TheBlaze: Close to 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Va., Saturday to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.
Such a convention, as outlined in article five of the Constitution, would allow state legislatures to vote on amendments to add.
— KevinJones (@kevinicolejones) December 7, 2013
— Brett Hildabrand (@Brett4ks) December 7, 2013
No constitutional amendment has been added this way, but some say the Constitution specifically allows for states to use the convention as a means to push back against the federal government.
Two-thirds of the state legislatures, or 34, must approve an application for a convention to occur, according to the Constitution’s article five. State legislatures would then send delegates to the convention, each state getting one vote on proposed amendments. For an amendment to pass and become a part of the Constitution, it would have to be approved by three-fourths, or 38, of the state legislature
Gaining Steam? Nearly 100 Lawmakers Descend on Mount Vernon to Talk Convention of States@RapertSenate
Sen. Jason Rapert
Lawmakers on Saturday discussed term limits on U.S. lawmakers and certain limits on federal taxation and spending as possible amendments, Red Millennial noted.
State legislators stressed Saturday the bipartisan nature of support for the discussed amendments, citing a recent poll that shows 74 percent of Americans support a balanced budget amendment while another 75 percent support congressional term limits.
Saturday’s Mount Vernon meeting was organized by Indiana state Sen. David Long and Wisconsin Rep. Chris Kapenga.
Joining with 97 legislators from 32 states to assert the role of state government in a time of massive…
There has been growing support for the idea of a convention, but there is also healthy skepticism.
Still, regardless of whether one thinks it’s a realistic idea, Virginia and South Carolina have both pre-filed applications for a convention, meaning some are taking the idea very seriously.
Saturday’s meeting represents the most recent attempt by legislators to discuss seriously the possibility of adding amendments to the Constitution through a convention.
Here is a response from Florida State Senator Alan Hays regarding last Saturday’s Mount Vernon Assembly.
“We discussed the process of bringing the Article V convention into reality and agreed to meet next year at a time yet to be determined due to the need to meet when state legislatures are adjourned or in recess. That will assure more participation. We also discussed a possible resolution to go to each state requesting their legislatures establish a selection process for delegates to be attending an Article V. Convention.”
“We recognized the need for wide communication to the public of our work. I feel it was a very good first step toward success.”
Folks, this Article V movement is off the ground!
Are you nervous about calling your state legislators? Here’s what you do:
1. Find their contact number. Most state legislatures have a website where you’ll find all the contact information you need. Just do an internet search: “[My State] State Legislature.”;
2. Call them. Try to use a landline, as this will give you the clearest signal. You don’t want to drop this call!
3. Introduce yourself and thank them for their service: “Hi, my name is [Your Name]. I live in your district, and I appreciate your service in our state legislature.”;
4. Explain why you’ve called: “I’m calling because I’d like to talk to you about an opportunity the states have to take back power from the federal government.”
5. Explain the problem: “Almost everyone knows our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.”
6. Explain the solution: “Fortunately, the Founders gave state legislatures the power to make changes to the federal structure when Washington, D.C., starts to abuse its authority. Article V of the Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for the limited purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution.”
7. Explain the COS Project: “The Convention of States Project was launched to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints and limit the power of the federal government.”
8. Voice your support: “I support this approach. I want [name of your State] to be one of the necessary 34 states that passes a resolution calling for a Convention of the States. You can find a copy of the draft resolution and a legislator’s handbook (which briefly explains the process and answers many questions) at www.conventionofstates.com.”
9. Give them an action step: “I ask you to support the Convention of States Project and become either the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of a resolution in the next legislative session.”
10. Thank them again and give them some contact info: “Thanks so much for your service to the people of our district. You can reach the COS Project at email@example.com or call them at 540-441-7227.”
