Unite or Die: States’ Rights Movement Gaining Ground

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There are stirrings of a “new” old movement afoot.  IT’S ABOUT TIME.

The latest Rasmussen Poll shows that a growing number of Americans want their state governments to tell the Supreme Court to hit the road and stop rewriting the Constitution.  In other words, the “Don’t Tread On Me” culture is gaining steam.

“Only 20% [of likely voters] now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty,” the Rasmussen Poll finds. “Sixty percent (60 %) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead,” it adds.

In 2009, the Tea Party movement arose in response to a grossly over-bloated and tyrannical federal government which was clearly no longer accountable to the people who it purports to represent.

Diffuse and truly grassroots – in spite of what it’s detractors say – the tea party’s everyday working Americans who believe in a limited, constitutional government and fiscal sanity stood up to say ‘Enough!’ in every corner of the nation.  But despite election wins that placed Republicans in control of the House of Representatives in 2010, and the Senate in 2014, it is undeniable that the Republican establishment has instead aligned with the forces of statism.

More than ever, there now exists two Americas -one in which individual liberty is still revered, the other where statism and dependency are the norm.

We now have an executive branch which tramples the Constitution on a regular basis, a legislative branch beholden to corporations and maintaining their own power, and a Supreme Court comprised of elitist Ivy League graduates who are molded by an alarmingly leftist-run academia.

SCOTUS’ rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage, along with Republican passage of fast track of Obamatrade, all in the same week, forced conservatives to sit up a take note.  It is now readily apparent that Washington DC is now aligned against the notion of limited government and constrained federal power.

But our Founders did not leave us without recourse.  Those who represented the states in ratifying the Constitution were supremely suspicious of federal powers, so much so that it took much internal wrangling to finally get the document signed.  And it was the 10th Amendment that secured its passage.

The 10th amendment, ratified along with the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, reads as follows:

“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.”

The concept of popular resistance to the unconstitutional encroachment of the federal government on the rights of individuals and states has been gaining momentum over the past several years.

Various options are being bandied about, such as an Article V Convention of the States to propose new amendments to the Constitution that would limit federal powers by requiring ratification by the states.

Conservative author Charles Murray has advocated for a type of civil disobedience to resist unlawful federal regulations through the use of well funded legal challenges to the most egregious of those regulations.

But our best option is to use the tool with which our Founders had the foresight to provide us – the power of the 10th amendment. For it to be effective, we need bold governors and state legislatures to follow through and ultimately work together to rein in the federal government.

Bolder, constitutionally based resistance at the state level, is a practical and viable remedy, one that already has broad popular support among conservatives.  And, importantly, it does not require secession from the union.

Ben Franklin warned that we have “a republic, ma’am, if we can keep it.” If states do not act to limit the role of the federal government to that very narrow set of specifically “enumerated powers” ascribed to it in the Constitution, WE will have lost the greatest experiment in governance the world has ever seen.

Do you want that hanging over your head?

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David Stockman Shock Blog: The Real Unemployment Rate Is 42.9%

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June 30, 2015

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the unemployment rate, what is the latest reported unemployment, 5.5%, is that what it is, 5.3, 5.6?  It’s in that neighborhood, right?  I don’t know what the exact number is.  Not that this matters to anything anymore.  I mean, the truth is increasingly irrelevant.  The truth is increasingly meaningless.  In fact, there isn’t any truth in way too much of the country.  There is certainly no objective truth.

Anyway, I have had, as you know if you listen regularly, I’ve had a lot of doubt about the accuracy of an unemployment rate of 5.5% when, at the same time, we have 92, 93 million Americans not in the workforce.  It just hasn’t made sense to me.  Now, as you know, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government releases the unemployment numbers every month, and there are different categories, and the U, letter U-3 is what gets reported.  That’s the 5.5% now, whatever it is, that’s the U-3 number.  The U-3 number — and, by the way, it’s increasingly obvious that all of this is bogus and meaningless now as well.

But the U-3 number only attempts to count people who are out of work and looking for a job.  People who have been out of work beyond the total length of time that they get unemployment benefits, which is up to, what is it now, 99 weeks?  (interruption)  It’s even longer than that?  (interruption)  Okay, 99 weeks.  So if you’re looking for a job and getting your employment benefits they count you in U-3. But if you stop looking for a job at any point, you’ve been out of work two weeks, stop looking, you don’t get counted in the U-3 number.  If you’ve been out of work for three years and stop looking, then you don’t get counted as unemployed.

