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Archive for the ‘term limits’ Category

I can’t say that I am surprised

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/11/06

I’ll admit it: I didn’t think very highly of President Clinton. I thought that he was a self-serving opportunist and a thorough egotist. As his final term in office was nearing its end, he said that he loved the job of being President, that it was the greatest job in the world, and that he’d love to be able to run again, and that if he could, he’d have won a third term.

But whether President Clinton agreed with the 22nd Amendment or not, he obeyed its restrictions, and didn’t make any noises about repealing it.

However, when it comes to socialists and communists, they don’t worry about letting any silly laws get in the way of their ambitions!

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega renominated for president, despite term limits

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is finishing his second term in office, the maximum allowed under the Constitution. But on Saturday he accepted the Sandinista Party’s nomination to run again.

By Tim Rogers, Correspondent / February 28, 2011

Managua, Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega on Saturday accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency, even though his reelection is barred by the Constitution.

Despite an outcry over the allegedly fraudulent presidential bid, early polls show Mr. Ortega is favored to win the November election. And given Nicaragua’s bleak political panorama, the Sandinista strongman is increasingly considered the least-bad option here – at least by the country’s sizable poor population that has benefited from new social programs and government handouts.

“I don’t think that the Nicaraguan citizen relates to the issue of legality or legitimacy as long as fundamental services are provided in an immediate way – and this government is very effective in delivering the fundamentals,” says Arturo Cruz, a political science professor at INCAE Business School and Ortega’s former ambassador to the United States.

A Sandinista majority on the Nicaraguan Supreme Court overturned part of their own Constitution, “allowing” President Ortega to run for a third term.

It’s nothing really new, of course. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had the rules changed, which allowed him to run for reelection in 2006, and then, in 2009, had the constitution amended so that he could run for a third full term in 2012.¹ Given Señor Chavez domination of the Venezuelan media and virtually all of the political machinery in that poor country — and why a major petroleum exporting nation should be so poor is beyond me — about the only thing which will stop his re-election to a third six-year term will be his failing health.

One of the problems for our friends on the left is that they fail to understand that what they see as socialism and communism, some sort of vaguely defined sharing of wealth among everyone and the uplifting of the downtrodden, is not how people like Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez see socialism and communism. To them, those terms are simply the means by which they hold on to political power. When the late Libyan strongman, Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, came under seige, Señor Ortega was right there to offer his encouragement, not to the people striving for freedom in the “Arab Spring,” but to Colonel Qaddafi. As for President Chavez, the Arab Spring saw his demonstrations of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Colonel Qaddafi, and he has previously expressed his strong support for the truly whacked-out President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The only Arab dictator whom Señor Chavez was glad to see fall was Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, because Mr Mubarak was a close ally of the United States.

Since the publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, generations of idealistic and enthusiastic readers have fallen for the egalitarian notion that their depressed lot in life isn’t their fault, that they are simply on the oppressed end of the class struggles between the Bourgeois and Proletarians, but that the day will come when the far more numerous working class, proletariat, fighting in the class struggle against the owners of the means of production, the bourgeois, will eventually triumph, replacing private property with common ownership — though they probably would not have extended that to their personal stuff — and the dictatorship of the proletariat. On the other hand, the great (and not so great) socialist/ communist leaders of world history, saw the phrase dictatorship of the proletariat, and stopped reading after the first word. That is why the “socialist” leaders are so chummy with dictators of other philosophical stripes; the dictatorship part is the only truly important part to them, and power is to be surrendered not due to constitutional limits, but only due to death or incapacity due to old age.
¹ – Mr Chavez was elected in 1998, then pushed through a new constitution which increased Presidential powers, but imposed a two-term limit. He was re-elected in 2000, and then re-elected in 2006.

Posted in Elections, Socialists, term limits | 13 Comments »

More Polling Numbers Democrats Won’t Like

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/09/30

I previously reported on the voting public’s positions on various issues and their stance opposing Democrat positions. A plurality (44 percent) are fiscal Conservatives while a small minority (11 percent) are fiscal Liberals. 2/3 want the border controlled before dealing with any other possible illegal immigrant solutions. The numbers regarding educating illegal immigrants gets more glaring, with 4 out of 5 saying they don’t want illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition rates. Over 7 in 10 Hispanic voters in “battleground” states approve of Voter ID. The majority of voters favor repealing ObamaCare, 20 points above those who don’t want it repealed. All of these issues have the Democrat party on the wrong side of the voting public.