When you finish your conversation, let us know what your state representative thinks! We need a legislator to sponsor our application in every state, and we’d love to talk to a state congressman from your area. That’s it! Of course, it’s always best to use your own words and explain it however you feel most comfortable. We’ve provided this outline as a guide. Good luck! – The COS Project Team
From: Chris Muir at Day by Day Cartoon
By: Tripp Baird
One of the questions that has arisen since Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 9% – with the help of all but three of his party’s senators – invoked the nuclear option to change the Senate’s rules (essentially eliminating the filibuster for nominations) is what the Senate minority (in this case, Republicans) can do about it.
There are a number of parliamentary maneuvers in the Senate rules that would allow the minority to make Reid’s majority pay a heavy price for his elimination of minority rights and the curtailment of debate in the country’s formerly most deliberative body. Those parliamentary rules allow even a minority to virtually shutdown the Senate.
Debating Nominations. Under the existing rules, senators are allowed to engage in 30 hours of debate on nominees for federal appeals courts and cabinet posts before a successful cloture motion can end any further debate beyond that amount of time. Nominees below the cabinet level get eight hours and district court nominees get two hours of debate. But even the cloture motion cannot be voted on until two days after it is proposed. Thus, an aggressive tactic of objecting to all calls for unanimous consent and engaging in debate on every single presidential nominee for the maximum allowed time will ensnare large blocks of time in the Senate, slowing down the nomination process substantially.
Referring “Privileged” Nominations. Additionally, based on a standing order adopted in 2011, some nominations are not even referred to committees for review. These “privileged” nominations are simply listed in the executive calendar, which means they can be called up for a vote by the majority leader in executive session at any time the same way as nominees who have been reported out by committees and placed on the executive calendar. But any senator can request referral of any such “privileged” nomination to a committee, which will slow down the confirmation process since they will not be on the executive calendar and subject to an immediate vote.
Denying Unanimous Consent. The Senate normally operates almost entirely on unanimous consent as its various members introduce new bills and committee reports and pass resolutions and bills. If senators object every time unanimous consent is called for; if they object to waiving the requirement that at the start of the session the “Journal of the proceeding day” is read by the clerk (which records what happens in the Senate); and if they attempt to filibuster every bill and resolution that is introduced, they can tie the Senate into knots.
Requesting Quorum. The Constitution itself requires a majority of senators to be present for the Senate to conduct business. The absence of such a quorum is routinely ignored by everyone because senators are off meeting with constituents, fundraising, attending committee hearings, and making media appearances. But if a senator suggests the absence of a quorum and a majority of senators don’t respond when the clerk calls their names, the Senate can only adjourn, recess, or attempt to secure the attendance of enough senators to constitute a quorum to conduct business. Quorum calls are usually ended by unanimous consent before the clerk can complete the roll; thus any senator could require a majority of senators to be present every single day to conduct any business in the chamber by constantly making quorum calls and objecting to any request for unanimous consent.
Invoking Two-Hour Rule. The Senate operates through the committee system and its committees not only hold hearings and mark-up proposed bills but also review and vote on nominations before they are sent to the executive calendar and the floor for debate. There is a Senate rule that says that committees may not meet, without unanimous consent, on any day after the Senate has been in session for two hours, or after 2:00 p.m. when the Senate is in session. This rule is generally agreed to by UC, but a determined senator in most cases can simply pick up the phone and call down to his cloakroom and object or walk down to the floor and simply object when the Majority tries to clear committees. This will make it extremely difficult for committees to conduct their business by invoking the two-hour rule every day the Senate is in session.
The ability to filibuster and engage in extended debate is a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of our republic. There were no limits of any kind on debate for 111 years; it was only in 1917 that the Senate changed its rules to allow a two-thirds vote to end a filibuster. The 60-vote margin that Reid changed was not implemented until 1975.
