act to protect states that are invaded. Scholars assert the Guarantee Clause, “… exist[s] solely for the benefit of the guaranteed sovereign [states]. If the millions of illegal immigrants flowing into the U.S. is an invasion, the Constitution obligates Congress, the courts, and the Executive to act. While the president should be the lead since the Executive controls the military, Biden has not only abdicated his responsibility; he has encouraged the illegal invasion. As such, Congress and the courts, are obligated to act. Congress could immediately declare the invasion a war and send the military to close the border. Congress could also implement laws that require employers to only hire citizens and authorized holders of work permits, to cut off part of what is attracting the illegals. Additionally, Congress could withhold appropriations sought by the president until he enforces the law, or the House could impeach and the Senate convict the president, thereby removing him from office.

The courts could expedite lawsuits on the issue and hold non-compliant administration officials in contempt. “Jail time for politicians” would catch the attention of these oath breakers.

The difficulty, however, in determining whether there is an invasion on the southern border, is neither the Constitution nor federal statutes define “invasion.” There is scant discussion of the issue in the Federalist Papers or the records of the Constitutional Conventions, other than the founders’ expressions of support for the provision. Moreover, since the issue has never been litigated, there is no judicial guidance. Therefore, determining what is an “invasion” involves understanding and resolving any differences between the meaning of the term in the late 18th century and today

order stromectol What is an invasion?

Around the time of the Constitution, 1787, “…the English language lacked a widely-used set of standard definitions on English words.” The 1785 version of Samuel Johnson’s History of the English Language, defined the word “invasion” as the hostile entrance upon the rights or possessions of another; or hostile encroachment; or armed invasion.

Today’s Cambridge Dictionary defines “invasion” as an army using force to enter and take control of another country, or an occasion when a large number of people come to a place in an annoying and unwanted way; or an action that affects someone’s life in an unpleasant and unwanted way.

Since no one knows what the founders intended, both definitions are broad enough to find the uncontrolled illegal immigration of millions of people into this country to be an invasion. The support for this assertion is that if the U.S. is a nation, it must possess sovereignty, the ability to operate with international independence, and the right and power to regulate its internal affairs without foreign interference. Uncontrolled, massive influxes of foreigners, drug smugglers, and sex traffickers is a country lacking sovereignty.

 Early commentaries discuss the federal government’s duty to defend invaded states

The earliest of the commentaries to address Article IV is “Blackstone’s Commentaries: with Notes of Reference (1803) by St. George Tucker.  He was a Virginia jurist, professor of law at the College of William & Mary and his Commentaries were the first annotations of the Constitution. In Volume I, Miscellaneous Provisions, his notes on the Guarantee clause:

The possibility of undue partiality in the federal government in affording its protection to one part of the union in preference to another, which may be invaded at the same time, seems to be provided against, by that part of this clause which guarantees such protection to each of them. So that every state which may be invaded must be protected by the united force of the confederacy.

While the millions of illegal immigrants may cross at the southern border, they distribute themselves nationwide. Since Biden ceased construction of the border wall and refuses to enforce the Immigration laws,  his policies place Texas and Arizona, at greater risk of harm than interior states. This is a perfect example of the federal government showing bias against one part of the union, the Republican-leaning red states, clearly the concern of our founders.

 

Failure to enforce immigration law a breach of officials Oath of Office?

The president, every member of Congress, and every judge takes the original, 1787, oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the U.S. and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office. While some officials cynically believe the oath is a hollow formality, the swearing of the oath is both their first act as a government official and required before being allowed to serve.

While our government officials have discretion in how they discharge their duties, they cannot refuse to discharge all of their duties in a particular area of great concern to the nation. While a president can, for example, pardon specific individuals, a president cannot abolish all law that makes certain actions a crime. Biden’s actions on the southern border demonstrate a refusal to discharge his oath to faithfully execute valid immigration laws passed by Congress. While the president violates his constitutional duties, Congress and the judiciary sit and watch the undefended southern border, a failure of the entire federal government to support the Constitution.

It is unacceptable to place the border states at risk of being overrun by millions of illegals that state governments cannot manage or support. An open border tears the fabric of society apart. It makes governing impossible. Our federal government is watching the proverbial pot boil until the content rises up and flows over the edge causing a mess. The edge in this instance is civil society. The mess is an inability to govern millions of illegal people operating in-country. The pot is boiling. If the federal government fails to turn the heat down by protecting the southern border, it risks the pot boiling over into dramatic conflict.

