Tea Party Southern Myth vs 12 Years a Slave

Like the Holocaust Deniers scattered around the world in anti-Semitic clusters, America has its own peculiar breed of Denier of the unconscionable – The advocates of the Southern Myth.

Recognizing what they were doing as slavers was morally unconscionable from a Judeo Christian basis, the slavers sought absolution through first, perverting their religion to justify slavery, and second by attaching themselves to Chivalrous traditions creating a “Genteel” societal veneer. Indeed, in my State of Virginia Thomas Jefferson’s University, UVa – adopted the Cavalier as the school symbol. That wasn’t just because most slaveholders were Crown Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. Attaching themselves to the English Cavaliers was an attempt to gloss over, and add class to an evil society. No different than the Drug Lords of recent vintage using their ill gotten gains to project an image of respectability.

Post Civil War, this shifted into manufacturing a society’s existence under slavery which never existed. The brutality visited upon the slaves to force them to obey, which included torture, systematic rape of women and children, and murder became the “Good Old Days” of a slightly decadent but otherwise genteel society. The Civil War became the “War of the States” supporting the fiction that each and every Southern State’s Secession Articles didn’t list slavery as the “States Right” they were fighting for. These same stawarts brought America Segregation and Jim Crow.

The modern incarnation of this “Southern psychosis” is the Tea Party, the grandchild of the Second Klan of the 20′s, American Nazi Party of the 40′s, and Dixiecrats  of the 50′s and 60′s. Absorbing the Republican matra of blaming the victim. Like their poor, landless ancestors who marched off to be maimed and killed to [protect the rights of wealthy slave owners, today's conservative confederate malcontents support the rights of the elite right who have eviscerated the American Dream, sold their jobs overseas,  and near destroyed the American Middle Class since Raygun. All under the banner of maintaining their fictitious racial superiority. It is OK with the modern Tea Bagger to take Food Stamps away from the poor, using much the same justification of the rapist that the "bitch deserved it". It is OK to harass the poor, even though the economic condition of many Tea Parties would place them among the "white trash" - because in a country which has legislatively discriminated, at the Tea Bagger's ancestors demand,  against minorities for generation - a higher percentage of minorities are poor. Despite class mythology, the only reason many of these white Tea Baggers aren't scions of society has nothing to do with discrimination - and everything to do with their own personal, generational failures. no one has held them back, except their own ignorance and racism.

In front of the White House after disgracing th WII Memorial

Tea Party and ’12 Years a Slave’

“Twelve Years a Slave,” a movie based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841, is a powerful antidote to the Tea Party’s poisonous nostalgia for the era of “states’ rights” and “nullificationism,” which became code words for protecting the “liberty” of Southern whites to own African-Americans.

The movie, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, reveals how lofty phrases about “freedom” often meant their opposite as Southern politicians developed an Orwellian skill for weaving noble-sounding “principles” into a cloak for covering up the unjustifiable.

And, for too many generations, it worked. Americans have romanticized the antebellum South, seeing it through the rosy haze of “Gone with the Wind” or learning from school history books that most slave-owners were kindly and paternalistic masters. Even today many Americans tell themselves that slavery wasn’t all that bad. To burnish their pride in the never-to-be-criticized USA, they whitewash one of the nation’s greatest crimes, the enslavement of millions of people based on the color of their skin. Continue reading

Secession Again… This Time Let Them

Counties in a second State are arguing to secede. First there were the rural areas of Colorado, now it is the Western 3 counties in Maryland.

My view is…

Let them.

Under the condition that if they want to continue as part of the country, they have to reapply for admission to the United States – First as Territories.

There are a couple of other conditions that should apply here…

1) All Federal funds, in excess of the tax base paid by the new entity will be withdrawn. The new entity must be entirely “pay as you go”, prior to any consideration to being granted the ability to rejoin the Union.

2) The new Territory must demonstrate that it generates a positive cash flow in terms of trade for the United States as a precondition to admission.. Not taking any “Welfare Queens” here.

3) They will grant Federal Authority and ownership in perpetuity of any Interstate HIghways, Federal facilities, and or Military bases within their boundaries.

