A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia
September 20, 1998 #103
by: Doug Fiedor
Copyright © 1998 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
This text may be copied and distributed freely
but only in its entirety, and with no changes
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SCANDAL BACKGROUND & NEWS
This is supposed to be the silly season. But that term is usually descriptive of the ending weeks of the campaign cycle. This year, it includes nearly everything happening in Washington.
Two weeks ago Friday and Saturday, President Clinton's private attorney, David E. Kendall, wrote rebuttals (two of them) to the Office of Independent Counsel report to Congress. Prolific writers, that Williams & Connolly law group. Misguided in the law, but fast writers nonetheless. Either those attorneys are the world's fastest readers and writers, or they had the Starr report days before Congress.
The President has admitted he had an improper relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. He has apologized,
Clinton's legal eagles wrote.
The wrongfulness of that relationship is not in dispute. And yet that relationship is the relentless focus of virtually every page of the OIC's Referral. . . . Having such a relationship is wrong. Trying to keep such a relationship private, while understandable, is wrong. But such acts do not even approach the Constitutional test of impeachment -- "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Isn't misleading the public on matters of law a violation of ethics for any member of the bar?
In her timely new book, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," Constitutional attorney Ann Coulter writes:
"Impeachment is not a criminal procedure; the acts that justify impeachment are not necessarily criminal acts; and the purpose of impeachment is not punishment." Coulter includes quite a bit of very solid legal and historical data to support that position.
By the Saturday morning following the release of the Starr report, the craven media was already telling us that the report had no affect on Clinton's approval rating -- CNN actually claimed to have conducted a Friday night poll. No matter that no one had time to read the report yet, such was the propaganda spoon-fed the American people.
Still on his apology tour Wednesday, Clinton was saying he told "the essential truth" about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Asked whether he might resign, he responded that Americans "want me to go on." Actually, Slick being slick, he neglected to give the complete truth. More correctly, he should have said, "Americans want me to go on back to Arkansas and stay there."
The right thing for our country and the right thing for all people concerned is not to get mired in all the details here," Clinton said. "I laid out as carefully and as brutally honestly as I could what I believed the essential truth to be.
This guy even spins new lies while apologizing for lying!
Also midweek, the national media informed the American people that: "A growing number of Americans prefer censure to the ouster of President Clinton, polls indicate. But respondents say their support for impeachment would rise if certain allegations can be proven."
Again, those instant polls. And, never mind that censure is not a procedure Constitutionally available to Congress. Only impeachment is mentioned in the Constitution. If we believe there was a poll, we will also have to believe those conducting the poll have no knowledge of our Constitution.
By last Thursday, things were becoming a little more interesting in Washington. CNN announced that Paula Jones judge, Susan Weber Wright, is sending the Clinton tape from his January Jones deposition to the House Judiciary Committee. The Committee is expected to release the tape to the public, which will allow the world to watch the presidential perjury first hand.
More ominous, Albright and Cohen had a scheduled closed-door meeting with Henry Hyde and John Conyers. Perhaps a little 'wagging the dog' is scheduled. Or, it could be that the Secretaries of State and Defense wanted the House Committee to withhold parts of Starr's report from public scrutiny under the all-encompassing guise of national security. Regardless, the odds are 10 to 1 that they asked for a cover-up of something.
By the end of the week, Henry Hyde and his band of merry Republicans announced that Clinton's grand jury testimony recording will be released to the public, along with 2,800 pages of "supporting evidence." However, there will be 120 redactions of evidence. Censorship. Information will be cut out to protect innocent people and to delete material deemed sensitive or offensive, so the story goes.
In other words, Congress has deemed that the American people are not adult enough to view actual current events. Or, perhaps we might want to question Hyde about that private meeting with the Secretaries of State and Defense. Either way, there is a problem looming here. The American people have a right to all information. Tell them so, at: Judiciary@mail.house.gov.
