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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Hard Starboard Radio: Hillary Clinton's Electronic Strip Tease



Hillary Clinton's armory of smoking guns exposed, among other things, satellite intel on North Korea’s nukes, while her potential jail time soars past fifteen centuries; While Obama's nuclear "deal" is encountering "unexpected" difficulty making an "ally" of the Islamic Empire of Iran, Democrats are lining up like lemmings in support of it anyway; Baltimore Police Department preparing for a war they won't be allowed to fight while conservative women are daring to call #BlackLivesMatter precisely what they really are; plus the ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' will eliminate millions of tax-free HSAs & FSAs, the U.S. Supreme Court crushes the Kentucky Anti-Sodomarriage Rebellion, Wall Street sags again as faith in Fed easy money irrationally lingers, and the Senate GOP vows to (again) give up on defunding Planned Parenthood.



Keep your dinner down now - I dare you at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

Obama's Nuclear Sellout To Iran Goes Over The Top In Senate

by JASmius



Not news; just making note of the final passing of the inevitable Rubicon:

Democrat U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said on Wednesday she will support the Iran nuclear deal, giving Barack Obama the thirty-four Senate votes needed to sustain a veto of any congressional resolution disapproving of the deal.

Thirty-two Senate Democrats and two independents who vote with the Democrats now back the agreement.

Thus have we completed the despicable "Failure Theater" journey on which Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker embarked us almost six months ago.  The Iran "deal" is a treaty, constitutionally requiring two-thirds or greater support to become part of U.S. law per Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, which states, in relevant part:

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur. [emphases added]

But Senator Corker said, "Let's not get hung up on semantics" and illegally set the Senate's ratification power aside - in "the spirit of bipartisanship," of course - because he didn't want to be called a "racist" for denying The One his Neville Chamberlain glory.  And so here we are.

Did we get anything for this suicidally generous gesture?   Allahpundit doesn't think so:

What’d the GOP get out of all this? What did their huge advantage in the House and their eight-seat majority in the Senate ultimately amount to in terms of concessions? It’s one thing to lose a momentous fight on foreign policy, ceding all of your constitutional leverage in the process, but if you can get some goodies for your side at least you can say it’s not a total loss. Unless I missed something, we got … nothing. Not a thing — not even, in all likelihood, the right to crow and say that our resolution of disapproval passed the Senate with plenty of Democrat support. This fiasco will end with an essentially party-line vote on cloture, leaving Obama free to argue to the world that the deal has the acquiescence of the U.S. Congress. The only thing we get from this is the right to point out later, when this agreement eventually ends with Iran going nuclear and the Middle East being further destabilized, that this disaster is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Democrat Party. That’s a nice consolation prize, but we’ve known since the beginning that we’d be getting that. What we’ve added to our “winnings” since this congressional kabuki began is precisely nothing.

Oh, I don't know about that, Eeyore.  According to Ashton Carter, we've still got the military option that Barack Obama pulled off the table about fifteen seconds after he first took the Oath of Office:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says "deal or no deal" with Iran on its nuclear proliferation, a military option remains firmly on the table.

No, it doesn't, or we wouldn't have done this "deal".

In a speech to the American Legion in Baltimore, where the group is holding its annual convention, Carter said "the deal places no limits whatsoever on our military," Military.com reports.

Should we interpret that we don't have to finish disarming ourselves even as we're shipping what nukes we have left to Tehran?  There's a bargain.

"We will continue to protect our friends in the region, especially Israel, from Iran's destabilizing activities," he said in the Tuesday remarks.

No we won't.  We did this "deal" instead.

"As I told some of the more than 35,000 American troops in the region when I visited last month: Deal or no deal, the United States military will remain 'full speed ahead.' "

....into blanket discharge and disbandment.

"Our strategy toward Iran includes, but is not limited to the agreement," he added, nevertheless calling the agreement a "good" one.

Which means our strategy toward Iran is...."limited to the agreement".

Isn't Ash cute when he dissembles like this?

AND we have Lurch's ROCK-SOLID ASSURANCE that the mullahs will "never be free" to get the nuclear weapons they're amassing daily at a terrifying rate.

Hey, if we're all going to die as a result of this madness, we might as well enjoy a hearty guffaw or two before we burn.



Clintonemails.com Exposed Satellite Intel On North Korea’s Nukes

by JASmius



Whoopsie (again)!  Good thing that didn't need to be classified, huh?

One of the most serious potential breaches of national security identified so far by the intelligence community inside Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private emails involves the relaying of classified information concerning the movement of North Korean nuclear assets, which was obtained from spy satellites.

Multiple intelligence sources who spoke to the Washington Times, solely on the condition of anonymity, said concerns about the movement of the North Korean information through Mrs. Clinton’s unsecured server are twofold.

First, spy satellite information is frequently classified at the top-secret level and handled within a special compartment called Talent-Keyhole. This means it is one of the most sensitive forms of intelligence gathered by the U.S.