4) All Military bases, federally funded or operated ports, airports, or terminals are to cease operation until such time as they become states. No reason to provide any more charity.

5) On readmission, all residents are to take an oath of loyalty to the United States under penalty of death. Anyone who refuses to do so, immediately loses citizenship – and will be deported.The new state Constitution must recognize the primacy of the Federal Constitution in writing.

6) For a period of 50 years, the US Government may spend no more money in the state than the federal taxes paid by the state and it’s citizens.

Now…We’re talking! And here’s hoping the red downstate Virginia counties follow suit!

Western Maryland secessionists seek to sever ties with the liberal Free State

The push by 50 western Virginia counties to secede in 1863, forming West Virginia at the height of the Civil War, was led by a charismatic store-clerk-turned-lawyer who famously urged his supporters: “Cut the knot now! Cut it now! Apply the knife.”

West Virginia was the last state to break off from another. Now, 150 years later, a 49-year-old information technology consultant wants to apply the knife to Maryland’s five western counties. “The people are the sovereign,” says Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the fledglingWestern Maryland Initiative, and the western sovereigns are fed up with Annapolis’s liberal majority, elected by the state’s other sovereigns.

“If you think you have a long list of grievances and it’s been going on for decades, and you can’t get it resolved, ultimately this is what you have to do,” says Strzelczyk, who lives in New Windsor, a historic town of 1,400 people in Carroll County. “Otherwise you are trapped.”

Strzelczyk’s effort is one of several across the country to separate significant portions of states from, as he puts it, “the dominant ruling class.” Nearly a dozen northern Colorado counties are the furthest along, with nonbinding referendums set for November ballots. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is making a move to join with parts of Wisconsin. Northern California counties want to form a state called Jefferson.

Historians, political scientists and the leaders of the movements say secession efforts are being fueled by irreconcilable differences on issues such as gun control, taxes, energy policy, gay marriage and immigration — all subjects of recent legislative efforts at state and federal levels. The notion of compromise is a non-starter. With secessionists, the term “final straw” comes up a lot.

“You don’t have to be a student of the details to know that people are just disgusted with what goes on these days,” says Kit Wellman, a political philosopher who studies secession at Washington University in St. Louis. “These people figure they are better off on their own if they could just be with like-
minded folks.”

Secession is a difficult political fight to win. The U.S. Constitution allows regions to separate only with the approval of the state legislature and Congress, and over the years there have been hundreds of quixotic and unsuccessful efforts, according to Michael J. Trinklein, the author of “Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States that Never Made It.”

In the 1950s, Northern California tried to form the state of Shasta, to protect its fresh water. The builders of Mount Rushmore also wanted it to sit in a new state: Absaroka, a reference to a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Eastern Shore residents pushed for the state of Chesapeake in the 1970s to retain tourist tax dollars.

What’s different now is how the secession efforts illuminate a hard truth about the country: The rural-urban divide is increasingly a point of political conflict. The population boom in urban areas such as Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs near the District, the Boulder-
Denver areas in Colorado, and in Detroit have filled state legislatures with liberal policymakers pushing progressive agendas out of sync with rural residents, who feel increasingly isolated and marginalized.

In Maryland, the five western counties — Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll — represent just 11 percent of Maryland’s population, according to 2010 Census figures. They earn less than the people who live in more urban areas. They vote overwhelmingly for Republicans in a deeply Democratic state. Nearly 90 percent of the residents are white, compared with 51 percent elsewhere. About 60 percent were born in Maryland vs. 46 percent in other parts of the state.

“If you don’t belong in their party,” Strzelczyk says of Democrats, “you’ll never have your views represented” in Maryland. “If we have more states,” he says, “we can all go live in states that best represent us, and then we can get along.”…

 

 

Clarence Thomas Fesses Up on ole in Conservative View of Constitution

No Tommy… The founding fathers didn’t include your black ass in the Constitution…

Thomas concedes that ‘we the people’ didn’t include blacks

It is true, Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged the other night, that the “we the people” extolled in the Constitution 225 years ago did not include people who looked like him.

