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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Constitution is the law. If it can be selectively ignored or disobeyed, it is not. Ultimately, law is whatever who holds the guns says it is.


HERE IS A SMALL CLIP SHOWING THE SMALL PROFESSOR FOR WHO HE IS:


Georgetown University law professor Louis Michael Seidman writes that disobedience of the Constitution should be seriously considered.

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution
By LOUIS MICHAEL SEIDMAN
Published: December 30, 2012

AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.
No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation. He believed the most consequential act of his presidency — the purchase of the Louisiana Territory — exceeded his constitutional powers.
Before the Civil War, abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison conceded that the Constitution protected slavery, but denounced it as a pact with the devil that should be ignored. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation — 150 years ago tomorrow — he justified it as a military necessity under his power as commander in chief. Eventually, though, he embraced the freeing of slaves as a central war aim, though nearly everyone conceded that the federal government lacked the constitutional power to disrupt slavery where it already existed. Moreover, when the law finally caught up with the facts on the ground through passage of the 13th Amendment, ratification was achieved in a manner at odds with constitutional requirements. (The Southern states were denied representation in Congress on the theory that they had left the Union, yet their reconstructed legislatures later provided the crucial votes to ratify the amendment.)
In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation. In 1954, when the court decided Brown v. Board of Education, Justice Robert H. Jackson said he was voting for it as a moral and political necessity although he thought it had no basis in the Constitution. The list goes on and on.

The fact that dissenting justices regularly, publicly and vociferously assert that their colleagues have ignored the Constitution — in landmark cases from Miranda v. Arizona to Roe v. Wade to Romer v. Evans to Bush v. Gore — should give us pause. The two main rival interpretive methods, “originalism” (divining the framers’ intent) and “living constitutionalism” (reinterpreting the text in light of modern demands), cannot be reconciled. Some decisions have been grounded in one school of thought, and some in the other. Whichever your philosophy, many of the results — by definition — must be wrong.

IN the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.
This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.
Nor should we have a debate about, for instance, how long the president’s term should last or whether Congress should consist of two houses. Some matters are better left settled, even if not in exactly the way we favor. Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants. Even without constitutional fealty, the president would still be checked by Congress and by the states. There is even something to be said for an elite body like the Supreme Court with the power to impose its views of political morality on the country.
What would change is not the existence of these institutions, but the basis on which they claim legitimacy. The president would have to justify military action against Iran solely on the merits, without shutting down the debate with a claim of unchallengeable constitutional power as commander in chief. Congress might well retain the power of the purse, but this power would have to be defended on contemporary policy grounds, not abstruse constitutional doctrine. The Supreme Court could stop pretending that its decisions protecting same-sex intimacy or limiting affirmative action were rooted in constitutional text.
The deep-seated fear that such disobedience would unravel our social fabric is mere superstition. As we have seen, the country has successfully survived numerous examples of constitutional infidelity. And as we see now, the failure of the Congress and the White House to agree has already destabilized the country. Countries like Britain and New Zealand have systems of parliamentary supremacy and no written constitution, but are held together by longstanding traditions, accepted modes of procedure and engaged citizens. We, too, could draw on these resources.
What has preserved our political stability is not a poetic piece of parchment, but entrenched institutions and habits of thought and, most important, the sense that we are one nation and must work out our differences. No one can predict in detail what our system of government would look like if we freed ourselves from the shackles of constitutional obligation, and I harbor no illusions that any of this will happen soon. But even if we can’t kick our constitutional-law addiction, we can soften the habit.
If we acknowledged what should be obvious — that much constitutional language is broad enough to encompass an almost infinitely wide range of positions — we might have a very different attitude about the obligation to obey. It would become apparent that people who disagree with us about the Constitution are not violating a sacred text or our core commitments. Instead, we are all invoking a common vocabulary to express aspirations that, at the broadest level, everyone can embrace. Of course, that does not mean that people agree at the ground level. If we are not to abandon constitutionalism entirely, then we might at least understand it as a place for discussion, a demand that we make a good-faith effort to understand the views of others, rather than as a tool to force others to give up their moral and political judgments.
If even this change is impossible, perhaps the dream of a country ruled by “We the people” is impossibly utopian. If so, we have to give up on the claim that we are a self-governing people who can settle our disagreements through mature and tolerant debate. But before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.

--------------------------------------------

Standing up for freedom under the law, to the inconvenience of those that want to change it and ignore it as they see fit:




112 comments:

  1. If LOUIS MICHAEL SEIDMAN is not a useful idiot, I don’t know the meaning of the concept.

    ReplyDelete
  2. some guy, Ramsey I think, on fox talk radio equated changing the constitution to changing the bible.

