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Douglas v. Gibbs - Mr. Constitution

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By Douglas V. Gibbs

Impeachment is first mentioned as a granted power in the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 2 of the founding document that established the federal government.  The power is listed as being delegated to, and solely belonging to, the United States House of Representatives.  The word impeachment means “to charge,” or “to indict.”  Once an impeachment by the House is approved by a majority vote, the trial regarding the impeachment according to the Constitution (Article I, Section 3) must then be carried out by the U.S. Senate, with conviction requiring two-thirds approval by the Senators present (with a quorum in place).  An impeachment hearing is a political trial, not a criminal trial, so if an officeholder impeached and convicted is to be led out in handcuffs, a criminal trial must be prosecuted and a criminal conviction reached after they leave office as a result of conviction of an impeachment.  Removal from office is the worse punishment allowed after conviction of impeachment according to the final clause in Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.  In other words, a President has immunity while in office, but can be criminally prosecuted later, once he is no longer President of the United States.

With all of that in mind, a question arises; regarding President Donald Trump, must criminal charges against a President be a follow-up to an impeachment, or may any alleged criminal activity as President be chased after by those seeking to convict a former President?  The Constitution at the end of Article I, Section 3 does, after all, say that a “party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

The way I view the language, the Constitution views the impeachment trial as a political trial, but if it is concerning criminalities, those unlawful activities must be pursued in criminal court after the President has been removed from office.  However, that does not mean that criminal prosecution is limited to those brought up during impeachment.  There may be other criminal activities that were committed during one’s presidency that may not have been a part of an impeachment trial, or may not have even been realized while the person held office, or may not have any legal limitations when it comes to prosecuting those criminalities.  Therefore, illegal activities by a President would be open to prosecution once a President is no longer in office, as well.

This begs the question about criminally charging a President for activities as President after they are out of office as the Democrats are doing to Trump at this moment.  I suppose the answer to that would be tied to if there are any statutes of limitations regarding certain crimes.  Fraud, serious theft, murder, kidnapping, arson, bribery, and perjury have no limitation period, according to the law.  Therefore, yes, a President may be charged in criminal court after the end of his presidency as the left has been doing with President Trump.

The charges, however, no matter how they try to slice and dice them, are not criminal charges, however.  Nearly all of the charges against citizen Trump revolve around his connection to questioning the validity of the 2020 Presidential Election.  He has been accused of trying to overturn the election, or change the results of the election, which are false charges.  As President, according to Article II of the United States Constitution, among his responsibilities he must “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”  The laws he must faithfully execute, and ensure they are executed legally and without outside interference or without any tampering includes election laws.  So, if he believed a violation of election law had taken place and those laws were not being faithfully executed but instead there was illegality regarding the election, would it not be the constitutional duty of the President to bring into question irregularities and anomalies associated with the election?  In other words, his actions regarding doubting the validity of the election were tied to duty, not insurrection or any criminal action.  As President of the United States it was his duty to make sure the election laws were properly executed, and if he believed there were anomalies or irregularities that must be investigated, it was his job as President of the United States to ensure such investigations took place.  Instead, his opponents decided to criminally charge him for attempting to carry out a duty of his Office as President.  One must then ask, why would they do such a thing?  Could it be that the anomalies and irregularities being investigated might lead to their own criminalities?

Now, with a different President in office, one that may not even be supposed to legally hold the Office of the President of the United States, we have President Joseph Biden who is facing an impeachment effort in the House of Representatives.  The impeachment inquiry, however, is being questioned by Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, who was also once a member of the House of Representatives.  According to Mullin, the impeachment inquiry is regarding actions Biden took while he was vice president, and therefore the impeachment is an unconstitutional one.

If President Trump can be prosecuted for alleged presidential criminalities after his presidency is over, why can’t the same be said for Joseph Biden regarding things that happened while he was Vice President after his time in that office has ended?  As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

The Constitution, when it comes to impeachment, does not specifically state that the charges have to have been allegedly committed during the current office being held by the person in question.  That said, I realize that the idea that one can be impeached for actions prior to taking office could create a precedent that would throw open floodgates that perhaps should not be thrown open.  From Mullin’s point of view, if Biden could be impeached for actions as Vice President, then a terrible precedent could blossom to assume that he could be impeached for actions as a Senator, or even as an officeholder at any other level of government.  Would that also, then, allow the Democrats to chase after Trump, if he were elected again, with impeachment inquiries for alleged questionable business practices prior to his move into politics?

