Saturday, March 31, 2012

Justice Kennedy's Dilemma

Justice Kennedy’s has to make a decision.

Justice Anthony Kennedy realizes that, once again, he is the swing vote on a major issue, this time the constitutionality of ObamaCare. He likes being in the center of attention.

Thus, the briefs and oral arguments were directed at winning the heart, mind, soul and vote of Justice Kennedy.

The Justice takes his responsibility seriously. He adheres to a core set of beliefs. He has not yet succumbed to Potomac Fever, as has Justice Stevens.

A look at his opinions shows three general themes: he believes strongly in the structural design of the Constitution, preserving the sovereignty of the states versus the federal government, and individual liberty.

Justice Kennedy has a real dilemma. He knows the individual mandate in ObamaCare is unconstitutional. He knows that the statute, if upheld, will change the fundamental role of the people versus the government.

His questioning of the Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, Jr., included this statement “You are changing the relationship of the individual to the government.” Instead of being a government of enumerated powers, Congress would be able to use the Commerce Clause to regulate individual conduct. The Court has in the past clearly articulated that Congress and the federal government do not possess the historic police powers, which are retained by the states. The federal government is now attempting to exercise the police powers to regulate individuals through the Commerce Clause.

Justice Kennedy further asked Solicitor General Verrilli what limits could be placed on the Commerce Clause; in short, where do you draw the line? The Solicitor General could not provide any limits – a shocking failure. Instead, the Solicitor general argued health care is unique.

So too are housing, food, water, air quality, water quality, wetlands protection, transportation, and the list goes on. The government can argue any interest is compelling and unique.

Mr. Virrelli attempted to appeal to Justice Kennedy’s belief in liberty by stating the statute extends the “blessings of liberty” to those with disabilities or families facing major illnesses. His statement displays lawyers crafting arguments which defy reason and common sense: “There will be millions of people with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease” who will no longer have to worry about medical care. That is not the personal liberty envisioned by the drafters of the Constitution.

Congress can provide for these people through the Spending Clause. Instead, it choose to do so by forcing individuals to obtain medical insurance, whether they wanted it or not, to defray the costs of the ill. The healthy will have to pay for the ill, but without calling it a tax.

Justice Kennedy knows the alternatives: 1) uphold the individual mandate and the Medicare changes the states are objecting to; 2) Strike down the mandate and either invalidate the entire statute or uphold the rest, doing what Congress did not – include a severance clause in the statute; or 3) uphold the mandate and strike the Medicare changes.

He knows that if the Court strikes down the statute then liberals and the media will crucify the Court, as they did after Gore v. Bush. They will decry the opinion as political with the Court overstepping its jurisdiction. He also knows that if casts the deciding vote to uphold the statute, he will be reviled by conservatives and go down in history for judicially amending the constitution, perverting the intent and words of the framers.

The New York Times has already counseled the Justices in an editorial that “The Justices must accept limits on their powers and upheld the individual mandate.” The media, which loves activist courts when they create new rights, decries conservative jurists for judicial activism when they seek to enforce the Constitution.

Will Justice Kennedy vote his principles or listen to the media?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We The People

We the People

“We the People;” These three powerful words start the preamble to the Constitution.

“We the People of the United States” – not “We the State;” nor “We the Government,” but “We the People”

This powerful phrase reflects the views of our Founding Fathers and of the American people. We are a nation of the people, not of the state. The State answers to the people – not the people to the State.

We rebelled, as a people, against the yolk of a foreign government, the British. We rebelled because Parliament and King George III made decisions for us without our consent. We rebelled against the top-down central governments of Europe.

We fought for our independence from England, but more significantly, we fought for our individual liberty. We were not going to trade one omnipotent central government for another.

The Constitution was drafted to limit the powers of the legislature and the President. Thus, Article I, Section I starts “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” Section 8 lists “Powers Granted to Congress.” Thus Congress only possesses the powers granted to it in the Constitution, the enumerated powers set forth in the Constitution.

Congress thereby lacks plenary powers. The government was to be subservient to the people, not the people to the government.

Limits on Congress and the executive Branch are further set forth in the Bill of Rights, the purpose of which was to define and protect the rights of the people against the national government.

The Ninth Amendment provides “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The Tenth Amendment provides “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Ours is a national government of limited powers with the powers residing in the people and the states.

The North’s victory in the Civil Role strengthened the role of the central government in Washington, and resulted in a true union of the states.

The major change though came with the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal with the creation of the fourth branch of government, the administrative branch, not answerable to anyone. The Supreme Court initially overturned some of the New Deal acts, followed by President Roosevelt threatening to pack the Supreme Court.
Congress was hostile to the President’s proposal, but the key was a change in a few Justices, who suddenly started to support the New Deal legislation. The quip was “A switch in time saved nine.”

The United States has the longest lasting Constitution. Our Constitution has persevered over 200 years with only a few amendments because it has succeeded to protecting us a free people.

Not all are happy though with the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in February, when asked for advice from Egypt about a new constitution, advised the Egyptians not to look to the U. S. Constitution, but to South Africa’s, because South Africa’s was newer and recognized more social rights.

She could also have looked to the Russian constitution of 50 years ago. It guaranteed many rights of the people, but was meaningless in fact. The KGB trumped the words of that paper document.

Illinois State Senator Barack Obama in a 2001 recording said the Constitution was fundamentally flawed because it did not mandate not allow the redistribution of wealth.

