The Federal Page for Fall 2016
By: Theodore King
Ratings, Ratings, Ratings
FreedomWorks is an organization that promotes limited government and rates members of Congress based on their support of liberty. I used to report the National Taxpayers’ Union ratings of members of Congress, but for some reason they stopped rating members, three years ago. Here are the FreedomWorks ratings of the Oklahoma delegation: Senator James Inhofe 81%, Senator James Lankford 76%, First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine 96%, Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin 69%, Third District Congressman Frank Lucas 66%, Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole 65%, Fifth District Congressman Steve Russell 72%.
A Win and a Loss
Last June, Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes (FreedomWorks 71%) was defeated in the Republican primary by Scott Taylor, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a former Navy Seal. This is a win. Forbes was in Congress for 16 years before he faced redistricting of his Fourth District seat, and he chose to move to the Second District, which is much more Republican friendly. The incumbent in the Second District chose not to run again. Forbes is a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill.
A loss occurred on August 2 with the defeat of Kansas First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp (FreedomWorks 97%) by obstetrician Roger Marshall. He was elected to Congress in 2010 and served as one of the most principled members of the House. He was so principled that he, a farmer, voted against the initial farm bill in 2013 because it was a food stamp boondoggle. Then Speaker John Boehner booted him off the Agricultural Committee for that vote, and the new Speaker, Paul Ryan, wouldn’t let him back on that committee. The establishment wanted him gone and got what they wanted. Another principled member of Congress targeted by the establishment, Jim Bridenstine, had traveled to Kansas to campaign for Huelskamp. I went to Christendom College in Virginia with Tim’s wife, Angela, back in the early 1990s. Angela is a good Catholic woman, and Tim is a good Catholic man, and they have adopted several children from Haiti.
Obama Overridden by Congress!
For the first time in seven and a half years, President Obama’s veto of a bill was overridden by the required two-thirds of Congress. Last May, the Senate approved S.2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, and in September the House approved the Senate bill. Both bodies approved the bill by a voice vote. This bill allows families of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue the Saudi Arabian government if the Saudis were complicit in the terrorist attacks. President Obama vetoed the bill on September 23. His argument for the veto was that it could make Americans and/or American businesses vulnerable to litigation in foreign courts as retaliation.
On September 28, the Senate voted 97 to 1 to override the veto. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who is not running for re-election, voted against it. Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont (even though he was a co-sponsor of the legislation) and Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia were absent. That same day, the House voted 348 to 77 to override the veto. All five members of the Oklahoma House delegation voted for the override.
Another Continuing Resolution
The Republican controlled Congress again chose to kick the can down the road by passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government to September 30, 2017, rather than submit a budget that might be vetoed by the president in an election year.
By a vote of 342 to 85 the House passed the CR on September 28. Congressman Jim Bridenstine was not the only Oklahoma House member who voted no. He was joined by Markwayne Mullin and Steve Russell. Congressmen Frank Lucas and Tom Cole voted yes as usual. You who live in their districts should vote against Cole and Lucas this November. The Senate passed the CR by a vote of 72 to 26. Senators Inhofe and Lankford voted no.
If you can’t bring yourself to vote for either the criminal Hillary Clinton or the clown Donald Trump, you should visit BalancedRebellion.com. It’s a Website that matches people of one party with those of the other in your own state who plan on voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson. That way, Johnson gets two votes in a state, and Clinton and Trump don’t get any. Given the electoral college system, there is no national popular vote. Oklahoma will vote for Trump by a two-thirds margin.
Remembering Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum and giant killer of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), died September 5 at age 92.
Back in the 1970s, all the “smart people” in both parties – I call them elitist pigs – supported enactment of the ERA. On March 22, 1972, the Senate passed the ERA by a two-thirds majority necessary to submit it to the states for ratification. Six months earlier, the House had approved it. President Richard Nixon endorsed the ERA as did Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. The ERA went to the states for ratification, and that’s when Schlafly and her grassroots army of housewives against all the odds sprung into action to defeat the ERA by lobbying state legislators against it. Their advantage was in the Constitution itself. You see, it’s really hard to amend the Constitution. Three-fourths of the states are necessary for the proposed change to take affect. The Founders designed the Constitution to curb the fashions of the day. In the 1970s, feminism was one of those fashions.
The ERA would have required women to register for the draft. Attempts in Congress to remove that provision were voted down. It would have exempted a husband from the legal responsibility to provide for his wife and children. After all, the ERA would mean “equality,” sort of a new spin on “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
The Oklahoma state Senate by a vote of 27 to 21 voted to ratify the ERA in January of 1982, but it was never taken up in the House. Because of Phyllis Schlafly and her grassroots army, five states that ratified the ERA rescinded their ratification by 1979. It was her leadership that killed the ERA and built a movement of religiously minded Americans who helped elect Ronald Reagan in 1980.
I write this obituary with some bitterness because Phyllis Schlafly, joined by Jerry Falwell Jr. and First Baptist Church of Dallas Reverend Robert Jeffress, led a Christian light brigade for Donald Trump during the Republican primaries. Somehow, a rude, crude, ignorant man on his third trophy wife (with nude pictures of her floating about the Internet) is the political savior for the Christian Right in America according to Mrs. Schlafly and company.
Her support for the licentious Mr. Trump cost her to lose control over Eagle Forum last spring. I received – perhaps many of you did as well – a recorded phone call from Mrs. Schlafly asking listeners to contact the Eagle Forum board members including Oklahoman Carolyn McLarty and insist Mrs. Schlafly regain control of Eagle Forum. In that phone call she sounded all of her 90+ years.
It was understandable that she would like Mr. Trump’s ideas regarding trade. She was a foe of trade deals that send American jobs overseas, but she and her confederates refused to recognize the red flags of danger regarding the Trump candidacy. Donald Trump attended her funeral Mass at the Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica.
An interesting note is that some of her family members own a brewery in St. Louis. The beer is pretty good but, alas, unavailable in Oklahoma. She, a Catholic, opposed the use of the Schlafly name on the beer because Eagle Forum has many Baptist and Mormon supporters. She lost her legal battle to keep the name off the beer last August.
Remembering Reed Larson
Reed Larson, the longtime leader of the National Right to Work Committee and Legal Defense Foundation, a man who was once my boss, died on September 19 at age 93. I worked for his committee from 1997 to 1998.
Larson was a Kansan who took up the cause against compulsory unionism in his home state in 1954. In 1958, Kansas passed a Right to Work law which does not permit compulsory unionism. In 1959, he became the head of the National Right to Work Committee (NRTWC). In 1968, he started a legal defense foundation under NRTW. The legal defense foundation fought several high level court cases that led to victories against compulsory union membership. In 2003, Mr. Larson retired as head of NRTW. When he took over NRTW in 1959, there were 18 Right to Work states. Today, there are 26 including Oklahoma in 2001 and, amazingly, Michigan in 2012, Wisconsin last year, and West Virginia this year.
“I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it [everyday Americans] once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion.”
Clinton family inner circle confidant John Podesta writing about his candidate Hillary Clinton in a leaked e-mail dated April 19, 2015
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