From that point of view, Mullin may have a point.  It may not be in America’s best interest to have ideological witch hunts regarding past practices and alleged crimes that occurred prior to the person assuming their current political office.  If one accepts Mullin’s line of thinking, Joe Biden’s alleged guilty of bribery or influence peddling as Vice President of the United States should have been caught, and inquired into, while he was still Vice President.  Once again, if we are going to use Mullin’s line of thinking, that still does not mean there cannot be an impeachment hearing in the first place, even regarding those actions.  After all, as stated earlier, there are no statutes of limitations on those crimes.  If high crimes by an officeholder, such as bribery or influence peddling, are discovered after the fact, even if discovered long after the person was in office, from a legal viewpoint, all bets are off.  Inquire, indict, and fire all cannons without delay; right?

While it seems perfectly reasonable to Representative Mullins on the surface that impeachment must be regarding a charge associated with the office one is holding, which would mean a President could only be impeached for offenses committed while serving as President, even using Mullins’ reasoning Biden could still be investigated because while the bribery charges, influence peddling, and obstruction charges may no longer technically apply as Representative Mullins might suggest, Biden is continuing to lie about those things.  His lies, even if regarding crimes from some past office he held or past life he held, shows that he continues to partake in corruption.  Lying to Congress, or to the voting public, as President of the United States for any reason is an impeachable offense as President.  And, we do indeed know that Biden continues to lie to the American public about whether or not he spoke with Hunter Biden’s business associates, about the bribery charges, and so on and so forth.  So even if Mullins was correct about going after Biden for past criminalities, lying to the American People is a big deal, a charge that Clinton was impeached for, and Nixon would have been charged for had he not resigned first, and so even for lying an impeachment inquiry is called for, and very constitutional.

The current impeachment inquiry has largely focused on the actions of the Biden Crime Family from 2009 to 2017, when President Biden was vice president, and from 2018 to 2020, when President Biden was out of office.  The crimes being investigated have no limitations, so they should still be open-game.  If not, if Mullen’s argument holds any water, Biden’s lies regarding those actions have occurred during his current presidency which would still make the impeachment inquiry legal and constitutional.  So, if one wants to argue that he cannot be impeached for his actions prior to taking office as President, he can still be impeached for lying about those things while holding the Office of President of the United States.

Mullins has stated that if evidence is presented that while in office Biden is guilty of impeachable offenses, there are five moderate Democrats willing to join the Republicans in their impeachment aspirations.  But, if this impeachment inquiry is to be considered to be nothing more than a waste of time by those who are chasing after it because they decide Mullins is correct, that the charges must be regarding actions by Biden while President of the United States; then the same assumption should apply to Trump, and let Number 45 off the hook too if indeed you can only be pursued for crimes committed in office while you hold that office.

In the end, past crimes against America like bribery and influence peddling by someone like Joseph Biden should be investigated by Congress, and there should be removal from office due to impeachment conviction and prosecution and conviction by a criminal court afterward because these crimes were serious crimes against this country.  Treason, if one is willing to admit it.  These are major crimes with no limitations, and they were not simply crimes against the vice presidency, they were crimes against America.

The Democrats disagree, and instead spend their energy, and American tax-dollars, on trying to convict Trump of crimes that they made up out of thin air, rather than recognize and admit that Donald Trump, by questioning the 2020 Election, was actually executing the oath of his office as President of the United States.

Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

bible and american flag
By Douglas V. Gibbs

Evidence of God’s Hand on the United States takes many forms.  One of those pieces of evidence goes all the way back to the 1700s, and a span of forty years.

In the Bible the number forty appears 159 times.  The number forty is an important number to God.  It rained for forty days and forty nights.  Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights to prepare himself to receive the Ten Commandments.  Moses was atop Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights to receive The Law.  The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after fleeing from slavery in Egypt.  Manna rained down upon the Israelites for forty years.  The Prophet Elijah walked forty days and forty nights to reach Horeb, the mountain of God.  Jesus fasted for forty days and nights to prepare for his public ministry.  Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after His Glorious Resurrection.  The human gestation period for new life is about forty weeks.  To God, forty is an important number.

Forty is important to God because it means something.  It signifies new life, new growth, transformation, a change from one task to another, repentance, newness, preparation for a new work or task, self-examination, task fulfillment, escape from bondage or slavery and entry into a period of renewal or liberty, nourishment or growth, a time to become spiritually ready for the task that is going to be at hand, and personal fulfillment such as redemption or salvation. Forty is biblical.  Forty is significant.  Forty often appears when God’s Hand is involved.

The number forty also appears during the founding of the United States.