But the Declaration of Independence did, he contended, and that was something that a black kid growing up in Savannah, Ga., was told early on.

“There was always this underlying belief that we were entitled to be a full participant in ‘we the people,’ ” Thomas told a crowd at the National Archives last week.

“That’s the way we grew up. It was the way the nuns, who were all immigrants, would explain it to us — that we were entitled, as citizens of this country, to be full participants. There was never any doubt that we were inherently equal. It said so in the Declaration of Independence.”

Thomas submitted to about an hour of extremely gentle questioning from Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar at an event called “The Constitution Turns 225,” co-sponsored by the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center and the conservative Federalist Society.

It was a packed house, drawn perhaps by the chance to see the “silent justice” speak. That’s far more myth than reality, of course.

It is true that Thomas hasn’t asked a question during the court’s oral arguments since 2006. But he speaks regularly to groups and law schools, and he put on a full publicity blitz when his memoir “My Grandfather’s Son” was published in 2007, including a sit-down with “60 Minutes” and a multi-part series on “Nightline.”

Thomas can on occasion be melancholy in his speeches, such as saying he sometimes envies the seemingly carefree lives he sees from his chamber windows. Several years ago, he told a group of high school students that he sometimes gets “morose,” and bucks himself up by reading inspirational speeches or retreating to the basement to watch the movie “Saving Private Ryan.”

He remains distrustful of Washington, although he mentioned during the discussion that he has lived here more than half of his 64 years. He often refers to it as “this city,” and says it is inhabited by ”cynical people who know it all.”

The “unlettered” people he grew up with, especially his grandparents, he said, withstood “the most difficult circumstances with a dignity that’s unmatched in this city.”

Amar repeatedly brought the conversation back to the point that under the original Constitution, people “like us” were not included. And Thomas spoke extensively about race — after noting with sarcasm that “people say horrible things about it — they say I’m not black, so I’m just a little doubtful I should say I’m black.”

“I always think it’s so fascinating to think of these black kids in the segregated school in Savannah reciting the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States or standing out in the schoolyard saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day before school,” Thomas said.

“I mean, everything so obviously in front of you is wrong. You can’t go to the public library. You can’t live in certain neighborhoods. You can’t go to certain schools. But despite all of that, you lived in an environment of people who said it was still our birthright to be included, and continued to push, not only to change the laws, but to maintain that belief in our hearts.”

Thomas also noted a period in his college years in which the belief was not so strong.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Republican Feel Good Law

In 2005, in response to a guy claiming to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, who had not – the Rethugs passed a “feel good” law banning all such future false claims. This was a perfect exercise in making a lot of noise for the plastic patriot set, making a law to punish a minuscule population instead of Minorities. Of course – folks who have never read the Constitution don’t know how it works – so as usual, the Retugs overstepped their bounds.

Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act

The Supreme Court today struck down the Stolen Valor Actthat made it illegal to falsely claim to be the recipient of military honors and decorations, SCOTUSblog.com reports.

The court found that the statute violates the First Amendment.

The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, says the law, as written, “seeks to control and suppress all false statements on this one subject in almost limitless times and settings without regard to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain.”

Kennedy writes that permitting the government to decree this kind of speech as a criminal offense “would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable.”

He notes, however, that Congress might be able to rewrite the law “to achieve the government’s objective in less burdensome ways.”

Supreme Court Finds Obamacare Constitutional

In a huge win for the American People the Supreme Court today decided that the ACA, called Obamacare by Republicans is Constitutional. This decision puts a major torpedo in the Conservative right wing scow, and has major implications in the Presidential race.

Sunrise over the Supreme Court. I doubt it is the dawn of a new era – but it is a small ray of hope.

Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare

The Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law today in a splintered, complex opinion that gives Obama a major election-year victory.

Basically, the justices said that the individual mandate — the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine — is constitutional as a tax.

Chief Justice John Roberts — a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush — provided the key vote to preserve the landmark health care law, which figures to be a major issue in Obama’s re-election bid against Republican opponent Mitt Romney.