Second, the North Koreans have assembled a massive cyberhacking army under an elite military spy program known as Bureau 121, which is increasingly aggressive in targeting systems for hacking, especially vulnerable private systems. The North Koreans, for instance, have been blamed by the U.S. for the hack of Sony movie studios.

Allowing sensitive U.S. intelligence about North Korea to seep into a more insecure private email server has upset the intelligence community because it threatens to expose its methods and assets for gathering intelligence on the secretive communist nation.

Of which the U.S. intelligence community has - had - few enough as it was.  This particular caper pretty much gave away what was left of that metaphorical "farm," meaning, among other disasters, that the NoKos now know how to hide their nuclear weapons activity from us even more effectively, meaning we can never be prepared should they decide to, say, hold South Korea and Japan hostage to nuclear attack on Seoul and Tokyo, or launch a nuclear missile at Honolulu or even my neck of the woods.

If this were Barack Obama's "homebrew" server, I'd say that this wholesale, serial violation of federal law was for the express purpose of ensuring that our country has no, none, zero, zip, nada, bupkis secrets ever to the perpetual benefit of our enemies.  I mean, it's not like that isn't his track record already on such matters.  In Hillary's case, I think she just did not care.  The secrets she cared about and was determined to keep were to be concealed from congressional Republicans, not the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) and MSS (the ChiComm Ministry of State Security).  And in that she was wildly successful....until now.

But she keeps on trying....



....and John Kerry continues to help her:

At least four classified Hillary Clinton emails had their markings changed to a category that shields the content from Congress and the public, Fox News has learned, in what State Department whistleblowers believed to be an effort to hide the true extent of classified information on the former secretary of state’s server.

The changes, which came to light after the first tranche of 296 Benghazi emails was released in May, was confirmed by two sources — one congressional, the other intelligence. The four emails originally were marked classified after a review by career officials at the State Department. But after a second review by the department’s legal office, the designation was switched to “B5″ — also known as “deliberative process,” which refers to internal deliberations by the Executive Branch. Such discussions are exempt from public release.

The B5 coding has the effect, according to a congressional source, of dropping the email content “down a deep black hole.” [emphases added]

Sounds an awful lot like Executive Privilege, doesn't it?  Can a former Commissar of State hide behind that invocation?  If it were anybody else, I'd chortlingly say no.  But Hillary Clinton?  Why not?  She is, after all, above the law.

Which leaves us with the irony of State top-secreting the grossly negligent public disclosure of top secret national security information on behalf of the incumbent's predecessor, who just happens to be running to become his next boss.  But then those are the only secrets that matter to and for Her Nib.

New Anti-Gun Strategy: “SWATting” Gun Owners

by JASmius



When last we visited this topic, it was in Wisconsin Democrats' war against Scott Walker and any cheeser conservatives who dared to stand with his ultimately successful efforts to break the Big Labor stranglehold on the Badger State's government.  "SWATing" is, basically, a "false-flag" attack against a political enemy or enemies by calling 911 to report a fictitious emergency with the intent of siccing armed law enforcement personnel on one's intended victim(s).  Maybe even get them shot and/or killed if you get lucky.

Since it was so effective and cathartic in terrorizing Wisconsin conservatives, now leftwingnut gun-confiscators are joining in the "fun":

As more states relax rules about open-carrying of guns, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has taken to social media to urge the public to assume gun-toters are trouble, and to call the cops on anyone they feel may be a threat.

“If you see someone carrying a firearm in public—openly or concealed—and have ANY doubts about their intent, call 911 immediately and ask police to come to the scene,” the group wrote on its widely followed Facebook page. “Never put your safety, or the safety of your loved ones, at the mercy of weak gun laws that arm individuals in public with little or no criminal and/or mental health screening.”

That approach, according to a blog post by Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, could give rise to needless, tense confrontations between police and gun owners. The association and other similar groups liken the tactic to “swatting,” or the act of tricking an emergency service into dispatching responders based on a false report.

Not could - will.  It's the whole point.  If gun-grabbers can't subvert the law to get what they want, they'll just go outside of it and - oh, the irony - actively suborn "gun violence" against gun owners to punish them for their "knuckle-dragging" opposition to "enlightened, common sense" gun restrictions that never have and never will reduce the kind of "gun violence" CTSGV claims to be against.

Jazz Shaw makes an astute additional point:

[Gun-grabbers] tend to be almost exclusively liberal and have a large crossover with the same groups who are constantly complaining about violent encounters between the police and suspects. The atmosphere around the nation is particularly tense for law enforcement officers as more and more of them are murdered and criminals become more brazen. Sending the cops out on a call where they have been falsely informed that someone is “acting suspicious” and is clearly armed just puts everyone on a hair trigger… literally.

All the tentacles grow out of the same vile, predatory creature.  It's just one more indicator of the tribal warfare that is steadily tearing this nation apart because a majority of voters are plainly and simply incapable of recognizing the truth and unwilling to do so if it does dawn on them.