    Silly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Constitution, Ash, has a tried and true method for change, called the
      Amendment process. Having lived abroad for so long you may have forgotten this.

      These folks are talking about ignoring it.

      Delete
  3. The Bible has been changed many times. It is literature ,not law, except for those who voluntarily choose to make it their personal guide. Every act of tyranny begins with the declaration of a new order, a new era or new laws. They always come down from visionaries.

    This is the desired end game of the left, the breaking of the old society and formation of a new regime. Another more perfect union, indivisible from their thinking with their ideology of democratic economic liberty, government benefits and a new justice for all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there are, I don't know, maybe 200 or so, maybe more, translations of the Bible, all somewhat different. And it evolved over time, the Jewish writings. We at least still have a common language, at least for now, most of us. And as Deuce says it is literature, not law, except for those who accept it as such. Which causes its own problems. Jesus never talks about gays, for Paul it is a big deal, perhaps because he had 'tendencies', Jesus forgave on the cross, whereas in earlier times gays were to be put to death, etc.

      Delete
  4. This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.


    (((We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.)))

    Yup, the statement of a useful idiot for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. One or two talking heads on Fox have been saying the House may well take this fiscal cliff deal, the Republicans splitting their ranks, and the dems voting en masse in favor. Not a spending cut in it worthy of mention. The debt limit question to be put off to later.

    ReplyDelete
  6. All militaristic nation states and empires begin and end this way. The genie is out of the flask. This professor makes the perfect argument for the antidote, devolution, where people are truly free to form associations of like minded people.

    It is the only restraint in the way of statists, cut down the size of their turf.

    The great killers and imperialists of history always slaughtered for the greater good as they saw it. Laws and the restraints of common practice were necessary nuisances to be pushed aside for the killers to do their necessary work for the common good, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alas, it is very hard to think of a reason to disagree. Maybe a Republic is just doomed. Some of the Greeks thought so.

      The danger comes from the left, not the right. We old farts of the right have more important things to think about than perfecting the world after the third revolution after the next, so to speak. That is to say, we are unperfectable for the 'common good'.

      One should try to perfect one's self the best one can. Which means recognizing that one is an unprofitable sinner, hard to do.

      Delete
  7. The 8 Senators to vote against the fiscal cliff bill were Bennett D-CO, Carper D-DE, Grassley R-IA, Harkin D-IA, Lee R-UT, Paul R-KY, Rubio R-FL, Shelby R-AL.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aging is a blessing and a curse. It is the only path to wisdom and the dreadful truth.

    ReplyDelete
  9. There is a post over at Hot Air along your very lines, Deuce -

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/12/31/open-thread-lets-celebrate-new-years-by-giving-up-on-the-constitution/

    Cites the same moron you did.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Academics love the third person:

    As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, OBSERVERS are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken.

    Ooooh, who are the observers? They must be very important.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy new year!

    May it be happy, healthy and prosperous.

    a name

    ReplyDelete
  12. The basis for any society is an understanding of human behavior. A compact such as The Constitution is needed to form and sustain any society. A society is like-minded people agreeing to live together--it is not a diverse society with everyone doing their own thing. There is a common thread of beliefs and behaviors that is governed by an agreement, such as The Constitution.

    Liberals have never understood this. To them an anything goes society is the ideal. Yet, they are the first ones to impose on others their strict ideal of behavior, i.e. gun control. At the same time, these same liberals never address where the problem of guns is the most deadly, i.e. inner city violence.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  13. .

    Given the trends in our society and politics, you don't have to be a full-fledged, tin-foil hatted, big-foot chasing, ufologist to ask, "When will we get our Sulla?"

    The End of the Republic

    .

    ReplyDelete
  14. Washington State has voted for Gay Rights, and Legalization of Marijuana.

    Perhaps they're taking the old Biblical adage to heart: to wit,

    Homosexuals should be stoned.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Washington State

      Gays, legal pot, even no food tax on munchies!

      Delete
  15. http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/336664/lawless-and-ultimately-pointless-views-professor-seidman-matthew-j-franck

    ReplyDelete
  16. The US is a ticking bomb, clamping down on free speech, personal liberties, gun control & now stealing off people to pay for all the money wasted on fighting pointless illegal wars, aid to their trigger happy Zionist friends and the actions of criminal bankers, the empire is crumbling and it’s not gonna be pretty when it finally goes off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aid to their trigger happy Zionist friends

      Like the 20 new F-16's for the MB in Egypt perhaps?

