It’s not your grandfather’s Congress, that’s for sure. Proportional representation? Have a look.
Yep. It seems that Christians are 3.2 times overrepresented. Not what the Founders had in mind.
Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.
Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.
“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”
“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.
Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.
I noted this potential probability back in April in a TPC column:
His other motive was the afore-mentioned collusion. A dirty little secret of the political world is that large corporations are absolutely, head over heels, in love with government regulation. State mandates price out competition, prevent startup challenges, foster monopolies, and raise profits. One of “your” political heroes hinted around this fact; Zuck nodded along sheepishly.
And preempt stronger rules. One will note that its the giant tech companies that are invited to speak to Congress, the same companies with a history of privacy violation, spying, and selling to the highest bidder. I imagine the law, as they want it, is already drafted. Just a matter of bribes now.
Not that one’s coming, but what difference would a Blue Wave really make in DC?
The current Red Tide is failure enough. Even as agencies scramble to waste the leftovers from the last piecemeal, half-a$$ “budget,” the Senate, allegedly governed by conservative Republicans, prepares the next stroke of insanity.
The Senate is racing to avoid the third government shutdown of the year ahead of a looming end-of-the-month deadline.
Senators on Tuesday voted 93-7 to pass a sweeping $854 billion spending bill that includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor and Education, which make up the lion’s share of total government spending.
Six Republican senators — Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), David Perdue (Ga.), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) — joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in voting against the bill, which also includes a short-term stopgap bill to fund the rest of the government through Dec. 7 and prevent a shutdown that would start Oct. 1.
Some of them are upset … at what they’re doing.
Ah well, at least we’re getting a $pace Force.
Andrew Napolitano has some choice wisdom for President Trump, who recently proposed deporting illegal invaders without due process:
The president took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides in relevant part that “no person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This is the so-called Due Process Clause, and it essentially prevents all governments from impairing the life, liberty or property of any human being on American-controlled soil without a fair trial.
Because the Supreme Court has ruled that there are no word choice errors in the Constitution and the words of its text mean what they say, the Framers must have carefully and intentionally chosen to protect every person, not just every citizen. “Person,” in this context, has been interpreted to mean any human being on American-controlled soil against whom the American government is proceeding, irrespective of how the person got there.
This protection is so profound and universally understood that when the George W. Bush administration rounded up what it thought were the collaborators, enablers, supporters and relatives of the 9/11 murderers whom it thought were here unlawfully, it recognized their due process rights and afforded them trials before deportation. The government actually lost many of those cases, and innocents were not deported.
He’s right, legally and technically. If we’re still pretending the Constitution is anything but a relic in a museum, then it might be well to follow it. The DP clause is thus still valid. As are the following portions and proposed usages:
The current law is a sad mess but, generally speaking, if an invader does not make an asylum claim or plea to some other removal-delaying mechanism, then the due process can be very short and fast – a quick hearing would suffice.
The law could be (should be) changed to allow for rapid removal and to do away with incentives and protections, among other restrictions. This would require action from a Congress which repeatedly demonstrates its uselessness, ineptitude, and stupidity. Asking A LOT. It would also require surviving court challenges, sure to be filed nationwide as a result of any program or legal change. If (a huge if) Trump could somehow motivate his idiotic party to action, then both issues could be resolved together, Constitutionally.
There’s more in the old parchment than due process. Congress has the power and the authority to establish, ordain, and regulate the jurisdiction of the Courts. “Congress shall have the power … To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court.” US Const. Art. I, Sec. 8, No. 9. ” The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” US Const. Art. III, Sec. 1.
The Supreme Court only has original jurisdiction over a narrow band of matters specified in Art. III. All others and all those of the inferior courts may be limited by Congress (should they see fit).
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State; —between Citizens of different States, —between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
US Const. Art. III, Sec. 2, 2-3 (double emphasis added).
Immigration and naturalization, being Article I subjects, are not included in the specific exemptions. Thus, they are potential exemptions (as are [potentially] most other laws). So, a simple add-on to the end of any modifying legislation could strip the courts of the ability to review cases executed under the new law: “No court, including the Supreme Court, shall have any jurisdiction to review any matter arising under this Law.”
As an added deterrent, Congress could make extrajudicial review an impeachable offense.
One, wishing to challenge the new law, could do it the right way: seeking redress through Congress. All this assumes much.
