It seems that even 60 votes in the U.S. Senate will not buy gun control love. Read Manu Raju's story at Politico.com here. I have comments at the other end.
Dem leaders: 60 won't get you everything
By MANU RAJU | 5/15/09
A series of setbacks in the Senate has Democratic leaders warning their supporters that they won’t be able to accomplish everything they set out to do this year — even if Al Franken joins them as a 60th vote.
With a 59-40 majority — just short of what they need to overcome GOP filibusters — Democrats watched helplessly this week as Republicans blocked the confirmation of one of Barack Obama’s top Interior Department nominees.
They also struggled with the confirmation of one of Obama’s Justice Department picks, witnessed the adoption of an amendment allowing guns inside national parks and suffered major pushback against Obama’s plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
And with contentious fights over health care, climate change and Obama’s first Supreme Court pick ahead, some Democratic senators are now convinced that they can’t wade into some of the hot-button social issues their supporters would like them to pursue.
“They should not take anything for granted,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who as majority whip has the job of counting votes. “People keep saying, ‘Wow, if you get Sen. Franken up in Minnesota, everything is going to be fine — you’ll be at 60.’ I’ve never said that, I know, because I face these senators every day, and I know that each of them has their own mind.”
Although Democrats now appear to have the votes to confirm David Hayes for the No. 2 job at the Interior Department, they will have trouble confirming Dawn Johnsen as head of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel even if Franken gets them to 60. Republicans have opposed her nomination because of her past involvement with an abortion rights group, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) so far is determined to deny his party the votes it needs to overcome a filibuster.
“No way I can vote for her,” Nelson said.
Other recalcitrant Democrats will most likely keep the party from passing new gun control laws — including a high-priority effort to close the so-called gun-show loophole. The Democrats’ problems there became clear this week when GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had an easy time attaching his national parks gun amendment to an unrelated credit card bill.
“Not interested in any more gun laws — we got plenty on the books,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. Added Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia: “I think we ought to enforce our existing rules and not add new ones.”
Centrist Democrats like Begich and Warner — both freshmen — helped the Democrats get to the cusp of 60, but they’ll also make leaders’ lives more difficult. The Democratic caucus is more ideologically diverse than it has been in the past, thanks in large part to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee who over the past two election cycles recruited centrist and conservative candidates to compete — and eventually win — in red states.
Schumer said recently that divisions within the caucus are a natural outgrowth of its diversity.
“The idea that now with 60 we can pass everything quickly and easily — no,” Schumer said. “And the beauty of our caucus is, first, it’s diverse.”
Not everyone thinks it’s beautiful.
“Harry Reid concerns me frequently, but so do a lot of other members, like all the ones who don’t agree with me,” said Rep. John Conyers, the liberal Democrat from Michigan who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Among the items he’s pushing are a ban on assault weapons and an independent investigation into allegations that the Bush administration engaged in acts of torture — both of which are opposed by the Senate majority leader.
Still, Conyers is sympathetic to Reid’s plight.
“If you have 60 cats, you got to get them all together in the same place to get something done,” Conyers said. “Herding senators and herding cats have a lot in common.”
If the Democrats get to 60, every member will be empowered to demand concessions in exchange for his or her filibuster-busting vote. Also in the catbird’s seat: Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, to whom Democratic leaders will have to turn whenever they lose one of their own.
“They can’t be confident of which 60 they’re going to get when it comes to intricate issues and complex issues as health care,” said Snowe. Obama has worked to woo the moderate Republican; he had a 20-minute one-on-one meeting with her earlier this month just to get her “take on things,” she said.
Added Collins: “Because there are a number of moderate to conservative Democrats, I believe that the Obama administration is still going to need to put together coalitions of centrists in order to get anything done. I don’t see the Democrats as having reached 60 in reality.”
One of the Senate’s most liberal Democrats seemed to acknowledge as much this week.
“The issues are there, and you try to fight to win,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “When you have a critical mass you win. And when you don’t, you lose.”
Der Reichstagsbrand, 27 February 1933.
Meet the New Janet, Same as the Old Janet: Beware of the "Joints."
This is very frustrating to the gun confiscationists. Just look at the caterwauling of the Brady Bunch and the New York Times over the passage of the firearms-in-national-parks rider to the credit card bill in the Senate. The reason for all this wailing and gnashing of teeth is that they really want, no they NEED, to appear legitimate in their depredations. But even in frustration, the enemies of the Constitution never sleep, never quit. We know this.