      Delete
  17. I think the answer lies here. From Q's link:

    At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign. True, rich aristocrats dominated politics. In order to become one of the annually elected 'magistrates' (who in Rome were concerned with all aspects of government, not merely the law) a man had to be very rich.

    Even the system of voting was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone said, and I'm paraphrasing,

      Rome was finished when the Elite Class became the Parasite Class.

      Delete
    2. Of course, being Rufus, and hating the rich, you leave out the very next sentences.....continuing.....

      Yet ultimate power lay with the Roman people. Mass assemblies elected the magistrates, made the laws and took major state decisions. Rome prided itself on being a 'free republic' and centuries later was the political model for the founding fathers of the United States.

      Delete
    3. Someone said, and with as much sense, and I'm paraphrasing,

      Rome was finished when the Parasite Class became the Pampered Class and the government became Father to unwed mothers.

      For me, I think Rome was finished when the farmers, who started the whole adventure, and invented a great plow, all moved to the city.

      Delete
    4. I don't "hate" the rich. That's silly. However, it seems obvious to me that we have to be cognizant of the danger of "Too Much" (virtually, All) Wealth, and Power aggregating into Too Few hands.

      When the nine heirs of Sam Walton accumulate more wealth than the bottom 150 Million Americans you might need to take a long, hard look at the developing structure.

      It's childish to look at the whole world in a binary, black-white perspective.

      Delete
  18. There must be some high falutin' word in historical studies for applying to the past one's own current emotions, and understanding ancient and long term events through one's own current emotional lens, perhaps TECHNIQUE RUFICUS or some such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Technique Ruficus?"

      Yeah, I gotta give ya the old :) one on that.

      Delete
  19. It's childish to look at the whole world in a binary, black-white perspective.

    Can't disagree with that.

    Been watching Fox but can't get a handle on what is going on with the House.

    All I'm hearing is O'Reilly praising himself right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you about too great wealth by the way. And my wife does too.

      That's why we are for more small farms, for instance.

      Delete
    2. I think there were so many factors contributing to the break up of Rome and Company and over such a long period of time that it's silly to try to nail it down to one or two factors.

      There, that settles that!

      Delete
    3. In order to drive Q as crazy as possible, I'm going to take the unprecedented step of agreeing with you, Twice.

      Q's head explodes in 3 . . 2 . . 1 . .

      :)

      Delete
  20. .

    Gee, it's great to see a couple of right-brain thinkers sitting here agreeing amongst themselves.

    Happy New Year and alleluia.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I should have added the :)

      .

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. I hope your head really doesn't explode, Quirk.

      I can't stand the thought of it.

      I just want you to know that.

      I could deal with someone shooting you in the kneecap, I can go that far, but no further.

      :)

      Delete

    4. What Is Left Brain - Right Brain Theory?

      According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Additionally, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other. For example, a person who is "left-brained" is often said to be more logical, analytical and objective, while a person who is "right-brained" is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective.


      Me an' Ruf is more intuitive and thoughtful than you, Spock.

      http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/left-brain-right-brain.htm

      And we all know know in the final analysis, logic and rationality break down.

      It's why you try to find a life sitting in the barbershop listing to the storytellers.

      Delete
    5. .

      That's why I pay attention when you have something to say on some esoteric subject such as fly fishing.

      When it comes to discussion involving objective fact such as on politics, the economy, etc., well...then not so much.

      .

      Delete
    6. .

      Me an' Ruf is more intuitive and thoughtful than you, Spock.

      I will admit you guys never let facts stand in the way of a good story.

      :)

      .

      Delete
  21. Say what you will, Democracy is fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The wealth of the people really running things make the Waltons look like Pikers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruf always exaggerates. Always.

      Then goes and shops at WalMart himself.

      Delete
    2. In my defense, I got used to shopping at Walmart back when Walmart wasn't "Walmart."

      It was really quite a different outfit back in the '70's than it is now.

      Delete
  23. “The United States has attacked, directly or indirectly, some 44 countries throughout the world since August 1945, a number of them many times. The avowed objective of these military interventions has been to effect “regime change”. The cloaks of “human rights” and of “democracy” were invariably evoked to justify what were unilateral and illegal acts.