I don’t know how they find out who is looking for a job and who isn’t, because this is largely guesswork.  There is a very small interview sample that they take, and then they project nationwide results from this small, relatively small sample.  The U-6 number is much closer to accurate.  The U-6, it never gets reported.  You have to look at websites dedicated to economics to find out what that number is.  The Drive-By Media never reports it.

So 99.9% of the people celebrating Supreme Court rulings last week do not know what the U-6 unemployment rate is.  That number is reported to be around 11 or 12%.  And that number includes people who are out of work and have given up trying to find a job or aren’t, for whatever reason, looking for work.  So it is said to be a more accurate number, but that has not even worked for me.  I mean, just the simple math, 92, 93 million Americans, and from there I said, “How many adult Americans are there in our country?”  To put that 93 million in proper perspective, 93 million Americans not working.  And my always added caveat, they are all eating.

I find that to be one of the most relevant aspects of that number, and it goes over people’s head as though it doesn’t matter.  But if you can eat and have a phone and a big screen or whatever and not have to work, I mean, what are you more than likely to do if you are a recent graduate or product of the American education system?  You’re gonna opt to the path of least resistance.  Particularly now you add to that what has happened to employment with Obamacare, and that is 30 hours a week is now considered full time, not 40.

I mean, folks, the bottom line here is that just observing numbers and just casually absorbing them — not even running them; not calculating, just absorbing them — it cannot be that we have an unemployment rate of 5.5% or even 12.2%.  The number of people working is way down.  The number of hours worked is way down. It’s because of Obamacare, because the economy.  You can maybe talk about trade deals if you want. Throw it all in.  I don’t care.  The bottom line is, there’s much less productivity in this economy.

And then you add to that how much of the economy has been usurped by the federal government, the economy, the private sector where everybody tries to get their piece of the pie. That’s shrinking.  My gut feeling has been that we are in a dire economic circumstance, far, far worse than anybody knows.  Well, you might be saying, “What’s this got to do with anything?” Well, that’s why I urge you to always hang in there and be tough.

Last night a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog that is hosted and written by David Stockman.  David Stockman was the former budget director for Ronaldus Magnus until for some reason he was taken to the woodshed and fired.  Oh, I know what it was.  He disavowed supply-side, which was his own creation.  Anyway, Stockman has run a bunch of numbers and has been able to put all of this in context and has concluded that the actual unemployment rate in the United States of America is not 5.5%, and it’s not 12.5% or 13%.  It is 42.9%.

Let me share with you a little bit of how he gets there.

It’s a long blog post.  I can’t… I’m not even gonna try to summarize most of it.  I’m just gonna get to the meat of it as it relates to this.  But it’s an all-out assault on Keynesian economics and the Federal Reserve and the damage that both have done and continue to do to the US economy.  But here’s the focal point on unemployment.  “In fact,” he writes, “the Census Bureau survey takers and the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] numbers crunchers have not the foggiest idea as to what the real world’s potential labor force computes to, and how much of it is deployed on any given day, month or quarter.”

That’s economics-speak for they don’t have any idea how many people are working. The “world’s potential labor force,” meaning how many people in the world have an opportunity to hold a job and go to work at it.  Nobody knows.  They have no way to compute it.  And how much of that force is “deployed,” that’s just military lingo for how many people getting up and going to work every day.  “Accordingly,” he writes, “printing money and pegging interest rates in pursuit of ‘full employment’, which is the essence of the Yellen version of monetary central planning…”

Jessica Yellen is the chairman of the Fed. “[T]he essence of the Yellen version is completely nonsensical,” and it’s political, by the way, getting an unemployment rate 5.5%. You know what statistically full employment is. This is why this doesn’t make any sense.  Traditionally, statistically full employment has been 4.7%.  Everybody involved in economics from the government on down has agreed that if at any time the US unemployment rate is 4.7% then our economy is roaring.