Everything is a process.  Nothing happens instantly, or at least in our world it doesn’t.  The growth of relationships, the coming together of groups of people, or the process of altering a system of government takes time.  The American Revolution was not an instantaneous event.  The war lasted over a decade.  The writing of the Declaration of Independence took time, which included many meetings of the Committee of Five, and many meetings of the Continental Congress before the final draft was approved, proposed, and ratified.  And when it comes to God’s timing, forty years or forty days can be significant.

In 1662, the greatest generation, the original settlers of the English Colonies, had passed away.  Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren comprised a significant portion of the population of colonists in the New World.  That first generation, those who arrived at Jamestown, the Pilgrims who had arrived at Plymouth, and others who had arrived on the shores of the Atlantic Coast during those early settlement years, were very involved in their Faith.  In fact, the Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth seeking religious freedom.  Their Faith was the main reason for leaving Europe and undertaking the perilous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and landing in an untamed new land.

The pews in the churches by 1662 were nearly empty.  People were not attending church like they used to.  So, in the hopes of attracting new congregants, the ministers in Massachusetts got together and decided to create a new policy, the Halfway Covenant.  The new policy basically said that when you joined Christianity you basically became half of a new creature.  As long as you followed God’s commandments 51% of the time or more, you were fine with God, and could still come to church and partake of communion.  They began to water down The Word, they watered down their sermons, and they watered down the overall message of Salvation.  The thing is, when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you don’t become half of a new creature.  The blood of Christ and the flow of the Holy Spirit within you completely changes you.  Full repentance and a new direction becomes your new navigation.  You don’t strive to be like Jesus half of the time.  You are not supposed to bear good fruit only half of the time.  How can one grow in Christ if one confuses their relationship with Christ with one foot lodged in the world?  When it comes to Jesus Christ you are either all in, or you are not; when it comes to Christ you are either all for Him, or you are against Him.

That truth was set aside in 1662.  They abandoned biblical truth in the hopes of attracting people to the pews.  As a result the culture deteriorated.  Sin worsened, and society became vicious and destructive.  When pastors don’t take the lead with the right message, and they lead the flock astray, it gets ugly.  That’s why right now in the United States, and around the world, we are facing serious moral challenges.  Pastors have largely fallen asleep at the wheel.  And when you fall asleep at the wheel, you drive the car right off the road.  Today’s pastors are committing the same folly that the ministers in Massachusetts committed back in 1662 with their Halfway Covenant.

Politics is downstream from the culture.  We can gauge where we are morally in our culture by watching politics.  Here in America we understand that things have gone in a bad direction, and rather than work on the foundation we try to treat the symptoms.  We are busy with our hammers and nails trying to fix the walls and the ceiling, and we are ignoring the fact that the foundation is cracked.  If you don’t fix the foundation, none of the other work on the structure is going to matter.  We cannot politically fix anything if we are not right with our Faith.  We can’t get our political house in order until we get our religious house in order.

We have pastors right now in our current culture who have watered down The Word in a manner no different from the 1662 Halfway Covenant pastors.  They don’t want to lose congregants, nor dollars in the tithing plate they pass around before service, so they proclaim we need to be a little bit like the world, and we’ll fly that rainbow striped flag because we don’t want to offend anybody.  We just want to show the love of Christ, but not get involved in the culture.

Are we out of our minds?

The love of Christ is a wonderful thing, but that’s not how God, and Salvation, works.

True love is not bending the Bible to fit some human narrative, or particular group’s will.  True love is standing firm and telling folks, “You need to bend to the standards of the Bible.”  Standing with two feet in the world chasing things that are not of God has real consequences right here on Earth, let alone the spiritual realm.  That doesn’t mean you have to fix yourself before coming to Christ.  God accepts you as you are, but through the process of Salvation, Christ will fix you and steer you away from habitual sin.  We are broken.  We need God to fix our brokenness.  Trying to fit God and the Bible into our brokenness is not the right thing to do.  If you have broken issues, through the conviction of Christ, they will be resolved.  And, when we stop chasing after worldly things, worldly feelings, and worldly lifestyles, the conflict in your heart ceases, and you begin to have a positive impact on the culture.  Once you are there, you need to stand firm on your new convictions, and defend your renewal and the source of that renewal.

The person does not change the Bible, the Bible changes the person.

Which brings us back to 1662, and the launch of the Halfway Covenant.

