Dems Want New Constitutional Amendment to Curb Rights Guaranteed by the First Amendment

November 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm (Citizens United, Constitution, First Amendment, Georgia, Guam, Hank Johnson, Nancy Pelosi)

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), previously best known for his belief that the island of Guam could somehow tip over, is seeking an interesting way to fight what he considers an unfair ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.

He wants an amendment to the Constitution that would control speech – a fundamental right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Suddenly, the thought of Guam tipping over seems reasonable.

Via CBS Atlanta:

A Democratic representative is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow for some legislative restriction of freedom of speech.

“We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was quoted as saying by CNS News.

He reportedly made these comments while speaking at the Annesbrooks HOA candidate Forum held last month.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this out of Democrats.  Nancy Pelosi made similar comments back in April.

From CNSNews.com:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed a movement announced by other congressional Democrats on Wednesday to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to individuals.
The First Amendment says in part: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . .”
Television networks, newspapers, publishing houses, movie studios and think tanks, as well as political action committees, are usually organized as, or elements of, corporations.
Pelosi said the Democrats’ effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and “reducing the roll of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).
The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.

If you’re wondering how this would lead to censorship of everyday things like books, papers, or the internet, Chief Justice Roberts can explain.

The case in question led to this opinion written by Roberts:

“The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech,” wrote Roberts. “It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concerns.”

So we’re looking for a 28th Amendment to say, “You know that First Amendment … Just kidding!”

Confusing.  Makes you just want to throw up your arms and say, “Whatever it is, I’m with the Constitution of the United States.”

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Obama Administration Says Small Businesses Don’t Complain About Obamacare – Let’s Refresh Their Memory

November 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm (Economy, Health Care Reform, Jobs, Karen Mills, Obamacare, Small Business)

It’s a headline that anybody paying close attention to the health care reform debate would have thought had likely been ripped from The Onion.

Instead, it could be found at the Weekly Standard:

Obama’s Small Business Chief Has Not Heard One Case of Obamacare Hurting Small Business

Alas, it is not a satire; it is true.

Indeed, Karen Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), claims that throughout her travels across our great nation, she has never heard small businesses claim that they may have to slash employee hours, may lose their best employees, and may be run out of business altogether.

On a recent airing of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the following exchange occurred:

“You know, I travel all around the country, every week I go to a different part of the country. I’m with small businesses. And I’m not hearing that,” Mills said in response to a question about how she would explain employers cutting work hours for employees because of Obamacare regulations. 
“You’ve never heard that?” host Joe Scarborough responded. “You need to talk to your staff and tell them to get you out of the bubble, because we are hearing that all the time.”

Scarborough offered Mills two additional chances to clarify, but she would not answer him.

She had never heard this.

One can only infer that Mills has either achieved new levels of intellectual dishonesty – an incredible feat coming from a member of the Obama administration – or she truly cannot remember one such instance.
With that, we’d like to offer Mills and the entire administration a public service refresher course on the matter.

We begin with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an organization that succinctly claims the health insurance mandate “will almost certainly be detrimental to employers and employees alike”.  The NFIB represents over 350,000 small business owners, none of whom Mills has apparently spoken with.
The Director of Federal Public Policy at NFIB explains that Obamacare is forcing business owners to make additional and unnecessary decisions in an already crippling economy.

“Employers will have difficult decisions to make regarding current and future employees as it pertains to PPACA,” Amanda Austin claims.

“With the new healthcare law requiring businesses with 50 or more full-time workers to offer coverage or be fined, employers must plan and rethink their workforce now more than ever.”

FreedomWorks compiled a small list of businesses that had already made those tough decisions in the event President Obama was re-elected – to the tune of thousands of layoffs.

But we also delved into several businesses that were slashing their employee’s hours in an effort to remain compliant with the plan’s requirements for full-time status – something Mills also claims she has never heard.

According to the New American, Obamacare “requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees — with ‘full time’ defined as working at least 30 hours per week — to offer ‘affordable’ health insurance to those employees.”

The result?  Businesses are trying to drop below the 50 full-time employee level by either eliminating jobs, or eliminating hours.  In other words, the whole of Obamacare is a tax-happy prescription for small business disaster.

Additionally, the burdens being presented by Obamacare have contributed to record levels of uncertainty amongst small businesses owners (as demonstrated by the Optimism Index) not seen since the darkest days of the Carter administration.

But again, Mills hasn’t heard any of that.

With members of the Obama administration clearly being tone deaf when it comes to the concerns surrounding Obamacare, readers need to find other outlets for voicing their opinions.