But there’s more, as the late-night infomercials say. The next batch of polling numbers are again opposing Democrat party positions.

Most voters support the Death Penalty.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 60% favor the death penalty, while 28% oppose it. Another 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is little changed from surveys dating back to November 2009, with support for capital punishment running from 61% to 63%.

Over 2/3 of men and a majority of women support the Death Penalty. Over 3/4 of Republicans and 6 in 10 independents support the Death Penalty. And the Democrat base is evenly divided on the issue. While a bare majority of blacks oppose the Death Penalty, a clear majority of Whites and non-black minorities support the Death Penalty. So as an issue, the Democrat party leadership is on the wrong side.

Most voters favor a Balanced Budget Amendment, something the Democrat party and many Ruling Class Republicans oppose.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 56% are in favor of a balanced budget amendment while 22% are opposed and another 22% are undecided.

Most Republicans (68%) and voters not affiliated with either party (54%) support a balanced budget amendment. So do a plurality of Democrats (46%).

The vast majority of voters support term limits for Congress, something the Ruling Class of both parties opposes.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 71% of Likely U.S. Voters favor establishing term limits for all members of Congress. Just 14% oppose setting such limits, and 15% are undecided about them.

The majority of voters are “just not that into” giving government subsidies for alternative energy.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Likely U.S. Voters think free market competition is more likely than government subsidies and regulation to help the United States develop alternative sources of energy. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% believe government subsidies and regulations are the better way to go. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

But then 71% of voters say private sector companies and investors are better than government officials when it comes to determining the long-term benefits and potential of new technologies. Sixty-four percent (64%) think it’s likely that if a private company which cannot find investors gets funding from the government, that money will be wasted.

If private investors aren’t willing to put money into a company, only 17% of voters think the federal government should provide loan guarantees or loans to help keep such a company in business. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say the government should not provide money for an alternative energy company after private investors refuse to invest in it. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.

More voters say being “pro-gun” is good and “union supported” is bad than say the reverse. 6 in 10 Americans believe if the Government raises taxes to reduce the deficit, it will only cause more Government spending (which means the public isn’t buying the Democrat party’s “the Republicans don’t want to raise taxes so they’re not serious about the debt” false dichotomy fallacy), while the majority believe if the Government agrees to cut spending, no spending will actually be cut (which means the public knows the Government’s history).

On practically every issue, the Democrat party stands in opposition to the will of the public. On practically every issue, the Democrat party stands in opposition to the will of independent voters. Is it any wonder a Democrat poll showed Democrats in a worse position in 60 Republican-held “battleground” districts now than in 2010, when Democrats were swept out of office? Is it any wonder Democrats are losing the independent vote?

Posted in Conservative, economics, Elections, Health Care, Liberal, Obama, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, term limits | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

George Allen Signs Contract From America

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/06/09

I got an email from Contract From America, stating George Allen signed their contract.

U.S. Senate Candidate George Allen (R-VA) First Candidate in Virginia to Sign Contract from America in 2012 Cycle

The Contract from America Foundation announced today that U.S. Senate candidate George Allen (R-VA) has joined over 70 currently elected Senators and Congressmen nationwide by listening to the wishes of his constituents and signing the “Contract from America,” a Main Street, tea party-driven legislative blueprint for 2011 and beyond. He is the first to do so in Virginia for the 2012 election cycle.

Ryan Hecker, one of the organizers of the Contract from America, elaborated: “George Allen, by signing the Contract from America, has shown himself to be a true champion of Main Street and tea party values. He has illustrated that, if elected, he will listen to his constituents and be a true grassroots conservative leader in the Senate. We are especially glad that George is the first candidate in Virginia to sign the Contract in the 2012 cycle.”

In signing this bottom-up call for economic conservative and good governance reform, George Allen stated:

“Virginians are anxious about the struggling economy, out-of-control spending, and growing debt that is threatening to rob our children of the opportunities we had. Rather than the dictates, mandates and tax hikes coming out of Washington we need a pro-growth agenda based on our foundational principles of freedom, personal responsibility and opportunity for all. In the U.S. Senate I pledge to protect and build upon the basic principles of the Contract from America – individual liberty, limited government and economic freedom.”

Visit Mr. Allen’s campaign website:

I do not know Virginia politics. I have never lived in Virginia. I spent 44+ years in Ohio. I now live in Texas, having spent the last 1+ years in Texas. That means I know Ohio politics. But I know George Allen was Governor of Virginia and was a US Senator from Virginia before the Democrat wave elections threw him out. My question is this: Did George Allen sign the contract for cynical, political reasons? Did he sign the contract to get votes? Will he stay true to the contract or is he using it as a tool to get elected?

