What originalism is to jurisprudence, CONSTITUTIONALISM IS TO GOVERNANCE: a call for restraint rooted in constitutional text. Constitutionalism as a political philosophy represents a reformed, self-regulating conservatism that bases its call for minimalist government - for reining in the willfulness of presidents and legislatures - in the words and meaning of the Constitution.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010604379.html
Hence that HIGHLY SYMBOLIC MOMENT ON THURSDAY WHEN THE 112TH HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OPENED WITH A READING OF THE CONSTITUTION. Remarkably, this had never been done before - perhaps BECAUSE IT HAD NEVER BEEN SO NEEDED. The reading reflected the feeling, expressed powerfully in the last election, that we had moved far, especially the past two years, from a government constitutionally limited by its enumerated powers to a government constrained only by its perception of social need.
The most galvanizing example of this expansive shift was, of course, the DEMOCRATS' HEALTH-CARE REFORM, which will revolutionize one-sixth of the economy and impose an individual mandate that levies a fine on anyone who does not enter into a private contract with a health insurance company. Whatever its merits as policy, there is no doubting its seriousness as constitutional precedent: IF CONGRESS CAN IMPOSE SUCH A MANDATE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CONGRESS MAY NOT IMPOSE UPON THE INDIVIDUAL?
A must read piece on what is happening in the country. Toward the end of his piece, CK says: “In the interim, the cynics had best tread carefully.” What we have is a battle between limited government per the Constitution and government in the words of Democrat Pete Stark that “Can pretty much do anything.”
Why the Constitution is Better Than Marx
THE CONSTITUTION IS BEST DEFENDED BY READING, BY EVIDENCE AND LOGIC. It needs no other defense. The United States Constitution invites you to argue against it. It guarantees your right to do so without fear of retaliation. So go for it. Argue with it, and see what your thinking leads to.http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/why_the_constitution_is_better.html
The United States had the historic luck of organizing itself by the Constitution, undoubtedly the greatest political achievement of the Age of Reason. It's not that the American Founders were the only ones to understand political freedom. They learned their history from Europe, Britain, France, Russia, Rome, Greece, and the Bible. They discovered POWER-HUNGRY TYRANTS IN EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY THEY READ ABOUT. Just read the same books they read. It's all there. Human tyranny goes back to the Epic of Gilgamesh, six millennia ago. The biblical Book of Kings tells the same story. So does the story of Jesus. "Man is born free," said Marx, "but everywhere he is in chains." In the last century, 100 MILLION PEOPLE DIED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND BASEMENT EXECUTIONS BECAUSE OF THE TOTALITARIAN IDEOLOGY PEDDLED BY ONE KARL MARX.
America gave the Founders an historic chance to put what they thought were the best ideas into actual effect. In Europe, Asia, and Africa, that was never possible, because a series of monarchs, religious terrorists, dictators, and gangsters took over after the European Enlightenment. That is why Europe still doesn't understand the U.S. Constitution. AMERICANS WERE LUCKIER, NOT NECESSARILY SMARTER OR MORE VIRTUOUS. We could build anew, and we grasped our chance to do so….
It's not what they know, but what they shut out of their minds. LIBERALS DON'T NEED CENSORSHIP, BECAUSE THEY CENSOR THEIR OWN THOUGHTS. They just refresh their barnacled prejudices every day at the eternal wellspring of the New York Times and the WaPo.
I almost gave this a red headline, but though I recommend reading it, I won’t go so far as to call this a must read.
Meanwhile back on the left: The Cult of the Constitution
After much hullabaloo, the 112th Congress kicked off its second day as promised: by reading the Constitution aloud on the House floor for the first time ever, per a chamber historian. Except not all of it. The bipartisan recitation OMITTED SEVERAL CRITICAL PASSAGES, including the three-fifths compromise.
