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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 47,143

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Uh Oh: Boehner’s Latest Shutdown Proposal Is Unconstitutional

Uh Oh: Boehner’s Latest Shutdown Proposal Is Unconstitutional

Tuesday morning, House Republican leaders released a new plan to end the government shutdown and prevent America from defaulting on its debts if the Senate and President Obama agree to several policy demands. One of these demands would take away Members of Congress’ ability to receive an employer contribution to help pay for their health insurance, a benefit they — like all federal employees — currently enjoy.

There’s just one problem with this proposal, it’s unconstitutional unless it’s delayed for more than a year.
The Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution provides that “no law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” A law eliminating federal contributions to congressmembers’ health benefits is a law “varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives.” So it cannot take effect until after the next federal election in November 2014.

Although the text of the House GOP’s latest proposal is not yet available, they passed similar language denying health care contributions to members of Congress and other select federal employees during an earlier round of the shutdown showdown. That language contains no provision delaying the changes in congressional compensation until after the 2014 election — “no Government contribution under section 8906 of title 5, United States Code, shall be provided on behalf of an individual who is a Member of Congress, congressional staff, the resident, the Vice President, or a political appointee for coverage under this subparagraph.”

Assuming the new proposal’s language tracks the language the House GOP already voted for late last month, the new proposal is unconstitutional.


"I Am A Park Ranger"

New Video Highlights Rangers' Perspective on Shutdown

Park rangers dedicate their lives to America's greatest places and the people who visit them--but now angry visitors are criticizing the Park Service for keeping people out. Watch our short new video with park rangers' personal views on the government shutdown and get the latest information on how the fiscal standoff is affecting people and communities around the country.


Have Republicans Shut Down Their Brains? By Megan McArdle

Have Republicans Shut Down Their Brains?
By Megan McArdle Oct 15, 2013 11:59 AM PT


What you will notice about both proposals is that they are fiscally irresponsible, ludicrously short term and certainly not worth having shut down the government to achieve. The medical-device tax and the insurance tax may not raise much money, but if you’re claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility, and this is the fruit of two weeks spent having national hysterics over parks and veterans memorials, then someone has gotten badly confused about what the words “fiscal responsibility” mean when they’re put next to each other like that.

To be sure, I am still of the opinion that any member of either party should be willing to vote for either of these deals rather than risk breaching the debt ceiling. In fact, I’m of the opinion that any member of either party should be willing to try that thing where you walk barefoot over hot coals rather than risk breaching the debt ceiling. At some point, markets are going to tell us that they’re not kidding around any more, and they’d like us to agree on a budget -- any budget -- so that they can have some assurance they’ll keep getting paid. Or else they’d like us to pay them a lot more money to refinance our $12.5 trillion in national debt. Playing games with the debt ceiling brings us closer to that day.

I’m with the Republicans on wanting smaller government. But I’m with the Democrats on this: These tactics are dangerous, and moreover, they don’t even work. What they get us is this: tumbling from near-crisis to near-crisis, and in between deals that don’t improve the budget outlook, but instead make it marginally worse because deep down, no one on either side wants to go to their constituents and tell them that they can no longer have services they’ve grown to like, or that they’ll have to pay higher taxes to keep them. Last winter I wrote that an ADHD-afflicted day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably better long-term planning skills than our current Congress. But that was a whole year ago; now we’re doing deals that last for two months. What’s next? The one-week continuing resolution? The hourly budget negotiations?

I’m not even arguing about whether these tactics are legitimate. I’m just pointing out that they don’t work. It cannot possibly have been in the interests of the Republican Party to take such a brutal shellacking in the court of public opinion in order to secure these paltry concessions. And it’s hard to see how it was in the interests of the country, either.


Raise your hand if you voted for a Rep who is currently endangering your money market fund

Downtown Josh Brown @ReformedBroker
Raise your hand if you voted for a Representative who is currently endangering your money market fund. Then slap yourself with that hand.
10:33 AM - 15 Oct 2013


Senate GOP aide: "If the House can't get its act together, we're going to get NOTHING"

Boehner Searches for Votes
("Boehner Searching for the Terms of Surrender" is more like it.)