My own position is rather simple to understand, but difficult to implement, even for me. Every Congressman (that’s not a sexist term, but a gender-neutral term) should come from the private sector. Every Congressman should return to the private sector. That means term limits. And that means mandatory term limits. Not just “consecutive terms” variety but the lifetime standard for term limits. That also means eradicating pensions for former politicians, to include current political pensioners. When politicians leave Congress and have to make a living under the laws Congress pass, those politicians will necessarily be much more reticent toward Government power over the everyday lives of private citizens and private enterprises.

And George Allen is a career politician who gets a heavy political pension paycheck every month. That is an absolutely huge “no” for me. Don’t get me wrong. If he is the absolute best candidate for office, despite his career politician standing, he should be elected. And signing the Contract From America is a very strong step toward that. Every person seeking office — national, statewide, local — should sign the Contract From America, and those who refuse to sign should be dinged, and dinged hard. But everyone who signs should also be seriously studied to determine if the signing is merely a cynical move or an actual affirmation of positions. And their feet should necessarily be held to the fire.

Now, George Allen is facing a TEA Party darling as an opponent in the 2012 Virginia US Senate Primary. Jamie Radtke has a strong and longer standing with positions that are TEA Party-supported. And she is not a politician but rather a member of the private sector. I, personally, support Jamie Radtke over George Allen, although I am hesitant to give her my full support. While I am strongly in favor of private-sector individuals to enter Congress, it remains true that those individuals have no track record. The vast majority of pro-opinion must necessarily be placed on issue positions instead of (nonexistent) track records. But Jamie Radtke’s issue positions are dead on and have been dead on from day one. George Allen, on the other hand, is a recent acceptant of TEA Party demands.

The Democrat, Webb, has chosen to retire after one term in the Senate, so any Democrat offered up will have no experience in the US Senate — and will be a Democratic sacrificial lamb as the Republicans retake the Virginia seat. So the key vote is in the Republican Primary: selecting the appropriate Republican candidate for the office.

Jamie Radtke is a TEA Party candidate. George Allen is a long-time Republican politician seeking a return to where he was before, so he is a known quantity. Virginians will have a choice between a known Republican who recently signed the Contract From America and an unknown who has been speaking TEA Party for a year or more. If I were Virginian, I’d vote Radtke in the Primary. But I’d vote for either one of them in the General.

Posted in Conservative, Elections, politics, TEA Party, term limits | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

A Quote To Remember

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/09/05

Government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
— George Washington

Relevant links here, here, here.

Posted in Constitution, education, history, politics, society, term limits | 1 Comment »

Integrity Challenged Challenges Integrity

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/04/25

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is up to her old tricks. In a congressional hearing, Clinton returned to her defensive boxing skills, shucking and jiving in an effort to avoid the body-blows. When reminded that former Vice President Cheney has requested the rest of the memos released and asked if they would be released, Hillary questioned Cheney’s integrity. Obviously, that was not the question and the congressman did not give her a pass.

He said he was not concerned whether she trusted Cheney’s honesty but whether she would answer the congressman’s question. Would the memos be released? Her response? She would support the President’s decision. Would she advise the President to release them? She said she wasn’t going to tell the hearing what she would advise the President and she didn’t know enough.

I find it quite rich that Hillary Clinton, of all people, would have the audacity to question anyone’s integrity, considering her history.

According to the Progressive Review:

The documents, reviewed by The Washington Times, identify numerous instances in which prosecutors questioned Mrs. Clinton’s honesty. . .

For instance, the papers say prosecutors thought Mrs. Clinton first concealed her legal representation of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association – and the money she made doing it – during the 1992 presidential campaign when she and her husband, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, came under fire in a questionable Arkansas real estate project known as Whitewater.

Beginning in March 1992 and continuing over the next several years, Mrs. Clinton steadfastly denied that she ever “earned a penny” in representing her Rose Law Firm clients, including the failing thrift’s owners, James and Susan McDougal – the Clintons’ partners in the Whitewater Development Corp. project.

But the newly discovered records, more than 1,100 pages in 30 separate documents, tell a different story.