Republicans, as well as the three Democratic senators who voted with them to oppose Harry Reid’s rule change, have to decide just how much they are willing to fight against this “naked power grab” as even some liberal commentators have called it. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said that there are now “no rules except as the majority wants them.” Ending the ability to engage in extended debate “abandons America’s sense of fair play” as then-Senator Joe Biden said back in 2005 and tramples on the rights of the minority.
Doing nothing and going back to business-as-usual will only serve to embolden Harry Reid.
By: Arlen Williams
Dec. 10 update to the ongoing story:
- Senator Mark Kirk (IL-R) has taken an interest in Tucker’s plight
- Not only South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, but also the man who got it right about Obamacare in putative President Obama’s address before a joint session of Congress, Sept. 9, 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-R) have spoken to Elliott about the IRS
- Noise continues of an eventual Fox News interview for Elliott and Tucker, about this Treasury Department targeting
Article originally posted Dec. 9 in American Thinker as “IRS Goes After Obamacare Whistleblowers: An Interview with C. Steven Tucker”
By now, the news has spread online, of the IRS notices received on the same November 25th date, by whistleblowers Bill Elliott and by C. Steven Tucker. Elliott has been waging a pitched battle with cancer. Tucker is the insurance agent and healthcare freedom activist who informed him that the canceling of his insurance, wrought by the Obama administration for the sake of pushing citizens into Obamacare, was illegal. Tucker reached out immediately after Elliott appeared on Fox News’ The Kelly File, Nov. 7th and Elliott’s insurance was hastily reinstated.
What subsequently transpired for Tucker has raised even further to him the impression of that IRS coincidence not being mere happenstance, but an attack by our federal government, of orchestrated intimidation upon them both. Last Friday, December 7th, he was visited in his home by an IRS official and received yet another threatening notice by mail.
All that follows is an interview Mr. Tucker has just granted via email, after our initial correspondence of that kind. He will explain his concern after our first question and answer, about news of a yet more urgent nature, which compels him to action.
First of all, you not only helped Bill Elliott get reinstated in his health insurance, you are relating to all Americans that, contrary to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ dictates, it is against HIPAA law for anyone with a life threatening condition to have his insurance terminated, do I have that correct?
Tucker: You do indeed. The health insurers across the nation who are canceling health insurance policies based on a posting in the Federal Register in June of 2010 which redefined the ‘grandfathered clause’ in the original PPACA (Obamacare) legislation are violating federal law. Specifically section 2742 of Public Law 104-191 (HIPAA). It is linked at my blog: TruthAboutPreexistingConditions.com.
This is an existing federal law that is still on the books and that is relied upon, expanded upon, and referred to multiple times throughout the 960 pages of the PPACA legislation. This law was codified by congress and signed by President Clinton in 1997. Since that was signed into law it has been and still is illegal for any health insurer to cancel anyone’s coverage when they are sick. Regardless of what Barack Obama or anyone else says. It has been and still is illegal for any health insurance anywhere in the nation to ‘drop your coverage’ when you get sick. Period. And, when I say period I mean it, unlike Barack Obama.
This is the law that I used to help Bill Elliott (the man with cancer who appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show who had his health insurance canceled during cancer treatment) get his health insurance policy restored with no deductible or premium increase. Bill was even assured by his insurer that he will be able to keep his policy going forward permanently.
HHS is violating this existing federal law by requiring health insurers to cancel these existing policies based on a random posting by HHS in the Federal Register in June of 2010. A posting in the Federal Register does not trump existing federal law, most especially HIPAA, that is relied upon, expanded upon, and referred to in the PPACA. By faxing section 2742 of public law 104-191 over to his insurer (with the help of South Carolina governor Nikki Haley) Bill was able to retain his policy even after it was illegally canceled by his insurer.
My goal is to inform every American who has had their policy canceled about this law and instruct them on how to use it to get their policy restored. Since this story broke I have been in contact with the organization representing Whitney Johnson and I have been in direct contact with Eileen and Steve Benthal. Whitney is a 26 year old single mother who has been featured in the news. Whitney has multiple sclerosis and she had her policy illegally canceled as well.