Obama is expected to comment on the decision within the next two hours.

The government had argued that Congress had the authority to pass the individual mandate as part of its power to regulate interstate commerce; the court disagreed with that analysis, but preserved the mandate because the fine amounts to a tax that is within Congress’ constitutional taxing powers.

The announcement will have a major impact on the nation’s health care system, the actions of both federal and state governments, and the course of the November presidential and congressional elections.

As lawyers examined the details of the various opinions, political analysts quickly predicted at least a short-term political boost for Obama.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said “you can hear the sigh of relief at the White House” over a big plus for Obama.

“It allows the president’s signature achievement to stand,” Brown said. “Since politics is the ultimate zero-sum game, what’s good for Obama is bad for Gov. Mitt Romney.”

Brown also noted that the ruling allows the Republican “to continue campaigning against the law and promising to repeal it.”

History Shows Conservative Objections to Obamacare… Have no Clothes.

This is an absolutely brutal puncturing of the Republican/conservative balloon about Obamacare being un-Constitutional …

What this points out is that the conservative objection to Obamacare isn’t really about the Constitution. The 5 thugs in robes could give a damn about the “Original Intent” of the founders – and are on a path to force the country into a quasi-fascism.

A number of the FOunders, and signatories to the Constitution supported mandates... Including George Washington

Originalist Sin

The five conservative justices on the Supreme Court—Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy—cloak themselves in the myth that they are somehow channeling the wisdom and understanding of the Founding Fathers, the original intent that guided the drafting of the Constitution.  I believe the premise of their argument is itself suspect: It is not clear to me how much weight should be given  to non-textually based intent that is practically impossible to discern more than 200 years later. Most of the issues over which there is constitutional dispute today could not even have been envisioned when the document was drafted.

Even so, it would be an even better response to the conservative wing’s claim of perceived understanding of original intent to be able to refute their claims by showing them to be historically and indisputably wrong.  So once again let’s venture into the world of the health care debate.   The consensus view is that existing Commerce Clause doctrine clearly authorizes the type of mandate passed in the act—see in particular the affirmance of the statute by ultraconservative Judge Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court.

Nonetheless, those opposing the bill insist that an individual mandate has never been done and the framers would simply not permit such an encroachment on liberty and freedom.

Some spectacular historical reporting by Professor Einer Elhauge of Harvard Law School in the New Republic thoroughly rebut the argument. He has found three mandate equivalents passed into law by the early Congresses—in which a significant number of founders served—and reports that these bills were signed into law by none other than Presidents George Washington and John Adams. As Founders go, one might consider them pretty senior in the hierarchy.  Their acts can probably be relied upon to give us a reasonable idea what the Founders intended to be the scope of congressional and governmental power.

Amazingly, the examples of individual mandates passed by the founders are so directly applicable that the claim that original intent precludes affirming the heath care act should become almost laughable:

  • In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founders passed a law requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. Washington signed it into law.
  • In 1792, another law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm. (So much for the argument that Congress can’t force us to participate in commerce.)
  • And in 1798, a Congress with five framers passed a law requiring that all seamen buy hospital insurance for themselves. Adams signed this legislation.

In aggregate, these laws show that the Founders and the Congress of the time were willing to force all of us to participate in a particular act of commence and were comfortable requiring both the owner of a business and the individual employee to buy insurance in order to assure that health costs would be covered at a societal level.  That is a pretty complete rebuttal to all the claims being made by the originalists as they relate to the health care act.

But what is so powerful about these historical finds is not just that they rebut the specific argument about original intent as applied to the health care act. This history lays bare the ahistorical nature of the justices’ claims at another and deeper level. For the types of bill passed in 1790, 1792, and 1798 show the Founders to have been doing exactly what congress did especially well in the era of FDR—–experimenting with solutions and approaches to resolving social issues in ways that made government part of creative problem solving.

These examples show the fallacy and the false rigidity that the originalists seek to impose on our government. In their effort to cabin and restrain the government—their ideology of the moment—they seek to have the benefit of the claim that the founders shared such a limited approach to governing.  In fact, the approach to governing that these acts demonstrate is more nuanced and thoughtful.  As with so many of the claims of the originalists, a slight understanding of the true history shows that the originalists’ view is mere ideology being imposed on a false understanding of history.

