Sunday, March 28, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     The Senate tradition of unlimited debate allows for the use of the ‘filibuster.’  Derived from a Dutch word for ‘freebooter’ to describe pirates, the filibuster was a part of the very first Senate session (1789).  Pennsylvania Senator William Maclay said the Virginians in the Senate were trying to ‘talk away the time’ so a bill would not get passed.  Down through the years, the filibuster rule has been effectively used by both Parties to block legislation.  It allows a single Senator or group of Senators to hold the floor for as long as they are able to gain control of the floor.    The actual record for the longest individual speech(filibuster) goes to the late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who spoke for over 24 hours against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. 

     Prior to 1917, the Senate did not have any rules to end debate and force a vote on a measure.  That year, the Senate adopted Rule #22, which invoked closure of debate with a two thirds (67) majority vote.  In 1975, the Senate reduced the number to three fifths (60).

    At his news conference, last week, President Biden said he agreed with former President Obama, that the filibuster is a throwback from the ‘Jim Crow,’ era and is being abused in a ‘gigantic way.’  He said he might support reducing the closure number to a simple majority (51).  This is a reversal of Biden’s position when he served in the body.   

     Vice President Joe Biden served in the U.S. Senate for six terms (36 years) and once defended the filibuster saying: I’ve been in the Senate for a long time, and there are plenty of times I would have loved to change this rule(filibuster) to pass a bill or to confirm a nominee I felt strongly about. But I didn’t, and it was understood that the option of doing so just wasn’t on the table. You fought political battles; you fought hard; but you fought them within the strictures and requirements of the Senate rules. Despite the short-term pain, that understanding has served both parties well, and provided long-term gain. Two observations:      

     First, the filibuster has protected the political minority from the tyranny of the majority.  The cornerstone of a democratic republic is majority rule, however the founders were mindful of the minority.  President Thomas Jefferson said, “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression.”  Allowing the minority to have a say is fundamental to our system of government. 

     Second, the attack on the 60-vote filibuster in the Senate is real.  A similar filibuster rule was initially part of the U.S. House, but it was removed in 1888.  Currently, Senate Democrats don’t have enough votes (50) required to reduce the number for closure of debate because many in their own ranks oppose reduction to a simple majority, but it could happen.  It did in the House.  The 60-vote filibuster is not a part of the U.S. Constitution.  It could be changed.  In 2013, Senate Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, used the ‘nuclear option’ to eliminate the three fifths vote rule for executive branch nominations.  They were having difficulty getting President Obama’s nominations approved.  President Trump and Senate Republicans used the change in 2017 to their advantage to end debate on the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.   

     President Biden once said; “The abolition of the filibuster is a naked power grab.  To take the ‘nuclear option’ would be catastrophic.  It would destroy America’s sense of fair play.  It would tilt the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field.” Senator Biden was right. The pirate rule should remain.  It has served America well.

Sunday, March 21, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     The U.S. House has passed two bills that tighten gun sales regulations.  House Resolution #8, authored by Rep. Mike Thompson, (D-CA), expands background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms.  It passed the House 227-203, with eight Republicans (five of which co-sponsored) joining one Democrat in voting yes.   

     The second bill is House Resolution # 1446, authored by Majority Leader Rep. James Clyburn, (D-SC).  It passed the House 219-210 with two Democrats opposing and two Republicans voting yes.  It would extend the initial background check review period from three to ten days.  “This is an important step Congress must take to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” Clyburn said. 

     All five Oklahoma House members voted no on both measures.  Both bills now go to the U.S. Senate, where they face an uncertain fate.    Three observations:

     First, the Second Amendment is under attack.  President Biden has called on Congress to ban so-called ‘assault weapons,’ ‘high-capacity magazines’ and mandate background checks on all gun sales.  Typically, few mass shooters have criminal backgrounds.  Biden[S1]  wants to eliminate immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put what he calls ‘weapons of war’ on the street.  Most constitutional scholars don’t believe these laws will pass Constitutional scrutiny, but the mindset to disarm the public is clearly a part of the Democratic agenda. 

     Second, increased gun regulations do not work.   Three of the largest cities in America- Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City- all have strict gun laws.  Violent crime has not been reduced and in some cases has increased in those cities.  That is because criminals and malefactors don’t follow the law.  They don’t read and follow the ‘Gun Free Zone’ signs.  Since a criminal doesn’t follow the law, they seize the golden opportunity to carry out violent acts in states with stricter gun laws. They know people don’t have guns in these areas.  The criminal wants the government to enact gun control. The criminal seeks opportunity where gun control runs rampant. The only people who obey gun control laws are the honest citizens.  More gun laws infringe on citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

     Third, no law can stop gun violence.  The issue is not a gun- it’s the heart of man.  The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked.  It’s not a gun that kills- it’s the man pulling the trigger.  No legislation can deal with the fundamental issue of the heart of man.  Only God can.  That is why mass shootings still happen in countries with strict gun control laws.  Until the root cause is addressed, man’s inhumanity against man will continue.   Only the Gospel can change the heart of man. 

     In response to HR8 and HR1(federal takeover of elections), the Oklahoma House last week passed a couple of resolutions- #1009 and #1010, sponsored by Rep. Jay Steagall, (R-Yukon).  They assert Oklahoma’s state sovereignty and affirm the 10th amendment (state’s rights). Steagall called the two bills a ‘federal government overreach.’

     President Biden describes his gun control stance, ‘common sense.’  President James Madison defined common sense as ‘philosophy’ with big words- a perfect illustration of Biden’s liberal policy to disarm America.

