Monday, January 31, 2011

Obamacare - We’ve Bought Some Time

by Erick Erickson

A Reagan appointed federal district judge in Florida has ruled key portions of Obamacare, namely the individual mandate, unconstitutional. Because Congress expressly did not put a severability clause in the legislation, the judge has ruled the whole law unconstitutional.

The left is, naturally, shocked and appalled that the judge did not let the rest of Obamacare stand as a judge in Virginia did. They are calling today’s judge “an extreme activist.”

Let’s clear this up: activism is when a judge changes a law in a way he wants, even if Congress did not intend it or when a judge imposes his own policy prescriptions into a law or the constitution.

What we are seeing here today is something extremely rare — a humble judge. Instead of trying to salvage a law with no severability clause, he followed long held precedent.

Congress typically puts severability clauses in legislation so that if one part of the law is unconstitutional the other parts stand. Congress chose not to in this case. Instead of the judge deciding whether or not Obamacare could or should stand on its own, the judge has decided he is not a legislature. Consequently, he’s thrown the whole thing out instead of letting his own policy prescriptions stand in the law to hold it up.

If that is activism, give me more of it.

Ultimately we should not get too excited. In reality, there is only one person’s opinion on this matter that counts — the opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

But we’ve bought some time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roanoke's Top Five For President 2012

Republican at the Roanoke Conference in Ocean Shores held a Presidential straw poll this morning and selected Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as their top choice for President in 2012 with 45 votes.

Other top five contenders included Mitt Romney with 20 votes, Tim Pawlenty 18, Chris Christie 13 and John Thune receiving 12 votes.

The Roanoke Conference describes itself as "Washington State’s premier Republican social gathering." While describing themselves as neither “conservative” nor “mainstream.” they state their commitment to the core principles of the free market, limited government and individual liberty.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Elephants Roaming Free in Ocean Shores

by Bryan Myrick

Elephants are roaming free in Ocean Shores, Wash. this weekend, as Republicans from around Washington State converge on the hibernating beach town on the dramatic Pacific Coast for the second annual Roanoke Conference. Hundreds of Republicans filled the main room of the Ocean Shores Convention Center, and the event could not have come at a better time for the GOP in the Evergreen State.

Debate has persisted over whether the party should lick its wounds or count its blessings following disappointing 2010 returns. If left to fester, those disagreements could threaten the more productive conversation on how to get Republicans elected in a mostly blue state like Washington.

A critical dialogue around the party’s strategy for winning was at the core of the full-day agenda in Saturday sessions, one that focused on participation and open discussion. Even in a room filled with such high flyers as Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, newly elected Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur (among the many other notable attendees), it was clear that titles of office had been checked at the door.

As moderated panels of public officials and experts represented opposing arguments on key issues – the effect of the initiative process on state politics, the proper role of the state party, and whether the U.S. Congress should adopt a balanced budget amendment – gave way to open comment before straw poll voting, what emerged was a robust debate with some surprising results.

Tonight, the festivities shift into celebration mode with a dinner featuring a keynote speech by White House Press Secretary for Pres. George W. Bush and Fox News commentator Dana Perino. Perino will be introduced by Washington State’s newest Republican in Congress, Rep. Jaimie Herrera Buetler (WA-03).

The conference will wrap up Sunday morning.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coming…Your Own Personal Government “Identity Ecosystem”

“This is the world envisioned in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities. We call it the Identity Ecosystem. We will be working to finalize the NSTIC in the coming months, but that is only the beginning of the process.”

~ Howard A. Schmidt, Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President
The government wants your information – from what you purchase to what you blog. Over the years many forms of national ID have been pursued by the government for various reasons. The American people, however, know privacy is foundational to freedom.

Now packaged as “Internet security” for you President Obama is mandating what amounts to a national ID card, your own Internet passport.

Who has a hand in creating this “identity ecosystem” ? That would be former WA State Gov Gary Locke. Since leaving this Washington for the “other” Washington to serve as Secretary of Commerce Locke has been at the forefront of developing this government “identity ecosystem” for you.

On January 7, 2011, Locke joined the White House cybersecurity advisor Howard Schmidt in announcing a new government ID card that will centralizing your personal information and credentials all the while tracking your web activity.

Do you want the government tracking every web site you visit, every purchase you make, your deposits or withdrawals, your private medical records, your blog comments, your Facebook and Twitter posts, or logging your religious and political affiliations, donations, memberships, and interests?

While insisting this will be a voluntary program we all know what happens to “volunteer” government programs. Voluntary is only the footpath to mandatory.

This "security" will leave Americans more vulnerable than ever. The Washington Times in their editorial says this:
“centralizing access to personal information only makes it easier for the bad guys because it means they only need to steal one key to unlock a vast wealth of financial and personal information. It's likely that the real motivation for this is to ensure the feds always have backdoor access into what people are doing in the online realm. Congress should take steps to ensure this Big Brother scheme is deleted."

This wildly radical proposal should alarm every American.

Eagle Forum has long warned of aggressive government attempts at citizen surveillance. We reject this proposal and urge citizens to immediately communicate their concerns to their elected leaders. We oppose ObamaNet, and any attempt to issue government Internet Passport ID cards for any reason.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Choosing Life for Charlotte

by Ned Ryun

I’ve never written about an episode from several years ago, aside from a few blog entries for friends and family, but the week of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I want to share it because I always want to remember what took place and that I saw a miracle.

