Repeal 17th Amendment to Revive the 10th

Between 1913 and 1920, Progressives were feverishly rewriting the U.S. Constitution. Within a seven-year period, they enacted four Constitutional amendments – for the federal income tax, Prohibition, women’s suffrage and direct election of senators.

Before the 1914 elections, U.S. Senators were elected by the 48 state legislatures. That sounds bizarre to the modern ear after a century of direct election of U.S. Senators. But it was part of the genius of the Founding Fathers to give the states powerful political leverage in the law-making branch of the national government. It was one of the original checks and balances.

The reason all the states got two senators apiece, regardless of population, is that the U.S. Senate was originally intended to represent states, not populations. Now that it’s directly elected, it represents populations.

But is California’s population sufficiently represented in the U.S. Senate? Their two senators represent a lot more people than Wyoming’s two senators. California’s registered voters now outnumber the population of 46 states, combined. Shouldn’t California have more U.S. Senators than those states?

Yes, if the Senate is just another chamber of directly-elected national legislature, like the House of Representatives. No, if the Senate is a bulwark of states’ interests, a barrier to runaway central government authority.

Thus the 17th Amendment, which voided and replaced the original language in the third section of Article I, introduced structural schizophrenia into the elegant Constitutional scheme. We now have a system in which states have no say-so in the membership of the U.S. Senate, which is designed and empowered to frustrate popular legislation on their behalf.

The Constitutional provision for election of U.S. Senators by state legislatures played a crucial role in ratification. It reassured Anti-federalists like Patrick Henry that the Constitutionally empowered central government could be prevented from running roughshod over states, swallowing up their powers and prerogatives.

It’s clear today that Henry’s darkest suspicions were justified. The 10th Amendment, proposed in 1789 and ratified in 1791, is in tatters. It guarantees that “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.” That means that if the Constitution doesn’t grant a power to the national government, it doesn’t have that power. It belongs to us, in the states.

The 10th Amendment remains in the Constitution as a quaint remnant, but perhaps no Constitutional provision has been more thoroughly and stubbornly disregarded in 20th and 21st Century practice. Whether it’s Obamacare or the federal Department of Education or the EPA, most modern presidents and U.S. Senators have never met a 10th Amendment violation they didn’t like.

Although the federal judiciary claims the mantle of Constitutional protector for itself, it has abdicated any meaningful role in defending the 10th Amendment. If Patrick Henry were alive today, he might tell us that the doom of the 10th Amendment was sealed when the 17th Amendment stripped it of institutional protectors.

I’m with Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee, who have called for repeal of the 17th Amendment. Paradoxically, indirect election could make the Senate more democratic, more sensitive to the grass roots, less beholden to shadowy cash-flushed PACs, less reliant on big media buys and therefore less preoccupied with campaign fundraising. Washington insiders would lose their grip on Senate campaigns, which would revert to pragmatic, down-to-earth state legislatures.

It’s time to end this reckless Constitutional frolic that second-guessed the Founding Fathers, and guessed wrong. It’s debatable whether repeal would give us our country back, but at least it might give us our states back.

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Transgender Camp Offers Programs for Children as Young as 4

By Fox News. A summer camp for transgender and “gender fluid” children is taking in children as young as 4.

The camp seems like any other. Children arrive with a packed lunch, make friendship bracelets, sing songs and get silly. But each day at check-in, campers make a nametag with their pronoun of choice. Some opt for “she” or “he” while others choose “they” or something else.

And enrollment at the camp is booming. The number of children at the San Francisco Bay area camp has tripled to about 60 youngsters, from age 4 to 12, since it opened three summers ago, with kids coming from as far away as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and even Africa. There is talk of opening branches of the camp across the country.

Experts say there are few camps like it. (Read more from “Transgender Camp Offers Programs for Children as Young as 4” HERE)

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Transgender Day Camp for Children

By AP. The day camp in El Cerrito, in the San Francisco Bay Area, caters to transgender and “gender fluid’ children, ages 4 to 12. Experts say it’s one of the only camps of its kind in the world open to preschoolers.