I’m categorizing this post under “The New Jim Crow”, because the lack of health care results in the deaths of tens of thousands of black babies due to lack of pre-natal or post-natal care in the first year of life…

Every year in the United States.

Put in any other terms – the lack of Health Care i the US is genocide.

Marco Rubio…An Illegal Alien?

This gets very interesting after the “birther” controversy over President Obama. Seems that Marco Rubio may not be a legally born American – and at best would be an “Anchor Baby” in the words of Jan Brewer, Arizona’s Governor.

Even more significant, much of Rubios story about his parents fleeing Castro’s takeover of Cuba turns out to be an outright lie, with his parents having immigrated to the US 2 1/2 years BEFORE Castro seized power. Indeed, when Rubio’s parents left Cuba, Castro wasn’t even in Cuba – he was in Mexico trying to raise money for his revolution.

Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show

During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.

But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 21 / years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.

The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity, both before and after his stunning tea-party-propelled victory in last year’s Senate election. Rubio — now considered a prospective 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate and a possible future presidential contender — mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.” And the 40-year-old senator with the boyish smile and prom-king good looks has drawn on the power of that claim to entrance audiences captivated by the rhetorical skills of one of the more dynamic stump speakers in modern American politics. Continue reading

14th Amendment to The Rescue? Debt Ceiling…

Sweet Justice that the Amendment to the Constitution granting full citizenship rights to former slaves, which yesteryear’s Republicans passed, and is stoutly opposed by todays perverted version of Republicans who wish they could repeal it.

May again save the Union…

Digging Out of the Mess Republican Conservatism Created

This time from modern day Republicans bent on destroying the country.

14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional

Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment.

“This is an issue that’s been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. “I don’t think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I’ll tell you that it’s going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, ‘Is there some way to save us from ourselves?’”

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that the constitutional solution puts the question in its proper context — that the debate is over paying past debts, not over future spending.

“The way everybody talks about this is that we need to raise the debt ceiling. What we’re really saying is, ‘We have to pay our bills,’” Murray said. The 14th Amendment approach is “fascinating,” she added.

The White House referred questions on the constitutionality of the debt ceiling to the Treasury Department. Treasury declined to comment…

The 14th Amendment became law in the wake of the Civil War, pushed by a Republican Congress eager to extend citizenship rights to freed slaves. But it also included a section dealing with federal debt: The government wanted to make clear to the market that even though loans to the Confederacy would not be paid back, any loans made to the U.S. government were still good.

In 1935, the Supreme Court held that despite the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all federal debt.

“While [the 14th Amendment] was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation,” the majority wrote in Perry v. U.S. “We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression ‘the validity of the public debt’ as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations.”

The law at issue, which tried to override the validity of a bond offering, “went beyond the congressional power,” the Court ruled, setting a precedent that has not been overturned.

Because the government borrows based on its full faith, Congress doesn’t have the authority to undermine that confidence by reneging on its obligation to its lenders, the ruling declared.

“To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor,” reads the opinion, delivered by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. “This Court has given no sanction to such a conception of the obligations of our government.”

President Barack Obama, who taught constitutional law, hasn’t been afraid to assert executive authority. Most recently, he issued what amounted to a legal analysis defending the White House position that the military’s operations in Libya were not in violation of the War Powers Act…

Black Lawmakers Battle New “Jimenez Crow” Anti-Immigrant Laws

Only a few decades since the passage of he Civil Rights Act eliminated legal cover for Jim Crow in America – Tea Party Republicans seem determined to bring it back…

This time, at least initially focused against “illegal” immigrants.

This battle is nothing more than the opening salvo in the re-segregation of America by the Tea Bagged.

Black Legislators on Frontline Against AZ-Style Immigration Bills

As immigrant advocates battle hardline immigration bills in state capitols across the country, they’re receiving crucial support from caucuses of black legislators.

