HAWKINS – 5 American mmistakes; LERNER – Boehner rides Air Force One.
SCOTUS: WEHNER – Dishonesty of Roberts; CRUZ – Constitutional remedies; McCARTHY – A political court; HURLEY – Big business in the audience.
PA: BOEHM – Scranton’s double pensions; STAUB – Red-light cameras to stay?; SNYDER – Ups & Downs.
LEADS: YORK – Why Carson?
IMMIGRATION – BALLASY – Coulter back to pre-1970.
ISLAM: SIMON – GOP candidates unite against Iran treaty; JAHN – Iran minister heads home.
“. . .we are a people who believe, in the words of our Declaration of Independence that ‘when a long train of abuses and usurpations . . . evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.’ In California, the people said enough is enough in 1986, and removed from office three activist justices who had repeatedly contorted the state constitution to effectively outlaw capital punishment, no matter how savage the crime. The people of Nebraska likewise removed a justice who had twice disfigured that state’s constitution to overturn the people’s decision to subject state legislators to term limits. And in 2010, the voters of Iowa removed three justices who had, like the Supreme Court in Obergefell, invented a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
“Judicial retention elections have worked in states across America; they will work for America. . . .” Sen. Ted Cruz
John Hawkins, Townhall: “5 Mistakes That Will Lead to the Fall of America”
“. . . if American falls, historians won’t have to speculate because the problems that are destroying our country are right there for anyone to see. You want to know how to break the greatest nation the world has ever seen over the course of a few short decades? Just look at what we’re actually doing because future generations will point to it when they’re trying to figure out where we went wrong.
“1) Unsustainable Debt: By 2020, projections indicate that we’d need 20% of the GDP of the ENTIRE PLANET just to finance our debt, which will continue to increase at a rapid pace. Despite the fact that it would require a miracle bigger than what Joan of Arc accomplished in order for Social Security and Medicare to function for another 20 years without enormous tax increases, we just added another costly entitlement program (Obamacare) and politicians are incessantly clamoring for new spending. . .
“2) Enormous Centralized Government: The bigger the tick, the less blood there is for the dog and there is no larger collection of blood suckers on Planet Earth than our own federal government. . .
“2) Enormous Centralized Government: The bigger the tick, the less blood there is for the dog and there is no larger collection of blood suckers on Planet Earth than our own federal government.
“4) Moral Decay: It’s highly ironic that Americans have pushed Christianity to the side and embraced an, “If it feels good, not only is it okay to do it, but other people should celebrate you for it,” mentality at the very moment America is being decimated by a profound moral crisis. It’s no coincidence that America has the largest prison population in the world, drug use is rampant, 41% of births are out-of-wedlock and mass murders have become all too common in a Christian nation that has turned its back on God. As our nation becomes increasingly decadent, we’re learning what John Adams meant when he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“5) Backward Immigration Policies: When America is still considered the most desirable place to live on the planet, immigration should be a huge boon to the country. At times in our nation’s past it certainly was, but today this potential source of strength is a wash at best and a drag on the country at worst.
For example, did you know that, “in 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households receive benefits from at least one welfare program, compared to just 23 percent of households headed by U.S. natives. Among households with children, immigrant welfare households outnumbered non-immigrants by a similarly wide margin: 57 percent to 40 percent.”
The percentage of immigrants on welfare should be zero. After all, why would we want to bring someone into our country who’s going to end up on the dole?
Instead of selecting the cream of the crop, the rich, the geniuses, the skilled, and people who can add to our tax base, we take pretty much anybody who has a relative here or who claims that he’d be in danger in his home country (and let’s face it, the vast majority of them are lying). . .”
Adam Lerner, Politico: “John Boehner gets his first Air Force One ride with Obama”
“John Boehner and Barack Obama’s relationship reached new heights Friday.
“The Republican House Speaker took his first trip with the president on Air Force One as the two headed to Charleston, South Carolina, to mourn the nine African-American men and women killed at their church last week.
“Obama has never been known as much of a schmoozer, but in recent months he has treated fellow lawmakers from both parties to trips aboard Air Force One with him as a way of currying favor and engaging in discussions with a captive audience. . .”
