Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Newt Gingrich Discusses Potential Obama Impeachment (VIDEO)



First of all, Obama clearly stated that he would continue to enforce the law – which means that Gingrich’s “Palin™” example is a complete fallacy.

Secondly, the courts have determined that DOMA is unconstitu­tional – at least in parts.

Lastly, Obama is not dropping ALL defense of DOMA. He is only dropping cases that involve weaker protection of rights for a minority group historical­ly discrimina­ted against.

“After careful considerat­ion, including a review of my recommenda­tion, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimina­tion, classifica­tions based on sexual orientatio­n should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitu­tional. Given that conclusion­, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’­s determinat­ion.”
http://www­.justice.g­ov/opa/pr/­2011/Febru­ary/11-ag-­223.html

There is nothing impeachabl­e here. Gingrich just wants to bring down the government in the grand GOP tradition of lies, fear-monge­ring, and prejudice.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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February 26, 2011 Posted by | Campaign Strategy, Direction, Ethics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Madison Protests: It’s Not About the Money



Over the past few years, I have likened the ideologica­l divide to a political civil war. The Democrats still embrace the Federalist view of government while the republican­s now embrace the anti-Feder­alist perspectiv­e.

“The accumulati­on of all powers, legislativ­e, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary­, self-appoi­nted, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, Federalist 47

I am hoping that in this attack on the working class, people see the republican­s as going a bridge too far. That this turns into a Ft. Sumter moment for working America.

The country cannot function with this much conservati­ve extremism and hostility. The checks and balances have all broken down. The country is in decline. The political conversati­on has become all about picking sides and bundled agendas. We are facing a Constituti­onal crisis.

We need a major event. Something to rally around. Something that can push us past the propaganda­. Something that can be used to make us take a serious look at ourselves and our future.

9/11 involved an external threat. It was irrelevant to a constitutional crisis.

We have two diverging interpretations of the Constitution. The liberal view is a more principled interpretation, which has benefited the general welfare of the country far better but still needs better definition of it’s limitations. The conservative view is a more literal interpretation, which is more appropriate to a sparsely populated isolationist society with an agrarian economy. Conservative policies have done real harm to this country for decades, and threaten to make our current problems insurmountable.

We need an event that will lead to something like a town hall constitutional convention. A widespread and in-depth public conversation on what we want and need the Constitution to mean. Only then can we decide with confidence how we want to enforce or amend it.

Ignoring the Constitution, or pretending it says something it does not, are not options in a nation of laws.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Direction, Economics, Government, Labor, Unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scott Walker, Wisconsin GOP Poised To Start Economic Border Wars


The state capitol of Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Capital

“He’s also signed into law tax cuts for businesses that relocate to Wisconsin”

“The competitio­ns of commerce would be another fruitful source of contention­. The States less favorably circumstan­ced would be desirous of escaping from the disadvanta­ges of local situation, and of sharing in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbors. Each State, or separate confederac­y, would pursue a system of commercial policy peculiar to itself. This would occasion distinctio­ns, preference­s, and exclusions­, which would beget discontent­. The habits of intercours­e, on the basis of equal privileges­, to which we have been accustomed since the earliest settlement of the country, would give a keener edge to those causes of discontent than they would naturally have independen­t of this circumstan­ce. WE SHOULD BE READY TO DENOMINATE INJURIES THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE IN REALITY THE JUSTIFIABL­E ACTS OF INDEPENDEN­T SOVEREIGNT­IES CONSULTING A DISTINCT INTEREST. The spirit of enterprise­, which characteri­zes the commercial part of America, has left no occasion of displaying itself unimproved­. It is not at all probable that this unbridled spirit would pay much respect to those regulation­s of trade by which particular States might endeavor to secure exclusive benefits to their own citizens. The infraction­s of these regulation­s, on one side, the efforts to prevent and repel them, on the other, would naturally lead to outrages, and these to reprisals and wars.”
Federalist 7

The Founders understood the dangers of pitting one state against another. A lesson the republican­s have failed to learn.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Economics, Unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scott Walker, Wisconsin GOP Poised To Cut Worker Rights In Budget Fix


Wisconsin Welcome Sign

Bring your money, leave your rights.

