Am I Too Hard on the Left?

Having watched the video of my recent speech in L.A., a critic writes:

Woods isolates himself by insulting the “Left,” since he’s still brainwashed by that false Left-Right paradigm.

I don’t know anyone – Left or Right – who appreciates being groped by the TSA, or who wants their food genetically modified, or wants to bailout banksters, or who embraces never-ending war.

Let’s grow up politically and recognize what we agree on, instead of dividing us further with these insults based on a 200-yr-old French label that no longer fits anyone today.

It may be a bit harsh to call me “brainwashed,” especially when at the end I went out of my way to look for people on the New Left who might have been sympathetic to my message, and given that I did, after all, do this:


Economic Development Administration Reauthorization

The Senate is set to take up legislation reauthorizing the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. A relic of the Great Society, the EDA was created to help economically depressed areas of the country. Today it’s just another example of an unnecessary, unconstitutional program that lingers around because politicians like to demonstrate to the public that they’re “doing something.”

Politicians also like to present oversized U.S. Treasury checks to constituents.

The EDA’s forerunner was the Area Redevelopment Administration created by Congress in 1961. Sen. John McClellan (D-AK) presciently warned at the time: “if we ever begin permitting the government to enter into one area, one community, and foot the entire cost of a project, then we shall have every community in the country appealing to the federal government for the same treatment.”

Sure enough, when the EDA replaced the ARA in 1965, its scope expanded. Eligibility expanded as members of Congress fought to secure a piece of the pie for their constituents. Originally intended for depressed areas, over 80 percent of the nation eventually became eligible for EDA assistance. According to the Congressional Research Service (no link available), “An estimated 90% of counties in the United States qualify for EDA’s economic distress designation based on the per capita income criterion alone.”

The federal government now operates a small army of economic development programs. From a new Government Accountability Office report:

Our work involving 80 economic development programs at four agencies—Commerce, HUD, SBA, and USDA—indicates that the design of each of these programs appears to overlap with that of at least one other program in terms of the economic development activities that they are authorized to fund. For example, as shown in table 1, the four agencies administer a total of 54 programs that can fund “entrepreneurial efforts,” which include helping businesses to develop business plans and identify funding sources.

Comically, the Senate report to S.782 (the EDA reauthorization bill) notes that the legislation requires the GAO to report on duplication in economic development programs:


Obama conjures up new unconstitutional body

WASHINGTON (June 9, 2011) – The Obama administration announced the creation of a White House Rural Council today.

Pres. Obama signed an executive order forming the new bureaucratic entity. According to a White House press release, the White House Rural Council will:

Coordinate programs across government to encourage public-private partnerships to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide, and will be responsible for providing recommendations for investment in rural areas and will coordinate Federal engagement with a variety of rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, and state, local, and tribal governments.

“Strong rural communities are key to a stronger America,” Obama said. “That’s why I’ve established the White House Rural Council to make sure we’re working across government to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.”

The White House Rural Council will address numerous broad policy areas, including jobs training, expanding agricultural markets, increasing access to credit in rural areas, promotion of biofuels production and community based renewable energy, improved access to health care, education, infrastructure investment, and increasing access to broadband.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will chair the newly formed council.


Help Bring Nullify Now! to Philadelphia

Putting this event together takes a lot of dedication, numerous local groups supporting and helping promote, and generating the start-up funding to get it off the ground. Here’s the process:

1. FUNDING. Outreach to the local community and potential group sponsors to help with the funding needed to secure the venue, confirm speakers, and other initial costs. Our needs to get the ball rolling? $5,000. Look to the right to make a no-risk pledge right now! We guarantee tickets, group table sponsorships and other benefits for people helping in this campaign. CLICK HERE for details on all pledge benefits.

Best part? Your credit card is ONLY charged if we reach our goal of 5K. Click here to read more detail below)

2. BOOKING. Once initial funding is completed, we begin the process of confirming a venue, date and speakers. If we raise funds soon enough, we hope to schedule a date of Constitution Day, September 17th – but are certainly open to others depending on availability and timing.

3. PROMOTION. After the venue and speakers are booked and confirmed, we’ll enter the event with our ticketing agent to make available tickets to the general public – and follow through on a massive outreach and media campaign to generate the interest needed to fill the event. When we get to this point, we can certainly use your help!

4. Much more from here….TBD.


How many times have you contributed to a political campaign, wondering if they’d ever be able to do the things promised with your money? This platform removes the questions, and eliminates the risk. When we all work together, we can make things happen….and better yet, when you pledge, you can be sure that no one gets one penny from you unless it’s going directly to the effort listed.