The administration is positioning itself for another Waco by sending out teams of "Joint Task Force" cops (usually one Fibbie, one state cop and one local, city or county) to "gather information" on "suspected terrorists." They always preface it by saying that they are looking for "foreigners" training in "combat tactics" and paintball clubs have been a particular interest of theirs recently. They say they are looking for foreigners, but foreign terrorists in plain sight being rather scarce, they are happy to gather "contact data" on American citizens who even the FBI admits are mere constitutionalists or honest gun owners with political opinions.
NOTE: Remember, if you talk to these "joints" alone, it is three against one on what exactly you said if it comes up later. And don't expect the local in this bunch to do you any favors just because he's local. Usually, at least here in Alabama, the local "joint" is chosen because he's "badge heavy" and pre-disposed to put a knee in your back. Often, he's seeking to impress the fed or the statie because he wants to work his way higher up on the LEO food chain. Thus, of the three, he often comes off as the prick with an attitude just to show that he's "tough." As a fictional FBI agent advised back in the 90s, "Trust no one."
The "Joint Task Force" is a particularly insidious system and the "fusion centers" are, on average, not much better. Unlike in the 90s, this system gives the Fibbies more muscle. First, it is a force multiplier -- the staties and locals contribute more warm bodies to the project than they do -- and a means of identifying kindred jack-booted spirits in local law enforcement. Second, it enables them to bend the locals and staties to their will with greater effectiveness that springs from better inside intelligence. Third, it enables them to identify constitutionalists and oath-keepers in the state and local forces.
They are trolling widely right now, no doubt at the behest of their Obamanoid masters. This often kicks up all manner of misinformation from frightened gun dealers or surplus store owners who, when confronted, want to seem "law-abiding." How these "joints" follow up on this misinformation can be the difference between wasting taxpayer dollars and dead babies in a burned out church.
The new Janet ("Meet the new Janet, same as the old Janet.") has informed us that political opinions are grounds for suspected criminal behavior. Heck, all you have to be is a dicharged veteran to be under suspicion of this administration.
The story above represents part of this administration's policy frustration. So close they are, yet so far. But there are more ways than one to skin a Constitution.
If they are not yet able to force the legislative front, there are two more options open to them. The activities of the "joints" represents one avenue -- provoke a Fort Sumter.
The purpose of these mokes, in the largest sense, is to identify weak-minded individuals suitable for a. turning into snitches and/or b. provoking into illegal behavior. The very fact that someone with a federal badge is asking questions about you stresses some people into stupidity. If it happens to you, remember that now is the time to keep your wits, not lose them.
These visits are "pings" by a predatory regime, to see how you react. So don't react. Don't give them anything. If they express a desire to speak to you, tell them you'll do it only with your attorney present. If they ask to come into your home, ask them if thy have a warrant. Caution your family not to let anyone into the house, even if they come off as "Officer Friendly." Do not overreact. Do not bluster, or as some particularly stupid people in Michigan did not long ago, wave your weapons, muster the troops and publicly threaten assassination of federal agents. Stand your ground, and await developments. Don't take counsel of your fears.
No Fort Sumters.
Failing the ability of the "joints" to find a useful idiot to craft a big scary "conspiracy" around, they have but one other choice, Der Reichstagsbrand.
The Reichstag Fire on 27 February 1933 opened the way for the Nazi seizure of power. For many years it was thought that Marinus Van der Lubbe, a half-witted Dutch communist and brick layer, was the single arsonist. In 2001, Alexander Bahar and Wilfried Kugel published Der Reichstagbrand - Wie Geschichte gemacht wird (The Reichstag Fire - How History is Created). Bahar and Kugel carried out the first comprehensive evaluation of the 50,000 pages of original court, state attorney office and secret police (Gestapo) files that had been locked away in Moscow and East Berlin until 1990. The result: they concluded that the Nazis prepared and set the Reichstag fire themselves, with Van der Lubbe as an unwitting and very useful idiot.
