08/26/15
Clinton Biden

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Shootout In Donkey City Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook, Simply Jews and Seraphic Secret earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an email address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Honorable Mentions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/23/15
Taxes

The Plot to Impose a National Sales Tax or Value Added Tax

By Publius Huldah

A devilish plot is afoot to impose new national taxes on the American People.  It is a masterful piece of trickery because the authorization for the new national taxes is buried within Compact for America’s version of a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.

Furthermore, the balanced budget amendment does nothing to control federal spending; and transforms our Constitution from one of limited and defined powers to one of general and unlimited powers. 1

Yet this monstrosity is pending in Michigan as SB 306 2 and in North Carolina as HB 366. 3 Legislators in four States, Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota, have already passed it.

Let’s look at Sections 1-6 of Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment:

It does Nothing to Control Federal Spending

Section 1 allows Congress to spend as much as they take from us in taxes and add to the national debt. That’s a good idea?

Sections 2 and 3 permit Congress to raise the debt whenever 26 States agree.  States are addicted to federal funds. Will 25 States agree not to take more federal funds?

Section 4 is a joke:  Who believes Congress will impeach a President for refusing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?  Congress won’t even impeach a President for Treason.

How Authorization for the New Taxes is Hidden

Section 5 says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased general revenue tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….” [italics mine]

What is a “general revenue tax”?   Section 6 defines it:

“…’general revenue tax’ means any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States…” [italics mine]

Now go back to Section 5 and substitute the definition of “general revenue tax” for that term:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….”

There it is:  All that’s needed is approval of two-thirds of the members of each House and a new national sales tax and/or value added tax is imposed on us.  And they can increase it, along with increasing the income tax, whenever they get two-thirds of the members to vote for it.

Section 5 also permits Congress to make laws to impose a new “end user sales tax” 4 which would replace the income tax – this “end user sales tax” is passed by a simple majority of both houses.

So!  Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment provides two options to Congress:

  • Two-thirds of the members of both Houses can impose a new sales tax and/or value-added tax in addition to the income tax; or
  • A simple majority of both Houses can impose “a new end user sales tax” which replaces the income tax.

Which option will Congress choose?

Our Constitution Doesn’t Now Authorize a National Sales Tax or Value-added Tax

Article I, §8, clause 1 says:

“The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…”

Principles of Compact for America say this clause already authorizes a national sales tax or value added tax.  Board Vice-President Chip DeMoss said on Feb. 12, 2014:

“a national sales tax would be an “impost” (defined as a tax or similar compulsory payment) that is authorized under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1…” [see comment 19].

We may not properly use DeMoss’ redefinition of “impost”! 

We must use the definition of “impost” our Framers used:  The Federalist Papers say an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports.  Type imposts in the search box [at the link] and the Papers discussing imposts will come up.  See for yourself that an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “impost” as:

“…Any tax or tribute imposed by authority; particularly, a duty or tax laid by government on goods imported, and paid or secured by the importer at the time of importation. Imposts are also called customs.”

Do you see?

National sales taxes and value-added taxes are also not “excise” taxes.  Excise taxes are a tax on a unit of goods – such as the infamous whiskey excise tax of 1791 which led to the Whiskey Rebellion. 5 It imposed a flat tax per gallon. The tax was payable for domestic whiskey at the distillery (§17 of the Act) and the casks were numbered and marked to show the tax had been paid (§19 of the Act).

“Taxes” at Art. I, §8, clause 1 refers to the apportioned direct tax provided for at Art. I, §2, clause 3 of our Constitution.

Our Framers were specific about the kinds of taxes Congress is permitted to impose.  Congress does not have the power to impose any kind of tax it wants.  Our Framers limited Congress’ taxing power to:

  • the apportioned direct taxes at Art. I, 2, clause 3;
  • the duties or imposts on imports at Art. I, §8, clause 1; and
  • the excises at Art. I, §8, clause 1.

A sales tax is none of the above.  A sales tax is a percentage of the retail price of goods.  A value-added tax is a “turbo-charged national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production, not merely on retail transactions” and raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments worldwide”.

We have never had a national sales tax or value added tax in this Country.  Why?  Because they are not authorized by the Constitution.

We were manipulated into supporting the 16th Amendment. We were told the income tax would “soak the rich” – and the envious drooled at the prospect.