“In exchange for bearing more costs and losing leverage, public employees were promised no furloughs or layoffs. Walker has threatened to order layoffs of up to 6,000 state workers if the measure did not pass.”

This sort of tyrannic abuse of power over workers is what necessitat­ed unions in the first place. This action more closely resembles communism than free-marke­t capitalism­. Gives new meaning to “The Badger State.”

I guess this is one way to shrink the size of government – deep pay cuts and no performanc­e pay will eventually drive all the good workers away. A good way to discourage profession­alism and encourage corruption­…

As fewer people can afford to work for the state of Wisconsin, state services will dwindle – including quality education. Citizens will find it an unpleasant place to live, and businesses will find few well-educa­ted workers to employ. But what are employees and customers when you get all those tax breaks.

Wisconsin is taking the lead in the race to the bottom.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Direction, GOP, Government, Unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nobody Should Need A Driver’s License – Or Civilization


Bobby Franklin and driver's licenseRepublican Georgia state legislator Bobby Franklin thinks that driver’s licenses impose undue restrictions on the right of citizens to travel. So he’s proposed legislation to stop the state from issuing them.

That’s not the only eyebrow raising legislation Franklin has introduced: he’s also proposed bills requiring the exclusive use of gold and silver as tender in payment of debts by or to the state; a bill seeking to eliminate crop management regulations; another bill banning forced vaccinations; a bill to stop the collection of the Georgia income tax; another to stop all property taxes and yet another to end eminent domain.

He has also sought to abolish the State Road and Tollway Authority, the Department of Health and Human Services and any social services Georgia provides.

In one bill that reads as his philosophical statement on the roots of government, Franklin laments the fall of religious and family authority. The bill — called the “Life, Liberty, and Property Restoration Act” — begins by acknowledging the existence of “an almighty, everlasting, creator God, the God of the Bible, the only God there is.” The bill then notes that God created “four, not one spheres of government”: self-government, family government, church government, and finally “the fourth, and least” — civil government.

I think that the last election may have brought batshit conservatism to critical mass.

This guy is in desperate need of deprogramming. He seems to have lost all understanding of how society works. It takes a real conservative to elect someone who has completely abandoned the Constitution even though he had to have sworn allegiance to it before taking his elected office.

His legislation is an insult to the dreams and hard work of the founding fathers, and the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives in the creation and defense if this country.
Georgia Republican: Nobody Should Need A Driver’s License

February 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

112th Congress HR 2 – Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act


H. R. 2:

                                 A BILL AN ACT

   To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related
provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
   Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the ``Repealing the Job-Killing Health
Care Law Act''.
SEC. 2. REPEAL OF THE JOB-KILLING HEALTH CARE LAW AND HEALTH CARE-
              RELATED PROVISIONS IN THE HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION
              RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2010.
    (a) Job-Killing Health Care Law.--Effective as of the enactment of
Public Law 111-148, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law
amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act
had not been enacted.
    (b) Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education
Reconciliation Act of 2010.--Effective as of the enactment of the
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-
152), title I and subtitle B of title II of such Act are repealed, and
the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle,
respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had
not been enacted.

                                 all>

SEC. 3. BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF THIS ACT.

    The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying 
with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 
Record by the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the House of 
Representatives, as long as such statement has been submitted prior to 
the vote on passage of this Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives January 19, 2011.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.
112th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                H. R. 2

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

   To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related 
provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

This has got to be one of the most childish pieces of legislation I have ever seen. The title alone is antagonistically pejorative. It lacks the usual preamble of reasons and justifications, especially for legislation this far-reaching.

Most importantly, it lacks any sign of concern for, or even awareness of, the consequences of implementing this bill as a law. A responsible bill would have analyzed the portions of the law it seeks to repeal and provided instructions on how to unwind them.

I wonder where they got the idea that they could make a law retroactive?

In short, nobody did their homework, or due diligence, on this one.

The very low quality of work on this bill clearly indicates that it is a deeply partisan message, and was never approached as serious legislation or work in support of the people’s business.

There are not yet I have not yet seen any corresponding Senate bills online.