Let’s fast-forward to 1734.  Jonathan Edwards in Northampton, Massachusetts decided he was going to start preaching The Word.  He began to follow the Scripture, and teach the Scripture from a biblical foundation.  When you accept Christ, you are a new creature, and you are all-in with God.  You have to be all-in, and if you are all-in with God, then you need to act like you are all-in with God.  You need to bear fruit like you are all-in.  That is what God is all about.  That is the whole reason behind the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross on Calvary.  This halfway stuff doesn’t work.  God expects His flock to be fully in the herd.  And that is what Jonathan Edwards began to preach.

As Reverend Edwards preached the Gospel in a manner against the Halfway Covenant, and in a manner expected by God, his church began to grow.  People were attracted to his message.  People sought counseling, people converted, people abandoned their pre-salvation habits and turned back to God, and people became enthusiastic about their faith and their membership in the Body of Christ.

God puts within us the desire to seek Him out, and if we try to fill it with something else, we remain empty and unfulfilled.  When Jonathan Edwards began preaching the right message, and people were filling that void with the proper spiritual things, and fulfilling their search for God, it created a revival.  It launched a Great Awakening that began in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1734 with his messages about the fact that the people were “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

Once Edwards began his sermons, and word got out, pastors in the surrounding communities began preaching the same message.  A hundred communities around the region began to also experience revival as a result.  Word got to George Whitefield in Britain, so he traveled over to The Colonies to find out what the goings-on in America were all about.  He listened to Jonathan Edwards preach, and he met with him and told Edwards his message needed to be preached throughout The Colonies.  Whitefield traveled to The Colonies from Britain seven times to participate in spreading the word that Jonathan Edwards was preaching from the northern end to the southern end of The Colonies.  From that, a great awakening took place.  America transformed from the Halfway Covenant to a Bible-believing, faith-based, strongly Christian virtuous society.

To help you understand what happened, let me use an example.

I worked for a credit union for a handful of years.  During those years I handled a lot of cash.  Paper money is not just paper.  It’s cloth.  You could probably make a nice shirt out of it, if you knew how.  The special fabric we use to make our money has a unique feel to it.  When you handle money regularly, your hands begin to know how it feels – especially when you are in the banking world and you handle it all of the time.  For four years I handled an awful lot of cash.  And, I got to the point that my hands could recognize when a bill that was not the genuine article passing through them.  Why?  Because they were used to handling the genuine article all day.  If I had been handling a mixture of bills, a mixture of the real thing and counterfeits, my hands would not have gotten to know the difference.  They needed to handle the genuine article almost all of the time; they needed to be enveloped by the genuine article all of the time in order to recognize the fake, the counterfeit, the deception.  That’s the way it is with the Word of God.

Scripture is something we need to envelope ourselves with.  When we surround ourselves with the genuine article of God’s Word we learn to recognize the counterfeits, the fakes, and deception.  That’s what began to happen with the generation that launched the Revolutionary War against the British.  Their generation had rose up during a great awakening.  They were raised enveloped by the Word of God.  All they knew was the genuine article.  Therefore, they were quick to recognize that they were under tyranny by the British Empire.  They recognized the tyranny for what it was.  Their spirits knew that they were surrounded by a counterfeit; it was not godly, it was not something they should be forced to live under.

The culture rejected the tyranny.  They began to protest.  They spoke out against it, and then in 1774 they united against it under the Articles of Association; an agreement to boycott all British products.  It was the first time the colonies had all banded together to stand against the British Empire regarding an issue.  They were in complete agreement, and they stood together, agreeing to the Articles of Association in 1774.  The Articles of Association is commonly recognized as the first of the four founding documents of the United States of America.  They are the Articles of Association in 1774, Declaration of Independence in 1776, Articles of Confederation in 1777 and ratified in 1781, and the United States Constitution written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and effective in 1789.

Of the founding documents of the United States the first one was the Articles of Association in 1774, forty years after Jonathan Edwards launched the Great Awakening with his sermons in 1734.  In 1734 the colonists finally got their religious act together and surrounded themselves with God’s Word, and forty years later the colonists joined together to begin the process of standing against British tyranny.  They realized a renewal was necessary.  They were in bondage and they needed to escape that bondage so they followed God’s Will of which they were able to recognize because they had surrounded themselves with the genuine article for forty years.  They followed God-given leaders out of the wilderness of bondage, and it took forty years for them to get to that point.  Forty years from 1734 to 1774 to the first founding document.

Forty years.

The same forty that appears 159 times in Scripture; the same forty that when it appears in the Bible it represents renewal.  It’s about going from bondage to liberty.  It was akin to going from the bondage of Egypt, to the liberty of the Promised Land.  In fact, the Founding Fathers were not ignorant of the connection.

