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George Will, Wrong No Matter How You Look At It.

“On May 8, here in the second-most important court in the land — the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — there will be an argument that this is objectively a revenue measure,” Will explained. “The Supreme Court said as much, a tax measure.”

“It did not originate in the House. And under the standards of origination, the whole thing is unconstitutional,” he added. “So this argument, again, is far from over.”
George Will On Fox News Sunday April 20, 2014

The above quote is causing some mirth around the intertubes because George Will argues that in finding Obamacare constitutional, the supreme court made Obamacare unconstitutional. Thus Will declares victory even as his argument is expressly defeated, and would certainly have declared victory had his argument carried the day before the supreme court. Evidently Will envisions a truly no win scenario for Obamacare.

Further, when the facts are considered, Wills logic falls apart. I mean you don’t believe that senators and their staff do not understand the fundamental constitutional precepts relating to the origination of tax measures, right? Knowing that the measure must originate in the house, the senate used HR 3590 to pass Obamacare.

The “HR” in HR 3590 stands for house resolution. The reason the senate used HR 3590 was because it was a tax modification bill that was passed by the house prior to consideration by the senate.

To be sure, HR 3590 as passed by the senate was completely different than what the house passed originally, with one teensie eensie exception. HR 3590 was originally passed through the house as a modification to the tax code that conveyed certain benefits to service members. The senate removed all text after the 1st sentence and substituted the language that established Obamacare as is their right. HR 3590 then passed thru the senate and was re(sort of)approved by the house, word for word as passed by the senate.

Using that procedure to pass Obamacare through the senate may seem to be relying upon a sort of technicality, but Wills argument is based upon a technicality as well. The technicality employed by the senate overcomes the technicality invoked by Will.

The constitutionality of this procedure has been upheld by the Supreme Court at least 8 times over the past 150 years… and THAT is the point which should have the nation concerned, and may turn out to be the mechanism by which those who agree with Will may still carry the day.

Despite the fealty paid during their respective nomination hearings, the conservative judges on the supreme court have proven all too willing to overturn centuries of established precedent in order to reach 5 to 4 decisions favoring conservative causes, sometimes with dramatic impact on American society. Wills argument that the bill that established the law did not originate in the house is patent hogwash, but I for one am hardly confident that the supreme court will not take this chance to overturn yet another long set precedent in the conservative pursuit of killing Obamacare.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Congress, Obamacare, Politics, Supreme Court, The Constitution | Tagged ,
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I am The Mayor Of Peoria, Jim Arbis, And I Approve This Message

Friends, Peorians, fellow countrymen, lend me your ears. I, the Republican mayor of the beautiful city of Peoria Illinois have important matters to discuss with you.

I realize the byline on this post would seem to indicate the author is Ken, a somewhat sporadic liberal poster on this site. However, let me be entirely up front and honest about the true identity of the author of this post. Ken is a wild eyed lefty freakazoid in Oregon, but this post is written and approved by the esteemed (or else) Mayor of Peoria Illinois, Jim Arbis.

This is NOT SARCASM OR PARODY! *

First, to completely verify my identity as Mayor of Peoria, let me post the official portrait of myself as is displayed at the Peoria city hall.
This picture of the mayor hangs on the wall in the Peoria City Hall, proving the author of this post is Mayor Arbis.Now that my true identity as Mayor Arbis of Peoria Illinois is properly established, let us discuss the important news that brings me here to Allthingsdemocrat with a sincere message regarding acceptable internet usage. I am making it my top priority to quash the evils of twitter and other internet based parody accounts, especially when the twitteree falsely claims to be the mayor of Peoria.  These satirical depredations upon my character must stop immediately!

Let the word go forth that from this day forward those who pretend to be me online are subject to having their homes raided by Peoria’s finest, being detained and hauled off by the local constabularies and closely questioned while having their property confiscated.

For example some twitterjerk twitterfied ‘Mayor Ardis utilizes illegal drugs, associates with prostitutes and utilized offensive inappropriate language.’ To be sure, that is not an exact quote. Well at least not an exact quote by the offender… but it is an exact quote of the complaint I filed with the police once these twoutlaws came to my attention! I was raged… RAGED I say, when it came to my attention that someone was making fun of me, the Mayor of Peoria Illinois, the honorable and esteemed Jim Arbis. Accuse me of using offensive inappropriate language? Those motherf*ckers have to pay!