Liberal activists look to the courts to define new rights with the Constitution existing as a “Living Constitution” whose meaning is dynamic and not static. Thus, judges are free to reinterpret the Constitution as they please without being bound by the words of the Constitution. If for example Justices wish to seek guidance from modern European values, then they may do so irrespective of the plain words of the Constitution and the intent of the framers.

The literal words by themselves mean little under the Living Constitution theory. A good summary of this approach is to quote from Alice in Wonderland:

“When I use a word,” says Humpty Dumpty, “it means just what I choose it to mean – never more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice “whether you can make words mean so many things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Our question is “Who shall be master of the American people – the people or the

Under this approach, the President can order catholic institutions to provide contraception for free, regardless of the First Amendment.

Justice Kennedy was right on Tuesday. ObamaCare fundamentally changes the relationship between the American people and Congress. If upheld, an omnipotent Congress becomes the master of the American people with plenary powers.

Never before has Congress ordered that the Americans affirmatively engage in an activity, depriving the American people of individual liberty. The Solicitor General, the otherwise brilliant Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., was unable to come up with a limiting standard of where to draw the line on Congressional mandates of the American people. He was trying to defend the indefensible.

Americans have always been a rebellious people. We don't like the government telling us what to do. We don't like the government telling our religions what to do.

The Supreme Court will judicially amend the Constitution if it upholds the individual mandate. The government will now be able to tell us what to do.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Short Primer on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare

Every constitutional law student learns that one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution is that the United States government is a government of enumerated powers, of limited powers. It has neither therefore unlimited nor pervasive powers.

Indeed, under the Ninth Amendment, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Supreme Court does not like to use the Ninth Amendment, but the Justices certainly are aware of the limits on government power and of Congress.

The Tenth Amendment further provides that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The most common basis of Congressional statutes is the Commerce Clause. The Spending Clause, Taxation Clause, and the Property Clauses are also significant. The Commerce Clause is a broad grant of power to Congress to regulate commerce between the states, but as the Morrison and Lopez cases tell us, it is not unlimited.

The New York Times had a lead article March 20 on the 1942 Supreme Court case of Wickard v. Filburn. The case extended Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause to a farmer’s growing of wheat on his own land for his domestic consumption rather than selling it in the market. The case was followed in 2005 in Gonzalez v. Raich, which upheld Congress’ powers to regulate home-grown marijuana used for medicinal purposes.

Wickard v. Filburn represented an epochal shift during the New Deal of Congress’ powers to act. The government’s powers increased through World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War.

Health insurance is clearly a business in interstate commerce. Thus, Congress can regulate the insurers as it does other industries. For example, it can impose capital requirements, pricing, or mandate specified coverage. That’s regulating the businesses in interstate commerce.

It is not the same as regulating individuals who do not want to purchase the health insurance. They’re not in commerce.

Wickard involved regulation of commerce by the government, such that certain crops otherwise produced by the farmer could be banned.

The case did not involve the government telling the farmer what he must grow, only that which he could not.

An analogy would be if Congress responds to the growing number of doctors, who refuse to accept Medicare because of low reimbursement rates, by ordering physicians to accept Medicare patients as a condition of their license to practice medicine.

The individual mandate has been analogized to requiring automobile insurance as a condition of driving a car. A driver’s license is a privilege, which the state can condition upon insurance. One does not have to own a car, as shown by our Secretary of Energy, to live and survive in our society, especially in urban areas.

Living though is a right, not a privilege conditioned by the state. The State cannot condition living upon paying a fee or tax.

The Taxation Power of Congress is very broad, but it cannot be conditioned on an unconstitutional choice; that is, the only pay to avoid the tax is to accept an unconstitutional mandate.

A new argument is that ObamaCare is constitutional based on the Necessary and Proper Clause, which allows Congress to enact necessary and proper statutes to effectuate the powers vested in the government by the Constitution. This grant of power to Congress is not broad, but limited to measures in support of powers already possessed by the government. Thus, the Necessary and Proper Clause does not render constitutional an act which is otherwise unconstitutional.

This case though has much broader implications than the Constitutionality of ObamaCare. The effect of upholding the statute will be to judicially amend the Constitution to grant the federal government plenary powers to regulate and command all aspects of our lives, limited only by the extent to which courts still apply the Bill of Rights.

The question is if Justice Kennedy wishes to be known through history as the Justice who judicially amended the Constitution.

It's Over; Governor Romney is the GOP Nomination

It’s Don Meredith Time in the GOP; The Party’s Over.

Governor Romney won the Republican nomination in Illinois last Tuesday. His 12 point margin over Senator Santorum started the bandwagon. Governor Jeb Bush endorsed him, thus bringing the Bush family and its political structure behind him. Senator Jim DiMint, the conservative’s favorite, all but endorsed him.

1144 delegates are needed for the nomination. The Governor now claims 558. He’s halfway there, but with all the momentum. His organization has steadily rolled up the delegates, even when not winning a primary or caucus. Organization and fundraising trump disorganized campaigns.

Senator Santorum won 11 states so far, but the Governor has won 21 and more delegates than the others combined.

Senator Santorum won Louisiana with 49% of the vote, and he may win Pennsylvania, his home state, but then it’s over. He should win and then gracefully withdraw.

He got a raw deal during the campaign. The Senator actually won Iowa, but the preliminary results gave it to the Governor, who then won his neighboring state of New Hampshire. Romney then in essence claimed George H. W. Bush’s “Big Mo.”

The Senator didn’t help himself last Thursday when he got so carried away with “Etch a Sketch,” that he said “We might as well stay with what we have,” Obama, if the alternative is Romney. This statement is not a dispute over religious and social values. It strikes at the heart of Republican voters this year. They want President Obama out, and will vote for any Republican nominee, perhaps even Congressman Ron Paul. The Senator later walked back his remarks, but the damage was done.