And, while we’re assuming, let’s look deeper at the issue of invasion as it concerns the States affected by the influx of foreigners. Equating unmitigated and unrestricted immigrant invasion to a form of warfare, which is certainly is, the influx looks a lot like an actual invasion. The Constitution also provides a mechanism for dealing with this, for the several States.
Assuming Congress and the President are not doing enough to combat the issue (Trump is trying, Congress … do we even have a Congress anymore?), then the States can DECLARE WAR on the invaders, their exporting nations, or countries allowing them to pass through. “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, … engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” US Const. Art. I, Sec. 10, No. 3.
If expecting action from Congress assumes much, then expecting action from Austin or Sacramento assumes more.
But, if it’s still real, then the Constitution is still there – all of it.
UPDATE: Another thought on “persons” and due process:
What or who is a “person?”
Websters defines “person” as a “human individual;” or, archaically, as “the body of a human being.”
Black’s, for legal purposes, defines “person” as “A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the rights to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes. 1 Bouv. Inst. no. 137. A human being considered as capable of having rights and of being charged with duties; while a “thing” is the object over which rights may be exercised.”
“Human being” is the common denominator. You probably already knew all of this without dictionary references; you can probably guess where I’m going with it. Play along. A “human being” or just “human” is, scientifically, a certain kind of “bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens).” This could be further broken down to the level of the exact chemical composition, genetic markers, and associated vitality necessary to satisfy any biologist as to the specific nature of the subject creature. Having satisfied the purely scientific, the medical, there is no need to go even further with the addition of a soul.
Again, you probably knew “person” meant “homo sapien,” all types and forms. I suspect you’re a human person. Napolitano and Trump are human persons. Those crossing the borders, legally or illegally, are human persons. All humans are persons. All, to include the smallest, the unborn, whose only rights consist of the right to life and chance for development into the above, larger forms and whose only charged duties consist of the growing and living.
First: Redefining a baby as a “lump of tissue,” a “thing,” per Black’s, is a dangerous proposition. Technically it’s true. Somewhere between the person and the soul, “tissue” is firmly established to exist. And, everything physical is a “thing.” So, yes, that “thing” in the woman’s womb is a “lump of tissue.” So is the woman. So is the doctor with the vacuum.
If we’re to believe in equality or rights, then why would a “right to choose” be limited only to a certain class of (pregnant) women? That’s sexist. Does a man have the right to chop a doctor into 1,000 pieces and vacuum them into a bucket? Just tissue, things, mind you. Reality, legal and moral, tells us, “no.”
Now: Reality, legal and moral, also tells us that, if aliens at the border are persons, deserving of due process to preserve a liberty interest concerning geographic location, and if all persons have such process rights of liberty and life, then so to do unborn children.
Grant children due process! Justice demands it. As does the Fifth Amendment.
My old friend Bobby Franklin used to introduce legislation to affect just these ends. His law would have required that any legal abortion proceed only after the issuance of a death warrant, following a hearing before a judge. Someone would need conclusively demonstrate, as in a capital offense, why the baby deserved to die. Due process for the child at issue. His idea was mocked by the same sorts who, now, insist on due process for illegals and who, now, scream and shout about the inhumanity of separating children.
Just another thought.
“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?” – L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz.
So, today, a report from the Federal Reserve to Congress, from the brainless to the brain dead.
Federal Reserve policymakers see an economy that may be past full employment, financial market prices that are high and overall growth that continues to gather steam.
Those conditions remain appropriate for further interest rate increases, though inflation pressures remain fairly muted for now, according to a key report to Congress the central bank released Friday.
The monetary policy report provided a wide-ranging view of conditions for new Chairman Jerome Powell, who took the Fed’s reins earlier this month. Powell will present the report along with remarks during congressional testimony Tuesday.
“The FOMC expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will remain strong,” the report said, echoing language from prior Federal Open Market Committee meetings.
Translation: We still have absolutely no idea what we’re doing but things seem well regardless.
I sincerely hope this Friday afternoon finds you well.
Last fall, following the shooting in Las Vegas (which I think we were supposed to forget happened), a class action lawsuit was filed against a maker of bump stocks, Slide Fire.
The Complaint is HERE. I didn’t follow the case and won’t. Originally I figured it would go nowhere; now it’s a moot point. The suit was filed immediately in a case that still consists of nothing but unanswered questions. No investigative report. Multiple narrative changes. Adamant ISIS declarations. And admonishment from the FBI that it may be a year before anything is known factually (if ever).