Rainbow officials say the camp gives kids a safe, fun place to be themselves. The camp’s enrollment has tripled since it opened in 2015, and plans are underway to open a branch next summer in Colorado.

Gender experts say Rainbow’s rapid growth reflects what they’re seeing in gender clinics around the country: an increasing number of kids coming out as transgender at young ages. (Read more from “Transgender Day Camp for Children” HERE)

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Muslim Issues ‘Jihad’ Threat in U.S. Courtroom

The fact that the U.S. faces an enemy unlike any other, who defies conventional methods of deterrence, was illustrated Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Ohio.

Terrence McNeil, 24, of Akron was standing before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to receive his sentence on charges he threatened members of the military and their families in the name of the ISIS.

The judge issued a 20-year prison sentence, but McNeil defiantly told Polster it was of no concern to him, Cleveland.com reported.

“Nothing you did today even matters,” McNeil said. “Jihad will continue until the day of judgment. And that’s a promise from Allah.

“It’s not going to change. It’s not going to stop. Neither of them are. My commission of Allah is not going to stop. So this is meaningless. I’ll be rewarded for what I do. You’ll be punished for what you do. I’m fine with that. You’re fine with that.” (Read more from “Muslim Issues ‘Jihad’ Threat in U.S. Courtroom” HERE)

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Another Massive US Sex Trafficking Bust Ensnares Over 1,000, Includes Cops, Clergy; 2 Alleged Molesters Caught on Plane

By Claire Bernish. From Seattle to Tuscaloosa, police arrested more than 1,000 people in just one month — including a law enforcement officer and pastor — as part of a sweeping crackdown on child sex offenders, and juvenile and adult sex trafficking in the United States. (Editor’s note: for the story on the two alleged molesters who were caught on a Southwest Airlines flight, scroll to the bottom)

Police from 37 departments in 17 states participated in the annual National Johns Suppression Initiative — a regular effort to ostensibly crack down on human trafficking and illegal sex work — rescuing 81 adult and child victims and arresting 1,020 people from Seattle to Chicago, and Texas to Tuscaloosa in the month-long effort spearheaded by Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.

Harris County, Texas, saw the largest number of people arrested, 170, while police in Seattle nabbed 160 alleged perpetrators and authorities throughout Cook County, seat of Chicago, arrested 141.

“Three brothels were shut down in Cook County by the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the sheriff’s office said. Three people were charged with operating brothels and four others were charged with patronizing them. Six adult victims were offered help,” CBS News reports.

Meanwhile, CNN reports,

In Arizona, officials said more than 400 people were discouraged from buying sex when they received texts, calls or Web browser redirects informing them about the impact of the illegal sex industry.

Dart announced Thursday that his office will begin efforts to create a public database that lists sex buyers who are caught for a second or subsequent time.

Reports say more than 8,000 people have been arrested during the National Johns Suppression Initiative — just since 2011 — as the project continues taking aim at human trafficking and prostitution by arresting patrons, johns, pimps, and other sex offenders, while finding victims the assistance they may need.

On the surface, the news of more than 1,000 arrests sounds productive, if not sorely needed; but, scratch the gilding from this supposed payoff, and controversy — particularly that surrounding what many now view as an anachronistic view of sex work — bubbles furiously to the top.

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown pointed out sardonically for Reason, following a previous johns bust in 2015,

These coordinated efforts to entrap people around the country lead to large initial arrest-counts, ensuring them prominent placement in U.S. media. But few outlets ask questions about specific charges, merely accepting police PR that these were predators arrested and not largely adult men and women trying to have consensual sex. Nor do many folks follow up on the results of these stings. If they did, it would become clear that the ‘National John Suppression Initiative’ has naught to do with stopping sexual exploitation of minors.

Charlotte Alter, who accompanied police during stings for the initiative in Cook County for TIME Magazine, notes, “some human rights organizations, most recently Amnesty International, advocate for the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work, including buying sex.”