 

William L. Kovacs, author of Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens, Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Social/Political Change. Former senior vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Balancing TX Abortion Law, Citizen Suits & Personal Liberty

Balancing TX Abortion Law, Citizen Suits & Personal Liberty

William L. Kovacs

September 2021

Balancing TX Abortion Law, Citizen Suits & Personal Liberty

The Texas abortion law is a 21st c. version of what the 18th c. called Personal Liberty Laws. These were laws enacted by Northern states from the founding of the Republic to the Civil War, to protect fugitive slaves. They were grounded on the principle that states can protect the rights of individuals within their borders from the oppressive laws of the Federal government and other states.

To avoid federal supremacy rendering inconsistent state laws void, States enacted laws grounded in purely local procedure to make it difficult for bounty hunters to capture fugitive slaves. These laws restricted the use of state resources by bounty hunters. For example, bounty hunters could not hold fugitive slaves in local jails, and local jurisdictions imposed high court costs to secure the “legal transfer” of a fugitive slave, to substantially reduce the value of the bounty.

It is not necessary, however, to enter the abortion debate in order to compare the characteristics of the Texas abortion law to the 18th c. Personal Freedom Laws. Both create procedural hurdles to protect the rights of an unprotected class from what is deemed abhorrent federal policy. While the Texas abortion law is unlikely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court since the Mississippi abortion case is scheduled for argument, the fact that Texas has enacted such a law suggests states are more willing to resist federal overreach.

The two most prominent features of the Texas law address the viability of the fetus, and the right of private citizens to sue anyone involved in aiding or abetting abortions and receive a bounty of $10,000. The citizen suit provision has been described as deputizing “bounty hunters.” The pro-abortion groups and the political Left believe the enforcement provision denies women of their constitutional right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade.

But the political Left’s opposition to the citizen suit provision of the Texas statute may severely backfire on them if they prevail. Specifically, the political Left routinely uses the “citizen suit or “private right of action” provisions in environmental statutes to stop private parties from producing oil and gas, building pipelines and new industrial facilities, roads, and airports. In every federal environmental statute, the political Left is able to seek injunctions and attorneys’ fees, which many times vastly exceed $10,000. By using citizen suits, the political Left shuts down thousands of private projects and receives payment for doing so. This makes them “bounty hunters” as much as the $10,000 reward under the Texas Abortion law.

The sixteen primary federal environmental statutes all have these “bounty hunter” provisions that “allow citizens to sue as ‘private attorneys general to force compliance.”  A 2018 study found since 1993 citizen suits have averaged 350 annually. Since 1970, environmentalists have filed more than 2000 citizen suits, and more than four thousand notices of intent to sue regulated private parties. In some areas like Clean Water, most of the reported cases are citizen suits brought by environmental groups.

Most states also have environmental “citizen suits,” statutes. As expected, there are many different versions.

The stronger the Left’s constitutional challenge to the private right of action in the Texas abortion law, the more pressure the Left puts on courts nationwide to restrict the private right of action in all citizen suits, for lack of standing, i.e., citizens cannot establish sufficient individual harm to move the controversy forward.

For decades federal courts have allowed citizen suits to proceed if any member of the environmental community  alleges a “health, aesthetic, and recreational interest.” However, a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision, required more “concrete and particularized” injury to proceed with the case. Federal courts may be courts of limited jurisdiction, but many state court judges follow much of their reasoning.

State courts are another matter. Many states do not place limits on who has the standing to sue in their courts. In Texas, it appears some courts are moving toward the federal approach of limiting standing, however, its Supreme Court has concluded that, if authorized by statute, plaintiffs do not have to show particularized injury. For example, the Texas Medicaid Fraud statute allows anyone to sue to prevent fraud. In 2019 a Texas Appellate court reaffirmed the Texas Supreme Court’s holding that “a party does not have to show particular interest or damage to establish standing because the statute at issue authorized “any citizen” to bring an action to enjoin the operation…” of illegal activity.

The political Left is wedged between being the overwhelming beneficiary of “citizen suits” and “private enforcement” of laws, and a U.S. Supreme Court that seeks limits on who can file a citizen suit. The political Left will need to decide what is more important – open access to the courts or denying Texans the right to enforce the Texas abortion law. By continuing the legal challenge to the Texas law, the Left will develop significant legal theories and court precedent, which will be used against it when seeking standing on environmental issues.

As more states provide greater protection of their citizens by enacting Personal Liberty Laws, they will rely on citizen suits and local courts, to enforce those protections. As the federal courts deal with an ever-increasing docket, they will devise more reasons to restrict citizen suits for lack of standing. The Texas abortion law is only the start. States will protect many activities they believe need protection, i.e.,  the Second Amendment, treatment of illegal immigrants, free speech, and the teaching of Critical Race Theory. In the end, it is likely blue states will legislate to protect blue values and red states will legislate to protect red values. This is actually positive since it allows citizens to select where and how they want to live.