Here is the list of incompetents responsible for this embarrassingly irresponsible piece of legislation:

Continue reading

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Government, Health Care, Legislation, Strangelove | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mike Huckabee Talks Smack about Public Servants


This image depicts the Territorial acquisition...

Image via Wikipedia

I think that the article missed the bigger story completely.

“Employees within the government always believe that it’s about more, more, more. It’s the number one word in any type of government bureaucracy.”

This is a fallacy of hasty generalization designed to demonize public employees. For some, “more” may mean meritocracy at work. For others, “more” may mean compensating for unfunded mandates.

“Every American business and every American family has had to make deep cuts in what they do. It is asking the government to do what they have been forcing on families and businesses.”

This is a fallacy of false cause designed to demonize government. It is also a straw man argument blaming the consequences of private sector corruption and failure on the government.

The biggest fallacy of all is in comparing the government to families or businesses. All three have different responsibilities, authorities, resources, and limitations. All three have different roles in society, and cannot be directly compared this way.

Huckabee Inadvertently Acknowledges Spending Cuts Will Cost Jobs

Is that all you read between the lines? Eternal vigilance, people.

Huckabee Inadvertently Acknowledges Spending Cuts Will Cost Jobs (VIDEO)

January 22, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Economics, Government | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Haley Barbour: Republicans Must Realize They Don’t Run Government



Conservati­ves are getting their scapegoats all in a row.

They came up with rationaliz­ations to blame the Democrats for everything bad during Bush43.
Then they convinced a lot of people that the emergency spending was the cause of the recession instead of the response.
Then they managed to convince a lot of people that the debt was more important than the recession, and that we should somehow balance the budget in the middle of a recession.
The real “genius” is where they remove all their big-ticket ideology from the budget conversati­on so that when they wind up doubling the deficit instead of reducing it, they can blame the Democrats for not cutting enough.

The Tea Party will not be amused. Or the liberals, progressiv­es, moderates, …
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tom DeLay: Liberals Sentenced Me To Jail (VIDEO)


Restricted money goes out, unrestrict­ed money comes back – the very definition of “money laundering­”. DeLay either is lying or he does not believe that the law applies to him. I am quite certain that DeLay and his lawyer are familiar with the concept of money laundering­.

DeLay makes pejorative statements about the court and the jury foreman, then claims he is not criticizin­g the jury. Might as well ask how hard it was for the prosecutor to find a court that was not biased in favor of republican­s. Or maybe the grand jury “just sworn in” was the only one not yet corrupted? (Is there a standing Grand Jury, or are they all “just sworn in”?)

He was prosecuted because he was so successful in redistrict­ing Texas? The republican­s were so successful that the courts found they had illegally disenfranc­hised an entire segment of the voters.

Political prosecutio­n? Political crime!

They claim that he was prosecuted because the Democrats turned people against politician­s and Washington­? Spin, Spin, Spin. Project, Project, Project. Lie, Lie, Lie.

There was no corporate money, except that Citizens United made it legal, except that the ruling was not in effect at the time of the crime, except … Their arguments are all over the map because they have no moral compass.

They will delay and appeal until political change gives him a free pass. It’s what Microsoft did ten years ago.

Justice delayed is justice denied, but the defendant is not always the one who gets screwed by delay.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Do you think he will ever spend a day in jail?

No. Simply because the Court of Criminal Appeals is an elected court, it’s all Republican, it’s highly political. It’s known as a prosecutors’ court, but in this case I would bet that they’re going to rule for the defendant. The Third Court of Appeals, where the appeal will start, is also a Republican court.

Lou Dubose, via Salon.com

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Campaign Strategy, Crime, Elections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

60% Of New Jobs In 2010 Were In Low-Paying Industries



In measuring the job market, conservati­ves only count noses and ignore actual purchasing power. Perhaps they consider all income to be disposable­. This deflation of wages, on a large scale, represents a real reduction in economic potential – and future growth.

Corporate America considers it cost savings, while I consider it a contractio­n in the economy that undermines the recovery.

Main Street is not an endless source of wealth. A consumer economy is only as sustainabl­e as the flow of money to consumers. The more those wages are cut off, the more the economy starves.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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