Black Teens Face the Water Cannons in 1950's Montgomery, Alabama

Black politicians have come out in defense of immigrants, questioning the morality and wisdom of tough immigration legislation in states from Nebraska to Georgia, where “copycat bills” are being modeled on Arizona’s immigration enforcement legislation, SB 1070. That bill ignited a national debate last year on whether states should take immigration matters into their own hands. The fact that federal courts have blocked many parts of Arizona’s law from being implemented has not deterred the copycats.

Nineteen state legislatures have considered Arizona-style proposals this year, according to Suman Raghunathan, Immigration Project Coordinator at Progressive States Network, a New York City-based nonprofit. Ten of these proposals have been defeated, but they remain alive in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Black legislators have been vocal in warning that, if approved, these bills could have unintended consequences, including damage to local economies, racial profiling, and diluting the federal government’s constitutionally-granted authority over immigration matters.

In the face of an ongoing backlash against immigrants, this deepening alliance between pro-immigrant lobbyists and black lawmakers has begun to transform state-level politics around immigration.

In Mississippi, the black legislative caucus was instrumental in sinking a get-tough immigration measure that had seemingly unstoppable momentum and bipartisan support. The bill would have required Mississippi law enforcement agencies to check the immigration status of people detained in any “stop, arrest, or detention” and created a state offense for failure to carry “an alien registration document.” Continue reading

First Read – The Constitution

The Constitution - the most unread, misunderstood, and trampled upon document in America...

In what undoubtedly will be a new experience for many of the incoming House Members, the new GOP Majority has mandated that the Constitution be read on the floor of the House.

My question is…How you going to keep them home when (or if, in this case) they understand what the Constitution really says?

BTx3 thinks what really should be done is a 2 week remedial 11th Grade Government/Civics Class being mandatory for all members prior to serving office, with a final test being administered (by 12th graders) as a qualification to actually be sworn in to office. At least then, we’d have a Congress where we knew the members were smarter than a 5th Grader.

Constitution gets congressional reading by GOP

Republicans will have the Constitution read on the House floor Thursday morning in a nod to the conservative Tea Party freshmen that helped put them back in the majority.

The reading will start at 10:30 a.m., with members taking turns until they complete the document — a process that could take up to a couple of hours.

“This historic and symbolic reading is long overdue and shows that the new majority in the House truly is dedicated to our Constitution and the principles for which it stands,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.

Since we have entered the age of “cost accountability”…How much is this remedial education of the elected going to cost us taxpayers?

Report: House GOP’s Constitution Reading Could Cost Over $1 Million

Now this is a laugh. As Vanity Fair reports, the House GOP leadership’s symbolic gesture of reading the Constitution on the House floor today – in an effort to please their Tea Party base who decry virtually all of the Obama administration’s policies as both a monumental waste of money and, more importantly, an affront to our founding document — could also itself cost a lot of money.

The magazine asked an expert on government waste, and he said in part:

The amount I get is nearly $1.1 million. $1,071,872.87, to be exact, though of course this is more back-of-the-envelope than exact. When one chamber of Congress is in session but not working, we the people still have to pay for members’ salaries and expenses, and for their police protection, and for keeping their lights and phones and coffee machines on. Even Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Mike Pence (R-IN) combined don’t blow enough hot air to heat the Capitol in January.

 

Scalia – 14th Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Women

Lot of conservative angst against the 14th Amendment. This most recent conversation with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the infamous co-authors of Gore vs. Bush which shattered the Constitution. Scalia’s newest?

The 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to women.

Women in Chains - Just Fine by Scalia

The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, according to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In a newly published interview in the legal magazine California Lawyer, Scalia said that while the Constitution does not disallow the passage of legislation outlawing such discrimination, it doesn’t itself outlaw that behavior:

In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, called the justice’s comments “shocking” and said he was essentially saying that if the government sanctions discrimination against women, the judiciary offers no recourse.