The double irony is that this sort of disgusting tactic will only encourage more Americans to be more and more heavily armed.  But once one is at war already, subtlety and clever strategy tends to go out the window - in a hail of bullets.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Asks The Unaskable Question

by JASmius



It is, of course, a rhetorical question - of course #BlackLivesMatter is a hate group - and Miss Hasselbeck has a robust pair of ovaries to pose that rhetorical question on the air, no less.  High fives all around.  Three huzzahs.  Well done, Liz.

But, of course, she's white, so she had no right to do so, First Amendment or no First Amendment, and her life is now forfeit:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, cohost of Fox & Friends, received backlash after asking on Monday's show why the Black Lives Matter movement is not classified as a hate group.

Hasselbeck was speaking with Kevin Jackson, a conservative African-American commentator and author of The BIG Black Lie, about a controversial anti-police chant offered by Black Lives Matter protesters at a recent rally in Minnesota: "Pigs in a blanket/ Fry them like bacon!"

Hasselbeck noted that the chant came just days after Houston Deputy Darren Goforth was shot in the back while pumping gas.

"Kevin, why has the Black Lives Matter movement not been classified yet as a hate group?" asked Hasselbeck. "I mean, how much more has to go in this direction before someone actually labels it as such?"

And then came the usual social media hatestorm, led this time by Rosie O'Donnell, fresh from menstruating in pro-lifers' faces (and probably in their mouths as well).

Mr. Jackson went to the trouble of supplying the answer we already know:

"Well they should do it, but unfortunately it's being financed by the leftists . . . Ironically it's people that have nothing, really no concern at all about black lives," Jackson replied.

But boy howdy, they sure do hate white people, though.  Must be why I refer to them as the Black Klan.

I hope Miss Hasselbeck can afford a private security detail.  At all times.  Seriously.  Because she's going to be looking over her shoulder from now on.

Just ask Darrin Wilson.


UPDATE: Megyn Kelly ups the ante:



Fortunately for her, she's already got a private security detail.  Which will still be overwhelmed by the NBP whenever Fowler gives the secret code word.  Helps explain why he's so smug in this clip.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Obama Regime Admits Lifting Oil Export Ban Would Lower Gas Prices

by JASmius



First the drilling permit for Royal Shell, now this?  Have the greenstremists in the Obama Regime become narcoleptics or something?:

A report by the Obama administration Tuesday concluded that removing the nation’s forty-year ban on oil exports....

Which The One adamantly opposes.

....would not raise gasoline prices in the United States — and would probably even help lower them.

"Petroleum prices in the United States, including gasoline prices, would be either unchanged or slightly reduced by the removal of current restrictions on crude-oil exports," the report said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It was completed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which does analysis for the Energy Department.

Whose employees that put out this report had better be updating their resumes, and hiring private security details.

A White House spokesman declined to comment to the Journal on the document.

Naturally.  Equal parts vengeful rage and public humiliation and a desire to quash a "Regime Civil War" meme before it can get started do encourage a certain level of taciturn reticence.

The report said that price increases ultimately were dependent on the complex intricacies of the oil market.

One more reason for the White House to hate it.

However, it concluded that removing export restrictions would encourage oil companies to produce more oil as they seek to capture higher overseas prices.

To "maximize their obscene profits," of course.

That would push global prices lower if foreign producers do not reduce their own output, the Journal reports.

Which, admittedly, they would probably do in order to try and shut down new U.S. domestic energy exploration.  Heck, they're already doing it.  But that would only put more downward pressure on prices at the pump, not less.

Plus, in the context of U.S. oil imports being at their lowest percentage of domestic consumption (27%) in thirty years....

Most U.S. retail gasoline is priced based on global benchmarks versus national ones, easing imports could lower prices here, according to the study.

Looks and sounds like a win-win-win proposition.  Which, of course, is why Barack Obama vehemently opposes it and will never permit it.

This EIA report could have been embarrassing for him, if he still had to care about public relations and what We the People want.  Happily for him, he's past such phony-baloney, plastic-banana small-"r" republican facades.  We'll be paying ten bucks a gallon for gasoline yet, you just wait and see.

Kate Steinle's Family Sues San Francisco Sheriff, ICE

by JASmius



Racists.  Why do they "hate Hispanics" so much?:

The family of Kate Steinle announced on Tuesday that they have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, saying no one is taking responsibility for their loved one's death.

Kate Steinle's brother, Brad Steinle, and her parents, Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan, announced the lawsuit on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

"We are not a litigious family," Jim Steinle said Tuesday night on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor.

....but what other recourse do they have?  Obama's ICE releases illegal alien thugs and criminals into the general U.S. population - which is official White House policy, remember - and when ICE makes a kabuki theater show of rounding up a token number of them, the rapists and arsonists and thieves and serial killers can just disappear inside a "sanctuary city" like San Francisco and be home-free.  And, of course, Democrats will defend "sanctuary cities" to the death because that's their ticket to permanent, one-party power.