The U.S. will continue evolving into a more divided nation of Free States and Socialists States. Free States will try to protect what they view as the constitutional rights of citizens. Socialists States will promote more borrowing, spending, and subsidies for expanded social programs.  At the federal level, the policy positions of presidents seem to be swinging more wildly with the political winds. The Biden administration for example deeply resents states like Florida for its efforts to expand privacy rights and protect free speech on social media. Inflicting punishment on “objectionable” states will become the norm for the federal government. Biden has already started what seems to be a war on many parts of America; states, the unvaccinated, border patrol agents, conservatives, and many others. Every time high-ranking officials attack different parts of society; it makes it harder to bring political balance to our nation.

William L. Kovacs, author of Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens, Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Social/Political Change. Former senior vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel on Capitol Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Media Avoids the Elephant in the Room: Who Runs the U.S.?

Media Avoids the Elephant in the Room: Who Runs the U.S.?

William L. Kovacs

June 2021

Media Avoids the Elephant in the Room: Who Runs the U.S.?

Mainstream media, for whatever its political objectives might be, avoids discussion of the proverbial “Elephant in the room.” While uncomfortable someone must ask – who runs the United States?

It’s a mystery. Perhaps no one knows. Perhaps a group of people we never heard of? We have a president that his staff tightly guards so he does not speak in public, address complex issues or answer non-approved questions. And when he does speak in public, he needs notes on the issues. He regularly gives muddled answers and then makes a brisk emphatic statement to look strong. Even when he meets privately with Republicans to find common ground, it appears staff has the power to reverse his decisions. The latest example is Biden’s meeting with seven Republican Senators on his $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan. Several Senate Republican negotiators indicated after the meeting that a plan in the range of $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion would be acceptable. What Biden agreed to, however, is now in question. Who changed the president’s mind in literally minutes?

It is a mystery as to how a country of 328 million people could elect a seventy-eight-year-old man that does not seem capable of comprehending the complexity of the world or the intricacies of the issues confronting his administration.

Is Joe Biden making any decisions, other than nodding his head so he gives the semblance of functioning as the constitutionally elected decisionmaker? The Biden mirage started in his first few days in office by issuing a massive number, 52 Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda requiring only a signature while offering the press a photo-op to look as if he is leading.

It is difficult to believe that even a smart transition team could prepare that many documents between the election and being sworn into office. Such preparation was a sophisticated game plan that had to be prepared by special interests, years in advance. Alternatively, since the Democrats were certain they would win in 2016, maybe it’s a Hillary Clinton plan that Biden adopted. She had eight years during the Obama administration to develop it?

While this is wild speculation on my part, it was weird how Biden won. Keep in mind he lost all the early primaries finishing 4th in Iowa, 5th in New Hampshire, and 2nd in Nevada. In two previous runs for president, he never won a primary and never received 1% of the vote.

Did magic really happen when Congressman Clyburn endorsed Biden? Or was it a very intentional deal that gave Joe Biden exactly what he wanted – the title of president for his tombstone in return for letting an unknown power control the presidency?

Reports had the “wheels coming off the Biden campaign” as the South Carolina primary debate was underway. Biden was stumbling and fumbling in the first part of the debate. Clyburn reached Biden during a break in the debate and reminded him of his commitment, which obviously he forgets – to announce he would nominate minority women to the U.S. Supreme Court if elected president. Biden merely mimicking Clyburn’s wishes during the debate, earned him Clyburn’s endorsement. The other leading candidates, other than Bernie Sanders, immediately vanished. Biden easily won the Democrat nomination.

From the position of long-term, historic loser to being elected president on the endorsement of one man is the scenario as close to magic as can occur in politics.

Perhaps Joe Biden won on his promise to unify the country? Unfortunately, from the moment he took office he abandoned that promise and set out to aggressively further divide the nation. He immediately opened the southern border to anyone, including gangs, drug smugglers, human sex traffickers, and people with coronavirus in the middle of a pandemic. All actions are contrary to majority public opinion.

As to discovering the cause of the pandemic, information desperately needed to prevent future pandemics, Biden firmly refused to press China on its origins, leaving China free of all responsibility. When reality started to bite, Biden capitulated to mounting evidence that the lab in Wuhan might be a source of information. Following Biden’s lead, Facebook courageously withdrew its ban on discussing the origins’ of Covid-19. Who makes these decisions?

