Archive for the Congress Category

Past Time: Exercising The “New Clear Option” (November 25, 2013)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Civil War, Congress, Courts, Filibuster, Hypocrisy, Judges, Law, O'Bama, Presidency, Race on November 25, 2013 by e-ssay.org

. . .

P          “It is about time.”

Q         “It’s way past time.”

P          “After stepping on your neck for years, they promise to step on your neck even harder if you try to wrench their foot off your neck.  It may be past time.”

Q         “They have used the logic embraced by the oppressed to oppress the patient and mature legislators.  It’s way past time.”

P          “Why not try to wrench their foot off, because when they get in power, they will be no less vindictive.  Now the oppressed legislators can compel the Senate to adhere to the constitutional duty to advise and consent rather than to delay and deny.”

Q         “Delaying legislation is a legislative prerogative.  The fight today is about denying executive branch appointments and undermining the executive branch.  At core, the fight is over separation of powers and the independence of the presidency.”

. . .

Q         “The war also is being fought over another branch – the courts and the judiciary.  Everyone in the know knows that there is no law, there is only ideology.  They are fighting over which ideologues get to don the wigs and dictate policy from the bench.”

P          “The vote is another skirmish in the continuing Civil War in America.”

Q        “That national experience provides historical perspective and ironic understatement.  Yet the war today isn’t civil.”

P          “At core, the clan of confederates is furious that a Black man is in the White House.”

. . .

[See the article titled http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/22/us/politics/reid-sets-in-motion-steps-to-limit-use-of-filibuster.html?hp&target=comments&_r=0#commentsContainer.]

[The benchmark price of .22s in November is not available because .22s are not available.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Mind your Ps and Qs

The Endless War On Women . . . By American Warriors (July 22, 2013)

Posted in Congress, Crime/Punishment, Drones, Due Process, Equal Protection, Military, O'Bama, Society on July 22, 2013 by e-ssay.org

. . .

C1        “It could not be disregarded, so the predecessor to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a statement denunciating the rape.  It could not be disregarded, so then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a statement denunciating the rape.  It could not be disregarded, so then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a statement denunciating the rape.  It could not be disregarded, so Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issues a statement denunciating the rape.  It could not be disregarded, so the successor to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will issue a statement denunciating the rape.  It could not be disregarded, so the successor to the successor to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will issue a statement denunciating the rape.”

C2        “Perhaps they could concoct a Department of Defense formal form denunciation and describe it as ‘Form DD 1.’”

C1        “The official DoD ‘Bedbug Letter.’  Explanations in the military are simple.  What goes on goes on because the superiors want it to go on.  What the superiors do not want to go on will not go on, with only a few rogue exceptions that can be punished swiftly and publicly.”

C2        “The Commander-In-Chief is at the top of the pile.”

C1        “So they want it to go on.  In this man’s army, however, that war would not go on.” 

. . .

[Is a “Drones Unlimited” organization akin to “Ducks Unlimited” or “Trout Unlimited” or “Cape Buffalos Unlimited” on the horizon?  http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/07/17/us/17reuters-usa-colorado-drones.html?hp&_r=0.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Join the military; get raped       

The People’s Amendment: The “Contract With America” (April 29, 2013)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Balanced Budget Amendment, Coffee Party USA, Conflicts of Interest, Congress, Constitution, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Political Parties, Tea Party, Term Limits on April 29, 2013 by e-ssay.org

. . .

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats agree on?”

Y          “Nothing.”

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats disagree on?”

Y          “Everything.”

. . .

X          “There you go.  The People’s Amendment:  ‘If a law applies to the people, it applies to Congress; if an exception or exemption applies to Congress, it excepts and exempts the people.’  One simple commutative rule enshrined in a constitutional amendment.  Genius is always obvious and simple.”

Y          “And the provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”

X          “Indubitably.  Courts could easily interpret it without all the arrogant activism and ideological warfare that characterizes the courts today.  Every tax payer has standing to enforce the People’s Amendment in court.  Individual Congresspersons and Senators who vote for legislation that violates the PA are held personally liable for the attorney’s fees of the tax payer who succeeds in enforcing the PA and a small percentage of the public damages.  Each representative’s self-interest is enlisted to provide for and protect the public interest.”

. . .

Y          “While you are at it, add a simple term limits provision.  Six two-year terms in the House and two six-year terms in the Senate are balanced and fair.  The provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”    

. . .