In short, for the Left, their political domination of and hegemony over America forever is more important than Kate Steinle's life, or the lives of as many American citizens as it takes to import as many compliantly-voting foreign nationals into the country as they can to get them the power they crave.  The least they can do is make it worth the Steinle family's monetary while.  Hey, throwing money at problems is what libs do, right?

Senate GOP Vows To (Again) Give Up On Defunding Planned Parenthood

by JASmius



Look on the bright side, my Tea Party friends: At least this debunks Ted Cruz's accusation of Mitch McConnell being a "liar":

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” McConnell said. “I would remind all of your viewers: The way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it. The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”

And McConnell said that in order to really make the changes he envisions on regulations, Republicans need a nominee at the top of the ticket who can win purple states — rattling off a list of places where he also needs Republicans to win Senate contests to continue as majority leader in 2017.

“Whoever our nominee is is going to have to appeal in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado, Nevada — those States that tend to go back and forth,” McConnell said. “Looking at the polling data in those key States, I think people are ready to go in a different direction. We just have to nominate somebody that they find appealing.”

You're not going to want to hear this, TPers, but Mitchie The Kid is right - as far as it goes.  Barack Obama will never sign a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, and McConnell does indeed not have the votes he would need to override the inevitable Obama veto of it.  Neither would John Boehner on the other side of the Capitol.  And The One cannot be bullied or intimidated into doing so, and couldn't be even if the media wasn't in the back pocket of his mom jeans.  Why?  Because he's a radical, rigid, extremist ideologue.  A revolutionary, in other words.  He will "fight!  fight!  fight!" regardless of the odds and circumstances.  And, of course, the odds are always stacked in his favor.  So in terms of actual legislative passage, the GOP needs at least thirteen more senators and a pro-life president.

Besides, McConnell doesn't even have the votes to reach cloture on the bill, which Democrats would undoubtedly filibuster, so a PP-defunding bill would never reach O's desk in the first place, just like the last one didn't.  The only way it would get that far only to be stuffed in turn is by "nuking" the filibuster, and you all should remember what happened the last time Senate 'Pubbies tried to do that.  And Mitchie has never been and will never be anything like that chippy.

Which leaves the government shutdown option.  And McConnell ruled that out a month ago.  TPers don't like that either, but before you all reflexively go postal (again) on the Elderly Campbell's Soup Kid, remember how the last government shutdown turned out: Tea Partiers demanded a showdown over ObamaCare defunding, John Boehner gave it to them, it went on for several weeks, the public rally behind the effort that Ted Cruz promised would be forthcoming never materialized, GOP poll numbers crashed, Obama and then-Senate Majority Chisler Harry (G)Reid didn't so much as twitch, Boehner caved, and that was that.  The Republican congressional leadership fought - and lost humiliatingly.  Tell me again why y'all want to see an encore over Planned Parenthood?  I must be missing the "logic" of your argument.  Unless you're into empty, symbolic gestures that actually lose us ground (as in the Dems demanding more than a "clean" bill, but, say, ending sequestration as well).  A futility fetish, in other words.  In which case, your argument is idiotic.

And by the way, here's something else TPers are not going to want to see:



Planned Parenthood's overall public support isn't overwhelming, but it is "above-water" (43-38).  Every demographic is net-positive except Republicans (13-68), geezers (38-40) and white men (37-46) - or, in other words, not exactly a majority platform.  Ditto defunding PP (41-51), where the only demographics in favor are Republicans (66-25) and white guys (50-43).

Bottom line is, Planned Parenthood is popular (public affinity which is bulletproof if the Center For Medical Progress's herculean efforts haven't put a dent in it) and government shutdowns are not.  The bright side of the latter is that history shows the polling fallout is always short-term and transitory, so GOP skittishness is unjustified.  The dark side is that government shutdowns never get us what we want.  It's a losing tactic.  So why keep employing it?  Pugilistic artifice?  Blind faith?  Remember what Albert Einstein once said about insanity being defined as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

That's not defeatism, folks; that's simply the bleak reality.

Exit quote: "Here’s your general telling you he doesn’t believe we can win this war. Even if you disagree, do you still welcome that war knowing that he’s in charge of it?"

Birthright Citizenship in Constitution Class in Corona, California

Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs


Tonight we discuss the 14th Amendment. . . at the Constitution Class in Corona.

AllStar Collision, 522 Railroad St.

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Join us tonight!

Check out tonight's handout HERE.

Hillary Clinton's Armory Of Smoking Guns

by JASmius



A question-begging, even obligatory term, actually.  Since every email Mrs. Clinton sent or received throughout her four years as Commissar of State flowed through her "homebrew" server, and the notion that none of those emails were classified or contained classified attachments is ludicrous, of course there are going to be smoking guns.  The only real question is how interesting each smoking gun is going to be.