This city has had enough of those twitterrorists and we will spare no expense in tracking them down like the criminals we think they are! No… seriously, we will spare no expense. We will conduct weeks long investigations, get multiple search warrants, raid your ass and drag you, and your friends downtown for questioning. What better use could there possibly be for the tax payer dollars and police time invested in rooting out the scourge of parody twitter accounts?

In order to stop further twitattacks on innocent politicians I will be forming the Defeat Our Unruly Community Hackers Ensemble of Bureaucratically Associated Gentlemen (please do not try to form an acronym from that word jumble). I will team up with likeminded local politicians around the nation to use law enforcement to hassle, persecute, fold, spindle and mutilate anyone who is foolish enough to parody innocent politicians using twitter or other internet tools. As of this moment our ensemble is composed of myself, and Keith D Olson of the Huntsville Texas City Council.

*I’ll put the foot note of this awesome post which truly expresses the honest feelings of me, Peoria Illinois Mayor Jim Arbis, below the figurative fold. Click on the continue reading button if you dare. Continue reading

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Koch Brothers Pics

A couple pics being shared on Twitter …

koch brothers wanted poster

kochsuckers

Posted in Corporate donors, Koch Brothers, superPACs, Tea Party, teabaggers | Tagged , , , ,
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OSHA – Over 40 Years And Still Saving Lives

Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in 1970. As Dr. David Michaels, head of OSHA, says:

OSHA doesn’t kill jobs; it helps prevent jobs from killing workers.

This week, the UFCW International Union released this video on the 40+ years of OSHA:

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Today’s Republicans attack OSHA, as well as the EPA, because “safety” cuts into their profits. The GOP was successful in cutting funding to OSHA during the Clinton years and, if they somehow win the House in November, you can bet OSHA’s funding will be cut again. That’s just one more reason to register to vote, today, and vote Democrat.

Posted in Job Safety, Politics, Working Class | Tagged , ,
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Americans Subsidize Walmart Greed

Tiffany’s story, a full-time Customer Service Manager at Walmart.

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How many conservatives do you think are trying to locate Tiffany’s Walmart so they can have her fired for speaking out in this video?

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Fighting Redmap Update

Previous posts about the National Popular Vote Initiative can be found here, here and here.

The National Popular Vote Initiative is a proposal that would give the electoral votes of participating states to the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections. The states that pass the initiative legally bind their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. The initiative takes effect when enough states have entered the compact that their combined electoral vote total would win the election.

The State of New York is the latest to sign the initiative into law. With the addition of New York’s 29 votes, 11 states with 165 of the needed 270 electoral votes are committed to the National Popular Vote Initiative. The number of electoral votes committed when I wrote the 1st post in this series was 127. All 50 states have at least introduced legislation to consider the initiative.

While my previous posts have focused on the efforts of blue state Republicans to split the vote in their respective states based upon house districts, there are other reasons to go to a popular vote system than the parties finding ways to game the current system.

In the 2012 general election only 12 states were selected to hold campaign events following the party conventions. Of those, Michigan and Minnesota were visited once each by Paul Ryan. 29% of post-convention campaign events were held in Ohio. 69% of events were held in one of four states Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa. 4 in 5 Americans live in states that were totally ignored in the 2012 election.

This effect is especially felt in states that are considered to be reliably red or blue. With the current system what is the use in the Democratic candidate putting any resources into Texas? Why would a Republican pay any attention to California or New York? Under the current system the entire campaign is fought over a few battleground states while the rest of the nation follows along by watching television coverage of the horserace.

That is one of the reasons that Republican lawmakers are as supportive of the initiative as Democrats. Jan Brewer is about as wingnutty as can be imagined, and she supports the initiative, saying that more states should get attention during the general campaign.

Reverse mortgage for old folks huckster Fred Thompson is another well-known Republican who supports the initiative, out of a fear of a repeat of the 2000 Bush selection:

“We live in a time when the American people are increasingly cynical about their government’s ability to deal with our most pressing problems,” said Thompson. “This means that there is a need for bold, effective presidential leadership as never before. Therefore, we simply can no longer afford to run the risk of having a president who is handicapped by not having won the most popular votes. The National Popular Vote approach offers the states a way to deal with this issue in a way that is totally consistent with our constitutional principles.”