Senator Santorum would have had a fighting chance for the nomination if Speaker Newt Gingrich had followed the lead of Governors Rick Perry and John Huntsman, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and Herman Cain in facing the political realities and withdrawing. But the Speaker remained, running an increasingly quixotic campaign.
Senator Santorum lost Illinois. He also lost two other industrial states of the Midwest, Michigan and Ohio, to the Governor. At one point he was leading in the polls in these three states. He peaked too early, often letting social issues trump economics.

The odds are that he will now lose Wisconsin as well, no matter how many breweries he campaigns at. His out of context quip that the nation’s “unemployment rate doesn’t matter to me” doesn’t meet the economic concerns of the electorate.

The Senator’s appeal is to religious conservatives and blue collar, lunch bucket voters. And yet they, and an increasing number of Tea Partiers, are voting for Romney. The blue collars are voting for the plutocrat.

This long primary season with scores of debates and millions in negative ads has introduced the Republican candidates to the electorate. The voters have sized up the 4 remaining candidates.

Republicans know that Romney Care is a negative, and that Governor Romney is a moderate Republican, but they are willing to trust him on economic issues. This election is not on social issues. When times are bad, as they are now, voters vote economics and pocket book.

They also recognize that the Governor, of all the Republican candidates, has the fire in his belly; he’s been campaigning for 6 years. He has built up a disciplined organization, which will be necessary to defeat President Obama, the consummate community organizer. Congressman Paul doesn’t really expect to be nominated and both Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich have run undisciplined, seat of the pants campaigns.

Governor Romney is a wooden public speaker, and does not connect with voters. Charisma won the Presidency 4 years ago; look where it got us. Republican voters often choose the non-charismatic, but solid candidate, Dole, McCain. George H.W. Bush.

It’s over.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

President Obama's Solutions to Rising Gas prices


Imagine the derision the media would have dumped on President George W. Bush if he suggested algae as the solution to high gas prices


Billions of dollars for failing green companies, Solyndra and a host of others

Contempt for the intelligence of the American people – He’s against the Keystone Pipeline, but in favor of the Cushing Pipeline, which is already under construction.

Doubling and tripling down on green, which failed in Germany and Spain, and has continued to fail in the United States. How smart is that? Or does he think we’re that stupid?

$8/gallon of gas as per the Secretary of Energy who does not drive a car. The Secretary claims to have repented of this view

Hope and change, presumably green

Increased production by Saudi Arabia

Keystone – a millstone for the President

No easy answer

Offshore drilling off Brazil

Sarcasm – Labeling those who oppose his “green” policies members of the Flat earth Society


Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Taxing the oil companies in the name of “justice” – taxing the companies which bring gas to us.

If only hot air were gas; Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen may generate hot air, but they do not produce oil. The higher gas prices rise, the greater the boviation.

Tariffs on solar panels from China

There’s nothing the President can do because it’s caused by factors outside his control – China, Congress, the oil companies, Hurricanes, BP, speculators, and unrest in the Mid East

Proper tire inflation

Tune ups

Everything is on the table; i.e. “All of the above.”

Except ANWA, Federal lands, fracking, off-shore oil - off California, off Florida, off the Mid Atlantic. off Alaska, off the Gulf. Drilling permits on federal lands rose 58% in the Clinton Administration and 116% in the Bush Administration, but dropped 36% in the Obama Administration. Everything is on the table, except coal.

In short, everything is on the table except for the two fossil fuels we have in abundance.

He ignores two basic principles:

Our life style and industrial base depend on cheap energy

Only oil derivatives, such as gasoline, aviation fuel, bunker oil, or diesel fuel our cars, trucks, trains, boats, and planes, with a few CNG vehicles.

The Nanny State: A to Z

Artificial Lawns

Asian Rice Noodles

Backyard Chickens

Beach Balls, Footballs and Frisbees (LA County Beaches)

Beach Fire Pits

Beach Bonfires

Bottled water

Chicken Nuggets


Chocolate Milk

Clothes Lines

Cookie Sales


Cup Cakes

Disposable Diapers (Nebraska)

Dodge Ball

Drop Side cribs

Drought Resistant Plants (Glendale)



Foie Gras

Food Trucks

French Fries

Fur (West Hollywood)

Garage Sales

Gibson Guitars

Girl Scout Cookies

Happy Meals

Home Bible Study Groups

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Jungle Gyms

Junk Food

Lawn Darts

Lawn Fertilizer

Lemonade Stands

Mercury Button Cell Batteries (Ohio)

Natural Grass

Non-Pasteurized Milk

Paper Bags

Pet Stores


Plastic bags

Porch Couches

Potato Chips

Red Light Cameras

Salty Snacks



Sports Drinks

Styrofoam Containers

Sugary Soft Drinks

Tanning Beds

Top Loading Washing machines

Trans Fats

Tree Trimming

Urban Farming


Worm Waste

Zero Tolerance

The Great Mysteries of Life

Questions, questions, questions, mysteries, mysteries, mysteries

The great questions and mysteries of life – some of which have been answered, and some not

The Bermuda Triangle


Easter Island

The Shroud of Turin

The fortune of the Knights Templar

The collapse of the Mayan Empire

The origins of the Roma

Who is Deep Throat?

Where is Osama Bin- Laden?

What happened to Jean Lafitte?

Where is Whitey Bulger?

Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

Is Hoffa swimming with the Loch Ness Monster?
Where are the 13 purloined paintings from the Isabella Stanley Gardner Museum?
Who is that masked man?

Who lies in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

Who were the Three Tramps on the Grassy Knoll?

Was Lee Harvey Oswald a lone gunman?

What were Senator Kerry’s SAT scores?

What do President Obama’s Occidental and Columbia transcripts show?

What was President Obama’s LSAT?

Where was President Obama born?

What’s in Vice President Al Gore’s Vanderbilt transcripts?

How beautiful was Cleopatra?

How beautiful was Helen of Troy?
Who was Spartacus?
Who fathered January Jones’ baby?

Where is Blackbeard’s Treasure?

Who is Shakespeare?

Who is Robin Hood?

Did Mrs. O’Leary’s cow start the Great Chicago Fire of 1871?

Do UFO’s exist?

What’s in Area 51?

Where is the Lost Island of Atlantis?

Did the Vikings discover America?


What caused the demise of the dinosaurs?

What color food dye is in Frito Lay's Doritos and Cheetos?
Why are Heinz Ketchup bottles always full in restaurants?
Who is John Galt?

What happened to Amelia Earhart?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi Must Go

Ross Mirkarimi Must Go

Ross Mirkarimi was a termed out San Francisco Supervisor. Like many politicians, the private sector did not appeal to him. He must find another office to fill. The otherwise unqualified Mirkarimi was elected o the open Sheriff’s position.

A funny thing happened to the newly inaugurated Sheriff of the City and County of San Francisco. The SFPD arrested him a few days later pursuant to a warrant sought by the District Attorney’s Office and signed by a judge. The grounds for the arrest were domestic violence. He got into an altercation with his wife on New Year’s Eve, in front of their young son, and physically attacked her while screaming obscenities.

His arrest warrant has been released to the public and is available on line. It is very illuminating – not as sordid as the Jerry Sandusky grand jury report, but interesting. If his wife’s excited utterances are to be believed, then it was at least the second time he attacked her. Once is once too many, but twice shows a dangerous pattern.

Are the charges true?

He pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment a few days ago. I repeat, he pled guilty to a domestic violence charge. He apologized and admitted to arrogance and anger issues.

His initial response to the charges was that he was the victim of an attempt by the San Francisco political establishment, who opposed his progressive views. Ross, inter alia, was a founder of the California Green Party.

I was probably in high school in san Francisco the last time an attempt was made to silence a progressive politician in the City, and I can’t remember who that was. Politicians, such as Mayor Agnos, may have been voted out of office due to incompetence, but certainly not for being too progressive.

Mirkarimi also said any dispute between his wife and him was a private matter.
There’s that arrogance again, as well as self-denial.

Any progressive in San Francisco, indeed most Americans today, understand that curbing domestic violence is one of the highest law enforcement priorities. Police no longer place domestic violence calls at the bottom of the priorities, unlike decades earlier. They know, as it turns out in the Mirkarimi case that the victim will often not want to press charges. They also know that getting in between the parties in a domestic violence encounter is dangerous. Thus, they would often fail to respond.

That was then; this is now. The mores of society have changed. Law enforcement responds, as shown by the willingness of a judge, the Da, and the SFPD to pursue a case against the Sheriff.

The law also changed. Connecticut Federal District Court Blumenfeld issued an opinion in 1984, Thurman v. City of Torrington, holding the city liable for violating plaintiff’s constitutional right of equal protection in failing to respond to her repeated requests to protect her against her abusive spouse. The city was discriminating against women who are the victims of domestic violence. I believe she was awarded over $1 million in damages.

It had now also become therefore too expensive for police to ignore the domestic abuse claims.

Mirkarimi pled guilty, but did believe that would affect his ability as Sheriff to carry on his responsibilities. The Sheriff, in charge of jails, courts, and enforcing court orders in domestic abuse cases, saw no problem in staying in office.

There’s that arrogance again.

Mayor Ed Lee suspended him from office yesterday, albeit with pay, and filed official misconduct charges against him. He is now in the Sheriff’s Rubber Room.

The Sheriff has become a disgrace and a laughing stock to San Francisco.
San Francisco deserves better.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Crystal Cathedral, 1955-2012: R.I.P.

Behold! How the mighty have fallen.

The Crystal Cathedral has fallen.

The Protestant Crystal Cathedral will rise again as a Catholic Cathedral, thanks to the worldly powers of a bankruptcy court.

The young Reverend Robert H. Schuller preached in 1955 from the roof of a snack bar at an Orange County drive-in. The ministry thrived. He moved to the small screen in 1970 with The Hour of Power, attracting up to 2 million viewers weekly. It became the world’s most widely-viewed hour church service. The congregation grew to over 10,000 members at its peak.

From the small stand and screen came the Phillip Johnson designed Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, on 32 acres, a half mile from Man’s great creation, Disneyland. The 2,736 seat cathedral with 10,000 panes of glass opened in 1981 as an immediate landmark in the OC.

The Reverend Schuller’s sermons vied with Disneyland as the Happiest Place on Earth, or at least Orange County. The lit cross on top of the Crystal Cathedral serves as a beacon to guide souls, just as the CITGO Sign by Fenway in Boston.

The lavishly produced Christmas and Easter Pageants were productions worthy of Cecil B. DeMille with casts of a 100, live camels, horses, and a small Noah’s Ark of other animals, as well as sound and special effects.

Hints of trouble emerged. The Reverend Schuller in 1997 laid his hands upon a United Airlines flight attendant. The Reverend claimed he was ministering the spirit of the Lord. Observers surmised it was different spirits that moved the Minister. The FBI investigated.