X / Y  “However, a balanced budget amendment is hollow and shallow.  Congress can balance the budget without a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to balance the budget.  Congress can circumvent a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to circumvent a balanced budget amendment.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled The “Contract with America”; The Congressional Reform Act of 2010 (March 29, 2010), Term Limits (May 14, 2007) and Bringing Balance To The Balanced Budget Amendment Debate (July 18, 2011).]

[For an argument that John McCain and Lindsey Graham should not be considered “enemy combatants,” see the “e-ssay” titled Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

A Democrat for The People’s Amendment

A Republican for The People’s Amendment

An Independent for The People’s Amendment

A Libertarian for The People’s Amendment

A Green for The People’s Amendment

A Tea Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Coffee Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Partier for The People’s Amendment

My honor student supports The People’s Amendment

My average student supports The People’s Amendment

My below average student opposes The People’s Amendment

My dog supports The People’s Amendment

A sniper for The People’s Amendment

An LBGT for The People’s Amendment

A mom for The People’s Amendment

A dad for The People’s Amendment

A viscountess for The People’s Amendment

A Fan of Fred (Hayek) for The People’s Amendment

A visiting adjunct professor at the Barack Hussein O’Bama II School of Government at the University of Chicago for The People’s Amendment

Judicial Activism: Rogue Republican Judges (January 28, 2013)

Posted in Congress, Constitution, Courts, Journalism, Judges, Law, Newspapers, Presidency on January 28, 2013 by e-ssay.org

. . .

1          “I can’t say that I like it.”

2          “Me neither.  Smells bad.”

1          “Why is it that the first thing you recognize is that three Republican federal judges concocted the decision.”

2          “Because that is what Republican federal judges do.”

1          “Congress is dysfunctional and inoperative.  The President tries to do something rational consistent with limited Congressional action.  The Republican federal judges in the judicial branch step in and do their part to pummel and constrain the President and the executive branch.”

2          “Congress established the agencies and Congress authorized the funds and Congress appropriated the dollars and then a minority in Congress plays games to keep the President’s appointments from getting in the saddle to run the Congressionally-approved and authorized and appropriated agencies.”

1          “And undermine the actions of the agencies.”

2          “The Republican federal judges take up the ball and undercut the President and the operation of executive branch agencies by proclaiming that the President is playing games.”

1          “Sort of a new take on the old rope-a-dope one–two punch.  Not pretty.”

. . .

1/2       “Courts are increasingly illegitimate, partisan and dishonest.  The day may come when they may need to be disregarded.”

. . .  

2/1       “Journalists typically note the political party and state of a legislator at the first mention of her or his name in an article.  ‘Congressman Billy Bob Jenkins (R-Uranus).’  Articles about court decisions may refer to the politician who appointed the judge in the last few sentences and thus the insight is often among the first sentences to be edited.  In the interests of full disclosure and recognizing that space is always at a premium, articles should note the President who appointed a federal judge in parens at the first reference to a judge or justice.  ‘Chief Justice John Roberts (Bush II)’.”  

. . .

[See the editorial at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/opinion/a-court-upholds-republican-chicanery.html?hpwand and the article linked in the piece.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

There is no law; there is only ideology.

Don’t believe anything until it has been officially denied.

Over The Cliff Or At The Foot? (December 31, 2012)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Consumerism, FISA, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, Pogo Plight, Spending, Taxation on December 31, 2012 by e-ssay.org

. . .

E1          “Everyone describes our current federal budgetary mess as a ‘cliff,’ yet we as a society are at the foot of a great summit.”

E2          “Everything is a matter of perspective.  The mix of taxes and spending cuts proposed as part of the ‘sequestration’ are painful and may even lead to a slow-down in the economy in the short term, yet they are a critical first start.  The cuts looked desirable when the Republicans and Democrats agreed to them in 2011.”

E1          “We will not make the right decision unless we realize that we must step up rather than step off.  The ‘can’ they refer to looks more like a 55 gallon steel drum that is not likely to respond to further kicking.  We need to take the first step rather than continue our kicking and screaming.”

E2          “And then Congress must address the budget ceiling in the next two months.  Congress has already spent the money and is allowed, after the fact, to ratify or reject what they already spent.  Some wingnuts are saying they should not raise the debt ceiling.  What Congress needs to do is focus on future spending so that they do not need to ratify their excessive spending in the future.”

E1          “After receiving a bill for goods already provided and services already performed, no citizen gets to decide whether to ‘pay the freight’ or not.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled A Taxing Explanation (August 22, 2011) and On Uncertainty, Certainment (July 30, 2012).]