Polls find 79% of parents want in-school learning for students. Biden promised that would occur in his first 100 days. Unfortunately, Biden sided with the teachers’ unions to keep many schools closed for a year while promoting the preaching of Critical Race Theory as part of the curriculum.

Biden promised to be the “labor union president” yet on energy policy, he canceled the permits for the Keystone XL pipeline which reduced long-term oil supplies and put thousands out of labor union workers out of work. Hackers took out the Colonial pipeline, dramatizing the fragility in our energy supply system. Biden however, continued to reduce oil and gas supplies, an action that only helps Russia sell more oil and gas. Why?

Biden’s obsession with massive spending obstructs analysis of China’s surging economy, its goal of surpassing the U.S. as the world’s top economy. Foreigners commit cyber espionage against our government on a regular basis while we invest taxpayer money in achieving racial equity in science, and Teachers’ Unions push to dumb down math so poor achieving students feel better about themselves.

These policies are antithetical to most Americans. So why is a president who ran as an uniter being so divisive? Is this the work of Biden, if so, we really didn’t know you Joe for those fifty years in public life?

A more realistic answer might be the obvious one. Big Business, usually Republican, and Big Tech and Big Labor, usually Democrat, combined efforts to defeat Trump, a threat to their business models. Why?  This answer may be in front of our eyes. Big Business wants open access to China, its cheap or even slave labor, and a market of over a billion consumers. Big Tech wants to avoid the promised Trump regulatory clampdown for its censorship of conservative viewpoints. By remaining free of liability for its control of the Internet, Big Tech is free to misinform, mislead, propagandize and censor based on its political goals. And, combined Big Business and Big Tech have the power to ensure any proposed tax reform to pay for Biden’s dreams, is nothing but a dream. Corporations and the wealthy have reduced their taxes since Reagan was president; those reductions will continue.

Big Labor wanted cash to shore up bankrupt pension funds drained by union corruption.

In the Time Magazine article The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election, the author proudly describes the inner workings of a little-noticed cabal between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (representing big business, including Big Tech) and the AFL-CIO. (Big labor). The cabal’s goal was to secretly “…influence voter perceptions, change voting rules and laws, steer media coverage, and control the flow of information” [received by voters], to elect Democrats.

Based on the efforts and contributions of Big Business, Big Tech, and Big Labor, the cabal achieved its purpose – it changed the voting system by changing, in the middle of election season, laws and regulations governing the election, generating negative media coverage of Republicans, and controlling the flow of information voters were able to receive. To this day, social media prohibits many types of political information from conservatives that it views as objectionable. In an opinion piece by James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal, he notes “…that the most consequential use of this censorship tool in 2020 was an abusive blocking of true information.”

Big Business secured trillions in subsidies and 4 – 7 trillion dollars in interest-free money from the Fed. Big Tech preserved its immunity from lawsuits, leaving it free to continue manipulating and censoring the flow of information in the United States. The unions received the bailout money. The Teachers union secured one year of no-school days for teachers while inflicting psychological harm on many students. The Bigs won!

So, again, who runs the United States?  Who will make decisions should China take over Taiwan? Who is pushing Biden to give Iran billions in cash to ease its financial hardships as it builds nuclear bombs and flies drones over Afghanistan to disrupt U.S. withdrawal? Who is responsible for allowing thousands of drug or sex traffickers into the nation? Does anyone in the Biden administration care about the massive national debt?

The American people will never know the answer to – who is running the U.S. – until mainstream media decides to look at the Elephant in the room.

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  • Are There Limits to National Debt? Part I, The Facts

Are There Limits to National Debt? Part I, The Facts

William L. Kovacs

April 2021

Are There Limits to National Debt? Part I, The Facts

With the end of the fiscal year (“FY”) 2020 and estimates for FY 2021, the facts are clear. Republicans cannot claim they are concerned about the national debt.  Republicans have incurred more debt than Democrats up to FY 2021. This fact could quickly change with the many massive spending proposals of the Biden administration. The calculations below are based on FY rather than annual spending, to calculate only debt attributable to the presidential budget responsible for it.

