Bending the Law Until It Breaks – Part 2. Hillary Clinton – Honest and Trustworthy? Why The Polls Say No

By Jim Edsall

On Monday, September 6, 2016, CNN released a national poll showing Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton 45% to 43%, confirming that her post-convention bounce has evaporated. The poll’s internal numbers show Trump’s support increasing among Republicans as he stays on message and avoids making negative news. But, Trump’s most significant gains have been in the category of who is more “honest and trustworthy.” Trump now rates at 50%, while Hillary Clinton has fallen to 35%.[1] This parallels a devastating New York Times/CBS News poll from July 2016 showing that 67% of Americans believe Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.[2] Her numbers are historically low for one main reason — people are reacting to the findings by the FBI that Hillary Clinton placed national security information on a private email system and then was not honest about it. The fact that she was not indicted is not seen as exoneration. It is viewed as special treatment for a powerful political insider. And, new information is being released almost daily regarding the content of the emails, which show that wealthy donors to the Clinton Foundation received priority access to the Clinton State Department.

Private Email Server

Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State for the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency. During that time, she used a personal email address on a private email server kept in the basement at her home in Chappaqua, NY. She refused to use a government email server and .gov email address despite “very specific guidance” from the White House.[3] She insisted on using her private Blackberry for all email communications, even while overseas in nations potentially hostile to the United States.[4]

The existence of her private email server was only discovered when the State Department reported it in 2014 to the House Select Committee investigating the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.[5] She at first denied having sent or received any emails that were classified. Then she changed her story, contending that none of the emails she sent or received were “marked classified.” She had deleted nearly 32,000 of her emails before Continue reading

Bending the Law Until It Breaks – Part 1. Barack Obama Disregards the Constitution and the Law

By Jim Edsall, Attorney at Law

On August 2, 2016, President Obama declared Republican nominee Donald Trump “unfit to serve as President.” He called into question Trump’s temperament, preparedness, and knowledge of “our constitutional traditions and the rule of law.” Trump will certainly have to convince the voters regarding his temperament and preparedness. That was fair game. But, there was palpable irony in the President’s condescension regarding the Constitution and the law. During his presidency Barack Obama has egregiously disregarded both the Constitution and the law, and Hillary Clinton has expressed a desire to do the same, and worse.

The U.S. Constitution is renowned for its system of checks and balances between three branches of government – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. It requires the Congress and the President to work together to make the nation’s laws. The Supreme Court decides whether those laws are Constitutional. This was designed to prevent the concentration of power in one branch of government, or one person. Post-Revolutionary War Americans did not want another king, and they saw to that in the drafting of the Constitution.

The President’s chief duty under Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In taking the oath of office, a president swears to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and to the best of their ability “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Over the past seven-and-a-half years, President Obama has sought to expand executive powers far beyond those granted in the Constitution, and has failed to faithfully execute the laws. He has issued executive orders unilaterally changing the laws, circumventing the constitutional role of the Congress. His defenders say that he has issued fewer executive orders than many of his predecessors, but the number[1] is not the chief concern – his executive orders have all too often been unconstitutional. He has refused to enforce laws, and on his watch one federal agency unfairly targeted his political opponents, while another issued regulations that infringed on the jurisdiction of the States. This is a dangerous abuse of power.

Even if you believe that Barack Obama is advancing social, economic, racial, and environmental justice, and want Hillary Clinton to do the same, the ends do not justify the means when they endanger our system of government, and our freedom. 

The President Circumvents Congress — ObamaCare  

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “ObamaCare”, was signed into law in March 2010. Since that date, the Obama Administration has made over thirty changes to the law without the consent of the Congress, including Continue reading

Good Intentions, Wrong Solutions – Progressives Legalize Pot

by Jim Edsall

Progressives, you have good intentions, not wanting people to be imprisoned for recreational use of marijuana (“pot”), which you see as a victimless crime. But to counter that you propose the wrong solution, advocating legalization. Legality is society’s imprimatur. It is society’s way of saying, “it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with it, great, do your own thing, no harm-no foul.” But that is not true. There is harm.

First there is the smoke itself. You oppose cigarette smoking and declare the manufacturers evil because they produce an addictive product that causes lung cancer. Fine, but guess what, most pot is consumed by smoking. And it’s not even filtered. According to the American Lung Association, one “joint” of pot has four times more tar than any tobacco cigarette, not to mention thirty-three cancer causing chemicals. Yet, President Obama says pot is no more harmful than alcohol? Maybe that’s true, if you breathe some booze into your lungs.