BOTH THE CEREMONIAL READING AND THE WHITEWASHING IT INVOLVED WERE FITTING. There is a long record of politicians of all stripes devoting time to publicly venerating the Constitution, but in the 2010 election cycle the cult of the Constitution seemed to balloon. Candidates brandished their copies at campaign events. TEA PARTYERS TREATED IT AS THOUGH IT WERE HANDED DOWN FROM THE HEAVENS. Republicans widely promoted a new breed of candidate: the "constitutional conservative." Michele Bachmann hatched plans to hold a weekly constitutional study groups, which she likened to a group of athletes watching game film. (Hardly a bad idea.) In short, A POCKET COPY OF THE SEMINAL TEXT WAS TO THE MIDTERMS WHAT THE FLAG PIN WAS IN 2008: a totem of one's patriotic bona fides
I would actually compare the Constitution to a rule book (which in effect it is) rather than something handed down from heaven. In fact the comments about it being sacred text comes from its detractors, not from its proponents just as counting blacks as 3/5 person for representation was a compromise between the South that wanted to count them as a whole person and the North that didn’t want to count them at all. THE DEMOCRATS ARE BELITTLING ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY WANTS TO PLAY BY THE RULES because they don’t like them and they don’t have the support to change them SO THEY WANT TO IGNORE THEM.
Final Tab for Pelosi’s Speakership: $5.34 Trillion in New Debt—Or $3.66 Billion Per Day
IN THE 1,461 DAYS THAT REP. NANCY PELOSI (D.-CALIF.) SERVED AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, THE NATIONAL DEBT INCREASED BY A TOTAL OF $5.343 TRILLION ($5,343,452,800,321.37) or $3.66 BILLION PER DAY ($3.657,394,113.84), according to official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury.http://cnsnews.com/news/article/final-tab-pelosi-s-speakership-534-trill
Pelosi was the 52nd speaker of the House. During her tenure, she amassed more debt than the first 49 speakers combined.
Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker was a disaster for the United States.
Pelosi: Exit Stage Left
American political junkies have watched with wonder AS FORMER SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI CAME UNGLUED OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS. It was one of the most unnerving mental deteriorations ever seen in a major political figure.http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41043
First there was the unbelievable moment in her farewell press conference when the Speaker who presided over the greatest expansion of our national debt in history CLAIMED THAT “DEFICIT REDUCTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HIGH PRIORITY FOR US.”
This was followed by her bizarre, rambling introduction of John Boehner as the new Speaker, in which SHE SPENT TWELVE ENDLESS MINUTES PRAISING HERSELF FOR MAKING HISTORY AND RATTLING OFF OBAMACARE TALKING POINTS. The Washington Examiner called the speech “self-serving, sharp, and partisan,” contrasting it with John Boehner’s brief and gracious introduction of her as Speaker back in 2007
Rather than Pelosi being mentally challenged, I believe she is USING THE TECHNIQUE FROM THE MOVIE “GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN.” In that a wife finds her husband in bed with another woman. The man slowly gets up and gets dressed. After the other woman is gone he simply denies she was ever there. After three months of denying it ever happened, his wife begins to wonder if she actually saw it or just imagined it. Note to Nancy: This movie was made before the internet was invented (dare I say by Al Gore?).
Closed Shop on Obamacare Repeal
By a vote of 7-4, the HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE HAS PASSED A “CLOSED” RULE ON DEBATE OVER THE OBAMACARE REPEAL MEASURE. No points of order, no amendments (besides the one offered by Rules and “deemed” as passed with passage of the rule itself).http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/256561/closed-shop-obamacare-repeal-daniel-foster
IS THIS HYPOCRITICAL? IT IS. There’s no way around that. The Republicans have promised a move away from closed rules and toward open ones. But you also have to think about the status quo ante. NANCY PELOSI’S 111TH HAD ZERO — ZERO — OPEN RULES. The Republicans are looking to keep repeal from getting messy and — let’s be honest — they’re looking to get it out of the way so they can move on to other things. So I get the closed rule. BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY MORE ATTRACTIVE.