SCOTUS . . .
Peter Wehner, Commentary: “Contentions – The Intellectual Dishonesty of John Roberts”
“I’ve written before about confirmation bias — the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. But rarely have I seen it more on public display than in the case of the majority decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“To quickly summarize: In King v. Burwell, the Court, in a 6-3 ruling, determined that the language in the ACA limiting insurance subsidies to “an Exchange established by the State” really means “an Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” Justice Scalia’s withering dissent shows how neither the plain text of the Act nor the context of the text justifies the majority’s decision. In reading the majority opinion, one senses that even Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t believe his own arguments; that even he knows that the reason the words ‘by the State’ were included in the Act was to limit credits to state Exchanges. As Justice Scalia methodically pointed out, ‘Under all the rules of interoperation … the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.’
“And so it has been, twice now, thanks to Chief Justice Roberts. . .”
Sen. Ted Cruz, NRO: Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court
“As Justice Scalia put it regarding Obamacare, “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ . . . We should start calling this law SCOTUSCare.” And as he observed regarding marriage, “Today’s decree says that . . . the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.” Sadly, the political reaction from the leaders of my party is all too predictable. They will pretend to be incensed, and then plan to do absolutely nothing. That is unacceptable. On the substantive front, I have already introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve the authority of elected state legislatures to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and also legislation stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over legal assaults on marriage. And the 2016 election has now been transformed into a referendum on Obamacare; in 2017, I believe, a Republican president will sign legislation finally repealing that disastrous law. But there is a broader problem: The Court’s brazen action undermines its very legitimacy. As Justice Scalia powerfully explained, Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before the fall. . . . With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence. This must stop. Liberty is in the balance. . .”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “Let’s Drop the Charade: The Supreme Court Is a Political Branch, Not a Judicial One”
“But this Court is not a legislature.” Chief Justice John Roberts actually published that sentence in his same-sex marriage dissent on Friday . . . a mere 24 hours after his maestro’s performance in the Supreme Court’s legislative rewrite of the Affordable Care Act — formerly known as “Obamacare,” but now etched in memory as “SCOTUScare,” thanks to Justice Antonin Scalia’s withering dissent. Roberts’s denial that the Court legislates is astonishing in its cynicism: In saving SCOTUScare, the chief justice not only usurped Congress’s law-writing role with gusto; he claimed the powers, first, to divine legislative purpose from its contradictory expression in legislative language, and, then, to manufacture legislative ambiguity as the pretext for twisting the language to serve the contrived purpose. It takes a Clintonian quantum of cheek to pull that off one day and, on the next, to inveigh against the very thought of it. Already, an ocean of ink has been spilled analyzing, lauding, and bemoaning the Supreme Court’s work this week: a second life line tossed to SCOTUScare in just three years; the location of a heretofore unknown constitutional right to same-sex marriage almost a century-and-a-half after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment; and the refashioning of Congress’s Fair Housing Act to embrace legal academe’s loopy “disparate impact” theory of inducing discrimination. Yet, for all the non-stop commentary, one detail goes nearly unmentioned — the omission that best explains this week’s Fundamental Transformation trifecta. Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote? There was never a shadow of a doubt. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420417/supreme-court-john-roberts-marriage-health-care-constitution
Lawrence Hurley, Yahoo!: “Big business on winning side in U.S. top court’s major rulings”
“. . . Both cases were largely seen through the lens of national ideological wars, with liberals backing gay marriage and Obamacare and conservatives opposing them. But the cases could also be seen as pro-business rulings by a court with a reputation as friendly to corporate interests under Chief Justice John Roberts.
“Unlike in other contexts, such as a series of cases in which the court cut back on class-action lawsuits, business interests aligned themselves with liberal activists for these cases.
“‘This Supreme Court is unquestionably responsive to the views of corporate America. Here, in both the healthcare and marriage cases, those views aligned with a progressive outcome,’ said Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a left-leaning legal activist group.
“The two major rulings mask the fact that the business-related rulings this year, with one major environmental case due to come on the court’s last day on Monday, have been a mixed bag for corporate interests. . .”
PA . . .