Eileen Benthal appeared on the Sean Hannity show on Friday December 6th 2013. Her daughter Johanna was born with congenital malformations in her brain called Multiple Cavernous Angiomas. She has the CCM3 genetic mutation, the most aggressive type of the familial form of this disease. Johanna has over 30 of these vascular malformations in her brain. There is no cure for cavernous malformations except brain surgery to remove the malformations that are causing the most life-threatening and/or debilitating effects. She also developed hydrocephalus, fluid in her brain, requiring the placement of a permanent shunt. Over the past 17 years, Johanna has had over 86 surgeries, most of these in her brain. While cavernous malformations are non-cancerous, they do proliferate and hemorrhage, causing stroke-like symptoms, cognitive and motor delays, and seizures.
It is immoral, illegal, and unconscionable that Barack Obama’s administration would instruct her insurer to cancel her health insurance coverage and force her to accept an Obamacare compliant “Medal” plan which will increase her premium by $1,000 a month and remove Johanna’s access to her current hospital and doctor. This, after Barack Obama promised over and over and over again, ‘If you like your plan you can keep your plan and no one will take it away from you, period.’ Barack Obama is a pathological liar and innocent, sick Americans are now suffering because of his lies.
When we had some Q and A, a few days ago, you were about to be visited by a representative of the IRS, on Friday, December 6th. Who asked for that meeting? Did the IRS say what they wanted to meet about, before it occurred?
Tucker: Yes, Treasury Inspector General Robert Williams made an unannounced visit to my old office in Palatine on December 4th, 2013. I was not there so he called my cell phone at 4 p.m. that same day. I answered and he stated that ‘I stopped by your office and you were not there, we noted your story in the news and we would like to discuss the issue you are having as soon as possible’. I said ‘that sounds good, we can meet in my home at 11 a.m. on Friday – December 6th 2013.’
When I hung up the phone. I immediately called my attorney. He then connected me on a three way phone call to William J. Sneckenberg, Esq., Senior Litigation Attorney and Appellate Specialist at the Sneckenberg, Thompson, and Brody law firm in Chicago. After hearing the story, Mr. Sneckenberg said it was ‘highly irregular’ for the IRS to be sending a letter of demand for a tax return that was filed more than a decade ago. Normally, the look back period is anywhere from 3 to 5 years. He then said he wanted to be in my home to represent me when Treasury Inspector General Williams arrived.
On Friday morning Mr. Sneckenberg arrived and reviewed the letters of demand from the IRS and then contacted his CPA. His CPA also agreed that this is highly irregular. Then Treasury Inspector General Williams arrived with an associate. He showed me his business card and his badge and then sat down to begin his inquisition of sorts during which he and his associate took copious notes. To my surprise his questions were not designed to find out why I was sent the letters of demand but more to find out more about me and even more surprisingly my new friend Bill Elliott.
He asked for Bill Elliott’s phone number twice. I did not give him Mr. Elliott’s phone number. He then asked for a timeline of events. He asked ‘How did you first meet Bill? What law did you use to help him get his policy restored? What television program did he appear on?’ etc. He then asked for my full name and my social security number since the IRS letters of demand were sent to my corporation and not to my personal name. And, then at the end of his line of questioning he made sure to tell me that ‘you need to resolve these issues with the IRS, if not, as you may be aware, you may be visited again by other IRS representatives in your home and we do reserve the right to garnish your wages and lien your assets.’ Mr. Sneckenberg and I then wished them a Happy Holiday and showed them both the door.
After they left and whilst the exhaust from their government vehicle was still lingering in my driveway I received a knock on the door from my post man who had in his hands a certified letter from the IRS. That letter stated ‘Intent to seize your property or rights to property. Amount due immediately $2,106.05.’ If you do not call us immediately or pay the amount due by December 19, 2013, we will seize (“levy”) your property or rights to property and apply it to the $2,106.05 you owe.’