I disagree. Although the Republicans do want to have open rules for most bills, the Democrats have already called this as a “waste of time.” To allow amendments, etc. would waste more time when everyone realizes that even when it passes, it most likely won’t pass the Senate and if it did, it would be vetoed. So allowing full and free debate truly is a “waste of time.”
Buckle Up for Round 2
The health care reform law was signed 10 months ago, and what’s striking now is how vulnerable it looks. SEVERAL THREATS HAVE EMERGED — some of them scarcely discussed before passage — that together or alone could seriously endanger the new system. These include:
THE COURTS. So far, one judge has struck down the individual mandate, the plan’s centerpiece. FUTURE DECISIONS ARE LIKELY TO BREAK DOWN ON PARTISAN LINES. Given the makeup of the Supreme Court, this should concern the law’s defenders.
FALSE PROJECTIONS. The new system is based on a series of expert projections on how people will behave. In the first test case, these projections were absurdly off base. According to the Medicare actuary, 375,000 PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE ALREADY SIGNED UP FOR THE NEW HIGH-RISK POOLS FOR THE UNINSURED, BUT ONLY 8,000 HAVE……
EMPLOYEE DUMPING. THIS IS THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT. Companies and unions across America are running the numbers and discovering they would be better off if, after 2014, they induced poorer and sicker employees to move to public insurance exchanges, where subsidies are much higher.
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THOSE EXCHANGES COULD THUS SKYROCKET, especially as startup companies undermine their competitors with uninsured employees and lower costs. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE PROJECTS THAT 19 MILLION PEOPLE WILL MOVE TO THE EXCHANGES AT A COST OF $450 BILLION BETWEEN 2014 AND 2019. But according to the economists Douglas Holtz-Eakin and James C. Capretta, COSTS COULD SOAR TO $1.4 TRILLION if those who would be better off in the exchanges actually moved to them. THE PRICE OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW COULD DOUBLE. C. Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, who has been among those raising the alarms about this, CALLS THE LAW’S STRUCTURE “UNWORKABLE AND UNFAIR.”
This law has to go. Repeal and reform is the only solution.
Left wing pundits scoff at the Daley pick for Chief of Staff
Adam Green, one of the most prominent progressive voices, was quick to criticize President Obama’s decision on Thursday to make William Daley his next chief of staff.
"THIS WAS A REAL MISTAKE BY THE WHITE HOUSE,” Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement. “Bill Daley consistently urges the Democratic Party to pursue a corporate agenda that alienates both Independent and Democratic voters. IF PRESIDENT OBAMA LISTENS TO THAT KIND OF POLITICAL ADVICE FROM BILL DALEY, DEMOCRATS WILL SUFFER A DISASTROUS 2012.”
Green says a big concern for progressives is Daley's opposition to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau being overseen by Elizabeth Warren, in addition to HIS OPPOSITION TO THE "PUBLIC OPTION" during the health care debate.
The liberal blogger Jane Hamsher, a frequent White House critic, described the pick as “an interesting choice, considering [House oversight committee Chairman Darrell] Issa is going to be investigating Fannie and Freddie, and DALEY WAS A FANNIE MAE BOARD MEMBER. Fannie is the third most hated company in America. IT’S SORT OF LIKE PAINTING A SIGN ON YOUR BACK THAT SAYS ‘KICK ME.’ ”
In a statement, MOVEON.ORG EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JUSTIN Ruben said Daley has "close ties to the Big Banks and Big Business" and that the announcement is "TROUBLING AND SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE." He added: “Americans are looking to the White House for economic plans that will create jobs and reign in Wall Street's excesses, and it's up to Daley to prove that he's not carrying water in the White House for the big banks that took our economy over the cliff. As the President continues to reshuffle his staff, particularly his economic team, it is now more important than ever that he focuses on rebuilding a middle class and developing policies that create more jobs on Main Street, not on Wall Street."http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0111/thanks_but_no_thanks_8d73d4c0-7bb8-42ce-9576-09a92ad709b0.html
The worry about Daley causing the Democrats to suffer a disastrous 2012 is farfetched. Considering 2010 was a disastrous election, the White House obviously needs to do a lot. This actually appears to be a smart move.
