Boehner Unplugged!

boehnerJohn Boehner announced his resignation as Speaker and also from the House effective at the end of October. For many in the tea party, this is good news. Despite winning the House of Representatives in 2010 by an overwhelmingly anti-Obama electorate, Boehner did not do enough to put a halt to executive over-reach. The EPA does what it wants. The IRS does what it wants. HHS does what it wants. Even after the Republicans won the Senate by a nine-vote swing in 2014, they still acted like the inferior branch of government rather than an equal to either the executive or the judicial.

During the Jim Jordan town hall on Sept 2, Jordan listed a few important make-or-break items that will come up in September and October. They include the budget, spending caps, the debt ceiling, the Export-Import Bank, and funding for Planned Parenthood. Jordan said these issues would be definitive moments for the GOP Establishment class as well as his own Freedom Caucus. If the Washington insiders win, the Freedom Caucus loses.

Earlier this afternoon, Ben Shapiro wrote for Breitbart exactly what I was about to write: Boehner will pass all of these Establishment bills before falling on his sword. He will be known as “The Martyr of the Metro.”

I hope to be wrong, but I’m afraid we will see bills pass the House with more Democrat support than Republican support. Planned Parenthood will be funded, the Ex-Im Bank will open it’s doors again, the debt ceiling will be lifted, and everybody in DC will get a raise. Again, just the threat of Obama’s pen will keep the GOP Congress in line. Once that business is cleared, then a conservative will be allowed to do whatever possible during the last year of a lame duck presidency.

Today’s events might be a victory for the Freedom Caucus, but only after the GOP Establishment wins first.

Religion: A Constitutional Litmus Test

Ben Carson on NBCWe expect liberals to misconstrue comments made by conservatives. They need to strike fear into anybody giving Republicans a fair shot. Unfortunately we have some in the Republican Party who would rather join the attack on Dr. Ben Carson than understand the valid point he was making. People are shaking their heads wondering why Carson doesn’t understand that the Founders wanted no religious litmus test for office. Carson’s point, for those who choose to understand it, is that some people have a religious ideology that fails the constitutional litmus test

Now we must concede that Republican candidates need to view network interviews not as gentle conversations, but instead as the hostile interrogations that they truly are. We can find interviews on climate change and homosexuality where Carson, for example, will take the bait instead of challenging the premise.

The Meet the Press interview on September 20 is a perfect example of Carson answering a question that he was not asked. Continue reading

Marriage: Do We Now Have More Liberty or Less?

Steve Merkel with chains around his neckSamuel Adams – “If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

Like many members of Totally Engaged Americans and other liberty groups, Steve Merkel (member of the Thomas Jefferson Knowledge Institute) has expressed grave concerns over the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, better known as the gay marriage ruling.

Marriage lives in two realms, the political and the spiritual. By political, I’m not referring to the common D vs. R battle but to the generic community arrangement that allows society to function. Marriage agreements have been necessary to pass down property and to divide wealth. This was true in England, in early America, and today. Marriage also has roots in the Christian religion and western civilization that heavily influenced the Founders. Within United States history, Christian marriages have been conducted and solemnized by the church.

Historically, Americans have always had limitations set on who can become married. We still have restrictions if a person is too young, if the people are closely related, and if one is currently married to somebody else. For over 200 years in this country and over 2000 years of religious history, we’ve had restrictions on gender. This was true until June of 2015 when Anthony Kennedy and four other individuals decided on behalf of the citizens of this entire nation that gender was not relevant to marriage.

We must remember that the authors and supporters of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were all within a handful of generations who left England to attain more freedom, including and especially religious freedom. Whether settlers were Protestants, Quakers, Hebrews or Huguenots, people in this country were free to practice the religion of their choice. Quoting Merkel:

The Bill of Rights protects not the freedom to worship as FDR mistakenly thought, not freedom to teach or advocate as the Court’s ruling said, but freedom to EXERCISE your religion. That is waaay different. Exercising one’s religion is something incumbent on every follower 24/7, at all times, in all places, and not just on Sunday morning in church. Our founders thought it so important, they made it the first freedom enumerated in the first amendment. This freedom is under direct attack by this evil ruling. You can have same-sex “marriage” as a civil right enforced by the sword of government or you can have freedom to exercise your religion. You can’t have both. The proposed laws carving out exemptions for pastors or judges attempts to have both. That won’t work! Only full-fledged statewide repudiation will work. Not just pastors, not just judges, but every Ohio citizen needs the unabridged protection of the First Amendment.

Continue reading

Are Any State Issues Worth Supporting?

