Archive for the ‘Governing’ Category
Wrote both my senators about Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be SecDef:
Please reject Sen Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense. The Advice and Consent clause of the Constitution is to ensure that the senior managers of the federal government serve the People of the United States. Obama is not a king. He does not get to surround himself with a royal court loyal only to him. Hagel’s nomination is Obama’s insult to the military. His nomination [appointment*] would just be salt in their wounds.
* crap. I have to write my notes to my senators here first so I can proofread them.
I sent a note to Sen. Claire McCaskill indicating my opposition to Sen Diane Feinstein’s proposed gun bill. To her credit, she responded (I have many issues with her but she does reply to her constituents most of the time.)
January 26, 2013
Dear Mr. Howard,
Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control policy and gun safety. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans the fundamental right to bear arms. I strongly support legal and safe gun ownership by law-abiding citizens and have consistently voted to uphold this constitutional right. I welcomed and supported the recent Supreme Court decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller case that made clear that the constitutional right to gun ownership is an individual one.
At the same time, we have to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of individuals who should not have them. We should have sensible, constitutional controls on gun ownership that address safety in our communities, like preventing the mentally ill and criminals from possessing guns.
Recent tragedies, such as the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut, have made it clear that our nation’s current gun laws should be reconsidered. Efforts to close the gun show loophole, provide for universal background checks on all guns sales, and to ensure that those with court-determined, dangerous mental health diagnoses do not get access to guns are being considered. While I want to closely study any proposal before I vote on it, I welcome these initiatives, because they represent sensible steps to keep our communities safe while respecting gun ownership rights. Importantly, legal experts believe each of these steps is consistent with the Second Amendment.
Knowing that those responsible for some of the most prominent mass shootings in recent history have suffered from mental illness, it is equally clear that we must also consider mental health services available to our citizens. A more robust mental health care system may help identify and treat individuals who need help before they resort to violence. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” will substantially expand important mental health coverage when it is fully implemented in 2014. I am hopeful that efforts to repeal these vital expansions in mental health care will come to an end, while new efforts will be undertaken to expand access to care.
Importantly, I firmly believe that an attempt to promote appropriate gun safety measures can be done without infringing upon law-abiding citizens’ right to own firearms or unduly burdening the hunting and sportsmanship culture of Missouri.
You may be interested to know that, in the past, my commitment to respecting the Second Amendment has led me to vote to permit residents of the District of Columbia to own and purchase firearms and to prevent funding for any international organization, including the United Nations, that places a tax on any firearm owned by a United States citizen. I have also opposed other inappropriate measures related to gun ownership rights, such as forcing Missouri to accept other states’ firearms laws.
While the debate over appropriate gun control measures is divisive, I believe there is middle ground here. This nation can come together to support sensible laws that prevent the mass murder of innocent citizens — especially innocent children — while we continue to respect our constitution and its Second Amendment rights. Please know that, as your United States Senator, I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress considers gun-related legislation in the months ahead.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at http://mccaskill.senate.gov.
Sent e-mails to Missouri’s Senators (McCaskill[D] and Blunt[R]) through the Senate contact page. I said (paraphrasing since I always forget that I can’t save the message after it’s sent):
1) NO on any new gun control.
2) Any registration is a precursor to confiscation. We know it. Recent statements by Democrat pols let that cat out of the bag.
3) Registration lists will be used to harass innocent Americans for the crime of disagreeing with the Democrats on gun rights.
4) Registration would be performed by the agencies that gave us Fast and Furious (BATF and DoJ) that measure political success in body count and have yet to be made accountable for the people they’ve killed.
5) The “We need to compromise on ‘reasonable’ gun regulations.” line is a red herring. We have already compromised on ‘reasonable gun regulations’. The response to any proposed gun regulation, especially under the cloud of hate projected by people who should know better, is “No.”
McCaskill of course got a renewal of her political life thanks to Todd “Dick” Akin (and no, his middle name’s not Richard) and I’m not sure if she is going to pretend to serve her Missouri constituency or go in currying the favor of her masters in the Fascist wing of the Democratic Party. Roy Blunt? I don’t know what he does.
Change the title of the Speaker of the House to the President of the House. Change the title of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the President of the Supreme Court. Add Article 0, “The federal government shall consist of three separate and equal branches.
The head of the Senate is already the President of the Senate and I earlier recommended getting rid of the Vice President position so the President of the Senate would become a full time, real position now filled by the majority leader. It’s harder for the president to act like a king when there are four presidents in the government and the constitution explicitly states that none are subordinate.
Huh? What? Where did that come from?
Sounds like a job for a parable.
A hundred people find themselves stranded on a previously deserted island (because it wouldn’t be deserted after they landed).
They have a group discussion and agree that they should make all major decisions democratically. The rules would be: All issues shall be decided by simple majority vote; all shall abide by the Will of the Majority; and all shall have the right to be heard. Everyone swears an oath to support the Covenant.
Labor is divided, shelters are built, food is acquired and the community slowly pulls itself away from the dire straights it was in on Day 1.
Of course in every group of people, there are those who don’t feel they should have to work as hard as others, or they feel that others aren’t pulling their weight. Some feel they shouldn’t have to work as hard as others, that they are entitled to special treatment.
One influential individual starts to organize those people, building on their grievances and eventually gets fifty members of the community to join his project. He has some of his group call a community meeting. At the meeting, a motion is made that a minority of slackers need to be made to carry their weight. Those slackers would have to do what the majority said they needed to do and that the majority would identify the slackers after the vote. This would be to ensure equality.
