Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said something the other day which identified one of the many problems in government – pay raises for the elite during recessionary times. Reid got his nose out of joint; it seems Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had his $20,000 raise held up by Senator David Vitter, a pro-drilling Republican from Louisiana.
“It is wrong for Sen. Vitter to try to get something in return for moving forward on a matter that the Senate has considered routine for more than a century,” Reid said. You see, folks in government see nothing wrong in getting raises regardless of the fact that most of the country is suffering moderate to severe income issues; it’s considered routine.
The country’s bank account is on life support and, like Harry Reid pointed out, it’s only $20,000; what’s the big deal? I’ll tell you what the big deal is; thousands of folks in the oil industry have been laid off because Salazar’s bureaucracy has effectively shut down drilling in the Gulf. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement has signed off on only one new oil well permit; all the rest were reissued for existing wells.
The Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling was imposed to penalize the oil industry (and our free market capitalist system), putting thousands of workers on unemployment. I’ve a better idea; put Salazar and the rest of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement on the unemployment line. So much for routine raises!
“The history behind your pay raise proposal and the insider support it may have here in Washington is irrelevant. Mr. Secretary, the fact is your polices and your department’s mismanagement of permits is causing more Gulf energy workers literally to lose their jobs every day,” he (Vitter) wrote.”
Deep water drilling rigs have left our Gulf waters where they’ve been refused permits in favor of more friendly areas like Brazil where the Obama administration has pumped billions of American taxpayer dollars to help Petrobras, Brazil’s state owned oil company. Specialized rigs will not return for years, leaving our oil industry, related jobs and U.S. economy far behind. When asked what unemployed oil workers should do since they have no money for bread, I may have heard wrong; but Reid is rumored to have said, “Let them eat cake.”
This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”
But it wasn’t just the lack of votes at play here. Oh no… The DOJ threatened to stop all flights in and out of Texas if the bill proceeded apace. That is the real reason there weren’t enough votes. When you threaten to basically exile an entire state and stop their citizens from traveling, you gut the economics in that state. Most politicians at that point see money literally flying out the window along with votes that would reelect them. That’s the problem with the Texas legislature. There aren’t enough real Texans residing there. However, the ones handling this bill… well they are feisty true patriots who don’t give up in a political tussle. Barack Obama, Eric Holder and the DOJ goons should know that you don’t mess with Texas.
So let’s see if we understand the constitutional atrocity that was just foisted on probably the bravest state in the union shall we? The DOJ just stomped all over Texas’ Tenth Amendment rights to quash their Fourth Amendment rights. If the government can do this (and they just did), what makes you think they haven’t just skirted the entire Constitution? Making it a founding document in name only while denying what they are doing all the while. This comes at a time when a whole slew of Fourth amendment violations are happening around the country from Indiana to Kentucky and in various other states. I don’t believe in coincidence – this is planned pure and simple. We see the government now violating all our rights on a daily basis and they are getting more and more heavy handed and brazen.
HB 1937, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” was headed for an imminent Senate vote in Texas having already passed the House unanimously 138-0, before the federal government stepped in to nix the legislation.
In a letter sent to Texas lawmakers, including to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, the House Clerk, and the Senate Secretary, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy threatened to cripple the airline industry in the state if legislators did not back down.
“If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute,” Murphy wrote. “Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew.”
“We urge that you consider the ramifications of this bill before casting your vote,” Murphy added.
Previous to the federal government’s threat, the Texas legislature had considered the ramifications of the bill. More importantly, they were responding to a clear need to uphold the Fourth Amendment and ensure that each person enjoys the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” — a right which the U.S. Constitution mandates “shall not be violated.”
You’ll no doubt remember a former Miss USA from Texas tearfully recalling how she was molested at an airport by the TSA. She isn’t the only one. There are also cases in Texas that include incidents with children, even babies. And the list could go on and on. Many people no longer fly at all because of the harassment and physical violations. But the government devil wants his pound of flesh and for all Americans to submit on bended knee to their authority, including Texans. Or else.
Last night, fireworks ensued on the Texan House floor. Senate sponsor Dan Patrick (R-Houston) pulled the bill, stating that TSA representatives had been “lobbying” the Texas Senate in an effort to mothball the legislation.
“I will pull HB 1937 down, but I will stand for Liberty in the state of Texas,” Patrick said.
Patrick stated that the government threatened to shut down all airports in Texas if the bill was passed. But I have a feeling this is not the end of this in Texas. A legislative tornado season is upon us and some of these brave Texans have only begun to fight.
Rep. David Simpson’s office put forth that the DOJ had “thrown down the gauntlet” in using such stark language to oppose the bill.
“Either Texas backs off and continues to let government employees fondle innocent women, children and men as a condition of travel,” the staff wrote, “or the TSA [Transportation Safety Administration] has the authority to cancel flights or series of flights.”
“… 97 percent of people who go though the nation’s airports do not go through these offensive searches. And yet, a United States Attorney warns that flights to Texas could be shut down because TSA would not be able to ensure the safety of passengers and crew if agents could not touch genitals. Someone must make a stand against the atrocities of our government agents …”
Simpson went on to compare the struggle against the TSA to the Texas revolutionary war against Mexico: “Gentlemen, we find ourselves at such 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 up for our citizens in the face of this depravation of their personal rights and dignity, who will?”
The government is out in the open using criminal techniques to get their way, forcing compliance with physical and economic threats. Invoking the Supremacy Clause for every mandate set forth by the government, no matter how horrendous or suppressive. To force compliance from the individual states of this nation is not only thuggish, dictatorial and brutish – it is a blatant misinterpretation of the Constitution.
Article. VI. Clause 2 of the Constitution states:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
This simply means that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and any federal laws made in accordance with the Constitution (thus being Constitutional) are also therefore the supreme law of the land.
I ask you Texans, where is your modern day line in the sand? For that matter, each state should answer that question. I think Americans have just about had enough. No amount of slick governmental propaganda will make this go away. It is shaping up to be one hell of a fight for our freedoms and Texas is the tip of the spear. The DOJ and TSA – well, you can go to hell, we’ll stand with Texas.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
The Bill was pulled because they lost just a handful of supporting votes. That was Dewhurst’s fault.
I called State Sen. Dan Patrick’s office this afternoon and Dan, David and staffers are all just as busy as can be restructuring HB 1937 for resubmission in order to address the supporters concerns and get the votes back.
If they had let it go to a vote today and it failed, they would not have had time to run it back through the entire process before the end of the session, which I believe is next week.
It would then be two years till the next session here in Texas.
Well in a long line of embarrassing gaffes, this tops all of them I think. He got the toast exactly backwards thus the music. Obama came off as an uncouth idiot. Making it clear he does not fit in with the powerful aristocracy, nor with the common people who make history. Well done, sir…
By next month, every driver in the U.S. will be required to have a black box in their vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will declare that all automobiles are required to contain the event data recorder – similar to those found in aircrafts – in order to monitor driving habits and provide a snapshot of the final moment of impact if the car crashes.
The snapshot will be able to be viewed by law enforcement, insurance companies and automakers and the owner of the vehicle will not be able to turn it on or off.
Critics of the mandate see it as another Big Brother-style invasion of privacy by the government while others believe it is a way to keep tabs on drivers.
It will also make it easier for insurance companies to settle claims and have access to circumstances surrounding car crashes.