Indeed, the International watchdog organization published its policy on protection of the world’s sex workers in 2015. Reiterating the contents of that policy in May last year, Amnesty wrote,

The policy makes several calls on governments including for them to ensure protection from harm, exploitation and coercion; the participation of sex workers in the development of laws that affect their lives and safety; an end to discrimination and access to education and employment options for all.

It recommends the decriminalization of consensual sex work, including those laws that prohibit associated activities—such as bans on buying, solicitation and general organization of sex work. This is based on evidence that these laws often make sex workers less safe and provide impunity for abusers with sex workers often too scared of being penalized to report crime to the police. Laws on sex work should focus on protecting people from exploitation and abuse, rather than trying to ban all sex work and penalize sex workers.

One approach against the illicit sex industry, called the “Nordic Model,” developed in Norway and practiced by authorities in Canada, combats the entangled issues of human trafficking and consensual sex work — by arresting and penalizing customers and pimps, rather than prostitutes, who receive job and other assistance instead of jail time.

Authorities across the U.S. have employed the Nordic Model — including the head of the initiative. TIME reports,

Dart only has jurisdiction in Cook County, but he’s encouraging officers from all over the country to try the buyer-focused approach. Some cities, like Seattle, have developed their own versions of this strategy but traded notes with Dart. Others, like Phoenix, Cincinnati and Houston, followed Dart’s lead on demand suppression. More than 70 agencies have participated in at least one of Dart’s operations, with more than 2,900 buyers arrested across all jurisdictions since 2011. […]

“Some human rights groups take issue with this approach. On August 11 [2015], Amnesty International voted to recommend the complete decriminalization of prostitution, both for the buyers and sellers, saying that criminal laws against the consensual adult sex trade violates the human rights of sex workers. While UNAIDS and the World Health Organization have previously called for the decriminalization of sex work for public health reasons (in order to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases), and other groups have advocated the same, Amnesty International is the first major international human rights group to issue a full-throated global public policy recommendation for lifting laws against buying and selling of sex purely on humans rights grounds. Amnesty can’t make or enforce laws, but its recommendations carry international weight.

Fraught doesn’t begin to describe contention internationally over sex work, human trafficking, child exploitation, and similar issues; but, while heavy-handed operations like the Johns Initiative perform a vital role in rescuing victims who might otherwise have slipped through the cracks or gone unnoticed, human rights advocates maintain the only means to combat sexual, criminal exploitation of youth and adults is to legalize sex work — making regulation, health screenings, insurance, and other benefits available to adults in a voluntary profession — theoretically freeing authorities to target child predators and other offenders.

Theoretically, decriminalization of sex work would play out similarly to that of drugs — a decade-long attempt by Portugal to stem violence, curb prison populations, and rein in an addiction epidemic proved taking punitive drug laws off the books works: the nation achieved all three goals and more. Advocates of legalized sex work posit a similar result, with police free to throw resources at cases of true exploitation and trafficking.

Detractors contend elevating prostitution to acceptable will exacerbate the issue by orders of magnitude, by fueling a parallel black market — similar to reports legal cannabis areas of the U.S. have reinvigorated illicit sales.

Undoubtedly, dragnets targeting prostitution and human trafficking serve victims by connecting them to the appropriate aid and locking true abusers and exploiters away from further criminal activity. Indeed, there are enough stories on a weekly basis, in America and across the globe, that show an epidemic of child exploitation is fostering and in dire need of being brought to a halt.

However, it’s imperative to keep in mind corporate media’s penchant for shock and awe to deliver a criminally oversimplified version of exceedingly complex truths — and the National Johns Suppression Initiative has thus far been no exception.

Disingenuously presenting a law enforcement operation as only good cheats the child and adult trafficking victims who could have been rescued — were consensual sex work not a focus of policing at all.

