Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, currently serves on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. In her confirmation hearing to that court in 2017, she went through a grueling inquisition from Sen. Diane Feinstein, who said Barrett’s set of Christian convictions “lives loudly in you.” She said it like it was a bad thing, at the same time exposing her own ignorance of the centrality of religious liberty to the Constitution and to America.
But Barrett held up under such scrutiny admirably, and was advanced to the Circuit Court by a comfortable margin. If ultimately advanced to the Supreme Court, Justice Barrett, with her strong convictions, can be expected to help us reclaim a true understanding of our founding document, in part because she actually knows what’s in it, unlike a lot of judges in our system today.
I once heard a lawyer for the ADF (formerly the Alliance Defending Freedom), one of the premier First Amendment law firms in the land, give a speech at a luncheon. He spoke of delivering a lecture at Stanford Law School, one of the top law schools in the country.
In his luncheon remarks, he raised the importance of the Federalist Papers. (Note: The Federalist Papers were written in 1787 and 1788 by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to urge New Yorkers to ratify the just-proposed Constitution. They are an invaluable and indispensable aid to understanding the Constitution. In fact, it is impossible to understand the Constitution without them.) Continue reading
The regional government plans to borrow money to implement its new income taxes.
Hardly a week goes by that Metro isn’t reaching into your pocketbook or getting deeper in debt. This week, Metro will move forward on issuing $28 million in bonds.
Why does Metro need to borrow $28 million? There are two reasons.
First, Metro needs the money because that’s how much it’s going to cost to set up its new system to collect TWO new income taxes that go into effect in the New Year.
We warned you it would be expensive to implement two new taxes on short order. But, even we had no idea it would cost a whopping $28 million. It takes a lot of money to take a lot of money.
Believe it or not, the second reason is even worse. Metro is out of money. Continue reading
Recently a friend posted on Facebook showing V.P. Pence speaking at a prayer rally at Washington, DC, on September 26th describing it as “Disgusting” and then claiming the gathering of over 100,000 was no more than a political, white supremacy rally in support of Trump. With all the violent riots happening across the country labeled as peaceful, I was floored this prayer event could be seen as disgusting?!
I was not sure how to respond. Unfortunately, in our society right now being white and an evangelical Christian is not very popular and we’re encouraged to stay quiet. Although I agree all of us need to be slower to speak and quicker to listen, now is not the time to cower or act timid about our beliefs. I think we approach each situation carefully with prayer.
I do not begin to say I have all the answers, nor do any of us. We might disagree on certain matters, but I think we should use these disagreements as a time to learn from each other, not let them cause a divide. Although I am very blessed, I did not come from a pampered, white privileged background.
I am a good portion American Indian. My parents and grandparents came through extreme poverty and adverse conditions. This country is made up of gut-wrenching stories and incredible testimonies on all sides. We are all in this together. Respecting and supporting Persons of Color (POC) should not mean feeling guilty and remaining quiet. Continue reading
Democratic Party has been taken over by radical leftists, who no longer hide their support for a violent takeover of the country for the cause of yet another Marxist utopia. If Trump wins in November, there will be incessant riots, we are told. If Trump doesn’t win, we can likely say good-bye to many Constitutional freedoms, including the first two amendments.
I want to share my perspective as someone who grew up under communist regime in Poland, studied its history and philosophy (as required in all University programs) and saw it fall in 1989 under the political pressure and the weight of its own contradictions and inefficiency.
First, when I came to the US in September 1989, just weeks before the Berlin Wall was taken down, I was convinced that the evil of Marxism has been defeated for good. Election rhetoric surrounding Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 and his eventual ascent to the White House opened my eyes: the radical left are not dead, and no longer confined to the nooks of academia, where their ideas live in peace and quiet, interrupted only by the clunking of Birkenstock-clad professorial feet.
Leftism was and continues to be on the rise in this country, and after a four year long barrage of lies and fabrications aimed at President Trump, it now brought fearmongering on the wave of COVID-19 and widespread shutdowns hurting the economy (booming under Trump), street riots, and fires in the suburbs. A local business property South-East of Portland, owned by a vocal conservative and Republican supporter was damaged by suspected arson, the resulting fire destroying a nearby house and nearly destroying a private music school. The fight has indeed been brought to the suburbs, as we were told. Continue reading
We are getting prepared for the Senate to give President Trump advice and consent on his newest nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who by all accounts is an outstanding choice. Philip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group, who has been monitoring Supreme Court nominees for a long time, says Barrett is the best nominee he’s ever seen.
Perhaps the preeminent qualification Barrett brings to the bench is that she is an originalist, committed to interpreting and applying the actual text of the Constitution as the Founders intended it to be understood and applied. This column and the several to follow are about why having originalist justices on the bench is so important.
The two books I take into the studio every day
When I go on the set of my daily radio show, I always take two books with me: the Bible and the Constitution. The first is the authoritative guide for all of life. It holds ultimate authority even over the Constitution itself, should the two ever disagree, and over the Supreme Court should the two ever disagree. For instance, abortion is morally and ethically evil regardless of what the Court says, and marriage is between a man and a woman, no matter what the Court says.