Nepotism is not one of the Ten Commandments. Nor was it preached from the pulpit by the Schullers, but they practiced it. The Crystal Cathedral became a family business to the Schullers’ children and in-laws. Million dollars in salaries, housing allowances, all from contributors, flowed into the Church’s and Schullers’ coffers.

All 5 Schuller children partook of the bounty.

The Reverend retired as lead pastor in January 2006 and named his son, Robert A. Schuller, as his successor. He fired his son 2 ½ years later, followed by naming his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman as the lead pastor.

Debts piled up, revenue dropped from $54.6 million in 2008 to $41.2 million in 2009 and $22.3 million in the first nine months of 2010. Creditors went unpaid and the pageants cancelled.

Services were of the silent nature, for the host of worshipers had dwindled to but a few hearty souls.

The Schullers had to answer to a greater power as of October 2010, when the Crystal Cathedral ministry filed for bankruptcy. Nepotism and profligacy will do that.

Reverend Schuller asked parishioners for help last November. His wife, Arvella, was very ill with pneumonia. They requested that parishioners prepare meals for them, and then deliver them to their limo driver at the Cathedral.

The Church preached Christian charity, but parishioners of the bankrupt church did not perceive the limo and its driver as the Chariot of God.

The Lord may speak in mysterious ways, but this was the word of an email. The Lord does not email.

The bankruptcy showed preferential treatment of the extended Schuller clan of children and in-laws.

The family members had been paid.

The vendors were not.

The Reverend Schuller received an annual housing allowance of $120,000.

Musicians were unpaid.

$832,500 in tax-exempt housing allowances were granted to 8 people while all 5 Schuller children received money from the Church.

Choir members were unpaid.

Chapman University and the Diocese of Orange entered into a bidding war for the Cathedral. The Church won, because it needed it more. The Diocese of Orange lacked the financial resources to build a cathedral from scratch because of legal settlements.

Last Sunday was Reverend Schuller Coleman’s final sermon at the Crystal cathedral. She announced during Sunday ‘s sermon that she was leaving the Crystal Cathedral ministry and starting a new one. Her parents are not following her to her New Hope Center of Christ.

All members of the Schuller family have been cast out, or pushed out, of the Crystal Cathedral.

The Reverend Schuller Coleman explained that they were “leaving a hostile work environment.” That’s what bankruptcy can do to those who led the flock into bankruptcy.

The Board of the Crystal Cathedral has to render unto God that which is God’s, but unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. God heeds the spiritual needs, but the fiduciary duties belong to Caesar.

Her 9:00AM sermon this morning will be in Theatre 15, seating 500, of the AMC Multiplex at the Outlets at Orange. She posted “The whole family is welcome to come and join for a morning of coffee, popcorn, and praise,” with the concession stands being open. The old drive-in is no longer available. It’s reborn as a WalMart.

The now pastorless Crystal Cathedral will continue in the House of the Lord.

The pioneering televangelist knows the new social media. He posted a 4 minute video on Facebook that his “financial future may be at risk” due to the bankruptcy. He wants a $3.5 million buy-out from the Cathedral, claiming intellectual property rights.

$12.5 million in creditor claims remain unpaid because of the family claims of the Schullers.

From dust to dust, ashes to ashes, and movie theater to movie theater, the daughter has completed the circuit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Newt Gingrich Needs a History Lesson

The Time Has Come for Newt to Bow Out

Newt Gingrich loves history. He taught History. He earned a Ph.D. in History.
He should heed the lesson of Senator George Aitkin of Vermont. After the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the Senator said the United States should simply claim victory and withdraw.

Win, lose or draw in Alabama or Mississippi later today, Newt should declare victory and withdraw.

His political instincts are right; a conservative candidate can beat Mitt Romney and President Obama. It’s just not Newt. He carries too much personal baggage into the campaign. He lacks gravitas, that cliché of 2000.

He should heed the lesson of Cassandra. She spoke truth to the Trojans, but none were willing to listen to her.

Newt Gingrich is like Moses or Barry Goldwater; he can point the way, but cannot enter the promised land.

The Speaker and Senator Santorum between them outpoll the Governor in almost every state, but they split the conservative vote, allowing the Governor to claim victory in states like Michigan and Ohio with a narrow plurality. H. Ross Perot’s campaign in 1992 allowed Governor Clinton to win the Presidency through a plurality, just as Governor Romney is winning the Republican nomination so far.

The Governor has 1/3 of the delegates necessary for the nomination, or about 4 times as many as Newt. The math does not work out for the Speaker.

Newt dragged Mitt Romney kicking and screaming to the right, right where the Governor does not want to be. Senator Santorum though is taking advantage of being the true conservative in the race.

No matter how politically savvy Newt is, he does not connect with the voters.
Neither does Governor Romney, but Senator Santorum connects with blue collar voters because he is one.

The Speaker is firm on Israel, while the Senator may be a little suspect, but the Governor is a strong supporter of Israel.

If Governor Romney or Senator Santorum wins either Alabama or Mississippi today, Newt’s regional campaign is finished.

The South may be the heart of the modern Republican Party, but a Southern strategy will not win the Presidency.

The Speaker’s professional and political career may have been in Georgia, but he’s no Southerner. He hails from Pennsylvania, just like Senator Santorum. Southerners know it.

The public, as usual, is seeking an outsider who can reform D.C. Newt Gingrich is the consummate insider. He may have left Congress a decade ago, but his legal residence is in Virginia. He made money off Fanny and Freddie, just as the Democrats. He’s an insider – not a reformer.

