More states defying feds on no child left behind act

From the Associated Press: At least three states are vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind law in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools. The law sets a goal of having 100…


PA-13 Rep. Allyson Schwartz – Balanced Budgets are “Extreme”

cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center

Personally, I’m not big on the balanced budget amendment either.  I think the 2/3 override vote will become a “rubber stamp” for future congresses (if there’s one thing both parties can agree on, it’s spending money!) and Constitutionally limited spending would be less than 18% of GDP anyway.  Rep. Schwartz’ commentary is stunning, though.  Balancing the budget is an “extreme ideological demand”?  I would have guessed that continuing to spend ourselves into poverty would be be the “extreme” position.  Silly me…  Have to brush up on my newspeak, I guess.

(from Above Average Jane.)


PolitiFact Florida Truth-O-Meter: Right on Haridopolis Tweet, Wrong On Constitution

cross-posted from the Florida Tenth Amendment Center

In Fridays July 15th,2011 St.Pete Times, the PolitiFact Florida Truth- O- Meter takes issue with a tweet from Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolis. The tweet reads:Florida’s proposed Health Care Freedom Act “will allow Floridians to opt out of Obama’s govt. takeover of healthcare!”

You can read the original article at:

Florida Tenth Amendment Center has another take on both the Haridopolis tweet and Florida Truth-O-Meter’s story. Both are truth-challenged on the meter measure.

In this case, the good folks at Truth-O-Meter get it half right. The tweet certainly proves false. But the lie-detecting journalists at the St. Petersburg Times totally miss the reason for the falsehood, and completely mangle the Constitution in the process.

There is no truth in the Haridopolis tweet. When questioned by Truth-O-Meter reporters, ALEC, (American Legislative Exchange Council) the inspirational source of Florida’s Health Care Freedom Act, Truth-O-Meter says: “But the organization says that the state laws and constitutional amendments have no immediate impact on implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. They only pave the way for a court battle, should the law ultimately be ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.”  Truth-o-Meter continues: “Does it allow Floridians to opt out if it’s successful? Yes,” said Christie Herrara, director of ALEC’s health task force. “A lawsuit would have to be filed.”
“In other words, the “opt out,” would come as the result of a legal challenge by states that would argue their constitutions prohibit the implementation of the federal health care law.”


‘Gang of Six’ Plan Is Lousy

My colleague Dan Mitchell discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly in the deficit reduction plan released by the bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Six.”  As Dan noted, the plan is more of an outline and a complete assessment isn’t possible until more details emerge. However, the fact that President Obama immediately embraced the plan ought to tell proponents of limited government all they need to know.

Here are some random thoughts on the plan:


The Spirit of Freedom

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
– James Madison

Thank the Tea Party for reminding us of that great Enlightenment paean to liberty, the US Constitution. Our Constitution never disappeared; rather, it became that great 18th-century edifice plastered over with modernist 50s and 60s facades that appeal only to socialist utilitarians for whom natural beauty is as valueless as natural law.

A creepy heap (many call ‘Democrats’) now feverishly advocate for a Federal polity that blends socialist Sweden, an Orwellian nanny state and the piñata politics of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Nancy Pelosi’s resume speaks for itself: the Constitution is a joke.

And Barack Hussein Obama led the deep-end plunge. No triangulating Clinton would have succeeded as spectacularly in awakening a free people to the assault on American essentialism. But the quick boiling of liberty that commenced in January 2009 jarred a jaded public into defense of our first principles, and for some, into a steep learning curve.

How had America forgotten the Constitution? We Americans are better (or at least more) educated than our parents’ generation. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann hail from Stanford and Cornell, respectively. Reasonably intelligent people otherwise, but as Ronald Reagan would understand, too much they know isn’t so. I don’t know Maddow or Olbermann, so I can’t argue whether they are indeed merely ignorant, or, more plausibly, Keynesian do-gooders, if by doing ‘good’ they mean impoverishing us into a nation of government dependents and media celebrities.

The Left sneers at us. They say we fetishize the Constitution. They care not whether socialized medicine is legal, let alone economically sensible, or even salutary. To progressives, the States are merely differently-accented instrumentalities of the national government, not co-equal sovereigns bound by constitutional compact.