A June 1998 draft indictment of Mrs. Clinton’s Rose firm partner Webster L. Hubbell, who followed the Clintons to Washington in 1993 as associate attorney general, said Mrs. Clinton did legal work for Madison “continuously” from April 1985 to July 1986. It also said she represented the thrift before the Arkansas Securities Department for approval to issue preferred stock, helped Madison obtain a questionable broker-dealer license to sell the stock and was actively involved in a failed Madison project known as Castle Grande.

I suggest reading the entire article. I also suggest reading another article from The Progressive Review in it’s entirety.


Bank and mail fraud, violations of campaign finance laws, illegal foreign campaign funding, improper exports of sensitive technology, physical violence and threats of violence, solicitation of perjury, intimidation of witnesses, bribery of witnesses, attempted intimidation of prosecutors, perjury before congressional committees, lying in statements to federal investigators and regulatory officials, flight of witnesses, obstruction of justice, bribery of cabinet members, real estate fraud, tax fraud, drug trafficking, failure to investigate drug trafficking, bribery of state officials, use of state police for personal purposes, exchange of promotions or benefits for sexual favors, using state police to provide false court testimony, laundering of drug money through a state agency, false reports by medical examiners and others investigating suspicious deaths, the firing of the RTC and FBI director when these agencies were investigating Clinton and his associates, failure to conduct autopsies in suspicious deaths, providing jobs in return for silence by witnesses, drug abuse, improper acquisition and use of 900 FBI files, improper futures trading, murder, sexual abuse of employees, false testimony before a federal judge, shredding of documents, withholding and concealment of subpoenaed documents, fabricated charges against (and improper firing of) White House employees, inviting drug traffickers, foreign agents and participants in organized crime to the White House.


Number of times that Clinton figures who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn’t remember, didn’t know, or something similar.

Bill Kennedy 116
Harold Ickes 148
Ricki Seidman 160
Bruce Lindsey 161
Bill Burton 191
Mark Gearan 221
Mack McLarty 233
Neil Egglseston 250
Hillary Clinton 250
John Podesta 264
Jennifer O’Connor 343
Dwight Holton 348
Patsy Thomasson 420
Jeff Eller 697

There is an obvious difficulty with integrity where Hillary Clinton is involved.

And recordings of election year 2000 Hillary Clinton felonies:

Posted in crime, history, media, military, politics, society, term limits, terrorists, truth, war | Comments Off on Integrity Challenged Challenges Integrity

Media Attack Dog Gets Smacked Down

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/04/19

I agree with Patterico. Everyone needs to upload this video to YouTube and everyone needs to embed it in their blogs. Don’t let CNN’s thuggery violate “fair use” laws without a fight.

From Ben Sheffner of Copyrights and Campaigns:

CNN does own copyright in its own news footage and, as a general matter, has the right to demand its removal from YouTube. However, as to this particular video, I think Founding Bloggers has a very strong fair use defense. The purpose for Founding Bloggers’ posting of the CNN footage is crystal clear: to comment on and criticize CNN’s reporting on the “Tea Party.” Such a use is right in the heartland of the fair use doctrine; the statute specifically mentions “criticism, comment, [and] news reporting” as protected uses that are “not an infringement of copyright.” 17 U.S.C. § 107. To quickly run through the four fair use factors as they apply here: 1) the use is transformative (for critical comment); 2) the CNN footage is factual, not fictional, and was previously broadcast; 3) the amount used is small in relation to the whole CNN broadcast; and 4) any effect on the market is minuscule (and if fewer people watch CNN because this video causes them to think less of its coverage, that’s simply not cognizable harm). Many fair use cases are difficult, close calls–but, given the facts as I know them, this is an easy one.

Visit Patterico’s and Ben Sheffner’s sites and read what they have to say, then upload the video onto YouTube and embed the video into your own blogsite.

Posted in Constitution, education, media, politically correct, politics, society, term limits, truth, war | Comments Off on Media Attack Dog Gets Smacked Down

Davey Crockett’s Words Again

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/04/15

On a day of nationwide Tea Parties largely ignored or ridiculed by mainstream media and many blog sites, it is good to read the words of US Representative Colonel Davey Crockett. His words are not taught in schools. Our schools do not properly teach Government classes, else much of the statist creep would never have been allowed to occur and the usual suspects would never have been able to demagogue the issues.

And, on to US Representative Colonel Davey Crockett’s words.