And so again today, statists are seeking to trick us into supporting a national sales tax or a value added tax:  first, by concealing it within the verbiage of the bill; 6 and then, once the trickery was exposed, by claiming the Constitution already authorizes these new types of taxes.

There is a Better Way: Downsize the Federal Government!

Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. The list of objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money is a short list.  See the list HERE.

Most of what the federal government does today is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated by the Constitution. Let’s cut federal spending by downsizing the federal government to its enumerated powers and constitutional limits.

Endnotes:

1 Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers:  If an object is on the list of enumerated powers (e.g., the patent & copyright office authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 8), Congress may lawfully spend money on it.  That’s how our Constitution already controls federal spending.

All versions of a balanced budget amendment change the constitutional standard for spending FROM whether an object is on the list of enumerated powers TO a limit on total spending where Congress may spend money on whatever they or the President put in the budget.  This is what transforms our Constitution FROM one of enumerated powers only TO one of general and unlimited powers. And that is the true purpose of a balanced budget amendment.  It has nothing to do with limiting federal spending – the pretended spending limits are fictitious since they may be waived whenever the feds [and 26 of the States] want to waive them.

2 Leon Drolet’s article of July 10, 2015, and Sam Easter’s article of July 8, 2015, about SB 306 pending in Michigan don’t mention the new national taxes.

3 Matthew Burns’ article about the hearing on HB 366 before N. Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee (which passed HB 366) doesn’t mention the new national taxes. Burns quotes the Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Millis, as saying the problem is “Washington is unwilling or unable to limit itself.”  So the solution is to massively increase Congress’ taxing powers?

4 “End user sales tax” is not defined in the balanced budget amendment.

5 Apparently, the practice of tarring & feathering “revenuers” began with the Whiskey Excise Tax.

6 The trickery was exposed over a year ago HERE.  Since then, Compact for America has claimed the Constitution already authorizes the new taxes.  Are we too gullible to be free? PH

08/22/15
Mark Levin

Mark Levin interviews professor Edward Erler on birthright citizenship under the 14th amendment

08/21/15
Trump and Cruz

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 08/21/15

The Watcher’s Council

Donald Trump

Trump Time

The Donald has Landed – Deal With It! – Time Magazine

Trump-n-Cruz

Trump and Cruz

By: Tom White – VA Right!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

This movement is turning our campuses into hostile environments for free expression and due process. And so far, university officials, political leaders, and the White House are siding with the mob. – Christina Hoff Summers

Why can’t a woman/Be more like a man? – ‘Hymn To Him’ from My Fair Lady

“Feminists at Occidental College created an online form to anonymously report rape/sexual assault,” a user wrote in a Tuesday post on Reddit’s Men’s Rights group. “You just fill out a form and the person is called into the office on a rape charge. The ‘victim’ never has to prove anything or reveal their identity.” – Quoted In Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2013.

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This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’s The coming perfect storm on American college campuses — one that feminists and other professional victims will hate is pretty much about what the title implies it is… an examination of the current anti-male politically correct malaise with a surprise ending! Here’s a slice:

Several bizarre trends are burgeoning on American college campuses, all of which have the potential to backfire in spectacular form against the hardcore Leftists who are promulgating these ideas. This post focuses on three of the worst ideas in modern academia:

(1) The next generation of political correctness, which classifies any speech that hurts a student’s feelings as either a microaggression or a form of triggering. Older generation Lefties are slowly figuring out that these concepts are a form of censorship — but pointing that out, of course, is a form of microaggression that can trigger feelings of persecution in women, members of the LGBTQRSTUV community, people of color, people with handicaps (including young lawyers who demand corner offices at large law offices because they suffer from claustrophobia, something that really happened), victims of rape, victims of bad haircuts, people traumatized by reading about Cecil the Lion, etc.

(2) The bizarre pretense that a person’s sex is no longer a biological matter (as in X and Y chromosomes, which manifest themselves in different reproductive systems, hormones, musculoskeletal systems, etc.), but is simply a matter of preference, so that students can now claim to have a “fluid gender identity” that changes depending upon the person’s mood. On Tuesday, feeling manly, you can put on jeans and a baseball cap, and manspread over a couple of seats at a campus coffee shop; then on Wednesday, to explore your feminine side, you can put on a nice sun dress, put conditioner in your beard to make it soft and silky, and participate in the Womyn’s Group’s latest protest against male hegemony.

