Austin Peterson’s Narrow Path to Becoming Missouri’s Next Senator

By Alan W. Cohen

Three days after Josh Hawley announced his bid for the Republican nomination for senator to oppose Claire McCaskill in the Trumpland known as Missouri, mainstream news organizations were already measuring his chances for victory in the general election. For more than a month after Austin Peterson announced his bid, those same news organizations claimed no one had emerged on the Republican side to challenge McCaskill. It was if he were never there, that he did not exist. And that is exactly where Mitch McConnell and the mainstream media want him.

Yet, Judge Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama gives Peterson hope. McConnell and his cohorts in the Establishment outspent Moore in their primary by more than ten to one, attempting to whitewash him as anti-Trump, while at the same time claiming their establishment clone, Luther Strange, was a Trump supporter. They didn’t fool the voters, and Moore won handily thanks to help of Mark Levin and his fellow conservatives. Alabama is much like Missouri in one respect. Donald Trump won the state by double digits. And, in its Republican primary, Alabamans continued a two-year wave of anti-establishment fervor in voting against Strange as much as they voted in favor of Moore. Of course, Moore, a highly controversial figure in his willingness to take a stand in federal government overreach, was a well-known public figure.

That is Austin Peterson’s first big problem. Name recognition. Yet, being known is not enough. It is what he is known for. Peterson not only needs to be viewed as a valid candidate, but as the anti-establishment candidate. Historically, Peterson is facing the same dilemma as the Founding Fathers. He is up against steep odds, facing a vastly organized and heavily financed machine bell bent on keeping him irrelevant.. Heck, a St. Louis County millionaire kingmaker selected Hawley as the establishment candidate in the public square at least a month before Hawley even formed a committee.

Peterson must draw on true Conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and especially Steve Bannon. Yet, they have limited resources and are not going to waste their time and money on someone who cannot win. He must have develop a winning strategy. So here is my proposed gameplan for Austin Peterson:

  1. Go on the offensive against Hawley immediately. Unlike Strange, who was already a Senator, Hawley is not that well known himself, having won only one statewide election. Poll the Republican electorate and get a pulse on how the electorate feels about Hawley. I am willing to be that there is no opinion at all. Thus, the time will be ripe to paste him with the reputation of being the insider. Two years ago, former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell saw the anger of the electorate, and predicted Trump’s victory on Fox News on a weekly Sunday evening show on a regular basis. McConnell and the establishment still don’t get it. They are beholden to their donors and disdain their voters. Bob Corker spoke for all of them. They hate Donald Trump. When Josh Hawley took up the mantle of the establishment candidate, he could very well have doomed his candidacy. It is up to Peterson to attack this weakness, and, in doing so, create his own name recognition as the candidate willing to slay the lion.
  2. Be the Conservative. Peterson needs to paint himself as a combination of Missouri’s favorite Senators, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Paul is the smart one, the tactician that was the architect of President Trump’s new Obamacare cutbacks. Peterson is a brilliant scholar, but being brilliant is not enough. Missouri Republicans must view him as the savior, a Swamp drainer, a person they can truly trust to keep their promises. Missourians are very aware of pretenders like Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse and Bob Corker. Be Mike Lee. Be Ted Cruz. Be Rand Paul.
  3. Avoid the Libertarian Label. Even though Conservatives like Sean Hannity proclaim themselves as Libertarians, voters see it as a negative when it comes to politics. Two years ago, I attended the Libertarian Party statewide event in Columbia expecting to find hundreds of fellow thinkers, only to find a dozen attendees, most focusing on the legalization of marijuana.  That’s how Missourians see the Libertarian party. Peterson has already begun the process in establishing himself as anti-abortion. But that is not enough. Missourians are common sense Conservatives who care most about their pocketbook and their personal freedom.
  4. Be a Common Man. Missourians feel much like those Jews in Anatevka in Fiddler on the Roof.  When asked about a prayer for the Tsar, the rabbi thought and said: “God bless and keep the Tsar …. far away from us!” So, for Peterson, my advice is keep it simple. You are anti-government, especially anti-federal government. Be that person, not the esoteric thinker who wrote policy papers. We all know that you would best Josh Hawley in an IQ test. But Hawley is a great pretender, a man who was able to reach enough voters to obtain the Republican nomination for Attorney General in the last election. And, again while few people even know Josh Hawley, fewer know you. Thus, while Hawley has already donned the label of the establishment, you have time to go out among the people and be that common man. Sean Hannity likes to say that the last election was about the forgotten man. Be the savior. Listen to farmers and ranchers as well as city folk. Talk the talk. Listen and learn.
  5. Avoid Roy Blunt. Talk about your insiders. I met Roy Blunt’s father more than 35 years ago when I was a journalism student at Mizzou and he was campaigning in a highly Democrat district that was my beat. I followed his career closely, and then of his son. Greene County Republicans protect that name regardless of insider status. No doubt that he will endorse Josh Hawley and support his nomination. But Roy Blunt is not that popular outside of Greene County, and his coattails are highly suspect. Nevertheless, crossing him is a very bad idea. So the best choice is to ignore his existence.
  6. Take Advantage of the McCaskill plan. In 2006, Claire McCaskill rode the wave of Obama supporters to a narrow victory. In 2012, she was supposed to be done, a supporter of Obama, a left-wing extremist in a right leaning state. The Republican field was full of possible contenders and was Nixonest in her thinking, taking out all but the one that she wanted to run against, Todd Akin, an uncouth redneck who was susceptible to the attacks from her friends in the left-wing media. His comments on abortion and rape ended his bid, and he became the butt of jokes nationwide. As soon as  the donors chose Hawley, she went on the offensive against him. She will ignore you because she thinks, as the establishment does, that you have no chance. And there is little to gain by attacking her directly. Just focus on Congress and the establishment and how they don’t care about the common man, how Hawley will only be another crony. Missourian’s know that McCaskill and how her clan got rich on the taxpayer’s dime, how she is corrupt. Save that for the general.