Brewer, Thompson and a slew of other righty endorsements for the initiative may simply prove the old saw that a broken clock is right twice daily. To which I say, preach it Republicans. Even though I cannot help but feel a bit nervous at finding myself in full support of an issue they agree upon as well, for some odd reason it feels good to listen to them pontificate and be able to pipe up in like support from my little lefty corner of the interwebs.

Posted in Campaigns, Election, Jan Brewer, Politics | Tagged , , ,
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Friday Feminism: Abortion, Equality and Sexual Assault

Federal Judge Daniel Hovland struck down North Dakota’s six week abortion ban, known as the “fetal heartbeat” measure, permanently on Wednesday calling the law “invalid and unconstitutional” and that it “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge.” The law had immediately been challenged by the Red River Women’s Clinic as an “undue burden on women seeking to obtain an abortion.” Kansas was able to avoid attaching a similar fetal heartbeat rider on a bill that would criminalize abortion once  the heartbeat was detected.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

On Tuesday, however, Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill that would allow state agencies to make surprise, warrant-less inspections on abortion clinics into law. While over in Nevada, the GOP voted to remove its opposition to gay marriage and its pro-life stance from the party platform. And the State party Chairman, Michael McDonald is happy about that!

Well, ladies, we now have the answer to why we do and should get paid less than men. The answer was provided by Phyllis Schafly. In her article for Christianity Today, she wrote:

“Another fact is the influence of hypergamy, which means that women typically choose a mate (husband or boyfriend) who earns more than she does. While women prefer to HAVE a higher earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. The simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.”

Never mind the fact that as a lawyer, she made more money than her late husband. Hypocrisy, isn’t it wonderful?

The New York Times decided not to hold back when it reported that Florida State University and the Tallahassee Police Department “botched” the sexual assault investigation of NFL player Jameis Winston. The Times pointed out that police didn’t follow obvious leads, including a witness who had videotaped part of the assault.

Victor Barnard

Victor Barnard

Minnesota is searching for a man, Victor Barnard, who is facing 59 counts of first-degree sexual assault. Barnard is a former minister of a community known as “Shepherd’s Camp”, where he would regularly rape girls as young as 13. He referred to them as “Maidens” and told them that because of “God’s word” the rape was normal.

A new study which will be released in the next issue of Gender & Society states that young women think that being harassed is normal and because of this thought process decide not to report it.

Hop on over to Tennessee to watch in awe as they became the first state to subject pregnant women to criminal assault charges if they use drugs while pregnant.

If you are not happy in your marriage stay out of Arizona, Louisiana, and Utah. The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage have been busy trying to make it harder to get a divorce. “In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split.” I’d side-step Alabama and Oklahoma as they are making moves to incorporate similar laws.

Alaska caused a bit of confusion when a couple of representatives promoting the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” program referred to the activity as being “smart and sexy”. It caused political blogger Amanda Coyne to wonder:

“It’s also unclear for whom breastfeeding is supposed to be sexy: The baby? The mother? The viewer?”

Richard Mack

Richard Mack

The Whack-a-doodle of the Week Award goes to former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack who happily told Fox News:

“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

Posted in Domestic Abuse, Equal Pay, Friday Feminism, Lesbian/Bi/Transgender, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Republican War on Women, Sexual Assault, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , ,
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Fun with Teabaggers

The all-time best video compilation of teabaggers using the nickname “teabagger”.

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Read more about how teabaggers came up with their own nickname, but today claim its a liberal creation.

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Election Reports – Eastern States – 4/18/14

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is scheduled to lead a Shaheen-021109-18432- 0009roundtable discussion today to talk about the importance of environmental conservation, namely the Land and Water Conservation Fund. She will be meeting with conservation, outdoor industry and timber sector representatives. This follows her recent role in pushing for investment in the environment in order to protect public lands. This effort is also to protect the jobs of those who work in outdoor industries. The roundtable will be held at NEMO Equipment in Dover.

John Barrow, Democratic Congressman representing Georgia’s 12th District, led an effort to urge the Federal Communications Commission to implement the provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The letter was signed by 76 members of the House. More information on the letter and the provisions they are pushing to implement is available here.

Congressman John Tierney, Representative of the 6th District of Massachusetts, has released a statement for the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The Congressman said

We solemnly remember the senseless violence that struck the Boston Marathon one year ago. My thoughts remain with the victims who are still recovering from this tragedy and with the families of those who lost their lives in this terrible attack…

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is pushing for the fate of Medicaid expansion to be left to the Louisiana voters after Republican Governor Bobby Jindal rejected the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act. Landrieu is pushing for the expansion in order to protect the health of workers in her state and to bring thousands of health care-related jobs.

Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey has introduced the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. The purpose of the legislation is to examine hate crimes and hate speech on the Internet, television, and radio. Speaking of the legislation, Markey said

We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States, which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment. Over 20 years have passed since I first directed the NTIA to review the role that telecommunications play in encouraging hate crimes. My legislation would require the agency to update this critical report for the 21st century.

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Election Reports – Central States – 4/16/14

allison grimesIn Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is challenging Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat. In the first quarter of 2014 Grimes managed to out-raise McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader. Her campaign has been boosted by grassroots support, having received contributions from nearly 45,000 individual supporters, with a median contribution of $25. However, McConnell’s campaign has more than twice as much cash on hand, thanks to having a head start. While Grimes has received smaller contributions from numerous individual backers, McConnell has received more money from lobbyists than any other candidate thus far in 2014. The Bluegrass Poll found Grimes with a 4-point lead over McConnell in February, with 12% of poll respondents undecided.

Wendy_DavisTexas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis addressed the Texas State Teachers Association on Saturday. She called for universal, full-day pre-kindergarten for all 4 year-olds. Her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has provided a plan for expanding pre-kindergarten access only for school districts that implement a so-called “gold standard” program. Davis condemned Abbott’s plan, which she said “picks and chooses which of our students succeed and which do not.”

Mark Schauer, Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan, criticized Governor Rick Snyder’s administration for increasing tax breaks to oil companies. In a statement, he said:

398px-Mark_Schauer

Giving more tax breaks to big oil companies just shows that this administration is out of touch… At a time when dozens of Michigan school districts are in deficit because of Snyder’s education cuts, the last thing we should be doing is giving more handouts to big oil companies.

As an alternative, he called for investment in renewable energy sources, which would create jobs in Michigan and reduce dependence on foreign oil. A recent poll by the Marketing Resource Group found Snyder in the lead, but losing ground. The poll found Snyder with an 8-point lead, down from 14 points in October.

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Cowardice of the Racist Right

I’ve come to the conclusion that most Republicans are simply cowards. We read, and hear on hate radio, the viciously racist statements and images made by right-wing racists nearly every, stinkin’ day (many of which we’ve compiled at http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/not-racist/). That’s usually followed by online trolls spreading misinformation, denials, and my favorite, reaching back decades to find racists statements by old, southern Democrats who became Republicans when they were pissed-off by the civil rights movement (as if a few racists in the old, pre-civil rights era Democratic Party equals the millions of present-day racists in the Republican Party).

I used to think the right wing talking heads were fully aware of this, and above this, but as loyal Republicans were forced to do everything possible to dodge questions and avoid having to denounce the racist behavior on the right. At times, I even felt sorry for those talking heads who were confronted on live television when you know they’d love to say, “If I had it my way, I’d kick all of those racists out of the Republican Party. But if I said that, I’d be primaried by some racist teabagger.” I mean, there must be a good Republican out there somewhere, right? Right?

But in the face of overwhelming evidence, its clear to me that the denials and misinformation of today’s Republicans are simply cowardice. Sure, there are a few die-hard bigots who refuse to back-down and even “double-down” on the racist crap (crying “you’re intolerant of my [racist] beliefs!”). But the talking-heads, the right wing trolls online, and the Republicans in our work and personal lives are fully-invested in the misinformation of the Republican propaganda machine. They eagerly join the racist right in confusing and misinforming the only Americans who matter to them going forward; the independents they need to win (they can no longer do it alone; their base is down to 25%). They must convince enough independents that there is no racism in the Republican Party. But they are all cowards. Even the bigots who make the racist statements will only stand by their bigotry when surrounded by other members of the racist, Republican 25%. Outside of that group, they know they would be ridiculed and ostracized as racists who don’t belong in a civilized society. They would be hated, and deservedly so. So they lie, like cowards.

Thankfully, their chances of leading this country are slim-to-none. Between the changing demographics that will shrink the percentage of the “angry white man” vote and what I’m sure will be a shockingly sexist, anti-Clinton campaign in 2016 that sends independent women running toward the Democratic Party, the racist Republican Party will get smaller … and smaller … and smaller.

louie gohmert obama stirring up racial tensions by focusing on our racist actions

Posted in Politics, Racial Issues, Republican Propaganda Machine, Republicans | Tagged , ,
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