On that score, today's is a "two-fer".



"Sid" is Sidney Blumenthal, longtime La Clinton Nostra fixer and insider.  "Sid" was not at the time, nor did he ever, nor was he supposed to be hired not just into the State Commissariat but anywhere in the Obama Regime.  Period.  And so he wasn't.  On November 10, 2009, "Sid" was safely ensconsed at the Clinton Foundation.  Yet here is an example of "Sid" sending and receiving classified State Commissariat emails with which he was authorized to do neither.  A deliberate and intentional security breach - or, as Mrs. Clinton doubtless thought of it, "keeping it in the loop".  Her loop.

And, yes, they went through her private server, also in violation of federal law:

The bulk of Hillary Clinton’s message to Blumenthal was redacted, under codes 1.4(D) and 1.4(B) because classification authorities determined it contained classified information “which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security[.]” As was the case with other e-mails where [Mrs.] Clinton originated classified information, authorities determined that the information was classified at birth and did not allow declassification until November of 2024 — fifteen years after the e-mail was written and sent by Hillary, rather than fifteen years after the information was marked.

The 2009 executive order signed by Obama states that U.S. officials who negligently disclose classified information to unauthorized individuals are subject to any and all federal sanctions provided for by law. [emphases added]

Which is to say, Hillary could theoretically be prosecuted.  Not that she will, of course.  Which is a shame, because sending "foreign government information” regarding “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources" "in the clear" to a non-State employee is open and shut evidence of violation of 18 USC 793.

Oh, and did we mention this....?


And of course, we already know Blumenthal's email was compromised by a hacker.

....and this?



Clinton told Middle East envoy to send classified details from Italy's Foreign Minister to "my personal email."

Kinda hard to pass that off, systemically or severally, as an "accident".  But the Ugly Dutchess will keep on trying.


UPDATE: Finally, something that Hillary and Tea Partiers can agree on.

Hard Starboard Radio: Political Erectile Dysfunction



While Planned Parenthood Cannibalism IX: Fall Out premiers, Pope Francis excuses abortions while the House GOP vows (again) to defund Planned Parenthood; The Sino-Russian Axis is plundering the Arctic, so Barack Obama is deploying an icebreaker to the region after destroying Mt. McKinley; Red China not sweating Trump, but Jeb Bush sure as heck is, while the GOP establishment frantically tries to bring Mitt Romney out of retirement and Kanye West kicks off the 2020 presidential campaign; and the Auschwitz concentration camp museum installs (Wait for it, wait for it) mist showers for their Jewish guests.

Question of the day: Does Jeb Bush's campaign resemble the old, Viagra-popping man in the Fiat commercial at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

Corona Constitution Class: Civil War Amendments

Emancipation of the Slaves, Citizenship Clause (Birthright Citizenship), Equal Protection Clause, Privileges and Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause. . .

6:00 pm for one hour at AllStar Collision, 522 Railroad St., Corona, Ca 92882

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
douglasvgibbs@reagan.com



Lesson 18

The Civil War Amendments 13, 14, and 15

The End of Slavery
Prior to the Civil War, any federal legislation related to slavery dealt with the importation of slaves.  Aspects of slavery inside State lines were considered a State issue.

Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 abolished the Atlantic slave trade, and the United States Government intervened militarily to ensure the law prohibiting the importation of slaves was enforced.  The Framers of the Constitution believed that in order to ensure the southern States did their part in ratifying the Constitution, while remaining consistent with the concept of the federal government only having authority over external issues, and disputes between the States, they could not abolish slavery nationally through the articles presented by the Constitution.  A large number of delegates at the federal convention in 1787 desired the immediate abolition of slavery, but the fear was that the southern States would not only refuse to ratify the Constitution, but that they would refuse to remain a part of the union, eventually succumbing to attacks from Florida and absorbed into the Spanish Empire.

A proposed amendment to abolish slavery during the American Civil War finally passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6, but the House did not approve it.

When the proposed amendment was reintroduced by Representative Ashley, President Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections.  Lincoln’s efforts, combined with the result of the War Between the States, ensured the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56.

The 13th Amendment was ratified into law on December 6, 1865.
Terms:
Atlantic Slave Trade - Started by the Portuguese, but soon dominated by the English, the Atlantic Slave Trade was the sale and exploitation of African slaves by Europeans that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th century to the 19th century.

War Between the States - The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Seven Southern slave States seceded from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America.  The "Confederacy" grew to include eleven States.  The war was fought between the States that did not declare secession, known as the "Union" or the "North", and the Confederate States.  The war found its origin in the concept of State’s Rights, but became largely regarding the issue of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.  Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, and much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed.  After the War, Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were proposed and ratified to abolish slavery in the United States, and to begin the process of protecting the civil rights of the freed slaves.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  Why wasn’t slavery abolished at the founding of this nation?