President Years Republican* Democrat* Total Debt        %inc
Hoover 1930-1933 $ 6 billion $ 6 billion               33
F. Roosevelt 1934-1945 $ 236 billion $ 242 billion      1048
H. Truman 1946-1953 $ 7 billion $ 249 billion         2.8
D. Eisenhower 1954-1961 $ 23 billion $ 272 billion         8.2
J. Kennedy 1962-1964 $ 23 billion $ 295 billion         7.8
L.B. Johnson 1965-1969 $ 42 billion $ 337 billion         13
R. Nixon 1970-1974 $ 121 billion $ 458 billion         34
G. Ford 1975-1977 $ 224 billion $ 682 billion         47
J. Carter 1978-1981 $ 299 billion $ 981 billion         43
R. Reagan 1982-1989 $ 1.860 T $ 2.841 T              186
G.H.W. Bush 1990-1993 $ 1.554 T $ 4.395 T                54
W. J. Clinton 1994-2001 $ 1.396 T $ 5.791 T                32
G.W. Bush 2002-2009 $ 5.849 T $ 11.640 T            101
B. Obama 2010-2017 $ 8.588 T $ 20.228 T              74
D. Trump

 

J. Biden

2018-2021

 

2021 est. add’l debt

   $ 8.627 Test.

 

 

 

 

$ 2.0 T

$ 27.816 T              34
Party totals $ 18.263 T $ 12.519 T $ 30.816 T

*The FY deficit numbers for each President are based on the FY deficits stated by The Balance, update in March 2021. For FY 2021, the estimate is for Trump through January 20, 2021, and thereafter the estimate is attributed to Biden.

What do these calculations show?

81% of our entire national debt was incurred by the last four presidents, George W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden. Two Democrats, two Republicans.

Republicans are responsible for 60% of the national debt; Democrats 40%. President Biden is proposing multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plans that would increase the national debt by another $ 2-3 trillion. Estimates have the national debt rising between now and 2050 from 102% of GDP to 195% of GDP. Interest on the debt is estimated to rise from below 2% today to 2.5% by 2030. On a minimum of $30 trillion in debt, annual interest payments could easily reach $750 billion, about one-half of  FY 2020 discretionary spending. In FY 2021, each person’s share of the national debt is $85,049. The average household’s share of the national debt is $218,614.

All presidents have an excuse for their debt (Biden – the pandemic and need for more stimulus; Trump – pandemic and need to build-up the military; Obama – to address the financial crisis; Bush – 9/11, and on and on). The difficulty with excuses is that all presidents have them and none even try to address the growing national debt. Moreover, not one candidate for federal office in the 2020 elections even discussed the massive national debt.

Basic questions remain. Can the U.S. print money out of thin air and borrow at a near-zero interest rate forever? If not, what are the consequences if inflation or interest rates rise significantly? Is there anything concerned citizens can do to address what might be an existential threat to the nation? Should our government care about future generations? Why should politicians care about the debt and future generations since their sole goal is to be elected? Should citizens care? Perhaps the real answer will be found by re-asking Benjamin Franklin’s profound question  – “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, will that herald the end of the republic.”

Part II of the article will explore the reasonableness of the current assumption that a nation, with its own currency, can print an unlimited amount of its currency without consequence?

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  • Joe Biden: Will he be the 21st c. James Buchanan?

Joe Biden: Will he be the 21st c. James Buchanan?

Willliam L. Kovacs

March 2021

Joe Biden: Will he be the 21st c. James Buchanan?

For those unfamiliar with the name James Buchanan, he was the nation’s 15th president. Most historians consider Buchanan the nation’s most inept and worst president. His term of office was 1857 – 1861, the years before the Civil War when our nation was deeply divided over the issue of slavery. Instead of working to bridge the divide, Buchanan, not only allowed regional tensions to fester, he lobbied the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold slavery and advocated for Kansas to join the union as a slave state. Within months after the end of his presidency, the Civil War ignited.

Today, president Biden, like Buchanan, is governing a nation deeply divided over racial equity, wealth inequality, massive debt, open borders, and illegal immigration. Biden has adopted a governing stance similar to Buchanan’s, do nothing to heal the divide and tear off any remaining stitches holding the union together. Taking this path begs the question: Will Joe Biden be the 21st century James Buchanan?

The philosopher, George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Comparing the campaigns of Buchanan and Biden, the promises each made, and the intentional avoidance of both presidents to address extraordinary tensions in the nation, we can only hope that president Biden finds the courage to change course before it is too late.

Biden and Buchanan: both lifetime politicians

Buchanan and Biden both had long careers in politics before assuming the presidency. Buchanan was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, a Congressman and Senator from Pennsylvania, Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Great Britain and Russia. Biden was literally in government his entire life as a Senator from Delaware and vice president of the U.S.

Biden and Buchanan ran similar campaigns for president

Buchanan and Biden were regular contenders for the Democrat party nomination throughout their careers. Buchanan sought the presidency in 1844, 1848, 1852 and finally secured the nomination in 1856. Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democrat nomination for over thirty years, pitifully losing primaries in 1988 and 2008. Finally, in 2020 he secured the nomination.

