Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Allen West, Eat My Shorts


English: Official portrait of US Rep Allen West.My freshman year at college, I lived in the West Quad. When I moved in, the returning residents were displeased with Leon West, who ran the Quad. In defiance, they had hung this big banner from the windows (facing the center of the quad) of one of the houses that said “Leon West, Eat My Shorts!”It was the first thing I ever saw of campus life.

Nearly 40 years later I have long forgotten what the dispute was over, but the memory of that protest banner still remains.

In honor of Allen West, his despicable lies, his deep prejudices, his extremely divisive assertion that liberals should “get the hell out of the United States of America”, and the eternal spirit of protest, I reprise that old cry of defiance:

Allen West, Eat My Shorts!

January 31, 2012 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens United Amendment Summary


January 21, 2012 is the second anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

Joint Resolution Proposing the Twenty-third Am...

Today, I choose to look forward to the day it is overturned. In that vein, I offer a survey of Constitutional Amendments proposed to achieve that end. I will analyze them in future diaries. This is just a reference.

Article V of the Constitution provides for two methods of amendment. Congress can propose an amendment with 2/3 approval from each chamber. Joint Resolutions are the vehicles used for this process. Once approved by Congress and signed by the President, 3/4 of the state legislatures must ratify it.

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112th Senate Joint Resolution 29:

Section 1

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on–

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 2

A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on–

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 3

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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112th Senate Joint Resolution 33:

Section 1

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

Section 2

Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

Section 3

Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.

Section 4

Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.

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112th Senate Joint Resolution 35:

Section 1

Congress shall have the power to regulate the contribution of funds by corporations, entities organized and operated for profit, and labor organizations to a candidate for election to, or for nomination for election to, a Federal office, and the power to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations, entities organized and operated for profit, and labor organizations made in support of, or opposition to, such candidates.

Section 2

A State shall have the power to regulate the contribution of funds by corporations, entities organized and operated for profit, and labor organizations to a candidate for election to, or for nomination for election to, public office in the State, and the power to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations, entities organized and operated for profit, and labor organizations made in support of, or opposition to, such candidates.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this Amendment shall be construed to allow Congress or a State to make any law abridging the freedom of the press.

House Joint Resolutions and others after the fold…

Continue reading

January 21, 2012 Posted by | 112th Congress, Campaign Finance, Citizens United vs FEC, Constitution | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jan Brewer, Arizona Governor, Announces Plan To Buy Back State Capitol Complex


Jan Brewer sold the heart and soul of the Arizona government­, the pride of the state, to the private sector. She sold out the people of Arizona. Now, a month before the 100th anniversar­y of Arizona statehood, it occurs to her that the people are going to need the cornerston­e of statehood back in their possession­. I am sure that Arizonians do not like to feel like tenants sold out to carpetbagg­ers.

There is more to being a state than having a shelf full of laws and a spreadshee­t full of numbers. Maybe she realizes that she sold the state’s identity and its pride. Probably not.

On the 100th anniversar­y of Arizona’s statehood, the citizens will not have a Capital to call their own. At best, they will spend that historic day listening to a republican explaining why their Capital is owned by persons unknown, and how committed she is to buying it back.

I doubt that they will hear from her just how many taxpayer dollars she wasted on this debacle, or that this incident will tarnish Arizona history to the last generation­.

Such will be the legacy of the modern republican party.

“There’s just one problem, most of our Capitol Complex, including the building we gather in today, is not ours,” Brewer said in the speech to the Arizona Legislature.

In my defense, I assumed that if Brewer was giving a speech to the state legislature, she was doing it in the state capital. According to MyFoxPhoenix, the capital building itself was not sold. On the other hand, the capital building is not used for constitutional business – it is a museum. Literally. The state legislature moved to a new building in 1960, and the administration moved in 1974. So the Capital that was built to help prove that the Arizona Territory was ready for statehood was put to pasture decades ago.

No wonder Arizona politics is so whack-a-doodle.