2.  Why did the House of Representatives not originally approve this amendment?

3.  How has the abolition of slavery affected this nation since the ratification of the 13th Amendment?

Resources:

Congressional Proposals and Senate Passage Harper Weekly. The
Creation of the 13th Amendment. Retrieved Feb. 15, 2007

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).

Citizenship, Civil Rights, and Apportionment
            Citizenship Clause

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution failed in 1866 after the southern States rejected the proposed amendment.  After a second attempt to ratify the amendment, it was adopted on July 9, 1868.  The ratification of the 14th Amendment occurred after the federal government began to govern the South through a system of military districts.  Some historians question the validity of the ratification of the 14th Amendment because it is believed by these historians that the southern States ratified the amendment under duress, and pressure applied by the northern governorships in each of the southern States during the early part of the Reconstruction Period.

The first clause of the 14th Amendment is known as “The Citizenship Clause.”  The clause was intended to ensure the children of the emancipated slaves, as well as the newly freed slaves, would be considered citizens without any room for argument.  The clause reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

This clause has been misinterpreted to mean all persons born in the United States are automatically citizens, which is not the case.  The defining term in this clause that enables the reader to recognize that citizenship needs more than just being born on American soil reads: "subject to the jurisdiction, thereof."

To understand the term jurisdiction, one may go to the debates on the congressional record of the 14th Amendment.  In those debates, and in articles of that time period written to explain the intent of the language of the amendment, one finds that “full jurisdiction” was meant to mean “full allegiance to America.”  The intention was to protect the nation against persons with divided loyalties.

The writers of the 14th Amendment wished to follow the importance of "full loyalty" as portrayed by the Founding Fathers.  As far as the founders were concerned, there could be no divided allegiances.  They expected citizens to be fully American.

Despite the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, the emancipated slaves were not receiving the rights and privileges of American citizens as they should have been.  The former slaves were present in the United States legally, and because they were here legally they were "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," but they were still not receiving any assurance of equal protection under the law.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created in the hopes of correcting the problem.  Some of the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."

The definition of "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" in that act was all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring, but not having any allegiances to any foreign government.

Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."

Senator Howard’s responses to questions regarding the language he used in the Citizenship Clause were recorded in The Congressional Globe, which are the recorded transcripts of the debates over the 14th Amendment by the 139th Congress:

Mr. HOWARD:  “I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127.”

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

“The 1st Amendment is to section one, declaring that all persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.  I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion.  This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.  This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.  It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.  This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”

Senator Howard even went out of his way to indicate that children born on American soil of foreign citizens are not included.

Clearly, the framers of the 14th Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.

The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."

The full quote by Senator Trumbull:

"The provision is, that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.'  That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.'  What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?'  Not owing allegiance to anybody else.  That is what it means."

Trumbull continues, "Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court?  Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States?  By no means.  We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction.  If they were, we wouldn't make treaties with them...It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition that such persons should be citizens."

Senator Howard concurred with what Mr. Trumbull had to say:

"I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now."

Based on these explanations by the writers of the clause, then, it is understood that the intention was for those who are not born to American citizens to have no birthright to citizenship just because they simply were born inside the borders of this country.

The courts have interpreted the Citizenship Clause to mean other things, but we must remember that the Constitution cannot be changed by the courts.  Changes to the Constitution can only be made by amendment (Article V.).

It was through the progressive actions of the Lincoln administration in the American Civil War, and the actions of the courts to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, that America ceased to be “The United States Are,” and became a more nationalistic “The United States Is.”

            Privileges and Immunities Clause

The next clause, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” was expected to protect the newly emancipated slaves from local legislation that may treat them differently.  This clause was a direct response to the Black Codes, laws passed in the States that were designed to limit the former slaves from obtaining all of the freedoms they thought they had been guaranteed.

The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of the proper due process of law.  The right to a fair trial was to be extended to all persons, including the emancipated slaves.

            Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause

The Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection clause, have been the subject of debate since the language written by Congressman John Bingham, the principal author of the later part of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, was first penned.  Bingham believed the federal government should use all national tools available to ensure the southern States behaved as instructed.  Bingham repeatedly stated his belief that the Fourteenth Amendment would enforce the Bill of Rights against the States, but the majority of the members of Congress present did not concur with his muddled and inconsistent argument.

Author Raoul Berger, in his book Government by Judiciary, discussed whether the 14th Amendment should be construed to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States.  Relying on the analysis of Professor Charles Fairman in his published article, Does the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporate the Bill of Rights?, Berger concluded that Bingham was a "muddled" thinker whose views should be discounted.  Berger agreed with Fairman that the framers of the 14th Amendment did not intend it to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States.  Berger rejected even selective incorporation, arguing that the Amendment's framers did not intend that any of the first eight amendments should be made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment

Antislavery activists largely supported Bingham’s conclusion that that Bill of Rights must be applied to the States, and such application must be enforced by the federal government.  Though the Bill of Rights was originally intended by the Founding Fathers not to apply to the States, and with less than a centuryt since the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution behind them, Bingham’s supporters contended that local jurisdiction over cases regarding an individual’s rights could no longer be allowed because the southern States could not be trusted to be fair to the newly emancipated slaves.

