The sole remedy in the Constitution for Presidential misconduct is removal from office by a vote in the Senate after impeachment by the House. If the purpose of the bill is to create a civil cause of action that could be brought by a member of the public, it's fatally flawed because a member of the public asserting claims that belong to the whole public lacks standing to sue. If the purpose is to give members of Congress a right to sue the President, it is flawed because of the exclusiveness of the impeachment remedy. In short, it's another exampleof making mischief instead of doing woerk.
Funny that Spring et al don't get worked up at the blatant politicking by Antonin Scalia and Justice Thomas' wife. Virginia.
(1) At a panel on “Benghazigate: The Ugly Truth and Coverup” held by a rival conservative conference to CPAC, Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, asked a panel that included controversial retired General Jerry Boykin if the Obama administration had committed any crimes, in particular, providing material support to terrorists. The panel all responded affirmatively. Thomas is a columnist for the Daily Caller, a consultant to tea party groups, a lobbyist, and co-founder of conservative group Groundswell that plans a "30-front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation."
(2) At a speech to a religious college in Houston last fall, Scalia said: "While I would not argue that capitalism as an economic system is inherently more Christian than socialism ... it does seem to me that capitalism is more dependent on Christianity than socialism is. For in order for capitalism to work -- in order for it to produce a good and a stable society -- the traditional Christian virtues are essential."
Don't get me wrong: both Ginni Thomas and Antonin Scalia are entitled to voice their views. But people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
What does "judicial activism" mean? If it means torturing precedent and the Constitution to produce a political result that you happen to like, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court of the past third of a century is arguably the most activist in history. Consider, for openers, "Bush vs. Gore". In order to guarantee the election of George W. Bush, the court majority not only blatantly ignored its own precedents--by which I mean similar vote-count cases in which the same majority had reached an opposite result--but also decades of conscious abstention from involvement in the political process. The court's unsigned majority opinion was a one-off, designed to achieve a particular political result in a specific case without setting an precedent for future cases. But Bush v. Gore is just one example. In case after case, the conservative majority has shown itself willing to do similar things. The Obamacare decision, for instance. Although John Roberts' opinion holding that the individual mandate can be upheld as a tax saved the statute, in the course of rendering that opinion he quietly overruled nearly a century of Commerce Clause cases,drastically reducing the ability of the federal government to regulate commerce between the states. Much of the Court's activism is inside baseball stuff, of interest mainly to lawyers and Con Law teachers, but trust me when I tell you that collectively, the Republican Supreme court of the past third century has been, and contineus to be, the most activist ever.
I think that lady in Detroit must be your mother. She has the same relationship to facts that you do, i.e, it's a fact if you believe it, otherwise not. She also seems to have your difficulty with ordinary arithmetic. Seriously, are you related?
Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, is running Obamacare attack ads featuring a cancer patient who claimed her treatments were "unaffordable" under the new health care law. On Monday, The Detroit News reported that the patient will actually save more than $1,000 a year.
Julie Boonstra says in the anti-Obamacare ad that she was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago, and her health care plan was canceled when Obamacare went into effect.
"Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it's unaffordable," she said.
Before her plan was canceled, Boonstra was paying a $1,100 monthly premium. That's $13,200 a year, without adding out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and prescription drugs. But under her new plan, the Blue Cross Premier Gold, Boonstra's premiums are down to $571 a month, and out-of-pocket costs are capped at $5,100. That's a maximum annual expense of $11,952 a year.
Makes me wonder how much money the Koch Brothers paid this woman to lie for them.
Really good post. That cold mid-western air must be firing up your gray cells to maximum activity.
BTW, Lan, Michigan Republican Representative Dave Camp--is he your Member of Congress?-- has a new tax bill out of Ways and Means that deserves a serious look. It pays for lower marginal rates by closing loopholes that only benefit the ultra-rich such as the "carried interest" scam that has made gazillionaires out of hedge fund managers by letting them pretend their ordinary income is really capital gain. Unfortunately, I think its DOA because the fat cats that supply the money to both parties will unite to kill it. It lowers the corporate income tax rate (a good thing) as well as the top marginal individual rates, and gets rid of such sacred cows as deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest payments that disproportionately benefit residents of high tax, high cost states like New York, California and Connecticut. In other words, it's like the old Mort Sahl line: "Is there anyone here I haven't offended?" But kudos to Camp for drafting a bill that has the elements of real tax reform in it, even if the only practical outcome at this time is to start a meaningful conversation.
When the headline reads "From Our Poet Laureate" it implies that indeed the poem was written recently and directed to the current administration. That is, of course, the impression that Spring wished to create. Both you and he are ticked that his lying plagiarism was noticed.
