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   PoliticsModerate Forum

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To: TimF who wrote (20757)1/28/2011 8:19:51 PM
From: Skywatcher
   of 20773
It would have made sure that all the nuclear materials in the soviet union would have been under little or no int'l supervision compared to the would have made the world and the US a much more unsafe place

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To: Skywatcher who wrote (20758)1/28/2011 10:47:58 PM
From: TimF
   of 20773
Its not primarily a "supervise the ex-Soviet union's nuclear materials treaty." We've had agreements about that before, and we could have agreements about that without directly have this specific arms control treaty, or any tighter limit on strategic weapons. Also the actual monitoring involves a lot more ongoing agreement and working together than just some signature on a paper followed by ratification.

.it would have made the world and the US a much more unsafe place

That's false in at least two ways. The treaty itself won't make things much safer, and even if it somehow would have the lack of it wouldn't make things more dangerous it would leave things the way they where before/without the treaty. Even if the status quo is "dangerous", it still wouldn't be "more dangerous", or to use your words "much more unsafe".

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To: TimF who wrote (20759)1/31/2011 2:21:38 PM
From: Skywatcher
   of 20773
Here's more completely ANTI AMERICAN stuff coming from the Republican 'party'

GOP Introduces Bill to "Pay China First" -- Before Social Security Recipients

You might think the GOP hates the poor and the elderly and, really, all of those that rely on entitlement payments of one sort or another. But I'll bet you didn't know how much they hate them.

They hate them enough to introduce a bill that prioritizes paying off our debt to China over their monthly checks.

That's right. Congressman Tom McClintock of California has introduced H.R. 421 – "To require that the Government prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public in the event that the debt limit is reached." This bill would prioritize payments to China and our other creditors over our own citizens should Congress not raise the debt ceiling.

According to Talking Points Memo, Pat Toomey will do the same in the Senate.

"I intend to introduce legislation that would require the Treasury to make interest payments on our debt its first priority in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a Friday Wall Street Journal op-ed.

If passed, Toomey's plan would require the government to cut large checks to foreign countries, and major financial institutions, before paying off its obligations to Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens owed money by the Treasury -- that is, if the U.S. hits its debt ceiling.

UPDATE: Here's the text of Toomey's Senate bill (S.B. 163 – "The Full Faith and Credit Act", [aka, "The Pay China First Act"]):

In the event that the debt of the United States Government, as defined in section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, reaches the statutory limit, the authority of the Department of the Treasury provided in section 3123 of title 31, United States Code, to pay with legal tender the principal and interest on debt held by the public shall take priority over all other obligations incurred by the Government of the United States.

(H/T to hope4usa who emailed me the Senate bill [all two pages of it.])

Here are some reactions from around the country.

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To: Skywatcher who wrote (20760)1/31/2011 2:41:30 PM
From: TimF
   of 20773
Nothing anti-American about making your debt payments, before conducting other spending, that just acting sensibly. (Esp. when the primary budget deficit is going to continue to be large, we can't inflate away or default on the debt and continue to borrow at the nice low interest rates the treasury gets now. Inflate away the debt and all that social spending you want becomes totally unaffordable much quicker as interest rates soar. Default on the debt and we can't borrow for those programs at all.

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To: TimF who wrote (20761)2/2/2011 2:43:20 PM
From: Skywatcher
   of 20773
the banned from Congress Gingrich gets his 'head' handed to him

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To: Skywatcher who wrote (20762)2/2/2011 11:03:49 PM
From: Hawkmoon
1 Recommendation   of 20773
Just because Dean "grandstanded" on the issue doesn't mean he handed Newt's head to him..

Here's the crux. We have a huge line of SKILLED individuals seeking LEGITIMATE IMMIGRATION.

So why the hell should those who violate the law be rewarded at the expense of those who are patiently waiting to immigrate here?

