Biblical and Constitutional Politics

End of the Year Political Unrest

Part One

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

     My new book Tearing the USA Apart covers the political unrest seen in this country from mid-July to the end of November 2018. This two-part article covers events that occurred in December, completing the narrative of political unrest to the end of 2018.

 

Planned Parenthood and Justice Kavanaugh

 

     In my book, I discuss the difference between a liberal, a conservative, and a constitutionalist judge or Justice, and I state that Justice Brett Kavanaugh is the last, a constitutionalist. I explain the difference between these types of judges and Justices and use the debate over birthright citizenship as an example.

     But shortly after my book was published, on December 10, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made a ruling that would also be a good illustration of the differences. It involved the attempt of two states (Louisiana and Kansas) to defund Planned Parenthood.

     Well, actually, SCOTUS voted not to hear the case. There are nine Supreme Court Justices now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed. To rule on a case, it takes a majority of five Justices, but the vote to hear a case only requires four Justices. In this case, the three conservative Justices of Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch voted to hear the case.

     Chief Justice John Roberts (a Bush appointee who has turned out to be a swing vote on the Court) voted not to hear the case, as did the four liberal Justices. That made Kavanaugh the deciding vote, and he voted to not hear the case.

     This vote has many conservatives decrying Kavanaugh and fearful he will turn out to be yet another Justice appointed by a Republican President who turns out to be a liberal Justice. But in voting no, Kavanaugh was only siding with the liberals by coincidence, in that the liberal and the constitutionalist position coincided.

     To explain, the federal government funds Planned Parenthood (PP) to the tune of half a billion dollars per year via the federal Medicaid program. Money for that program is allocated to the states, but with federal rules as to how it is to be spent. Those rules include this funding of PP. Republicans in the US Congress vowed to eliminate this federal funding of PP but have never been able to do so, though why is hard to say, as they controlled both chambers of Congress for the past two years.

     The reason Republicans object to this funding of PP is two-fold. First, PP performs abortions. Now it is true that federal law prevents the use of taxpayer money to pay for abortions, and PP supposedly keeps the money it gets from the government separate from that used to perform abortions. But such bookkeeping schemes do not change the fact that the federal money is going into the same “pot” as other money PP takes in, and it hard to say this specific dollar is being used for a given service while another specific dollar is being used for another service.

     It should also be noted that providing abortions is the main function of PP, as it does little in the way of other health care services and virtually nothing in the way of prenatal services, despite claims to the contrary. This has been proven by undercover operations, in which women will call PP and ask for prenatal services and have been told there are none available. If the reader does not believe this, and you are a woman, then try it yourself. Call your local PP and tell them you are pregnant, that you plan on keeping the baby, and are seeking prenatal care. Don’t be too shocked when they tell you they have none to offer you.

     In any case, the other reason Republicans object to federal funding of PP is that they believe the federal government should not be funding what is supposed to be a private health care service. That then plays into the whole health care debate, that I discuss in my two-part article Health Care Fiasco.

     Now back to the Supreme Court. Given the preceding, conservatives wanted SCOTUS to take the case brought by Louisiana and Kansas and rule that they could stop the funding of PP in their states. Liberals, on the other hand, did not want SCOTUS to do so, as the lower court had ruled that those states could not stop the funding of PP, and if SCOTUS did not take the case, that lower court ruling would stand.

     But why did Kavanaugh vote for SCOTUS to not hear the case? Was it because he agreed with the liberal Justices on the Court? Hardly. The reason he did not do so is because states do not have the constitutional right to override federal laws. As such, he was viewing this case through the eyes of being a constitutionalist Justice.

     In other words, if he had voted with the conservative Justices to hear the case, he would have been denying the claims he made during his confirmation hearing that he would rule according to the Constitution, which I explain at length in my book. And the Constitution gives credence to federal law over state laws. What that means is, if conservatives want PP defunded, they need to lobby their representations in the US House and Senate to change the federal law. It is not up to the states to do so.

     Given all of this, as much as I despise PP and abortion and believe neither should not be funded by tax dollars, it is up to the US Congress to change this practice, not the states nor the courts. For the courts to do so would be judicial activism, the very thing conservative claim to despise.

     Again, I explain all of this in different contexts in more detail in my book.

 

Executive Order on Bump Stocks

 

     On December 19th, President Trump signed an executive order banning “bump stocks.” This device is said to turn a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon. It was used by the Las Vegas shooter, and it has been said that it enabled him to kill 58 people. But both of these points are disputed by gun rights advocates. I don’t have the expertise on guns to comment on that debate, but I can comment on the constitutionality of this executive order, and in my opinion, it is on shaky ground for three reasons.

     First is of course the Second Amendment. I quote that Amendment in my book and discuss its ramifications for semiautomatic weapons. Specifically, during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, he and Senator Feinstein got into a debate as to whether such weapons are in “common use” and thus protected by the Second Amendment. I state that I agreed with Kavanaugh that they were and thus are so protected. The question would now be if bump stocks are also in common use and thus protected.