"illustriate" is not an English word, by the way.
Do you have any idea what the word "exponentially" means?
The debt is not increasing exponentially, it is increasing linearly and at a decreasing rate propelled by the decreasing size of the annual deficits. .
I'm going to try one more time, then I give up. "Deficit" means the excess of expenditures over receipts in a given year. There is no cumulative "deficit" there are only annual deficits. There is a cumulative debt equal to the sum of annual deficits (and the occasional surplus). Every year that we have a deficit, the debt increases by the amount of that year's deficit. If we ever get back to having annual surpluses, the debt will decrease each year by the amount of that year's surplus.
If you spend $10 a day more than you earn, that's your daily deficit. If your kindly uncle charlie lends you $10 every day to cover your shortfall, your ever-increasing IOU to uncle charlie is your debt. It's really that simple.
I didn't say Hitler would be a tea bagger, I said Putin would be the Republican candidate for President.
As for who controls the money and banks, unfortunately, the answer is "nobody". Banks and investment banks can pretty much do what they want, including make horrible investment decisions, and the Congress and the administration (Republican and Democrat) will bail them out. We've turned "too big to fail" from a theoretical possibility into a reality. Automakers can't fail, we'll bail them out. AIG can't fail we'll bail it out. Big banks can't fail, we'll bail them out. The only entity that we allowed to fail was Lehman Brothers and that scared the rest of Wall Street and the politicos so much that nobody else was allowed to go under.
The reality that nobody's in control is much less satisfying than a murky conspiracy theory, whether the imaginary conspirators are the Gnomes of Zurich or the Elders of Zion or the Trilateral Commission or the Mormons or the Knights Templar or Opus Dei or whoever your favorite secret world-ruling cabal happens to be..
It is impossible to have a meaningful conversation with a person who can't do 4th grade arithmetic. The deficit is what it is. The debt is what it is. Debt = sum of deficits. As long as we continue to have deficits, the debt will continue to grow. If Romney were President today, there would be a deficit and the debt would continue to grow. If Jesus Christ were President today, there would be a deficit and the debt would continue to grow. Until we have an annual surplus, the debt will continue to grow. It's really that simple. The only meaningful discussion is abouit the consequences of continuing on the path of big deficits and what we're willing and able to do to return the country to a surplus. Everything else is hogwash.
Good morning Stupid,
Maybe you missed the worst winter in a quarter of a century in the midwest and the east, which has shaved almost a point off GDP for 4th Q 2013 and 1st Q 2014. You can expect above average job growth in Q2 and Q3 as deferred construction projects resume after the bad weather, etc.
More generally, it's amusing to listen to you guys carp about the slow rate of job growth when the GOP-dominated Congress has done everything in its power to hold down job growth via the sequester and when the last Republican President presided over the worst 8 years of job growth since the great depression. Do you really want bring back the Bush economy? The economy in which we lost 750,000 jobs in one month? I don't.
I will agree that Obama is at best a mediocre President. But compared to Bush he's Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Bush Presidency combined one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history, the pointless and hugely expensive Iraq war, with one of the worst economies in American history. Bush set the bar so low it is almost impossible for Obama not to be better.
The DEFICIT is the excess of a year's expenditure over that year's receipts.
The DEBT is the cumulative total of annual deficits.
The DEFICIT is indeed shrinking; the FY 2013 DEFICIT ($680 Billion) is less than 1/2 of the FY 2009 DEFICIT ($1413 Billion).
The DEBT keeps growing as long as there is a DEFICIT. In order for the DEBT to shrink, there has to be an annual SURPLUS.
In FY 1998 through FY 2001, there was a SURPLUS each year; cumulatively over $600 Billion. For those 4 years, the DEBT went down. Since FY 2002, there has been a DEFICIT every year and the DEBT has gone up.
Where to begin? If the government were accounted for in the manner of a corporation, such accounting would affect not only the "income statement" but the "balance sheet." On the one hand, contingent obligations that could be reliably estimated and are reasonably certain, such as the government's unfunded pension obligations, would be put on the balance sheet. On the other hand, the value of government-owned assets such as the national parks, the vast land holdings in Nevada, Hawaii, and most other states, the enormous mineral rights, etc. would also be put on the balance sheet. It is a fair guess that the value of government-owned assets would at least equal, if not greatly exceed, the value of unfunded liabilities.
There are very good reasons, from an accounting standpoint, NOT to treat the government like a private corporation, two of which are that no private corporation can eliminate its debts by printing money or raising taxes.
It is an interesting intellectual exercise to apply corporate accounting concepts to the operations of government and it can be revealing, especially in terms of trends. But there's no lie here.