Buchanan and Biden found excuses to avoid discussing the divisive issues facing the nation. During the 1856 campaign, Buchanan was serving as Ambassador to Great Britain and could not actively campaign for president. His campaigning was limited to writing letters pledging to uphold the Democrat platform. Biden used the pandemic as an excuse to sit in his basement in Delaware.

An even more odd similarity, neither man strenuously sought the presidency in the year they secured their nominations. Rather both relied on others to make them look acceptable. Simply, by avoiding active campaigns and any discussion of the issues, Buchanan and Biden secured the Democrat nominations in troubled times.

Buchanan’s two primary opponents were harmed by taking strong positions on the slavery issue. President Franklin Pierce held pro-slavery views and Senator Stephen Douglas was the primary sponsor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law allowing for popular sovereignty over the slavery issue in the new territories. Its passage resulted in violent uprisings causing Pierce and Douglas to lose large numbers of convention delegates from the north and west. Additionally, Buchanan promised to only run for one term, allowing his supporters to tell Douglas that support for Buchanan would help him secure the nomination in 1860.

Buchanan was perfectly positioned to take advantage of the chaos. The prominent historian William Cooper described Buchanan as a “[A] smooth, pleasantly dull [northern] conservative,” having “ideological ties to the South.”

Biden had many primary opponents and a rocky path to the 2020 nomination. He finished poorly in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada to Bernie Sanders, an articulate, energetic, socialist. Biden’s candidacy was in “roadkill” and “also-ran” status until Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) endorsed him in the South Carolina primary. Clyburn’s endorsement gave him huge support from the black community and delivered Biden’s first-ever primary win in thirty years of running. In fact, it was the first time Biden had ever received more than 1¼ % of the vote, his high in 2008.

The deal sealing the Clyburn endorsement, however, was Biden’s willingness to follow Clyburn’s instructions and publicly announce in the South Carolina presidential primary debate that he would nominate a black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. With that promise, Biden collected on Clyburn’s offer and won South Carolina with 49% of the vote. From that time forward, the Democrat Party lined up behind Biden, whose competitors, except the socialist Sanders, dropped out almost immediately.

Like Buchanan, Biden was out of sight most of the campaign. Buchanan rarely addressed the riots over the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Biden did not address the riots in major U.S. cities. Biden ran a “bunker strategy” from the basement of his home. He made few statements or public appearances. And like Buchanan, he was far from exciting. His personality is described as driven to seek approval, wanting others to view him as a friend, and often praised and flattered others as an image of goodwill. Buchanan and Biden, seemingly nice guys achieved victory based on avoidance of the issues and promises to support specific people in the future.

Now that Biden is President, does he continue to track Buchanan’s disastrous presidency?

While Biden promised to unify the nation, his initial presidential actions are throwing gasoline on the flames of division, just as Buchanan did in his initial months in office. In just two months Biden:

  1. issued 43 Executive Orders and Presidential Memorandum that reversed almost every policy and de-regulatory enactment of the Trump administration;
  2. demonstrated his support for socialist environmental proposals, by canceling Trump’s major permit approvals for billion-dollar oil and gas pipeline projects, and for drilling on federal lands, decisions that terminated tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and revenues for energy-producing states;
  3. rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, a policy that will result in massive regulatory controls on U.S. energy and manufacturing industries; thereby increasing the costs of consumer purchases;
  4. immediately stopped construction of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and literally opened the borders of our country to unlimited illegal immigration, the operation of drug cartels and foreign terrorists;
  5. pushed through a massive $1.9 trillion dollar spending bill under the guise of Covid-19 relief, yet less than ten percent of the monies went to pandemic-type efforts. The remaining ninety percent went to state and local governments, schools, unions, child tax credits, Obama Care subsidies, and supportive corporations;
  6. continuously blaming the Trump administration for every problem of the Biden administration, including the riots at the Capitol, the mess on the southern border and the lack of vaccines;
  7. supported the first impeachment of a president after he left office, and the first time ever a president was impeached twice;
  8. allowing the continued censorship by big tech of conservative media and speech; and
  9. is open to the use of “Truth Commissions,” a group of government officials to investigate the activities of the Trump administration and other Americans deemed objectionable. Historically these commissions press (i.e., pressure) individuals to reveal so-called, hidden facts outside of the established constitutional proceedings. These types of tactic are generally used in authoritarian and third-world countries to punish political opponents.