What can you do?  Joshua Withrow has been keeping tabs on the states that have refused to implement health care exchanges under Obamacare – possibly the last resort in stopping the job killing bill.  Taking action against the implementation of state-run health exchanges will strike a critical blow against the heart of Obamacare.

So, are you willing to stand up to Obamacare?  Will you Take Action?

In short, are you willing to make yourself heard, or will you allow administration officials like Karen Mills to continue ignoring your voice?

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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Obama’s Christmas Wish List Could Only Be Delivered by Santa Himself

November 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm (Fiscal Cliff, Joe Scarborough, President Obama, Santa Claus, Tim Geithner)

What parallel universe are officials in the Obama administration living in if they think this wish list is anywhere near reasonable?

Via the Washington Examiner:

Yesterday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented Republican leaders on Capitol Hill with President Obama’s plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. The Geithner proposal asked for:

1. An immediate $1 trillion tax hike through higher top marginal income tax rates as well as higher taxes on both capital gains and dividends.

2. An agreement to raise $600 billion more in taxes later this year by limiting tax deductions for top earners.

3. $50 billion in new infrastructure stimulus spending.

4. Another “emergency” extension of unemployment benefits.

5. An extension of either the payroll tax cut or the reinstatement of Obama’s stimulus Making Work Pay tax credit.

6. A mortgage refinancing program.

7. Billions in new spending to prevent cuts to Medicare reimbursement payments for doctors.

8. An infinite debt limit hike.

Upon hearing Geithner’s wish list, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reportedly “burst into laughter.” He should have patted Geithner on the head and offered him a candy cane instead.

A Politico report adds that this joke of an offer has stalled negotiations.

Hill Republicans immediately rejected the offer, with House Speaker John Boehner saying “no substantive progress has been made” on resolving the impasse.

Even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough realized that the only intent behind the offer was to be provocative – it was not based in reality.  One Republican aide even referred to the offer as “unbalanced and unreasonable”.

Much like the President himself.  Or maybe he believes Santa Claus will deliver all of the items on his wish list?

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Embarrassing: Quite Possibly the Weakest Excuse For Negotiating Your Way Out of the No-Tax Pledge – Ever

November 30, 2012 at 11:57 am (Chris Gibson, Grover Norquist, New York, No Tax Pledge, Tax Pledge)

Embarrassing doesn’t begin to tell the story.  And we don’t make this criticism lightly.  That said, this is a move more fit for an amateur politician, than an outstanding Army veteran and rare successful member of the Republican party in New York.
WGY was the first to report on Republican 

Congressman Chris Gibson’s willingness to cave in on tax hikes to avert the fiscal cliff.Another Republican signals that he’s willing to consider tax increases in dealing with the fiscal cliff. This time, it’s Capital Region and Hudson Valley Congressman Chris Gibson. He signed the no tax hike pledge when he ran for Congress two years ago in the 20th District and won.

Mention of the district Gibson was victorious in is key here, as he is now citing redistricting and the re-numbering of that district as a reason for no longer being beholden to the pledge.
The National Review reports: 

Representative Gibson now says he signed his pledge in 2010 when he was a candidate for Congress. But the pledge was made to the people of New York’s 20th congressional district. Since then, the new Census mandated a redrawing of the district lines which included changing the number of the district Gibson was in. So his office now claims: “Congressman Gibson doesn’t plan to re-sign it for the 19th Congressional District, which he now represents (the pledge is to your constituents of a numbered district).”

The absurdity of that statement is so egregious that Mr. Gibson owes an apology to the roughly 50% of district 20’s constituents that still fall under his representation for not keeping his no-tax pledge, and a separate apology to his new constituents in district 19 for insulting their intelligence.
The Review article continues:

This comical maneuver should make Representative Gibson a laughing-stock. What if the New York legislature had kept his district number the same? Would he then be bound by it? 

About half of his new constituents were also in his old 20th district. Doesn’t his pledge to them still hold? 

The technical loophole that Gibson claims to have found doesn’t even hold up. The ATR pledge, which all but six House Republicans had signed in the run-up to this November’s election is addressed “to the taxpayers of the ____ district,” with candidates expected to fill in the blank. 

But the next line says the pledge is also made “to the American people.” Grover Norquist of ATR says the pledge was worded in that way to account for the fact that district numbers would change.

It’s tempting for the Republicans to panic right now and abandon their principles.  But don’t weasel your way out of it with an intellectually dishonest excuse.  At the very least, admit that you’re willing to negotiate your principles based on election results.
For the rest of the conservative Republicans out there – it’s okay to stick to your guns.  It is okay to maintain your position on something you believe in.  Devolving morally is for the other party.  Keeping your word should still matter in ours.

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