Robert Costa: "House insiders say Boehner's fear is that conservative activists and powerful conservative groups start to align against the bill and rattle its fragile coalition. If that happens, and the bill's support falls apart, a simple, six-week debt-ceiling extension is still in the leadership's back pocket, but there's no plan to bring that up anytime soon. More likely, should things fizzle on the whip front, is that another conference meeting is called and the House GOP 'gets real,' as one Boehner ally puts it, about 'what's possible within divided government, and whether Republicans are willing to back anything at all.'"

"Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have slowed down their talks with Democrats as they wait to see if Boehner can pass his plan. Privately, they're worried that if Boehner struggles to find support for his amped-up version of the emerging Senate deal, it'll give even more leverage to Senate majority leader Harry Reid."

Said one Senate GOP aide: "If the House can't get its act together, we're going to get nothing, other than preserving sequestration. They're playing games, and we're over here, just trying to survive."


Glenn Greenwald Leaving The Guardian For New Venture

Greenwald was a blogger with Salon before his move to the Guardian. Before that, he was a constitutional lawyer.

Greenwald issued the following statement:

"My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.

The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.

Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly."


I Deserted...And The South Fell.

"I joined the Confederacy, served for two weeks, deserted, and the South fell"

-- Mark Twain

Mark Twain once commented:

"When the (civil) war broke out and commerce on the Mississippi River ceased, my occupation was gone. So I joined the Confederacy. I served for two weeks, and then deserted. The Confederacy fell."

page 176:

Et tu GOP?

Sign portrays Obama as Hitler

Sign portrays Obama as Hitler

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:16 am, Tue Oct 15, 2013.
By Bob Braley

KENDALLVILLE — A large video sign on U.S. 6 in Kendallville Monday portrayed Barack Obama with a Hitler-style mustache and called for impeaching the U.S. president.

The sign’s owner said it is a paid advertisement not affiliated with the businesses in Cornerstone Plaza where the sign is located.


“Once-in-a-decade typhoon” on path for Fukushima — Giant tanks of nuclear-contaminated waste at risk

AFP: Powerful Typhoon Wipha heads for Fukushima, Tepco bracing for ‘inflows of water’ — Experts: Huge flood potential for area around plant — Forecast to grow and strengthen, up to 40-foot waves off Japan coast

“Once-in-a-decade typhoon” on path for Fukushima — Top Official: Giant tanks of nuclear-contaminated waste at risk of being destroyed — Winds near 200 kilometers per hour — Gov’t: Water can be released into ocean — WSJ: ‘Monster’ bearing down on plant

Japan Times, Oct. 15, 2013 at 10:20a ET: The strongest typhoon to reach Tokyo in 10 years was expected to slam into the region with full force Wednesday morning, the Meteorological Agency said. TEPCO said it was bracing for the storm to hit the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant

AFP, Oct. 15, 2013 at 8:30a ET: Once-in-a-decade typhoon heads for Japan nuclear plant on a path that will take it towards the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant. Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour near its centre later in the day would be off the coast of Fukushima, where the crippled nuclear power plant sits. “It is the strongest typhoon in 10 years to pass the Kanto region (Tokyo and its vicinity),” Hiroyuki Uchida, the agency’s chief forecaster, told a news conference.


THE DEAL: Once again, though, so much depends on John Boehner’s largely gelatinous political spine

By Charles P. Pierce at 9:51am


Current spending levels” are what’s kicking the hell out of people around the country. I just thought I’d mention that, since nobody else seems to give a damn. The president already has told John Harwood on CNBC that actual increases in the income-tax rates are off the table as far as he’s concerned. That leaves only “entitlement reform” as a basis for any kind of bargain, and we all know where that goes. Austerity — misbegotten, cramped, and utterly unsuited to the nation’s most immediate needs — remains the fundamental philosophy behind economic thinking in both parties, and will be the philosophical basis for any agreement. If the replacement for the sequester are simply another system of cuts that maintains this level, it’s hard to see how the Republicans don’t walk away from this still with far too much of a win for their vandalism. And, of course, the monkeyhouse is still open for business.

…Once again, though, so much depends on John Boehner’s largely gelatinous political spine. He can get the votes to pass this deal, as is, and without all the add-ons that Costa’s reporting indicates that the vandals are demanding. He’s going to need Democrats to do that, however. This is in no way a win. If we’re lucky, it’s a tie. And then we’ll all sail through the holidays and see what fresh horrors await after the turn of the year. This is no way to run a democracy.


This is in no way a win. If we’re lucky, it’s a tie.
CP gets this one right, mho, kp
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