So good luck Austin Peterson. I look forward to meeting you at the Student’s for Liberty conference on October 14.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney and author. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and the Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law.  His books include (2017) Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce and (2015) America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century.

Previous blogs:

How the Conservative/Libertarian Media Revolution Can Save America from McConnell and his Washington Cartel

Health Care Compromise: Exempt States with 6 or Fewer Insurers

Three Important Lessons I Learned From Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism

Memo to Mark Levin: Article V Convention of States Has One Big Caveat

 

Simple Health Care Solution Pits Capitalism Against Socialism

By Alan W. Cohen

Are you tired of the bickering in Washington, D.C., over health care? Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan promised real reform even though the House bill is worse than the disease. Yesterday, socialists Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren accused Republicans of causing the death of millions of Americans with their proposals to dump Obamacare. It’s the theater of the absurd.

Over here in Missouri, at the center of our nation, all we know is that our choices for health insurance are dwindling daily as premiums continue to skyrocket. President Donald Trump claims Obamacare is in a death spiral. Democrats and the media claim otherwise, calling out Republicans for forging a new health care bill behind the scenes when that is exactly what the Democrats did in creating it. It’s exasperating. There is truly a complete disconnect. There is Washington and there is reality. Never the two shall meet.

So, what is the solution? How about this: Simplify. We have 35 states that are completely red. We have 15 states that are either completely blue, or some shade of violet. Let them compete against each other. Let the blue states have their Obamacare. Grant a waiver to any state where the number of insurers is noncompetitive, say at least six. Block grant to those states Medicaid funds to cover those without insurance, and suggest strongly that they permit the sale of policies across state lines, and let the free market do its magic. Historically, states have been melting pots of ideas, permitting human creativity to find solutions that certainly no one in Washington. D.C., is capable. States might contract with hospitals to provide services to the poor for far less. States might adopt medical malpractice reforms such that it would entice the best of doctors. States might be competing to attract the best patient care, and thus attract the best businesses, create the best schools, and so on. Heck, states may do without insurance all together and permit providers to sell their services on the open market, just like most dentists have successfully done since they rejected Medicare fifty years ago. The possibilities are endless.