Rep. Lamar Smith issues first DOJ oversight letter
Right Turn has obtained the first oversight letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued to the Justice Department. While he was in the minority, Smith labored, largely unsuccessfully, on the committee to convince the Democratic chairman to investigate a range of issues, including detainee policy and New Black Panther Party case. He now has the authority to schedule hearings, call witnesses and subpoena documents.http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2011/01/exclusive_rep_lamar_smith_issu.html
In a five-page letter, SMITH NOTES THAT THERE HAS BEEN "LITTLE OVERSIGHT" AS TO HOW THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION HAS USED ITS BUDGET INCREASES ($22 million in FYI 2010 and $17 million requested in FYI 2011) and why the need for some 164 new positions.
He then gets to the heart of the matter. As I and other outlets have reported, he notes that in the NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY CASE INVESTIGATION, it came to light that a political appointee, JULIE FERNANDES, DIRECTED JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEYS "NOT TO BRING CASES AGAINST BLACK DEFENDANTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF WHITE VICTIMS."
Smith then details allegations by former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams that the department declined to enforce the National Voter Registration Act and its provisions relating to "voter integrity
There will be a lot of oversight investigations now that the Republicans control the House. It will be a good thing as long as the Republicans don’t get carried away.
Nearly 50 House Republicans offer bill to block EPA climate rules
Dozens of Republicans used the opening day of the new Congress on Wednesday to INTRODUCE LEGISLATION THAT WOULD BAR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FROM REGULATING GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sponsored the bill. The measure’s 46 co-sponsors are all Republicans except for Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.).
Co-sponsors include Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Absent from the list at the moment: Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who is weighing his approach to stifling greenhouse-gas rules he alleges will burden the economy.
THE BILL WOULD AMEND THE CLEAN AIR ACT TO DECLARE THAT GREENHOUSE GASES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW, ACCORDING TO A BRIEF DESCRIPTION IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.
It appears the Republicans are actually trying to do something and that something will help the economy.
By any standard, WHITE VOTERS’ REJECTION OF DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER’S ELECTIONS WAS DAUNTING AND EVEN HISTORIC.
Fully 60 PERCENT OF WHITES NATIONWIDE BACKED REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES for the House of Representatives; only 37 PERCENT SUPPORTED DEMOCRATS, according to the National Election Poll exit poll conducted by Edison Research. Not even in Republicans’ 1994 congressional landslide did they win that high a percentage of the white vote.
Moreover, those results may understate the extent of the white flight from the Democratic Party, according to a National Journal analysis of previously unpublished exit-poll data provided by Edison Research.
The new data show that WHITE VOTERS NOT ONLY STRONGLY PREFERRED REPUBLICAN HOUSE AND SENATE CANDIDATES BUT ALSO REGISTERED DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PERFORMANCE, hostility toward the cornerstones of the current Democratic agenda, and widespread skepticism about the expansive role for Washington embedded in the party’s priorities. On each of those questions, MINORITY VOTERS EXPRESSED ALMOST EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE VIEW from whites.
Much can change in two years—as Obama’s own post-2008 odyssey demonstrates. These results, however, COULD CARRY PROFOUND IMPLICATIONS FOR 2012. They suggest that ECONOMIC RECOVERY ALONE MAY NOT SOLVE THE PRESIDENT’S PROBLEMS with many of the white voters who stampeded toward the Republican Party last year.
This study will probably elicit the normal liberal “racism” charge. The real problem for the Democrats is they may actually begin to believe this and rather than moderating their extremist agenda, move forward trying to cram as much as they can down the American public’s throats.
Trust Us—We’re from the Government
A study last summer by San Francisco Federal Reserve economist Daniel Wilson concluded that by summer's end, "THE IMPLIED NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED OR SAVED BY THE (STIMULUS) SPENDING (WOULD) DROP TO NEAR ZERO."http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/559082/201101061902/-And-Junk-Government-Statistics.htm
In other words, there are no net new jobs thanks to the stimulus.