“We realize that decriminalization is not a magic bullet for all of the harms faced by sex workers,” wrote Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s interim executive director, in response to a criticism appearing in Rolling Stone of the organization’s advocacy of legal sex work, in June 2016. “Which is why our policy also calls for governments to protect sex workers from harm, exploitation and coercion, and calls for education and employment options for sex workers. Sex workers must also have a say in developing laws that affect their lives and safety. But without decriminalization, they cannot expect equal treatment under the law to achieve these ends.” (For more from the author of “Massive US Sex Trafficking Bust Ensnares Over 1,000—Including Law Enforcement and Clergy” please click HERE)

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Police: Plane passenger helps cops bust 2 people texting about molesting kids

By Carma Hassan and Joe Sterling. A woman on a Seattle-to-San Jose flight this week . . . spotted a fellow passenger allegedly texting about sexually molesting children, the San Jose police said.

She immediately alerted the crew, leading police to arrest a man and a woman on charges of sexually exploiting minors. . .

The woman, who’s an early childhood educator, saw a male passenger seated in front of her texting the material, the San Jose police said.

[San Jose Police SGT] Spears told CNN the passenger was able to take photos of the man’s text conversation because the font and screen were large.

The texts, Spears said, were “extremely disturbing.” (Read more from this story HERE)

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Secret Behind Murkowski’s Obamacare Flip-Flop

Sen. John McCain is getting most of the blame from the right and praise from the left for his vote to scuttle Senate legislation to repeal parts of Obamacare, but another GOP member is coming under fire for reneging on her vow to repeal the law and offering a weak explanation for her reversal.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, campaigned twice on ditching Obamacare and even voted for the straight repeal in 2015, when the bill was vetoed by President Obama . . .

After seven years of railing against Obamacare, why did Murkowski end up as a deciding vote to save it?

“Number one, she’s a big-government leftist. Anything that grows government, grows federal control, she’s for,” said Joe Miller, who ran against Murkowski in 2010 and 2016.

“Most Alaskans that have political contact remember what she did in 2010. She actually called me out and said I was a liar about her position on Obamacare because we had a YouTube clip of her waffling statements on Obamacare. We said, ‘Look, this gal isn’t really for full repeal,’” Miller explained.

(Read more from “Secret Behind Murkowski’s Obamacare Flip-Flop” HERE)

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Senate Blocks Trump From Making Recess Appointments Over Break

The Senate blocked President Trump from being able to make recess appointments on Thursday as lawmakers leave Washington for their summer break.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), doing wrap up for the entire Senate, locked in nine “pro-forma” sessions — brief meetings that normally last roughly a minute.

The move, which requires the agreement of every senator, means the Senate will be in session every three business days throughout the August recess.

The Senate left D.C. on Thursday evening with most lawmakers not expected to return to Washington until after Labor Day.

Senators were scheduled to be in town through next week, but staffers and senators predicted they would wrap up a few remaining agenda items and leave Washington early. (Read more from “Senate Blocks Trump From Making Recess Appointments Over Break” HERE)

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Handwritten Obama Note Found – Exposes MASSIVE Hillary Email Lie

A series of handwritten FBI notes that were recently released have confirmed that Barack Obama’s administration’s White House counsel was directly involved in deliberations over the release of Hillary Clinton emails as early as spring of 2015.

“Pat Kennedy (early May ’15) calls interagency MTG (meeting) re: scheduled release by JAN ’16, asking quick turnarounds – WH Counsel, CIA, etc…OSD, DNI, NSC and (redacted),” the notes read, according to Fox News.

These notes lay the case out from the perspective of the FBI agents investigating it. The reference to “Counsel,” seems to be the earliest confirmation of White House involvement.

This came after Obama’s White House tried to put as much distance between itself and the Clinton email scandal as possible. In a March 7, 2015 interview, Obama claimed that he had only learned that Clinton was using a private email server to conduct official government business from the media . . .

However, emails released by WikiLeaks written that same day from Clinton aide Cheryl Mills to Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta say otherwise.