What about the blue states? It’s up to them. Today in the news, the State of Illinois, a blue state, is nearing bankruptcy. And, of course, there is California and New York, each teetering on the ends of socialist policies, raising taxes to such extremes that people are fleeing to Texas and California by the millions. Blue states can continue to commit financial suicide or they can choose. Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner has been fighting Democrats to save Illinois from filing bankruptcy since his election three years ago. And he’s losing. Margaret Thatcher said it best. Socialism works until they run out of other people’s money.

When you pit capitalism against socialism, capitalism will win out. Just as it always does.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

Recent blogs:

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

Climate Change Non-Deniers Need to Open Up Collective Brains to Capitalism

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Hear Me Bernie Sanders: There is No Constitutional Right to Health Care

 

3 Requirements That Must Be Met in Order for Trump’s Jobs Plan to Work

By Alan W. Cohen

During his campaign, Donald Trump was about one thing: Jobs. Without much help from Congress, he is doing everything he can to support business investment in America to stimulate job creation. But the President is up against more than fifty years of failed government policies that have all but destroyed the incentive of those seeking to fill those jobs. He is up against fifty years of destruction of what was once called the Protestant Worth Ethic.

Donald Trump is seeing the world through his era, when couples married young and stayed together for life, when there was little divorce, and an unwanted pregnancy was a community-wide shame. This was the time when young men saw their place in society based on their chosen career. Their purpose was clear. Succeed to attract the best of of spouses, and to create a good life for himself and his family. Young men entered high school in search of both. Some, not all, went to college if that dream required a higher education. Others chose a different path, to create, or, perhaps, just to work and survive, without a family.

Those days are long over. Young men entering college today are less likely to see their future because they see college as an extension of high school, one where they are freer to play and party and chase girls, many who are more willing than ever to participate without any promise of a future. The statistics are daunting. According to Nicholas Eberstadt, in his recent book,  Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, there is a smaller percentage of working age men in the workforce than at any time since the Great Depression, and the trend is continuing on a downward spiral. That explains why home ownership rates are also falling and are at the lowest rate since the Great Depression. Marriage rates continue to fall to their lowest ever. The same can be said for the average length of marriage. Meanwhile the rate of children born outside of marriage continues to climb to upwards of 40 percent, more than 72 percent in the African American community.

As I said in my 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, the blame for this disaster falls squarely on the federal government and its insidiously stupid child support policies, policies that are more racist than Jim Crow, and more destructive to the African American community than the Ku Klux Klan. In America Solved, I explain how Lyndon Johnson sought to control the African American vote, and how Johnson ignored the findings of the 1965 Moynihan Report that called for a complete reversal of a Kennedy administration policy that not only legislated single-parent families, but required the evicted husbands to pay back to the federal government the sum it was paying as a condition of his eviction. To summarize, the report said: Poor children have poor fathers and, unless immediately changed, would cause irreversible damage.to the African American family. Yet, as I explain in America Solved, those policies remain in place, and those grim statistics are a natural and logical consequence of Johnson’s policy, one that has expanded to a complete federal takeover of family law in America. Incredibly, federal policy is to incarcerate those that fail to pay the sum as determined by the state government agency or court at a cost that far exceeds their debt, even though more than 70 percent of all child support arrears is owed not to the mother, but the federal government, and 90 percent is owed by men earning less than $10,000 a year. It’s insanity on steroids.

So, the bottom line for President Donald Trump is to do three things that he alone can do from the Oval Office without a Congress that has been hell-bent for more than fifty years to continue its socialist expansion:

  1. End Mass Incarceration: Send a message to those men, especially those in poverty and those in the African American community that you hear their cries by issuing pardons to anyone who was ever convicted of criminal nonsupport, and by stopping the funding of federal paid jailing of those convicted. America was supposed to have banned debtor’s prisons at the turn of the 19th Century, but recreated them with the ill-fated 1996 Welfare Reform Bill.
  2. Stop Collection of Government Owed Debt for Back Child Support. As I explain in America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, federal law does not permit this debt (unlike back taxes) to be discounted, or in any way forgiven, despite the fact that 90 percent of those who owe it are the same chronically poor that the Welfare program was supposed to help. While President Trump is forbidden from forgiving the debt, a hiatus on all collection efforts will create a momentum that future presidents will have to continue. As well, it will shine a light on this incredibly stupid and racist policy.
  3. Push Male Contraceptives: Only Congress can reverse the illogical belief that men have any control over procreation, and thus should be punished for creating children they cannot support. Condoms are insufficient and the CDC claims only a 5 in 6 success rate. Big Pharma is reluctant to invest in new, inexpensive methods for both the Male Pill, and especially an inoculation procedure created by a doctor in India that would physically block sperm from being ejaculated with the remainder of the semen, a procedure that could be reversed with a similar inoculation.  By forcing these medical procedures and drugs into the open market, and even pushing its distribution, President Trump would be telling these young men that they can live their lives without the fear that their success will be punished. Current child support policies are outdated, and, as I explain in my 2017 book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, unconstitutional. Those policies assume that people will continue to earn more as they get older, and project that higher income on any person who is not presently earning that amount, despite the fact that, if that assumption were ever true, it hasn’t been for at least a generation. As a result, men are saying to America in the most passive aggressive way possible: Why bother? Better to hang around their parents’ house, play video games and get high.

If President Trump wants young men in America to sign on to his program, they must have the idea that he has their back, that he understands their plight. But mostly he must create the incentive for success that is sorely missing in our great nation. They must be free to find their purpose in life, and free to pursue their happiness. Mostly, however, they need to know that the hard work will be worth it. While you cannot reverse fifty years of bad policy overnight, these three measures will be a start. Congress has been asleep at the wheel or headed in the wrong direction, showing no signs of a course correction. That leaves it up to one man. Good luck Mr. President.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author.

Past blogs:

 Why Anti-Sharia Protests Are Misguided

Islamist Victory in Antisemitic Public Relations Battle Spells Doom for Freedom,

Completes Conquest of Europe

75 Notre Dame Students Embarrass Themselves, The University, Their Parents, and Especially America

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Susan Rice and Unmasking: Where is the Democrats’ Moral Compass?

Comey Confirms that Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

By Alan W. Cohen

I speak to you from the breadbasket of American journalism, the University of Missouri-Columbia.  As a graduate from the world’s first, and best, journalism school in the nation, and as a dedicated Libertarian, I think I can speak for my fellow Mid-westerners, deep in Trump Country.

Shut up! We don’t care. We have memories. We know that you didn’t mind it when Barrack Obama did far worse than that you daily accuse Donald Trump. And we know you were embedded in the Hillary Clinton campaign, thanks to Wikileaks. Heck, if either of them were Republicans, you have already had them in prison for their offenses.

It does not matter to us that you have rid us of Bill O’Reilly and the conservative, but rational, thought process that used to be Fox News. We don’t have to watch you. We don’t have to, and who actually does, read the New York Times or the Washington Post. We don’t care.

Here is what we do see. Hysteria. And, hysterical people convince no one of anything but the fact they are hysterical. We know that you have anti-Trumpists deep in the federal government who are willing to leak classified information because they are desperate to retain power. We see you for what you are. We went through this with Ronald Reagan and the Bushes. But times are far different. We can listen to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, and read conservative bloggers, or my fellow Libertarians. So, the only people you are convincing is the ones that are were already convinced. So enough already!

And every day it’s something different. Some new minute detail that you blow completely out of proportion in your Group Think echo chamber. We can turn you off, just like I turned off Fox News when they began their program with the feigned Democrat press conference about how awful it is that Donald Trump may have given away some bit of information that might be classified. Wow! Is that funny or what? Here’s a hint: Think Hillary Clinton.

So, Elite Media, look at yourselves in the mirror. What do you do everyday? You get your deep sources, and publish that same classified information. It has been going off for years. I remember learning how Fidel Castro learned about the Bay of Pigs invasion. He read it in the New York Times.