Even the government is starting to smell something funny with these stimulus numbers. A new report from THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOUND THAT THE AGENCY'S NUMBERS FOR "JOBS SAVED" WERE EITHER "UNCLEAR" OR "MISLEADING" AND CAN'T BE VERIFIED.
These are just a few of the reports implying that the bookkeeping for jobs "created or saved" under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been less than honest — and at times, blatantly manipulated for political purposes.
Many are based on data from the Congressional Budget Office. At one point, the CBO reckoned that the stimulus had created between 1.8 million and 4.1 million new jobs.
That estimate got a lot of ink. What didn't get covered was that CBO CHIEF DOUG ELMENDORF NOTED, ALMOST AS AN ASIDE, THAT HIS AGENCY'S ESTIMATES DIDN'T ACTUALLY INCLUDE REAL-WORLD DATA — and that if the stimulus had created zero jobs, the CBO wouldn't know, since ITS ESTIMATES CAME FROM A MATH MODEL, not real jobs on the ground.
So with the Stimulus, the jobs created or saved are a theoretical number from a math model. This is the same as all the stories of horror about global warming that are the result of 12 different math models used by the IPCC.
Thank God These People Are on the Other Side of the World
Just curious, but is anybody paying attention to what just happened in Pakistan? It's dribbled out in bits and pieces, but I don't recall anyone putting the whole picture in perspective.http://spectator.org/archives/2011/01/07/thank-god-these-people-live-on
Here's what's happened. More than a year ago, Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five, was working in the fields in the Punjab province when some of the Muslim women working alongside her asked her to fetch water. When she returned, several women said they would not accept it because SHE WAS A CHRISTIAN AND THEREFORE "UNCLEAN." INSULTS WERE EXCHANGED AND IN THE PROCESS BIBI MADE SOME INSULTING REMARKS ABOUT THE KORAN AND ISLAM.
The incident blew over at first, but word spread through the town and a few days later Bibi was being pursued by a Muslim mob. The police intervened and rescued her but felt obliged TO SATISFY THE MOB'S BLOODLUST SO THEY CHARGED BIBI WITH BLASPHEMY. This is a capital offense under a law dating back to British colonialism. Bibi was held in solitary confinement for more a year until she was finally put on trial in October. SHE WAS CONVICTED IN THE PROVINCIAL COURT AND SENTENCED TO DIE ON NOVEMBER 9……
So on last Tuesday, GOVERNOR TASEER, THE MAN WHO HAD SPOKEN UP FOR SOFTENING THE LAW, WAS ASSASSINATED BY ONE OF HIS OWN GUARDS. The killer, one Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, said that Taseer had committed blasphemy by siding with Bibi
Radical Islam is a danger to any civilized country or people.
Update: Assassin cheered in Court
Imagine this: One of the top politicians of your country is gunned down by his own bodyguard. Shocking, but not unheard of.http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/01/06/pakistan.killing/index.html?hpt=C1
Now imagine this: The very next day, the assassin shows up at court and is given a hero's welcome. SUPPORTERS SHOWER HIM WITH ROSE PETALS AND PUT A GARLAND AROUND HIS NECK.
Sound bizarre? Well, that's exactly what has happened this week in Pakistan.
The killing and its aftermath highlight as never before the fast-growing divide between the country's secular and religious forces. It's a divide that's symbolized by the life and death of Salman Taseer, the slain governor of Punjab province.
It’s not my fault!
A man who once weighed nearly 70 stone IS TO LAUNCH LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE NHS, CLAIMING THEY FAILED TO HELP HIM AS HIS SIZE SOARED.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1344930/Former-worlds-fattest-man-Paul-Mason-sue-NHS-weight-gain.html
Former postman Paul Mason received life-saving gastric surgery last year binge-eating his way to gargantuan size.
But the 50-year-old, who now weighs in at a comparatively small 37 stone, said HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN HELPED YEARS AGO.
Apparently, personal responsibility isn’t very big (pardon the pun) in the UK.