The Speaker has no money; he can’t afford much television time. That’s not a winning strategy for a great political strategist.

He can throw red meat at conservatives by attacking the media, but it won’t win the nomination, much less the Presidency.

The Speaker needs to swallow his ego and end his quixotic quest for the Presidency.

His campaign effectively ended last summer before it began when his campaign aides resigned and he took a cruise. He couldn’t get on the ballot in Missouri and Virginia, displaying major organizational weaknesses.

If Speaker Gingrich wins Alabama or Mississippi, then he should declare victory and gracefully withdraw.

As he prolongs the campaign, precluding a clear winner, the ultimate winner will be President Obama.

Should the nomination go to the convention, Newt will fail to receive the summons to be the GOP candidate. Too many Republicans have bad memories of him as Speaker. He proved last Saturday that he wasn’t in Kansas anymore by walking out on Kansas.

History tells us that Newt Gingrich engineered the Contract with America and the Republican landslide in 1994 that broke the Democratic hegemony over the House and elected him the first Republican Speaker in 4 decades. That’s his legacy.

That’s how history should remember him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The War on Rush Continues

The War on Rush Limbaugh Continues

Most Americans believe in Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment. So do most progressives.

However, a cadre of hard core progressives strives to deny free speech to effective conservative voices. Lou Dobbs was bumped off CNN and Glenn Beck left Fox while MSNBC unceremoniously dumped Pat Buchanan.

President Obama long ago made clear his contempt for FoxNews, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. The President called Fox “destructive.

The Left demonizes the Koch Brothers, whose sin is to defend their rights by spending their own money – a novel thought to liberals.

The Left loathes Rush Limbaugh. His Excellence in Broadcasting dominates its three hour time slot. Past attempts to minimize his influence, such as dumping on El Rushbo for wishing that President Obama would fail, simply were exercises in futility.

The Left saw its opportunity when Rush Limbaugh wrongly used the slut and prostitute words against Sandra Fluke. The Harping Harpies salivated as their most outspoken critic crossed the line. Maybe, just maybe, this time he went too far. Fundraising letters went out while moral outrage ripped the mainstream media.

Labor learnt a decade ago to pressure outsiders to pressure management in turn. In short, have consumers and advertisers boycott employers and broadcasters. The newest tool is the use of social networks to get the word out quickly and cheaply, almost as if it looks spontaneous.

Euphoria set in as several advertisers loudly pulled their ads off the Rush Limbaugh show and two small radio stations in Hawaii and Pittsfield, Massachusetts cancelled his show.

Senator Carl Levin (D. MIch.) wants Rush dumped from the Armed Forces Radio Network.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, having fled to Berkeley after mis-governing Michigan for 8 years, has started a “Flush Rush” campaign on her MSNBC Radio Show. The alliterative, attention seeking promo has no chance of success. Between 16-20 million Americans listen regularly to Rush, while MSNBC draws less than 1 million viewers. She also wants him off Armed Forces radio. The erstwhile, brilliant Canadian Berkeley and Harvard Law school grad, sees no irony in denying access to speech in our country for those fighting to preserve our rights.

The irrepressible Gloria Allred, always extending her 15 minutes of fame, petitioned the Palm Beach District Attorney to file criminal charges against Rush for libeling a woman. Sandra must not yet have retained Gloria as counsel.

Gloria Steinem, Robin Malloy, and Hanoi Jane Fonda want the FCC to act negatively on license renewals by stations that carry The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Allen Newbauer of USA Today simply calls Rush a clown.

Bill Maher, to his credit, has stood by Rush.

So have 600 radio stations. A slightly contrite Rush Limbaugh still rules he airwaves.

March Sadness in LA: Where's UCLA?

March Sadness in LA: Where’s UCLA?

March Madness is here. The usual suspects have signed in: Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse, UConn, and UCLA, basketball royalty.

Scratch that – No UCLA

There’s still the NIT.

Scratch that – No UCLA

Indiana’s back and UCLA’s out.

68 teams qualified for March Madness, but not UCLA. Only Long Beach State, without Jerry Tarkanian, made it from the Los Angeles area.

June Gloom arrived early this year in Westwood.

UCLA’s in the doghouse with USC. USC has excuses. The team was down to five scholarship players between sanctions and injuries. USC is a football school. UCLA is a basketball school.

UCLA’s problem is that the players failed chemistry and physics at one of the world’s great universities.

UCLA was ranked 15th pre-season by Sports Illustrated. A great forward, Reeves Nelson, and a dominating center, Joshua Smith, were returning. New players arrived to provide depth. Ben Howland is a proven coach, having taken UCLA to three straight Final Fours.

Physics and chemistry. The 305 pound Smith fell victim to inertia. He couldn’t even get to the team bus on time. Other players lacked the drive. Reeves was a grossly immature and petulant bully. Some players fell to alcohol and drugs. La Dolce Vita in LA can be seductive.

Team chemistry was non-existent. Reeves was finally kicked off the team on December 9, 2011. Players transferred out to excel at other schools.

Sports Illustrated published a devastating article two weeks ago, detailing the chaos at UCLA. The article was unique with all the scandals involving college sports: No NCAA violations, no recruiting violations, no academic fraud, no arrests of basketball or football players.

Ben Howland’s problems are more sinful; he’s not winning anymore. What has Ben done for UCLA lately?

The answer is an unacceptable word: LOSE. UCLA is watching March Madness on HD TV for the second time in three years. 19-14 is not a winning record at UCLA.