She sold for $81M, wants to buy back at $105M. As I understand it, they do not save any money by buying the buildings back early. What they lose is the use of the money over the life of the bonds that are redeemed early but at full price.

Buy high, sell low, and make up the difference in BS.

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Administration, GOP, Governance | , , | Leave a comment

Paul Krugman: U.S. Government Has Failed To Create Equal Opportunity


Conservati­ves do not believe in equal opportunit­y. That is why they quickly change the conversati­on.

Sometimes they translate “equal opportunit­y” into “racial bias”. Frequently­, they translate it into “equal outcomes”. Neither is true, but they do support conservati­ve propaganda­.

Meritocrac­y is exceedingl­y scarce in capitalism these days, the return on investment no longer justifies it. Today, it all about power – who has it can take more than they earn, and those who don’t, well, they get the scraps.

“Take what you can. Give nothing back.”

I recently dared to claim that “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” was a fundamenta­l part of capitalism – only to get lectured that it is not. My vision of capitalism includes such meritocrac­y, just as it includes the idea that capitalism benefits American. I stand corrected.

Capitalism­, like any other system, has its limitation­s. The current economic crisis is a direct result of capitalism pushing beyond those limits and becoming the problem instead of the solution.

Capitalism is, in effect, a broken model.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

NH-HB1580 – New Hampshire Republicans seek to Embrace Foreign Law


Because moving forward to the 1950s is not wacky enough, state republicans in New Hampshire are considering traveling back to 1297AD for their justification for the legal basis of individual rights and liberties within new law.

HB 1580 – AS INTRODUCED

2012 SESSION

12-2335
08/03
HOUSE BILL 1580
AN ACT requiring a reference to the Magna Carta on certain legislation.
SPONSORS: Rep. Kingsbury, Belk 4; Rep. Twombly, Hills 25; Rep. L. Vita, Straf 3
COMMITTEE: Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification

ANALYSIS

This bill requires a reference to the Magna Carta on certain legislation.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
12-2335
08/03

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT requiring a reference to the Magna Carta on certain legislation.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Magna Carta References. Amend RSA 14 by inserting after section 39-a the following new section:

14:39-b Magna Carta Reference. All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect November 1, 2012.

What kind of restriction does this place on the recognition of individual rights and liberties? The first problem with this law is that there is more than one version of the Magna Carta. Lets look at the Magna Carta (1297):

Continue reading

January 7, 2012 Posted by | GOP, Legislation, Strangelove | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Richard Cordray’s Recess Appointment Gives Consumer Agency Full Power


In principle, I think that recess appointmen­ts are obsolete in these days of modern transporta­tion, communicat­ions, and longer sessions of Congress. But that depends on a properly functionin­g Senate. Obstructio­nist republican­s have thrown that out the window.

The reason for a recess appointmen­t is to fill major empty positions in the administra­tion (on a temporary basis) when the Senate is not available to confirm an appointmen­t and convening them for confirmati­on would leave the position open too long.

In this case, it is the intention of the republican­s to leave the position unfilled. This is a direct rejection of their oath of office to support and defend the Constituti­on, particular­ly the President’­s Constituti­onal obligation to administer the law. This has created a Constituti­onal Crisis.

By blocking the nomination for reasons unrelated to the qualificat­ions of the nominee, they have perverted the “advise and consent” authority of the Constituti­on, and created the very emergency situation that the recess appointmen­t exists to resolve.

Some claim that the language of the law prohibits recess appointments for the position of Director. The authority of the recess appointment is part of the Constitution, and cannot be revoked without a Constitutional Amendment.

Pro forma sessions are not addressed in the Constitution. There is precedent for using them to block a specific appointment, but that precedent includes objections based on controversy over the qualifications of a specific nominee – not the position or the law. This obstruction is without precedent, and an unprecedented response may be necessary to maintain a Constitutional government.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Administration, Constitution, Direction, GOP, Governance, Government | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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