     The second issue concerns how far-reaching the executive order is. It states that those who purchased bump stocks while they were legal must turn them in within 90 days. If they do not, they will be in breach of federal law and liable to prosecution. But that is an ignoring of the Constitution’s prohibitions of Ex Post Facto laws that I quote and explain in my book. As such, this order should be struck down on that basis.

     Third, an executive order cannot override the Congressional law that previously said bump stocks were legal. As such, this order should also be struck down on that basis.

     Bottom line is, when this executive order is challenged in court, as it surely will be, it most certainly will be overturned, if not by lower courts, then by SCOTUS, especially now that constitutionalist Justice Kavanaugh is on the bench.

     This situation thus another illustration of the importance of Kavanaugh being confirmed, and why I wrote my book, as the events that I cover in it will continue to have effects for a long time to come. And that is true of the next point as well.

 

Michael Cohen/ Impeachment

 

     In my book, I stated that when Democrats gained control of the US House, they would use their newly found power to investigate and impeach President Trump. We are already seeing that play out, as Dems are already saying they will use the plea deal of former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as grounds for impeachment. The mainstream media (MSM), in its continuing hatred and misreporting about President Trump that I document in my book, are going along with the Dems in misrepresenting Cohen’s plea deal as being a danger to Trump’s presidency.

     I already discussed Cohen’s plea deal in my article Big Day in the News: August 21, 2018, under the heading of “Michael Cohen.” Nothing much has changed since then. What was agreed to back then was just finalized in early December, so read that section of that article for details on this plea deal and its implications for Trump.

     The only change is Dems took control of the House in the midterm elections, but they did not take control of the Senate. As I explain in my book, that means House Dems could impeach Trump, but he will not be removed from office by the Senate. As such, all the impeachment proceedings will do is to further tear the USA apart, which of course, is the whole theme of my book.

 

The Travesty of the Mueller Investigation

 

     I have already written much about the ill-conceived Muller investigation on both this website and in my book. But in sum here, to date, it has found no evidence of the Trump/ Russian collusions hoax, no evidence of obstruction of justice. The only prosecutions have been of crimes completely unrelated to Russian interference in the 2016 election or crimes caused by the investigation, which is to say, lying to the FBI. The latter is the case with Michael Flynn.

     But what should be the focus of that case is the persecutory injustice carried on against Flynn, that of the FBI deceiving him into lying. It came out in his trial that he was told he did not need a lawyer when the FBI interviewed him. Instead, the FBI made it seem like it was a causal conversation that had no legal implications for him.

     The FBI also did not tell him they already had a transcript of his phone call with the Russian Ambassador. If they were looking for the truth about that call, they would have done so and had Flynn verify what was said. Instead, they used that transcript to trap him, saying he lied because he could not remember exactly what he said in that phone call, which occurred weeks before the interview. But who could?

     Mueller has also gone after a couple of Flynn’s associates and conservative author Jerome Corsi in the same dishonest manner. The latter is 72 years old and convicted of lying about messages he sent trying to find out what Wikileaks had against Hillary during the 2016 election. He says he simply forgot about those messages and their contents, but when reminded about them, he amended his statements about them.

     But the Mueller team of partisans did not accept that simple and logical explanation by a 72-year-old man whose memory is not what it used to be, so they tried him on charges of lying to the FBI. The poor man is looking at spending the rest to his life in prison for not having a perfect memory.

     But Corsi is fighting back, first filing a legal complaint against Mueller and his team's tactics, then suing them for $350 million, saying Mueller’s team has been illegally surveilling not just him but also his family members. I do hope he prevails, as it would be a great miscarriage of justice for him to be given what would be a life sentence for having a poor memory.

     Then also in December, it was claimed Trump lied about not having business dealings in Russia in 2016. This claim concerned his plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. But it was just that, plans, that never were acted upon let alone came to fruition. He explored the possibility but never actually began building anything. As such, there was no lie, as thinking about doing something but not doing it is not a business dealing.

     Meanwhile, along with these bogus and unrelated claims and convictions, the only indictments Mueller has made that actually concern what his original charge was, that of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, have been of a couple of dozen Russians. But since Russia’s Constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to other countries to be placed on trial, none of those Russians will ever be tried here in the USA.

     What all of this means is, what we the US taxpayers have gotten for the $25 million of our money Mueller has spent so far is not much in the way of what Mueller was supposed to be doing.

 

Government Shutdown/ Border Wall

    

     A partial government shutdown began on December 21st, but no one noticed, except the MSM, who has been going crazy.

     I say no one noticed, as this was only a partial shutdown, involving just 25% of the government. The other 75% is fully funded. Social Security check are still going out, Medicare is still being funded, and all essential services are still ongoing.

     Yes, some 400, 000 federal employees have been furloughed, and another 400,000 have to work without pay. But when the shutdown ends, they will get all get back-pay for any missed paychecks. As such, those who were furloughed with end up with what will be paid vacations over the holidays.