Many claim pot is not a gateway drug. I say, “Poppycock”, which means, your statement is patently false (it is also a great munchie – popcorn covered in light golden caramel with pecans, cashews or peanuts – mmmm). Pot is habitual at its best, and addictive at its worst. It is just one of many ways to get high. I, and many teenage cohorts of mine, said of pot, “Hey, I liked that drug, let’s try another!” So, we did, and we often mixed in unhealthy quantities of alcohol. By God’s grace alone, I survived it.*

Stoned is the opposite of sharp. You are not at your best or most productive. I can attest from personal experience, and enough observation of friends to count as a clinical study, that pot blunted our motor skills, gave us artificial feelings of confidence and power, adversely affected our ability to concentrate, and made us inclined to simply lie around listening to music or jamming on our guitars.

You want kids to be sharp in school so you give them drugs that fight ADD and ADHD. But, then you legalize pot, making it far more accessible to kids, who then smoke it and come to class in a pot-induced haze. You recognize the dangers of impaired driving and support heavy sentences for DUI. Then you legalize pot and send even more impaired drivers out onto the streets risking other peoples’ lives (see “More Colorado Drivers in Fatal Crashes Positive for Pot, Study Says”, Denver Post, 5/15/14). How can you not see the inherent problems with this? Are you stoned or something?

You don’t have to legalize all pot use to keep people out of prison. Simply lighten the sentences to fines or community service. Prove you care about young peoples’ mental development and the safety of people on the road. Discourage the use of pot by keeping it illegal in most instances. Only legalize pot for medicinal purposes, in pre-cooked edibles or capsulized form, requiring a doctor’s prescription.

I am sure some potheads will hear of this former user’s change of heart and call me “Traitor”. Here’s my rejoinder: “Sharper”, “Clearer”, “Safer Driver”, “Got No Lung Cancer.” Let’s encourage people to get high on life, not on pot. Society will be better for it. And you will, too.

*Author’s Note: I could feel God drawing me to Him when I was age 20, the Good Shepherd seeking a lost sheep. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, and the change in me was instantaneous and miraculous. I no longer desired any of the drugs I had used habitually. Instead, I was on the highest of highs being friends with the Creator of the universe! When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, you will become a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17 ), and you will be set free indeed ( John 8:36). If you are struggling with a drug habit or addiction, call out to Him. Ask Him to be Lord of your life. He will dwell with you, and you with Him, forever.   

Georgette Forney and Anglicans for Life

Hey, All,
An article of mine has been published in the most recent issue of WORLD magazine, along with a companion piece at their online magazine, worldmag.com. The articles are about Georgette Forney and her ministry, Anglicans for Life. Here is the link:

http://www.worldmag.com/2014/01/the_wrongs_resulting_from_the_right_to_abortion

The first paragraph includes a link to my “short item” article published on February 8, 2014, in the print magazine. Click that link and it will take you to the “Lifestyle” page, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to the article entitled, “Abortion Regrets”. Thanks for reading.

Jim Edsall

Dear Chris Matthews, My Opposition to President Obama is Not Based on Hate

Today, I sent this message to Chris Matthews of MSNBC to counter the claim that he made on last night’s Rachel Maddow’s show that opposition to President Obama is based on hate…
October 15, 2013

To: Chris Matthews of MSNBC  

Dear Chris, 

Last night, on Rachel Maddow’s show, you came to the conclusion that southern conservatives oppose President Obama because of hate. I am a 52 year-old white male from the south, who generally votes conservative, but I am not a racist — I was baptized by an African-American pastor, who also presided at my wedding — and I don’t hate the President. I just disagree with him on many of his policy positions.   

You came to your conclusion while discussing Sunday’s Million Vet March at the World War II memorial, where there was one man with a confederate flag. Many who own such flags say they keep them as a symbol of heritage and independence, not in support of slavery and racism. I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just that we don’t know the man’s heart on that issue. Either way, he was only one of thousands of people who attended the rally. His flag doesn’t justify condemning the rest of the crowd, let alone everyone who opposes the President.

The anger that you saw among others at the event was not driven by hate but by indignation. The National Park Service, a department of the Executive Branch under President Obama, had erected barriers at an open air memorial. It was an apparent attempt to create a backlash against the Republicans over the government shutdown. Those barriers did not have to be erected. The public outrage was understandable, especially when coupled with the Defense Department’s recent refusal to pay death benefits to families of soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan. This should have been the story. Instead, the story centered only on the one guy with a confederate flag, and the anger of the crowd as if it had no justification.