It’s no-risk. Here’s how.


Holding the President Accountable on Libya

by Ron Paul

Last week, more than 70 days after President Obama sent our military to attack Libya without a congressional declaration of war, the House of Representatives finally voted on two resolutions attempting to rein in the president. This debate was long overdue, as polls show Americans increasingly are frustrated by congressional inaction. According to a CNN poll last week, 55 percent of the American people believe that Congress, not the president, should have the final authority to decide whether the U.S. should continue its military mission in Libya. Yet for more than 70 days Congress has ignored its constitutional obligations and allowed the president to usurp its authority.

Finally, Congressman Dennis Kucinich was able to bring to the floor a resolution asserting that proper constitutional war power authority resides with Congress. His resolution simply stated that “Congress directs the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution.”

Opponents of the withdrawal resolution said the 15 day deadline was too abrupt. But as I pointed out during debate, the president attacked Libya abruptly – he didn’t even bother to consult Congress – so why can’t he order an end to military action just as abruptly? When members of Congress took an oath of office to defend the Constitution, we did not pledge to defend it only gradually, a little bit at a time. On the contrary, we must defend it vigorously and completely from the moment we take that oath. I was pleased that 87 Republicans were able to put the Constitution first and support this resolution.


An Open Letter to Gov. Rick Perry: Stand and Fight (or Tuck Tail and Run)?

On May 24, 2011, Texas Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) wrote Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Rep. Joe Straus and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott regarding HB 1937 (Texas push-back on TSA abuse) a letter. In that letter Rep. Simpson wisely stated:

Gentlemen, we find ourselves at a watershed moment today. The federal government is attempting to deprive the citizens of Texas of their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 9 of the Texas Constitution. If we do not stand for our citizens in the face of this deprivation of their personal rights and dignity, who will?

As we all now know, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, fearing federal threats of reprisals, convinced a majority of Texas senators, who had earlier committed their support to this bill, to flip-flop leaving the senate bill sponsor, Sen. Dan Patrick, high and dry. The bill died before it could be heard on the senate floor.

Following this fiasco, a tsunami of angry phone calls, emails and faxes and, in some cases, personal visits to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and senate members resulted in the Lt. Governor reversing his earlier position by requesting Gov. Perry now make Simpson’s bill a subject of special interest, in essence, resurrecting HB 1937 and moving it to the senate floor for a hearing.

Two actions must now happen: (1) the bill must be filed (DONE!), and; (2) Governor Perry must request the bill be sent to him.


The Elderly, Poor, and Disabled

It is common for those that oppose any reforms in entitlement programs to lump the elderly, poor, and disabled into a category of folks that must be protected from reductions in government programs. It drives me crazy when the media broad brushes these groups to support arguments against any real reform of any government program. It’s as if every elderly, poor, or disabled person has to rely on a government program to survive.

Nothing could be further from the truth to think that these groups need government support. The “elderly” are actually as a group some of the most affluent Americans both economically and emotionally. After years of working, many elderly Americans own their homes outright, have both private pensions and social security, and many work to supplement their savings and retirement. There are some elderly on a “fixed” income but it is not every elderly American.

The “poor” in America are a very diverse group of individuals. The first question we need to ask is why are they poor? Could it be they have been depending on government programs instead of their own ingenuity? Could it be they have been brought up by single mother no father “families” that have been perpetuated by government programs that incentivize unhealthy behavior? Could it be a choice to rely on drugs and alcohol? Have government bureaucrats that depend on these vices for their living become advocates to keep people poor? The failure of government education has kept people from breaking out of their socioeconomic circumstances and we need to wrestle schools from the government. Should we be supporting programs that perpetuate a hopeless future?


Nullification In Connecticut: Senate Passes Marijuana Decrim Bill

Connecticut took a step toward joining a number of states, including neighboring New York and Massachusetts, that are standing up to the federal government and nullifying federal penalties for simple possession of cannabis through decriminalization initiatives. While decriminalization is not the same as legalization, it does take away the threat of a criminal record and…


Obamacare is NOT “necessary and proper”

The Independence Institute has filed amicus briefs in two of the anti-Obamacare cases.  The briefs focus specifically on the Necessary and Proper Clause (I-8-18), which the Obama administration inaccurately claims justifies federal control of health care. The briefs survey the original meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause, based on my research and that of…