I was one day in the lobby of the House of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support, rather, as I thought, because it afforded the speakers a fine opportunity for display than from the necessity of convincing anybody, for it seemed to me that everybody favored it. The Speaker was just about to put the question, when Crockett arose. Everybody expected, of course, that he was going to make one of his characteristic speeches in support of the bill. He commenced:

“Mr. Speaker — I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the Government was in arrears to him. This Government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the war of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor, and if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of; but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The Government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Like many other young men, and old ones too, for that matter, who had not thought upon the subject, I desired the passage of the bill, and felt outraged at its defeat. I determined that I would persuade my friend Crockett to move a reconsideration the next day.

Previous engagements preventing me from seeing Crockett that night, I went early to his room the next morning, and found him engaged in addressing and franking letters, a large pile of which lay upon his table.

I broke in upon him rather abruptly, by asking him what devil had possessed him to make that speech and defeat that bill yesterday. Without turning his head or looking up from his work, he replied :

“You see that I am very busy now; take a seat and cool yourself. I will be through in a few minutes, and then I will tell you all about it.”

He continued his employment for about ten minutes, and when he had finished it turned to me and said:

“Now, sir, I will answer your question. But thereby hangs a tale, and one of considerable length, to which you will have to listen.”

I listened, and this is the tale which I heard:

“Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.”

“The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business, and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a Praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.”

“The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.”

“So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddle-bags, and put out. I had been out about a week, and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow, when I asked him if he could give me a chew of tobacco.”

“Yes,” said he, “such as we make and use in this part of the country; but it may not suit your taste, as you are probably in the habit of using better.”

“With that he pulled out of his pocket part of a twist in its natural state, and handed it to me. I took a chew, and handed it back to him. He turned to his plow, and was about to start off. I said to him: “Don’t be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted,” He replied:

“I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say.”

“I began: “Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and—”

“Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.”

“This was a sockdologer. I had been making up my mind that he was one of those churlish fellows who care for nobody but themselves, and take bluntness for independence. I had seen enough of them to know there is a way to reach them, and was satisfied that if I could get him to talk to me I would soon have him straight. But this was entirely a different bundle of sticks. He knew me, had voted for me before, and did not intend to do it again. Something must be the matter; I could not imagine what it was. I had heard of no complaints against me, except that some of the dandies about the village ridiculed some of the wild and foolish things that I too often say and do, and said that I was not enough of a gentleman to go to Congress. I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

“Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.”

“Thank you for that, but you find fault with only one vote. You know the story of Henry Clay, the old huntsman and the rifle; you wouldn’t break your gun for one snap.”

“No, nor for a dozen. As the story goes, that tack served Mr. Clay’s purpose admirably, though it really had nothing to do with the case. I would not break the gun, nor would I discard an honest representative for a mistake in judgment as a mere matter of policy. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.”

“I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.”

“No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true!”

“Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote for which anybody in the world would have found fault with.”

“Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity!”

“Here was another sockdologer; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

“Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.”

“It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the Government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the Government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right: to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive, what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.”

“I have given you,” continued Crockett, “an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

“So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.”

“I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

“Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it, than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote, and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.”

“He laughingly replied: “Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go round the district, you will tell the people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, J will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.”

“If I don’t,” said I, “I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.”

“No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.”

“Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-by. I must know your name.”

“My name is Bunce.”

“Not Horatio Bunce?”


“Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad that I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend. You must let me shake your hand before I go.”

“We shook hands and parted. “It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

“At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

“Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

“It is not exactly pertinent to my story, but I must tell you more about him. When I saw him with his family around him, I was not surprised that he loved to stay at home. I have never in any other family seen a manifestation of so much confidence, familiarity and freedom of manner of children toward their parents mingled with such unbounded love and respect.

“He was not at the house when I arrived, but his wife received and welcomed me with all the ease and cordiality of an old friend. She told me that her husband was engaged in some out-door business, but would be in shortly. She is a woman of fine person; her face is not what the world would at first sight esteem beautiful. In a state of rest there was too much strength and character in it for that, but when she engaged in conversation, and especially when she smiled, it softened into an expression of mingled kindness, goodness, and strength that was beautiful beyond anything I have ever seen.

“Pretty soon her husband came in, and she left us and went about her household affairs. Toward night the children–he had about seven of them– began to drop in; some from work, some from school, and the little ones from play. They were introduced to me, and met me with the same ease and grace that marked the manner of their mother. Supper came on, and then was exhibited the loveliness of the family circle in all its glow. The father turned the conversation to the matters in which the children had been interested during the day, and all, from the oldest to the youngest, took part in it. They spoke to their parents with as much familiarity and confidence as if they had been friends of their own age, yet every word and every look manifested as much respect as the humblest courtier could manifest for a king; aye, more, for it was all sincere, and strengthened by love. Verily it was the Happy Family.

