*(old nfo)


Courage does not always shout . . . Sometimes it is a very quiet voice at the end of the day saying . . . I will try again tomorrow.

Rev 22:20 "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving and God

The following arrived today in my email from Christian Reader.

" Thanksgiving and God

by Gary DeMar

On Thursday, September 24, 1789, the First House of Representatives voted to recommend—in its exact wording—the First Amendment to the states for ratification. The next day, Friday, September 25, Congressman Elias Boudinot from New Jersey proposed that the House and Senate jointly request of President Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for “the many signal favors of Almighty God.” Boudinot said that he “could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining, with one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings he had poured down upon them.” [1]

Roger Sherman spoke in favor of the proposal by reminding his colleagues that the practice of thanksgiving is “warranted by a number of precedents in holy writ: for instance, the solemn thanksgivings and rejoicings which took place in the time of Solomon, after the building of the temple…. This example, he thought, worthy of Christian imitation on the present occasion.” [2]

The colonists of another era were aware of the many instances of thanksgiving celebrations found in “holy writ.” Thanksgiving, as it was practiced by the colonists, was a religious celebration that shared the sentiments of their biblical forerunners, giving thanks to God for His faithful provision. For these devoutly religious people, thanksgiving would have come naturally. “Twice en route the passengers [aboard the Arbella] participated in a fast, and once (two days after sounding ground beneath the Arbella) a ‘thanksgiving.’ When the sailing season ended with all ships accounted for, ‘we had a day of thanksgiving in all the plantations.’” [3]

There are numerous claims to the first Thanksgiving. One of the earliest recorded celebrations occurred a half century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1621. “A small colony of French Huguenots established a settlement near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. On June 30, 1564, their leader, René de Laudonnière, recorded that ‘We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.’” [4]

In 1610, after a hard winter called “the starving time,” the colonists at Jamestown called for a time of thanksgiving. This was after the original company of 409 colonists had been reduced to 60 survivors. The colonists prayed for help that finally arrived by a ship filled with food and supplies from England. They held a prayer service to give thanks.

This thanksgiving celebration was not formerly commemorated yearly. An annual commemoration of thanks came nine years later in another part of Virginia. “On December 4, 1619, 38 colonists landed at a place they called Berkeley Hundred [in Virginia]. ‘We ordain,’ read an instruction in their charter, ‘that the day of our ship’s arrival…in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.’” [5]

While none of these Thanksgiving celebrations was an official national pronouncement (no nation existed at the time), they do support the claim that the celebrations were religious. “Thanksgiving began as a holy day, created by a community of God-fearing Puritans sincere in their desire to set aside one day each year especially to thank the Lord for His many blessings. The day they chose, coming after the harvest at a time of year when farm work was light, fit the natural rhythm of rural life.” [6]

On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday of November 1863 would be set aside as a nationwide celebration of thanksgiving. His proclamation stated that

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy…. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday in November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in heaven.

Starting with Lincoln, United States Presidents proclaimed the last Thursday in November for Thanksgiving. Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the celebration to the third Thursday in November “to give more shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At this point Congress enacted the ‘fourth Thursday’ compromise.” [7] Ever since this pragmatic and commercial approach to Thanksgiving was promoted, its original meaning has steadily been lost.

[1] The Annals of the Congress, The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Compiled From Authentic Materials by Joseph Gales, Senior (Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1834), 1:949–50.

[2] Annals of the Congress, 1:950.

[3] David D. Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), 166.

[4] Diana Karter Appelbaum, Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History (New York: Facts on File Publications, 1984), 14–15.

[5] Jim Dwyer, ed., Strange Stories, Amazing Facts of America’s Past (Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1989), 198.

[6] Appelbaum, Thanksgiving, 186. The celebration of Christmas, in addition to Thanksgiving, has become an ordeal in censorship. Silent Night and other sacred songs have been stripped from public school Christmas pageants and replaced with Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman. Public school officials and school teachers are made to substitute “winter holiday” for Christmas. In St. Paul Minnesota, an affirmative action officer for the state tax department, banned what she called the “unwelcome greeting of Merry Christmas” via the department’s electronic mail. (“‘Merry Christmas’ offense, bureaucrat rules,” Atlanta Journal/Constitution [December 11, 1994], A11).

[7] Edmund H. Harvey, Jr., ed., Readers Digest Book of Facts (Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, [1985] 1987), 125.

This article is an appendix from Gary DeMar's bestselling book, America's Christian History: The Untold Story."



Friday, November 20, 2009

You Might be a Racist

As a white woman (haole) living in Hawaii during the Vietnam War I was embedded in a delightful multicultural blend. With a few rather insignificant exceptions, I was never aware back then of “diversity” as much as I am now every time I go to my local Wal-Mart. There was no in-your-face different-ness that made me want to apologize to everyone I met whose skin color or eye shape wasn’t like mine. For six years we lived among Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, and yes, a few Blacks and I feel richer for the experience. I adopted the dress, the cuisine, the customs, the music, and much of the language. When we returned to the mainland I suffered greatly at the loss of a huge slice of my life.

Not so now. I live outside a very small community which consists of some white people, but mostly Mexican who work at the various chicken processing plants which dot the countryside in the Missouri Ozarks. I don’t know any of them. They keep to themselves and live their lives pretty much they way they were accustomed to but with all the benefits of living in the United States. They don’t speak English so we don’t have conversations. They don’t appear to want to blend with the local folks so we don’t bother them.

For most of my life I have considered myself racially tolerant. But even that doesn’t describe it. The term implies an awareness that demands a stand. I’ve had no stand. I’ve simply lived with people and they with me. I could cite countless examples but I won’t. To do so would only make it sound like I’m saying, “See how tolerant I am?” Nor will I use the term “colorblind” because that is just plain stupid. Black is black. White is white. But a couple of incidents come to mind. Recent incidents, and that’s what makes them all the more significant.

Last year, just before the election, we were talking at work about the candidates and some of the issues. One fresh-faced (white) kid, who would be voting for the first time, asked me if I was going to vote for Obama. I said no, that I was voting for John McCain. He replied, “Oh, you must be a racist.”

In a blog post some time ago I was giving my opinion of Colin Powell and what a disappointment he has turned out to be to us conservatives. I received a comment from a “lady” telling me that it must be terrible to be such a racist a**hole. Hmmm. Hadn’t thought about race as I was illustrating Powell’s walk to the left. Perhaps my use of the word “entitlement” struck a nerve. There is a growing list of words, phrases and definitions that have been left as bloody sacrifices on the altar of political correctness during the last few decades.

Several years ago I was employed as a nurse at a detox facility in a large Midwestern city. Most of the staff assistants with whom I worked were recovering alcoholics or addicts and many of them were black. Things often became tense given the nature of the work and the unpredictability of the clientele. At no time did we as nurses feel threatened by the patrons who passed through our doors. The staff with whom we worked was always diligent in adhering to their job descriptions and keeping us safe. Through the daily challenges there was no color. There was size; some of my assistants were well over six feet and I was always thankful for that. There was also a camaraderie that can only arise from a common purpose.

When I transferred to the hospital with which the detox was affiliated, the work became more rehab oriented and now we had clients who were at least dried out, if not completely motivated. During the time I spent there the third floor was being renovated and readied for a very special patron: the Black professional. The (white) staff on the second floor had no knowledge of what transpired upstairs with the exception of the occasional rumor that floated down. Exquisite decor, top-of-the-line furnishings, color-coordinated paints, a separate entrance. Whose money? Who knows? An administrator was hired from Chicago or St. Louis or God knows where and she arrived a week or two before the grand opening. She came by and introduced herself and later her assistant told us that if we had to come up there for any reason we were to call first and someone would meet us. The (white) staff from downstairs was not to hobnob with the (black) staff from upstairs.

Racism? Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines racism as: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” If you really want to get involved here’s a link to Wikipedia, with all its prejudices and false information.

A concerned neighbor called the police one day when she saw two men apparently trying to break in to a nearby house. When the police (one black, one white) arrived one of the men (black) claimed it was his home but could or would not produce proof that this was true. He then became so abusive and belligerent that the officer (white) had no choice but to arrest him. In the firestorm that followed the arresting officer was called racist, bigoted, stupid (thanks to our open-minded president) and every other epithet that the poor downtrodden African Americans like to apply. Never mind that the (white) officer in question was simply doing what he was trained to do.

Racism? Against whom?

Now there’s a state highway patrol officer in Tennessee who hit the wrong key on his computer and sent an email to everyone on the address list. Here is approximately what was in the text of the email. Keep in mind Officer Gobbell did not compose it. I’m having trouble finding anything in it that is not true.

Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point..............

Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points...

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... and that's OK.

But when I call you, ******, Kike, Towel head, Sand-******, Camel Jockey, Beaner, ****, or Chink ... You call me a racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you... so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

You have the United [Negro] College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.

You have the NAACP. You have BET... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

If we had White History Month, we'd be racists.

If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.

Wonder who pays for that??

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships... You know we'd be racists.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US. Yet if there were 'White colleges', that would be a racist college.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

I am proud... But you call me a racist.

Why is it that only whites can be racists??

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don't think many will. That's why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country.

We won't stand up for ourselves!


It's not a crime YET... but getting very close!

It became a crime when Officer Gobbell pressed the wrong key on his computer. Now he’s been labeled, stereotyped, given a vacation without pay and thrown under the bus by left-wing hysterics, who have not bothered thinking through his “crime.” But we can’t give liberals credit for thinking, can we?

And finally, please read this article, which I lifted from Drudge this morning:

The comments are especially telling. Tell me that Jesse Jackson is not racist and then tell me why.

Racism comes in many colors. It’s just a fact. But when it comes from a black, or Hispanic, or Asian, it’s justified and called something else. If I say I’m not going to vote for someone because I’m conservative and he’s around the bend liberal, I’m racist. It doesn’t make sense to me. But why should I expect sense from a culture that is so driven by a history of hatred that there’s no room for reason? But sometimes I wonder about the (white) Jews who were enslaved for so long by the (black) Egyptians. I guess it’s the old double standard rearing its ugly head.

By the way, back to the hospital and its Black Professional treatment unit: they opened with all the horns, bells and whistles, and after several months and one (1) client, the entire hospital closed its doors on Christmas Eve.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Hypocrisy Never Ceases to Amaze

It was one of those “OMG!” moments. I caught the headline early yesterday morning but in the hustle and bustle of the day I lost it again. So I had to Google it. No problem. I found this article from the Baltimore Sun, which will suffice in demonstrating the arrogance and hypocrisy (like we need one more demonstration) of the president. I particularly liked: "I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger a society becomes, " coming from the mouth of the man who has brazenly censored Fox News, and is succeeding in shutting the American people out of every aspect of his “transparent” administration.

Compare it with this with Don Storch’s post, published October 20th (that’s a month ago, folks) and then try to pin some lucidity on the prez’s speech to the Chinese. You can’t. Because the man is a dolt, a liar, and an embarrassment to thinking people worldwide. Of course, that excludes liberals, doesn’t it? Which is why he continues to lumber about like some out-of-control Frankenstein monster, destroying everything in his path that is good and pure and truthful. May God have mercy on his soul.



Friday, November 13, 2009

The Connection—What Connection?

Not to burden you with too much information, but this did happen after we went to bed last night. Sometimes we actually take all of 2.025 minutes to talk before I succumb to my muscle relaxant, pain med-induced coma and Cecil dives into the sleep of the just. He probably has the worst end of the deal. He puts my brace on to get me up, dresses me, walks the dogs, gets the meals, does the laundry, helps me shower, drives me to church (well, he goes, too,) does the grocery shopping, and still manages to keep up with his blog. Since October 13th, when my car morphed into a crazed being and dumped me into a ditch, then careened across the road and became airborne, diving nose first into an embankment, fracturing my T9 vertebra, I’ve been doing a pretty convincing imitation of a beached whale.

Back to last night. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about our president’s non-reaction to the Fort Hood massacre by an Islamic Jihadist. From the nauseating “don’t jump to conclusions” to his copious use of the word “tragedy” he’s pretty much distanced himself from the outrage of patriots like you and me. Then I realized, heck, he’s been widening the gap by miles at a time ever since his swearing in ceremony. The only time he even attempts to connect with the American people is when he’s campaigning for one of his causes. And, fortunately for him, there are enough on the left to give him the feedback he needs to feed his self-centered ego. So I said, “Honey, has it occurred to you that our president doesn’t have any rapport with the people?” Or words to the effect; it was late. After several seconds my wide-awake spouse answered, “Yeah.” Validation. I felt much better.

But it’s not just a disconnect; it goes deeper than that. It’s more like an ineffable, untouchable, almighty god which has placed itself so far above its subjects that to try to communicate on any level would mean certain death. While countless critics, both right and left, have rhapsodized about his eloquent and riveting speeches—the ones with the teleprompter—I have never seen it. I see, and hear, choppy, stilted, cold words, delivered in a calculated, dispassionate  and overly-efficient style. Maybe it’s my one (1) speech class that I took in college a hundred years ago that has left me so critical. But, I don’t see any warmth there. No heart, no soul, no—humanity. Okay, so that’s another post for another day, when I’ve got my tinfoil hat on.

I guess it was the Fort Hood massacre (Yes, it was a massacre) that drove it home. Remember President Bush on 9/11? Of course we do. The president everybody loved to hate had a way of bringing us together and causing us, for a time, to actually entertain a rational thought or two. He did it on 9/11; he did it when he visited the troops in Iraq; he did it briefly during Katrina, until somebody began yelling, “He didn’t do it soon enough!” Demonized by the mainstream media, excoriated by the liberal hate mongers, George W. Bush, with all of his faults, managed to present a dignified, composed and unifying demeanor even when the world was falling apart all around him. He didn’t give “shout outs” to someone in the audience when thirteen citizens lay dead; he didn’t tell us not to leap to conclusions after the carnage of 9/11. He didn’t bow to the Saudi Arabian king.

The danger is far more subtle than meets the eye. It isn’t just an arrogant, narcissistic lack of empathy; it is a cold, uncaring detachment, which diminishes not only the office of the President, but also the sovereignty of our nation. The lack of recognition of we the people—on any level—indicates the direction he and his comrades are going, dragging us along and shredding our freedoms along the way.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

      Thank you from a grateful American.

To those who gave their all.

Any who gave up years of their lives, went through basic training and beyond, wore the uniform of the United States Military, defended the Constitution, and served at home and abroad gave their all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Socialized Medicine

So the House has passed their beloved healthcare bill. More socialized medicine. $1.2 trillion. Now it goes to the Senate. If it passes and we become subject to government run health care anyone with half a brain knows what lies down the road: increased taxes, decreased Medicare, rationed healthcare doled out by someone who doesn’t know medicine from Marxism. Gone will be any modicum of quality of care because any doctor worth his salt will find another way to use his God-given talents. The cheering by those who believe this is the answer to the nation’s health woes will soon turn to questions, blank stares, and then anger when they realize they’ve been had once again. Of course, by then it will be too late and another one of our choices will have bitten the dust, mashed by another giant socialist footprint.

Think about this: a rough estimate of the number of protestors who marched on Washington DC on September 12th is 850,000. My husband was there; he should know. The number of people who participated in the tea parties all across our nation from the first whiff of Obamunism blowing in the wind is nearly impossible to estimate. The MSM was not interested in even acknowledging that they were taking place, and that they continue to take place, and will continue to take place until members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle realize just who employs them. The House passed socialized medicine despite an uprising of thousands of thinking citizens who saw the writing on the wall and despite a summer of town hall protests and despite the absence of any coherency in the so-called bill.

And who is bringing us the bill? A bill that will enhance the stranglehold on the American economy and American ideals and American freedom in every sector? Why, none other than the Marxist president and 536 members of a congress who already shoved that $787 billion stimulus bill down our throats in February. You remember the bill: the one that stimulated unemployment? Oops. Oh, yeah, it also stimulated John Murtha’s airport.

The same president and congress who took over the automobile and banking industries and are on the verge of doing a sleight of hand with the carbon tax. But we know all that, don’t we? We know how much they care for us and our wellbeing? Now let’s look at these people, who are employed by us, who sit in their hallowed halls, which are owned by us, pull in salaries paid by us, salaries which most of us could only dream of seeing in our entire lifetimes, with perks which are stolen from us. Let’s look at their health care benefits. With a wide range of choices and very reasonable premiums considering their salaries, they are set for life from the second they come on board until their dying gasp.

"Health Care for Members of Congress?

August 25, 2009

Q: What type of health insurance do members of Congress receive? Is it a single-payer, government-run system?

A: Members of Congress are covered by private insurance under the same system that covers all federal workers.


Members of Congress have good health insurance by any standard, but it’s not free and not reserved only for them – and it’s not government insurance. House and Senate members are allowed to purchase private health insurance offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which covers more than 8 million other federal employees, retirees and their families.

It’s not a "single-payer" system where the government acts as the one and only health insurance company. As President Bush’s chief of personnel Kay Coles James said in 2003, while lecturing at the conservative Heritage Foundation, "the FEHB program is not centralized, government-run health care." It has drawn praise both from conservatives and liberals, including President Obama, who held it up as a model for his own health care proposals.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the FEHBP offers about 300 different private health care plans, including five government-wide, fee-for-service plans and many regional health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, plus high-deductible, tax-advantaged plans. All plans cover hospital, surgical and physician services, and mental health services, prescription drugs and "catastrophic" coverage against very large medical expenses. There are no waiting periods for coverage when new employees are hired, and there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions. The FEHBP negotiates contracts annually with all insurance companies who wish to participate. There is plenty of competition for the business; FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health plan in the U.S.

Those who don’t like their coverage may switch to another plan during a yearly "open season" period. To help with the choices, FEHBP conducts an annual "satisfaction survey" of each plan with more than 500 members and publishes the results.

Like other large employers, the government pays a large share of the cost of coverage. On average, the government pays 72 percent of the premiums for its workers, up to a maximum of 75 percent depending on the policy chosen. For example, the popular Blue Cross and Blue Shield standard fee-for-service family plan carries a total premium of $1,120.47 per month, of which the beneficiary pays $356.59. Washington, D.C.-based employees who prefer an HMO option might choose the Kaiser standard family plan. It carries a total premium of $629.46 per month, of which the employee pays only $157.36.

In addition, members of Congress also qualify for some medical benefits that ordinary federal workers do not. They (but not their families) are eligible to receive limited medical services from the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Capitol, after payment of an annual fee ($491in 2007). But services don’t include surgery, dental care or eyeglasses, and any prescriptions must be filled at the member’s expense.

House and Senate members (but not their families) also are eligible to receive care at military hospitals. For outpatient care, there is no charge at the Washington, D.C., area hospitals (Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center). Inpatient care is billed at rates set by the Department of Defense.

-Brooks Jackson


English, Barbara. "Health Benefits for Members of Congress." Congressional Research Service. 25 Sep 2007.

"Non-Postal Premium Rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Fee-for-Service Plans (FFS)." Office of Personnel Management. rates for 2009. undated, accessed 24 Aug 2009.

"Non-Postal Premium Rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Health Management Organizations (HMO)." Office of Personnel Management. rates for 2009. undated, accessed 24 Aug 2009.

Posted by Brooks Jackson on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 11:11 am

Filed under Ask FactCheck • Tagged with Congress, health insurance"

Why are these people so concerned about healthcare for the masses? Is it that they are really agonizing about all the pitiful uninsured, which are piling up in untreated heaps outside the emergency room doors? Do they really give a rip about the great unwashed who drag their infants and their grannies into clinics and get turned away in droves because they don’t have coverage? THEY COULDN’T CARE LESS! It’s about control. Only and always control. And we are circling the drain of the great and powerful toilet of totalitarianism. Wake up, folks. It’s almost too late. We need 2010 and we need it badly. And soon.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Nancy's Busy Tonight

I was somewhat disappointed that the cartoon didn't show up well on the blog. So here is the link to Erin Bonsteel's hugely entertaining blog, where you can view it in its entirety. What a talent.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood—The Diversion

The timing is too perfect. “Never let a crisis go to waste.” For the next several days Fort Hood will occupy every TV screen, every talk radio show, every Internet news source, and every cell phone conversation. Americans are easily distracted.

Before you accuse me of just having acquired a brand new tinfoil hat think about this: What is this administration’s favorite strategy for slipping a BIG DEAL through right under our noses? Distraction.

So, while you’re glued to your TVs and computers this weekend, watching the drama unfold at Fort Hood, who does not deserve this, please keep the bigger picture in mind. Coincidence? Who knows? But I don’t trust the denizens of the darkness in Washington any more than I trust a rabid dog not to bite.

Planned? Who knows? But I wouldn’t put it past any of them. A small price to pay for successfully ramming a vile, obscene healthcare bill down our throats.



Constitution? What Constitution?

When you've got a blithering idiot for a press secretary you don't have to worry too much about what a drooling fool you look like when you're caught with your teleprompter down:

Gibbs Says He Doesn’t Know if White House Has Reviewed Constitutionality of Forcing People to Buy Health Insurance

Monday, November 02, 2009

By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that he does not know if White House lawyers have reviewed whether it is constitutional for the federal government to order individuals to buy health insurance and said that the White House is not seriously considering the concerns of people such as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) who believe the mandate is not constitutionally justified.

This was the second time in two weeks that Gibbs had dismissed concerns that the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to force individuals to purchase items the government wants them to purchase.

Hatch told CNSNews.com last week that forcing people to buy health insurance cannot be justified under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

“But here would be the first time where our government would demand that people buy something that they may or may not want,” Hatch told CNSNews.com. “And, you know, if that’s the case, then we didn’t need a ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ all we had to do is have the federal government say you all got to buy new cars, no matter how tough it is on you. You know, they could require you to buy anything. And that isn’t America. That’s not freedom. That’s not constitutionally sound. Now, there may be some gimmicky way that they can do this, but I can’t think of a gimmicky way that would be constitutionally justified.”

Gibbs was asked by a reporter on Monday: “Have White House lawyers looked at this issue? Has this been examined in any way?”

Gibbs responded: “Not that I know of. I don’t think it has gotten to the point where anybody questions the legitimacy of it.”

The reporter followed up: “Well, Orrin Hatch questions the legitimacy of it.” Gibbs quipped, “Well, you should ask him.”

The reporter asked, “Do you not feel there is any concern at all about whether it is constitutional for Congress to impose a mandate?”

“No,” Gibbs said.

Both House and Senate versions of the health care bill would mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.

While the executive branch is apparently not reviewing the constitutionality of the proposal, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report issued on July 24 looked at it and did not arrive at a definitive answer.

“Despite the breadth of powers that have been exercised under the Commerce Clause, it is unclear whether the clause would provide a solid constitutional foundation for legislation containing a requirement to have health insurance,” the CRS report said. “Whether such a requirement would be constitutional under the Commerce Clause is perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal, as it is a novel issue whether Congress may use this clause to require an individual to purchase a good or a service.”

The CRS report also addressed one of the most frequently used arguments in favor of allowing a mandate.

“Although the federal government provides health coverage for many individuals through federal programs such as Medicare, it has never required individuals to purchase health insurance. While a requirement to transfer money to a private party may arise in other contexts (e.g., automobile insurance), it has been noted that these provisions are based on exercising a privilege, like driving a car,” the report says.

Mandates that drivers buy auto insurance are enacted on the state, not the federal level and are therefore not based on any interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which is a part of the federal Constitution and applies to federal laws.

Former Justice Department Attorney David Rivkin was among the first to raise the issue of whether requiring people to buy a product is constitutional. He predicts if the health care bill is enacted, the question of the mandate will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which he predicts would probably take up to four years.

“This is a mandate that would apply to millions of Americans,” Rivkin, who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, told CNSNews.com. “A good number of them are going to run to district courts and start a lawsuit. It would eventually go to the Supreme Court. It would take several years. There will be lots and lots and lots of cases. And people will have standing. We’re not talking about taxpayer standing. We’re talking about a mandate that applies to them personally. It will take several years to get to the Supreme Court, probably at least four.”

Rivkin believes if this is upheld, it would set a precedent to mandate the purchase of other products.

“Not one person has emerged to tell me what would be the limiting principal for the purchase of health care. You can mandate the purchase of health club memberships,” Rivkin said. “You can mandate the coverage of mental wellness. You could mandate the purchase of new cars every couple of years. That sure would stimulate the automotive sector.”

The non-partisan CRS analysis points to several U.S. Supreme Court precedents.

The high court in United States vs. Lopez rules that prohibiting the possession of a firearm near a school zone is not justifiable under the Commerce Clause. Also, in the case of United States vs. Morrison, the high court determined that Congress did not have the authority to pass the Violence Against Women Act ruling that “gender-motivated crimes are not, in any sense of the phrase, economic activity,” and that expanding such regulation of a non-economic activity would enable federal regulation of almost any activity, including “family law and other areas of traditional state regulation.”



Sunday, November 1, 2009