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Friday, June 03, 2011


I just now received this news in my e-mail from the WASHINGTON TIMES newspaper.

Up until now, I don't remember ever receiving one of these reports in my personal e-mail, nor have I subscribed to it, so I don't know the significance, if any, of this news report.

You'll just have to figure that out for yourself.

Oh, by the way, TODAY, Friday 03 June 2011, is the birthday of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America!


Friday 03 June 2011


Recently, Obama 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, gave what he called a "sneak peek" at his team's reelection strategy. He said that Obama supporters "need to build something new, better, faster, and sleeker", and promised some surprises from "an insurgent campaign that wakes up every single day trying to get every single vote we can."

One surprise may be the role North Carolina plays in the Obama team's strategy to amass 270 electoral votes. In April, Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, published an electoral college projection showing Democrats with a 247 electoral vote base (including "leaners") against a Republican base of 180. Mr. Obama's core support in this scenario includes the likely states in the Northeast, West Coast, and Great Lakes region, while the Republicans can count on the South, Midwest, and Rockies. Of the tossup states - which include Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Indiana, Colorado, and North Carolina (111 votes total), Mr. Obama would only have to pick off the latter two in order to pass the 270 vote mark. Of these, Colorado (9 votes) is less of a struggle for the Democrats; Mr. Obama won it in 2008 by almost 9 points. The race was much closer in the Tarheel State (15 votes) - it went to the Democrats with a 14,177 vote margin, or .32% -- and Republicans might assume it is a GOP lock. But North Carolina was remarkably resistant to the 2010 Republican midterm election tsunami; it was the only one of five southern states that maintained a Democratic majority in its Congressional delegation. This may be one reason why Democrats chose Charlotte, North Carolina as the site for their 2012 national convention.

If Mr. Obama takes North Carolina, he will probably win reelection. But if the recovery continues to founder, inflation and gasoline prices keep rising, debt continues to soar, and jobs fail to appear, the main question in 2012 will be whether the Democrats can prevent a second coat of shellac.



In his new book, "PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA", author Ben Shapiro proves conclusively what everyone pretty much knows, that Hollywood is hostile to people with conservative views. The book is based on a series of taped interviews with entertainment industry movers and shakers who were openly and sometimes vulgarly dismissive of people who did not agree with their hard-left agenda. But these top producers, directors, and assorted others never seem to link their personal culture war with declining audience shares.

Liberal politics is bad for business in more ways than one. The most recent Gallup poll of American political leanings shows that conservatives outnumber liberals two to one, 40% to 21%, with 36% identifying themselves as moderates. This represents a major market share that Hollywood leftists not only hold in contempt, but actively mock. Yet publishers understand that conservative authors can pen major best-sellers, and circulation is growing for publications that appeal to a more rightward-leaning crowd, such as, The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. Number one ranked Fox News Channel, once scoffed at by the mainstream media, was born out of Roger Ailes' critical insight that there was a major audience being underserved by news organizations that refused to report on topics that mattered to them.

Grumpy Hollywood leftists are leaving themselves open to eclipse by sharp entrepreneurs who understand the tremendous potential of an entertainment business model that starts with the premise that the values held by the plurality of Americans should be celebrated, not ridiculed. It is only a matter of time.



The city of Alexandria, Virginia has approved a plan to levy taxes on people who don't live there yet. This week the city council imposed a 27 year special tax to be levied on residents projected to live in an as-yet unbuilt development to pay for a new Metro station the city hopes will be constructed nearby. The tax was too unpopular to levy on current residents, so politicians dumped it on a group who could not fight back. This poses a unique challenge for developers and real estate agents, who will have to explain the special tax to potential buyers - a daunting task as the housing market enters the second dip of its recession.

But the city fathers of Alexandria may be on to something. Perhaps this tax scheme could be part of an immigration reform effort whereby income taxes would be done away with for current citizens of the United States and applied only to newcomers. Rather than the current system, in which people flood over the border to take advantage of government services provided by U.S. taxpayers, have the immigrants bear the burden and let Americans live tax free. The plan provides a great incentive for immigrants to seek legal citizenship (to get out from under the onerous tax), and those who object can't vote against it. After that it would be a simple step to start taxing all foreigners living abroad, a group that has also enjoyed a free ride far too long.



During an Obamacare litigation hearing this week, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James L. Graham asked acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, "Where ultimately is the limit on Congressional power?" The question sounds rhetorical but is not. The administration argues that Congress has Constitutional authority under the Article I Section 8 "commerce clause" to compel uninsured Americans to purchase health care insurance.

The logic goes back to the 1942 Supreme Court case "Wickard v. Filburn" in which Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn was fined for growing wheat in excess of New Deal-era crop quotas. Mr. Filburn argued that the quotas did not apply to his particular circumstances because he was growing feed for his own chickens, not to sell. But the Supreme Court disagreed, stating that "control of total supply - - - depends upon control of individual supply", and by growing his own chicken feed, Mr. Filburn was not buying it from others. Also New Deal agricultural programs were so effective, according to the court, that Mr. Filburn should stop complaining about impositions on his freedom and show a little gratitude.

The Obama administration takes this pernicious logic a step further by compelling people to buy things they don't want. Since there is no interstate commerce to regulate, the government mandates it. But Judge Graham's question can be answered by employing the same argument that Chief Justice John Marshall employed in the foundational case of Marbury v. Madison (1803). If Congress can exercise powers that are in practice unlimited, then as Justice Marshall concluded, "written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable". It is "a proposition too plain to be contested" that the Constitution cannot be used to justify an act that destroys the very limits on which constitutional government is founded.

In essence, Obamacare must be unconstitutional, because if it stands, it would remove the limits to Congressional power that the Constitution was designed to impose. The Constitution is not a suicide pact even if Obamacare is.


James S. Robbins is senior editorial writer for foreign affairs at the WASHINGTON TIMES.

His latest book is "THIS TIME WE WIN: REVISITING THE TET OFFENSIVE", published by Encounter Books.

The ROBBINS REPORT is provided weekly at no charge to major media, members of Congress, and WASHINGTON TIMES subscribers nationwide.

For additional free copies, contact Marana Moore.


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