This supposed amount they are demanding payment for is for the year 2010, where they state I did not file my W2s. My tax documents are prepared by a licensed CPA and are done correctly each year. If I had not filed my W2s I would not have been able to complete my 2010 corporate and personal tax returns which are sitting right next to me as I write you these responses. My CPA and my attorney are completely baffled by both the 2010 demand and the 2003 demand for $3,592.19.
Did they tell you that you were getting a second notice by them, or was that a surprise?
Tucker: They did not tell me I was going to receive a second notice. It was indeed one helluva surprise.
Considering the very real connections with Bill Elliott in this series of events and his audit and its timing and your subsequent series of contacts by the IRS, what do you draw from their behavior toward you each?
Tucker: I feel a bit like Catherine Englebrecht right now. Catherine and her husband are Tea Party patriots who were systematically targeted by the IRS, ATF, FBI, and OSHA for a ‘long train of abuses’ over a three year period in what is arguably the most egregious abuse of this administration’s power over law abiding citizens as of yet on record.
After listening to Lois Lerner plead the 5th during congressional testimony and then conveniently ‘retiring’ early and then listening to the IRS chief counsel use the term ‘I don’t recall,’ no less than 80 times during congressional testimony, I no longer believe in coincidences. I believe Bill and I are both being targeted for exercising our first amendment rights by accurately criticizing Barack Obama’s disastrous health care law.
Doesn’t the Obamacare act include the hiring of many more IRS agents and an expansion of their roles and tasks stemming from its insurance and health care processes?
Tucker: It does indeed. In fact, thousands of IRS agents have already been hired and thousands more will have to be in the near future in order to facilitate the transfer of ‘APTX’ – ‘Advance Premium Tax Credits’ that Barack Obama is using to artificially lower the high cost of PPACA approved ‘Medal’ health insurance plans that will be sold inside the new HIX ‘Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace.’
The IRS will also be enforcing the employer ‘Shared Responsibility’ excise tax of $2,000 for every full time employee from the 30th employee on up, for all employers with 50 or more ‘full time equivalents’ who refuse to comply and purchase PPACA approved health insurance beginning in 2015.
As a reminder, this onerous excise tax was going to be applied beginning in 2014. That was until Barack Obama illegally, unilaterally and unconstitutionally delayed it until 2015, in order to help his fellow Democrats politically survive the 2014 midterm elections.
With all this, coupled with members of the IRS undergoing training in the use of automatic weapons, as witnessed by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) of South Carolina, also the non-Defense Department purchase of up to a hundred years worth of normal use of ammunition, including hollow-points banned by the Geneva Convention, what do you think about where all this appears to be going?
Tucker: We are living under a soft tyranny right now. As The Great One, Mark Levin Esq. so aptly states, ‘We are unmoored from our constitution and we are living in a post constitutional America.’ My constant fear is that one day soon that tyranny will no longer be soft but will develop into a hard tyranny. The evidence you just presented increases my fears.
Have you had any conversations with major media, since your notice?
Tucker: None of the members of Barack Obama’s praetorian guard media, what I call the ‘old media’ has bothered to contact me, but this story is now a national news story thanks to the real journalists who comprise the new media.
That stated, paging Mr. Issa. Mr Darrell Issa, please pick up the Red, White, and Blue Courtesy phone! You too Sean Hannity. Please gentlemen, this information could help millions of Americans. When I say millions, I mean the 5.6 million who have already had their health plan illegally canceled and the millions more who will lose their individual and family plans this year. And, the 50 to 93 million employer sponsored plans that will be terminated next year, thanks in part to another posting in the Federal Register in April of 2010.
Do you think it’s odd that Megyn Kelly hasn’t followed up, since her interview of Bill on November 7th?