Ok.. if your parents dragged you here as a kid and you've spent the majority of your life here illegally, gone to school, learned English, become a productive individual, then I'm fine with granting citizenship at age 18.

And I'm fine with granting work visas to those ALREADY here holding productive jobs. I'm not heartless. I just want to know who is here, what they're doing, where they live..

All the things their own government would demand of me if I were living in their country.


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To: Hawkmoon who wrote (20763)2/3/2011 8:14:57 AM
From: Dale Baker
1 Recommendation   of 20773
That's why a guest worker program is the only sane solution to the problem. But it makes too much sense for our demagogues in Congress to get behind while they can posture and perform about "getting tough" and the problem just gets worse every year.

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To: Hawkmoon who wrote (20763)2/8/2011 11:34:52 AM
From: Skywatcher
   of 20773
Given the fact that Clarence Thomas has been a permanent lock down
vote for the most reactionary corporate special interests in the
country, is it any surprise that his wife has been collecting
hundreds of thousands of dollars from their so-called "think tanks",
like the Heritage Foundation? But what should raise more than an
eyebrow is the fact that he has lied for the last 20 years on his
financial disclosure forms about his wife's income.

If you, or I, or anyone else we know hid upwards of a million dollars
in income like this we would have already been hauled before a grand
jury. But now that the whistle has been blown, and his corruption and
lying have been exposed, Thomas thinks he can just amend all these
perjured declarations like it's no big deal, claiming he
"misunderstood" the filing instructions.

We have long known that Thomas was totally unqualified to sit on the
Supreme Court. And at a minimum, for him to claim he cannot
understand and truthfully complete a simple disclosure form, this
proves it. Immediate impeachment is the least we should expect.

The motto of the Supreme Court is "Equal Justice Under Law". If those
words are to mean anything, Thomas must be prosecuted just as he
would coldly affirm the conviction of anyone else who did such a

Of course, the other four members of the Supreme Court who last year
voted to throw out elections to the worst of the corporate wolves are
right on Thomas's tail in the need to be impeached department. ALL
five of them deserve to be impeached, included the two most recent to
lie through their teeth about their corporate agenda to get
confirmed, Roberts and Alito, and Scalia who with Thomas secretly
attended swanky Koch brothers soirees.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (20764)2/17/2011 2:47:53 AM
From: Skywatcher
   of 20773
Constitutional showdown
A Florida judge distorted the law in striking down healthcare reform.

By Akhil Reed Amar

February 6, 2011

Earlier this week, after grading student papers from my Yale Law School class on constitutional law, I began reading federal District Judge Roger Vinson's recent opinion declaring "Obamacare" unconstitutional. One thing was immediately clear: My students understand the Constitution better than the judge.

I strive to be apolitical in evaluating students and judges alike. Over the years, many of my favorite students have been proud conservatives, while others have been flaming liberals. The Constitution belongs to neither party.

As every first-year law student learns, lower court judges must heed Supreme Court precedents. The central issue in the Obamacare case is how much power the Constitution gives Congress, and the landmark Supreme Court opinion on this topic is the 1819 classic, McCulloch vs. Maryland.

In McCulloch, when states' rights attorneys claimed that Congress lacked authority to create a federal bank, Chief Justice John Marshall famously countered that the Constitution gives Congress implied as well as express powers. Marshall said that unelected judges should generally defer to elected members of Congress so long as a law plausibly falls within Congress' basic mission. Though the words "federal bank" nowhere appear in the Constitution's text, Marshall explained that Congress nevertheless had the power to create such a bank to facilitate national security and interstate commerce. Other words not in the Constitution include "air force," "NASA," "Social Security," "Peace Corps" and "paper money," but all these things are constitutional under the logic of McCulloch. Obamacare is no different.

In 34 years as chief justice, Marshall never struck down an act of Congress as beyond the scope of federal power. The modern Supreme Court has followed Marshall's lead. Since 1937, only two relevant cases — U.S. vs. Lopez in 1995 and U.S. vs. Morrison in 2000 — have held that federal laws transgressed the limited powers conferred on Congress by the framers.