(3) The rabid attack on all men as rapists. The most recent examples of this campus pathology range from a manifestly delusional confabulator (as happened at the University of Virginia), to a pathetic woman desperate for attention (as seen with Emma Sulkowicz), to a scorned woman (such as the one who fell into the clutches of one of academia’s professional man haters, and then managed to drag an innocent man into a kangaroo court beyond even Kafka’s imaginings).

The last of the three trends, incidentally, is a direct by-product of the virulent misanthropy that incubates in “womyn’s studies” departments and that thrives on American campuses. If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend Robert Stacy McCain’s Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. The book, which is by McCain’s own admission a work in progress, provides chapter and verse on the man-hating lesbians who occupy academia and churn out academic bestsellers. One of the more prominent examples of these “scholars” was the late Andrea Dworkin who, in 1987, published Intercourse, which asserts that all male-female penetrative sex is by definition a form of rape.

You do realize, of course, where we’re going with these three trends? One day, it’s going to happen that a young woman, whether because she’s delusional, an emotional exhibitionist, or simply vindictive, will file a complaint with her university’s sexual harassment squad claiming that, even though she consented for months to have sex with her boyfriend, she’s concluded in retrospect that her erstwhile boyfriend raped her. Being familiar with the Stalin-esque administration of her campus, she rightly assumes that, once she’s filed her complaint, her boyfriend will be summoned before a kangaroo court and run out of campus on a rail, with his entire future destroyed. Ah, sweet revenge!

But wait!

More (and the surprise ending) at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the brilliant Mark Steyn with The Party of Why Nothing Can Be Done submitted by The Watcher.

Steyn’s characterization of the GOP is hilarious and unfortunately right on target. Recommended.

Here are this week’s full results. Ask Marion and the Razor were unable to vote this week, but neither was affected by the 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/20/15
Convention of the States

Nine Myths from the Convention of States Project

By Judi Caler

Rita Dunaway, staff counsel for the Convention of States Project (COS), wrote an article, Five Myths about Article Five, which turns the Constitution on its ear.  Ironically, her article challenges five premises that are true, while invoking at least 9 myths of her own.

In fact, the very name “convention of states,” is being used by Article V convention advocates to deceive state legislators into thinking an Article V convention can be controlled by state legislatures; it cannot.

Rita’s Myth #1:  A “convention of states” is the only “medicine that can cure the disease of federal overreach…”

False: What did our Founders really say we must do when the federal government usurps power? They never said, “When the federal government ignores the Constitution, amend the Constitution.” Instead, in addition to electing faithful representatives, they advised Nullification.

“Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” – Thomas Jefferson; Kentucky Resolutions, 1798

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, “Nullification is any act, or set of actions, that results in a particular law being rendered null, void or even just unenforceable within a particular area.” Nullification applies only to unconstitutional acts of the federal government – to usurpations of powers not delegated.

States, local governments, your County Sheriff or even The People can follow the advice of James Madison and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal laws right now, without risking our Constitution through a convention. In fact, there were over 200 bills introduced less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season to do just that.

Rita’s Myth #2:  The purpose of Article V is to protect The States and The People from an overreaching federal government.

False: Amendments are meant to correct errors, not to protect The People from an overreaching federal government. Alexander Hamilton at the constitutional convention on September 10, 1787 pointed out that amendments remedy defects in the Constitution. And he tells us in Federalist No. 85 (paragraph 13) that useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not…the mass of its powers.”

You cannot “fix” federal usurpations of undelegated powers by amending the Constitution to say the federal government cannot do what the Constitution never gave it the power to do in the first place.

Rita’s Myth #3: The reason the drafters added the convention method of proposing amendments to Article V was to give the states a way to bypass Congress.

False: If Article V were meant for states to bypass Congress, it would have bypassed Congress! Article V gives Congress the power to “call” a convention; and Article I, Section 8, last Clause gives Congress the power to make whatever laws are “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers vested by the Constitution, e.g. Article V.

It’s true that George Mason wanted states to be able to make amendments without the assent of Congress and in a manner which did not depend on Congress. However Mason lost on this issue and refused to sign the Constitution.