We got people working and working overtime, and it’s as near to full employment as it’s possible to get.  Well, I’m telling you: If that’s true about 4.7%, there’s no way we’re at 5.5%.  This is just my gut reaction to all this.  This is why this is fascinating.  Now, Stockman is ripping into the money supply people and Obama because they’re pegging everything they’re doing to that. They’re printing money, giving it to the stock market, pegging interest rates at near zero in pursuit of full employment.

That is for Obama’s legacy.  They want Obama to be able to leave office claiming that his stimulus worked and that everything else he did economically, Obamacare, brought back a defunct economy that he inherited.  Key to creating that perception is the unemployment rate, and that’s why it’s been creeping down from where it is. What’d it get, as high as eight?  (interruption)  At some point.  Anyway, down to 5.5%.  Now…

“Likewise, the Fed’s current ‘soft’ target of 5.2% on the U-3 unemployment rate is downright ridiculous,” he says. “When in the year 2015 you have 93 million adults not in the labor force — of which only half are retired and receiving Social Security benefits (OASI) — and a U-3 computational method that counts as ’employed’ anyone who works only a few hour per week — then what you have in the resulting fraction is noise, pure and simple. The U-3 unemployment rate as a proxy for full employment does not even make it as primitive grade school economics.”

Here are the numbers I wondered about: “At the present time, there are 210 million adult Americans between the ages of 16 and 68…” That is the workforce.  Sixteen to 68 is the age boundaries where you find the potential American workforce.  Between 16 and 68, there are 210 million Americans, and 93 million — 40% — of them, are not working.  Now, that’s probably a much better way of expressing employment, unemployment, and the real strength, performance, or lack of, of the US economy.  But here is where they get in the weeds by computing a bunch of things that…

It’s gonna be hard to follow because you’re not reading it, but I’ll do my best.

“At the present time, there are 210 million adult Americans between the ages of 16 and 68 — to take a plausible measure of the potential work force. That amounts to 420 billion potential labor hours…”  So you have 420 billion hours that people could work in a standard 40-hour week. With all the vacations and the standard benefits thrown in, that’s the number of labor hours potential.  That’s “if we accept the convention that all adults are at least theoretically capable of holding a full-time job (2,000 hours/year),” that’s the calculation, “and pulling their share of society’s need for production and work effort.

“By contrast, during 2014 only 240 billion hours were actually supplied to the US economy, according to the BLS estimates,” actual government numbers. So the workforce is defined as ages 16 to 68, a total of 420 billion potential labor hours, which equals great productivity if that happens.  Last year, only 240 billion hours were actually supplied to the US economy, just a little over half what’s possible.  “Technically, therefore, there were 180 billion unemployed labor hours,” and that is how Stockman arrived at “the real unemployment rate was 42.9%…”

He’s actually computing the number of hours possible to be worked, at what they say is full employment, and then calculates the number of people and the number of hours actually worked, 43%.  Caveats: “Yes, we have to allow for non-working wives, students, the disabled, early retirees and coupon clippers. We also have drifters, grifters, welfare cheats, bums and people between jobs, enrolled in training programs, on sabbaticals and much else.

“But here’s the thing: There are dozens of reasons for 180 billion unemployed labor hours, but whether the Fed is monetizing $80 billion of public debt per month or not, and whether the money market interest rate is 10 bps or 35 bps doesn’t even make the top 25 reasons for unutilized adult labor. What actually drives our current 43% unemployment rate is global economic forces of cheap labor and new productive capacity throughout the EM and dozens of domestic policy and cultural factors that influence the decision to work or not.”

It’s called liberalism!  It’s called socialism!

It’s creating sloth!

It’s creating more and more people that don’t have to work, and they’re not.  And there’s all this productivity left — for lack of a better way to say it — languishing on the factory floor.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Chase in Daphne, Alabama.  I’m glad you waited, sir.  Great to have you on the big program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Rush Limbaugh, God bless you for all you do.  Mega lifelong dittos, sir.

RUSH:  Well, thank you.  I appreciate that very much.

CALLER:  Yes, sir.  My question for you is I saw on Fox and a couple other sites that the Obama administration is pushing for people making 45,000 or less a year to become eligible for overtime pay.  And as a guy whose only regret is never being able to vote for Ronald Reagan, I kind of want to know what the catch is.