Benjamin Franklin’s original design for the Great Seal of the United States included the dramatic historical scene described in the Book of Exodus where the people confronted a tyrant in order to gain their freedom.  Jefferson’s edit of the original design doubled down on the desire to make that scene the image depicted on the Great Seal of the United States, along with the motto, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”  Jefferson liked the motto “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God” so much that he used it on his personal seal.  That motto also inspired the upper motto Charles Thomson suggested for the final design of the reverse side of the Great Seal: Annuit Coeptis (God has favored our undertakings).

Forty years from the beginning of the Great Awakening when Jonathan Edwards began his sermons to 1774 and the first of the founding documents.  Forty.  God’s Hand has been on America since the beginning.  And I’m a firm believer that the War for Independence, the push for independence, the Revolution that the Articles of Association was a part of the beginning of, would not have happened if there had not been a Great Awakening.

Like the culture today, with one foot in the world and one foot in the church you can’t tell the difference between the genuine article and the counterfeit if you’re mixing it all up.  You need to have both of your feet in the genuine article.  You need to have your hands all over the genuine article.  If you’re not in The Word, if you are not in the genuine article of Scripture and if you are not practicing the principles of the genuine biblical article, then you’re going to fall for the counterfeits.  You are not going to be able to recognize the deception.  You are not going to recognize tyranny.

The beginning of the Great Awakening in 1734 with Jonathan Edwards began a forty year process that led to those colonists recognizing the tyranny and deciding to do something about it.

Where are we in such a process?  Where are we in our own forty year cycle?  I don’t know, but I fear our revival is only beginning to sputter into existence now.  We need to get right with God.  We need to teach the new generation that the process to liberty begins with surrounding ourselves with the genuine article of God’s Word.  And it may take forty years of a process, forty years of wandering through the desert before Americans realize the path to the Promised Land.  We keep expecting some instantaneous transformation.  Tyranny has been at work for over a century, and to be honest, tyranny began its march against us before the ink was dry on the Constitution.  And our culture has been marching away from the Word of God, especially during my lifetime.  Do we have one more Great Awakening in us?  Do we have one more blanketing with the genuine article in our future?  If we do, it’s a process, and as the Bible has shown, and as our own history has shown, it could take us forty years to get there.

Every journey begins with the first step.  Our first step must be a Jonathan Edwards type of message.  It’s time to work together.  It’s time to get our religious house in order.  If we are going to stand against tyranny, we need to begin the process and work back towards being a virtuous society.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin.

They didn’t just talk about working together and leading the colonies out of the wilderness.  They worked together.  They actively stood against the tyranny being thrust upon them through governmental oppression against liberty, and it began a process.  They didn’t just think about it, they didn’t just talk about it, they didn’t just sing about it inside the four walls of their churches.  They stood in the public square and confronted the tyranny head-on.  They did something about it.  They put legs on their prayers, and action in their understandings.  Are we doing the same today?  Or do we think we can get our political house in order without getting our religious house in order first?  Religion and politics go hand in hand, and we have been called into action.  We know that tyranny has risen up against us, and to do nothing knowing what we know would be the sin of omission.

James Chapter 1, Verses 22-25:

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

We are not supposed to simply be fans in the stands, observing what’s going on from afar.  We are called to be on the field of battle.  Remember when we were kids in church and we sang, Onward Christian Soldiers?  If we are in The Word the enemy targets us.  When you are over the target the enemy hits you with more flack.  You become a greater target.  You are dangerous to them when you surround yourself with the genuine article of God’s Word.

If any pastor is telling you how sweet and wonderful and comforting it is to be a Christian, they’re lying to you.  Being a Christian is a tough road.  You become a target because you have now announced to the enemy, “I don’t stand with you, I stand with Christ.”  And, you become a target.  You will be hit with everything they’ve got.  Surrounding ourselves with the genuine article is a tough life.  The world hates the name of Jesus.  The world hates what Scripture has to offer.  So, in fear, we have these Christians who sit inside the four walls of their church and they tell you they’ll pray for redemption, and they’ll pray for a rapid return of Jesus, and they’ll pray about the End Times that must be upon us…

That’s not what James 1:22-25 says, and that’s not what the Founding Fathers fought a Revolutionary War for.  In the Book of Luke it says we are to occupy until His return.  And if you look up the definition of occupy, the etymology of the word occupy based on its original scriptural placement, it means to attend to one’s ministry.  Your ministry is the Great Commission.  Your ministry is to share the genuine article of Biblical Truth.  Our ministry is to restore our virtuous culture, to restore the biblical foundation of this country so that we may then share the Good News throughout the world.  I’m not talking theocracy, like the opposition likes to scream.  This is not Christian Nationalism, as the left likes to accuse.  We are not talking about some authoritarian control over the country like the Biden democrats are currently pushing as they project that their enemies are the authoritarians.  We are talking about a vibrant Christian culture that has wrapped itself in the genuine article, and has launched the next Great Awakening.  It is our job to restore the foundation, for without a firm foundation the house that is built upon it will falter.