“In these comments, Justice Scalia says if Congress wants to protect laws that prohibit sex discrimination, that’s up to them,” she said. “But what if they want to pass laws that discriminate? Then he says that there’s nothing the court will do to protect women from government-sanctioned discrimination against them. And that’s a pretty shocking position to take in 2011. It’s especially shocking in light of the decades of precedents and the numbers of justices who have agreed that there is protection in the 14th Amendment against sex discrimination, and struck down many, many laws in many, many areas on the basis of that protection.”

None Dare Call It Treason!

What’s the difference between Republicans in Congress and Al Quaeda?

Al Qaeda is honest about wanting to destroy America.

In the corporate world, if you are a Corporate Officer – you have a fiduciary and legal responsibility to work for the benefit of the corporation and it’s shareholders. You get caught boffing the sweet thing from cubicle 3b atop one of the copiers by the corporate tour group… You are probably unemployed (Unless you are one of Wall Street’s “Golden boys”)…

If you are a cop – you have a duty not only to uphold the law, but to behave lawfully yourself. You get caught stuffing cash into your underwear during a drug bust – you are looking at joining the “busted” in an orange jumpsuit.

You’re a Doctor – murdering patients will get you a room next to the cash stealing cop.

Even though lawyers are famous for shenanigans and splitting legal hairs… You break your oath as a Officer of the Court – and you tend to need to find a new place to practice law.

So… Every one of these Congressmen and Senators swore an oath -

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

This is Treason -

Senate GOP Looks to Block All Dem Legislation

Senate Republicans are signing a letter pledging to block nearly all Democratic-backed legislation—outside of tax cuts and spending measures—during the lame-duck Congressional session, the AP reports. If they follow through, it would spell disaster for the Dems’ fight against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and their efforts to offer legal status to illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military.

These clowns took an oath of office to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution. That in no way binds them to agree with the other Party – but it does bind them to work towards the common good. Purposely, and intentionally disrupting the Constitutional functions of the American Government in a plot to prevent the Government from functioning …

Is Treason.

Sharia Stupidity in Oklahoma

Ten Commandments, Part of Sharia Law - Banned?

In quite possibly the stupidest move since the Volstead Act – Oklahoma Republicans managed to pass a referendum banning the State Judicial considering International, or Sharia Law in the decision of any cases.

Why is it stupid? The same nutcase Republicans are arguing that our country was founded on “christian principles” and thus is subject to christian law.

In order to be Constitutional – the Oklahoma proposed Amendment would have to ban ALL Religious Law – not just that of one religion based on conservative racism.

Further – the 10 Commandments are part of Sharia Law – and ARE “International Law” (You didn’t think Moses wandered around in Kansas, did you?).

As to the ban on other aspects of International Law – Oklahoma is landlocked, so nobody gives a flock.

Federal judge keeps Sharia law restriction out of Oklahoma Constitution

An Oklahoma City federal judge Monday ruled against a voter- approved restriction on Islamic law.

In a 15-page order, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange continued to keep the restriction out of the Oklahoma Constitution. Her ruling was a victory for an Oklahoma City Muslim leader who had complained his constitutional religious rights were in jeopardy.

“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out … the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” the judge wrote.

At issue was a constitutional amendment that forbids state courts from considering or using international law or Sharia law. The amendment describes Sharia law as Islamic law based on the Quran and the teaching of Mohammed.

Oklahomans on Nov. 2 approved the amendment — in State Question 755 — with 70.08 percent of the vote. Muneer Awad, 27, an American-born Muslim, sued two days later. The judge on Nov. 8 blocked the state Election Board from certifying the SQ 755 results.

The order Monday continues the freeze on those results.

The order is a preliminary injunction, not a permanent one. Still, the state Election Board could appeal now.

The state attorney general’s office was considering its options, a spokesman said. A key supporter of the measure, state Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, said, “I was disappointed but not surprised. We look forward to working with the AG’s office on it.”

Awad is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. “It is another positive step,” he said after the ruling.

“The initial filing of the lawsuit was a rough time,” Awad said, “But we’ve noticed since then a tremendous outpouring of support from Muslims and non-Muslims. We are confident we have supporters who want to see this amendment fail. It’s not just about the Muslim community. It’s about Oklahoma. The nation — the world — is watching.”