Obvious result – a minimum of 51 yeahs. Doesn’t really matter how the rest vote. Once the motion passes, the 51 enslave the other 49. The 49 are required to do all of the work of supporting the community. Everything they make will be redistributed to the others. When the 49 start to complain, loudly, the majority tells them that they may not complain. When the 49 insist on their right to speak under the Covenant, the majority says they are free to speak what the 51 tells them they can say because the Equality Law said so. Dissent against Equality was a betrayal of their sworn oaths to abide by the Will of the Majority.
This is what
GrouchoKarl Marx* meant by the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. This is what the Scottish philosopher Alexander Fraser Tytler meant when he wrote, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.” And the public treasury is of course, other people’s wealth, labor and capital.
<sigh> Unfortunately, the United States is there. The Democratic “Party of Slavery” has managed to get a majority of the community to enslave a convenient minority in the name of Equality, Redistribution and Entitlement.
The good thing is that the Democratic “Party of Slavery” has brought us to this point…again. And that means that it may be possible to pull back from the brink…again.
The greatest days of the United States’ power an glory were after 12 years of FDR’s “Progressivism”**.
* I always get them confused. Neither could be taken seriously.
** “Progressivism” in scare quotes because there is really nothing progressive about the Political Left’s agenda.
Here’s an idea for improving the popular representation in Congress.
The House of Representatives shall consist of 400 members. Each member shall stand for election every two years. Representatives shall be selected in the following way: Each Party filing for the House of Representatives shall submit a slate of 400 electors listed by priority. The number of electors selected in order of priority from each Party for seats in the House shall be proportional to the popular vote for that party.
I’ve heard people propose ratifying the first constitutional amendment proposal in order to increase their “representation” in Congress. The first proposed amendment would fix congressional districts at one congressmen for each 30,000 people. That would be a House of Representatives of over 10,000 members. If Congress has to meet in a football stadium, you are not getting represented. Few representatives would even get opportunities to speak. The chamber would be completely dominated by a handful of “congressional leaders”, kind of like the current seniority system. Ultimately, such a useless body would simply contribute to the growth of an Imperial Executive.
The current House elected by district may only represent a little over half the population. I haven’t had a representative in Congress for most of my adult life. Proportional representation says any group that makes up 1/4 % of the voting public gets a representative, or about 150,000 people on big election days. Of course the slate of candidates would be affected by the term limits.
Proportional representation is the best way to break the stranglehold the Binopoly on power held by the two big parties. There were more than enough votes for third parties to get substantial representation under the district system but it never happens because the votes are spread all over the country. Proportional representation fixes that.
As a secondary effect, proportional representation makes it harder for the corrupting practice of “bringing home the bacon” to work because for the most part, individual representatives would not have a home district to send bacon to. Now a big area, like New York City could create a local part (call it the NYC Party) whose whole purpose is to steal for the City. They could conceivably get enough votes to hold a number of seats in the house (one seat for each 150,000 votes). But they would have to influence all the other representatives, many without clearly defined constituent areas, to steal from their own constituents to give to New York. Politics would ensue, but that’s what legislating is all about.
Repeal any mention of the Vice Presidency. The order of succession should be speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, roll through the cabinet, and then go through the congress in some order. The President of the Senate shall be selected by the Senate as the Speaker of the House is selected by the House.
Joe Biden. One. Heartbeat. Away.
The Vice Presidency is the most highly overrated position in the universe. Just make it go away.
REFORM 3: SUNRISE CLAUSE
The House and Senate shall not vote for final passage of any legislation until that pending legislation has been available to the public for review in its final form for at least 30 calendar days. Any change to the pending legislation shall require 30 day review. No change shall be made to passed legislation except by additional legislation passed in accordance with this clause.
and to provide for real emergencies:
The president may engage in actions authorized by pending legislation for 40 days. If the pending legislation is not passed by the end of the 40 day period, the president shall cease and desist further action.
The president may use military asset and military force for a period of 10 days in response to emergency involving disasters or attacks on the sovereign territory of the US or attacks on US flag assets or US citizens outside US territory. If legislation supporting the action is not pending after ten days the president shall cease and desist further action.
Think Obamacare Clause. No more gigantic, oppressive laws passed unread in the middle of the night. period. The ten day delay is the new War Powers Act.
I just thought of this one recently.
Every law shall expire and be stricken from the federal statutes no more than 40 years from the date of passage. Amendments to a law shall not extend the expiration date of the original law.
Rationale: We are governed by dead people. One of the contributors to the proliferation of laws is that they NEVER go away, no matter how outdated or archaic they may be. Forty years prevents excessive amounts of churn and resulting regime uncertainty. Under my term limits, Congress will have gone through three to four generations of legislators and ten presidents. Surely after that it’s time to reconsider old legislation.
- Members of the House of Representatives shall serve for no more than five two year terms.
- Senators shall serve one six year terms.
- The President shall serve for one four year term and may serve up to two additional years if completing an earlier term.
- Supreme Court Justices shall serve ine nine year term.
- No executive of any federal agency shall hold a single position for more than ten years.
Unlimited tenure has all but destroyed Congress as a representative body. Instead of 554 representatives, Congress represents maybe a dozen districts represented by the senior members who are speaker, majority leader, or committee chairs. I didn’t elect Harry Reid to be Viceroy of the Senate.
The pundits talk about the second term curse for presidents. Here’s the solution. No second term. The President is the caretaker of the executive branch. I NEVER voted for ANYONE to rebuild MY country to THEIR vision. Military commanders rotate every two to three years. President is Commander and Chief of the military and can work with four.
I used to say the SCOTUS justices should serve 18 years to make it so a president can’t pack the court. With a single term, the president can’t pack the court except in the unusual circumstance of filling an uncompleted term. Therefore justices need only stay nine years.