     The cause of this shutdown is of course a debate over funding for Trump’s Border Wall. Trump says it is essential and that “walls work.” Dems are saying walls do not work and are a waste of money.

     I discuss “Caravans and Illegal Immigration” in two chapters in my book. I explain that a Border Wall does work, so I will not pursue that here, except to say, every Border Agent I have heard interviewed on the matter says, “walls work,” while those who disagree with building a wall have never been to the border.

     With that said, here I want to address the rhetoric being used by Dems, as it illustrates a point I discuss at length in my book. During their joint press conference at the start of the shutdown, presumptive House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Church Schumer called Trump “uncaring.” They said he did not care about the American people nor about the American government. They are also now calling Trump’s Wall “immoral.”

     Those comments are quite hypocritical as recordings have surfaced of them and other prominent Dems, such as then Senator Barrack Obama, calling for a border wall and increased border security back in the ‘00s. But since Trump made a Border Wall and increased border security a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, they are now against both.

     In addition, most of the Dems calling a wall “immoral” have walls or at least fences around their own homes, as do most celebrities. If walls don’t work, then why put them up around their homes? Those same celebrities are calling for gun control, while they are protected by armed bodyguards.

     I discuss such hypocrisy on the part of Dems and the left in my book. I also discuss the use of derogatory labels they place on those they disagree with, such as racist, sexist, and Nazi. But now they are using the terms “uncaring” and “immoral.” But whatever the terms, such labeling is to avoid logical arguments, which the left has none of. That is why they must attack their opponents, as they cannot logically defend their positions. I address this point at length in my book, as it is at the root of the tearing apart of the USA.

     As for the shutdown and the Wall, the former could be avoided if Congress would actually pass a budget, which they have not done in many years. Instead, we keep getting “continuing resolutions” (CRs) that only last a few months, then we have the same fights and the same threats of a government shutdown all over again. This time, once a spending bill is passed and the government is reopened, we will go through this all over again come February.

     As for the cost of the Border Wall, Trump is asking for $5 Billion. That is a mere 0.13% of the $4.4 Trillion US budget, so the fight really is not about money. It’s about keeping Trump from getting a political “win” and fulfilling his main campaign promise.

     Congress was able to find $10.6 Billion to give in aid to Central America. Yes, over twice what Trump is asking for to Build the Wall was just given away to counties that will just squander it, without it doing any good.

     The reasoning in giving that aid is that people are coming here because of the poor living conditions in Central America, so if we give their countries money, that will improve their conditions, so they won’t come here. But we have been giving them billions for many years, and it has not worked yet. That is because the money is never used to benefit the people but rather to fatten the coffers of corrupt government officials and the drug cartels.

     Meanwhile, in my book, I discuss Trump’s “Stay in Mexico” plan. But at that time, it was unsure if the incoming Mexican administration would go for it or not. But now that the new Mexican President is seated, he has agreed that those seeking asylum in the USA will stay in Mexico while their claims are being adjudicated. Trump was able to get that concession from him due to the much-improved trade deal, the USMCA, that is replacing the faulty NAFTA.

     Thus, Trump is working to fix this border mess, it is Congress that is not doing its duty and passing a budget with money for Border Security and a Border Wall.

     In the end, what will probably happen is Trump and the new Democratic-controlled House will reach a compromise in which there is some funding but not as much as Trump wants. As a result, rather than an effective Border Wall, we will end up with yet another ineffective border fence. Dems will then point to that ineffective fence and say, “See, we told you walls don’t work.”

     Moreover, during the 2016 campaign, Trump declared repeatedly that Mexico would pay for the Wall. Such a claim was part of chants during his campaign rallies. The MSM and Dems are saying that if that were true, why is Trump so firm about having Congress allocate money for it now? “Why not just get Mexico to cut a check for it like he promised?”

     However, no one in his right mind thought Mexico would be cutting a check for billions of dollars to the US Treasury for the Border Wall. It was understood by thinking people that Mexico would pay for it in the form of tariffs or an improved trade deal. Trump threatened the former as a negotiating tactic to arrive at the latter.

     And that tactic worked. The aforementioned USMCA is that improved trade deal. And the increased revenues as a result of it over time will more than pay for the Wall. But of course, the MSM and Dems refuse to look at it that way. Any increased revenue will go into the US Treasury, but it will then be squandered away by the new Democratic-controlled House on everything and everything except the Border Wall.

     Finally on the Wall, some Dems have been pointing to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as an example of “immigrants” whose movements in the Christmas narratives in the Gospels would have been thwarted by Trump’s polices and a Border Wall. I state in my book that I plan on writing a multi-part article or maybe a book on “The Bible and Immigration,” so I will hold off commenting on such nonsense until then.

 

This two-part article is concluded at End of the Year Political Unrest: Part Two.

 

References:

     See end of Part Two.

 

End of the Year Political Unrest: Part One. Copyright 2019 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond

            The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.

The above article was posted on this website January 2, 2019.

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