RUSH:  I’m looking.  I’ve got a sound bite on this.  If I can find it, and we can actually hear what Obama said — it is.  Grab audio sound bite — I wonder if we’ve got two.  Hang on just a second.  I’m sorry to waste time trying to find it.  I’ve got 12.  20 and 21?  Let me see if I can find 20 and 21 very quick.  (muttering)  No.  No.  Grab number 12.  This is Chris Cuomo today talking with the White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz about Obama’s overtime plan. He says: “You’re doing what the private sector says you shouldn’t do, don’t mess with wages.  Let business decide what the right pay scale is.”

MUNOZ:  In the seventies more than 60% of the salaried workforce was covered by overtime.  We’re going back to a point at which salaried workers can expect those kinds of protections.  Ultimately that’s good for the economy.  If the business community wants to argue that the salary threshold should be set as it is now, at a level which is below the poverty rate for a family of four, I just think it’s really hard to argue that that’s good for the country and good for workers or good for the economy.

RUSH:  I don’t know.  You start talking about trying to recreate what was happening in the seventies, and that’s Jimmy Carter, and that’s stagnation.  But, again, it’s meddling.  I don’t really know what the catch is with this other than government meddling.  Who’s talking overtime?  We’ve got an unemployment rate of 42.5 % in this country.  Anyway, look, Chase, we’ll talk about this more tomorrow ’cause I’m really out of time today, but I’m glad you called.

END TRANSCRIPT

TX Republican Babin Introduces ‘SCOTUSCare Act’

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BY STEPHEN KRUISER

A Texas Republican is taking aim at the Supreme Court after its 6-3 decision upholding Obamacare subsidies with a new bill requiring the justices and their aides to purchase coverage on the law’s exchanges.

Rep. Brian Babin is seeking co-sponsors for the bill, titled the “SCOTUScare Act of 2015” — which refers to a quip from Justice Antonin Scalia’s scathing dissent.

“As the Supreme Court continues to ignore the letter of the law, it’s important that these nine individuals understand the full impact of their decisions on the American people,” the freshman Republican said in a statement. “By eliminating their exemption from Obamacare, they will see firsthand what the American people are forced to live with!”

Sure, it’s political theater, but so is most of what goes on in Washington. At least this is grandstanding that makes a little point.

It also identifies at least one Republican who gets it.

Side note: as John Roberts uses Obamacare to flush America down history’s toilet, Antonin Scalia may be the last great conservative folk hero.

Love Her or Hate Her, Ann Coulter Warned Us About John Roberts 10 Years Ago

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BY STEPHEN KRUISER

After conservatives took another gut punch from black-robed Obamacare cheerleader Chief Justice John Roberts, many of us were left wondering just what in the heck is wrong with this guy. After all, these Republican appointees to the Supreme Court are supposed to be on our side, right? They can’t all be David Souter.

It turns out that Ann Coulter sniffed another Souter-esque betrayal in the offing ten years ago:

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Expanding…

After pretending to consider various women and minorities for the Supreme Court these past few weeks, President Bush decided to disappoint all the groups he had just ginned up and nominate a white male.

So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah … We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.

But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

I know it is all the rage in this era of hypersensitive feelings for some conservatives, and almost all moderate Republicans, to bristle at everything Coulter says and be dismissive of her because she has a knack for tossing out an outrageous headline-grabbing comment. Here’s the thing about her: she’s right a lot of the time.

Sure, I’ve got to deduct a lot of points for her flip-flop to become a Romney champion in 2012 but a lot of people were drunk on wishful thinking then (present company excluded). Other than that, she makes a lot of sense.

So maybe pay just a little more attention to her from now on.

And pray that Antonin Scalia lives to be 148.

SCOTUS grants Obama another gift, ignores the English language to uphold ObamaCare subsidies

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A big win for people who hate the fact that words have meanings.

And that’s that. Obama, as usual, gets his way. It was predictable, really. Having abandoned the meaning of words within the English language, the Supreme Court is now free to ignore the actual text of laws and pretend things were written that never were.

As the AP reports:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement. It came the same day the court gave the administration an unexpected victory by preserving a key tool the administration uses to fight housing bias.