Bingham’s call for an incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States established the concept that all people’s rights are supposed to be protected by the federal government.  The Founding Fathers did not apply the Bill of Rights to the States from the beginning because giving that kind of power to a potentially tyrannical federal government carries with it many pitfalls.  As the quote by Gerald Ford goes, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”  Nonetheless, despite the dangers of a central government dictating to the States regarding their laws regarding individual rights, because of the mistreatment of the former slaves by the Southern States, the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, have been commonly interpreted to mean that the Bill of Rights is applicable to the States.

Since the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights did not take hold as a result of the 14th Amendment, as the statists that supported Bingham’s position had desired, the federal courts stepped in and took pursuit.  Pursuing a nationalist agenda, the courts disregarded the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, as well as the conclusions of the Congress regarding the 14th Amendment, and began to selectively incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, beginning with the Slaughterhouse Cases just five years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.  A five to four vote by the high court interpreted the Privileges and Immunities Clause as the authority to enforce The Bill of Rights against the States.  Subsequent cases also used the 14th Amendment as an authority for incorporation.

The courts, through this process of incorporating The Bill of Rights to the States, have changed the Constitution through unconstitutional means, and against original intent.  As originally intended, all provisions in the U.S. Constitution apply to the federal government, unless otherwise noted.  The Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the federal government, and if we are to remain in line with the original intent of the Founding Fathers, State sovereignty must remain protected by that original intent.

The attitude of the southern States, and their refusal to treat the former slaves fairly led to a perceived need for clarification and enforcement by the federal government, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and eventually to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

A separate but equal doctrine existed for more than fifty years, despite numerous attempts to ensure blacks enjoyed full rights and privileges of citizenship.

In modern politics, laws continue to test the limits of the Equal Protection Clause.  While the clause was intended to make sure that everyone is treated equally under the law, politicians supporting the Affordable Care Act have handed out exemptions to members of Congress, and some individuals or corporations, allowing those that receive the exemptions to be treated differently under the law.

            Apportionment

Section 2 of the 14th Amendment altered the rules for the apportioning of Representatives in the Congress to the States.  The enumeration was changed to include all residents, while also calling for a reduction of a State's apportionment if it wrongfully denies any adult male's right to vote.

For fear that the former slaves would support the Republicans, southern Democrats worked feverishly to dissuade blacks from voting.  Section 2 addressed this problem by offering to the southern States the opportunity to enfranchise black voters, or lose congressional representation.

            Consequences of Insurrection

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason.  A two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress could override this limitation.  The interest was to ban the service of any members of the Confederacy that refused to renounce their participation in the Confederacy.

            Public Debt as a Result of the War

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt appropriated by Congress.  The clause also indicated that neither the United States nor any State would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy.  This clause was to ensure that all States recognized the validity of the debt appropriated by Congress as a result of the war, while bonds secured by the Confederacy in order to help finance the South’s part of the war “went beyond congressional power.”

Political battles over the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013 encouraged some politicians to argue that the “validity of the public debt” clause outlawed a debt ceiling, because placing a limit on federal spending interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (such as Social Security).  The clause in the 14th Amendment addressing the validity of the public debt, however, was never intended to be a general clause to be used by future administrations, but a specific clause only addressing the debt accrued as a result of the American Civil War.

            Enforcement

The final clause of the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to “enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”  Federal intrusion upon the States, however, has been a long-time fear by those that support the concept of State Sovereignty.  The question regarding enforcement was addressed in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, where the opinion of the Supreme Court interpreted Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to mean that "the legislation which Congress is authorized to adopt in this behalf is not general legislation upon the rights of the citizen, but corrective legislation".

In a more recent case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress's enforcement power according to the last clause of the 14th Amendment is limited to only enacting legislation as a response to a "congruence and proportionality" between the injury to a person's 14th Amendment rights and the means Congress adopted to prevent or remedy that injury.

Court interpretation of the Constitution can be a dangerous practice, and we must remember that any interpretation of the Constitution offered by the courts in a ruling are merely opinions.  The final authority regarding the definitions of Constitutional law resides with the people, through their States.  Any allowance of the courts to fully define the Constitution at the whims of the judges opens up the opportunity for the courts to change definitions for ideological purposes, resulting in a judicial oligarchy, rather than a constitutional republic driven by the consent of the governed, and the self-evident standards of Natural Law.

Terms:
Black Codes - Laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.

Constitutional Republic - Government that adheres to the rule or authority of the principles of a constitution.  A representative government that operates under the rule of law.

Equal Protection Under the Law - Laws must treat an individual resident or citizen in the same manner.

