Sunday, June 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW of  The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America

By F.H. Buckley (a Foundation Professor at George Mason University School of Law, where he has taught since 1989. Before then he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School)

This book sounds a lot like I have been arguing lately. I may have to buy it.  The author also has an essay here about how Obama has acquired most of the powers of an old-style king

This remarkable new book shatters just about every myth surrounding American government, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers, and offers the clearest warning about the alarming rise of one-man rule in the age of Obama.

Most Americans believe that this country uniquely protects liberty, that it does so because of its Constitution, and that for this our thanks must go to the Founders, at their Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

F. H. Buckley’s book debunks all these myths. America isn’t the freest country around, according to the think tanks that study these things. And it’s not the Constitution that made it free, since parliamentary regimes are generally freer than presidential ones. Finally, what we think of as the Constitution, with its separation of powers, was not what the Founders had in mind. What they expected was a country in which Congress would dominate the government, and in which the president would play a much smaller role.

Sadly, that’s not the government we have today. What we have instead is what Buckley calls Crown government: the rule of an all-powerful president. The country began in a revolt against one king, and today we see the dawn of a new kind of monarchy. What we have is what Founder George Mason called an “elective monarchy,” which he thought would be worse than the real thing.

Much of this is irreversible. Constitutional amendments to redress the balance of power are extremely unlikely, and most Americans seem to have accepted, and even welcomed, Crown government. The way back lies through Congress, and Buckley suggests feasible reforms that it might adopt, to regain the authority and respect it has squandered.



Obama Regime Seeks unlimited power to prosecute

In late 2011 an intra-sect feud within an Amish community in eastern Ohio became violent as followers of Samuel Mullet Sr. assaulted several of their co-religionists because they were “Amish hypocrites.” The assailants forcibly cut the beards and hair of their victims to punish them for their alleged transgressions. The attacks were violent and served their purpose of humiliating the victims, but were they a federal crime? The Department of Justice thinks so, and a federal district court agreed. On Thursday the federal government’s arguments will be tested as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the defendants appeal in Miller v. United States.

According to the Justice Department, the defendants crimes are subject to federal prosecution under the hate crimes statute because the shears and scissors used in the assaults had previously crossed state lines because they were manufactured in another state and because the defendants rode in cars to the scenes of the attacks.

Got that?  What next?

Arguing that a defendant is subject to federal jurisdiction because he or she wore clothing that at some point was in the stream of interstate commerce?

The original understanding of the Commerce Clause was that it was intended to keep one state from imposing trade restrictions or tariffs on goods from other states -- something that did exist during the Confederation era. It was not intended to be a catch-all clause for giving the federal government jurisdiction where it did not otherwise exist -- such an interpretation is contrary to the clear intention of the framers to limit federal power.



Hillary and Obama:  This sounds believable

Hillary Clinton berated President Barack Obama as ‘incompetent and feckless' and said he had become 'a joke' after having one too many glasses of wine at a reunion dinner last year with friends from college, a new tell-all book reveals.

'When her friends asked Hillary to tell them what she thought — really thought — about the president she had served for four draining years, she lit into Obama with a passion that surprised them all,' former Newsweek editor Edward Klein writes in his book Blood Feud.

'"The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered and there is no hand on the tiller half the time,"' Clinton is said to have barked in her boozy rant. ‘That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f***ing tiller.’

Klein describes Clinton's Obama-bashing session as having taken place last May - two months after she vacated her position on Obama's cabinet -  at French restaurant Le Jardin du Roi, near the Clinton's home in Chappaqua, New York.  '"Obama has turned into a joke," she said sharply,' according to Klein.

 'When her friends asked Hillary to tell them what she thought - really thought - about the president she had served for four draining years, she lit into Obama with a passion that surprised them all'

'"The IRS targeting the Tea Party, the Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records and James Rosen’s emails — all these scandals. Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did,"' Clinton reportedly told her pals.

'She went on to explain that Bill was a natural leader and great executive, unlike Obama, who was in her words "incompetent and feckless,"' Klein writes.

At another point in the conversation Hillary is quoted as having said of Obama, 'You can’t trust the motherf***er'.

"'Obama has treated Bill and me incredibly shabbily. And we’re angry,'" Clinton continued.

Clinton allegedly told her friends that she and Bill promised Obama they would help him him get reelected in 2012 if he helped Hillary get elected in 2016.  '"He agreed to the arrangement but then he reneged on the deal. His word isn’t worth sh*t,"' Hillary said.

The deal between the president and the Clintons was struck during a game of golf in September of 2011, according to another passage in Klein's book.

Bill didn't want to become bedfellows with Obama but he knew his wife would need the sitting president on her team if she ran for president in 2016.

'"I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,"' Bill allegedly told Hillary.

'I really can’t stand the way Obama ­always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me.

'Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.'

During the golf game Bill reportedly pitched Hillary's candidacy to Obama, calling his wife 'the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.'

