Congressional Town Hall Meeting, Feb 21, 2011

On February 21, in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Dom Giordano and Gary R’nel hosted aCongressional Town Hall meeting. Guests included Congressman Chaka Fattah(D-PA/2) Congressman Jim Gerlach(R-PA/6) Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA/8) Congressman Pat Meehan(R-PA/7) Congressman John Runyan(R-NJ/3) Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the embed code to work, but the first hour podcast is here – Congressional Town…

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PA House Health Committee passes HB 42, The Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act

According to the PA Independent, the PA House Health Committee voted the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, HB 42, out of committee today. The state House Health Committee passed a bill Monday to remove Pennsylvania from the individual mandate portion of the nation health care reform law with a party-line vote. The bill, H.B. 42,…

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Tenth Amendment Happenings in the PA Senate

There are some Tenth Amendment related goings-on in the Pennsylvania state Senate.  Here is some legislation which has been introduced

Senate Resolution 9

A RESOLUTION

Claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers, serving notice to the Federal Government to cease and desist certain mandates; providing that certain Federal legislation be prohibited or repealed and directing distribution.

Senate Bill 10

A JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for health care services.

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End the Washington First Party

Judge Napalitano often says and writes that the Democrats and Republicans represent two branches of one “big government” party.  I heartily agree with this sentiment, but I would like to expand on it just a bit.

In his book, “The Road to Serfdom”, F. A. Hayek writes,

“What in effect unites the socialists of the Left and the Right is this common hostility to competition and their common desire to replace it by a directed economy.”

This, I believe, is the core of our problem.  We have two branches of a “Washington First” party who believe that the solution to any problem begins with a directive out of Washington, DC.  They may disagree about which directive to issue, but they are in absolute agreement that a directive is in order.

The Republican branch of the Washington First party talks about freedom and limited government, but their actions give lie to their words. What they really believe when they say “limited government” is that Washington will partner with the corporate sector to lead us to prosperity.

The Democrat branch of the Washington First party talks about civil rights and equality, but their actions give lie to their words.  What they really believe when they say, “equality”, is that Washington will partner with labor and other special interests to lead the poor out of poverty.

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Two Short Conversations

In this video from last spring, Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr. debates Professor Neil Siegel about nullification.  Siegel takes the position against nullification.

However, at about 11:13 in the video, Professor Siegel says,

“…you might have arguments that the federal law itself is not valid and therefore not supreme under the supremacy clause…”

And at about 23:38, talking about the health care law, he says,

“…no justice is going to say that states can opt out of otherwise valid federal law.  No one is going to make that argument.  The question is, ‘is this valid federal law?’…”

So we see that the disagreement really isn’t about whether nullification is legal.  Even the opponent of nullification agrees that nobody has to follow an invalid federal law.  The debate is really about who determines that a federal law is valid or invalid?  Do the states and the people have that power, or does the supreme court dictate to us whether something is “a valid federal law”?  Let’s look at two simple conversations addressing this question.

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Nine Thousand Dollars

According to Wolfram|Alpha, the world population is 6.79 billion people and the annual global GDP is $60.63 trillion.  Divide $60.63 trillion dollars by 6.79 billion people and you get 8,929.31 dollars per person (per year). Remember this number when you hear people, especially those from the United Nations, talking about “redistribution of wealth“, ecojustice or…

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Interstate Compacts and the Tenth

Slate: The New Frontier in Anti-Obamacare Challenges: Interstate Compacts

At today’s final American Legislative Executive Council meetings — semi-annual sit-downs for conservative legislators — a number of experts pushed the concept of Interstate Compacts. It was, for most observers, a brand new idea. Diana Reimer, a Pennsylvania Tea Party activist who was attending the sessions this week, told me it was the most interesting new idea she’d heard.

So what is the idea? Several states — Arizona, Virginia, etc — have already passed Health Care Freedom laws that prohibit the states from complying in the health care mandate. According to Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, that opens the door for states to form compacts that would supersede federal regulation.

“Take that existing framework,” Dranias suggested to a room of state legislators this morning. “Make any violation by anyone of those rights a criminal offense, pair up with a state that thinks like you on the same topics, make sure they criminalize any violation of those rights, and reach a compact. Lodge it with Congress. And then bring on the fight when the IRS comes in and tries to penalize people for not following the individual mandate.”

More here.

The idea of an Interstate Compact is also discussed in this Federalist Society Video, at around 55 minutes.

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