The foundation is damaged, and many of the pastors are not only not leading us, they have fallen into the deception being offered by the opposition.  We are not being the Christians God wants us to be.  We have been too afraid to stand up to the bullies of the left.  They are flaunting their opposition to God in our faces, and we shudder in fear.  We claim we are too busy with our lives to be in the public square fighting the good fight.  We are too distracted to defend the godly foundation of our system.  And, we don’t want to be ridiculed, we don’t want to be mocked and chided and be accused of being some sort of Christian Nationalist.  We’ve been convinced that our message is rude to talk about.  We’ve been told all of our lives that you don’t talk about religion and politics.  It’s not rude; it’s the right thing to do.  The First Amendment is all about religion and politics.  What type of speech and press do you think it is addressing when it comes to telling Congress that it can’t make any laws concerning?

Telling the truth, and spreading the Gospel is not rude; it’s love.  If someone is drowning we don’t say to ourselves, “Oh, I don’t want to say anything, they might be offended if I tell them they are drowning.”  We must speak up, and jump in the water to pull them out of it.  We must go into action.  Otherwise, they die.  We are in a life and death situation in America, and we’ve been convinced it is hateful, or some kind of phobia, to say something about it.

It’s like looking at brake fluid on the driveway of your neighbor as he walks toward his car.  But you don’t say anything.  You don’t want to be rude.  Gosh, the brakes aren’t likely to work.  Oh well, stinks to be him…

Are we insane?  Lives are at risk.  Tyranny has risen.  The federal government has become King George, and our culture has adopted something worse than the Halfway Covenant, and when we don’t act, when we refuse to be doers of The Word as the Book of James tells us, we are guilty.  We didn’t do our job.  It is our job to stand firm for a godly foundation and liberty, to be doers of The Word.  Occupy until His Return.

And it may take forty years to get us back on track.

Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

2023 nov 30 poll GOP frontrunners cropped
By Douglas V. Gibbs
 
On a text thread that was roaring last night during the December 6, 2023 GOP Debate, the last one before Iowa springs forth as the first of a string of 50 States during the 2024 Presidential Primary, I wrote this morning on the thread, “I didn’t watch the debate.  I had just eaten dinner, and I wanted to keep my meal down.”
 
Donald J. Trump is the leader of the pack by more than forty points, and the candidates on the stage are too busy playing “establishment inside baseball,” and refuse to see the reality of things.  DeSantis, for example, while scoffing at the polls that has Trump so far ahead, said, “I remember those polls in November, 2022; they said there was going to be a big red wave.  It was going to be monumental.  And that crashed and burned.  The place that didn’t crash and burn was in the State of Florida.”
 
Are the polls something to one-hundred-percent trust?  No.  Usually, the left twists them anywhere to five to fifteen percent in their direction.  Also, DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Chris Christie couldn’t conceive in their little brains that it might be possible that the cheat was on.  Election Fraud is a real problem, and it is also something we must figure out a way to overcome.  I believe there was a red wave, but the cheat killed it before the waves could come crashing upon the shore.  But, three of the knuckleheads on stage would never fathom that any issues regarding our elections exists, or they are too afraid to admit there might be election fraud in the system so as to not upset their leftist overlords.  As for Vivek Ramaswamy, who early on said things that revealed he believed that election fraud is not just some conspiracy theory, he has settled into a political seat that won’t mention it, likely because his advisers told him to stay away from it.
 
It’s amazing how much influence leftist talking points, media idiocy, and Cultural Marxism has on people who dare to call themselves Republicans.  
 
Chris Christie, who is in a real competition with Nikki Haley for the most leftist establishment puke award, took Democrat Party and media talking point influence to a whole new level when he decided to call Trump a “Dictator.”
 
Christie said, “Do I think he was kidding when he said he was a dictator?  All you have to do is look at the history.  And that’s why failing to speak out against him, making excuses for him, pretending somehow that he’s a victim, empowers him.”
 