[Congress continues to transgression on our civil liberties with another Christmas gift.  http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/12/28/168220266/congress-extends-fisa-wiretapping-act-to-2017-awaits-obamas-signatureLast year, Congress gave us the NDAA of 2012.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Can I pay my MasterCard bill with my Visa?

Can I not pay my MasterCard and my Visa bill?

At War With The First Amendment (February 27, 2012)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Crime/Punishment, First Amendment, Judges, Less Government Regulation Series, Military, Supreme Court on February 27, 2012 by e-ssay.org

. . .

O          “Some guys who spent their days folding diapers at Fort Dix are proclaiming that they single-handedly won World War II.”

P          “And good old Congress comes to the rescue and imposes some more government regulations.  Congress again dictated that the government must decide and provided for more buffoons to be sent to prison at my expense.  The issue is so clear and simple.  We could agree to direct the government to make bumbling efforts to criminalize the goonery or we could vest individuals with the responsibility to determine the truth.”

O          “The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 is a misnomer.  Those in the service fought valorously for the First Amendment of 1791 not some shallow rah-rah legislation.  Curious that the government and business are in business to lie, yet we want the government to come in and prosecute someone who is not telling the truth and then deny that person his or her liberty.”

P          “The government already fulfills its role without the additional legislation and imposition on our First Amendment guarantees.  Look at the Department of Defense Form DD 214 prepared at government expense that provides the actual information about a person’s military service and awards.  The Court should take notice of the fact that little is private today particularly one’s military service from his or her first day as a private.  Perhaps the government could expunge the social security numbers and publish all DD 214s upon retirement.”

O          “Most of these scoundrels and fools are insecure and desperate but not criminal.  What if the Court simply issued a two word decision:  ‘First Amendment.’”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

First Amendment Rules

The Stolen Valor Act – steals honor and denies rights

Proposition H8 And The Enduring Appeal Of Fear And Hate (February 13, 2012)

Posted in Abortion, Antitrust, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Crime/Punishment, Gay Politics, Judges, Less Government Regulation Series, Miscegenation, Supreme Court on February 13, 2012 by e-ssay.org

. . .

K          “In the early 1960s, a constitutional law textbook included a lengthy chapter collecting pivotal decisions challenging Jim Crow laws.  A library in this state, a grammar school in that state, a swimming pool in this state, a drinking fountain in that state.  The campaign was undertaken one institution, one jurisdiction, one decision at a time.  There were successes; there were failures; there were more successes than failures.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) changed the ground rules.  These outdated cases are of interest to historians today; they are moot asides for lawyers.  The whole chapter was expunged and a new chapter unfolded to detail the legal dispute du jour.”

J          “The unfolding chapter is reading like the old one.  America is gasping its way through the same spasms regarding gay marriages and gay rights.  The long-run outcome is clear, but the path is rocky.  Gay marriages and gay rights will be the norm and the law in thirty years.”

K          “Gay rights are the civil rights issue of this generation.  Instead of passing laws to protect civil rights such as the CRA, however, Congress passes unconstitutional screeds such as the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DoMA).  Perverse group, the gang that legislates congress.”

J          “In thirty years, the kids will dismiss the dispute as ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’ or whatever the patois is at the time.  Until then, prejudice, hate and fear drives the fight.  The Ninth Circuit decision is another step in the long slog.  And now the outcome likely turns on Kennedy.  Someone observed that Kennedy observed that his gay clerks were . . . human.  He decided that they should be treated that way.”

K          “In Lawrence v. Texas.  Contrast the development of the law regarding gay rights with the development of the law involving abortion.  Last month marked thirty-nine years since the Supreme Court addressed abortion in Roe v. Wade.  Curious circumstances and decision.  The matter was decided not by the Warren Court but by the Burger Court.  Warren retired to go bass fishing or something in 1969.  The seven vote majority opinion was written by a Republican-appointed Justice (Blackmun) and was joined by three Nixon appointees (Burger, Powell, Blackmun), two Eisenhower (Stewart, Brennan), one FDR (Douglas), and one LBJ (Marshall) appointees.  Even with no Democratic-appointed justices at all, Roe would have become the law of the land solely on the votes of Republican-appointed justices.”

J          “Even with a clear precedent, challenges to abortion will still be caroming around the courts in thirty years.  Gay rights will be resolved.”

K          “We would all be better off if the government got out of the bedroom.”

. . .

