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Congress is broken. It needs to adopt the Docket System

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Congress to stop paying sexual harassment claims with taxpayer dollars

The Omibus bill-now-law is a small cherry on top of the mounting evidence that our Congressional legislature is broken. The system is designed to empower those in charge that hold no Constitutional authority. A Senate Majority leader has no derivative in the Constitution, yet this title has such an influence on the legislative process. Consider this:

Have not such bills been floating around in Congress for years. Let’s see back in 2015, a Congressmen introduced H.R.1013 – Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. It was last sent to the subcommittee on trade and the bill has never been seen again. The current Congress has a dozen or so marijuana related bills all sitting in committee, but legalizing Hemp may see the light of day because McConnell wants to appease a group of people, while similar bills are missing in committee. Most people favor Congressional term limits. Many run on them. Yet during the 1990s, many bills/ Constitutional Amendments were proposed. All of them never saw the light of day once going being sent to a committee. Senators Perdue (R-GA) and Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Balanced Budget Accountability Act on January 11th, 2017. Nothing has become of it in over a year. Both Senators opposed the Omnibus spending bill, in case you were curious.

See my point? Instead of simple to understand legislation having its honest day on the floor, we the people instead get ramrodded with behemoth bills none of theses legislatures read. This monstrosity gets forced on the Senate and is instantly, because of the likes of McConnell and Schumer, at the tippy top of the priority list. In a matter of days, this bill passed the Senate while principled solutions from the left or right never see the light of day for they were not written by lobbyist who own the committees and majority leaders. Voting out the McConnells isn’t enough. We need to fundamentally change the legislative process.

Congress is the most important branch of government. For this reason, the legislative branch is Article 1 in the constitution. In Article 1 Section 7 we find the legislative process. Section 7 deals with the veto process rather than getting nitty-gritty about committees and subcommittees. Looking at the current situation, it’s clear Congress is too big to be effective for the people. The legislative process empowers committees who host members whom are no more qualified to legislate on matters than nonmembers. It bogs down legislatures who come up with solutions outside of their groups.

Docket System

I purpose we systematically rewrite the song “I’m just a Bill.” We need to get rid of committees and instead move towards a docket system. Under the Docket System, every bill will be voted on it its respective chamber. This is beneficial because we will see just where our elected officials truly stand on a matter of issues. A bill will be introduced and from there receive it’s day to be voted on, a very well off date, and schedule hearings if necessary, also in the distant future. If a bill has one sponsor, it will not be prioritized. In order to move higher on the docket, the bill needs to gain more sponsors. If a bill reaches a threshold of sponsors, say 35 in the Senate, it can get prioritized within and be voted on within a week. Bills that advance through one chamber will get prioritized in the next. The system is designed to get backlogged, but if matters are significant, legislators will sponsor legislature on them. Our criminal justice system has a process for seeing every case according to the 6th Amendment. I believe it possible for Congress to enable a system that is attentive to every bill, needing only be a fraction as fast as the trial process.

The purpose of this would be to first strip Congress of extra-constitutional titles, and second to ensure that bills are simple, heard, and voted on. Otherwise, we are stuck hearing things about Kate’s Law, the REINS Act, Concealed Carry Reciprocity, term limits, balanced budget amendments, and all these nice things campaign conservatives support.  Truthfully, the issues in Congress are more numerous in the Senate than the House of Representatives. Kate’s Law passed the House and was received in the Senate on July 10, 2017. No action has taken place since in a Republican held Senate. Yet the Omnibus got the ultimate fast pass. We need real change. As Congress buries itself in arcane rules and procedures designed to preserve a political class, so the legislative process is slowed for legislators who genuinely want to drain the swamp. The Senate Majority Leader need not exist in official title or duties. Only the titles and processes laid in Article 1 are the framework for our legislative process. The rest is entirely optional.

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Culture and Religion

Snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory: ‘Writing out’ Most Guns with the Bump-Stock ban.

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Bump Stock

The latest Liberty grabber wave has crested, but Trump is about to give them a tremendous victory over the 2nd amendment.

Now that the Sturm und Drang of the March for gun confiscation has ‘died down’ it has become evident that, much like previous movements of the past, it came to nought aside from some localised suppressions of Liberty. The problem is there a vestige of this assault of freedom that is still rearing it’s ugly head, that of the infamous ban on so-called “Bump-Stocks”.

Those who are rightly concerned about this assault on Liberty can still inscribe their opposition with the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-sticks bureaucracy [Better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF]  pushing through a new ‘law’ that all by himself, Trump has taken to “Writing Out”.  The deadline is June 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET for everyone to post their opposition to this ‘Law’.

First they came for the Bump-Stocks.