From a review of Der Reichstagbrand:
(T)he authors expose the Nazis as the only feasible culprits. Among the documentary evidence the authors base this verdict on is the testimony of SA member Adolf Rall (who was later murdered by the SA and the Gestapo). The emigré newspaper Pariser Tageblatt reported on December 24, 1933: “he (Rall) stated he was a member of the SA’s “Sturm 17” unit. Before the Reichstag fire broke out, he had been in the subterranean passageway that connects the Reichstag assembly building to the building in which the government apartment of the Reich President [Hermann Göring] is located. Rall said that he had personally witnessed various members of his SA unit bringing the explosive liquids into the building.” (10)
Hans Bernd Gisevius, who had worked as a junior lawyer for the political police from August to December 1933, made the following testimony at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial in 1946: “It was Goebbels who first came up with the idea of setting fire to the Reichstag. Goebbels discussed this with the leader of the Berlin SA brigade, Karl Ernst, and made detailed suggestions on how to go about carrying out the arson.
A certain tincture known to every pyrotechnician was selected. You spray it onto an object and then it ignites after a certain time, after hours or minutes. In order to get into the Reichstag building, they needed the passageway that leads from the palace of the Reichstag President to the Reichstag. A unit of ten reliable SA men was put together, and now Göring was informed of all the details of the plan, so that he coincidentally was not out holding an election speech on the night of the fire, but was still at his desk in the Ministry of the Interior at such a late hour... The intention right from the start was to put the blame for this crime on the Communists, and those ten SA men who were to carry out the crime were instructed accordingly.” (11)
Based on this testimony and a wealth of other circumstantial evidence, the course of this act of arson can be reconstructed as follows:
“On February 27, 1933, at about 8:00 p.m. a commando group of at least 3, and at most 10 SA men led by Hans Georg Gewehr entered the basement of the palace of the Reichstag President. The group took the incendiary substances deposited there, and used the subterranean passageway to go from the Reichstag President’s palace to the Reichstag building, where they prepared the assembly hall in particular with a self-igniting liquid they probably mixed in the hall. After a certain latency period, the liquid set off the fire in the assembly hall. The group made their getaway through the subterranean passageway and the basement of the Reichstag President’s palace (and possibly also through the adjacent basement leading to the machinery and government employees’ building) to the public street ‘Reichstagsufer.’ Göring entered the burning Reichstag building at 9:21 p.m. at the latest, presumably in order to provide a cover for the commando group’s retreat.
“Van der Lubbe was brought to the Reichstag by the SA at exactly 9:00 p.m. and let into the building by them. The sound of breaking glass which was noticed by witnesses and which was allegedly due to van der Lubbe breaking window panes to get into the building was probably only intended to attract the attention of the public. The Dutchman was sacrificed as the only available witness.” (12)
Almost all of the SA men involved in the deed (with the exception of Hans Georg Gewehr) and many accessories to the crime were later murdered by the Nazis, above during the so-called “Röhm putsch” on June 30, 1934.
We have it in our power to prevent another Fort Sumter. We have little ability to directly prevent another Reichstag Fire. We can however prepare ourselves for it in a way that reduces its attractions to the new Gangster Government.
1. We can build Oath-Keepers. No matter what the provocation, if enough of the military and police forces of the United States have been reminded of their oaths, the Obamanoids will find it difficult to achieve critical mass for their tyranny. Find and reach out to potential oath keepers in state and local law enforcement agencies. The oath is the most powerful weapon we have, one that is aimed like a dagger at the heart of potential tyranny. BUILD OATH KEEPERS.
2. Strip them of their legitimacy. We can continue to point out as much as we can in whatever venue that we can that the administration is a Gangster Government. As the anger in the people rises with the gradual stripping off of the layers of velvet fiction they have wrapped around this iron collectivist fist, we can attack the regime's legitimacy. We must do this every day, in private and public conversations. If someone as straight-laced as George Will and Michael Barone can refer to the Obamanoids as "Gangster Government" does that mean we will be called "conspiracy theorists" if we do the same? The evidence is piling up. Let us use it as fuel to burn their faux legitimacy to a cinder.
3. Train, cache, arm, prepare. Let us continue to do all those things we have already been doing, only redouble our efforts.
Finally, if a Reichstag Fire comes, we can refuse to make the same mistake the German anti-Nazis did. They sat at home, waiting for orders, and were scooped up one by one. That is where the Three Percenters come in. We must make it plain that no matter what the flimsy excuse, if we are attacked we will respond, directly, to the heart of the beast.
Take not counsel of your fears. Let THEM take counsel of THEIR fears. Quit worrying about what they will do to you when they attack. Start thinking about what you will do to them for the temerity of attempting to destroy the Founders' Republic and shredding what is left of the Constitution by attacking you in your home because some tyrannical weasel told them to.
Even at 3% of gun owners, WE outnumber THEM. Remind them of it, every chance you get. Why does this come to mind?