Rita’s Myth #4:  A “convention of states” is different than a “constitutional convention” because of the source of authority of each. The former derives its authority from Article V itself and is limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution we have; whereas at the constitutional convention of 1787, The States gathered pursuant to their residual powers as individual sovereigns.

False: The only convention for proposing amendments is one called by Congress. And Congress has total power to organize and set it up. But once the delegates assemble, they are the sovereign representatives of The People, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence (paragraph 2) and have the right to alter or abolish our form of government and institute a new one.

Advocacy groups are using semantics to change the meaning of the term “constitutional convention.”  According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a “constitutional convention” is defined as “a duly constituted assembly of delegates or representatives of The People of a state or nation for the purpose of framing, revising, or amending its constitution.” 

COS cannot have it both ways. They cannot proclaim the enormous power of an Article V convention to take back our government; and, at the same time, rein in delegates and deny their sovereignty.

Rita’s Myth #5:  We know how an Article V convention would operate.

False: Neither COS nor anyone else can guarantee what will happen at an Article V Convention. There are no precedents.  With our Constitution at risk, are we to assume 200-year-old “customs” in conventions between a few states would prevail?

Proof that there are no rules for operating an Article V convention is that various organizations of state legislators, including the Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are working furiously to hammer out rules. However, any finished product of such groups will have the “force” of a suggestion only.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report issued April 11, 2014[1] confirms that Congress most likely will claim authority over the power to organize and set up an Article V convention. Because of lack of precedent and so many unknowns, the CRS Report suggests on page 27 that they’ll have to call a convention to see what sort of convention they’ll get: general, limited or runaway!

Rita’s Myth #6: The reason we haven’t had an Article V convention yet is because there have never been 34 applications requesting a convention on the same topic.

False: This is speculation. Since Congress is given the power to “call” a convention, Congress decides how to count the applications. The hundreds of applications sent in thus far may not have met Congress’s criteria in terms of wording, timing, or any number of factors; or perhaps Congress has resisted calling a convention for reasons of its own.

Rita’s Myth #7:  A limitation on the topic is necessary in order for state legislatures to provide instructions to the delegates.

False: There is nothing in Article V that calls for instructions to delegates. Since delegates can do whatever they want once the convention is convened, delegate instructions serve only as a gimmick to secure legislators’ votes on applications by giving them a false sense of security in thinking they can control what is totally out of their hands.

Rita’s Myth #8:  Topics for an Article V convention can be limited so that convention delegates cannot re-write the entire Constitution once they assemble.

False: The delegates who represent “We the People” have the inherent right, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, to alter or abolish the Constitution and disregard any limitation placed on them by state legislatures, Congress, or anyone else. This is what happened at the constitutional convention of 1787 which was called by the Continental Congress for the sole purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. The result was a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. There is nothing to prevent that from happening today.

Rita’s Myth #9: There are adequate safeguards in place to assure state legislators are in control of a convention, e.g. topic limitations, the ability to recall delegates, and the ultimate safeguard which requires 38 states to ratify any ill-conceived or illegitimately advocated proposal.

False: Delegates to an Article V convention would have more power than the federal or state governments and cannot be controlled by state laws.  Topic limitations and Delegate recalls may be ignored. Also, Delegates may make their proceedings secret, as they did at the “amendments” convention of 1787, and they may vote by secret ballot.  If this happens, States won’t know what is going on at the convention.   If the States don’t know what is going on at the convention, then how will they determine whether to recall their Delegates or criminally prosecute Delegates who “violate their oaths” to obey the instructions of their states?

Furthermore, the ratification process may be changed. The Articles of Confederation required all of The States and the Continental Congress to ratify amendments. Nevertheless, the framers wrote a new Constitution with a ratification requirement of only 9 states (3/4 of those present). One Constitution waiting in the wings for a convention to be called would establish a dictatorship and require ratification by a referendum called by the President!

The only guarantee of power state legislatures have in the Article V convention process is to apply for a convention. Legislators are being duped by Article V convention advocates into believing they can necessarily control the convention rules and the ratification process. Congress controls the “call” and after the convention convenes, the delegates can do whatever they want, including rewrite the Constitution. Does anyone really believe that radical factions with ill-intentions will politely sit on the sidelines and relinquish the opportunity to participate in the demise of our beloved Constitution?

Judi Caler lives in Nevada City, California and is Article V Issues Director for Eagle Forum of California. She is passionate about holding our public servants accountable to their oaths to support the Constitution we have.