John Wooden won ten national titles at UCLA in 12 years, but his successors have only won one in three decades. Losing is unacceptable to the Bruin faithful. Only national championship banners hang from the rafters at Pauley Pavilion - men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, and volleyball. The NIT Championship banner was removed and lost in storage. It may be in the warehouse with the Lost Ark retrieved by Indiana Jones.

Just as Ohio State has been the graveyard of football coaches for 8 decades, UCLA is now the graveyard of basketball coaches, several of whom lasted only 2-3 tears. Wooden’s successors are Gene Bartow (2 years), Gary Cunningham (2 years), Larry Brown (2 years), Larry Farmer (3 years), Walt Hazard (4 years), Jim Harrick (8 years), Steve Lavin (7 years), and Ben Howland (9 years).

I resented UCLA and John Wooden in the 1960’s USF had the second best basketball team on the West Coach, but the only route through the NCAA’s was in your region. Only 16 teams competed in the NCAA’s. The West Regional entailed losing to UCLA, which had the better coach and players. USF’s Pete Peletta was a great recruiter, but not a great coach. Resentment, but respect for the great coach.

John Wooden never tolerated the lack of discipline and intensity of Howland’s players. Coach made it clear to superstars, such as Sidney Wicks and Bill Walton, that it was his way or the road. He wished Walton success in his next endeavor.
Players played Wooden’s way and won. They learnt the Pyramid of Success.

UCLA is a greater than basketball, but it’s not UCLA without basketball.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's the Obama Election Strategy

It’s Not Contraception – It’s the Election Strategy!

The Obama Administration through Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius deliberately picked a fight with the Catholic Church and the Republican Party by requiring religious establishments to provide free contraception through their health insurance plans. The President, after an initial backlash, seemingly backed down somewhat by relieving the institutions of the requirement, but requiring their insurers to do so. The “compromise” is but a shell game since the actual effect is the same.

The Administration presented its proposal as a woman’s right to contraception, which trumped the First Amendment’s Freedom of Religion in polls. The Democrats then attacked Republicans for waging a War on Women by taking contraception away from them. The hypocritical histrionics reached new highs, even for Democrats. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey claimed Republicans were yearning to take women back to the Dark Ages.

The issue is not the right to contraception. Nor is it Freedom of Religion by religious institutions. These are critical values in our society, but they are not the issue.

A woman’s right to use contraceptives was protected by the Supreme Court in the famous 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut. The Church may remain opposed to contraception, but not the Republican Party.

The issue is the cynical campaign strategy of the Obama Administration.

Their strategic approach is to emphasize certain themes in appealing to three major constituencies: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and women, while raising record campaign funds. They’ve effectively written off working class white males, and non-Hispanic Catholics.

The gender gap favored Democrats for decades, but it disappeared in 2010. President Obama must therefore revive it to win reelection.

The economy, especially rising gas prices, remains a ticking time bomb. The President must therefore shift the focus from the economy to social issues. They believe they can win on social issues. Axelrod is seemingly salivating about running against Senator Santorum on social issues, but the Senator may be the next Ronald Reagan of the Republican Party.

Hence, the attempt to create a new entitlement program for women, free contraception - if not from the government, than from insurers. Rush Limbaugh’s intemperate remarks played into the Democrat’s gameplan, giving it more life than it deserved. He turned Sandra Fluke into a cause célèbre, if not a martyr.

Why is the proposal cynical? The odds are that the courts will strike it down as violative of the First Amendment, but not until after the 2012 election. The Obama Administration lost a religious freedom case last year, with the Court unsympathetic to the Administration’s arguments.

A fundamental rule of politics is that voters vote economic issues when times are bad, and social issues when times are good.

These are trying times.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Was Rush Limbaugh Thinking?

What Was Rush Thinking?

What was Rush Limbaugh thinking when he called a law student a slut?

Rush Limbaugh can be inflammatory and incendiary, but that’s talk radio. He is the most successful shock jock on the radio. He is conservative, very conservative, but liberal talk radio has generally failed. He draws an audience, and that’s what counts in broadcasting. Liberals fear, and often loathe him.

Rush Limbaugh makes a living broadcasting on the political edge, but even for him there is a line that should not be crossed.

What was he thinking though when he called Sandra Fluke a slut?

Certain words are unacceptable today; slut is one of them. A predecessor, nymphomaniac, went out of the lexicon decades ago. Don Imus and his crew paid a steep price for calling African-American basketball players at Rutgers “Hos.” John and Ken in LA were suspended for labeling the deceased Whitney Houston a whore. John and Ken may label some politicians “political whores” without facing a backlash, but don’t falsely call individual women variations of being a prostitute.

There may be a few more offensive slurs for a woman than” slut,” but not many.

Did Rush forget the double standard in the media? Bill Maher went unscathed in
calling Sarah Palin a “c..t” and “dumb tw.t.” He’s a liberal “comedian” so it’s probably OK. Ed Schultz on MSNBC called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” Sandra Fluke appeared on Schultz’s show last Thursday after Rush Limbaugh’s remarks.

How upset is Sandra Fluke?

The offensive word is even more objectionable when used against one it does not fit. The Georgetown Law Student stated that one of her classmates was spending $1,000 per year, or $3,000 over three years for contraceptives. The President’ proposal for mandatory, free coverage of contraceptives would be very beneficial to her friend.
Rush referred to Fluke as a slut and prostitute.

Rush Limbaugh brags he is always 99% right. This is one of the 1%, and it’s a big one.

What was Rush thinking?

He rails against the mainstream media. They hate him. Why give them the means to strike back? The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, et al, dumped on him.