Sunday, March 14, 2021


Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair

     On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion dollar relief package.  It sends direct payments of up to $1,400 to citizens and extends a $300 per week unemployment supplement.  “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said as he signed the bill.  All Republicans in both chambers voted against the bill with just one Democrat (Rep. Jared Golden, (D-Maine) voting no.  That night President Biden spoke to the country and opened his remarks by criticizing President Trump saying his predecessor was “in denial for days, week, then months that led to more deaths, more infections, more stress and more loneliness.”  Biden said all Americans would be eligible for vaccine inoculation by May 1st and the country could start to get back to some sort of normal by July 4th.  Three observations:

     First, Biden’s disparaging remarks about Trump were inappropriate and untrue.  Trump wasn’t in denial about COVID.  He shut down travel from China and other countries weeks before other world leaders did to slow down the spread.  He initiated Operation Warp Speed to facilitate development of a vaccine, which was accomplished in record time.  Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House's COVID team, credited Warp Speed for spurring the development of a vaccine at an unprecedented pace. “We’re grateful for the work that came before us and are doing the best we can to continue it and accelerate it,” Slavitt said on Fox News. “I would absolutely tip my hat. … The Trump administration made sure that we got in record time a vaccine up and out. That’s a great thing and it's something we should all be excited about.” Perhaps Biden should listen to his own advisors and stop politicizing COVID.  He is benefiting from Trump’s work. 

     Second, the COVID relief bill includes spending unrelated to COVID.  $350 billion of the total relief bill spending is divided between the 50 states to fill budget holes.  According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, 15% of the total goes to pet projects for Democrats, which include a $1.5 million bridge connecting New York and Canada, a $100 million underground rail project in Silicon Valley, $480 million for Native American language preservation and maintenance and $50 million in environmental justice grants.

  Congressman Tom Cole, (R-OK), says less than 10% of the total goes to actually COVID relief.  “While Democrats’ fake coronavirus rescue package had a very few egregious provisions removed during its trip over to the U.S. Senate, the final version headed to the president’s desk remains deeply partisan and extremely liberal. In fact, even socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has called it the most progressive legislation he has ever voted for or seen passed in his congressional career …. Those are telling descriptions of what this legislation is actually meant to achieve, and that is not delivery of coronavirus relief,” Cole said.

     Third, the ‘relief’ will be paid for by future generations.  In the past year, Congress has passed six bills and spent $4 trillion dollars dealing with COVID.  The first five passed with bi-partisan support, but Republicans rightly balked at this one because of the pork the Democrats crammed in it. Spending money we don’t have on pet projects is irresponsible and puts a fiscal burden on future taxpayers. 

     In his 24-minute speech, President Biden mentioned the ‘collective suffering’ of Americans over the past year.  Clearly 2020 was a challenge but if the federal government doesn’t become fiscally responsible, that collective suffering will be for generations.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

States need to maintain control of elections & redistricting!

Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair

     Election integrity is fundamental to a stable Republic.  In the 2020 general election, President Trump maintained ballot fraud occurred in several states.  Because of varying rules on balloting, several states were still counting votes in the presidential election three weeks after polls closed.  That needs to be addressed, but Democrats are pushing for sweeping election reform.

     On Sunday President Biden signed an executive order designed to increase voter access.  It orders federal agencies to expand access to voter registration, provide voting access and education to prisoners in federal custody.  It also orders the feds to examine barriers to citizens with disabilities voting and the process for overseas voters, including active-duty military.  "During this current legislative session, elected officials in 43 states have already introduced over 250 bills to make it harder to vote. We cannot let them succeed,"  Biden said.  Biden also urged the Senate to pass HR1.

     Last week U.S. House Democrats passed HR1, a sweeping election reform bill that if signed into law would put the federal government in charge of elections.  Some troubling provisions in HR1 include: (1) grants Washington DC statehood(2) removing of the notarization or witnesses of a voters signature for mail in voters, (3) nationwide same day registration, (4) automatic registration when you register a car, apply for food stamps or any federal entitlement program, (5) bans requirement to provide identification to vote, (6) allow convicted felons to vote, (7) allows Congress to dictate to states how to do redistricting for U.S. House representation, (8) establishes a ban on knowingly making false or anonymous statements about a candidate in a federal election, (9) pre-registers 16 year olds to vote, (10) eliminates ‘dark money’ in elections, (11) makes ballot harvesting legal.  Three observations about HR1 and election/balloting reform:

     First, individual states should remain in charge of their own elections, not the federal government.  Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution says: The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations except as to the places of choosing Senators. The provision allowing Congress to ‘alter the regulations’ didn’t mean promoting cheating.  The founders never envisioned the federal government running elections in the states.  HR1 is a clear power grab by the Democrats. 

     Second, HR1 is not about integrity at the ballot box, it’s about staying in power.  By eliminating voter ID and expanding voter eligibility to felons, young people, and illegal immigrants, Democrats virtually guarantee Republicans could not win a future presidential election. For years, Ds have claimed ‘voter suppression’ when Republican controlled state legislatures passed voter ID laws insuring the person voting is actually that person.  That should raise red flags.  How can anyone oppose verifying voter ID unless they want to cheat?   

     Third, HR1 could be the undoing of America.  That is no exaggeration!  If ballot box integrity or probity is compromised, citizens have no voice and the result will be a total lack of respect for authority- anarchy.  All Americans, no matter their Party affiliation should demand elections be run in a fair and honest way.  Pray HR1 does not pass the Senate and is signed into law.  Election reform is needed, but it best done through state legislatures.  That is why 43 states are running 250 bills.  It should not be done by Executive Orders and Congressional involvement.