And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
"Would [a Constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform] be a good idea on a public policy level? I’d be shocked if someone could convince me that it was. As near as I can tell, just about every campaign finance reform measure of the modern era has either (a) had no real effect, or (b) backfired, making things objectively worse. The idea that we can predict the effect of yet another proposal well enough to set it in stone in the Constitution strikes me as extremely unlikely."
— Kevin Drum.
I’d tend to agree, were it not for ideas like Lawrence Lessig’s 28th Amendment: it’s partly targeted at stripping corporations of their status as individuals party to all the protections afforded to “regular” citizens. To me, just that section would go a long, long way towards fixing big-money politics without actually ever mentioning money in politics. That his proposal also includes public financing of campaigns is icing on the cake.
None of it is ever going to happen, but a man can dream.
"A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have. Because we’ve in fact attempted to create a secular country, which I think is frankly a nightmare."
— Newt Gingrich, disgraced former Speaker of the House and occasional front-runner in the race for the GOP nomination of 2012, sharing his thoughts on what the real problems facing the country are.
Last I checked, the founders were the ones that attempted to create a secular country. What part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is not entirely clear to these people? You get to have all the religion you want, Newt, and be sure to include infinite free divorces for all God-fearing Men in your personal catechism. But, guess what? You don’t get to establish Your Personal God at the head of our government, no matter how well meaning you may or may not be. There is simply no other way to interpret the Constitution on this. Which hasn’t stopped them from trying.
CNN's Piers MORGAN: let's talk about homosexuality because -- and is that wrong? Do you think it's a sin?
GOP Presidential Hopeful Herman CAIN: I think it's a sin because of my biblical beliefs and although people don't agree with me, I happen to think that it is a choice.
MORGAN: You believe that?
CAIN: I believe that.
MORGAN: You believe people -- seriously, you think people get to a certain age and go, I think I want to be homosexual?
CAIN: Let me turn it around to you. What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion and you might cause me to reconsider that. [...Crosstalk...] Where is the -- where is evidence?
MORGAN: Just common -- you're a commonsense guy.
CAIN: Are you a common sense kind of guy? [...]
MORGAN: Wait a minute, let me ask you. You genuinely believe millions of Americans wake up in their late teens normally and go, you know what, I quite fancy being a homosexual? You don't believe that.
MORGAN: Do you?
CAIN: You haven't given me any evidence to convince me otherwise nor has anyone else. [...]
MORGAN: It would be like a gay person saying, Herman, you made a choice to be black.
CAIN: We know that's not the case. I was born black.
MORGAN: Yes, maybe if they said that, you would find it offensive.
CAIN: Piers, this doesn't wash off. I hate to burst your bubble.
Lemkin: The MSM eternally believes that the GOP field doesn't actually believe any of this stuff. Inevitably, when they bother to probe what they assume is just bluster and/or red meat for the far right, they are shocked, SHOCKED to find that, yep, they all actually believe and plan to act on all this stuff and more. You'd think that on the 4 millionth occasion of this sort Serious People would start to see a pattern and begin to report on it accordingly. Herman Cain believes the gays should just wash it off and join "proper," Herman Cain's Christian God-fearing society. Perhaps this sort of incredibly unpopular, far right opinion both imparts important information about his dedication to personal liberty (that the GOP spends so very much time talking about but zero time actually implementing for anyone in the 99%) and furthermore speaks to how he'd govern on a host of similar wedge issues. A version of this country with a functioning media would be a very different place indeed.
Q: The Constitution says that 'the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes… to provide for the… general Welfare of the United States.' But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116 [of "Fed Up!"], you left 'general welfare' out and put an ellipsis in its place. Progressives would say that 'general welfare' includes things like Social Security or Medicare—that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document. What does 'general welfare' mean to you?
Rick Perry: I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term 'general welfare' in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. I stand very clear on that. From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that’s what those states decided to do.
Q: So in your view those things fall outside of general welfare. But what falls inside of it? What did the Founders mean by 'general welfare'?
Rick Perry: I don’t know if I’m going to sit here and parse down to what the Founding Fathers thought general welfare meant.
Q: But you just said what you thought they didn’t mean by general welfare. So isn’t it fair to ask what they did mean? It’s in the Constitution.
"Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple. It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.
You all joined for a reason: to serve. To protect our nation, right?
“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.
How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?
Get over it. We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. […] Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines."
— Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, the recently named adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, who pretty clearly needs to give this same talk to the next GOP caucus in DC.
If nothing happens, history will say that the War Powers Act was condemned to a quiet death by a president who had solemnly pledged, on the campaign trail, to put an end to indiscriminate warmaking.
The President has the unilateral authority to end life on Earth at any moment of his choosing with our nuclear arsenal. Unless and until Congress takes that authority away and ties it to normal, Constitutionally regulated war declaration mechanisms then none of the other details really matters (and this is why even the GOP House doesn’t get too worked up about it: War Powers stuff (60 day limits and etc…) is, in essence, a meaningless distraction and Congress knows it). It also seems likely to be unconstitutional, or, at the very least of questionable legality.
Whatever their reasoning on the War Powers Act and its applicability and/or enforcement is, Congress has a simple recourse that’s clearly enumerated in the Constitution: defund Libyan operations and demand the President request a formal declaration of war if he wants to continue. Same goes for Iraq and Afghanistan. There should have been just such a declaration on or about September 12, 2001.
Either hold the country to formal declarations of war in all cases or don’t; but let’s be consistent and honest and admit that holding to a strict Constitutional standard means removing “The Button” from the Oval Office once and for all.
As a bonus, doing so also gives you an excuse to clean up the rampant classification of everything that is currently carried out under the same “imminent and existential nuclear disaster” model of national security. This plainly anti-democratic power, again, was conferred as some sort of necessary evil in Our Nuclear Age. End it now and forever; make the President and anyone else have to prove to a judge or some similar panel that something should be classified because it poses a clear and measurable risk to National Security if revealed, and even then only classify it for a short time period with regular review for declassification.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sole defender of your Fourth Amendment rights:
How “secure” do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?
it’s the latest example of the drift of the exigency exception away from actual emergencies and toward the mere convenience of the police. If the police have time to obtain a warrant and there isn’t an actual emergency, they should be required to obtain one.
Yep. Why is this (seemingly) so difficult to a) understand —and— b) get the general public agitated about? Today it’s suspected drug dealers and suspected terrorists whose rights are summarily discarded in the name of “exigency.” Next it will be suspected whatevers. Some time after that, you’ll have no recourse whatsoever to stop the police from randomly entering your house and ransacking it for evidence of crime, any crime, at any moment they care to do so. Exigency!
When literally everything is an extension of the War on Drugs/Terror/bogeyman-of-the-day, then everything is easy to deem simply too exigent to bother getting a warrant. Indefinite detention without charge, assassination of US citizens (without trial), a gulag off the coast and a chain of secret prisons beyond that gulag, and now further, near-unanimous defenestration of our most basic rights.
Seriously, is any of this, even a hint of it, worth whatever public policy victory we think we’re getting out of it, even using the most optimistic possible reading of (in this case) the War on Drugs? I don’t see how anyone could think so.
"[The N.R.A.’s interpretation of the Second Amendment was] one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."