And, you will notice that the polls haven’t budged. We know who you are and we will never believe you. All you are doing is destroying what is left of your credibility. As I wrote in a blog earlier this year, journalism was never what you said it was, fair and balanced. It has always been political. Therefore, it has always been biased. It was you that had to daily convince us that you were seeking the truth, that you could give us context. But that has stopped, and your credibility is now completely gone.

So, when I have my choice between watching the news and watching some boring pregame show before the Cardinals play, I will choose the latter. I vote you off my island. And so do my fellow citizens from the Heartland.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, is available on Amazon.

Recent Blogs:

Integrity of Rod Rosenstein Shining Beacon in Washington, D.C. Swamp

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

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Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

Susan Rice and Unmasking: Where is the Democrats’ Moral Compass?

Is Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal?

Journalistic Ethics is a Myth, Just Like in Any Other Business; Long Live Journalism

 

 

 

 

 

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

By Alan W. Cohen

During oral argument today, May 8, 2017, before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, one judge asked the ACLU attorney a basic question that pretty much goes like this: If Hillary Clinton had won and issued the identical order, would that order be constitutional. His answer was telling. Yes, of course it would. But this one is not because of comments made by Donald Trump during the election.

Huh? In my 25 years of law practice, and the multitude of oral arguments at the appellate level, this was a first. Judges are to interpret statutes as written, and, only if there is an ambiguity, do they go further to seek the intention of the legislature. Here was a law in place in the 1950s, used many times by many Presidents, including the second most liberal in history, Jimmy Carter, to ban certain foreigners from entering the country. That is the plain language of the statute. It gives the President not discretion, but absolute authority, to exclude entry from the United States he deems is a threat to national security. Period. There is nothing new here.

Yet, it’s not surprising that the judiciary does what it wants to do on an almost daily basis, each knowing that the legislature is pretty much powerless to stop them from interpreting laws however they wish because a higher court, not the elected officials who drafted the law, had the final say. That is our history. In our Mother Country, law was judge created, and opinions of judges were used as precedent, and ironically, permitted a final appeal in the House of Lords. In France, law was always statutory, and the judges were to follow that strict construction of the written language. America began as a judge driven law and gradually morphed into a statute driven law, all while giving to the judiciary the final say on how that law was to be interpreted.

While there are countless examples, nothing better explains it then the treatment of the Fourteenth Amendment. As Mr. Justice Hugo Black once wrote, Congress explicitly passed the Amendment to nullify an 1833 Supreme Court decision excluding state and local government from constitutional scrutiny as it pertained to fundamental rights. Under that ruling, states were free to establish religions, and violate the fundamental freedoms that had agreed to in their compact, those God-given rights to pursue happiness stated in the Declaration of Independence. But when the matter came before that same Supreme Court just a few years after the passage of the post-Civil War Amendments, the Court decided that no, it didn’t, that, despite its clear language stating otherwise, it was just and anti-slavery amendment. As a result of this judicial overreach, our nation endured almost a century of court authorized religious intolerance and racial bigotry, not to mention gender bias.

So when we complain about activist judges seeing everything through a prism of political party, why should we be surprised? That is how the ACLU could argue that if a Democrat issued the same order it would be valid, but since it’s a Republican, it’s not. That is why the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will almost assuredly strike down the ban, not for any legal reason, but because it was issued by a Republican. Based on today’s oral argument, despite that glaring admission from the ACLU attorney, this case can go either way. We just have to determine the political leanings of its court members. The law be damned.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available at Amazon.

Most Recent Blogs:

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Memo to Austin Peterson: With Gorsuch vote is #FireClaire McCaskill Confirming She is Not Running for Re-election?

By Alan W. Cohen

How would you like to be the Democrat senator in a state that has a veto proof majority Republican legislature, a newly minted Republican governor, and voted for the Republican for President by a double-digit margin?

Welcome to the world of Missouri senator Claire McCaskill. In 2012, McCaskill trounced Republican Todd Akin 54.7 percent to 39.2 percent, while Romney won the state by a margin of 53.8 to 44.4 percent. In an article she penned for Politico in 2015, McCaskill explained how she, in Nixon-est fashion (Richard, not Jay), was able to manipulate the process to run against who she believed to be the weakest opponent:

“I began to consider whether it would be useful to help Akin spread his message, keeping in mind that he was the weakest fundraiser out of the three potential nominees.