Tenther 101

cross-posted from the Florida Tenth Amendment Center

The Florida Tenth Amendment Center was pleased to present a “Tenther 101” introduction to the Republican Club of Central Pasco County. This is the first time we ever spoke with an actual party affiliated organization. We appreciate the cordial and interested reception we received. We look forward to continuing our information sharing with these nice folks. We encourage all groups, not only Republicans to lobby the Florida State Legislature for real Liberty legislation. Templates for these can be found at:
If the States are to be sovereign with all the “powers not delegated” all of us will need to keep the pressure on our state legislatures. They will not come to this on their own.

Video graciously provided by our friends at Wake Up 1776


Add ObamaCare to nullification movement

by New Jersey Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose

A lot of misinformation has been put out recently by political candidates who are opposing me and Gary Chiusano for Assembly this November. Sure, it is politics, but this misinformation doesn’t take the place of good legislation designed to challenge an unpopular federal law that will radically change health care in this country.

I have proposed several bills designed to block the implementation of ObamaCare in New Jersey. My legislation centers on the concept of nullification — the idea that a state can choose to “nullify” a federal law within its own borders.

Nullification has been around since the beginning of our Republic. The first nullification movement was an attempt to block the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which made it a crime to criticize the federal government. Dozens were arrested under the Acts and one — a newspaper editor — died waiting for trial. A number of those arrested were found guilty in trials held before partisan judges.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led this nullification movement that saw two states adopt resolutions which held that individual states have the power to declare that federal laws are unconstitutional and void. They saw nullification as a check on over-reaching federal power — a necessary local balance to the central government.

My ancestors, one of whom died fighting for the Union in the Civil War, would have approved of nullification when it was used to combat the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. This horrible federal law, called the “bloodhound law” by opponents of slavery, allowed the capture and return of escaped slaves even in states where slavery had been abolished.


Video: ReasonTV on the Debt Ceiling

cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center

Until the debt ceiling was established in 1917, congress had to separately approve every new debt that the government took on.  The debt ceiling was established to make it faster and easier for the treasury department to borrow money during WWI.   Predictably, the war ended, but the treasury department’s expanded power didn’t.  When peace time came, the congress never reclaimed it’s Constitutional role for managing the U.S. debt.

Now, 94 years and 14 trillion dollars later, we’re periodically treated to this theatrical performance where the party in power threatens catastrophe if the debt ceiling isn’t raised and the minority party claims the mantle of fiscal responsibility in order to score political points for the next election.

This year, the Republicans get their turn claiming to be the thrifty ones, but it wasn’t that way five years ago.  In 2006, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said,

How can the Republican majority in this Congress explain to their constituents that trillions of dollars in new debt is good for our economy?  How can they explain that they think it’s fair to force our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren to finance this debt through higher taxes.  That’s what it will have to be.  Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?

After the 2006 elections, in her iconic “One Hundred Hours” essay in the Huffington Post, house Democrat Speaker to-be, Nancy Pelosi wrote,


Stealing Haslam’s Money

cross-posted from the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center

You are stealing Governor Bill Haslam’s money. And he’s not happy about it.  In fact, he’s downright upset about it.  After all, how can any self-respecting Tennessean be so selfish as to try to hold on to more than their fair share of the money the benevolent state and federal governments allow them to keep from their labors.

It’s a national tragedy that’s playing out in states all across the country.  In every state of the union, citizens are trying to keep too much money.  After all, it’s not even your money.  What you don’t understand is that all money belongs to the government.  See, this is how it really works:  you work hard at your job to earn money for the government, and because the government is so nice they actually designate a portion of it for you to keep.  Isn’t that great?

But it doesn’t stop there.  Then the state government has to take its cut.  Because Tennessee doesn’t have an income tax (thank heavens!), we have to pay sales tax.

According to Governor Haslam the state of Tennessee is losing between $300 and $500 million because of untaxed internet sales.

Did you get that?  Haslam thinks the money in your pocket belongs to the state of Tennessee.  The state of Tennessee isn’t LOSING anything.  It’s YOUR money!  You get to decide how to spend it, not him.