But, wait a moment here . . . how many video tapes are there? Did Starr get the surveillance video tapes from the Oval Office? Is Congress afraid News at 6 will show hanky-panky on the Presidential Seal, right in the middle of the Oval Office carpet? Regardless, the People want to know. The People should know.
There is another set of very vicious rumors on the street that we prefer not to believe. However, we are now up to four independent sources from Capitol Hill alone. The whispers have it that the Chinese were bugging Clinton's telephone and intercepted his conversations with Lewinsky. For many technical reasons, that is extremely doubtful. However, the Chinese could have bugged Lewinsky's telephone with little or no problem.
Another part of the same rumor is that China threatened to nuke us if they do not get free run of the United States to market their goods. Again, taken on face value, this seems like a very stupid story. Yet, when one stands back and looks at the vast package of concessions given to communist China by this administration, it is not difficult to see how such stories can gain a foothold -- even with people who should know better.
In our ongoing quest to 'rout the regulators,' we're always looking for success stories. Here's a good win for State's Rights using the very same U.S. Supreme Court opinions we've been writing about for a year. The case is "Condon v. US," and was decided Sept. 3 by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Attorney General of the State of South Carolina challenged the constitutionality of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), (18 U.S.C.A. §§ 2721-2725) in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina on the grounds that it violated the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments to the United States Constitution. The United States defended the DPPA, arguing that it was lawfully enacted pursuant to Congress's powers under both the Commerce Clause and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. After reviewing the parties' arguments, the district court held that the DPPA violated the Tenth Amendment and permanently enjoined its enforcement in the State of South Carolina.
On appeal, the United States first contends that the DPPA was lawfully enacted pursuant to Congress's power under the Commerce Clause. Although Congress may regulate entities engaged in interstate commerce, Congress is constrained in the exercise of that power by the Tenth Amendment. As a result, when exercising its Commerce Clause power, Congress may only "subject state governments to generally applicable laws." [Quoting New York v. United States, (505 U.S. 144, 160, 1992)] The DPPA exclusively regulates the disclosure of personal information contained in state motor vehicle records. Thus, rather than enacting a law of general applicability that incidentally applies to the States, Congress passed a law that, for all intents and purposes, applies only to the States. Accordingly, the DPPA is simply not a valid exercise of Congress's Commerce Clause power. . . .
In Printz v. United States, the Court reviewed an act of Congress, popularly referred to as the "Brady Bill," which regulated the sale of handguns. The Brady Bill, among other things, required state law enforcement officers "to participate, albeit only temporarily, in the administration of [the] federally enacted regulatory scheme." As in New York, the Supreme Court found that the Garcia line of cases was inapplicable to the question before the Court. (application of the Garcia line of cases is inappropriate "where, as here, it is the whole object of the law to direct the functioning of the state executive") Instead, the Supreme Court framed the issue as the constitutionality of "the forced participation of the States' executive[s] in the actual administration of a federal program." Noting that in New York it had held "that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program," the Supreme Court in Printz held "that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the State's officers directly." The Court went on to note that: "The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States' officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case-by-case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty."
Most of this is old stuff to Heads Up readers, and we certainly do not support States passing out private information about citizens simply because they have a registered vehicle and a drivers license. There must be an element of privacy involved with all government records. However, we agree with the court in this matter. This issue can best be handled between citizens and their State government.
This case is also very interesting because it will specifically apply to the federal government's new mandate of creating a national identification card via forcing states to issue a standardized drivers license containing personal information. Condon v. US provides a very good road map for what looks to be a slam-dunk win in a court battle against any such federal mandates.
Generally, State officials fear going against these federal mandates. Regulatory agencies threaten to withhold highway funds if State officials don't comply immediately, like good little robots. Courts know this, and last year in Printz, the Supreme Court all but begged for a clean case with which to decide the subject.