OhioIssuesComboLorain County TEA had a great meeting this morning to discuss the three statewide issues that will be on this November’s ballot. Each issue may have a favorable component in a general sense, but each seems to have some flaw that should cause concern to the Ohio voter. For those who want to cut to the chase without reading the analysis, a straw poll of attendees found majority support only for Issue 2, with a modest majority against Issue 1 and a strong majority against Issue 3. But let’s look at the the three issues separately: Issue 1 – Redistricting; Issue 2 – Anti-monopoly; Issue 3 – Legalization of marijuana. Continue reading

Meet Mayoral Candidate at Lorain’s Labor Day Picnic

Jessie TowerJessie Tower is a Republican running in a three-way race for mayor of the city of Lorain. A CPA, former auditor at the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and current executive director of the Tower Educational Consulting Group, she and her team are running a true grassroots campaign. Going door-to-door, she has garnered a lot of support from voters all over the city.

This Labor Day, Monday, September 7 from 12-5 at Central Park, 2800 Oakdale, you can meet Tower and discuss how to make Lorain a better place to work and a better place to live. Lorain needs to be an inviting place for businesses to bring and create jobs for it’s residents. And issues like transportation and education must be addressed to help people to enjoy living in the city.

Tower would bring a fresh change to a region that has been struggling for much too long. Hope to see you on Labor Day at Central Park in Lorain!

Jordan Town Hall in Amherst

Jim Jordan at Amherst HallRep. Jim Jordan held a town hall in Amherst on September 1, and began by listing major policy changes as well as political problems that have occurred over the last two months. Because we are constantly inundated with 24/7 news cycles that are more interested in ratings than in content, people may not recognize how significant these issues actually are. Over the last ten weeks:

  1. the Supreme Court decided “state exchanges” actually means “federal exchange” therefore continuing ObamaCare, SCOTUSCare, the Affordable Care Act;
  2. the Supreme Court decided that marriage has nothing to do with gender despite thousands of years of history;
  3. following the lead of the federal government, municipalities are choosing not to comply with immigration laws and becoming Sanctuary Cities;
  4. the President, without debate or consultation with those in Congress, normalizes relations with Cuba;
  5. the Inspector General said that the IRS purposely destroyed 422 back-up tapes AFTER Congress asked for the data;
  6. Congress declares a treaty to be “not a treaty” allowing a minority of members to implement the Iran Nuclear Deal;
  7. and finally we have videos illustrating that there is a market for human embryos to be sold as a commodity.

WATCH Video of Jim Jordan Townhall  (Minute 31:50 is START of his portion.)

The 50 or so attendees were frustrated with the chronic ineptitude of the Republican leadership in Congress. The GOP has large majorities today both houses, yet they continue to send to the White House only bills that President Obama will sign. Jordan and other Republicans were sent to Washington to STOP the president, not work with him. Yet the “turncoat” Speaker Boehner and Sen. McConnell seem dedicated to stopping any piece of legislation that is remotely conservative. Continue reading

Kaptur Town Hall in Vermillion

Marcy Kaptur at Vermillion LibraryRep. Marcy Kaptur held a town hall on August 31 at the Vermillion library discussing a wide range of topics with an extra emphasis on the algal blooms that greatly impact the western coast of Lake Erie. She took questions that addressed the refugee resettlement program, the VA appeals backlog, the story of a German teen who was denied entry by customs agents (story here and follow-up here), bipartisan mental health legislation she is working on with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), and how to enforce laws against defacing mailboxes. This particular gentleman from Vermillion has a cluster mailbox which consistently gets littered with signs for garage sales, car sales, and other paraphernalia. This gentleman was furious that there were laws against defacing mailboxes, yet nobody from the city or the postal office were willing to enforce those laws. So there are laws on the books, but the executives in charge decline to enforce them! If he was talking about immigration laws then he may not have gotten such a sympathetic ear, but laws against defacing mailboxes are sacrosanct! The irony, for some of us, was rich.

One of the most interesting topics that Rep. Kaptur brought up was a federalization of the Lake Erie coastline. Those, of course, are my words and not hers. She discussed the success of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (stretching in parts from Zoar, through Akron, and to Cleveland following the original Ohio Canal towpath), and hoped that the National Parks could create a bike path from Ashtabula to Toledo celebrating Ohio’s role in the early 19th century expansion into the northwest as well as in underground railroad. This ties into controlling the algal bloom problem as the federal government could create and manage coastal wetlands which would help filter pollutants before they enter Lake Erie. Continue reading