[See the Ninth Circuit decision in Perry v. Brown at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/02/07/1016696com.pdf.]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Less Government Regulation Series: Love and Marriage (May 19, 2008).]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011) and review http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/02/mortgage-settlement-as-attorney-general-sellout-deal-is-not-done-and-final-version-guaranteed-to-be-worse-than-advertised.html.  The bankers murdered the body politic (and economic) with malice aforethought and all we could offer them is an overdue book fine.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships.  Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”

Let freedom ring; let love rule

Good to have loved and lost; better to have loved and won

Happy Valentine’s Day

September 17 – Constitution Day (September 19, 2011)

Posted in Congress, Constitution, Law, Taxation on September 19, 2011 by e-ssay.org

. . .

A          “We celebrate America’s Protest Poem on July 4 yet don’t celebrate adoption of America’s Owners Manual on September 17.  Last Saturday was Constitution Day.”

B          “After proclaiming ‘Enough’ and declaring their independence, they spent almost a dozen years debating ‘Now what?’  Must admit they did an admirable job admixing a little British brewed due process and rule of law with French fueled separation of powers.  And providing for taxation with representation.”

A          “The fellows endeavored to check and to balance interests, although some curmudgeons allege they advanced their financial interests to balance their checkbooks.”

B          “They probably didn’t retreat from pursuing their financial interests.  Even if they were motivated by mixed interests, the final product is workable and works.  And is not a bad start.  Limiting participation and protection to well-to-do white boys was not the best start, yet look at the plight of mankind to that point.  Man was not very kind.”

A          “Too many hucksters today are so certain they know what was happening then and what was meant by the founding fellows.  Every Owners Manual is supplemented and modified over time as our understanding and insights grow and develop.”

B          “Still contend we should celebrate with a bar-b-que and a few fireworks.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “One Gun Per White Adult Male? A Flintlock Musket? The “One Man, One Gun” Decision (October 4, 2010).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Founding Fathers were fans of taxation?  Since when?

The Founding Fathers created a government rather than destroying one?  Since when?

The Constitution was written by geniuses so that it could be interpreted by fools, but nothing commands that it be interpreted by fools.

“the greatest of all reflections on human nature.”

Bringing Balance To The Balanced Budget Amendment Debate (July 18, 2011)

Posted in Balanced Budget Amendment, Congress, Debt/Deficits, Economics on July 18, 2011 by e-ssay.org

. . .

A          “Why pass an amendment demanding that you pass a balanced budget when it is far easier simply to pass a balanced budget.  If you want to pass a balanced budget, then pass a balanced budget.”

B          “There is a simpler and more concrete solution.  No balanced budget amendment bill shall be even scheduled for a subcommittee hearing until the budget is first balanced.”

C          “If it can’t be done, why pass a law decreeing that it shall be done.  It really is as easy as ABC.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Which came first, the rattlesnake or the egg?

The Japanese women won (in soccer), but Japan is lost

An Earful About Earmarks (April 25, 2011)

Posted in Congress, Constitution, Debt/Deficits, Earmarks on April 25, 2011 by e-ssay.org

. . .

5          “The era of earmarks is not over.”

C          “I hear that we have not heard the last.  Earmarks are misunderstood.  How many citizens really know what they are criticizing.  Remember the typical two stages of a bill in Congress.  One committee ‘authorizes’ a law that authorizes an activity or program.  After the other bills in the other authorizing committees are authorized, the Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees review them and ‘appropriate’ funds when appropriate.  After review, the authorized activity or program may or may not be appropriated funds.”

5          “The Interior Committee authorizes an activity or program and then the appropriate subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee appropriates money.”

C          “And with more steps in the process, there are fewer spending opportunities.”

5          “An earmark is a way to bypass this settled procedure and practice.  More powerful Representatives and Senators are able to slip spending provisions into bills without Congressional oversight.”

C          “The oversight is the lack of oversight.”

5          “Right.  The authorization/appropriation process is a way and a means to maintain internal checks and balances.  Today, there are too many checks being written by the government and too little balance.  The amount involved admittedly is just a drop in a deluge of deficits and debt.  However, allowing earmarks reflects a lack of disciple and purpose.”

C          “Earmarks are not unconstitutional.  Earmarks are not illegal.  Earmarks are perfectly legal.  But hear me out.  Earmarks are a leading cause of deficit spending.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

One man’s earmark is another man’s sage expenditure

Authorize And Appropriate; Avoid Earmark Expenditures

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