Anyway, again, it no longer matters.
Yesterday, in the wake of the Florida high school shooting, President Donald John Trump directed AG Sessions to administratively ban the devices – which were not used in the Florida shooting. More from the Daily Mail.
President Donald Trump called on politicians on both sides of the aisle to back stronger background checks for prospective gun owners on Tuesday.
‘Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!’ the president tweeted.
Hours earlier, Trump took action to outlaw bump stocks like the one used in the Las Vegas massacre last fall.
‘I signed a memorandum directing the Attorney General to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,’ Trump said in the wake of a Florida massacre in which the killer did not use such a device.
His push for stricter gun controls comes after thousands of students and parents have called on his administration to implement changes to prevent future mass shootings.
This isn’t merely an affront to the Second Amendment, it’s an APA-driven assault on the Article One legislative authority of Congress. I suppose none of this matters at this rather late hour.
Nothing to address the rapidly declining culture. Nothing about the schools themselves. Nothing about the constant link between the shootings and psychotropic medication. Nothing about the massive failure of existing laws and law enforcement. Nothing about the illegality of most of those existing laws. Nothing. A feel good measure that doesn’t even feel good. And won’t help anyone.
Since he took office last year I’ve been trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. That ends now.
You get what you vote for. Congratulations.
An enterprising student-employee at my alma mater faces the state’s wrath. His crime? Dissatisfied with his grade, he merely hacked the professor’s computer and changed it. Forced out of UGA, he now faces EIGHTY! charges – of computer trespass and computer forgery.
These are actual crimes and, if the victim is the government or its agents, then they will be prosecuted.
As with that young Brit who hacked the CIA, there has to be a better “punishment” for this man. How about making him head of the University IT department. Obviously knows what he’s doing.
A far worse pattern of crime is committed daily, hourly by some who have little to no idea what they’re doing. That, or they just don’t give a rat’s behind.
You don’t say? Heck, I’ve tried to ring that one myself a time or two. It’s a little hard since they removed the hammer. Anyway, at least The Hill noticed:
Well, it’s true. Congress is bankrupting the country and robbing future generations of Americans to pay for it. It’s dangerous. A debt crisis, and all the terrible economic effects of that, are looming. Both parties are guilty. Every single congressional leader is to blame.
Okay, so it’s true. But how did it happen, and how are they getting away with it? The events of this week perfectly illustrate how the one-way spending ratchet works, why Congress votes to pass it, and how they’re getting away with it.
The Bipartisan Budget Act is 652 pages long. The bill increases spending by $386 billion over two years and nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. It also suspends the debt ceiling until after the next election.
Ah! That cool bipartisanship everyone loves. “Gettin’ the people’s business done!”
My (on books) debt projection of $40 Trillion by 2024 may be a little low.
How did this happen? Well, someone elected these cretins. How do they get away with it? Well, I predict most will be re-elected. It’s kind of like the frozen snake: invite a robber into your home and odds are you’ll be robbed. The people’s business must have something to do with naivete and stupidity. Go ring that bell.
So it goes in America: the grade fixer will go to jail; the monsters who deep-sixed the country will escape with perks and pensions.
Sen. Rand Paul, the only sane man left on Capitol Hill, is derisively dubbed “General*Paul” by Lindsey Grahamnesty. Lindsey was himself described recently in Taki’s Mag as “suspiciously swishy.”
Today Dr. Paul, the General (I like that, let’s take it away from them), took a hard stand against the bizarre, if predictable, new budget proposal.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is preventing a two-year budget deal from passing, as the White House advised federal agencies to prepare for the government to start shutting down at midnight.
Congressional negotiators were scrambling earlier Thursday to lock in enough votes in the House, and that was before Paul, a Republican, made public his dissatisfaction with the deal, which would raise government spending, avert a government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling.
A senior administrative official said the White House is instructing agencies to begin shutdown preparations in the event that Congress fails to pass a budget before the midnight deadline.
Paul is pushing for an amendment to maintain budget caps, but Senate sources say leaders have no plan to give Paul such a concession, meaning that he can continue to prevent a vote until after midnight, when government funding runs out.
The colossal bill, which lawmakers have been negotiating for months, would be a game-changing piece of legislation, clearing the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money.