I found myself at 3 a.m. the morning of November 4th, 2008, standing next to my wife’s hospital bed, holding her hand, having watched her hemorrhage off and on for several days, physically and emotionally exhausted, listening to the doctors tell us, “Very large blood clots are forming, and all the amniotic fluid is gone, and there is a very good chance this pregnancy will have to end today to protect your wife.” Our little girl, who we had decided to name Charlotte Love, was only gestationally 24-weeks old and four months from her due date.

It seemed to me that everything was spiraling out of control. Within a matter of 72 hours, we went from, “We think she’ll stay in the womb for several more months,” to “Maybe a few more weeks,” to, “We have hours.” I remember staring at that white wall of the hospital that night, powerless, feeling as though I was being inexorably being pulled to the edge of a cliff. My heels were dug in, but I was unable to stop the forward motion and now I had come to the very edge, of what I didn’t know.

But that morning there was a pause in the fight: I knew there was no point in the fighting, in the struggling. I don’t believe in chance, but in a “Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we may.” There are very interesting conversations you have with yourself in moments like I was experiencing. As a Christian, I want God’s will for my life, and I believe His will is perfect. What I was experiencing was not chance, but His will. As you take yourself thru a series of questions, answering in the affirmative, it leads you to certain conclusions, and mine was that if His will is perfect, and this was His will, then this was perfection. Of course I will be the first to tell you it did not feel like perfection.

But I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and resigned myself graciously to God’s will, took His outstretched hand and took the next step―but it was not off the edge into a dark unknown. For the next four months, I would find myself in the midst of perfection.

Several doctors visited the room in those early hours of the 4th, giving us the odds of Charlotte’s survival, and the significant chances of brain damage, blindness, and long-term health problems. We’d already been asked if we wanted to revive her should she come out not breathing, and three times it had been suggested that we might want to consider ending the pregnancy. You say you believe certain things, but when confronted with actual decisions, you authenticate and validate your belief system, or destroy it, by what you actually do. My wife, Becca, and I refused to even consider the thought of ending Charlotte’s life and we told the doctors and nurses they were to make their best efforts to revive Charlotte should she not be breathing when she was delivered.

The entire episode was happening in a rush, and a few hours later, our wonderful doctor walked in, in her scrubs, and asked how we were doing. I replied that we were hanging in there and then asked if the emergency C-section would be in the afternoon. She smiled and said, “No, you have fifteen minutes. The operating room is ready. We’ll wheel Becca down, you’ll get your scrubs on, and we are delivering the baby.”

Charlotte, all 1lb 7ozs and 12 inches of her, was delivered a little after 10am that morning of the 4th. She was checked into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). For over four months, we basically lived at the NICU (thank God for Ronald McDonald Houses) . There were ups and downs, an emergency heart surgery on Charlotte about two weeks after she was born, and most of the time in the NICU was spent in isolation because of a bacteria infection. But Charlotte never once had bleeding on the brain, never needed eye surgery, and never suffered anything that would lead to long-term health or disability issues, of which there were significant chances for all of those.

When I look back at the odds of what should have happened, or could have happened (and we were told some pretty staggering odds that early morning of November 4th), I think of it as nothing less than a miracle.

There were no guarantees that morning that Charlotte would live, or that she would even be healthy. But we chose life, no matter the consequences. I think about the experience often, when I get Charlotte up in the morning, or she climbs on my lap to cuddle, and I know that it took place for a reason. I can’t always explain why things happen, but I do believe in a just and loving God and I know that what took place with Charlotte was because of love. And because of that love, and our love for her, there was ultimately no questioning our decisions. I don’t know what life has for Charlotte, but I do know that she gets to live and have a chance at what I hope will be an amazing life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Repeal it Now!

The House voted today to repeal Obamacare 245 to 189 & and six more states have joined the lawsuit challenging it. That means more than half the states consider Obamacare unconstitutional and are willing fight it in court!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus elected today as the new National Chairman of the Republican Party

Before being elected as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin in 2007, Priebus devoted his time and effort to electing Republican officials for many years, including running as a GOP candidate for state Senate in 2004.

Priebus previously worked in the Wisconsin legislature as the Committee Clerk for the State Assembly Education Committee.

After enrolling at the University of Miami School of Law, Priebus clerked for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, the United States District Court, and the Southern District of Florida.

Priebus has made media appearances on Fox News with Megyn Kelly, Geraldo Rivera, MSNBC and C-SPAN's "Road to the Whitehouse."

Priebus resides in Kenosha with his wife Sally, his son Jack, and baby girl Grace Avalyn.

By the way, his name is pronounced ryns pree-buhs

RNC Chairman Vote Today

The Republican National Committee is meeting in Washington DC this weekend to elect a new chairman. Our Washington State voting delegation consists of State Chairman Luke Esser, National Committeeman Jeff Kent, and National Committeewoman Fredi Simpson.

Current RNC Chairman Michael Steele is running for reelection. He is being challenged by five others:

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Wisconsin GOP

Saul Anuzis, former Republican chairman of Michigan

Ann Wagner, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party

Maria Cino, manager of the 2008 Republican National Convention

Gentry Collins, the RNC’s political director

There will be many votes and many strategic maneuvers before a chairman is elected, and it will be an interesting ride.

Washington Eagle Forum will be watching the vote live and you can follow all the action via Twitter @waeagles

*photo courtesy of Luanne VanWerven