    (Professor Eric Waddell, The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- ), Global Research, February 2007

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. On the other hand, the Soviet Union occupied Europe all the way into part of Germany for decades, and finally gave it up when their system collapsed. They sucked the place dry, tormented the people, ran prison camps and generally acted like beasts. We however did not do that. We helped those in our zones get back on their feet, and left them with working democracy and in control of their own countries.

      And when the Russians finally left, all those countries turned to the west as fast as their legs could carry them.

      Delete
    3. The United States has attacked, (I like 'intervened' better) directly or indirectly, some 44 countries throughout the world since August 1945.

      The list would include El Salvador and Nicaragua, an effort which some here supported.

      Delete
    4. .

      Some people live and learn, Bobbo

      Others...

      Well, not so much.

      .

      Delete
  24. Our tax dollars at work for hearts and minds.

    ReplyDelete
  25. *House Speaker Boehner Presents Two Options On Fiscal Cliff Bill To GOP Lawmakers – Aide

    ReplyDelete
  26. Republican House members met yesterday afternoon to discuss their response to the Senate deal, with some still bullish in opposition. Representative Tim Huelskamp, from Kansas, told CNN he would vote against the legislation, which he believed would hurt small businesses.

    Steve LaTourette, a Republican Representative from Ohio, dismissed the Senators who had passed the measures as "sleep-deprived octogenarians."

    Under the Senate bill, the debate on spending cuts would be drawn out for two more months, during which time Congress must also resolve the question of the debt ceiling. Republicans are expected to demand deep cuts to entitlement programmes such as Medicare and Social Security, in return for agreeing to a rise in the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $16.4 trillion.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Syrians woke up to air strikes near Damascus on New Year's Day as Aleppo airport was closed after repeated rebel attacks, casting doubts on diplomatic drives to end the 21-month conflict.

    The violence came a day after activists reported finding the corpses of dozens of people who had been tortured, another sign of the gruesome nature of the conflict, and as the regime said it welcomed any initiative for talks to end it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Four soldiers, four battles — and, between them — four total inches separate the slim expanse between death and life.

    ...

    The feeling dubbed "survivor guilt" is a sentiment that Dr. Harry Croft, a San Antonio-based psychiatrist, has often heard expressed during his conversations with more than 7,000 veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    ...

    Former Army helicopter pilot Joe Baginski has lived more than 40 years since a Vietnam mission during which he nearly was wounded or killed so often in the span of just five minutes, he can't even calculate the number of near misses. But he's put his own survival into healthy — and folksy — perspective: "I must have been smiling just right because I never got a scratch."


    Tiniest Margins

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't see any New Year resolutions from anyone.

    You're all just a bunch of irresolute slackers.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. There is nothing I need to resolve.

    I'm practically perfect in every way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :):)

      Of course you are. Who could possibly disagree?

      Delete
  31. I wuz going to resolve to be kinder to poor, unfortunate alfalfa farmers

    (but, decided that that was going to just be too much.)

    I'm still thinking; there Must be Something. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. It looks like the Senate deal is going to "get done."

    It's really a reasonable compromise.


    Of course, this wasn't nothin' compared to what's coming.

    That Debt Ceiling deal is going to be a hell of a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy New Year!!

    As for those planes being SOLD to Egypt ...

    They do not get the full avionics package.
    They get enough to take on the air forces of Libya, Chad and Syria.

    Puts the Egyptians on par with the Emirates, of whom General P said had an air force that could take on and defeat the Iranian air force.

    The US is allied with the Wahabbi. Has been since FDR met Saud in Egypt.
    Was then, still is.
    Bush had a series of Ramadan celebrations, post 2001.

    Obama, he does ...

    STAY THE COURSE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I would be absolutely amazed if those planes don't have a "let's crash now" switch hidden somewhere in the software. :)

      Delete
    2. .

      Right.

      I mean if General P said it, who could doubt it? I mean he gave us COIN and who can doubt that the man has always shown faultless judgement?

      .

      Delete
  34. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority House leader, said the legislation sent from the Senate represented a "historic" bipartisan compromise. She also put added pressure on Boehner to allow the measures to go to a vote in the House, noting that he had previously suggested any bill from the Senate would be put in front of Representatives.

    "That is what he said, that is what we expect. That is what the American people deserve," Pelosi said.

    Hardening the resolve of House Democrats, the congressional budget office on Tuesday said the tax cuts and other measures in the Senate-passed bill would add nearly $4tn to federal deficits over a decade.