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes”
“Even as it careened toward bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, approved $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.
“Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers and were given without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released this week.
“City council and the pension board again failed to understand the short- and long-term impact before extending the retirement offer and now taxpayers are left holding the bag,” Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania’s auditor general, said in a statement.
“Scranton officials offered an early retirement incentive to 25 employees in 2002 and, after a lawsuit, had to make a similar offer to 10 more employees in 2007. The special “double pensions” have already cost the city $3 million and will make it harder for Scranton to dig out from under an estimated $150 million unfunded pension liability. . .”
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Red light, green light: PA considers allowing red-light cameras to run past 2017”
“HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Red-light cameras that keep a watchful eye on Pennsylvania drivers in select municipalities are scheduled to power down in 2017, but some state lawmakers aren’t ready to put the program in park.
The House Transportation Committee this week signaled its support to eliminate the sunset provision that would end the camera programs about two years from now. James Sikorski Jr., a Luzerne County resident who has kept tabs on the red-light camera program, wasn’t happy about that development.
“They are hoping nobody will notice,” said Sikorski, a Pennsylvania member of the National Motorists Association, which has fought red-light camera programs across the country.
If Pennsylvania lawmakers eliminate the sunset provision, they’d be moving in the opposite direction of other states that have slammed their programs in reverse amid scandal, discounted claims of safety benefits and accusations the cameras are nothing more than municipal revenue generators. . .”
Sy Snyder, Ups & Downs 6/26
“Monumental Court rulings, a rare loss for the NRA and the 237th Kathleen Kane controversy. See who made this week’s list!
“Tom Wolf. The coming weeks will likely be the most pivotal of Governor Wolf’s Administration. Therefore, it’s quite important that Gov. Wolf had such a good week. It started when Quinnipiac revealed Wolf’s approval ratings stand at 47%, an improvement from April and nearly twenty points higher than the legislature’s. That same day, Gov. Wolf revealed that he’ll being going on the offensive with a new SuperPAC. His staff is also working on framing the budget debate in the best possible light. Additionally, the Governor caught a huge break on Thursday with the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling. Now, he won’t have to spend precious time and resources creating a state-based system. Although whether this is the beginning of a hot streak for the Gov, or just the calm before the storm, is yet to be determined.
“Kathleen Kane. Somehow, someway, Attorney General Kathleen Kane always seems to find a way to dig herself into an even deeper hole. The week started off with paranoid anecdotes from staffers in the Attorney General’s office. Apparently, employees are avoiding their official phones and leaving tape on their doors to know whether others have been in their offices. I can’t imagine the atmosphere has gotten better after Kane fired George Moore. Moore is the man who advised her not to hire Chief of Staff Jonathan Duecker because of the sexual harassment accusations made against him. Instead of dealing with the furor over Duecker, Kane stayed loyal to him and fired Moore. At this point, who knows what turn this saga will take next?
“Pat Toomey. The Keystone State’s junior Senator was another beneficiary of good news from the latest Quinnipiac Poll. A head-to-head survey put him up eleven points over his 2010 opponent Joe Sestak. Sen. Toomey has an even larger 24 point lead over Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. His approval ratings also hit 51%. On Wednesday, the Senator was honored by the Sandy Hook Promise for his work on gun control. He remains disappointed, though, that Congress has yet to take any action, even in the wake of the shooting in Charleston.
“NRA. Act 192 was a big victory for pro-gun activists and the National Rifle Association (NRA). By allowing gun owners to sue municipalities over their laws, and forcing the local governments to pick up the tab, it ensured cities wouldn’t be able to implement their own gun control measures. Thursday’s ruling from the PA Commonwealth Court, however, struck down the law because it was attached to an unrelated bill. Republican legislators in Harrisburg could try to pass it again but Governor Wolf is likely to veto any such effort. As a result, one of the most powerful interest groups in America suffered a very big loss.
“Ryan Costello. It might seem strange to give Costello the up arrow instead of Mike Parrish, who announced his entry into the PA-6 race this week. The possibility of a Democratic primary between Parrish and potential candidate Joe Denham, though, can only help the freshman Congressman by keeping the spotlight away from him. It also can’t hurt that Rep. Costello already has the NRCC out there fighting Parrish, so he doesn’t have to.”