The shutdown itself occurred because we have divided government. Many in the media have expressed dismay that there is opposition to the President and his health care law, since he was elected not once, but twice. A majority of House Republicans were also elected twice, in 2010 and 2012, chiefly due to a majority of the American people being opposed to “ObamaCare.” Those of us who voted for Republicans were concerned that the new health law would hurt middle class people. The facts are bearing that out.

I am a self-employed attorney. My wife worked nights as a nurse while I was in law school. I took on $65,000.00 in school debt to make it through. The reward: I don’t have to answer to a boss, just my clients. That used to be the American dream. However, it feels less and less like a dream since I pay for my own health insurance. I just received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield telling me that my current plan has been canceled and my monthly premium will go up from $588 to $897 for a plan with a high deductible. The letter stated that the increase was due to the Affordable Care Act, and that I have to pay more to help cover the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. Essentially this is a tax on the middle class, a redistribution of what wealth I have. Maybe NBC pays your health insurance. I have to pay my own. What happened to the President’s promise that I will save $2500.00 and be able to keep my current plan?

There are so many other ways we could have addressed the uninsured and pre-existing conditions: expanding Medicare with full federal funding for the states, direct government subsidies helping everyone pay their premiums as they do in Germany, and why not throw in some good GOP ideas for keeping costs down like interstate competition between insurance companies and reasonable tort reform? We could have paid for health care reform through tax reform. A frank national discussion in tough times might even have gotten the majority to support an increase in the amount of income that is subject to payroll tax. Instead, the Democrats imposed a massive new bureaucracy, with individual mandates, enforced by the IRS, without a single Republican vote. If I hate this, does it mean I hate the President? No. I hate the fact that he addressed a real problem with a bad solution.

The House Republicans wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act. I appreciated that, as I want it repealed and replaced, but that was an over-reach since the Democrats control the Senate. The GOP soon backed off that position, attempting merely to delay the individual mandate for one year. Prior to the shutdown there was bipartisan support for such a delay. Once the shutdown began, the left labeled that position “terrorism” and “insanity” borne by “hate” and “racism”.

It is all too easy to dismiss the reasonable grievances of the opposition by vilifying them personally. Not only is it unfair, it’s unproductive. If you really want the country to come together: acknowledge the real concerns of those you don’t agree with, engage them in dialogue without condescension, consider their recommendations, try to win them over, attempt to find reasonable common ground, and don’t attempt to judge hearts — that is God’s province alone. I will do my best to do the same.

Jim Edsall

Banner Elk, NC

Facts Correcting Liberals’ Misconceptions

by Jim Edsall

MISCONCEPTION 1: Tax revenues are down because the rich don’t pay enough.

FACT: Tax revenues are down because 46% of Americans pay NO federal income tax

The biggest reason that government revenues are relatively low compared to GDP recently is NOT that the tax rate on the rich is “only” 35%. It is because Bush got so progressive with his tax cuts that 46% of Americans now pay NO federal income taxes:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/26/pf/taxes/income-tax/index.htm

Yes, all who are employed pay payroll taxes (“FICA” toward Medicare and Social Continue reading

The ObamaCare Ruling – Chief Justice Roberts Creates the Penaltax

July 2, 2012 by Jim Edsall

On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the mandate to purchase health insurance in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) is constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal wing of the court to form a majority upholding the law, and how he reached that conclusion is highly problematic for all Americans. Writing the majority opinion, Roberts declared that “penalties” imposed for failure to purchase health insurance are not permissible under the Commerce Clause, but that they are constitutional as a “tax”. In so doing, he strayed far beyond the limits of the role of the court, re-writing a statute in the name of deference to the legislature, and disregarding precedent established by previous tax cases.

By this ruling, Roberts greatly expanded the power of Congress to impose punitive penalties on people who do not behave as they wish. The government can now punish you with a tax if you don’t buy an energy efficient house, or a GM car, or, yes, even broccoli. Liberals who applaud this ruling, beware – one day a different Congress and President could use this power in ways that you would not like. A law could now be passed declaring that unless a person joins the military and serves a minimum of two years he or she will be charged $2000.00 per year until they change their mind and join. Under the precedent set by John Roberts’ ruling, such a law would be “constitutional”. The government wouldn’t be telling anyone that they have to join, just that if they don’t they would have to pay for their “non-participation” and for being a “free rider”. They can even call it a “penalty” to avoid the political fall-out of calling it a “tax”. The government would just take it out of their tax refund, just like with ObamaCare.

If you are not already bothered by the effect of this decision, consider the twisted reasoning by which it was reached. Continue reading