Condon v. US might provide such a case, if appealed to the Supreme Court. Herein, the Court of Appeals writes:
As an initial matter, we note that Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds pursuant to its power under the Spending Clause, not the Commerce Clause. With that having been said, we question whether Congress could have conditioned the States' receipt of federal highway funds on compliance with the DPPA.
The courts are coming around, folks. Slowly but surely, the feral regulators are getting put back into their cages.
Condon v. US is already posted on the Find-Law web page at: http://www.findlaw.com/index.html . However, there are a few errors in that copy.
In the midst of all his scandals, Clinton found time to speak in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations last week. Speaking of the current economic problems caused by the ridiculously poor business practices of the controlling elite in places like Russia and Asia, Clinton told the group, in part:
It is in our interest to help these nations and these people recover. They will become once again our great markets and our great partners. It is also the right thing to do. We've worked with international lenders, like the IMF, to help these nations to adopt pro-growth budget, tax, and monetary policies, but clearly we're going to have to do more to restore Asian growth. We must work to lift the weight of private sector debt that has frozen the Asian economies.
Yeah. We'll run right out back where the money tree grows and pick 'em a hundred billion American bucks so their rich can stay rich and their markets can continue to undercut ours. Heck, it's only money, and we Americans don't need any more of it. We'll be happy to "lift the weight of [their] private sector debt," rather than use our money to pay off our own debts. Right!
Today, I'm asking Secretary Rubin to work with other financial authorities and international economic institutions to enhance efforts to explore comprehensive plans to help Asian corporations emerge from massive debt where individual firms have been swept under by systemic, national economic problems, rather than their own errors. We need to get credit flowing again. We need to get business back to making products, producing services, creating jobs.
Got that? They're having economic problem due to "systemic, national economic problems, rather than their own errors." It must have been "the system" that made all those businessmen borrow so far into debt. Corrupt socialist systems like "Japan, Inc.", probably. And, it must have been "the system" that allowed their banks to lend so much good money to correct bad debts -- over and over and over again. Well then, how about we let some of those billionaire industrialists in that "system" use some of their personal wealth to fix the mess their system caused?
Asian businesses need assistance, but so do millions of Asian families. We must do more to establish an adequate social safety net in recovering nations. Wrenching economic transition without an adequate social safety net can sacrifice lives in the name of economic theory, and, I might add, can generate thereby so much resistance that reform grinds to a halt. If we want these countries to do tough things, we have to protect the most defenseless people in the society and we have to protect people who get hurt when they didn't do anything wrong. I think that is terribly important.
A few years ago, those government's used to call our way of capitalism things like "corrupt, old fashioned and short-sighted." What are we now, their rich parents, their keepers, or something? They tried a form of socialism, and it failed. Let's let them pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get to doing things correctly. They can see the way. It's over here.
So, now Clinton wants to "establish an adequate social safety net in recovering nations." What's that? Are we adding them to our welfare rolls, maybe? Not exactly, apparently. Instead, Clinton wants to give them quite a few billion dollars of American taxpayer's money. In fact, the administration plans to hide the transfer of our wealth "through the use of the IMF's emergency fund, increasing the activity of the Ex-Im Bank, and meeting our own obligations to the IMF." Nevertheless, it's still our money they will give away.
The full text of Clinton's remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations can be found on their web page at: http://www.foreignrelations.org/ Read it and weep.
by Craig M. Brown, for Heads Up
As the chapter of American history that is William Jefferson Clinton reaches its agonizing end, we must now turn to repairing the damage he has done to our country. In the words of Abraham Lincoln at the close of the Civil War, it is time to "bind up our nation's wounds". In five and a half years of Mr. Clinton's presidency, the wounds are many and deep.
It is ironic that the least of the offenses our President has inflicted on our country, his Caligula-like depravity in office, will be the offense that brings him down. As we survey the wreckage on our country inflicted by this administration, it is hard not to be daunted by the work that lies ahead of us.