John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which stated that the law was upheld because:

Here, the statutory scheme compels the Court to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid. Under petitioners’ reading, the Act would not work in a State with a Federal Exchange. As they see it, one of the Act’s three major reforms—the tax credits—would not apply. And a second major reform—the coverage requirement—would not apply in a meaningful way, because so many individuals would be exempt from the requirement without the tax credits. If petitioners are right, therefore, only one of the Act’s three major reforms would apply in States with a Federal Exchange.

So far, he has a pretty good handle on things. This is precisely what the law was written to do. As we know, the withholding of federal subsidies was explicitly designed to pressure states into setting up exchanges. It’s a shame he doesn’t stop there, because he completely blows it in the next sentence by inventing an “intent” that never existed.

The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner.

So forget about what the law was designed to do. None of that matters, since the court isn’t concerned with pesky things like, say, “the actual text of the law.”

Roberts admits that the ACA “contains more than a few examples of “inartful drafting,” which we assume is now a synonym for “words you can ignore if you want to grant the federal government unending expansive power.”

In the dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the court’s now long-standing habit of re-writing the law to keep it in effect:

Having transformed two major parts of the law, the Court today has turned its attention to a third. The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

Democrats are, obviously, celebrating the fact that the country’s pre-eminent piece of crony-capitalist legislation will remain intact. Sadly, I suspect they’re not the only ones. I believe that the majority of the GOP is just as happy as their alleged opposition.

There are now three types of Republicans in Congress.

Group one is the smallest, and is comprised of the select few who actually care about the Constitution.
Group two is somewhat bigger. These people don’t really care about anything as long as they continue to get the perks of their office and don’t have to take any tough political stands.
Group three is the largest. It’s controlled by the party elites and boasts the current Congressional leadership among its members. They’re big-government expansionists who are every bit as guilty as Democrats when it comes to growing the size, scope, and debt of the federal government.
Groups two and three love this ruling. Even if the decision had gone the other way, they were probably going to implement an administration-friendly workaround. This saves them time and effort by removing a difficult PR battle from their plates, while simultaneously maintaining an unsustainable law which – someday soon – will need to be propped up by expanded taxation and increased federal power.

Since that’s what seems to pass for win-win in the modern Republican party, we can only assume they’re breathing a sigh of relief after today’s ruling.

*(SAME STUPID REPUBLICAN UPHOLDS OBAMACARE FOR THE SECOND TIME)* John Roberts Authors 6-3 Opinion Upholding Obamacare Subsidies

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(AP) – The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement.

Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a dissenter in 2012, was part of the majority on Thursday.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums.

Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

The challenge devised by die-hard opponents of the law, often derided by critics as “Obamacare,” relied on four words — established by the state — in the more than 900-page law.

The law’s opponents argued that the vast majority of people who now get help paying for their insurance premiums are ineligible for their federal tax credits. That is because roughly three dozen states opted against creating their own health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, and instead rely on the federal healthcare.gov to help people find coverage if they don’t get insurance through their jobs or the government.

In the challengers’ view, the phrase “established by the state” demonstrated that subsidies were to be available only available to people in states that set up their own exchanges. Those words cannot refer to exchanges established by the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees healthcare.gov, the opponents argued.

The administration, congressional Democrats and 22 states responded that it would make no sense to construct the law the way its opponents suggested. The idea behind the law’s structure was to decrease the number of uninsured. The law prevents insurers from denying coverage because of “pre-existing” health conditions. It requires almost everyone to be insured and provides financial help to consumers who otherwise would spend too much of their paycheck on their premiums.

The point of the last piece, the subsidies, is to keep enough people in the pool of insured to avoid triggering a so-called death spiral of declining enrollment, a growing proportion of less healthy people and premium increases by insurers.

Several portions of the law indicate that consumers can claim tax credits no matter where they live. No member of Congress said that subsidies would be limited, and several states said in a separate brief to the court that they had no inkling they had to set up their own exchange for their residents to get tax credits.

The 2012 case took place in the midst of Obama’s re-election campaign, when he touted the largest expansion of the social safety net since the advent of Medicare nearly a half-century earlier. But at the time, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act were mostly in the future. Many of its provisions had yet to take effect.

In 2015, the landscape has changed, although the partisan and ideological divisions remain for a law that passed Congress in 2010 with no Republican votes.

The case is King v. Burwell, 14-114.