Imad Enchassi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, said, “Justice has been served.”

In Monday’s order, the judge wrote that Awad “has made a strong showing that State Question 755’s amendment’s primary effect inhibits religion and that the amendment fosters an excessive government entanglement with religion.”

The judge rejected the state’s argument that the amendment is a broad ban on state courts applying the law of other nations and cultures regardless of what faith they may be based on.

She wrote, “The actual language of the amendment reasonably … may be viewed as specifically singling out Sharia law, conveying a message of disapproval of plaintiff’s faith.”

The judge wrote: “This order addresses issues that go to the very foundation of our country, our (U.S.) Constitution, and particularly, the Bill of Rights. Throughout the course of our country’s history, the will of the ’majority’ has on occasion conflicted with the constitutional rights of individuals, an occurrence which our founders foresaw and provided for through the Bill of Rights.”

Quoting from a 1943 U.S. Supreme Court decision, she wrote, “One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

The judge said any harm to the state in delaying certification of the results is minimized because the amendment “was to be a preventative measure and the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur.”

Legislators called the measure the “Save Our State” amendment. The measure’s principal author, former state Rep. Rex Duncan, a Republican, has called it a “pre-emptive strike … against a growing threat.”

Critics of Sharia law contend it could be used as a defense in state courts to such barbaric practices as marital rape.

 

 

 

Dumber Than Dumb – Christine O’Donnell…The First Amendment Says …What?

Really bad when your Tea Witch doesn’t know the Constitution she quotes…

This debate was at a Law School.

Check out the laughter from the audience when O’Donnell asks “Where in the Constitution does it mention the Seperation of Church and State”.

Talk about “Dumbing Down America”

Sharpton Finally Finds a Place to Grandsta…Errrr…March

You know it’s been hard out there for an old style Civil Rights leader these last few years. Very few, if an issues in the black community have lent themselves to the don the walking shoes and placards and march down main street approach.

Looks like Al has found a new clientele – Hispanics (alway suspected that process didn’t have enough wave in it!)!

The Berlin Wall - Prooof governments can't keep people in, any more than you can keep them out. The last gasp of a dying Government.

In any event, while it is certainly true that the Republicans in Arizona have passed a law of questionable constitutionality – and arguably targets one sector of the population based on ethnicity…

President Obama has already lined up the DOJ to challenge the law in the courts. Other Hispanic Civil Rights, as well as the NAACP will join with the DOJ to file amicus briefs, or file their own cases. Ergo – this was a really stupid grandstanding ploy by Arizona wing-nut racist Republicans, which is under attack already by the leal apparatus of the Federal Government, as well as COngress.

Along comes Al… Let the hyperventilation begin!

Sharpton, other activists compare Arizona immigration law to apartheid, Nazi Germany and Jim Crow

New York activists, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, compared Arizona‘s new immigration law to apartheid, Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South – and vowed to shut it down with mass protests.

“We will bring Freedom Walkers to Arizona just like Freedom Riders went to the deep south 50 years ago,” Sharpton said yesterday.

Standing with local clergy, elected officials and a leader of the Hispanic Federation, Sharpton said he would mobilize people from across the country to march in Arizona – and get arrested, if necessary – to stop the controversial new law.

“We cannot sit by and allow people to be arbitrarily and unilaterally picked off as suspects because of the color of their skin,” Sharpton said.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) signed a bill last week authorizing police to question individuals about their immigration status if they suspect they could be in the country illegally.

It now faces a slew of legal challenges and a review by the U.S. Department of Justice that was ordered by President Obama.

“When I heard about it, it reminded me of Nazi Germany,” said Hispanic Federation President Lillian Rodríguez López. “It reminded me of South African apartheid.”

Meanwhile, in Washington, Senate Democrats said they planned to use the Arizona law to push for an immigration reform bill, but Republicans said other legislation took precedence.

“The idea that state by state would start developing its own immigration laws in the country – imagine what a patchwork that might look like,” Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said on NBC‘s “Meet the Press.”

“It’s demanding a national answer to immigration policy.”

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