First and foremost, we must restore the dignity and strength of our armed forces. In the past five years, our military has been methodically reduced and degraded to the point that we are close to being incapable of defending ourselves from a major attack. Another piece of damage which must be quickly reversed is the federal takeover of our educational system. As a result of federal control of local schools, parents are stampeding to alternative schooling for their children. Federal influence in our schools is producing children with no reading skills, no true knowledge of our nation's history and lower and lower standards for advancement. We must immediately return all power, funding and control of education to local communities.
In January of 1993, when President Clinton took office, he unleashed a horde of new, enlarged and emboldened federal agencies and their accompanying regulators. These new "underfurhers," such as the EPA's Carol Browner, launched an unprecedented attack on the people and their property rights. Our Constitution was locked away in a drawer as the regulators began doing everything and anything to enhance their own power. As this federal octopus began extending its tentacles across the country, while our representatives in Congress looked the other way, state legislatures, spurred into action by citizens groups, began flexing their Constitutional muscles.
As the regulatory agencies began to be thwarted by states that invoked their rights under the Constitution, President Clinton countered by issuing a flood of Executive Orders designed to undermine states rights. These Executive Orders, issued with the compliant ignorance of Congress, may have floated by unnoticed but for the Internet. A group of active members of the Internet have taken for themselves the name "Samidatz," a name given by the KGB to Soviet underground newspapers which were instrumental in bringing down the communist regime. These members of the Internet ferreted out Clinton's Executive Orders and exposed them throughout the country. Congress was flooded with outcries about Executive Order 13083, which specifically would strike down President Reagan's command that State's rights and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution be upheld. Rudely awakened, members of Congress challenged this order, forcing President Clinton to back away from it.
The most serious and frightening result of the Clinton regime is the real and present threat of Communist China. Having given everything imaginable to the Communist Chinese in return for campaign contributions, we are left with a China that enjoys a huge and growing trade surplus with the United States, controls both ends of the Panama Canal, came within a whisker of having their own foothold on U.S. territory with the COSCO purchase of the former Los Angeles naval base and has nuclear warheads, with guidance systems from American technology aimed at our cities. While we can cure the trade imbalance if we ignore the cries of the few who are profiting from it, undoing Chinese possession of our encryption codes and missile technology is another story.
Stripping these regulatory agencies of their newly bestowed power or eliminating them completely will be a difficult job, requiring courage and backbone from our representatives in Congress. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, courage and backbone are qualities rarely in evidence in our current Congress. This, however, is less the fault of the Members of Congress, who have forgotten their pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, than it is our own fault. It is natural to slide in the direction of the large campaign contributor or the special interests when there is no one holding you back. Just as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, we must constantly remind our representatives that we can extend or withhold the gift of our votes dependent upon their doing exactly what they are elected to do ... represent us.
There is much to be done and all we require is the will and the courage to do it. We have the will. Do our elected representatives have the courage?
Below is an important message from Larry Becraft, a prominent attorney specializing in Constitutional law:
Via the federal Department of Transportation's office known as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, certain agency regulations were proposed in the middle of June and the foundation for the "National ID" was put into place. This DoT regulation was promulgated on June 17 and the comment period to object to this regulation was initially set for the first of August. In response, I filed a letter which became the 4th objection so received.
Scott McDonald, webmaster of Fight the Fingerprint, has posted my letter to his page at:
The whole story of this proposed regulation is explained on Scott's page at:
The reason I write now is because the comment period has, because of the large number of comments, been extended to October 1. We need your help with this effort to stop the National ID. All you have to do is either copy my letter or adopt some of the sample letters Scott posted to his web page. It will only take you a few moments to "personalize" any of these letters and send one in to the agency. Thus far, almost 2000 objections have been received. Each of these letters is also posted to a specific DoT web page, the URL of which may be provided by Scott.
If you want to stop the National ID, please take a few minutes and send a letter of objection. It is just possible that this effort may stop this program.
Copyright © 2002 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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