[1] The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress, Thomas H. Neale, April 11, 2014.

08/20/15
Dog Days

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Dog Days Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Ah, the sultry days leading up to the end of summer, when the warm weather brings out the torpor and laziness in all of us and little gets accomplished except by the determined and the desperate.

Of course, these days that group would include the members of the political class and their veritable army of servants, Praetorians, hangers on and staffers.

The Romans were the first to label this time of year the Dog Days (diēs caniculārēs), noting that the skies were ruled by Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky at this time of year. And Herodotus, Plutarch, Caesar and Thucydides all noted the effect this time of year has on men… the influence of the days of Dog Star giving rise to tempers, frustrations, gambles and many times, war and rumors of war. Some things never change. Or at least that’s what the smart money in Vegas, DC and other oracular venues where the entrails, the Dow or the polls get read for what the omens reveal. The mood can get ugly very quickly.

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This week’s contest is dedicated to letting sleeping dogs lie… at least for the moment.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

After a decade on the Council, Greg of Rhymes With Right has decided to drop full time blogging to pursue other interests. The Watcher’s Council among other things is a community and while Greg may be leaving us as a full time voting member, like other former Council members he will remain connected with us and no doubt continue to contribute to features like the Forum and stay in touch. Happy trails, Greg… it’s certainly been quite a ride, hasn’t it?

Vacancies on the Council don’t come up often. If you’re interested in being considered to fill this one and want further details on what’s involved, please leave a comment and your contact information (which of course won’t be published) under any story on Joshuapundit and I’ll get back to you.

This week, Palestinian Media Watch, Maggie’s Notebook, and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an email address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Honorable Mentions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/14/15
Hillary Clinton

Our Watcher’s Council Results – 08/14/15

The Watcher’s Council

Hillary Clinton

Hands Up

Jobs

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh! – Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1

Character is destiny. – Attributed to Greek philosopher Hereclitus, 500 BC

There’s hostility to lying, and there should be. – Bob Woodward

Painful as the task is to describe the dark side of our affairs, it sometimes becomes a matter of indispensable necessity. – George Washington

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s#Hillary Lied About Her E-Mails, Broke The Law And What It Really Means, is my take on the scandal concerning Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as Secretary of State, the serious issues actually involved and ultimately, what’s behind the curtain. Here’s a slice:

Once again, Mrs. Clinton has revealed to us that if she tells you the sun is shining, you’d better make sure you have an umbrella handy.

Most polls show that the majority of Americans, for some odd reason consider her untrustworthy and an out and out liar.CNN’s national poll shows that 57% of Americans see her that way, and ABC News and the Wall Street Journal put that number at 52%.

She’s continued to sing the old Right Wing Conspiracy song, and to claim, as she did in an interview with CNN’s servile Diane Keillor, “When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system,” she said. “Now I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.”

There are enough outright lies in that small paragraph to warrant a serious trial.

Even storing Federal records on a private server is a serious violation of the Federal Records Act for reasons that should be obvious, and a violation of the agreement Mrs. Clinton signed when she started at the State Department. Mrs. Clinton was likewise required to turn over any and all records in her possession to government, which she quite obviously did not do.

Not only did Mrs. Clinton fail to turn over work-related emails, but she and her staff also edited some of those emails before submitting them, as the Examiner’s Sarah Westwood reported.

In legalese, this shows intent. Mrs, Clinton intended to deceive congress.Not only that, but the committee obtained a number of e-mails that were work related and were either edited or somehow missing from the 55,000 Mrs. Clinton turned in:

The missing materials, which the State Department says it does not have, came to Congress by other means. They include writings about the jockeying for oil contracts in Libya after President Obama engaging in a war without congressional approval to overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. This comes among her back-and-forth emails with Sidney Blumenthal, a former staffer who had been barred from employment in the Obama administration, to continue offering his insight and advice on Libya. […]

But the proof of intent to deceive comes in the fact that Clinton or her staff actually edited some of the emails and turned over censored versions to State before destroying her copy of the originals.

I think we can reasonably be certain that cash donations to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for an inside track on oil deals or for Federal contracts involving Libya and other areas were the subject of some of these communications, but what’s already known is damaging enough.