Tucker: I do indeed. This was Megyn’s story and she even reached out to me on Facebook personally, to thank me for helping Bill. I know she is very busy and she has been sick recently as well, so I still remain hopeful she will reach out to either Bill or myself in the very near future.
Have you had any talks with any members of Congress?
Tucker: I have not. That said, my representative is Tammy Duckworth. She is lockstep, moving ‘forward’ with Barack Obama so I do not expect any help from her.
Tucker: I would be very appreciative if Mr. Sekulow would contact me.
One last question for now, something that bothers me. Republicans in the House who have been investigating the IRS focus upon their management staff and question what the White House knew and knows about it. And new media has pointed out that just before the Tea Party harassment began, Colleen Kelley, the president of the IRS’ union visited the White House, apparently for a seminar (why they would need a union considering their pay and benefits, I wouldn’t know). But, the cabinet level supervisor of the Internal Revenue Service is the Secretary of the Treasury. That was Timothy Geithner when all this started.
Geithner was the president at the Federal Reserve’s major bank in New York during the mortgage meltdown of 2008. He has found himself in tax payment trouble, not having paid all his taxes. And he is the son of Barack Obama’s deceased mother’s boss at the historically suspect Ford Foundation, which has a history of being simultaneously infested with Marxists and U.S. intelligence operatives. He has been in significant positions with Kissinger Associates, the CFR, the IMF, and in a prior time the Treasury Department. He was in charge of the IRS from the time of Obama’s inauguration, to January, 2013. Why do you suppose no one in Congress or in major media bring up his name, nor those of the subsequent Treasury secretaries? Any ideas?
Tucker: Come on now, you know the answer to that question already sir. The rules don’t apply to Barack Obama’s corporatist friends. They only apply to us serfs. After all, as you know, we are all ‘Gulag Bound.’
Arlen Williams publishes and edits Gulag Bound and is taking on a new project, the Sovereignty Campaign (SovCam.org) to vet and as objectively as feasible, to score and grade U.S. Senators and senate candidates on their support of America’s core governing principle: truly empowered popular sovereignty under God, with state and national sovereignty to guard it, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Twitter: @ArlenWms. Facebook/ArlenWilliams.
The reader is permitted to post this article in forums and blogs in its entirety, or to excerpt in ways that present content faithful its original and contextual meaning, linking back to it in Gulag Bound or in American Thinker.
By: Trevor Loudon
Every American is much less safer today because of traitor Edward Snowden.
From Russia Today:
Morale at the US National Security Agency has plummeted since the Edward Snowden leak made international headlines and inspired an ongoing wave of criticism against the intelligence agency.
Six months after the first Snowden documents were published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, the NSA has become an object of scorn both at home in the US and internationally. A number of anonymous sources have since told the Post that a lack of support from President Obama has further impacted morale at the agency. One official said confidence within the NSA is “bad overall.”
“The news – the Snowden disclosures – it questions the integrity of the NSA workforce,” he said. “It’s become very public and very personal. Literally, neighbors are asking people, ‘Why are you spying on Grandma?’ And we aren’t. People are feeling bad, beaten down.”
Some observers have compared the current situation to 2006, when then-President Bush traveled to NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to address a New York Times report that the NSA had been spying on Americans before the September 11 attacks.
“Bush came out and spoke to the workforce, and the effect on morale was tremendous,” Joel Brenner, NSA inspector general from 2002-2006, told the Post. “There’s been nothing like that from this White House.
“The agency, from top to bottom, leadership to rank and file, feels that it is had no support from the White House even though it’s been carrying out publicly approved intelligence missions,” Brenner continued. “They feel they’ve been hung out to dry, and they’re right...”
“The President has multiple constituencies – I get it,” one former US official said. “But he must agree that the signals intelligence NSA is providing is one of the most important sources of intelligence today.”
Why would President Barack Obama support the NSA, when he should be one of its major targets?
No doubt Snowden’s friends in Russia are very pleased with his work.