Neither of the laws at issue in these cases plausibly fell within the Constitution's grant of congressional power to regulate "commerce among the several states" — a phrase that includes all interstate transactions, such as a national market in goods or services or a situation in which people, pollution, water or wildlife cross state lines.

By contrast, Obamacare regulates a healthcare industry that obviously spans state lines, involving billions of dollars and millions of patients flowing from state to state. When uninsured Connecticut residents fall sick on holiday in California and get free emergency room services, California taxpayers, California hospitals and California insurance policyholders foot the bill. This is an interstate issue, and Congress has power to regulate it.

Even were it conceded that a particular piece of Obamacare regulates a wholly intrastate matter, that piece is OK so long as it is a cog within a truly interstate regulatory regime. In 2005, the court allowed Congress to criminalize private possession of homegrown marijuana plants because, even if these plants did not themselves cross state lines, a blanket prohibition was part of a legal dragnet regulating a genuinely interstate black market in drugs.

There is nothing improper in the means that Obamacare deploys. Laws may properly regulate both actions and inactions, and in any event, Obamacare does not regulate pure inaction. It regulates freeloading. Breathing is an action, and so is going to an emergency room on taxpayers' nickel when you have trouble breathing.

Nor is there anything improper about requiring people to buy or obtain a private product. In 1792, George Washington signed into law a militia act that did just that, obliging Americans to equip themselves with muskets, bayonets, cartridges, the works.

Strictly speaking, Obamacare does not mandate the purchase of insurance. It says that those who remain uninsured must pay a tax. Vinson says this mandate cannot be upheld under Congress' sweeping tax powers. Wrong again. A basic purpose of the founders was to create sweeping federal tax power, power that was emphatically reinforced by the 1913 Income Tax Amendment.

If Congress can tax me, and can use my tax dollars to buy a health insurance policy for me, why can't it tell me to get a policy myself (or pay extra taxes)? Vinson offers no cogent answer to this basic logical point.

He also mangles American history and constitutional structure. In a clumsy wave to today's "tea party" groups, he rhetorically asks whether Americans who fought a tax on imported tea in the 1770s would have authorized Congress in the 1780s to mandate tea purchases. Huh?

Surely Congress was authorized to do the very thing that Parliament could not — tax imported tea. Congress could do so precisely because Congress, unlike Parliament (and unlike Vinson) is elected by voters who can vote the bums out if they do not like the taxes. The rallying cry of the American Revolution was not "No Taxation!" but "No Taxation Without Representation!" Congress represents voters, so it can tax voters, or impose mandates on voters, regarding tea or militia service — or insurance policies.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that acting Solicitor Gen. Neal Katyal, who will defend Obamacare in the appellate courts, is a former student of mine. But my views today have nothing to do with him, and everything to do with constitutional first principles.

Obamacare's opponents are free to vote for politicians who will repeal it. They should not use seats on lower courts to distort the Constitution, disregard applicable precedents and disrespect a duly elected Congress, which gave Americans in early 2010 exactly what the winning party platform promised in November 2008.

In 1857, another judge named Roger distorted the Constitution, disregarded precedent, disrespected Congress and proclaimed that the basic platform of one of America's two major political parties was unconstitutional. The case was Dred Scott vs. Sanford, involving a slave who sued for his freedom because he had lived with his master in places where Congress had banned slavery. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roger Taney, the court not only ruled against Scott, saying that even free blacks were not citizens and therefore had no right to sue; it also declared the Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery in Northern territories, unconstitutional.

History has not been kind to that judge. Roger Vinson, meet Roger Taney.

Akhil Reed Amar is a professor at Yale Law School and the author of "America's Constitution: A Biography."

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (20764)2/18/2011 3:39:04 PM
From: Skywatcher
1 Recommendation   of 20773

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