Another, much more serious problem than the usual lies and corruption is the fact that Mrs. Clinton’s private server was almost certainly hacked by foreign agents. Her server lacked the normal security given to classified information within the government’s official system. Professionals who have examined the security of Hillary private e-mail account have said that the question is not whether the account was hacked, but to what degree.

Not only were classified communications almost certainly compromised, but there’s not telling what kind of personal, perhaps even indictable messages might have been scooped up. Imagine a president in the midst of negotiations with a foreign power like China, Russia or Iran suddenly confronted discretely with an ultimatum that unless she made certain far reaching concessions, certain information she desperately didn’t want revealed would be made public.

Federal Law(36 CFR 1234.24) requires agencies to collect all records from “external electronic mail systems” so that they can be stored inside government archives. There’s also a federal law (44 USC 3106) that authorizes legal action through the Attorney General and the Justice Department “for the recovery of records” that are threatened by destruction, deletion or erasure. Willfully destroying a federal record is a felony, punishable by fine and imprisonment. Mrs. Clinton is already guilty of that crime as well by admitting she destroyed her server.

Like I said, a lot of lies in one paragraph.

Mrs. Clinton felt free to destroy her private server and laugh at the subpoenas from congress because she knew that President Obama’s Attorney General and the DOJ were not going to take any action against her, again for obvious reasons. Among them is that there’s no longer a requirement to do so.

To find out why and what’s really behind this go to the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Rueben Navarette Jr. with a moving piece, I Don’t Know if I’m Pro-Choice After Planned Parenthood Videos, submitted by The Watcher.

This took courage and some obvious soul searching to write. It’s always a threshold moment when a person realizes that a belief they’ve held for some time might be a grave error.

Recommended.

Here are this week’s full results. Great Satan’s Girlfriend, Ask Marion and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but none were affected by the normal 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted onFriday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

08/12/15
Hillary Clinton

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Classified Edition

The Watcher’s Council

“OK, so some of the stuff was classified. So my server was hacked by foreign governments. What difference does it make now anyway at this point?”

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Gates Of Vienna and The People’s Cube earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an email address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Honorable Mentions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/7/15
Ted Cruz

The Council Has Spoken – Our Watcher’s Council Results – 08/07/15

The Watcher’s Council

Ted Cruz

Unsavory Agents: http://unsavoryagents.com/projects/straight-out-of-congress

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it. – PJ O’Rourke

We now have the liberal playbook and we know what they are doing, and we are using it against them. Unlike the Democrats though, we aren’t out to destroy our society, we are out to save it. – Mark Levin

The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. – Ludwig Von Mises

Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15! – President Ronald Reagan

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s1600/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay is Joshuapundit’sDonkey Kong Politics – The Democrat Field. In it, I chose to take an in-depth look at the main Democrat candidates and analyze their records, character, strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a slice:

It is early days yet, with 16 months until the election. But it’s interesting to assess the Democrat field as it is today from a horse race perspective and see where we are, especially as we’re starting to get a glimpse of future trends.

Hillary Rodham Clinton remains by far the Democrat frontrunner. She’s raised far more money than any of the other candidates, more than all of them combined. And she has far more name recognition than any of them. Mrs. Clinton has indeed been with us a long time. To add to these advantages, she has her own built in grievance group appeal because she possesses a vagina and can work the ‘first woman president’ angle for all it’s worth.

Unfortunately for her, she’s run into significant problems on the way to the coronation.

The biggest stumbling block to Hillary Clinton has been her own persona. When she first starting her obvious toying with announcing her candidacy after resigning her job as Secretary of State, she had record high approval ratings. At that time, I wrote on these pages that as soon as she began to run, people would remember all the things they disliked about her. And I put her chances at getting the nomination at no more than 50/50, about which more later.

As Secretary of State, Hillary was mostly cut out of the loop. President Obama assigned all of the juicy diplomatic roles to ‘special presidential envoys’ and Mrs. Clinton was reduced to administrative tasks and a role as messenger girl when needed. Even the UN was taken away from her, as President Obama made it a Cabinet post reporting directly to him and put Obama loyalist Susan Rice in the slot.

The public has a notoriously short memory, especially with Clinton minions like George Stephanopoulos in the media talking her up while making sure nothing problematic really made the news. So Secretary Clinton was largely seen as benign, a reminder of the supposed Good Old Days of the Clinton presidency.