Akin’s track record made him my ideal opponent. Many of his votes in Congress contradicted his claim of being a fiscal conservative. While he opposed President Barack Obama’s authority to raise the debt limit, during the Bush administration, in 2004, he had voted to raise the limit by $800 billion. A vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s stimulus efforts, in 2001 Akin had voted in favor of a $25 billion stimulus package that mostly benefited large corporations and the wealthy. And he was a big earmarker: in one fiscal year he sponsored or cosponsored $14 million worth of pork and once sought $3.3 million in a special appropriation for a highway near nine acres he owned and was planning to develop. While opposing spending money for child nutrition programs, veterans’ health benefits, and disaster relief, he repeatedly voted to raise his own salary.

His extreme positions on social issues and ridiculous public statements made him anathema to many independent voters. He sponsored an amendment that would define life as beginning at conception, thereby outlawing common forms of birth control. He voted against repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation. When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, he stood on the House floor and asked for God’s help in keeping the nation from “socialized medicine.””

That was the past. In 2012, voters continued to adore their Democrat governor, Jay Nixon, who balanced out the state legislature that was becoming increasingly Republican. McCaskill, who battled cancer in 2016, will have no such ally this time around. That is why her vote to support the filibuster of Judge Gorsuch was so telling. She could easily have joined Joe Manchin of West Virginia, another Democrat senator from a Trump loving state. Her vote would have been meaningless in the overall scheme. Yet, she chose to join with her Trump hating colleagues to shown disdain for a moderate, highly qualified candidate. And, its not like she is worried about getting “primary-ed.” There is no Democrat that would challenge her, regardless of her vote. Her seat is vital to the Democrats. And, thus, McCaskill doesn’t have to worry about funding.

So Claire McCaskill, facing an embarrassing defeat, must be planning on retiring, leaving the Democrats to draft the once popular Jay Nixon to take on an unknown Republican opponent in a very red state.

Alan W. Cohen practiced law in the St. Louis area for more than 25 years before retiring. He is the author of Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce and America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century. Both are available on Amazon.

Comments:

Please email Alan W. Cohen directly at alan@privatevows.com.

 

Comey Confirms that Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal

By Alan W. Cohen

Disgraced former FBI chief James Comey’s testimony confirms what I first posted more than a month ago, that Hillary Clinton is the Evil Genius behind the Trump-Russia Scandal. It was her campaign that paid for the Golden Showers Dossier, and convinced Comey it was authentic, so much so that the Obama Deep State used it to spy on then candidate Trump, Republican congressmen and their associates.

It reads like an old movie script. Many Republicans could not help but compare Hillary Clinton to the power mad Angela Lansbury character in the classic film, The Manchurian Candidate. Democrats, obviously, see it differently. Yet, the back story to the Russia Scandal reads like a movie that Rod Serling might write, similar to his Oscar winning script in Seven Days in May, or as a story line on House of Cards. So, here it is in beat sheet form:

  1. Power mad Secretary of State Hillary commits probable felony as she and her husband accumulate millions in “donations” and develop vast political machine to assure her run for the presidency.
  2. Hillary maintains access to intelligence from friendly administration to keep her abreast of vital information.
  3. Hillary cheats party opponent in primary using insider information, getting debate questions in advance from corrupt party official.
  4. Hillary orchestrates bribe of FBI agent in charge of her probe using loophole in campaign finance laws, having agent’s wife run for minor political office.
  5. Hillary orchestrates (as shown in Project Veritas investigation) dirty tricks to portray Republican opponent as violent by training operatives to infiltrate campaign rallies.
  6. Hillary’s husband has secret meeting with Attorney General in effort to weasel out of federal crimes, successfully avoids indictment.
  7. Hillary’s dirty tricks department creates a false dossier in attempt to imply her opponent is a Russian spy, successfully gets her friends in the FBI to begin an investigation.
  8. Because Hillary still has access to intelligence, she is aware of FBI’s attempts to get warrants to spy on her opponent, but, (as recently reported in Time Magazine), friendly administration  refuses to publicize the investigation, believing it unnecessary.
  9. Instead, Hillary’s allies in the media release an ancient video of opponent acting crudely, believing it would destroy his candidacy.
  10. Incredibly, Hillary’s Republican opponent survives media onslaught, and pulls off shocking upset.
  11. Undeterred, Hillary’s allies push the Russia story into the media, finally getting a disreputable website to publish it, permitting her allies in Congress to quote the false story in confirmation hearings.
  12. Hillary convinces friendly administration to unmask and leak communications of the incoming Republican administration in effort to further Russian story, knowing her allies in the media will ignore civil liberties violations to chase illusive, and false, Russian connection.
  13.  Hillary’s Democrat allies continue to push for investigation into false Russia story, despite a complete lack of evidence to support their claims, and, since they are the minority in Congress, call for special “independent” probe.
  14.  Hillary pushes allies in the media to undermine incoming administration so that she can make an amazing political comeback.  But, alas, that is season two.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but this truth (and trust me this beat sheet outline makes more sense than the current media narrative) will make a great movie someday. Perhaps, they could get Angela Lansbury to star. Now we need to find some 6-8 super wimp to play James Comey.

Alan W. Cohen is an author and former attorney. His most recent book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

Past Blog Posts:

Islamist Victory in Antisemitic Public Relations Battle Spells Doom for Freedom, Completes Conquest of Europe

75 Notre Dame Students Embarrass Themselves, The University, Their Parents, and Especially America

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

Journalistic Ethics is a Myth, Just Like in Any Other Business; Long Live Journalism

Shocker: Sanctuary Cities Now Claiming Federal Funding is an Entitlement

 

 

Hear Me Bernie Sanders: There is No Constitutional Right to Health Care

By Alan W. Cohen

As the House of Representatives failed to thread the needle leaving us with the one of the greatest legislative travesties in history, let’s remember where we stand. Hear me Bernie Sanders. There is no constitutional right to health care.

The Declaration of Independence stated that we as citizens of the United States of America have certain inalienable rights, and the Bill of Rights was nothing more than an exclamation point. James Madison made certain to add the Ninth Amendment as a reminder (Hear me, Originalists) that the first eight amendments were not conclusive. Yet, those rights that are inalienable were ones that existed at the time of the Declaration, the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Yes, we have the right to create a business that provides health insurance. Yes, we have the right to enter into a contract that provides for health insurance, just as we have the right to provide health care services and the right to contract for those services.

Which brings us to the real problem: Government. Both Congress and the states have limited the ability of insurance companies to provide health insurance, thus limiting the choice for consumers. Trust the consumer. Trust the market. It will work out. It always does. Perhaps, the House should have voted for a straight repeal of Obama care, despite the arcane Senate rules. Perhaps, it might still happen. Perhaps, Congress will realize that government should have no part in what, had been prior to the Great Society, a free market. Altruistic medical providers and charities provided for the poor. Medicare and Medicaid was a nightmare for the general practitioner, requiring them to spend a large share of their income immersed in the insipid pile of paperwork. Health insurance is no better. After Obamacare passed, my own doctor quit. He was one of thousands that just wanted to practice medicine, but couldn’t survive in the paperwork world, leaving America with a nationwide doctor shortage.

The Constitution does not grant a right to health care. We must, instead, enforce the rights of medical providers to offer a service, and enforce the right of the consumer to find the best service at the best price, something that government has, for the past fifty years, wrongfully and mistakenly destroyed.

Attorney Alan W. Cohen is the author of the new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, and the 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century. 

 

 

Does Neil Gorsuch have Libertarian tendencies? One Question Tells Us.

By Alan W. Cohen

In 2000, a Supreme Court decision gave us full insight into the difference between a Libertarian and an Originalist. That one case, Troxel v. Granville, marked a split between Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia. The case involved the question of whether the Constitution provides a Right to Parent, and, if so, should the Court enforce that right. Justice Thomas said yes. There is a fundamental right to parent, and the Court should protect that right using the highest level of scrutiny. Justice Scalia agreed that there was a Right to Parent, and that the source of that right was in fact the Ninth Amendment, but said the Court had no authority to protect it.

