When I was growing up we had to pass a class on the US Constitution in the 8th grade. That was a while back so I went over to the www to read the document again. Took me about 15 minutes to read the whole thing. With that refresher in my head here is how I understand the US Government is supposed to work….
1. The power of the Executive rests in the office of the President.
2. The power of the Legislature rests in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
3. The power of the Judiciary rests in the Supreme Court.
All three branches were set up with some specific checks against each other and in the case of the Legislature between the House and Senate also. So a bill is formulated and passed by BOTH the House and Senate. The President may at this time sign the bill into law, actively veto it, or passively veto it by not signing it within the allotted time. If questions regarding the constitutionality of the law are raised, that matter is taken before the Supreme Court. Now, the Supreme Court is unlike other courts of law. They do not decide guilt or innocence or fault. They rule only on matters of constitutionality. That’s it.
So now we have a bill that was legally passed and legally signed into law, according to the steps laid out by our governing document. That law has now been challenged and the SCOTUS is hearing the case, and the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA decides to carry out an attack campaign claiming that:
1. SCOTUS is NOT democratically elected (more on this in a minute).
2. SCOTUS has not mandate, power or reason to rule on the constitutionality of a bill passed by the congress and president.
Let me take number two first….THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT SCOTUS was formed to do. They rule on the constitutionality of everything from the local level on up. They are and should be the last bastion of defense for a self governing people against a tyrannical democratically elected federal government. This is why they have a lifetime appointment. Theoretically this keeps them above politics. Now I know that that is not always the case, however, by and large SCOTUS, whatever it’s makeup, has served the people well. I have my opinions about a few notable rulings, the biggest mistake that I believe was the expansion in scope of the interstate commerce clause decades ago, however we would be at least a lot worse off today without them riding constitutional herd over the other two often goofy bodies.
While SCOTUS is NOT directly elected (neither is POTUS either btw), they are nominated according to due constitutional process by a democratically elected President, and CONFIRMED by a democratically elected Senate and because of this their existence on the bench is well defined and valid within the unique quasi democratic experience that is US Government. SCOTUS is as valid with our representative democracy as the other forms of representation we have.
National health care may well be a very very good idea. However, the US way of doing so must also include our natural right to self determination, even if some of us are determined to be stupid, that is our right.
Let me lay to rest the most common misconception with this bill. Most argue that the mandate included is no different than the many states requiring drivers to be insured. That is a fallacy. First of all, I have the right to not drive and therefore no need for insurance. Second of all, the states require not insurance, but proof of financial responsibility. This means that all I have to do is show that I am capable and will be capable to meet claims for damages that I cause OTHERS while exercising my privilege to drive. I choose to meet this proof in several ways, auto insurance being one way. I can choose to use the insurer I wish to use also.
The individual mandate violates my birth right as a US Citizen. The Constitution stipulates that that the ONLY requirement I must meet to be a US Citizen and reside in the US is be born here. With the mandate, my mere existence in the US requires that I spend money where I may not wish to spend it. My only choices are penalties or leaving my country. That’s it. There is no middle ground.
If the government has the power to say that my participation in a group insurance policy is the key to national coverage and without my participation nothing else is possible, then don’t they also have the power to ban donuts? I mean, it has been proven that donuts can cause health issues like diabetes and clogged arteries. Wouldn’t health care for all be better and cheaper if donuts were outlawed? How about Coca Cola? Think this is a leap? Let’s knot forget the case of the cafeteria police that occurred last year.
The governments job is to govern not to choose for the people. Self determination is a most basic of right, much of it we have already given up. The last shred that we have should be held dear and defended fiercely.
After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might instead attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it. Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would instead vote on a more popular measure that presumes the health-care bill has passed the chamber. The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill.
Read more: Washington Post
Here’s a theory about why President Obama is having a tough political time right now: He doesn’t seem all that happy being president.