“I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. When supper was over, one of the children brought him a Bible and hymn-book. He turned to me and said:

“Colonel, I have for many years been in the habit of family worship night and morning. I adopt this time for it that all may be present. If I postpone it some of us get engaged in one thing and some in another, and the little ones drop off to sleep, so that it is often difficult to get all together.”

“He then opened the Bible, and read the Twenty-third Psalm, commencing: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” It is a beautiful composition, and his manner of reading it gave it new beauties. We then sang a hymn, and we all knelt down. He commenced his prayer “Our Father who art in Heaven.” No one who has not heard him pronounce those words can conceive how they thrilled through me, for I do not believe that they were ever pronounced by human lips as by him. I had heard them a thousand times from the lips of preachers of every grade and denomination, and by all sorts of professing Christians, until they had become words of course with me, but his enunciation of them gave them an import and a power of which I had never conceived. There was a grandeur of reverence, a depth of humility, a fullness of confidence and an overflowing of love which told that his spirit was communing face to face with its God. An overwhelming feeling of awe came over me, for I felt that I was in the invisible presence of Jehovah. The whole prayer was grand–grand in its simplicity, in the purity of the spirit it breathed, in its faith, its truth, and its love. I have told you he came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

“I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him–no, that is not the word–I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

“But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted–at least, they all knew me.

“In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

“Fellow-citizens–I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can to-day offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.”

“I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation as I have told it to you, and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

“And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.”

“It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit of it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.”

“He came upon the stand and said:

“Fellow-citizens–It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.”

“He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

“I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

“Now, sir,” concluded Crockett, “you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed, and was directing them to my constituents when you came in.

“There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men–men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased–a debt which could not be paid by money–and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

The hour for the meeting of the House had by this time arrived. We walked up to the Capitol together, but I said not a word to him about moving a reconsideration. I would as soon have asked a sincere Christian to abjure his religion.

I had listened to his story with an interest which was greatly increased by his manner of telling it, for, no matter what we may say of the merits of a story, a speech, or a sermon, it is a very rare production which does not derive its interest more from the manner than the matter, as some of my readers have doubtless, like the writer, proved to their cost.

About the Author: Edward S. Ellis

This story appeared in The Life Of Colonel David Crockett, published by Porter & Coates in 1884. Now in the public domain.

Posted in Constitution, economics, education, history, media, politics, society, term limits, truth | 3 Comments »

Look At All That Money

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/03/24

There are many shrubs that need pruned in government today.  The Democrat oligarchy that is running things right now in Congress and the Executive branch is doing it’s best at demigoguery within the governmental process and in the media, claiming to be “pure as the wind-driven snow” when it is clearly obvious their snow has lumpy brown blotches and yellow discolorations.  But a quick glance at a specific Top Ten list tells a very damning story.

What list are you talking about?

I’m glad you asked.  I’m talking about the Top Ten of political contributors over the last ten years.  That Top Ten includes six unions, an investment firm, and a telecommunications giant.  As Arsenio Hall was wont to say, “things that make you go ‘hrmmmmmm’.”  The Center for Responsive Politics provides the top 100 heavy hitters.  Knowing unions are extremely leftist, it is abundantly clear which political party is most beholden to the corrupters of politics.  It is also abundantly clear, with information such as this, which political party is the more disingenuous.

But that does not change the fact both parties are subject to corruption.  And pruning the shrubbery, while necessary, is not the means to the ends of corruption eradication.

But never forget which party had 50 years of uninterrupted supremacy in the House of Representatives and never forget which party whinged the loudest about influences of corruption.  It’s the party that received the greatest financial benefit of power.

Ironic?  Disingenuous?  Hypocritical?  Which adjective fits here?  I can’t think of a proper one.

Posted in Constitution, history, media, politically correct, politics, society, term limits, truth | Comments Off on Look At All That Money

Are Analysts Accurate?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/03/23

The list of stimulus and bail-out and other big-government deficit spending programs seems neverending, starting at the end of the Bush (43) administration and exponentially amplified in the Obama administration. Bush (43) did say he violated his own free-market principles in signing TARP but the emergency situation was the reason. I have to wonder what principles are permitted to be violated under duress. Don’t they become preferences instead? Again, we come back to the standards to which we hold those in authority. We seem to be focusing on LCD when, historically, we focused on something similar to GCF. (I love math.)

