Archive for the Congress Category

The Federal Government, In Practice (September 15, 2014)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, CIA, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Courts, Federal Reserve, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, Judiciary, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, Presidency, USA PATRIOT Act on September 15, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

S          “So the Founding Fathers are blamed for and credited with many things.  Everyone agrees they were inspired by Montesquieu’s notion of the separation of powers providing for executive, legislative and judicial functions.  The division of labor and duties seems so clean and elegant in your civics class.  Yet, in practice, the process is so tainted and untidy.”

T          “In my class, I try to tidy up the mess.  I present this outline of the grand plan on the board to spark discussion:

Post 1787:          Theory:     Practice:

President            34%           30% (implement laws)
Congress             33%           60% (make laws)
Judiciary             33%           10% (interpret laws)
National Bank      0%             0% (inspire debate)

The judiciary was little more than an administrative agency with possibility until the Supreme Court developed the doctrine of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison in 1803.  The political plate tectonics shifted and now we have:

2014:

President                             44% (determines most major domestic and foreign policy initiatives)

Congress                              21% (drives economic activities via substantial ad hoc spending largely for defense, interest and entitlements)

Judiciary                              35% (makes laws)

Federal Reserve                 33% (the private bank with the misleading name establishes monetary policy and directs fiscal policy by default because of Congressional grid lock and thus effectively runs the economy, with little public participation)

National Security State    39% (shapes domestic and foreign affairs via a motley and myriad montage of agencies, contractors, sub-contractors and others with little oversight)

S          “So sixty-eight percent of government policy is imposed by federal judges and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors/Big Bankers who are not elected.”

T          “The Founding Fathers are said to have been anti-democratic.  I know they would be surprised at what has emerged in practice in America.”

S          “So thirty-nine percent of domestic and foreign surveillance and activities are determined by unknown and unaccountable agents and operatives.”

T          “Who knows.”

. . .

S          “So we need to track the federal Debt which is now over 17 Trillion dollars and also the Federal Reserve Debt which is now over 4 Trillion dollars.”

T          “While you are at it, try to fathom the 100s of Trillions of dollars in derivatives that were never on the Founding Fathers’ radar and are off the public radar today.”

S          “That fraud will doom the Republic some day.”

. . .

S          “So the Big Bankers favor war because it is so profitable, so the large number of Big Bankers in power results in an over-production of war.”

T          “Accord.”

. . .

T          “Republicans want a powerful ‘unitary’ President when a Republican is in the White House and an effete President when a Democrat is in the White House.”

S          “And everyone agrees that federal judges are politicians in black robes.”

T          “Accord, young scholar.  See why this is so much fun.”

. . .

[T:  Teacher; S:  Student]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Declaration of Independence is America’s Original Organic Poem.  The Constitution is America’s Owners’ Manual.  Signed on September 17, 1787.

There is no law.  There is only ideology.

Law Is Politics ; Politics Is Law (July 7, 2014)

Posted in Congress, Courts, Judges, Presidency, Supreme Court on July 7, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

L1          “Based on tradition, Justices are seated by seniority from the center outward on both sides.  Based on current practice, Justices should sit on each side of the political aisle.  The five Republicans should sit on the right wing and the four Democrats should sit on the left wing.”

. . .

L1          “The right wing majority of the Supreme Court reinvigorated its campaign to undermine abortion rights, fox hole by fox hole.”

L2          “They are sly as a fox about it.  When notes are later released, someone may discover that the left wing minority was either intimidated by the right wing or made a concession to the abortion opponents to avoid an even more dishonest opinion by logrolling their votes for less damaging language.”

L1          “Logrolling.  You have got to love it.  Politicians behaving like politicians.”

. . .

L1          “The right wing of the Supreme Court reaffirmed the two-part First Amendment test:  ‘1) Who is making the expression? and 2) What is being expressed?’  That is not what the Founding Fathers intended.”

L2          “The left wing may have used ‘Substantive Due Process’ to shape policy in the past.  The right wing is using the First Amendment to advance its political agenda and silence its critics.”

. . .

L2          “In some cultures, hypocrisy is the greatest crime.  The Supreme Court strikes down a reasonable 35-foot barrier between abortion protesters and those going into a facility after imposing a more than 200-foot buffer around the Court and enforcing it with the Court’s own private army paid for with public funds.”

L1          “What if protestors stood outside Scalia’s house and shouted that he is a ‘fibber’?”

. . .

L1          “The right wing of the Supreme Court underpins its decision on recess appointments on separation of powers doctrines and yet undermines the most fundamental separation of powers.  The Supreme Court – the judicial branch – defined and delineated legislative activities to undermine executive power.”

L2          “Would the Court have reached that decision if the President were a Republican.”

L1          “Maybe not.  Look in the footnotes of the decision for an exception for a Republican President.”

L2          “Look at Bush v. Gore for precedent.  Law is all politics today.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Do gay corporations have the constitutional right to engage in mergers and acquisitions or merely civil unions?

There is no law; there is only ideology.

The Supreme Court – The Legislature on the east side of First Street

 

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 Congress, Term Limits, Political Parties, Conflicts of Interest, Tea Party, Constitution, Balanced Budget Amendment, Coffee Party USA, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Awards / Incentives 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?

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