Who knows if any of this is true, but let's assume some of it is. What great blunder did Obama commit? Not telling Kerry about his interview? Or expressing criticism of Israel? Pro-Israel organizations in the USA have worked extremely hard to characterize any criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians as unacceptable and to make certain that any Congressman or Senator who expresses such criticism is (a) characterized as an anti-Semite and (b) faces a well-financed opponent in his next primary. That kind of political activity is routine and I'm not suggesting that AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups do anything wrong in using their influence to promote their agenda in Congress. But I am suggesting that articles of this sort have to be taken with a major grain of salt. It's no secret that Netanyahu and Obama can't stand each other and, as far as Bibi goes, you can fill in the name of almost any other head of state besides Obama and that statement will still be true. And it's just conceivable that Obama and Kerry are playing "hard cop/soft cop" with Bibi.
O c'mon! You treat facts like unwelcome bacteria. How about just accepting them every now and then, if only for the astonishment you will cause the readers of your posts. Obamacare pumped money into the economy. That's just a fact. We can argue if that's a good thing or a bad thing but there's no point arguing about whether it's a thing.
Couldn't agree with you more. And I'll hold you to your word if there's a Republican President in 2016 who decides to use the IRS to hassle liberal organizations.
Darrell Issa is the richest person in the Congress with an estimated net worth of nearly half a billion dollars.
Do you think he might be a teensy weensy bit interested in intimidating the IRS into going easy on rich folks? Is the Pope Argentinian? Does a bear take a dump in the woods?
Congressional bullying of witnesses is a blood sport practiced equally by Republicans and Democrats. Nobody should confuse it with an objective search for truth....
And then there's this (from Associated Press):
Glenn Beck once said Obamacare would mean "the end of prosperity in America forever." But so far, it turns out President Obama's 2010 health law is actually putting money in Americans' wallets.
To be exact, President Obama's 2010 health law was responsible for about three-quarters of a surprising January rise in U.S. consumer spending and American income growth, according to calculations by the Wall Street Journal.
While not exceptional, the gains were significant: a 0.4 percent rise in consumer spending ($45.2 billion) and a 0.3 percent rise in personal incomes (up $43.9 billion), according to new figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth came in spite of the expiration of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed and all that horrible winter weather.
So what exactly did the Obamacare rollout do to cause such a rise? For one, it expanded the Medicaid program, a critical and highly controversial aspect of the law, by adding up to a $19 billion in benefits in January. On top of that, health care enrollees additionally received another near $15 billion in the form of tax credits as a result of the rollout, according to the BEA.
Together the two changes have freed up many Americans to spend money that would have gone towards health care premiums on goods and services instead.
The benefits of the Obamacare rollout thus far also appear to throw cold water on the idea that the law will hamper the economy -- especially when considering last January. Back then, both consumer spending and personal incomes had their worst month in years and fell by several percentage points after the battle in Congress over the so-called "fiscal cliff" ended with recession-era payroll tax cuts not being extended.
Overall, that tax hike resulted in an $700 per worker tax increase on average, according to the Tax Policy Center. Who's killing the economy again?
I think Putin got the message from the folks back home. The Russian public is overwhelmingly against an invasion of Croatia. The Russian stock market cratered. Foreign capital sources let it be known they would head for the hills if he maintained his aggressive posture. Obama announced plans to freeze Russian assets in the USA and Putin could expect other countries to do likewise. All of a sudden, the costs of Putin's exercise in table-pounding became apparent to him; hence his backing down.
The situation is still very dicey and Russia still has to worry about what happens if Ukraine orients toward NATO and against Russia, but for the moment Putin is adding up the losses and realizing that his little adventure in Crimea comes at a very heavy cost.
Some things are beyond irony. George W. Bush presided over the worst recession since the 1930's, had the worst job creation record of any President since Herbert Hoover, wasted 2 trillion dollars in an off-the-books war whose only notable result was the strengthening of Iran's position in the middle east, left Obama with trillions in additional debt and a trillion dollar plus budget deficit, and a depressed stock market, and you're complaining that the recovery has been too slow! And where were you when Dubya was steering the ship into the iceberg? Blaming the country's troubles on Bill Clinton maybe?
Rand Paul listens to the neo-Austrians and would return us to the gold standard if he could. Short of that, he would stack the Fed with people who believe, in the face of decades of evidence to the contrary in Japan and elsewhere, that looming inflation is our biggest problem. I'm sorry, but our biggest problems are slow growth and high
unemployment and it has been the Fed's willingness to do the unconventional that has propelled the economy forward. I love Paul's libertarian politics but I wish it were wedded to a different set of economic policies.