Obama, for his part, has always been far-left. His agenda and policies are socialistic, which require massive government spending. George W Bush stated he wouldn’t ask Congress for the second part of the TARP unless Barack H Obama wanted it, since Bush’s time in office was just a matter of days. Obama did ask Bush to ask for the second traunch, so Bush did. After Obama took office, he presided over the second traunch of TARP, which I believe included, if not all, the vast majority of the car-manufacturer bail-outs. Then came the rush-rush $787 billion “stimulus” package. And after that, Obama has offered up a $3.6 trillion budget – which itself approaches $2 trillion in deficit spending. The “stimulus” package and the second traunch of TARP is all deficit. The socialized health-care plan will be a massive detriment to national financial health until the end of the US, if ever passed, and will result in rampant health-care shortages, not to mention the rampant morality-code violations any moral health care provider will have to endure, all for the sake of the nanny state.
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Posted in media, politically correct, politics, society, term limits, truth | Comments Off on Are Analysts Accurate?

Rangel Keeps Chairman Post

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/02/11

From Fox News

Texas Representative John Carter (R) wrote a resolution to require Rangel be temporarily removed from his post as chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, one of the most powerful committees, while the probe of Rangel’s (alleged) ethics violations, like tax fraud, continues. The resolution came up for a vote yesterday evening but another measure came in to derail it. New York Representative Joe Crowley (D) introduced a resolution to table Carter’s resolution. The House voted 242 – 157 for the Crowley resolution, with 16 voting present. Fox News states many of those voting present either sit on the ethics committee or are among those who may sit on future ethics committees.

The obvious question is: What would Democrats do if a Republican had these particular ethics issues? Would Democrats rally to the side of the Republican as they are with Rangel? Or would they try to get the Republican kicked out of the House? Funny how that hypocrisy thing works so well for Democrats.

Posted in crime, politics, term limits | Comments Off on Rangel Keeps Chairman Post

Budget Buster Bill Bombs Badly Says CBO

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/02/05


The Washington Times reports that within ten years, the Obama “stimulus” bill will be a net loss, strangling private investment opportunities. The information comes directly from Congress’s own analysts, the Congressional Budget Office.

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.

With such a report from their own analysts, can the Democrat-led Congress actually continue to say all the top economists agree with their budget buster and keep a straight face? Someone, please stop the demagoguery and start over.

Posted in economics, politically correct, term limits, truth | 2 Comments »

The Move to Repeal the 22nd Amendment

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/16

Hat tip to Dana Pico on this.

It seems there is an effort afoot to repeal the term-limit amendment from the US Constitution, making it possible for Presidents to serve three terms or more. From what I read, Jose Serrano (D-NY) has authored a resolution in the US House of Representatives to eliminate the only term limit in the constitution. Apparently, he introduced the same resolution in 2003, which would have very much benefited Bill Clinton (D-AR) but no Republican would have benefitted. His current introduction of the bill was too late to have had any chance to benefit GWB. Coincidence? I think not.

This action is an attempt to consolidate Democrat power, pure and simple. But even if it weren’t, I would stand solidly against it. As I wrote in a previous article, the lack of term limits is bad for the country, as can be historically evidenced. I suggest all who desire a strong constitutional republic and have a distaste for out of control governments should call or write their congressmen and senators and make it known that the repeal of the 22nd amendment is unacceptable.

Posted in Constitution, politically correct, politics, term limits, truth | 2 Comments »

Term Limits: Good for America

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/10

George Washington prophetically warned about life-long politicians. He tended to give the benefit of the doubt to people in politics, from what I have read. And yet, he still gave warnings about various political trending eventualities, among those being the long-staying politicians (which did not yet exist in the US, as it was in its infancy).

Washington’s warnings in regard to life-long politicians were in regard to the extended loss of intimate contact with those who lived under the laws the politicians created. Politicians are insulated from the effects of their decisions so long as they remain politicians. Once a politician returns to the world of “everyday people,” the politician feels the effects of those decisions. But a lifelong politician will never feel those effects and will never truly know the true nature of the cause/effect of the decisions.

Washington was very strident in his advocacy of “citizen statesmen,” an idea many living in the 18th century found to be foolishness. After all, they posited, ordinary citizens would not be knowledgeable enough nor would they be astute enough to handle all the various machinations of better-learned folk. They also would be unable to deal with the minutia and cloak-and-dagger of the nefarious within and outside the US. Washington was steadfast in his advocacy.