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights - The process through court rulings based on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.

Jurisdiction - Full loyalty, a condition in which all foreign allegiances have been released; not owing allegiance to anybody else.

Military Districts - Districts created in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union), headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.

Nationalist - An advocate of Nationalism.

Natural Law - Unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct; observable law relating to natural existence; birthright law.

Original Intent - Original meaning of the United States Constitution as intended by the framers during the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent State Ratification Conventions.

Public Debt - National debt; the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.

Reconstruction Period - Period following the American Civil War during which the United States government began to rebuild the States that had seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy, lasting from 1865-1877.  During Reconstruction, the federal government proposed a number of plans and committed large amount of resources, to the readmittance to the union, and the rebuilding, of the defeated Confederate States.

Separate But Equal - Various laws designed to undermine the 14th Amendment requirement that former slaves be treated equally under the law, contending that the requirement of equality could be met in a manner that kept the races separate.  The result of these laws was a generally accepted doctrine of segregation throughout The South.

State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.

United States are - These States that are united; a group of sovereign member States in America voluntarily united into a republic.

United States is - Nation of the United States containing a number of States similar to provinces ruled over by a centralized federal government.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  How might have the governors of the military districts influenced the ratification of the 14th Amendment?

2.  Does the Citizenship Clause have anything to do with Natural Born Citizenship? Why?

3.  Why was Congress concerned with the threat of divided allegiance?

4.  Did the 14th Amendment eliminate laws like the Black Codes, as intended?

5.  How is it that despite the original intent of those that voted for the 14th Amendment that the Bill of Rights not be applied to the States most of the first ten amendments have been applied to the States anyway?

6.  What pieces of legislation since the ratification of this amendment have been passed in order to ensure that the Equal Protection Clause is properly enforced?

Resources:
Congressional Globe, 39th Congress (1866) pg. 2890: Senator Jacob
Howard States the Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment Published in the Congressional Record, May 30, 1866.

Civil Rights Act, The - April 9, 1866,
http://www.tedhayes.us/CVR_civil_rights_act_of_1866.htm

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln; New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks (2005)

Frank J. Williams, Judging Lincoln; Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press (2002)

John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order; New York:
Vintage Civil War Library (1993)

Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham
Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War; Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, a division of Random House (2002)

William S. NcFeely, Grant; New York: W.W. Norton & Company
(1981)

Voting Rights
The 15th Amendment was designed to protect the voting rights of all citizens, regardless of race, color, or if the voter had previously been a slave or indentured servant.  As stated in the amendment, this article applies to both the federal government, and the States. 

As the third reconstruction amendment, the 15th Amendment faced another challenge that was unexpected.  In some States the requirements were that all voters and candidates must be Christians.  As originally written, the amendment would require these States to change their rules regarding the manner of elections.  Realizing the ratification of the amendment may depend on the support of the States with Christianity requirements regarding elections, the amendment was revised in a conference committee to remove any reference to holding office or religion and only prohibited discrimination based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.

Democrat Party created militias, like the Ku Klux Klan, continued to try and intimidate black voters and white Republicans.  The federal government promised support, assuring that black and Republican voters could both vote, and serve, in confidence.  When an all-white mob in the Battle of Liberty Place attempted to take over the interracial government of New Orleans, President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops to restore the elected mayor.

President Rutherford B. Hayes narrowly won the election in 1876.  To appease the South after his close election, in the hopes of gaining their support and soothing angry Democrats, President Hayes agreed to withdraw the federal troops who had been occupying the South since the end of the Civil War.  The hope was that the southern States were ready to handle their own affairs without a need for any interference from the North.

In the process, President Hayes also overlooked rampant fraud and electoral violence in the Deep South, despite several attempts by Republicans to pass laws protecting the rights of black voters and to punish intimidation.  Without the restrictions, voting place violence against blacks and Republicans increased, including instances of murder.

By the 1890s many of the southern States had enacted voter eligibility laws that included literacy tests and poll taxes.  Since the black population was normally steeped in poverty, the inability to afford the poll tax kept them from voting in elections.

It took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to finally take hold.  The ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated poll taxes, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, served to ensure that blacks in the South were able to freely register to vote, and vote without any obstacles.
Terms:
Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for        voting.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  Why was the wording of the Fifteenth Amendment changed to not include discrimination based on religion?

2.  Why do you think the Democrat Party played a part in forming the Ku Klux Klan?

3.  Why did President Hayes withdraw federal protections against racial discrimination in the South?

4.  How did poll taxes enable the Southern Democrats from keeping Blacks from being able to vote without violating the Constitution?

5.  Why do you think it took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to be realized?

Resources:

Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 3d Sess (1869) pg. 1318

Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished
Revolution, 1863-1877; New York: Harper Perennial Modern
Classics (2002)

Gillette, William, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the
Fifteenth Amendment; Baltimore: John Hopkins Press (1969)



Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs