RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN
ADVANCING THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE
Vol. 4 – No. 1 March 2020
A NOTE OF THANKS
March begins the 4th year of The Rhea County Republican, and on this occasion I want to thank each and every one of you – the more than 400 readers of this newsletter.
I appreciate you. I appreciate your being a subscriber, I appreciate the many kind personal remarks you’ve offered through the years, I appreciate each item you send my way so it can be shared with our fellow conservatives who read this newsletter, and I appreciate every invitation to subscribe that you have sent to your likeminded friends. This is how The Rhea County Republican has expanded its coverage all across the United States and into five foreign countries!
This newsletter is, has been, and shall remain (among other things), a forum for our elected representatives and readers to share information we all need to know.
With the beginning of this new year of publication I renew my pledge to make every effort to continue to bring you news and information of interest to – and worthy of – conservative-minded citizens.
We are better able to defend our liberty when we are informed citizens.
RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY NEWS
Rhea County Republican Party Executive Committee
Bitsy Gryder – Chairman Gary Drinkard – Vice Chairman
Judy Bancroft – Secretary Larry Pendergrass – Treasurer
Linda Pendergrass – Vice Treasurer
The Rhea County Republican Party Monthly Meeting
The next meeting of the Rhea County Republican Party will be held on Thursday, 5 March 2020, at 7:00 PM, at the Rhea County Sheriff’s Training Center, 711 Eagle Drive, Evensville, TN. (Bring a friend!)
The Annual Reagan Day Dinner Will be Held on April 4th
The annual Reagan Day Dinner – The Rhea County Republican Party’s only fundraiser of the year – will be held at the Rhea County High School Auditorium on April 4th. Social hour begins at 5:00 PM, and dinner will be served at 6:00 PM. The Keynote Speaker will be Cameron Sexton. Candidates for Federal offices, or their representatives, will be given five minutes to speak on behalf of their campaign.
Tickets are $50 each or $275 for a table of six. To purchase your tickets please phone Laura Travis, at 423-240-8199.
Minutes from the Previous Meeting
Chair Bitsy Gryder called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Marvin Keener offered prayer and Joe Gryder led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The January Minutes were read by Judy Bancroft. Motion by Joe Gryder, second by Sheila Larson to approve minutes as read. Motion carried.
The Treasurer’s Report was given by Larry Pendergrass, a copy of which is attached to the minutes. Motion by Bob Larson, second by Joe Gryder to accept minutes as read. Motion carried.
The PAC Report was given by Jim Murphy. There has been no activity in the account the past month and the balance remains as before.
Bitsy thanked Bonnie Doss for bringing refreshments.
Bitsy welcomed Guests State Senator Ken Yager and Stan Settles, Regional Field Director for the Bill Hagerty for US Senate campaign.
Mr. Settles is representing U. S. Senatorial candidate Bill Hagerty. He reports that Mr. Hagerty has a law background and has Tennessee roots and values. He is a strong ally of President Trump and is endorsed by him. He was Ambassador to Japan and was the Economic Development Director under Bill Haslam’s governorship. Two of Mr. Hagerty’s goals are supporting construction of the wall along the Southern border and building the economy. More information is available at: www.TeamHagerty.com
The Legislative Report was presented by Kris Bancroft. For details, please see your copy of The Rhea County Republican newsletter.
- Reagan Day Dinner: Joe Gryder reported that preparations are going well. The keynote speaker will be Cameron Sexton, Speaker of the TN House of Representatives. All candidates for the U. S. Senate have been invited and replies will go to Laura Travis. Programs will be printed after candidates and speakers have been identified. Tickets are printed and are available for sale tonight by Laura. Identifying someone to sing the National Anthem is pending; some suggestions were offered. There will be a silent auction and a short live auction; Joe will decide in which auction the various donated items will be placed.
- A motion was made by Senator Yager and seconded by Laura Travis to allow each candidate for office or their representative to speak for five minutes. Motion carried.
- It was noted that the Williamson County dinner will be on March 3rd, not March 4th, as previously reported, so there will not be a conflict for speakers invited to our dinner.
- Bitsy announced that set-up will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the goal of being finished by noon. Donna Taylor will need to be out of town that day, but Bonnie Doss has volunteered to coordinate the decorations. The wooden stars previously used in decorating are missing, unless someone knows where they are. Desserts may be brought either in the morning or just before the dinner.
- Webmaster Report: Jennifer McKinney, was introduced. Jen has been going over our list of requested updates. She welcomes ideas and changes and will be available to talk with anyone after the meeting. She will give Bitsy Gryder a list of Elmer Hind’s award recipients before removing the list from the website. Jen requests photos of our leaders for the website, as well as a list of officers and their contact information. Bitsy will follow-up on this.
- Guests for Next Month: Bitsy reported that Lawrence “Doug” Meyer, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District, plans to visit our next meeting. Also, representatives of several candidates for Lamar Alexander’s U.S. Senate seat plan to be here. Candidates represented will be George Flinn, Josh Gapp, and Manny Sethi.
- Bitsy Gryder reported that there are water leaks in our storage unit. Larry will contact Brown Storage to address the issue.
- Bitsy thanked everyone for their attendance in spite of inclement weather. Our next meeting will be March 5th at 7 pm. Mable Varner volunteered to bring refreshments.
- Bitsy reminded us that the Primary election will be March 3rd. Early voting will be February 12-25. Glen Varner and Debbie Byrd are unopposed for Highway Chief Administrator and Assessor of Property, but it is still important to support them in the primary. A brief discussion was held about choosing delegates.
- Linda Pendergrass, Chairperson of the Rhea County Election Commission, distributed cards from the Election office with all election dates and information on how to register to vote on-line. She also brought several sample ballots and voter registration forms.
- Linda Pendergrass won a drawing for a President Trump/Rhea County Republicans cup. The cup was provided by Ted Doss and he may be able to get more made locally.
- Keith Flatness shared two Jokes of the Month.
- Meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.
ON THE HOME FRONT
Debbie Byrd Receives 2019 Assessor of the Year Award
Rhea County Republican Party Member Debbie Byrd, our County’s Assessor of Property was awarded the 2019 Assessor of the Year Award from the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers (TNAAO), at the annual Winter Meeting.
Upon presentation of the award, President Brad Coleman remarked “the accomplishments of Debbie Byrd, whose professionalism, service and leadership . . . exemplify the ideals, standards, and goals of our profession.”
Rhea County Unemployment Remains High
The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development released the statewide unemployment figures for December, showing that Rhea County continues to rank among the highest unemployment in the state at a current rate of 5.5%. This is an improvement in that Rhea County unemployment has risen to the 4th highest in the state. Williamson County continues to have the lowest unemployment in the state at 2.2%, closely followed by Cheatham, Davidson, and Rutherford Counties at 2.3%. Nationwide, unemployment rates have lowered to 3.3%, with 225,000 new jobs added during the month of December 2019.
Localized Flooding Caused Extensive Damage in Rhea County
In contrast to the exceptional draught that was experienced in the southeastern United States three years ago, the local area has suffered the consequences of extraordinary rainfall with more flooding this year than last. Local citizens, especially those in Graysville, have been repeatedly inundated and have suffered extraordinary property damages. In spite of pleas that have been voiced over the years, they have received no meaningful help from County, State, or Federal government. It seems the State and Federal funds dry up before they ever reach our friends in Graysville, but the flooding never seems to dry up!
RANDOM THOUGHTS – The National Debt, CBO, and Thomas Jefferson
If you’re looking for a worthy topic for a letter to your elected representatives, please consider this:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected this year’s budget deficit will exceed One Trillion Dollars! To make matters even worse, the CBO has projected that our nation’s debt will grow exponentially in the coming years.
For our sake and the sake of our children, we would be wise to remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: “And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.”
RANDOM THOUGHTS – We can’t see the Problems for the Symptoms
Some people are inclined to think the ultra-whacko liberals holding various elected offices are the Problem. I beg to differ! I submit for your consideration that people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and hundreds of others are nothing more than the symptom of what’s wrong with our country. The problem is the uninformed voter! The fact that, not only are such people elected in the first place, they keep getting reelected over and over and over again! Informed voters are liberal’s greatest fear.
RANDOM THOUGHTS – The Coronavirus, the Stock Market, and David Ricardo
As any rational human would be, I am concerned about the potential spread of the coronavirus. Many epidemiologists tell us not to expect a vaccine for at least two years. Having been involved in developing the national response plan for H5N1, I learned that, by the time an effective vaccine for coronavirus could be developed, tested, confirmed viable, and produced in sufficient quantities to end this pandemic, a total of two years would lapse. Quarantines then are the primary strategy for preventing millions of deaths, and Wall Street understands those quarantines will most certainly cause a disruption in trade.
We are already seeing the effects of this disruption in the supply chain as critical products and supplies are vanishing from manufacturers’ inventories and retail store shelves. Some materials experts warn that nitrile gloves, face masks, Tyvek suits, and HEPA filter respirators – the protective clothing used by those who treat Coronavirus patients – are in in danger of being in short supply here in the United States. This troubling report prompted me to recall something I read more than fifty years ago.
Back in the early 1800s there was a London economist by the name of David Ricardo, who saw the dangers posed by interrupted supply chains and, speculating on the economic effects resulting from the Battle of Waterloo, took measures to acquire huge inventories of products and materials he thought would be in crucial demand. Mr. Ricardo made a lot of money off his understanding of the effects of interrupted supply chains – a million pounds sterling we’re told! (Think Warren Buffet.) In the aftermath of Waterloo, David Ricardo advocated that England must always ensure its ability to remain independent of foreign-produced goods – even if it meant that domestically produced goods might cost a bit more – so as to avoid the dire shortages caused by foreign events.
Considering all the foreign sourced products and materials upon which we in United States rely on – food, drugs, electronic components, machinery, energy products, and raw materials, it seems too many people have forgotten David Ricardo’s advice.
Is impeachment the “new normal” strategy for the Democrats?
From the moment President-to-be Donald Trump announced his candidacy, Mr. 0bama set his apparatchiks in DOJ, DOS, Treasury, and every other Department, Bureau, Agency, and Office in Federal government to work to destroy his chances of ever being elected. Laws were broken, rights were violated, classified documents were leaked, lies were spread, and peoples’ lives and reputations were ruined, but Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton because The People saw through those lies and criminal acts and declared their choice.
So, what do we see today?
In essence, the FISA Court has devolved into some high-tech version of the Spanish Inquisition, using the malicious and nefarious testimonies of “whistleblowers” who provide second- and third-hand rumors – “evidence” – that is immediately refuted when the sources are questioned and the facts are brought to light. There are two lessons here; the FISA laws must either be rescinded or those laws must be rewritten so as to prevent the FISA Court from becoming a Stalin-like system whose credo is “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”
After the election, one might have thought the Democrats would have given up, but no! On inauguration day, a Democrat operative working for the Washington Post was overheard declaring “The impeachment process has begun.”
And, indeed, it had!
When the Democrats’ investigations, probes, and hearings failed to produce a centile of evidence that any crime had been committed, they resorted to spreading malicious lies, extortion, and bribes to move the impeachment process forward. Through various investigations and – ultimately, the Special Council headed up by Robert Mueller’s team of lawyers – (most of whom were self-declared Clinton sycophants), the Democrats wasted two years and millions of taxpayer’s dollars and came up with nothing.
But the Democrats didn’t stop there.
Since there were no “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which to charge President Trump with violating, Nancy Pelosi set her “A” and “B” teams, Jerry Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee, and Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, to work to invent some. The Democrats, by this time, revealed their pathological obsession to find something – anything – they could that could be sold as “charge” against President Trump.
Ultimately, the Democrats hatched out two “charges:” Article I – “Abuse of Power” and Article II – “Obstruction of Congress.” Kindly note that Nadler and Schiff cited no violations of any statute – zip, nada, zilch.
In essence, the Democrats shredded the Constitution so they could redefine “impeachment;” it has become merely a vote of no confidence and, unless this matter is effectively addressed, impeachment could well become a cheap political ploy by any opposition party with a majority in the House of Representatives.
One can only imagine what our Founding Fathers might say!
This current phase of the eternal Witch Hunt culminated with H Res 755 Guilty or Not Guilty (Nadler, D-NY), where the U.S. Senate acquitted President Trump on Articles I and II of the charges brought against him by the House of Representatives on a strictly party line vote, with the exception of Mitt Romney, R-UT, who voted to convict President Trump on Article I, “Abuse of power.” The vote on Article II, “Obstruction of Congress,” received no Republican votes in the Senate.
The best indications are that the Democrats have no intention of giving up on their persecution of President Trump, and proof of their intent was again presented when Marc Veasey, the Democrat Congressman representing Texas’ 33rd District, filed H Res 826 Expressing disapproval of the Trump administration’s harmful actions toward Medicaid.
Predictably, this Resolution, passed by along strict party lines (223/190), and all the low-information Americans believed Marc Veasey’s LIE and are, no doubt, damning President Trump for what they perceive are his “inhumane” acts.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Mr. Veasey’s Resolution does not mention that the President’s directive is intended to cease Medicaid coverage to 1.75 million illegal aliens.
The low-information voters do not understand that by stopping Medicaid coverage for illegal aliens, President Trump has, in fact strengthened and preserved Medicaid for those whom it was intended to serve – U.S. Citizens!
But why are the Democrats so obsessed with destroying the Trump Administration?
There are at least two obvious answers to this question: Since the Democrats have nothing better to offer they have resolved to disagree merely for the sake of disagreeing, and; the Democrats are suffering from some sort of mental derangement that causes them to pursue a vendetta against President Trump for his having defeated their ordained replacement to Barack Hussein 0bama – Hillary Rodham Clinton. There are other potential answers . . .
Regardless of the Democrats’ motives, under the administration of President Trump, the United States has reemerged on the world stage as a manufacturing and commodity-producing powerhouse. More than 60,000 new factories have opened for business over the past three years. Unemployment figures in all demographics is the lowest in our country’s history, wages have steadily increased and wage growth has been highest for those workers at the lower end of the scale, while the labor participation rate is also at its highest percentage ever recorded.
The Middle Class has more hope now than at any time I can recall.
Home ownership is rising and 401k balances are skyrocketing as the stock markets boom. The United States has once again become a “producer nation” as opposed to being a “consumer nation” and, for the first time in five decades is a net exporter of energy products.
But the Democrats don’t like it!
Could it be the Democrats would rather see the United States fail more than they’d like to see President Trump succeed?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to reason with irrational people but, perhaps, you know some Democrats who haven’t yet imbibed the batch of “koolaid” served up by Pelosi, Schumer, Sanders, Warren, etc. If you do, I hope you will join with me in starting a dialogue to help bring those souls into the light of reason, and help convert them to rational-minded conservative citizens.
Arm yourself with facts and sally forth. If we are successful – and we must be because the future of our country depends on our success – we can relegate the socialist-leaning Democrat Party into the dustbin of history.
One item that will help you prepare for the current battle is this link to a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union Address – 4 February 2020. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2020-02-04/pdf/CREC-2020-02-04-pt1-PgH758-6.pdf
RANDOM THOUGHTS – It doesn’t take Albert Einstein to figure this out.
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein
RANDOM THOUGHTS – Adam Schiff’s greatest fear?
Tristan Justice, a writer for The Federalist wrote an article that illustrates just how far the Democrats have strayed from reality. On 3 February, in his remarks to the Senate, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) suggested that President Trump might sell Alaska to the Russians, and leave Jared Kushner in charge of running the White House. It’s easy to laugh at such displays of absurdity but, when one gets right down to thinking about it, it illustrates how the Democrats’ obsession to impeach President Trump has separated them from their connection with sanity.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
School System Reform: How and Why is a Price-less Tale, by Dr. John Merrifield, is an informative read for parents of school-aged children attending failing schools, educators who are tired of being “the problem” and want to be “the solution” to creating better schools, and policymakers who are tasked with improving education in the United States.
This book identifies root causes of persistently disappointing classroom outcomes, the policy root causes of the classroom causes of Nation at Risk, and persistently low school system performance. Then the book lays out a strategy for identifying the key elements of a high-performing school system, and achieving their implementation. A discussion forum for each chapter is at www.schoolsystemreformstudies.net
Following is a link to Dr. Merrifield’s website: http://faculty.business.utsa.edu/jmerrifi/
To order your copy of School System Reform, and request of your local library that they acquire a copy visit the following link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/school-system-reform-john-merrifield/1134999631?ean=9781645599616
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Who are your favorite Republican candidates in your area and what are you doing to support them? Your answers will be posted in the April edition and perhaps your ideas can help others who are campaigning in their neighborhood.
[Please email your responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org THANKS! – Editor]
RANDOM THOUGHTS – Nancy Pelosi reveals the mindset of the Democrat Party
On 4 February 2020, most of us watched in disbelief as Nancy Pelosi projected the sentiments of the Democrat Party when she ripped up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union Address. Two readers have pointed out that her actions are likely a violation of Federal statutes.
Marisa Graf Novak, a reader from Brentwood, TN, offered the following: By tearing up (“mutilating”) the House copy of the President’s SOTU address, Pelosi, as custodian of the record, has violated the U.S. Code, below. She has forfeited her office, should be fined, AND imprisoned.
Title 18 U.S. Code § 2071:
(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”
James Hittler, a reader from St. Charles, MO, brought to our attention an attendant statute found in Title 44, U.S. Code § 3106
(a) Federal Agency Notification – The head of each Federal agency shall notify the Archivist of any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency, and with the assistance of the Archivist shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records the head of the Federal agency knows or has reason to believe have been unlawfully removed from that agency, or from another Federal agency whose records have been transferred to the legal custody of that Federal agency.
(b) Archivist Notification – In any case in which the head of a Federal agency does not initiate an action for such recovery or other redress within a reasonable period of time after being notified of any such unlawful action described in subsection (a), or is participating in, or believed to be participating in any such unlawful action, the Archivist shall request the Attorney General to initiate such an action, and shall notify the Congress when such a request has been made.
The only question remaining is whether or not Ms. Pelosi will be charged, prosecuted, and punished for her crimes!
Most Americans were left wondering whether anyone in Washington actually noticed the egregious actions of what appears to be a hate-filled Speaker of the House who heads up a gaggle of hate-filled Democrats who are, in unison, set upon the destruction of the Trump Presidency but, to our relief, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) introduced H. Res. 832 Raising a question of the privileges of the House. The Resolution was co-sponsored by Mr. Scalise (LA), Mr. Ferguson (GA), Mr. Calvert (CA), Mr. Meadows (NC), Mr. Gohmert (TX), Mr. Gosar (AZ), Mr. Hice (GA), Mr. Brooks (AL), Mr. Flores (TX), Mrs. Wagner (MO), Mr. Weber (TX), Mr. Olson (TX), Mrs. Walorski (IN), Mr. Carter (TX), Ms. Cheney (WY), Mr. Collins (GA), Mr. Gaetz (FL), Mr. Abraham (LA), Mr. Austin Scott (GA), Mr. Newhouse (WA), Mr. Palmer (AL), Mr. Wenstrup (OH), Mr. Brady (TX), and Mr. Griffith (VA). Rep. Granger submitted the resolution to the Committee on Ethics. Following is the text of the Resolution:
Raising a question of the privileges of the House.
Whereas, on December 20, 2019, Speaker Pelosi extended an invitation for President Trump to address a joint session of Congress on February 4, 2020;
Whereas, on February 4, 2020, President Trump delivered his State of the Union address, in which he honored the sacrifice of the following American heroes and their families:
- General Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War;
- Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker who was caring for suffering civilians in Syria when she was kidnapped, tortured and enslaved by ISIS for over 500 days before being murdered by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi;
- Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake, who was killed while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq by a roadside bomb supplied by Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani; and
- Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, who is currently serving his fourth deployment in the Middle East and his wife Amy, who works full time for the Army and devotes hundreds of hours helping military families;
- Whereas immediately following the address, while still presiding over the joint session, Speaker Pelosi ripped up an official copy of the President’s remarks, which contained the names and stories of these patriots who sacrificed so much for our country; and
- Whereas the conduct of Speaker Pelosi was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House: Now, therefore, be it resolved:
That the House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of Speaker Pelosi during the joint session of Congress held on February 4, 2020.
COMMENTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES
Elected Representatives from all States and all levels of government are encouraged to share their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and announcements by emailing them to email@example.com . Your constituents want to hear from you! – Editor
Scott DesJarlais (R-TN, 4th District) offered the following comments on President Trump’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a strong supporter of Donald Trump’s America First trade agenda, cheered the President’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today. The trade deal replaces the outdated North American Free Trade Agreement, fulfilling a major promise the President made to promote free and fair trade.
The USMCA solidifies the partnership among the United States’ closest trading partners, increasing our country’s negotiating position with others, explained the Congressman. “There’s no doubt this trade deal increased pressure on China to sign a Phase One deal with the United States,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04), a member of the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees. “It requires more auto parts be made in North America, a change that will continue the U.S. manufacturing resurgence.”
“In the first two years of the Trump Administration, we created 500,000 manufacturing jobs, 500% percent more than the Obama Administration in its last two. We didn’t need a magic wand, as the former president claimed. We needed a better economic policy that includes lower income and business taxes, American energy production, and tough trade negotiations to stop outsourcing,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
“It’s true, allies and adversaries alike have been taking advantage of our generosity. The world is different that it was 50 years ago. There’s more competition. Under new, confident leadership, the United States is winning again.”
The USMCA trade deal will result in 76,000 more automotive jobs, 176,000 total jobs, and an extra $68 billion in domestic economic activity, according to the United States Trade Representative. “This economy is already strong. Wages and incomes are rising above inflation, which has been low, despite experts’ predictions, and fuel prices are low. Unemployment is very low. Consumer confidence is high,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
He said farmers in his home state stand behind the President. “The USMCA opens markets for wheat and dairy. Recent deals have also opened markets to Tennessee beef and poultry. The Phase One China deal will increase agricultural exports by many billions of dollars over 2017 levels,” explained Rep. DesJarlais. He noted the USMCA is the first U.S. trade deal to ease international commerce for small businesses, and his state is in a unique position to benefit.
“Tennessee is a manufacturing and agricultural powerhouse, where small business job and wage growth leads the nation,” he said. “For people wondering how long this great economy can continue, I think we’re just getting started.”
Lamar Alexander (U.S. Senator, R-TN) responded to my communication requesting that he vote to NOT have witnesses called in the Senate trial.
January 31, 2020
Thanks for getting in touch with me and sharing your thoughts regarding the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.
There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.’ There is no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.
It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate. The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.
The Senate has spent nine long days considering this ‘mountain’ of evidence, the arguments of the House managers and the president’s lawyers, their answers to senators’ questions and the House record. Even if the House charges were true, they do not meet the Constitution’s ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense.
The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles. If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist. It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.
Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with ‘the consent of the governed,’ not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide.
[Lamar Alexander retires from the Senate in November of 2020. – Editor]
Scott DesJarlais (R-TN, 4th District) offered the following comment on the impeachment acquittal of President Trump:
“In the midst of Democrats’ latest impeachment charade, their fourth since taking the House majority, Donald Trump is experiencing his highest personal approval ratings and highest ratings of any president in the last 20 years for his handling of the economy. His approval has improved, as support for impeachment has declined. Independent voters are also giving his State of the Union address excellent reviews. While we work together to further strengthen the economy, create jobs and training programs, seal new trade deals, and rebuild the military, Democrats are already planning more attempts to remove the President from office, because our America First agenda is successful, and socialism is not. After the Russia Hoax and several others, my constituents are wise to their games, wasting our time, energy and resources. Impeachment, with no witnesses to any crimes or evidence, and only vague charges, was destined to fail from the beginning. Our country, however, is safer, stronger and more prosperous today under the President’s leadership.”
Bruce Griffey (R-TN, District) shared the following comment:
“I am proud to co-sponsor House Bill 1697, which would do away with taxes on groceries during the months of June and July. This is one way to put roughly $100 million back into the pockets of TN taxpayers. I wanted to do away with taxes on fool altogether, but could not find a senate sponsor for it. I was also told that it might compromise my Constitutional Carry bill, which some claim will result in a loss of revenue for our state, and I’m strongly pushing for passage of my Constitutional Carry bill this year to eliminate taxes on our 2nd Amendment rights.”
Randy Weber (R-TX, 14th District) shared the following comment on President Trump’s FY 2021 Budget:
“This year’s Budget includes $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction, including more spending reductions than any previous administration. The Budget policies would bring deficits
down to less than one percent of GDP by 2030 and put the Federal Government on a path to a balanced budget in 15 years.”
[The FY 2021 Budget is found at the following link – Editor]
William Lamberth (R-Portland), Tennessee House Majority Leader, announced that he plans to eliminate state fees for handgun carry permits issued in Tennessee. For more details see: https://tennesseestar.com/2020/02/20/house-majority-leader-william-lamberth-wants-to-eliminate-state-fees-for-handgun-carry-permits/?fbclid=IwAR2WNHLG3OiW2E4FfmNQQ6B9JSywHnitIw1kO-K2Xp4vNS93NX39V4Qmmsc
COMMENTS FROM READERS
Readers are encouraged to submit their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and announcements from their city, county, state, and country. Please share your ideas, thoughts, opinions, and announcements by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your fellow Conservatives want to hear from you! – Editor
Stan Settles, a reader from Chattanooga, TN and Regional Field Director for the Bill Hagerty campaign for US Senator conveyed a message from the candidate:
Rhea County Republicans:
I appreciate the opportunity to share with you a little about myself and why I am running for the United States Senate. Growing up in Sumner County, my Mom was a school teacher, and my Dad worked construction. As a young boy, I was taught the value of hard work and family values. My wife Chrissy and I are blessed to have four children, and we are raising them with the same Christian conservative values that we both grew up with. I have worked alongside President Trump since his historic 2016 campaign, and I am humbled to have his “complete and total” endorsement as I campaign to be your next United States Senator. As the President said himself, I will be strong on crime, borders, and our Second Amendment. I am ready to stand with the President on day one and fight for our conservative values. When I saw the threat to Tennessee and our country from the Democrat socialist agenda, I felt called to act. We must stand up to Democrats’ liberal socialist agenda that would deeply damage the America we know and love. We saw that clearly over the past several months, as Washington Democrats wasted our taxpayer dollars on the impeachment sham – which was a total witch hunt from the very beginning. I am thankful that the Senate can now put that behind them and get back to working on behalf of the American people. You can count on me to stand with President Trump to stop illegal immigration, build the wall, fight for life, and confirm constitutionalist judges. As your Senator, I will stand with President Trump to continue putting America First. I humbly ask for your support, and I hope you all will continue to stay in touch with our campaign. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Doug Meyer, a reader from Winchester, TN has announced his candidacy for U.S. Representative (R-TN, 4th Congressional District) and has shared the reasons why he is running for Congress.
Why I am running:
Congress is broken. The Democrats have become so shamelessly Anti-American that one often can’t tell them apart from Revolutionary Communists. Worse yet, The Republicans are directionless and weak, and in no position to effectively counter The Left’s foolishness. Career Politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have betrayed The Public Trust. Institutionalized Corruption has destroyed their capacity for effective functional administration and oversight of Our Government. As a result, we are being intentionally and purposefully injected with the poisonous doctrines and subversive agendas of weaponized political movements, such as Globalism, Communism and Islamic Jihad.
“Justice” is all but nonexistent. The DOJ and The FBI are compromised. Deep State Operatives run the show. America’s enemies are tearing her apart. She is deeply wounded, and in real peril of dying. But if Our Republic falls, Hell follows. So, WE must fight back.
I am a Patriot, a Veteran, a Conservative and a Republican, having spent my whole life running towards conflict and fighting for “just causes.” Operating in stressful, dangerous and chaotic environments does not scare me. Making hard decisions, and taking direct and timely action is what I do. I do not flinch. I do not blink.
In my life and career I have been beat, bit, cut, shot at, burned, pee’d on, ran over, lied to, lied about, wrecked, sued, betrayed and stabbed in the back. I will not be bullied. I cannot be bought. And I fear none but God. What America’s Founders fought and died to establish and protect, I will never surrender. It is time for a Political Revolution. Failing that, it is highly probable that a very real and very physical Second American Revolution will follow. In which case, I will join with my fellow Patriots “on the line.”
My opponent talked a good line when he rode into office. But for the decade since, he has taken “the safe road” in all things. While, back home, he supports and is in turn supported by corrupt, influence-peddling “political machines” whose allegiance is only to cheating the system for profit, and NOT to the protection of Our Republic and Her Citizens.
Thus, I am driven to take back the political power which was rightfully bestowed by The Founders upon “We The People,” but which has been stolen through the corrupting influence and trickery of an elitist ruling class who insist that they are somehow entitled to lord over us and are above the law. This is the fight. Only Victory is acceptable.
Please Pray for and Stand with me.
God Save Our Republic
[To learn more about Doug Meyer, visit his website at www.dougmeyer2020.com]
Patricia Turner, a reader from Murfreesboro, TN reminds us of how government expands by sharing the following which was adapted from the work of Richard Salbato, published by Unity Publishing www.unitypublishing.com
THE NIGHT WATCHMAN
Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night,” so they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So, Congress created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.
Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So Congress created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.
Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.
Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”
So they laid off the night watchman.
NOW slowly, let it sink in.
Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration? Anybody? Anything? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so!
Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!
Ready? It was very simple, and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted on August 4, 1977 to LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL!
Hey, pretty efficient, huh? A now it’s 2020 – 43 years later – and the budget for this “necessary” department is $30.4 billion. DOE employs 16,000 bureaucrats whose average compensation package totals more than $135,000 per year. In addition, DOE employs some 100,000 contractors. Look at the job it has done! What were they thinking?
Forty three years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Until President Trump took office, the United States derived 70% of its oil from foreign imports. Ah, yes — good old Federal bureaucracy.
Since instituting the DOE, we have turned over the banking system, healthcare, and the auto industry to the same government. What could possibly go wrong?
It makes much better sense to dissolve all those government entities and let President Trump control those aspects of our government.
The Night Watchman
Elaine Thomson, a reader from Durant, OK shared this interesting insight into the activities of the K Street lobbyists, in Washington, DC. Doesn’t this answer a lot of questions about the unusual legislative activity we see? The old saying “follow the money” is alive and doing very well!
Ten highest lobbying amounts for Fortune 100 Companies
Dow DuPont $75,665,398
Alphabet (Google) $67,390,000
Lockheed Martin $56,610,000
General Electric $53,540,000
Exon Mobil $47,860,000
Connie Rose-Straube, a reader and conservative activist from Kingston, IL shared the following about her choice for US Senate.
As the March 17th Primary Election draws closer, I’d like to raise awareness of the best candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois. That would be Dr. Tom Tarter.
Some voters might feel that Dr. Tarter came from wealth and can’t relate to the average middle class worker or to those living in poverty. You may not know this about Tom, but he was raised by a single parent. His mother was a social worker, a position notorious for not paying well.
Tom has worked from the age of 17 and through college. He started at a community college which he could afford, then transferred to a four-year college with a scholarship and 6 other sources of aid, including work study. After earning his PhD on a Public Health Service Grant, Tom worked in NYC for $14,000 per year. Medical school required more student loan debt, and after that he earned a resident salary for 6 years.
Dr. Tarter is all too aware of the plight of the underserved and those living in impoverished communities having served and treated those individuals as their doctor.
Tom and Mrs. Tarter know what it is to struggle having adopted three sons, paying off student loans, and building a medical practice. A practice from which he retired 3 years early to devote to campaigning for the privilege of representing Illinois and all Americans in the U.S. Senate.
Tom Tarter is the most qualified Republican candidate to address the medical and health insurance problems that we face as a nation. With his background as a physician and surgeon specializing in urology and oncology, he is best equipped to take his experience to the table in Washington and fight for us.
Please visit his website for more information on his platform, and be sure to vote for Tom Tarter in the March 17th Primary. He is the best candidate to defeat Dick Durbin.
[I hope all readers from Illinois will consider supporting Connie’s choice. – Editor]
Diane Weber Bederman, a reader from Toronto shares the following
Justin Trudeau – aka “Mr. Dithers” – the 2020 chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, called for cooperation among international partners and governments to create economic opportunity and prosperity that is broadly shared, “…as a way not just of countering the pull of extremism in some places or the cynicism of populism, but as a way of building a real and tangible future for countries around the world.”
Would that he practiced these values at home!
Where is the cooperation creating economic opportunity and prosperity in Canada?
Canada, a country based on peace, order and good government has devolved in to a country of tribes going at each other. Instead of working together for the betterment for all, participating in our social contract, we are fighting with each other to protect our little areas. This is my land. No this is my land. Whose land is it?
There are approximately 600 Indigenous tribes in this country of 35 million people, and ten provinces and three territories. John A MacDonald, who is now reviled for his interactions with Indigenous peoples 150 years ago, brought all of us together from east to west with the railroad. Seems to me that this is the last thing any leader did to unite this country.
The Legislative Report provides some of the more remarkable bills that have been introduced in Congress. Its purpose is to provide the reader with information about pending legislation that may prompt the reader to contact their representatives to express their views. The reader is encouraged to keep informed about all legislation so they may be aware of bills that effect our lives. Decide today that you will make your voice heard. If you remain silent, your representatives will never know your thoughts! – Editor
HB 1697 Patsy Hazelwood (R-District 27) SB 2683 John Stevens (R-District 24) have introduced the Food Tax Holiday Act, which exempts the retail sale of food and food ingredients from sales tax for the months of June and July in 2020. – Amends TCA Title 67, Chapter 6.
WASHINGTON DC –
HR 5687 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, 2020. (Lowey, D-NY, 49 pages)
While it is unfortunate that the people of Puerto Rico continue to suffer from the damages caused by hurricanes and the waste, fraud, and abuse perpetrated by the government they elected to represent themselves, Ms. Lowey’s bill does nothing truly meaningful to assure proper oversight for the taxpayers who will provide the billions of dollars outlined in her bill, however; this bill was passed by a vote of 237/161 and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
+ HR 2474 Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019. (Scott, D-VA, 34 pages).
Over the last two decades, American workers have expressed their disdain for labor unions, many of which are corrupted, or outright controlled, by organized crime, and most of which donate their members’ dues to support political candidates the membership would not otherwise support. The most significant reaction by the rank and file worker has been to vote to pass “Right to Work Laws” that protect them from the influence of corrupt and parasitic labor unions. Mr. Scott’s bill is an overture to organized labor intended to weaken all existing “Right to Work Laws” and to allow organized labor to once again confiscate a part of workers’ salaries, whether or not that worker has chosen to be a member of a labor union.
This bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 224/194 and forwarded to the Senate for consideration. Republicans who voted against “Right to Work” (and in favor of labor unions) include: Young – AK, Van Drew – NJ, Smith – NJ, Katko – NY, and Fitzpatrick – PA.
For more information please read: https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/commentary/6-ways-union-backed-bill-will-upend-the-job-market?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thf-fb&fbclid=IwAR1t3H-SqyzqVNXL5Zo1RMKpRZqX4Daxc-xiKbbaAzxU6xGirlJCwhKeRHY
+ HR 5712 (Sherman, D-CA) and S 2355 (Warren, D-MA) The Nationwide Right to Unionize Act would repeal the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which allowed States to ban mandatory union membership for workers. If passed, this bill would override the rulings of 27 States, making it easier for unions to take over workforces and making union membership mandatory for all workers in the United States who work in union shops.
These bills are clearly an overture to union bosses who have traditionally supported Democrat candidates both in terms of financial support extracted from union dues and coercion of rank-and-file members to support Democrats.
+ HR 2382 USPS Fairness Act. (DeFazio, D-OR, 1 page) The purpose of this bill is to permit the United States Postal Service to join the rest of government in committing to unfunded mandates where funding of their employees’ future retirement and healthcare benefits (which costs taxpayers billions more dollars than any other agency), is concerned.
At its current rate of financial loss, the U.S. Postal Service is slated to run out of money in 2024. The Trump Administration’s budget proposal warned that — absent any changes — the USPS might soon need a taxpayer funded bailout.
This wasn’t always the case. The mandate only began starting with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. It passed both the Senate and House by voice votes, procedures used for noncontroversial votes in which no record of individual members’ votes is made.
However, that provision has become much more controversial in the years since.
The USPS Fairness Act would eliminate the pre-funding requirement. Advocates claim that it could single-handedly put the Postal Service out of the red and into the black but that claim is totally false! What this bill ultimately does is to enable the USPS to engage in deficit spending – something we seriously need less of in government.
This bill was passed by a roll call vote and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
+ HR 3830 Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act. (Walberg, R-MI, 13 pages) This bill amends Title 31 US Code, Section 1122(a) in a manner that would provide taxpayers with an improved understanding of Government programs through the disclosure of cost, performance, and areas of duplication among them, leverage existing data to achieve a functional Federal program inventory, and for other purposes.
HR 3941 FedRAMP Authorization Act. (Connolly, D-VA, 25 pages) Like everyone else in our country, our government is under continual cyberattacks from both domestic and foreign entities. This bill would enhance the innovation, security, and availability of cloud computing services used in the Federal Government by establishing the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), within the General Services Administration and by establishing a risk management, authorization, and continuous monitoring process to enable the Federal Government to leverage cloud computing services using a risk-based approach consistent with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 and cloud-based operations, and for other purposes.
[NOTE: the FedRAMP Authorization Act would only provide enhanced cybersecurity for unclassified communications. Classified materials are transmitted by other means. – Editor]
HR 5214 Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act of 2019. (Tlaib, D-MI, 9 pages)
This bill would amend Title 5, United States Code, to prevent fraud by representative payees. A “Representative Payee” is an individual or organization that receives federal funds on behalf of children and mentally or physically incompetent adults.
Specifically, it shall be unlawful for a representative payee to embezzle or in any manner convert any part of monies received on behalf of afore described individuals and the penalty for perpetrating such fraud shall be fines, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/8331
HR 5349 Protect SNAP Act (DeLauro, D-CT) Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), who recently switched parties to protect his office is the only Republican co-sponsor.
This bill overturns the Agriculture Department’s 2018 rule that imposed work requirements for able-bodied SNAP food stamp recipients.
Opponents counter that the government shouldn’t be in the business of giving overly large handouts anyway, but particularly not when last month’s 3.5% unemployment rate is a 21st century low.
“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a press release. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”
“Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch,” Perdue continued. “That is the commitment behind SNAP. But like other federal welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life.”
+ HR 1917 (Gallagher R-WI) and S 565 (Ernst R-IA) Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act. These bills would require an annual report – released and available to the public – from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on all taxpayer-funded project that are more than $1 billion over budget or more than five years behind schedule. The report would feature such components as both the original and current estimated costs of the projects, and supposed explanations justifying the increased expenses or late arrivals.
“There are far too many taxpayer-funded projects that are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule,” Sen. Ernst said in a press release. The bill “will require the disclosure of the cost and timeline of these federal projects, bringing overdue accountability and transparency to the process, which will allow us to identify problems before they become a bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars.”
“Mismanagement of multibillion-dollar government projects should not be treated like business as usual,” Rep. Gallagher said in a separate press release. “It’s our job in Congress to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, and this bill provides much-needed transparency of large-scale projects so we can get to the bottom of a problem before it becomes a bottomless pit of money.”
HR 504 DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act (Bacon, R-NE, 8 pages).
This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of Homeland Security to develop an engagement strategy with fusion centers, and for other purposes. The greatest concern with the text of this bill is, by its imbuing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compel the owners of private property to allow DHS to commandeer said property is arguably an infringement of the 3rd Amendment.
+ HR 4432 Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats Act. (Richmond, D-LA, 6 pages)
This timely bill requires the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a report within 120 that assesses threats posed by unmanned aircraft systems and other emerging threats associated with such new technologies. The report shall be based on assessments made by public and private sector stakeholders, and then to disseminate a security threat assessment regarding unmanned aircraft systems and other emerging threats associated with such new technologies to those entities that may be the targets of such threats. At that point, the Chief Information Officer of DHS, and other relevant entities, shall work toward developing a secure communications and information technology infrastructure, including data-mining and other advanced analytical tools, in order to access, receive, and analyze data and information in furtherance of the responsibilities under this section, including by establishing a voluntary mechanism whereby critical infrastructure owners and operators may report information on emerging threats, such as the threat posed by unmanned aircraft systems.
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis of DHS shall prepare a threat assessment and report to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate on the threat posed by unmanned aircraft systems, including information collected from critical infrastructure owners and operators and Federal, State, and local government agencies. Such assessment and report shall also include a classified plan to mitigate such threat, as appropriate.
Definitions (1) Critical infrastructure has the meaning given such term in section 1016(e) of Public Law 107–56 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)). (2) Unmanned aircraft system has the meaning given such term in section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note; Public Law 112–95).
Other bills intended to address the threats posed by unmanned aircraft (drones) include HR 4573 Drone Origin Security Enhancement Act (Crenshaw, R-TX, 6 pages).
Both bills were passed on a motion to suspend the rules by voice vote and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration, as were numerous other bills relative to strengthening DHS systems.
+ HR 5383 New Way Forward Act. (Garcia, D-IL, 28 pages) To reform the process for enforcing the immigration laws of the United States, and for other purposes.
This is possibly the most dangerous piece of legislation that I’ve read in several years. Please visit the following link and listen to Mr. Carlson’s analysis. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr5383/text . Also, please view this analysis.
+ S.J. Res. 68 A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress (Kaine, D-VA, 6 pages).
This Resolution is in response to President Trump’s authorizing a drone attack on a group of Iranian military who were present in Baghdad, Iraq for a meeting with anti-American forces that killed General Qassim Soleimani, the General whose tactics have killed or maimed thousands of American troops, as well as thousands of anti-ISIS fighters. Reports on the purpose of Soleimani’s presence in Iraq remain classified. Following the attack on Soleimani, Iran launched a missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq that wounded numerous Americans, principally with concussions. The Resolution was passed in the Senate 55/45, with six Republican Senators voting in favor of the Resolution. Those Republicans who voted against President Trump’s actions include Alexander (TN), Cassidy (LA), Collins (ME), Lee (UT), Moran (KS), Murkowski (AK), Paul (KY), and Young (IN). Republican Senators Lee and Paul co-sponsored the Resolution.
Senators Alexander, Cassidy, Lee, Moran, and Paul added insult to injury by voting against two Amendments to the Resolution that were offered by his fellow Republican Senators – Sullivan (R-AK) and Rubio (R-FL).
A week after the vote on this Resolution, Iran launched another missile attack against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
HR 2214 No BAN Act (Chu, D-CA, 9 pages). Formally entitled as The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act
This bill would transfer and limit Executive Branch authority to suspend or restrict the entry of a class of aliens by imposing limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions. It also prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as whether to issue an immigrant or non-
The President may temporarily restrict the entry of any aliens or class of aliens after the Department of State determines that the restriction would address specific acts that threaten U.S. interests such as security or public safety.
The bill also imposes limitations on such restrictions, such as requiring the President, State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide specific evidence of a need for the restriction, and to narrowly tailor the restriction to meet a compelling government interest.
Before imposing a restriction, the President, State Department, and DHS shall consult with Congress. The State Department and DHS shall report to Congress about the restriction within 48 hours of the restriction’s imposition, with regular updates. If such reports are not made, the restriction shall immediately terminate.
+ HR 5546 Effective Assistance of Counsel in the Digital Era Act (Jefferies, D-NY, 6 pages).
This bill would regulate (prevent) monitoring of electronic communications between an incarcerated person in a Bureau of Prisons facility and that person’s attorney or other legal representative. In other words, a prisoner may appoint any number of people, regardless of their qualifications, as their “legal defense team” and, in so doing, instruct them on matters that would prevent their conviction of crimes. Such instructions may include destroying evidence or silencing potential witnesses.
HR 5581 Access to Counsel Act of 2020 (Jayapal, D-WA, 4 pages).
This bill would ensure that all persons who are held (detained) at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are provided with (“free”) legal counsel during their detainment. Such legal counsel would instruct detainees on how to answer specific questions.
HR 5826 Consumer Protections against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020 (Neal, D-MA, 230 pages).
As mentioned in President Trump’s State of the Union Address, this bill amends title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and title XI of the Social Security Act to prevent certain cases of out-of-network surprise medical bills, strengthen health care consumer protections, and improve health care information transparency, and for other purposes.
HR 5821 HOSPICE Act (Panetta, D-CA, 15 pages).
This bill amends Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish hospice program survey and enforcement procedures under the Medicare program, and for other purposes. The gist of this bill is that it establishes inspection protocols and evaluation standards that ensure a uniform set of prescribed conditions and practices are met by those entities who provide hospice care.
+ HR 3749 Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act (Panetta, D-CA, 4 pages).
This bill would amend Title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make grants to entities that provide legal services for homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness.
[The United States is NOT a Democracy, it is a Constitutional Republic! I’ve been saying that for years and recently, I read an article by Dr. Walter E. Williams that articulated this fact far better than I ever could have. So, I contacted Dr. Williams and asked him for permission to reprint his work. Thankfully, he consented. – Editor]
During President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial, we’ll hear a lot of talk about our rules for governing. One frequent claim is that our nation is a democracy. If we’ve become a democracy, it would represent a deep betrayal of our founders, who saw democracy as another form of tyranny. In fact, the word democracy appears nowhere in our nation’s two most fundamental documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The founders laid the ground rules for a republic as written in the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, which guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
John Adams captured the essence of the difference between a democracy and republic when he said, “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.” Contrast the framers’ vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of the government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.
Here are a few quotations that demonstrate the contempt that our founders held for a democracy. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, wrote that in a pure democracy: “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.”
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that “in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” Alexander Hamilton agreed, saying: “We are now forming a republican government. (Liberty) is found not in “the extremes of democracy but in moderate governments. … If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy.”
John Adams reminded us: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
John Marshall, the highly respected fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
Thomas Paine said, “A Democracy is the vilest form of Government there is.”
The framers gave us a Constitution replete with undemocratic mechanisms. One constitutional provision that has come in for recent criticism is the Electoral College. In their wisdom, the framers gave us the Electoral College as a means of deciding presidential elections. That means heavily populated states can’t run roughshod over small, less-populated states.
Were we to choose the president and vice president under a popular vote, the outcome of presidential races would always be decided by a few highly populated states, namely California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, which contain 134.3 million people, or 41% of our population. Presidential candidates could safely ignore the interests of the citizens of Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Delaware. Why? They have only 5.58 million Americans, or 1.7% of the U.S. population. We would no longer be a government “of the people.” Instead, our government would be put in power by and accountable to the leaders and citizens of a few highly populated states. It would be the kind of tyranny the framers feared.
It’s Congress that poses the greatest threat to our liberties. The framers’ distrust is seen in the negative language of our Bill of Rights such as: Congress “shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied.” When we die and if at our next destination we see anything like a Bill of Rights, we know that we’re in hell because a Bill of Rights in heaven would suggest that God couldn’t be trusted.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES
|President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461
|U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 40 – Suite 2
Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 244-4944
Fax: (202) 228-3398
|U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn
357 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3344
Fax: (202) 228-0566
To contact visit website:
|U.S Representative Dr. Scott DesJarlais
2301 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6831
Fax: (202) 226-5172
|Governor Bill Lee
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-2001
Fax: (615) 532-9711
|Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Link above provides all methods of contact.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
|State Representative Ron Travis
301 Sixth Avenue North
War Memorial Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1450
|State Senator Ken Yager
301 Sixth Avenue North
War Memorial Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1449
Fax: (615) 253-0237