For those who may not care about someone else’s concerns over freedom, just be mindful of a reprise of Martin Niemöller Poem starting with the line: “First they came for the Bump-Stocks, and I didn’t object – For I didn’t care about Bump-Stocks…. Soon enough, they get around to coming after the firearms everyone else cares about, and eventually that will be hunting rifles or shotguns. If you chose to remain silent those guns will be “written out” as well.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what the Liberty grabbers have stated in bragging about the subject:

Delaney Tarr [March for Our Lives]

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.):

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, “So what? … I certainly hope so.”

Apparently we’re not supposed to notice when the Liberty grabber Left broadcasts their intentions to the world. We’re supposed to let them get a foot in the door of a pretext for further bans before objecting.

Giving up the question.

David Deming over on the American thinker, Made the very important point that sacrificing one more time to the Liberty grabbers of what seems to be nothing is in essence:

If we agree to ban bump stocks because they facilitate rapid firing, we have given up the question. We have agreed in principle that any dangerous gun can be banned and confiscated by an arbitrary executive order. All guns are capable of rapid fire, and all guns are inherently dangerous. Pump-action shotguns can be rapidly fired and reloaded. Jerry Miculek can fire five shots from a double-action revolver in 0.57 seconds. High-capacity magazines most certainly facilitate rapid fire, so they also will have to go. A writer who wants to ban all “private individual ownership of firearms” recently argued that “even bolt-action rifles can still fire surprisingly fast in skilled hands.” He’s right. All magazine-fed guns will be outlawed.

Automatic redefinition.

In point of fact, the ATF previously ruled that Bump-Stocks [and presumably other ways of ‘bump-firing a gun – Fast fingers, Rubber bands and Belt-loops] don’t actually convert ordinary semi-automatic firearms to a “Machine gun” because the trigger has to be pulled for every shot. Now with the President’s authorising this linguistic legerdemain, this definition codified in the law has been blurred to the point that any gun that can be ‘Bump-fired’ could also be banned. However, they can’t very well ban fingers, belt-loops or rubber bands, so they will just ban each and every gun that can fire too fast.

Just ‘Write-out’ this legal requirement and Voila! Any gun that can be fired too fast for the sensibilities of the Liberty grabbers can be thought of as a “Machine Gun” and banned instantly – converting most of the 120 Million gun owners into instant felons. With a bit of training,  most guns can be fired faster, so in essence, letting them change this legal definition could have them ban just about every gun in existence.

The Takeaway.

One might not care about the fate of thousands of inert pieces of plastic or what happens to those who have them. One might not care if someone won’t be able to bump-fire a weapon in this particular way. But we on the Pro-Liberty Right will rue the day that we let this go through in exchange for nothing.

If we let the powers that be arbitrarily proclaim that some guns with these pieces of inert plastic are “Machine Guns’, the day will soon dawn when ALL guns are dishonestly ‘written out’ as the same. It will then just be a slippery slope to everyone having to undergo a background check, registration and of course – TAXES – on guns that we already own. Followed by the inevitable confiscation of those guns.

Those who remain silent now will only have themselves to blame when this happens – so now is the time to stop this dead in it’s tracks. The comment window is only open for a few more days [Jun 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET], make the best of it.

 

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Opinions

Conservative Picks for the Colorado Primary

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There isn’t too much action in the Colorado Primary, but the race to watch seems to be out of District 5. Colorado is a state that can embrace the grassroots. Doug Lamborn seems to have lost touch with the grassroots due to his struggle at getting on the ballot. As a result of temporarily not being on the ballot, he finds himself in a contested field and is a more vulnerable incumbent. If Lamborn’s reputation can’t recover, Darryl Glenn is poised to capitalize.

Best Pick: Darryl Glenn
Worst Pick: Doug Lamborn
Best Race: District 4
Worst Race: District 3, District 6

District 1

Casper Stockham is the only Republican in this race.

District 2

Peter Yu is the only Republican in this race.

District 3

Scott Tipton is an incumbent RINO. He is unchallenged.

District 4

Ken Buck is Colorado’s most Conservative Congressman. He is unchallenged.

District 5

The first impression from this race is that incumbent Doug Lamborn badmouthed Trump. But rather, Lamborn is in a fight because he had some ballot issues because he was using nonresident signatures or something like that. He survived that court battle but that is only the first battle for in this swamp creature’s quest to stay on top. Looking at his record, he was more Conservative under Obama.

His most serious challenger is Darryl Glenn. Glenn is a candidate with a strong grasp on federalism and separation of powers. He is also running as a fiscal hawk who seems as though he would align with the Freedom Caucus on spending issues. It’ll be interesting to see if Glenn’s Youtube campaign is matched by his ground game. If so, he just might have this.

Conservative Pick: Darryl Glenn

District 6

Mike Coffman is an unchallenged RINO.

District 7

Mark Barrington is the only Republican in this race.

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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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