Trump’s record as President of the United States was exactly the opposite of a dictator.  If there are any people acting like authoritarians in the White House, Obama and Biden fit the bill.  While Obama and Biden worked to dictate to you what you could buy, what products are aloud to be on the shelves, where your energy must come from, and what you must believe when it comes to sexual immorality and people running around confused because of their gender-dysphoria mental illnesses, under President Trump federal regulations were reduced, the free market was unleashed, choices without the federal government breathing down your neck became more available, and as a result the economy boomed.  As for Christie’s comment about what Trump has said about himself in regards to being a dictator, his slam against Trump was in reference to a discussion Number 45 had with Sean Hannity during Tuesday’s Townhall discussion.
 
Sean Hannity: “Do you in any way have any plans whatsoever if reelected President to abuse power, to break the law, to use the government to go after people?”
 
Donald Trump: “You mean like they’re using right now?  …  “I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill.  Other than that, I am not a dictator.”
 
In other words, on day one he plans to make those things happen regardless of the backlash.
 
The “dictator,” and “abuse of power,” and “fascist” accusations by the progressive, leftwing, commie Democrats and their allies are nothing more than projection, as Trump quipped.  They don’t like him because he opposes their establishment way of doing things, he’s an outsider they can’t control, and he makes sure things happen like a strong personality would, and should.  While Trump talks very forceful, never once did he operate anywhere near the authoritarian style of governance that the Democrats put out there.  The idea that he is a dictator is like calling him a racist; there’s no evidence, and it’s not true, but since they can’t win in the arena of ideas they lower themselves to name-calling.
 
In the end, DeSantis is considered a good conservative governor of a State only because he has a very good, conservative legislature that ensures his confused establishment mind doesn’t get in the way.  Nikki Haley is an establishment hack that’s in it for herself, and she’s proven that time and time again.  Chris Christie comes from the State of New Jersey and the only reason he looked faintly conservative in his role as governor of that State was because New Jersey is doing all it can to be like California, and he was willing to stand against some of those crazy commie ideas, and I don’t care who you are … if you are not hard left and you stand next to people as communist as New Jersey’s establishment, or someone that even politically resembles Gavin Newsom, you are going to look pretty conservative.  As for Vivek Ramaswamy, he’s probably the most conservative of the bunch, but he doesn’t have the staying power to pull it off, he’s off on a handful of issues, and he’s not eligible anyway (nor is Nikki Haley) because as per Vattel’s Law of Nations (and a whole string of other pieces of evidence), a Natural Born Citizen is a person whose parents were both citizens at the time of the birth of the child, and Vivek’s Cincinnati birthplace is fine for citizenship, but his parent’s still officially being Indian Citizens at the time doesn’t cut the mustard for presidential eligibility.
 
And, as I indicated earlier, Trump is forty points up, which is more than enough to win it all despite the fact the left might be playing with the numbers (which tells me he’s probably actually more than fifty points up).  The question is not whether or not Trump will be the GOP nomination; the real question is whether or not his campaign will be able to gain enough votes to overcome the cheat the Democrats have planned, yet again.
 
Political Pistachio Conservative news and Commentary
judicial constitution-gavel
By Douglas V. Gibbs
 
In Harrinton v. Purdue Pharma the question comes down to liability.  Should individuals be released from civil liability if their company’s product proves to have issues?  Should a very rich family be influenced in any way over the bankruptcy of their company?  Should the fact that deception was used to market a drug enable injured parties to go after, legally, the individuals behind that deception, despite the presence of a bankruptcy?

Twenty-seven years have passed since the prescription opioid drug, OxyContin, first came on the market.  Purdue Pharma manufactured the drug, but they promoted the drug as safe and less susceptible to abuse.  It turned out, however, that the claim was false, and deceptive.  OxyContin proved to be highly addictive, and the addictive nature of the drug resulted in what many have called a public health crisis that led to thousands of lawsuits seeking trillions of dollars against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family who were the principal owners of the company.  Recently, they relinquished control over the company.

The question before the United States Supreme Court is whether to allow a multi-billion-dollar bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma to move forward.  Blocking the plan would release members of the Sackler family from civil liability for opioid-related claims.  The plan moving forward would be the only way to ensure that those seeking retribution would receive compensation and funding for opioid recovery projects, and ensure the Sackler family was liable regarding those claims.

The Sacklers filed for bankruptcy in 2019, and a bankruptcy court in New York put lawsuits against both the company and the Sackler family on hold.  In September of 2021 the federal bankruptcy court confirmed a plan to remake Purdue Pharma as a nonprofit devoted to addressing the public-health problems created by the opioid epidemic.  Members of the Sackler family concurred, and even offered to contribute up to $6 billion to the plan. In exchange, provisions in the plan shielded them from future civil liability for opioid-related claims.