LEADS . . .
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Why is Ben Carson rising?”
“DENVER — Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has never held or run for elective office, is currently fourth in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls — ahead of five governors, four senators, one CEO and one billionaire. Carson has been climbing in the polls since he announced his candidacy on May 4. On the day before the announcement, Carson was at 4.8 percent in the RCP average; now, he’s at 9.4 percent.
“The combination of Carson’s rise and his unorthodox campaign style — Carson’s short-on-specifics stump speech is like no other — has left some of his rivals baffled. “I just don’t get it,” one said in a private conversation recently. “I don’t get it.”
“Much of the Republican presidential conversation is old versus new, which is shorthand for Jeb Bush versus any other candidate. Along with that conversation there is the senator versus governor debate, the Washington versus not-Washington debate, the populist versus establishment debate, and others. Carson stands apart from all of them. . .”
IMMIGRATION/Coulter . . .
Nicholas Ballasy, PJM: “Coulter to PJM: Cut Off All Immigration, Focus on White Voters to Win”
“Author and political commentator Ann Coulter said there should be a 10-year freeze on immigration to the U.S. since the federal government has demonstrated it cannot enforce current law.
“There’s a law on the books that says if a country will not take a criminal back the attorney general shall, not may, shall deny visas, any visas coming from that country – that is on the books right now. Has it been enforced by Republicans or Democrats? No, it has not,” Coulter said during an interview with PJ Media.
““There’s a law on the books right now that says an immigrant who has been convicted of a crime in America who does not cooperate in being sent home, that itself is a crime, not signing the papers, not showing up when you’re supposed to, that itself is a crime punishable by 4 years in prison – that’s never enforced. It’s just not enforced. Three times Congress has voted to build a fence and it never gets built,” she added.
“According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 33,007 illegal immigrants with criminal records in 2013. Following these releases, 121 were charged with homicides.
“Based on the research Coulter conducted, she concluded that a legal fix is not going to improve the immigration system.
“‘The entire thing has to be shut down. No more immigration for 10 years. We get our books in order. We assimilate the ones already here. Build a fence. Repeal anchor babies and then we start up with the pre-1970 immigration policies,’ Coulter said. . .”
ISLAM . . .
Roger Simon, PJM: “JULY 4 PROPOSAL: Republican Candidates Should Stand Together to Block Iran Deal”
BO’s next job . . .
“All the Republican candidates, announced or unannounced, should stop what they are doing and band together over the July 4 weekend to stop the Iran Deal. In so doing, they should reach out not just to their fellow Republicans, but to all Americans, including especially their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. This is an emergency.
“Sometimes world events reach a level that petty politics must be put aside and true patriotism come to the fore. September 11, 2001, and Pearl Harbor were such instances. The about-to-be-signed (between June 30 and July 6) nuclear deal with Iran is another. According to the Corker-Menendez bill, Congress only has thirty days to review the deal and (unfairly) needs to muster a two-thirds majority to overthrow it.
“Allowing the mullahs a glide path to the bomb, this agreement shifts the international balance of power as nothing since Chamberlain’s famous appeasement of Hitler at Munich. In fact it is worse than Chamberlain, because then the British were weaker than Nazi Germany and needed time. The U.S. and Europe are vastly stronger than the Iranians.
“The Iran deal is therefore tantamount to a suicide of the West. And, ironically, the only one who can block it at this point is Ayatollah Khamenei. . .”
George Jahn, AP: “Nuke talks to miss target; Iran foreign minister heads home”
“VIENNA (AP) — A senior U.S. official acknowledged Sunday that Iran nuclear talks will go past their June 30 target date, as Iran’s foreign minister prepared to head home for consultations before returning to push for a breakthrough.
“Iranian media said Mohammed Javad Zarif’s trip was planned in advance. Still, the fact that he was leaving the talks so close to the Tuesday deadline reflected his need to get instructions on how to proceed on issues where the sides remain apart – among them how much access Tehran should give to U.N. experts monitoring his country’s compliance to any deal. . .”