These first two months of the Biden administration point to the use of massive federal powers to punish those deemed objectionable, to pilfer the treasury of the nation to reward friends, to censor differing political opinions, and to impose a massive number of new regulations on the American people. All actions meant to divide rather than unify. All actions without one single vote from an opposition party.  Buchanan acted to divide the nation. He caused horrible harm to the nation. Hopefully, president Biden will return to his stated belief in unity before it is too late?

 

 

 

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  • Unity Not Possible When Government Is in Overdrive (Part I)

Unity Not Possible When Government Is in Overdrive (Part I)

William L. Kovacs

February 2021

Unity Not Possible When Government Is in Overdrive (Part I)

Candidate Biden campaigned to bring unity to the country. But the horrific seizing of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, gave Democrats and the soon to be Biden administration, the justification to ditch the calls for unity. And ditch they have. The Biden administration is pursuing a radical progressive agenda by Executive fiat, stretching the limits of Executive authority more than the Constitution allows.

The immediate issuance of 17 Executive Orders (“EOs”) on the first day was surprising to those expecting some bipartisanship due to Biden’s comment that “you can’t legislate by executive action unless you’re a dictator.” When Biden issued more EOs every day, Fox News pounced claiming he was acting as a dictator. The fact-checkers countered that the quote was taken out of context. Assuming is the quote was taken out of context, it is not credible to believe that, in six days, 43 EOs and presidential memoranda requiring all new regulations implement policies that are not contained in the laws passed by Congress, can be implemented by a president without exceeding lawful presidential authority.

President Biden however, confirmed his many EOs were policy changes when stating “I’m not making new law, I’m eliminating bad policy.” But his policies will be formulated and implemented as new laws, through regulations, so he is changing law without congressional approval.

The curious aspect of the EOs is that they were issued with Democrats having the votes to control both houses of Congress. Either Biden does not believe he has the votes to secure passage of his programs or he views Congress as his handmaiden subject to his every order?

The most troubling of all Biden’s orders is the  Memorandum on “Modernizing Regulatory Review” which requires new regulations achieve racial justice, social welfare, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations; in addition to statutory requirements. These new, more undefined goals, would require substantive provisions in regulations that are well beyond the scope of the laws passed by Congress. This policy directive could have a massive social and economic impact since agencies issue around 4,000 regulations a year, about 80,000 pages worth of new law.

Policy changes by EOs go far beyond the laws to be implemented

  • Cancellation of permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and suspension of new federal oil and gas leases will directly put thousands of workers, with well-paying jobs, out of work. Thousands more who work in the service industries along the route will lose work. It will ensure the U.S. is no longer energy independent, reduce export supplies and dramatically increase the price of energy. It will also disrupt Canada’s oil production. Less U.S. oil and gas production will, make more Canadian oil available to China and ensure a market in the EU for Russian oil and gas.
  • Biden re-joined the Paris Climate Agreement and ordered the reversal of most of Trump’s environmental orders and regulations. These EOs will increase the cost of fuel for cars, energy for homes, manufacturing, and most retail products. With China being exempt from compliance with the Paris Agreement, China becomes more competitive by having a less costly regulatory compliance. China will continue to grow as the world’s largest economy.
  • Simultaneously stopping the construction of the southern border wall, while allowing undocumented, untested Covid-19 immigrants from Central America into the U.S., will likely increase the spread of the virus. Caravans are on route. Conversely, with an open southern border, Biden reimposes a travel ban on EU countries, our truest allies.
  • The EO relating to nondiscrimination of the transgender population effectively ends girls’ sports. So much for Title IX protections.
  • Biden ordered face masks be worn by all on federal property, but arbitrarily exempts himself. It’s Governor Newsom’s law of hypocrisy – laws only apply to us little people, we call citizens.
  • Biden provides billions to public schools to defray the cost of opening but does not require teachers to return to teaching.
  • Workers can continue receiving supplemental unemployment compensation for as long as they “fear” returning to work.

Texas immediately took action to defend its citizens and industries. In a few days, it secured a nationwide injunction against the immigration EO. A few days later, it announced it was suing over the climate EO canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending new oil and gas permits. The large number EOs will be a constant source of litigation as to presidential authority. Also, each proposed regulation that attempts to incorporate one or more of the new policies set out in the Memorandum on “Modernizing Regulatory Review” will likely be litigated.

For decades presidents have expanded their executive power through EOs and new regulations. Congress has assisted in this power grab by passing broad and vague laws that give presidents reasonable support for asserting such power. An imbalance has created a strong executive voice and an irrelevant Congress. The Biden presidency may inform us whether presidents need a supportive Congress to implement their agendas or whether Congress is an irrelevant handmaiden.