I know, it’s the world’s hardest job, and between war and the world economy collapsing, he didn’t have the first year he might have wished for. And, yes, he’s damned either way: With thousands of Americans risking their lives overseas and millions losing their jobs at home, we’d slam him if he acted carefree.
Still, I think Americans want a president who seems, despite everything, to relish the challenge. They don’t want to have to feel grateful to him for taking on the burden.
I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when Obama confidant David Axelrod, noting that the president always makes time for his daughters’ recitals and soccer games, told the New York Times, “I think that’s part of how he sustains himself through all this.”
Read more: Washington Post
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic congressional leaders showed signs of progress Monday in winning anti-abortion Democrats whose votes are pivotal to President Barack Obama’s fiercely contested remake of the health care system.
Obama expressed optimism Congress would approve his call for affordable and nearly universal coverage as he pitched his plan on a trip to Ohio, while Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, among the bill’s sharpest opponents, said he was “less confident” than before that it could be stopped.
“They’d have to be remarkable people not to fall under the kind of pressure they’ll be under,” DeMint said of rank-and-file Democrats.
The pressure was turned up Monday as the House Budget Committee, on a 21-16 vote, took an essential first step toward the House vote, which could come next weekend. Obama and his supporters labored in the capital and on Air Force One
Read more: AP
Forensic scientists could soon use hand germs to help identify criminals and victims, a study said Monday.
Researchers led by Noah Fierer of the University of Colorado at Boulder swabbed individual keys on three personal computer keyboards, extracted bacterial DNA from the swabs and compared the results with bacteria on the fingertips of the keyboards’ users.
Read more: AFP
Josh Gerstein over at Politico sent Threat Level his piece underscoring once again President Barack Obama is not the civil-liberties knight in shining armor many were expecting.
Gerstein posts a televised interview of Obama and John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. The nation’s chief executive extols the virtues of mandatory DNA testing of Americans upon arrest, even absent charges or a conviction. Obama said, “It’s the right thing to do” to “tighten the grip around folks” who commit crime.
Read More : Wired
The class action suit brought by residents from southern Mississippi, which was ravaged by hurricane-force winds and driving rains, was first filed just weeks after the August 2005 storm hit.
“The plaintiffs allege that defendants’ operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming,” say the documents seen by the AFP news agency.
The increase in global surface air and water temperatures “in turn caused a rise in sea levels and added to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, which combined to destroy the plaintiffs’ private property, as well as public property useful to them.”
Read more: Telegraph UK
John Patrick Bedell, whom authorities identified as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting on Thursday, appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.
If so, that would make the Pentagon shooting the second violent extremist attack on a federal building within the past month. On Feb. 18, Joseph Stack flew a small aircraft into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Mr. Stack left behind a disjointed screed in which, among other things, he expressed his hatred of the government. (For more on this incident, click here.)
Read more: CS Monitor
The White House on Friday announced a “summit on entrepreneurship” to build economic ties with the Islamic world, part of President Barack Obama’s outreach to Muslims.
The White House said it has invited participants from more than 40 countries over five continents for the April 26-27 conference in Washington.
“The summit will highlight the role entrepreneurship can play in addressing common challenges while building partnerships that will lead to greater opportunity abroad and at home,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Obama first spoke of the entrepreneurship conference in his signature June 4 speech in Cairo to the Islamic world.
In the closely watched address, Obama said the United States was seeking a “new beginning” with the Islamic world to rebuild relations that had sharply deteriorated over the past decade.
Read more: AFP
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that a decision on where to prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks would not be made “for weeks,” following a flare-up in the debate about whether that trial should take place in civilian court or before a military commission.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. originally wanted a civilian trial in Manhattan for Sept. 11 suspects.
The White House sought to dampen speculation that a decision on where to hold a trial might be imminent. That speculation was fanned by a report Friday that aides to President Obama might recommend that he pull the prosecution out of civilian court and send it back to a military commission, where the Bush administration had planned to hold it.
Read more: NY Times