'But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times,' Klein writes.  'Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, "You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too."’

'Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s?

'Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.'

Klein is also the author of the the 2005 book The Truth about Hillary and the scandalous 2013 book that critically profiled Obama as inexperienced and arrogant, The Amateur.

In that book Klein portrays Obama as kowtowing to first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett over the advice of his other, more qualified aides.

Michelle and Jarrett are prominently featured in Blood Feud, as well, and are cited as an additional source of conflict between the president and the Clintons.

At night Jarret and Michelle would make fun of Hillary over a bottle of Chardonnay, Klein says, and they nicknamed Hillary 'Hildebeest' after the ugly gnu that is often seen wandering the Serengeti region in Tanzania.

Klein writes that two women felt that the Clintons were, 'like most white people, racists.'

"'I don't think Michelle and Valerie think the Clintons are racists any more than other white people,' a black friend of Jarrett's told Klein. ' "But they think Bill an Hillary both lack racial sensitivity."'

Valerie and Michelle worked against the Clintons, keeping them out of the White House and the president's ear.

Neither woman wanted Barack to offer Hillary a position on his cabinet in 2008 or cut a deal with Bill in 2012.

The Clintons were only invited to one dinner at the White House during the four years Hillary served Obama as secretary of state, Klein told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an interview on Monday, and that was on March 1, 2013 after the Clintons helped get Obama reelected to a second term.

Based on the author's account of the dinner conversation in the book, it's not hard to see why Bill and Hillary weren't invited back.

Bill reportedly badgered Barack about the way he was handling the economy, and Hillary impolitely asked Michelle if she planned to copy her husband and run for the Senate in Illinois after her husband's presidency had ended.

At one point in the conversation Bill brought up the 2016 presidential election, telling the president, '"You have to use your organization to aid the candidate in 2016."'

'"Really?"' Obama replied sarcastically.  Then, 'Obama took out his Blackberry,' Klein told Hannity, 'and started playing with it under the table while Bill was talking . . . to send a message, I don't care what you say.'

Conflict between the Clintons and the Obamas dates back to the 2008 presidential election when Hillary and Barack competed against each other in the Democratic Primary.

Tension between the two presidential candidates and their families peaked after Obama's campaign disingeniously labeled Bill as a racist Southerner.

'"I hate that man Obama more than any man I've ever met, more than any man who ever lived,"' Klein says Bill Clinton told a friend after the incident.

In her recently released book Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton says she and Obama met to 'clear the air' at California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's house before the 2008 Democratic National Convention. At that meeting, Hillary says Obama apologized for the way his campaign treated Bill, and she and the president buried the hatchet.

In a joint 60 minutes interview days before Hillary's departure from the State Department last year, Obama said he was an 'admirer' of Hillary's and called her a 'strong friend.'  'I wanted to publicly say thank you ... I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve had,' Obama said.

Behind the smiles and kind words, the two politicians were secretly seething at each other, still, if Klein's account is accurate.

A source close to Jarrett told Klein that one time 'Hillary jabbed Obama's chest with her finger to make a point' during a confrontation.

After Hillary resigned, the Clintons came to the conclusion that Barack had no intention of helping Hillary ascend to the presidency.

'"He’s convinced himself he’s been a brilliant president, and wants to clone himself — to find his Mini-Me,"' Bill Clinton is said to have told he and Hillary's daughter Chelsea.

'"He’s hunting for someone to succeed him, and he believes the American people don’t want to vote for someone who’s been around for a long time. He thinks that your mother and I are what he calls 'so 20th century'. He’s looking for ­another Barack Obama."'



Red Cross crookedness:  Calls Sandy Spending 'Trade Secret'  -- WON'T SAY HOW IT SPENT THE $300M IT RAISED

The Red Cross raised more than $300 million for Superstorm Sandy disaster relief, but it is refusing to say how it raised or spent the cash. After ProPublica filed a public records request for the information, the Red Cross hired a law firm to block the release of some documents. The lawyers argued that the information is a "trade secret" and if it was disclosed, "the American Red Cross would suffer competitive harm because its competitors would be able to mimic the American Red Cross's business model for an increased competitive advantage."

The Red Cross is a public charity with a federal charter to provide disaster relief, so it's not clear who its "competitors" are, ProPublica notes. The Red Cross says it wants "proprietary information important to maintaining our ability to raise funds and fulfill our mission" to remain confidential, but the use of the "trade secret" exemption is not "something you would expect from an organization that purports to be 'transparent and accountable,'" says a spokesman for the Disaster Accountability Project watchdog group. "Donors have a right to know" what is being done with the money, writes Laura Northrup at Consumerist, "but the Red Cross refuses to even separate out how much money budgeted for certain expenses was spent during the disaster, and how much allocated for future efforts." (As of last spring, the Red Cross was still sitting on more than a third of Sandy donations.)



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