A career politician, even one of pure heart, is much more easily swayed than a citizen statesman. While a citizen statesman will necessarily have his own “after politics” life and the lives of his constituents in mind, a career politician will be swayed by “power intoxication” and the need to maintain his livelihood. While a citizen statesman knows he will soon be placed under the laws he creates, a career politician doesn’t have this knowledge as a hedge against improper laws. With the constant influx of new citizen statesmen and departure of old citizen statesmen, bad laws will much more readily be removed from the books.

Despite Washington’s warnings, our country is full of career politicians. It is extremely difficult to vote an incumbent out of office. A major reason for this difficulty is human nature. It is very difficult for we humans to actually change course. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” We desire stability and will act to maintain it. And politicians know this. And exploit this to the fullest extent possible.

With career politicians, we have huge numbers of pet projects designed to garner votes. “I got you that dam you wanted.” “I got that huge ship-building contract for you so you and your family can eat for the next ten years.” “I got jobs for your teen-age children.” All sorts of budget-busting spending has been attached to all sorts of congressional bills in efforts to garner “votes next time.” The “citizen statesman” philosophy prevents the vast majority of this because the citizen statesman will have to earn a living after leaving politics.


With the benefit of over 200 years of 20/20 hindsight, it is abundantly clear politics in general has been tainted by power-brokering. The vast majority of the general public has been permanently jaded. “All politicians are crooks.” “All politicians are out for themselves.” “Once a politician takes office, he immediately starts campaigning for re-election.” All these opinions are signs of massive disdain for politicians, yet incumbents get huge benefits of the doubt. As I stated above, people resist change. Also, as I stated above, career politicians dump OPM (other people’s money) into their own districts. Whether the reasons for pumping OPM are out of genuine belief it is right or out of a desire to “buy” votes becomes irrelevant. The effect is the same: the incumbent wins many votes on that alone.

It is abundantly clear a majority of those in the US Congress are lifetime politicians. It is also abundantly clear those politicians do not intend to spend their after-congress careers doing “everyday people” jobs. Once a politician leaves office, it’s off to the lucrative lecture tour. Or it’s off to the retirement scene, with the abundant retirement perks of a former congressman.

With term limits, many of these egregious actions will be immediately eliminated. No longer can a congressman retire with an annual 6-digit retirement income. No longer will the new congressmen be able to expect such a huge lecture income after politics. And so many of these bad laws foisted on the “unwashed masses” will be railed against by former politicians who voted for them that it will make your head spin. Instead of what we have now, where bad laws only get worse and bad money is chased by more money, bad laws will be eliminated and bad money will be inverse-exponentially reduced.

An amendment to the Constitution forced term limits on the President of the US, and has guaranteed a constant change in the presidency. The US has not fallen apart because of this amendment. The US, while definitely swinging back and forth in the eyes of the citizenry, has remained relatively stable and consistent in world view. No cataclysmic events have occurred with the change of president as required by the amendment, contrary to the dire warnings of those against term limits. Yet the lack of congressional term limits has led to a continuous downhill slide in multiple facets of US life.

Term limits are imperative for members of both houses of the US Congress. I am not naïve enough to believe a mere law requiring term limits will pass congress, due to the selfish nature of many of those in congress and due to the corrupting power congress provides. Even if such a law passed congress and was signed by the sitting president, I am not naïve enough to believe it would survive the guaranteed challenge in the courts. I guarantee such a law would be overturned by the US Supreme Court.

An amendment is mandatory to force term limits. I believe it is possible for each state to pass a “term limits” amendment to its constitution that fits within the US Constitution, but I am not naïve enough to believe such an amendment will survive the Supreme Court, despite the tenth and eleventh amendments to the US Constitution. Despite my belief such state-wide amendments would fail the revisionist nature of the Supreme Court, I strongly advise each state to pass amendments restricting terms in each of the various offices for its citizens.

Since the Supreme Court will ignore the tenth and eleventh amendments in this regard (the eleventh amendment is by far the lesser amendment in this regard), an amendment to the US Constitution is necessary. I am not naïve enough to call for a constitutional convention as such a convention would inevitably destroy the securities provided by the current constitution, given the power-corrupt nature of today’s politicians and the complicit nature of today’s mainstream media. It is necessary for congress itself to call for this amendment. And obviously, I am not naïve enough to believe such a call will come from today’s congress—unless extreme pressure is laid upon the heads of congressmen from all the states. And this is the most difficult task of all. This is the task we are faced with if we want to return to a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Posted in Constitution, politics, term limits | Comments Off on Term Limits: Good for America

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