The first reminder of the real Hillary came out in the wake of the Benghazi scandal when it was revealed that she and the Obama regime collaborated on blatantly phoney talking points to blame a totally unknown video and an out of hand ‘protest’ for a well planned terrorist attack in which a US ambassador and three others were murdered. That one was too big for her media allies to contain, especially after America saw her temper tantrum on national TV when she was confronted with her lies by congress and revealed her hideously amoral core by screaming that it made no difference.

Still, she was protected by the Obama regime for its own reasons. They classified all records of the attack including drone and on ground videos of what happened, threatened the eyewitnesses whom survived so they wouldn’t testify to congress and stonewalled the requests of congress for information. And as time went on, the media cooperated by burying the story. So people tired of hearing about it and many, especially the True Believers moved on and as she announced her candidacy, she was still very much the Queen in waiting.

The next shoe that dropped was our finding out that while she had no major foreign policy accomplishments, Secretary Clinton wasn’t nearly so benign and idle as we supposed. She used her time in office to enrich herself and her husband through the corrupt Clinton Foundation, selling influence and access as a well-researched best seller “The Clinton Cash Machine” documented. Not only that, but it came out that $6 billion from the State Department budget Mrs. Clinton was responsible for allocating mysteriously went missing.No one to this day knows what happened to the money.

And now its been revealed that Hillary egregiously broke the law (and endangered America’s national security) by storing classified documents on a private server located in her home that was almost certainly hacked by foreign governments, refusing to release those documents to the US Department of State and destroying the server. Given who’s in the White House she likely won’t be prosecuted for that, but again, this sort of thing reminds people of whom Hillary Clinton is and why they dislike her.

Aside from her cold, secretive and imperious personality, she’s a corrupt serial liar whose tall tales are so easily found out that it outrages many of the intended recipients that she apparently thinks they’re stupid enough to swallow them. There is simply not a truthful bone in her body and again, you have a lot of people recalling why they dislike her…just as I predicted.

She reminds me of an old girl friend of mine who likewise lied in that particularly manic fashion. After catching her out the first couple of times and getting that deer in the headlights look, I learned never to take her seriously or believe a word she said and to just enjoy the carnal aspects of the relationship. But then, she wasn’t running for president.Hillary Clinton is.

Another problem Hillary Clinton has to deal with in her march to the White House is one beyond her control. The party’s base has simply moved far to the Left of her…or at least far to the Left of what she would like the American people to perceive. Hillary Clinton and her husband have always been a lot more radical in reality than they projected to the American voting public. They are what Emmett J. Tyrrell Jr. famously called ‘coat and tie radicals.’ They were willing to drop the obvious trappings and positions of the Left to a certain extent to infiltrate the System they despised from within for power and profit.

They largely succeeded, thanks to Bill Clinton’s undeniable skill as a politician in ‘triangulating’ – running ever so carefully to the Left to get the nomination and back towards the center in the general election to capture the flag. Hillary’s problem is that the Democrat Party George Soros and Barack Obama have created is simply too far Left to allow her to do that easily. She will either have to run hard to the Left to capture her party’s base or to the center, hoping that a combination of her gender and the fact that the alternative is one of the Hated Republicans will be enough.

While I still say that the nomination is largely hers for the taking, the chances of her getting it are only 50/50/. Her health is poor, and she is already polling equal or behind some of the GOP clown show, a trend that’s likely to continue. The Democrat’s system of super delegates – party movers and shakers unelected by any particular state – gives us at least the possibility that at some point, if her poll numbers keep dropping, they’ll have a little talk with her. And she’ll drop out and someone like Elizabeth Warren will drop in. Again, I see this as at least a 50/50 possibility.

Profiles of the other candidates at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was David P. Goldman’s Will Israel Save America? submitted by Joshuapundit. Goldman, of course, was the brilliant ‘Spengler’ of Asia Times fame. As always, Goldman deals with the larger issues and points out some fascinating ties and some interesting similarities between the inner nature of Israel and America that might not have occurred to you.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

08/5/15
Planned Parenthood

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Parts And Service Edition

The Watcher’s Council

cartoon4

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

Debra Heine over at Nice Deb penned a superb article at PJ Media reporting on how the Obama Administration has sided with the Palestinians, working to try to stop US citizens from collecting judgments they won in court as victims of PLO terrorist attacks. It’s a must read.

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Honorable Mentions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!