With so much attention on the turf war between Congress and the President, it’s easy to overlook another…
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Federalism on the Firing Line

With so much attention on the turf war between Congress and the President, it’s easy to overlook another, equally disturbing separation-of-powers crisis – the swift erosion of federalism.

Just as the U.S. Constitution assigns certain powers and duties to the three coequal branches of the federal government (legislative, executive, and judicial), so too does it differentiate lines of responsibility between the federal and state governments. This latter idea is known as federalism, and it’s in pretty bad shape according to a thought-provoking essay by Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola.

In particular, the practice of conditioning receipt of federal money on capitulation to federal regulations is turning states into mere enforcement officers.

“Federal officials exert enormous influence…[more]

July 31, 2014 • 02:46 pm

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Barack Obama’s America Print
By Quin Hillyer
Thursday, April 04 2013
Obama's America is an unfolding nightmare.

Barack Obama’s America is a place where the president’s daughters can vacation on the taxpayers’ dime in the Caribbean and twice at ski resorts, all within three months, plus attend ritzy private schools, while poor black children at horribly failing schools in the District of Columbia have their “opportunity scholarships” taken away.

Barack Obama’s America is one where a black man can be elected president and a black man can be appointed attorney general, and then where both they and their sub-appointees can argue that huge parts of America are still fundamentally racist.

Barack Obama’s America is one where foreign terrorists captured abroad should be tried in American courts, with full American procedural rights, but where American citizens who aren’t an immediate threat can be killed by remote control without benefit of charges, trials or convictions.

Barack Obama’s America is one where black applicants who easily pass an entrance exam for the fire academy in New York can be denied a job for years but where black applicants who missed 70 percent of the exam questions can be eligible not just for jobs but for back pay, benefits and retroactive promotions.

Barack Obama’s America is one where fishermen aren’t allowed to catch red snapper but where the government can kill tens of thousands of snapper by blowing up oil rigs that provide valuable habitat for Gulf sea life.

Barack Obama’s America is a place where Americans can’t drill for oil in American waters but where American taxes can be used to subsidize Brazilian oil exploration and development.

Barack Obama’s America is a place where felons can vote but soldiers can’t. It’s where elderly people are arrested for peacefully protesting against abortion, but where paramilitary-dressed black radicals can’t be prosecuted for threatening voters. It’s where children can’t shape breakfast pastries into the vague shape of a gun, but where children can procure abortions without even informing their parents.

Barack Obama’s America is where citizens must show a valid ID to get a job, but cannot be required to produce ID to vote.

Barack Obama’s America is where preachers who describe traditional Christians as bigots get rewarded with presidential visits, but where pastors who preach traditional morality get accused of hate speech.

Barack Obama’s America is one in which, when an American ambassador and three others are killed, the only person held to justice is one who made an Internet video that almost nobody saw.

Barack Obama’s America is one where the “free exercise of religion” would be restricted to mere “freedom of worship.” It’s where religious institutions have almost no rights to determine who is and isn’t a “minister” under their employ. It’s where speech rights aren’t inherent, but instead are “doled out” by government. It’s where the Second Amendment is limited, and where the Tenth Amendment is almost non-existent.

In Barack Obama’s America, you didn’t earn your own success and you hold on to guns and God only because you’re bitter and resentful. Your rights as a secured creditor are destroyable at the government’s whim; your right to choose not to own something (health insurance) is non-existent. And you can be told first that you won’t pay a single new tax for a national health plan, but then told the entire plan is constitutional specifically because it is a tax.

In Barack Obama’s America, states cannot be allowed to enforce immigration laws, but they can’t be allowed not to enforce health-care laws. States that won’t enforce federal laws against vote fraud get a free pass, while states that do try to abide by federal laws against vote fraud get sued by the feds.

Barack Obama’s America is a place where legal subpoenas get ignored, false testimony under oath is cheered, government evades transparency, government watchdogs are hounded from office, and White House access is sold with impunity.

Barack Obama’s America is one where regulations are super-abundant, but jobs are woefully scarce.

Obama’s America is an unfolding nightmare. And as yet there’s no sign of the dawn’s early light.

Question of the Week   
Which of the following merged to form the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama's worst issue -- definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency -- when it comes to public perception.  A new poll from AP-GfK shows more than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) disapprove of Obama's handling of the immigration issue in general. Just 31 percent approve -- down from 38 percent two months ago. When you separate those…[more]
 
 
—Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
— Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Is significant, proven plagiarism sufficient to disqualify, in the minds of voters, any candidate for public office?