    ReplyDelete
  35. When it's all said and done, who cares? I mean, really? All any of those bastards care about, and I do mean ALL, is getting re-elected, so they can retire some day, and become lobbyists, they do not give one flying fuck about you and me. None of them. Stay out of debt, earn, and stay away from the break off areas ( live in the heartland) and you will be fine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. stay away from the break off areas ( live in the heartland)

      Totally agree with this!

      Delete
  36. My advice to my friends at the EB. You are my friends!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I've resolved to obey my doctors orders. Like my life depends on it. As it well might.

    :)

    Time for a blood pressure pill.

    Someone asked me the other day what were the good things about aging. Anyone have any idea.

    Deuce mentioned wisdom, but then qualified it by saying what you learn are things you wish you never knew. heh

    There must be something good about it. Suggestions solicited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you don't have all those crazy, hot, and wild females knocking on your door at all hours of the day, and night.


      yippee

      Delete
    2. hmmmmmm, I actually kinda miss that.

      Delete
    3. The old sarc-meter ain't ezzackly turned up to the "high" position, today, is it Sparky? :)

      Delete
  38. If the fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate this morning makes one thing clear, it's this: "The era of the Big Deal is over," writes Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times. President Obama and John Boehner met numerous times, and so did other bipartisan groups, yet "the grand bargain remains the elusive holy grail of fiscal policy and seems destined to stay that way for now." The president and other lawmakers have admitted as much, and at this point they seem resigned to accomplishing only incremental steps.

    But there's a big problem with that: Every month, "a new battle emerges and legislative Band-Aids are affixed to fiscal gunshot wounds." Even if the House approves the Senate's deal, a series of other fiscal cliffs loom down the road, not to mention the numerous other bills that will be punted to the next Congress, including a farm bill, transportation bill, domestic violence prevention measure, and a Hurricane Sandy disaster relief bill. "Doing business in pieces may end up a productive formula—in the sense that walking 100 miles will still transport a person absent an airplane or a bus—but many outside Congress do not think such halting forward motion should be confused with actual success." Click for Steinhauer's full column.

    http://www.newser.com/story/160196/cliff-deal-proves-the-era-of-grand-bargains-is-over.html

    Three themes:

    (1) Incrementalism vs radical "Big Deal" reform

    (2) Process vs policy

    (3) The death of the egalitarian dream, or less portentously, "a republic if you can keep it" (not only has capitalism been pistol whipped in court of public opinion but federalism, as a form of self rule, is in the ring as well)

    Coupled with the enduring appeal of "Turning" generalities - the more things change, the more the commonalities exert their endurance in the human frame of events we call history.

    The process vs policy vs history themes are being reflected in MSM, albeit in lite- (almost tentative) fashion as the public watches with various degrees of focused attention on the slow-motion Hail Barry pass in Washington.

    The number I hear is 5 to 8 years which is close to the decade (or two) posited on this site. So the sweet chariot swings low for a while - before the buy-in point.

    It's all about the buy-in point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, THAT is what I like about our particular brand of Deemocracie.

      I, somehow, feel "safer" when those narcissistic egomaniacs have to "work hard" for "small" deals (except, of course, under the most emergic circumstances.)

      Delete
    2. It's called kicking the can down the road.

      Delete
    3. "emergic circumstances"?

      Delete
    4. Maybe them's the circumstances that emerge sometimes when one has voted on a bill one hasn't read, or something, and the constituents are pissed.

      Delete
    5. :) what can I say? It could be a word.


      in hillbillyese, anyways

      Delete
    6. Kind of uncomfortably close to emetic.

      We should know in 5 to 8/10 years.

      Delete
    7. I've been predicting a "stop n go" (or a slow and go, if you will) economy for a few years, now. I still think that's the most likely 5 to 8 yr. outlook, but I'm reasonably optimistic after that.

      Energy's going to be the key, in my estimation, but I think we might be pretty well positioned vis a vis the rest of the world in mitigating our way out of the coming crunch.

      Delete
  39. Anderson Cooper got his crotch kissed by some shag on air on CNN. Nothing surprises anymore, but what was unexpected was that the Coop seemed to resist the procedure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Story here, for those of impure heart -

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/01/01/kathy-griffin-kisses-anderson-coopers-crotch-national-television#ixzz2GjV80us0

      What do you think about this, Quirk?

      Delete
    2. Uh, Bob, . . . . . uh, there's maybe somethin' that you aren't exactly . . uh, up to speed on. :)

      Delete
    3. .

      My wife used to watch Griffin's reality TV show as well some of her specials on cable. I never really cared for her. Haven't seen her around in quite a while. Maybe she is trying to get back in the headlines. Or maybe she is still trying to recover from the breakup with Steve Wozniak a few years back. Or maybe she was just shit-faced, high, or both.