A federal district court struck down the bankruptcy court’s ruling, but a federal appeals court reinstated it earlier this year, pushing the case to the Supreme Court in August.

Deputy Solicitor General Curtis Gannon told the U.S. Supreme Court justices that the releases for the Sacklers go beyond what the law allows, urging the justices to hold that such nonconsensual third-party releases are not authorized by the Bankruptcy Code because they extinguish property rights that do not belong to the bankruptcy estate.

Gregory Garre, who argued on behalf of Purdue Pharma, countered that the court should reject the government’s argument that nonconsensual releases are always invalid. Congress’s use of the words “any” and “appropriate” in the law belie the idea, he contended, that bankruptcy plans can never include third-party releases – and indeed, he noted, they have been used for nearly 30 years.

The justices seemed to split in their positions, seeking to focus on broader and more practical questions, questioning the viability of the current version of the bankruptcy plan as the best or only version of a plan to help opioid victims and their families.  However, as Gannon argued, if the current plan does not go forward, it would preclude any recovery at all for the victims. 

One must ask, however, from a constitutional perspective, is it within the federal government’s authority to seek a particular path for any recovery for the victims, much less a better one or alternative one to the one being offered?  There has been years of investigations into the Sacklers, and according to Gannon, a better deal “does not exist.”  If this settlement plan blows up, the victims “are going to get zero dollars.”  Shouldn’t the Sackler family be expected to face liability, especially since the Sacklers took money out of the company for themselves after the deception had been perpetrated?

According to the arguments before the court, of the $11 billion that the Sacklers took out of the company in the years leading up to the bankruptcy, 40% went to pay taxes, and 97% of the post-tax funds transferred to the Sacklers would in fact be included in the settlement should that be the path taken.  If the plan doesn’t go forward, there would be “serious issues” for the victims in trying to collect any award that they might receive in a lawsuit.  

The reality is, the arguments and the discussions regarding this case are only beginning, and what is coming out right now is simply the Supreme Court’s first glance at the facts of the case.  It’ll take a while for the justices to fully go through all of the arguments and data available, and a decision in the case is not expected until the end of June.

Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

AuthoritarianBksSmll

Santos Removal from Congress Constitutional Rarity

By Douglas V. Gibbs
 
In Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution provides for the removal of a member of the House of Representatives should the legislative body wish to do so.
 
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
 
Before the removal of George Santos in a vote that included both Democrats and Republicans this morning, the successful move of expelling a member from the House of Representatives had only happened five times before.  With the removal of Santos, it moves the needle to only half a dozen over the last two-hundred and thirty-four years (since the Constitution went into effect in 1789), and Santos is the first in over twenty years.
 

The action, needing a two thirds vote to accomplish it, has been in the working for over six months, but the vote was not ensured as being enough until Friday, December 1, 2023.

The final tally Friday Morning was 311-114-2, with 105 Republicans joining almost all of the Democrats. 

Santos’ scandals began early, with him lying about his resume in order to get elected.  Santos took his seat eleven months ago, and even back then the rumors were flying that expelling him from office was on the horizon.  With a slim majority, the GOP takes a risk losing a Republican in a district held by the Democrats since 2013, before Santos pulled off his win.  The Republican Party is also suffering from internal fighting between establishment Republicans who tend to spend time in the laps of the Democrats and drinking from the same trough as the lefties, and the Patriots in Congress who still believe the Republican Platform and the United States Constitution is something that should be defended.  

Nonetheless, 112 Republicans refused to vote to expel Santos during Friday’s vote, despite the controversies he has been a subject of.  Their warning was that it was a dangerous precedent to remove an elected Congressman from office without a criminal conviction.  The fear is that such a move might become easily abused in light of the current stark division between the political parties, and even within the parties.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, still relatively new in his role as the gavel-wielder in the House of Representatives, made clear that he had “real reservations” with the effort to remove Santos before his criminal cases and due process had properly run their course.

The charges against Santos are non-starters and minor hiccups, to be honest, when compared to the criminal activities of many Democrats that includes bribes, targeting opposition with false criminal cases, and worse; meanwhile, they are expelling a guy who is accused of stealing puppies from the Amish and spending campaign funds on botox

What about the Democrat senator who was chair of the Foreign Relations Committee (!!) and was charged with taking bribes (including gold) from foreign governments?

I guess collusion with foreign sources, even those who seek to destroy America, is okay in the eyes of certain members of the federal government…