The second book I take into the studio is the Constitution. It is the authoritative guide for our common and shared political life as Americans. It is the supreme law of the land. It holds authority over laws passed by Congress, should they conflict, and it holds authority over Supreme Court rulings should they ever conflict. Continue reading
Ignore the Climate Alarm, Clean Energy and Cancel Culture Industry con artists. See the movie.
Weekly, daily, even hourly, we are told that global temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, and hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and droughts are all getting more frequent, intense and destructive because of climate change. Not just climate change, of course, but manmade climate change, due to humanity’s use of fossil fuels – which provide 80% of all the energy that powers America and the world.
The claims assume Earth’s climate and weather were unchanged and unchanging until recent decades. That presumption is belied of course by multiple glacial and interglacial periods; the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods; the Little Ice Age; the Dust Bowl, Anasazi and Mayan droughts; the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900 and Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935; the 1925 Tri-State Tornado; and countless other climate eras and extreme weather events throughout history. Continue reading
In the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tensions on both sides of the aisle are high. With a hotly contested General Election just weeks away, some in the pundit/activist spheres, conditioned by the acceptance of civil unrest in our urban areas, are calling for acts of violence should President Trump nominate his pick to fill the vacancy on the bench. The problem with this, besides the obvious, is that Mr. Trump has no choice but to deliver his nomination to the Senate for confirmation unless he is to be irresponsible to the nation’s needs and the Constitution’s mandates.
In an array of tweets, several self-important personalities issued violent threats against the country should the President and the Senate actually do their constitutional duties:
- “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f—–g thing down” and “Over our dead bodies. Literally,” tweeted Reza Aslan, an Iranian-born CNN host, born-again Islamist, and author.
- “F–k no. Burn it all down,” tweeted Aaron Gouveia, author of Raising Boys To Be Good Men: A Parent’s Guide to Bringing Up Happy Sons in a World Filled with Toxic Masculinity and Father who defended his 5-year old son’s right to wear fingernail polish.
- “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election,” tweeted Beau Willimon, a former aid to John Dean’s failed Senate bid and screenwriter who pilfered the idea for House of Cards from the British version.
- “Burn Congress down before letting Trump try to appoint anyone to SCOTUS,” tweeted Emmett Macfarlane, a Canadian professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
If you are disturbed by the level of hatred, aggression, and complete disregard to the rule of law and the US Constitution then you haven’t been paying attention to what has been going on in the whole of America’s urban centers for the past six months. Continue reading
As voters in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties are scheduled to decide on a payroll tax to pad Metro’s pockets, that agency is facing an elections complaint.
The complaint was recently filed by Tootie Smith, the incoming chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. In the May primary election, Smith defeated incumbent chair Jim Bernard, who has been found guilty of ethics violations for using his public office for personal gain.
Smith’s complaint with the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office centers around a fundraiser that was held on September 11. Residents throughout Clackamas County were evacuating their homes at the time, as wildfires raged nearby and burned out of control.
That fundraiser was held for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) and its sponsors included Metro. It was reported to have raised more than $100,000 and included the endorsements of two Metro council candidates and that organization’s proposed $7 billion transportation tax.
Promotional materials for the virtual fundraising event are alleged to have included information that proceeds would go towards OLCV’s mission, part of which is electing candidates that group deems to be “pro-environment.” Some of the candidates who benefited from the fundraiser are running for partisan positions in the Oregon Legislature. Continue reading
Want to help a low-income individual prosper economically? Give them a car.
Multiple studies have shown that having access to private wheels is positively correlated with income levels and hours worked. Thus, giving someone a personal vehicle is a sure way to help them gain access to more job opportunities, and thus a greater potential for increases in personal wealth.
Metro is not ignorant of this data. In a recently released Regional Mobility Policy Report, Metro admitted that “[vehicle miles traveled] has been shown to increase directly with the growth of personal income.” However, Metro appears to have learned the wrong lesson from this information based on its conclusion that this signifies “that private vehicle ownership and the coinciding motor vehicle infrastructure benefits high-income populations most” and that “reducing VMT by supporting other modes of transportation is a more equitable approach to mobility.”
Metro would rather push residents onto transit, like the proposed $2.8 billion SW Corridor light rail line running from downtown Portland to a swanky outdoor mall in Tigard. However, doing so would do little to help the vast majority of low-income Portlanders efficiently get to work, school, day care, and medical Continue reading
On Monday, September 21, Cascade’s Vice Policy of Research provided testimony to the Oregon Senate, who was holding a hearing on “Equity in Education Policy Proposals.”
Cascade urges the legislature to flip its education funding model. Instead of funneling money through its dysfunctional public school system, the state should support students directly by providing each student their share of the State School Fund.
On average, Oregon school districts receive about $10,500 per student (ADMr) from the State School Fund. If students aren’t getting adequate instruction from their public schools, they should get that money back to receive instruction elsewhere. States like Oklahoma and South Carolina have already taken advantage of similar ideas by reallocating much of their federal stimulus dollars directly to families to help them adapt to this school year.
Think of it as a money-back guarantee. If the public school isn’t working for your kids or your family, you should have a right to take that money and spend it somewhere that does.
Direct funding of students reduces inequities in school systems because it allows all students to have access to education alternatives. Almost 60% of
If equity is the goal, school choice through direct funding of students is the surest and quickest path.