The overall deal also does not address the high-profile issue of immigration, a key sticking point for many Democrats; but it does increase spending caps by $300 billion for the Pentagon and domestic priorities, a crucial incentive for getting enough votes from both parties.
The Convertible of State is aimed at the edge of a cliff. The Elephant at the wheel floors the gas pedal. The Donkey passenger shouts, “Go, Man, Go!” This is the bipartisanship the people claim to be all crazy about – “gettin’ the people’s business done!” Most don’t realize they’re in the backseat behind the two dumb animals, headed for the edge at high speed.
I guess Rand is more like a traffic cop than a general. Hey, still a man in uniform, right? Maybe that’s what Grahmnesty meant by the remark; you know, what he digs…
The uniparty hasn’t been able to pass a whole and complete annual budget for about a decade. Stopgap after appropriation after special package after… Now! Now, they’ve got us a twofer in store, doubling down (up) to make up for lost responsibility. Deficits and the debt be damned.
Go ahead. Shut her down. Leave her down.
American history repeats itself: There stands Paul like a stone wall!
CNN (sightly modified).
*Lindsey ridiculed Dr. Paul for wanting to bring our standing armies home and end the oldest war in US history. (I’ve never used the term “cuck” here, you know). Neocons like Grahamnesty should favor the idea, giving the troops a breather before the next war with Iran and/or North Korea and/or Russia and/or China and/or Whomever it is. You know, the war just after the depression and before the civil…
That’s always true in the figurative sense. And sometimes – times like today – it is literally so.
The Trump held forth last night before Congress on the State of the Onion.
He used triggering words like “America” and “American.” Naturally upset, some of the 535 criminals and idiots you’ve elected chose to retreat – to West Virginia. In route: a real train wreck:
A train carrying members of Congress — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — to their legislative retreat in West Virginia hit a truck Wednesday, multiple sources told CNN.
An aide confirmed Ryan was on the train and is fine. Separately, a congressman on the train told CNN most of the staff and members on the train are OK.
“No serious injuries on the train,” another source said, adding there were only “bumps and bruises” for those on the train.
The Amtrak train left Union Station in Washington earlier Wednesday, and was carrying members of Congress, as well as their spouses, some family members and aides to the lawmakers. They are stopped on the tracks outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Rep. John Faso, a New York Republican, who was on the train that crashed, said he was able to see the truck that hit the train, and that he was told that injuries were expected from people in the truck, not the train.
“There was (what) looks like a tractor trailer carrying trash that was hit by the train,” Faso, who said he was in the third car of the train, told CNN.
In other words a trainload of garbage hit a truckload of garbage. Sadly word comes the truck driver died. Another case of skunk drivers escaping unscathed with innocents in their wake.
In the days of old Congress used to pass annual budgets. This process generally started with a recommendation from the President. Next the proposed budget passed through the House, then the Senate. Finally, if he agreed with it, the President signed off on it.
That was then. Today, for more than a few years now, different appropriations have been cobbled together for this and that, rather than passed as a whole. Technically, this is permissible under Article I, Section 7 of the old Constitution. It’s my quibble that the old way was better, smoother. At any rate, at least it’s done. Until it’s not.
Last Friday/Saturday at midnight the Congress failed to agree on the latest stopgap spending bill. As such, “your” government has no budget for the coming fiscal year – running on empty.
A House-passed stopgap bill that would avoid a government shutdown fizzled out in the Senate late Friday night, leaving Congress negotiating frantically as the midnight deadline to fund the government passed.
The measure failed in a procedural vote by a 50 to 49 margin. Five Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — had backed it. Four Republicans — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — opposed it. So did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for procedural reasons.
As nearly all Democrats and some Republicans opposed the measure that failed to work its way through Congress on Friday, lawmakers saw government funding lapse, at least temporarily. The proposal that failed in the Senate would have funded the government through Feb. 16 and reauthorized the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years.
As far as I’m concerned, they could permanently shutter the whole operation forever. Fear not, they won’t. In fact, much (most?) of the government will operate pretty much as “normal” for the duration. Most people will notice no difference. I’m releasing a video for FP tomorrow about this and a few related matters. Watch it.
This last happened in 2013. Before that, it was a more pronounced shortage in 1995. We somehow survived those episodes. The sky will not fall. For now, just know that “your” elected representatives are a band of utterly incompetent fools. You should remember this come the next election. You probably won’t though I’ll drop a reminder.
Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind
–Running on Empty, Jackson Browne, 1977.