Some advertisers pulled their ads from him. Boycotts were threatened against advertisers and those wrongly believed to be advertisers, as occurred previously with Glenn Beck on Fox. The left does not believe in freedom of speech for conservative commentators.

He could care less what the media thinks. Indeed, he probably revels in their attacks.

What was Rush thinking?

He knows, indeed, propounds that President Obama is using the contraception issue to divert attention from the economy. Why help the President by providing ammunition to Democrats attacking the Republican “War on Women?

He should have known better than to provide the Democrats and the mainstream media an issue to divert the American people from the economy and rising gas prices.

Fluke entered the political arena before a rump session by House Democrats. Chair Issa of the House Committee devoted the Committee hearing only to the religious issues involved in the President’s proposals. Former Speaker Pelosi called a rump meeting for women to speak out on the contraception issue. Sandra was speaking on behalf of fellow students. She was not speaking of her own sex life.

She became a highly visible public figure in a newsworthy public debate, a debate over religious freedom. She could expect criticism, and under the First Amendment, it could be caustic, inflammatory, hyperbolic, vitriolic, and bombastic. Political debates in Washington are often uncivil.

Any number of criticisms can be raised of her.

He could have criticized the attempt at creating a new entitlement program – for female contraception to be paid for not by the government, but by private insurers.

Sandra Fluke had a dual major at Cornell. One of which was feminist, gender & sexuality studies. She worked five years for a domestic violence Center in New York City. She is co-President of the Georgetown Law School Chapter Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Thus, Rush Limbaugh could have simply hurled “Femi-Nazi,” one of his favorite epithets, at her, and be done.

But not the S word.

Was Rush really attacking the mores of our society?

Perhaps, but the reality is that The Pill and Playboy Magazine liberated women 45 years ago. I remember when the Jesuits at the University of San Francisco in the mid-1960’s expelled a student because he had sneaked his girlfriend into his dorm room over a weekend. Even Catholic educators recognized decades ago that their students were not going to remain chaste. They may not distribute condoms on their campuses, but they certainly recognize what’s happening. Booze, drugs, and sex are prevalent, not universal, but prevalent in our colleges. Law schools and religious institutions are no exception.

He could have called her a liberal activist who’s poor at math.

He could simply have said all that, but he crossed the line. Had the Democrats sat him up for a fall, he fell into the trap.

What was Rush thinking when he initially apologized?

He was thinking how to apologize by not fully apologizing.

He’s upset. It’s not always easy to recognize a mistake, especially when your record is so good.

His original statements did not reflect the theatre of the absurd.

He “Manned Up” Monday morning on his show and publicly admitted a mistake. Rush should personally call Ms. Fluke, as did the President, and apologize to her. He will be bigger for it. She probably will be unreceptive to his call, but he will be bigger for it.

Did Rush Limbaugh realize he guaranteed Sandra Fluke lifetime employment as a feminist spokesperson and activist?

Why did it take Rush Limbaugh so long to make a full, proper apology

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Someone in Los Angeles Does Not Like Bernard Parks

Who in Los Angeles does not like Bernard Parks?

Willie Montgomery, Philadelphia’s Police Chief, was appointed LA Police Chief to replace the embattled Daryl Gates in the aftermath of the Rodney King Riots. Chief Montgomery did not “work out.”

Mayor Richard Riordan promoted an internal candidate, Chief Deputy Bernard Parks, to a 5 year term as Police Chief. Chief Parks was a 32 year veteran of the LAPD.

Chief Parks pushed accountability, professionalism, and responsibility onto the LAPD, which was also reeling from the Ramparts Scandal. Reform of the LAPD was long overdue.

Chief Parks was popular with the public and the media, but not the Police Protective League, the police union.

He was not reappointed Chief at the end of his term. He remained a public citizen.

He was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2003, representing a major part of
South Central Los Angeles. The African American community liked his efforts to reduce crime.

City Council members often run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Bernard sought an open seat in 2008, but lost to Mark Ridley-Thomas. The public employee unions poured over $8.2 million into the Ridley-Thomas campaign.

Once in office, Ridley-Thomas proved to be a political hack and in thrall to the unions.

What’s the problem with Bernard Parks, a public servant whose integrity has never been questioned? As Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, he sought fiscal accountability and responsibility for the City of Angels, which is headed to bankruptcy. He often stood up to the unions.

He won reelection to the Council last year, in spite of the $1.2 million the unions contributed to his opponent, Forescee Hogan-Rowles.

LA is in trouble Now comes round three in the Dump Parks Crusade.

Los Angeles, like the rest of the country, is reapportioning its districts. Redistricting can always be painful for some incumbents, but this year is especially petty and vindictive in LA. Herb Wesson, the Council President, is exercising raw, political power. Redistricting would be difficulty in any event as political power is shifting in LA from African-Americans to Hispanics because of demographic changes.

Herb Wesson is African-American, but his Council allies are Hispanic. Andrew Westall, his close friend and former political aide, is the Executive Director of the Redistricting Committee. Neither Bernard Parks nor Council Woman Jan Perry supported Herb Wesson’s ascendancy to Council President.

Wesson removed Parks from the Budget and Finance Committee a few months ago.

The new council districts remove major parts of the existing districts from Council members Parks and Perry. Indeed, by an amazing coincidence, their existing residences lie outside the new districts. Westall is alleged to have told one of Parks’ aides at a meeting “Go tell your boss to F… himself.” Commissioner Jose Cornejo is rumored to be running for one of the new districts created by his Commission.

Angeles isin trouble.