In an interview in 2016, Justice Thomas agreed with libertarians that the Constitution must be read through the prism of the Declaration of Independence. In his book, The Republican Constitution, Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett explains that the inalienable rights came even before the Constitution, and that the Bill of Rights was simply an exclamation point. Thus, when James Madison proposed the Ninth Amendment, he wanted to make certain that we were aware that the first eight amendments were not inclusive. In the 20th Century, the Court has recognized a multitude of rights not enumerated, including, but not limited to, the right to marry, the right to parent, the right to travel, the right to dominion over their body.

This brings us to the question for Judge Neil Gorsuch. Regarding the case of Troxel v. Granville, do you agree with Mr. Justice Scalia’s dissent? If the answer is yes, then he is a true Originalist. if the answer is no, and that he agrees with Mr. Justice Thomas that the Right to Parent is a fundamental right protected under the Constitution, subject to strict scrutiny, then perhaps, he is a Libertarian. Not that Justice Thomas would ever describe himself as a Libertarian, but, unlike, his fellow justice, he has Libertarian tendencies. With a conservative justice, that is all that we can ask.

Alan W. Cohen retired after 25 years as a practicing attorney. Besides this blog, he is also the author of several books, the most recent being his 2017 work, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce. It is available on Amazon.

 

 

March Madness and the Trump Travel Ban: A Two-minute primer

By Alan W. Cohen

For those caught up in the madness of college basketball (as I), please allow me to explain the Hawaiian District Court decision in the newest Trump travel ban. Pretend your team just got fouled, and the referee awarded your team, not two, but 22 free throws. Pretty sweet, huh? Those on the anti-Trump side, the district court just awarded your team 122 free throws, and counted every one of them, even the ones your team missed.

In basketball, there is a rule book. In law, the Constitution is the rule book. It is plain and straightforward. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that American citizens had inalienable rights. The citizens awarded limited authority to the federal and state governments to perform their roles. The states were given police powers to see to our safety, and to punish those that would do us harm. The people awarded the federal government the police power over foreign affairs. Congress had the sole authority to declare war, and to determine who could and could not come into our country. In the 1950s, Congress passed a law giving the President sole authority to determine if any group of individuals might pose an immediate threat, and to, on his or her own authority, exclude them from entering the United States.

The States have no authority over foreign affairs because the people did not delegate them that authority. States have no standing in federal court to act on their own accord. Rather, state officials are given the authority to seek redress in federal court on behalf of its citizens. States, like any other plaintiff, must prove actual harm. When President Obama issued an executive order that forced Texas to issue licenses to non-citizens, Texas had to prove that harm. The district court in Hawaii found no such harm, only he possibility of harm. Speculative harm is not harm at all. It is only speculation. A district court has no authority to act unless there is an actual case and controversy, and that requires actual harm. Moreover, in order to achieve a temporary restraining order, the state must prove irreparable harm, meaning that the harm cannot be financial in nature because, by definition the harm can be compensated. Again, the federal judge found only a possibility of financial harm. Thus, it cannot be irreparable.

Finally, the Constitution grants to United States Citizens inalienable rights. Therefore, logically, non-citizens cannot enjoy those rights. If that were the case, we could never go to war. Imagine if you would, a federal district court in Hawaii in 1941 enjoining Congress from declaring war on Japan because some Hawaiians had relatives in Japan. As the five dissenting judges in the Ninth Circuit explained, the Supreme Court could not be clearer when it comes to foreigners who had no prior right to entry into the United States. They have no rights. Period. The federal government has complete discretion to deny them entry.

So, Trump haters. Rejoice in your 122 free throws that count automatically. And think about how you would feel if it was the other team that just got that ruling. You and your fellow partisans would be tearing down the arena in an effort to run that stupid referee out on the proverbial rail.

Alan W. Cohen is a former attorney and author of several books, including his recent work, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce. It is available on Amazon.com.