“We need to clean this up. He has emails from her — they do not say state.gov,” she wrote. (Read more from “Handwritten Obama Note Found – Exposes MASSIVE Hillary Email Lie” HERE)

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Bombshell Dropped on Seth Rich Murder Mystery

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh appears to have dropped a bombshell in audio released Tuesday – pointing out that the DNC emails obtained by WikiLeaks stopped pouring in after the mysterious murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich in 2016.

In the audio, Hersh also claims an FBI report described to him by an insider confirms that Rich, the DNC voter-expansion data director, had taken some emails to WikiLeaks and requested payment for a full trove of DNC emails during the presidential campaign.

In fact, the latest DNC email released by WikiLeaks was dated May 18, 2016 – just weeks before Rich was shot twice in the back with a handgun.

“There are no DNC or Podesta emails that exist beyond May 21 or 22, last email from either one of those groups. What the report says is that some time in late spring … he makes contact with WikiLeaks, that’s in his computer,” Hersh says in audio almost certainly recorded by financier Ed Butowsky, who hired private investigator Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July.

Hersh continued: “Anyway, they found what he had done is that he had submitted a series of documents — of emails, of juicy emails, from the DNC.” (Read more from “Bombshell Dropped on Seth Rich Murder Mystery” HERE)

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Clinton Pay to Play? Just Check These New Emails From Huma

Former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin used her personal email account to transmit classified documents and coordinate favors for Clinton donors, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch Wednesday.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents as part of a lawsuit filed after the State Department failed to respond to a March 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The newly-obtained documents include 91 Clinton email exchanges that were not turned over to the State Department, contradicting Clinton’s claim that, “as far as she knew,” she had turned over all of her government emails.

The emails reveal multiple instances in which Abedin used her personal account to send and receive classified documents as well as arrange personal favors for Clinton donors and political allies on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s behalf.

“Pay to play, classified information mishandling, influence peddling, cover ups—these new emails show why the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s conduct must be resumed,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

In one particularly blatant example of nefarious activity, Miguel Lausell, a Puerto Rican Telecom executive and donor of over $1 million to the Clinton Library, requested through Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band that a specific candidate be considered for the U.S. ambassadorship to Puerto Rico. The following day in April 2009, a Clinton aide passed Lausell’s message to Clinton’s special assistants and instructed them to “make sure there is a response.” It remains unclear whether the person in question received the ambassadorship as the name is redacted. (Read more from “Clinton Pay to Play? Just Check These New Emails From Huma” HERE)

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Infant Who Survived an Abortion at 35 Weeks Saved by Nurse Who Heard Baby Crying Inside Plastic Bag

News out of China tells the story of a tiny baby who survived an abortion . . .

With that many abortions, it’s inevitable that some of these babies would survive. But what happens when they do? In at least one instance, the baby was placed inside a plastic bag, with the intention of suffocating the baby to death. But instead, the baby was rescued, and survived.

Lili, an 18-year-old teenager, found out she was pregnant, and kept the baby a secret until she was 35 weeks along. At that point, her brother took her for an abortion, performed by midwife Liang Xiaohua. Lili was told that the abortion was successful, and she paid a fee for the disposal of her baby’s remains. But Liang, the midwife, thought Lili’s baby could survive, and when she heard the baby crying, she took the baby out of the plastic bag and hid the baby in a cupboard after providing the child with oxygen and water.

She then sold the baby to her cousin, but it only took a matter of days for villagers to become suspicious. Police were notified, and three days after the abortion, Lili was notified that her child had survived, and was still alive. Midwife Liang Xiaohua was arrested and charged with child abduction.

At this stage of development, week 35 in the third trimester of pregnancy, the preborn baby weighs about five pounds, is practicing breathing, and has almost fully developed lungs, according to WebMD. A baby born at this stage has a 99 percent chance of survival. (Read more from “Infant Who Survived an Abortion at 35 Weeks Saved by Nurse Who Heard Baby Crying Inside Plastic Bag” HERE)

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