Part II will focus on how the vitriol in Congress unifies Democrats to implement a permanent one-party rule by packing the supreme court, voting for DC statehood and eliminating the Electoral College.

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  • The Limits on Governing in a Biden Presidency

The Limits on Governing in a Biden Presidency

William L. Kovacs

November 2020

The Limits on Governing in a Biden Presidency

If the winner of the 2020 presidential election is Joe Biden, the real question is – what exactly can he do to govern the country? Can he form a government that works for citizens or is he locked into a political system he helped form in over forty years in the DC swamp?

Biden is likely to exercise the powers of the presidency with a majority Republican Senate, run by Mitch McConnell, a master of Senate strategy. McConnell’s Senate is the graveyard for Democrat nominees and legislation, e.g. judge Merrick Garland, multi-trillion-dollar House of Representative’s Coronavirus relief plans. McConnell’s Senate can literally block all of Biden’s judicial nominees and cabinet officers. If however, Democrats win the two Georgia Senate seats in the January 2021 run-off elections, this scenario flips on its head. The filibuster is eliminated and more social legislation will be passed in the next two years than was passed during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. My assumption is that the Republican party will keep control of the Senate.

Even the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives lost several members from its majority. In fact, Democrats lost six seats and failed to defeat any Republican incumbents. What should be most concerning to a Biden presidency is how to fund the government. The temporary budget expires on December 11, 2020, and the Senate has not passed any of the appropriation bills. At worst, another government shutdown. At best there will be a temporary appropriation that moves the funding problem from the Trump to the Biden administration.  A Biden presidency is unlikely to get much, or any, of its Democrat wish-list, e.g. funding for state pension plans, additional funding to address climate change and infrastructure, or tax increases on those earning over $400.000 a year.

There are a few issues a President Biden could put into motion without Congressional assistance. He could rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement that President Trump withdrew from. As an Agreement, not a treaty, he does not need Senate advice and Consent. Presidential Agreements are as solid as wind and change with administrations. President Biden could also remove the tariffs on China imposed by Trump to benefit consumers’ pocketbooks.

Going across the street from the Capitol, there is a six-to-three conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. How it rules on ObamaCare is only one of the Democrats’ concerns. The Supreme Court will have the power to review all regulations issued by Biden’s administration. Regulatory power is the one power presidents can freely exercise without Congress. Moreover, Biden will likely reverse many of Trump’s deregulatory environmental actions, specifically Trump’s rollbacks of water and wetland regulations, the disposal of mining waste, the Clean Power Plan and almost one-hundred other Obama issued regulations.

A majority conservative court, however, can severely keep in check expansive new regulations and de-regulatory actions it believes not to be “reasonable.”

A President Biden may find some Trump inflicted pain before even being sworn into office. Trump may persuade Attorney General Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s alleged illegal Burisma activities. After being sworn in it will be difficult for Biden to personally stop a criminal investigation of his son after taking an oath to faithfully execute the laws of the U.S.

Biden’s revenge maybe for the U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York to open investigations of Trump, especially on alleged tax fraud and money laundering. When exercising the powers of government, opening an investigation of Trump’s tax filings would be as easy as sending a birthday card.

The final and most serious attack on the Biden presidency might come from Donald Trump himself. Trump is not leaving the grand stage quietly. He will do something “big,” “loud,” and “highly critical” of the Biden administration. Trump will be the resistance leader against high taxes, over-regulation, and programs that move the U.S. toward socialism. Perhaps Trump will start the often discussed Trump News Network. It is estimated he has a combined social media following of 87.7 million followers. Fox News only has 3.6 million viewers and the other channels have far fewer viewers.

Trump would dominate the news during a Biden presidency. Under such withering, constant criticism, Biden would have to work with, around or in conflict with, a hostile Senate, a conservative Supreme Court, almost half the nation disagreeing with his policies, his son under criminal investigation, and a 24-hour news channel actively organizing opposition to his presidency.

At a time when Biden will need help from every person capable of giving it, the radical left will push him further and further to the left, leaving him “hung out to dry.” A nightmare for Biden would be for Speaker Pelosi to lose the speakership to a far-left progressive. Unlikely, but worth noting as a possibility.

Trump believes Biden, the FBI, and others in the Obama administration, engineered attacks on him before he was even sworn into office. He believes they continued the attacks for his entire presidency. They manipulated events to have a special counsel to investigate him. They impeached him. There was not a day President Trump was not attacked by his enemies.  Biden will likely be subjected to similar working conditions in his White House.

Welcome, President-elect Biden to American politics 2020.