      As for being called back year after year, she is very gay-friendly and my wife tells me she is a close friend of Cooper's.

      As for Cooper, I don't really watch CNN any more unless I land there by accident. I can't think of one anchor or correspondant that I especially like there and some of them are downright annoying.

      Actually, I don't watch the news on CNN, FOX, or MSNBC anymore.

      .

      Delete
    4. Chelsea Handler and Kathy Griffith are cut from the same cloth.

      Delete
  40. Intel is reportedly on the cusp of delivering something that consumers around the world have been wanting for a long, long time.

    Kelly Clay at Forbes reports Intel is going to blow up the cable industry with its own set-top box and an unbundled cable service.

    ...

    Before anyone gets too excited, Janko Roettgers at GigaOm is skeptical it happens. Roettgers knows the TV business very well.

    The reason its unlikely to happen is that content companies don't really want to see cable blown up. It's been very good to them.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/intel-cable-2013-1

    It'll happen eventually. This cable crap can't go on forever. Viva La Capitalism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They better hurry; I'm running out of money pretty damned fast.

      Delete
    2. I've been watching CNN this afternoon. They have a couple of pretty good female correspondents working this fiscal cliff thingie.

      Delete
    3. Yep The gals tend to be verbal. They've worked their way into the professions where that matters. Throw in some cleavage and leg.

      (I didn't say that but FOX knows what they're doing. The gals I knew when I was working thought it was funny. Heads up, if you will.)


      Delete
    4. Some of them actually seem to believe in "working," also, I think.

      Delete
    5. A useful concept when one is running out of money.

      Delete
    6. Hell with it. I know from experience some (of the younger ones) do.

      But I can't shake that image of Melissa Lee poised on a table with her legs crossed and her dress up to wooza on one edition of Fast Money;

      and Mandy Drury, foxy chick extraordinaire, with her multiple episodes of one to two inch (knit) cleavage.

      Call me old fashioned, but the sleevelessness (ode to Michelle Obama, I understand) and the cleavage are ... open to interpretation.

      The good reporters tend not to draw attention to their personal attributes. Just saying. CNBC was a little "goofy" in 2012.

      Working girls one and all.

      Delete
    7. The CNN gals I was referencing aren't exactly "big-time lookers," but were very much on top of the goings-on (which were pretty confused there, for a little while, this afternoon.)

      Bill passed easily. 257 - 167

      Delete
  41. House passes bill with 85 Republicans . Bill goes to president.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Replies
    1. Like I said, I think it was a decent compromise. Nobody got killed; Nobody got rich. We're going to pay a little more, but at least "this" won't tank the economy.

      Delete
    2. With cowboy hat over heart I say:

      "They did what was best for the country."


      Buck



      Delete
  43. Roll call of vote -

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll659.xml

    My guy voted against it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. “It would be naked to do it at this late hour as a result of the split over this vote. Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill and for good reason. This is a complete surrender on everything. The ratio of tax hikes to spending cuts is 40 to 1, rather than 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 or 1 to 3. So, I mean it's a complete rout by the Democrats."

    Some conservatives, like Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, who plan to vote against the bill expect it to pass anyway.


    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/01/Showdown-Boehner-Cantor-to-face-off-on-Senate-fiscal-cliff-deal-tonight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not quite like that. Remember, the $Trillion in Sequestration cuts just got put off for 2 months, not cancelled.

      Also, that deal last year that set all this up had a $Trillion in Spending cuts (and, no tax increases.)

      This was just the first act of a three act play.

      Delete
    2. A proper play has five acts and you will never convince me otherwise.

      :)

      By the way, have you ever heard of a four act play?

      I thought not.

      Night Rufus, Happy New Year to ya!

      Delete
  45. House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.

    It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.

    “Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.

    Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”

    Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.”

    The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office — which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans — was only one episode in nearly two months of high-stakes negotiations laced with distrust, miscommunication, false starts and yelling matches as Washington struggled to ward off $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts.


    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/the-fiscal-cliff-deal-that-almost-wasnt-85663.html#ixzz2GngT1Sco


    This is a really good read. It covers several months of, frankly, a messed up, dysfunctional (on both sides) negotiation.

    This deal ended up getting made in spite of Everyone involved, it seems.

    The Absolutely Worst Negotiation Imagineable

    ReplyDelete
  46. Nite, all. And, one more time, Happiest New Year to Everyone.

    ReplyDelete